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Rodney Sanders wins 11th annual DIRTcar Racing UMP Modified Fall Nationals

Western DIRTcar UMP ModifiedLAS CRUCES, NM – November 7 – When you combine nearly 100 cars, fresh clay on a 5/16ths mile oval, and one of the most innovative promoters in the industry: you have a recipe for excitement. That is precisely what fans at the Southern New Mexico Speedway (SNMS) witnessed this weekend in Las Cruces, N.M.

It took a total of three days, 16 heats, seven C Mains, five B Mains, two A Mains, and three Last Chance Qualifiers to set the field of 24 participants for Sunday night’s 11th annual DIRTcar Racing UMP Modified Fall Nationals, but promoter Royal Jones’ inventive methodology to set the field kept every driver in the pit area secure in the knowledge they had a chance to qualify for the $10,000-to-win A Main, and practically no one left the track before Sunday’s green flag waved.

One of the best things about DIRTcar Racing UMP Modifieds in the Western states is that huge shows like the three-day Fall Nationals extravaganza in Las Cruces, which drew drivers from 13 states, can happen well into the winter months.

Rodney Sanders

Rodney Sanders

Tommy Myer won Friday night’s A Main to advance directly into Sunday’s Fall Nationals. That race set the lineup for the inside of the first four rows, and advancing along with him were Johnny Bone Jr., Bumper Jones, and John Anderson. Everyone else needed to race on Saturday to try and capture their spot on the grid.

Las Cruces native and El Paso Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Modified champion Stormy Scott won Saturday’s A Main to settle onto the outside of the front row, and he brought Tommy Weder Jr., Alan Sharpensteen, and R.C. Whitwell along with him.

Blooming Prairie, Minn.’s Myer and local hot shoe Scott had a big decision to make, however. Before the start of the weekend, SNMS announced they would pay an additional $15,000 to either of the front row drivers if they would drop to the back and make their way to the front in the 50-lap feature-a challenge they were calling the Double Dog Dare.

Promoter Jones added a twist on race day: knowing that all eyes would be on these two drivers if they took the dare, he went to Scott’s sponsor Rancho Milagro to find a little more incentive. They would add $5,000 as a guarantee for their driver if the track would match that amount, so $10,000 was added to the purse and Myer and Scott dropped to the back, elevating Tommy Weder Jr. and Johnny Bone Jr. to the front row.

Weder jumped out to a huge lead as the first 18 laps went green. He was about to catch the tail-end of the field when the first caution waved and tightened everyone back up. Through the next green flag segment, he held onto his lead until the decisive caution waved with 18 laps to go.

This time Happy, Texas native Rodney Sanders found the bottom line and roared past Weder and last year’s Fall Nationals’ winner Johnny Scott. “I tried the top at the start,” Sanders said, “and then moved down for a while and didn’t gain anything. But slowly it started coming in.”

Weder admitted that he left the bottom groove open, effectively handing Sanders a way to pass. “I was pretty good, but what happens when you’re the leader is you don’t feel like you have to move around,” Weder said. “I was watching the bottom get cleaner and cleaner and then Sanders found it and came to the front.”

In fact, Weder didn’t get down fast enough to hang onto second-place. Defending champ, Johnny Scott also slipped by, and realized that he should have done so before the closing laps. “Maybe if I could have found the bottom sooner, I might have caught him,” Scott said. “But Sanders was fast.”

Johnny’s brother Stormy Scott failed in his bid to win a payday that would have netted $25,000 plus bonuses, but after climbing from last-place at the start of the race to finish ninth, he grabbed a total of $8,050. ” This thing was awesome; I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Scott said.

Still, the biggest check of the night went to Sanders when he pocketed $10,000 of SNMS’ money. “What did it for me, was that I got to the bottom before anyone else.”

11th annual DIRTcar Racing UMP Modified Fall Nationals

1. Rodney Sanders

2. Johnny Scott

3. Tommy Weder Jr.

4. Johnny Bone Jr.

5. Ryan Gustin

6. Kelly Shryock

7. John Anderson

8. Bobby Malchus

9. Stormy Scott

10. Alex Stanford

11. Bumper Jones

12. Philip Houston

13. Tim Donlinger

14. Josh Cain

15. Tommy Myer

16. Tom Georges

17. Jeff Taylor

18. Zach VanderBeek

19. Kellen Chadwick

20. Alan Sharpensteen

21. Terry Phillips

22. RC Whitwell

23. Fito Gallardo

24. Neal Flowers

For complete results of all three nights, go to


2010: Rodney Sanders

2009: Johnny Scott

2008: Jason Hughes

2007: Eddie Martin

2006: Eddie Martin

2005: Eddie Martin

2004: Ron Jones

2003: Monte Bolton

2002: Royal Jones

2001: Ron Jones

2000: Ron Jones
Contact: Dan Beaver
Western DIRTcar Public Relations
520.249.8486 /
Twitter: @DIRTcarWest

Chris Morgan
Director Western Operations
World Racing Group/ DIRTcar
805.637.1426 /

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