Dan Ebert
Dan Ebert in victory lane at Hamilton County Speedway. (USMTS photo)

Ebert Is Hamilton County USMTS Star

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — If it’s true that “rubbin’ is racin’” then the final seven laps of Thursday’s main event at the Hamilton County Speedway provided some of the best racing of the year for fans of the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt.

When the green flag waved to start the 30-lap feature race, Dan Ebert beat polesitter Zack VanderBeek back to the flagstand to lead the opening lap around the historic half-mile dirt oval while Jim Chisholm, Tom Berry Jr. and Rodney Sanders moved ahead to pursue Ebert.

Riding the high side, Ebert remained in control through the next 20 laps before Berry began to pressure the leader. Eventually, Berry made a move for the lead at the bottom of turn three but he and Ebert made significant contact which sent Berry into first place while Sanders followed into second soon after.

Berry looked strong the final seven laps but back-to-back cautions forcing back-to-back green-white-checkered finishes changed the story.

Sanders struck first, racing wheel-to-wheel with Berry on the first restart before the yellow flag waved again for points leader Jake O’Neil’s idle race car at the bottom of turn four.

Ebert found life on the second two-lap dash to the checkers, following Berry around the treacherous top side the first time around before diving to the low side after taking the white flag and then sliding up to take away Berry’s line.

Like earlier, the pair made hard contact but this time, according to Berry, the Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year points leader “got the short end of the stick,” and slid up and off the race track while Ebert sailed into the final turn and onto a $3,000 victory.

“That was a pretty wild race,” Ebert said. “We were pretty decent to start with and then I just kind of was missing my line going into (turn) one here and then racing with Tom and Rodney there, and then I don’t know if Tom hit the hole or deliberately came across in front but I felt like I had a good run and he ran across my nose so I made sure that he knew I was there on that one. Coming to get the checker the last lap I had to make sure that I closed the deal.”

While Berry was relegated to a disappointing 18th-place result, the relative newcomer continued to impress with his ability to find the fastest way around race tracks he’s never seen before.

“I followed and followed him and I feel like that slider was clean as you can get for the type of track we had,” Berry revealed afterward. “I got into him down here (turn four) but hopefully he ain’t mad. As soon as I hit the hole I got on the gas we were together. I like racing everyone with respect and I think Zack’s (VanderBeek) mad at me too but he got tight going the first corner. I had nowhere to go so I mean if he’s going to be mad about that I don’t know, so maybe I got some mad people at me but they all know I race hard with respect.”

Meanwhile, Ebert held off Sanders by less than a half-second while Chisholm. Alex Williamson and Dereck Ramirez completed the top five. Ramirez picked up the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award after zipping past 14 cars from his 19th starting spot.

The finish:

Dan Ebert, Rodney Sanders, Jim Chisholm, Alex Williamson, Dereck Ramirez, Jacob Bleess, Tim Ward, Terry Phillips, Will Krup, Jeremy Nelson, Gary Christian, Kyle Brown, Darron Fuqua, Jason Hughes, Tyler Davis, Carlos Ahumada Jr., Tyler Wolff, Tom Berry Jr.., Jake O’Neil, Zack VanderBeek, Lucas Schott, Jacob Hobscheidt, Cody Thompson, Tanner Mullens, Steve Lavasseur, A.J. Hoff, Kylie Kath, Brandon Givens, Cayden Carter, Dylan Thornton.