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Whitwell denies challengers, claims Rancho Milagro USRA Fall Nationals qualifying feature

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October 26, 2019

R.C. Whitwell won the Rancho Milagro USRA Modified main event.
R.C. Whitwell won the Rancho Milagro USRA Modified main event.

R.C. Whitwell staved off a mid-race challenge from Jake O’Neil and a late-race threat from Bobby Pierce to claim the checkers on night two of the 20th Annual Rancho Milagro USRA Fall Nationals at the Vado Speedway Park.

The ace from Tucson, Arizona, started on the pole for the 25-lap Rancho Milagro USRA Modified qualifying feature, but his path to victory was anything but easy.

Using the shortest route around the 3/8-mile dirt oval, Whitwell laid claim to first place in the early running, but fellow Tucson native O’Neil used the high side to track him down and briefly took the lead midway through the contest.

Fighting their way through heavy lapped traffic, Whitwell was able to use the back-markers to his advantage and quickly recaptured the point. The exchange forced Whitwell to test out the high line which he found to his liking in turns three and four.

Meanwhile, dirt late model phenom Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Illinois, was rim-riding his way to the front of the pack and eventually settled for a runner-up finish behind the streaking Whitwell.

Current USMTS national points leader Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, was able to get by O'Neil for third while Stormy Scott of Las Cruces improved a spot from his sixth-place effort the night before.

The rest of the top ten at the finish line were Jake Gallardo, Carlos Ahumada Jr., Bumper Jones, Zack VanderBeek and Robert Adams. Between them, they passed a total of 30 cars during the race but all five will need a good effort in Sunday’s consolation races to ern a position in the finale.

The front half of the field is set as Saturday’s top five will fill the first five spots in the outside row of Sunday’s main event while Friday’s top five finishers—Cade Dillard, Terry Phillips, Jimmy Mars, Dereck Ramirez and Jason Hughes—are locked in for the first five spots of the inside row.

The remaining 50 entries who have yet to qualify for Sunday’s championship race will be back to compete in another round of last-chance races on Sunday to fill the rest of the grid from the sixth row back.

In the 15-lap Miller Horse Farms USRA Stock Car main event, Angel Munoz of Lamar, Colorado, came from the 11th starting spot to pick up the victory.

Tularosa’s Bryan Bennett was third; Chanse Hollatz of Clear Lake, Iowa, got third for his second straight top-five run; Tony Hill of Cortez, Colorado, finished fourth and Dustin White of Lamesa, Texas, rounded out the top five.


Angel Munoz won the Miller Horse Farms USRA Stock Car main event.

Track champion Nathan Smith of Anthony wired the field in the Hacienda Carpet & Tile USRA B-Mod 20-lap feature race with points runner-up Nick Rivera of Las Cruces the runner-up in Saturday’s feature too.

Collen Winebarger of Corbett, Oregon, wound up third with Rio Rancho’s Josh Cain finishing fourth and Calvin Iverson of Eleva, Wisconsin, claiming the fifth spot.


Nathan Smith won the Hacienda Carpet & Tile USRA B-Mod main event.

Racing continues Sunday with gates opening at 4 p.m. and racing at 6. Reserved seats are just $18, general admission is $15, youth (6-11) are just $5 and kids ages 5 and under get in for free each day. Pit passes are $40.

The event, presented by S&S Fishing & Rental, Barnett Harley-Davidson and Casa Nissan of Las Cruces, will offer up a top prize of $20,101 to the winner of Sunday’s Rancho Milagro USRA Modified main event and a minimum payout of $1,500 to every driver who starts the feature race.

The richest in the race’s history, an additional $101 was added to the top spot this in memory of local racer Butch Reid who passed away last weekend. His car number was 101.

For those unable to attend, the entire event will be broadcast live via pay-per-view at SpeedShiftTV.com.

The Vado Speedway Park is a new state-of-the-art, semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located just off I-10 at exit 155, then 0.2 mile north on Stern Dr. (track is on your left) in Vado, New Mexico (between Las Cruces and El Paso).

For more information, call (575) 524-7913 or visit VadoSpeedwayPark.com. You can also like Vado Speedway Park on Facebook or Instagram and follow on Twitter (@VadoSpeedway).

To learn more about the United States Racing Association, visit USRAracing.com. You can also like us on Facebook at @usraracing, visit us on Instagram at @usraracing, follow us on Twitter at @USRARacing and watch us on YouTube at @USRATV. Keep up to speed with everything USRA and subscribe to the USRA e-Newsletter at http://usraracing.com/subscribe.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
20th Annual Rancho Milagro USRA Fall Nationals - Night 2 of 3
Vado Speedway Park, Vado, New Mexico
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown.

RANCHO MILAGRO USRA MODIFIEDS

Heat #1:
1. (2) 75 Alan Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas
2. (8) 91X Greg Skaggs, Broken Arrow, Okla.
3. (4) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
4. (9) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
5. (5) 99 Terry Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
6. (6) 18 Henry Valdez, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (7) 07 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (3) 15 Dee Yates, Albuquerque, N.M.
9. (1) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich.
10. (10) 22 Jonathon Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (6) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (1) 117 Toby Herring, Hobbs, N.M.
3. (5) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
4. (2) R41 Colton Sims, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (9) 10 Dustin Robinson, Post, Texas
6. (4) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
7. (8) 217 Zac Mason, Hobbs, N.M.
8. (7) 61 Bobby Sikes Jr., Eunice, N.M.
9. (3) 9C Dillon Hill, Eunice, N.M.

Heat #3:
1. (2) 1ST Johnny Scott, Cameron, Mo.
2. (1) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M.
3. (9) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
4. (4) 2 Jesse Haynie, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (5) 85 Austin Adams, El Paso, Texas
6. (6) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
7. (8) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (7) 8X Wesley Summers, Wellington, Mo.
9. (3) 19 Donavon Ooley, El Paso, Texas

Heat #4:
1. (2) 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (4) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
3. (1) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
4. (5) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (3) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (7) 68 Heath Grizzle, Drasco, Ark.
7. (8) 28 Tom Georges, El Paso, Texas
8. (9) 23B Israel Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (6) 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas

Heat #5:
1. (7) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
2. (4) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (2) 30 Travis Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
4. (6) 12D Nick DeCarlo, Martinez, Calif.
5. (8) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
6. (9) 18JR Ricardo Olague Jr., El Paso, Texas
7. (3) M16 Rocko Gallardo, Fair Acres, N.M.
8. (1) 97 Julie Keeler, Farmington, N.M.
9. (5) 3 Javier Zapien Jr., El Paso, Texas

Heat #6:
1. (1) 50 Robert Adams, Red Rock, Ariz.
2. (7) 32 Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill.
3. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
4. (2) 75Y Tyrone Yazzie, Farmington, N.M.
5. (8) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
6. (4) 202 Robbie Chiles, Hooper, Colo.
7. (6) 17M Roy Don Mason, Hobbs, N.M.
8. (9) 96 Dusty Riggs, Hatch, N.M.
9. (3) 20A Alex Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas

"B" Feature #1:
1. (4) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
3. (3) 30 Travis Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
4. (11) 23B Israel Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (15) 22 Jonathon Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (7) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (10) 07 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (14) 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas
9. (8) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
10. (12) 61 Bobby Sikes Jr., Eunice, N.M.
11. (9) 217 Zac Mason, Hobbs, N.M.
12. (1) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M.
13. (13) 88R A.J. Vasquez, Garden City, Mich.
14. (6) 18JR Ricardo Olague Jr., El Paso, Texas
15. (5) R41 Colton Sims, Las Cruces, N.M.

"B" Feature #2:
1. (2) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
2. (1) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
3. (9) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (3) 12D Nick DeCarlo, Martinez, Calif.
5. (8) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
6. (6) 99 Terry Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
7. (4) 11N Gene Nicholas, Lowell, Ark.
8. (14) 3 Javier Zapien Jr., El Paso, Texas
9. (11) 96 Dusty Riggs, Hatch, N.M.
10. (10) M16 Rocko Gallardo, Fair Acres, N.M.
11. (12) 8X Wesley Summers, Wellington, Mo.
12. (5) 2 Jesse Haynie, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (13) 9C Dillon Hill, Eunice, N.M.
14. (7) 68 Heath Grizzle, Drasco, Ark.

"B" Feature #3:
1. (4) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
2. (2) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
3. (7) 18 Henry Valdez, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (9) 28 Tom Georges, El Paso, Texas
5. (6) 85 Austin Adams, El Paso, Texas
6. (10) 17M Roy Don Mason, Hobbs, N.M.
7. (13) 19 Donavon Ooley, El Paso, Texas
8. (11) 15 Dee Yates, Albuquerque, N.M.
9. (1) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
10. (5) 75Y Tyrone Yazzie, Farmington, N.M.
11. (14) 20A Alex Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas
12. (8) 202 Robbie Chiles, Hooper, Colo.
13. (12) 97 Julie Keeler, Farmington, N.M.
14. (3) 10 Dustin Robinson, Post, Texas

"A" Feature:
1. (1) 96T R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
2. (6) 32 Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill.
3. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
4. (4) 0 Jake O'Neil, Tucson, Ariz.
5. (2) 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (13) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (17) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
8. (14) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
9. (16) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
10. (9) 50 Robert Adams, Red Rock, Ariz.
11. (10) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas
12. (18) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
13. (7) 75 Alan Sharpensteen, Amarillo, Texas
14. (20) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (19) 30 Travis Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
16. (12) 117 Toby Herring, Hobbs, N.M.
17. (23) 12D Nick DeCarlo, Martinez, Calif.
18. (3) 91X Greg Skaggs, Broken Arrow, Okla.
19. (24) 28 Tom Georges, El Paso, Texas
20. (22) 23B Israel Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
21. (21) 18 Henry Valdez, Las Cruces, N.M.
22. (15) 62 Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.
23. (11) G17 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
24. (8) 1ST Johnny Scott, Cameron, Mo.

MILLER HORSE FARMS USRA STOCK CARS

Heat #1:
1. (4) 21Z Jason Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (6) 8 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (2) 3 Josh Reynolds, Alamogordo, N.M.
4. (3) 59 Travis Sutherlin, Aztec, N.M.
5. (9) 25 Jeremy Bradley, Odessa, Texas
6. (8) 2K Teddy McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
7. (10) 52 Larry Bradley, Odessa, Texas
8. (5) 101 Shawn McCarty, Carlsbad, N.M.
9. (1) 23H Hector Barraza, El Paso, Texas
10. (7) 157 Dennis Spencer, La Plata, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (2) 2 Dustin White, Lamesa, Texas
2. (1) 6 Chanse Hollatz, Clear Lake, Iowa
3. (4) 17 Rob Moseley, Los Lunas, N.M.
4. (6) 81 Devon Jobin, Alamogordo, N.M.
5. (3) 20 Larry Rust, La Plata, N.M.
6. (5) 00 Jonathan Burton, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (8) 14 Dawson Manicki, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (9) 50 Dylan Miller, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (7) 27N Nathaniel Cruz, Grants, N.M.
10. (10) 63 Landon Milo, Bay City, Texas

Heat #3:
1. (1) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.
2. (2) 13 Luigi Truden, Rio Rancho, N.M.
3. (7) 2M Angel Munoz, Lamar, Colo.
4. (4) 16 Aaron Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.
5. (3) 77 Traci Bradley, Farmington, N.M.
6. (6) 64 Cary White, Lamesa, Texas
7. (5) 7 Cecil Fanning, Rio Rancho, N.M.
8. (8) 26 Allen Bradley, Farmington, N.M.
DNS – 71 Tyler Beiter, El Paso, Texas

Heat #4:
1. (2) 171 Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M.
2. (6) 007 Tony Hill, Cortez, Colo.
3. (8) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
4. (1) 17M Michael Maraschick, Midland, Texas
5. (3) 68H Nick Herrera, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
6. (5) 21K Brian Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (4) 28 Ronnie Leathem Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.
8. (7) 37 Fred Gibson, Anthony, N.M.
9. (9) 5K Anthony DuBois, Deming, N.M.

"B" Feature #1:
1. (1) 25 Jeremy Bradley, Odessa, Texas
2. (4) 64 Cary White, Lamesa, Texas
3. (8) 26 Allen Bradley, Farmington, N.M.
4. (6) 7 Cecil Fanning, Rio Rancho, N.M.
5. (10) 71 Tyler Beiter, El Paso, Texas
6. (7) 101 Shawn McCarty, Carlsbad, N.M.
7. (11) 157 Dennis Spencer, La Plata, N.M.
8. (9) 23H Hector Barraza, El Paso, Texas
9. (5) 52 Larry Bradley, Odessa, Texas
10. (3) 2K Teddy McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
11. (2) 77 Traci Bradley, Farmington, N.M.

"B" Feature #2:
1. (3) 00 Jonathan Burton, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 68H Nick Herrera, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
3. (8) 37 Fred Gibson, Anthony, N.M.
4. (6) 28 Ronnie Leathem Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.
5. (1) 20 Larry Rust, La Plata, N.M.
6. (4) 21K Brian Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (7) 50 Dylan Miller, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (5) 14 Dawson Manicki, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (10) 5K Anthony DuBois, Deming, N.M.
10. (11) 63 Landon Milo, Bay City, Texas
11. (9) 27N Nathaniel Cruz, Grants, N.M.

"A" Feature:
1. (11) 2M Angel Munoz, Lamar, Colo.
2. (3) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.
3. (6) 6 Chanse Hollatz, Clear Lake, Iowa
4. (8) 007 Tony Hill, Cortez, Colo.
5. (2) 2 Dustin White, Lamesa, Texas
6. (10) 17 Rob Moseley, Los Lunas, N.M.
7. (12) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
8. (19) 64 Cary White, Lamesa, Texas
9. (16) 17M Michael Maraschick, Midland, Texas
10. (9) 3 Josh Reynolds, Alamogordo, N.M.
11. (17) 25 Jeremy Bradley, Odessa, Texas
12. (7) 13 Luigi Truden, Rio Rancho, N.M.
13. (13) 59 Travis Sutherlin, Aztec, N.M.
14. (5) 8 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (4) 171 Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M.
16. (14) 81 Devon Jobin, Alamogordo, N.M.
17. (1) 21Z Jason Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
18. (20) 68H Nick Herrera, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
19. (18) 00 Jonathan Burton, Las Cruces, N.M.
20. (24) 28 Ronnie Leathem Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.
21. (22) 37 Fred Gibson, Anthony, N.M.
22. (23) 7 Cecil Fanning, Rio Rancho, N.M.
23. (21) 26 Allen Bradley, Farmington, N.M.
24. (15) 16 Aaron Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.

HACIENDA CARPET & TILE USRA B-MODS

Heat #1:
1. (4) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M.
2. (8) 8N Nick Rivera, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (9) 777 Justin Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (3) 44JT Jaime Torres, Tortugas, N.M.
5. (1) 143 Danny Gross Jr., Los Lunas, N.M.
6. (5) 7 Don Parra, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (6) 52TX Paddy Rush, Horizon City, Texas
8. (2) 15 Glen Berry, Chaparral, N.M.
9. (7) 25C Cory Polen, Grants, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (5) G3 Rocko Gallardo, Fair Acres, N.M.
2. (9) 17 Collen Winebarger, Corbett, Ore.
3. (6) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
4. (8) 24 Derek Stuhler, Elephant Butte, N.M.
5. (4) 97 Wyatt Loveland, Alamogordo, N.M.
6. (1) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
7. (3) 13 Aldo Olivas, El Paso, Texas
8. (2) 41 Ralph Dutcher, Albuquerque, N.M.
9. (7) 4711 Casey Gossett, Los Lunas, N.M.

Heat #3:
1. (4) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
2. (3) 93 Greg Gorham, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (5) 27X Calvin Iverson, Eleva, Wis.
4. (6) 3 Dickie Gorham, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) 7C John Carney, El Paso, Texas
6. (9) 11 Lucas Ward, El Paso, Texas
7. (8) 16 Camron Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.
8. (2) 96 Victor Barraza, El Paso, Texas
9. (7) 14J Justin Garrett, Deming, N.M.

Feature:
1. (1) 88 Nathan Smith, Anthony, N.M.
2. (4) 8N Nick Rivera, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (5) 17 Collen Winebarger, Corbett, Ore.
4. (3) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
5. (9) 27X Calvin Iverson, Eleva, Wis.
6. (7) 777 Justin Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (10) 44JT Jaime Torres, Tortugas, N.M.
8. (15) 7C John Carney, El Paso, Texas
9. (11) 24 Derek Stuhler, Elephant Butte, N.M.
10. (16) 7 Don Parra, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (13) 143 Danny Gross Jr., Los Lunas, N.M.
12. (12) 3 Dickie Gorham, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (19) 52TX Paddy Rush, Horizon City, Texas
14. (21) 16 Camron Spangler, Dove Creek, Colo.
15. (25) 25C Cory Polen, Grants, N.M.
16. (23) 41 Ralph Dutcher, Albuquerque, N.M.
17. (14) 97 Wyatt Loveland, Alamogordo, N.M.
18. (26) 4711 Casey Gossett, Los Lunas, N.M.
19. (27) 14J Justin Garrett, Deming, N.M.
20. (24) 96 Victor Barraza, El Paso, Texas
21. (20) 13 Aldo Olivas, El Paso, Texas
22. (18) 11 Lucas Ward, El Paso, Texas
23. (2) G3 Rocko Gallardo, Fair Acres, N.M.
24. (17) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
25. (6) 93 Greg Gorham, Las Cruces, N.M.
26. (22) 15 Glen Berry, Chaparral, N.M.
27. (8) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas

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