Derek Ramirez made it three straight USMTS Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout wins Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)

Ramirez Makes It A Three-Peat At Lucas Oil

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Dereck Ramirez did it again Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway, winning his third straight USMTS Slick Mist Show-Me Shootout presented by Foley Equipment.

Ramirez, the reigning Summit USMTS National Champion, won for the second straight night, following up his win at Humboldt (Kan.) Speedway on Friday.

He led all 42 laps to take home $10,000.

“I did all I could. I manhandled that thing. This is not my kind of race track,” Ramirez said after his ride on the high side throughout was enough to win again at Lucas Oil Speedway. His three USMTS wins are the most by any series driver at the track.

Ramirez held off Darron Fuqua by 1.153 seconds for the victory with points leader Dustin Sorensen rallying from eighth to third. Ramirez had to hold off fifth-starting Jake O’Neil for much of the last half of the 42-lap feature.

Ramirez grabbed the lead at the start and set the pace, opening a 1.5-second lead over fellow front-row starter Fuqua before a lap-five caution bunched the field for a restart.

Ramirez led Fuqua by one second with O’Neil third as the trio broke away by nearly a straightaway margin over fourth-place Tyler Davis by lap 14. But lapped traffic soon came into play and Fuqua pulled right behind Ramirez over the next several laps with those two darting in and out of slower cars.

O’Neil took advantage and got past Fuqua on lap 20 and then set out a path to try and catch the leader. He was within four-tenths of a second on lap 22 when the race’s second caution calmed the battle—at least temporarily.

With clear track ahead as the race returned to green, the three front-runners again pulled away from the rest of the field as the laps dwindled.

With five circuits remaining, Ramirez and O’Neil again caught lapped traffic.

Lance Mari’s car slowed to a stop and brought out another caution to set up a five-lap dash to the finish.

“He timed it right,” Ramirez said of O’Neil. “I was going for a slider with some of those lapped cars and he rolled the bottom. As I was sliding, he was coming back forward and it’s hard to keep up when they’re doing that.

“I’m just glad that yellow came out because I think he was underneath me right there going into (turn) one. I don’t know if he’d have beat me coming out of the corner, but that spooks you enough to drive into the corner the next time too hard and end up in the wall over there, and that’s not good.”

Fuqua got around O’Neil on the restart and Ramirez capitalized, opening up a five-car-length lead. Fuqua closed the margin with three laps to go, but Ramirez went on to prevail by about 10 car lengths.

“We’re close. I feel like we’re in good company now,” Fuqua said.

O’Neil faded to sixth with Sorensen third, Davis coming home fourth and Tanner Mullens fifth.

Four-time Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt national champ Rodney Sanders scored a seventh-place paycheck, two-time event winner Terry Phillips was eighth, Zack VanderBeek netted ninth and Cayden Carter took the checkered flag in the tenth position.

VanderBeek, who started 16th on the 30-car grid, earned his third straight FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award of the weekend.

Ryan Gillmore led all 20 laps to capture the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature win, outdistancing Kyle Slader and Kris Jackson.

Mason Beck never looked back, leading all the way to capture the O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars feature.

The Finish:

Feature (50 Laps): 1. (2) 4R Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., 2. (1) 87 Darron Fuqua, Mayetta, Kan., 3. (8) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., 4. (4) 65 Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan., 5. (6) 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan., 6. (5) 0 Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz., 7. (9) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, 8. (7) 75 Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo., 9. (16) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, 10. (12) 10C Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, Iowa, 11. (15) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., 12. (10) 44S Shane DeVolder, Pacifica, Calif., 13. (3) 21K Kyle Brown, Madrid, Iowa, 14. (18) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn., 15. (30) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas, 16. (14) 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn., 17. (20) 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo., 18. (19) 45 Chase Holland, Saucier, Miss., 19. (24) 7XD Dillon McCowan, Urbana, Mo., 20. (26) 38T Dylan Thornton, Santa Maria, Calif., 21. (21) 2G Brandon Givens, Wichita, Kan., 22. (29) 56 Colton Horner, Houston, Texas, 23. (17) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo., 24. (28) 96 Cody Brill, Harrisonville, Mo., 25. (25) 19SB Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif., 26. (23) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., 27. (13) 4W Tyler Wolff, Fayetteville, Ark., 28. (11) 20JR Todd Shute, Norwalk, Iowa, 29. (22) 8 Steven Bowers Jr., Topeka, Kan., 30. (27) 22H Dustin Hodges, Centralia, Mo.

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