MONROE, La. — Dustin Sorensen, Dereck Ramirez and Tanner Mullens crossed the finish line with less than two-tenths of a second separating the trio in Saturday night’s Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s feature at Revolution Park.
The beautiful multi-grooved clay oval provided three-wide racing all night long — none closer than the final 100 feet of the 40-lap main event.
From the outside of the front row, Jake Timm set a blistering pace early on as he led the first 24 laps before a minor bobble opened the door for points leader Dereck Ramirez to take the lead as they completed lap 25.
After a wildly entertaining first half of the race with Timm and Sorensen, Ramirez began to put a little breathing room between himself and his chasers, but the two closed the gap behind Ramirez in the late stages and Mullens came with them as lapped traffic also became a factor.
While Ramirez was smooth through the upper middle portion of the racing surface, Sorensen was aggressively pounding the moist cushion up top while Mullens was taking the shortest way around the state-of-the-art three-eighths-mile track.
The white flag waved with a lapped car directly in front of Ramirez and he was forced to choose a different line as the leaders entered the final set of turns.
Like Timm earlier when Ramirez took the lead, a minor miscue in the final corner opened the door for Sorensen to cut back and pull even with Ramirez while Mullens made it a three-way race to the checkered flag running the bottom line.
At the line, Sorensen edged Ramirez by a whisker and Ramirez beat Mullens to the stripe by an even smaller margin.
A jubilant Sorensen celebrated his $10,000 triumph in victory lane with his crew and parents, Mike and Elaine Sorensen. It was his second win of the season and sixth career USMTS win—one better than his crew chief and father who amassed five USMTS trophies in his career.
While Ramirez had to settle for a runner-up paycheck, he was able to pad his points lead over his closest rivals for the title—Jake O’Neil, who finished fifth, and Rodney Sanders who dropped out of the race with mechanical troubles while running in the top five.
Dustin Sorensen, Dereck Ramirez, Tanner Mullens, Jake Timm, Jake O’Neil, Joe Duvall, Brooks Strength, Terry Phillips, Jason Hughes, Tyler Wolff, Lucas Schott, Curt Myers, Tommy Cannon, Dan Ebert, Mark Smith, Tyler Davis, Kenny Gaddis, Chris Clark, Jake Gallardo, Lance Mari, Rodney Sanders, Cade Dillard, Nathan Smith, J.T. Wasmund, Carlos Ahumada Jr.