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O’Neil Outruns Vado Foes for First Fall Nationals Modified Title; Gallardo Grabs B-Mod Honors while Cain Captures Stock Car Win

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October 24, 2021  |  by Chris Stepan

Jake O'Neil won the USRA Modified main event.

Jake O'Neil won the USRA Modified main event.

The 21st annual, and richest USRA Fall Nationals in the history of the event kicked off on Friday night, October 22nd with Springfield, Missouri racer Terry Phillips landing in Western Tech victory lane on the opening night and Jake O’Neil racing to the win on the second preliminary night on Saturday, setting a star-studded front row for the 24-car field during the $21,000 to win 50-lap event on Sunday evening.  

Donavon Flores and Scott Bintz paced the field to the green in the USRA B-Mod $2,100 to win finale on Sunday afternoon and Flores hopped to the top spot on the opening lap with Bintz and Justin Allen battling for second right behind. The racing was action-packed all throughout the field with Fito Gallardo, who started 15th, working his way methodically through the field cracking the top ten early and then continuing his progression forward into the top five just past the mid-point of the 25-lap event. Once Fito got into the top five, he began to battle with Flores, Allen and Bintz for the lead until he was able to overhaul them into the top spot and drive away with the impressive victory from the 8th row. Flores held off a charging Bintz for second with Allen fourth and B-Mod rookie Parker Anderson recording a top five finish for his efforts.   

Double duty racer Josh Cain led the USRA Stock Car feature field to the green flag and after having to battle early with third starting Colby Deming, settled in our front and ran uncontested for the majority of the race, picking up the $2,100 payday for his efforts when the checkered flag flew. The battle behind the leader was intense all 25 laps long between Deming, RC Combs, Jed Smith and Tommy Fain, as they swapped the second through fifth spots over and over during the entire event. Deming eventually took control of the runner up spot and held it to the checkered with Combs slipping by Smith in a photo finish for third at the line. Fain ran inside the top five all feature long, crossing the finish line with a fifth-place run. 

The final event of the night, and the weekend, was the 50-lap, $21,000 to win USRA Modified feature, which saw opening night winner Terry Phillips and Saturday night winner Jake O’Neil pacing the front row with the richest Fall Nationals payday on the line. O’Neil took the lead at the drop of the green, but a crash took place on the opening corner and, resetting the field for a second attempt at the start. On the second attempt, O’Neil again took control with Phillips and Sanders beginning an early race battle for the runner up spot just behind the quickly disappearing zero car. O’Neil paced himself out front while Phillips and 6th starting Tanner Mullens began to jockey for the second spot. Just being them, Lance Mari, Sanders and Shane Devolder were in an exciting side by side battle for the fourth spot for much of the race, while Mullens was able to get by Phillips for the runner up spot just after the third and final caution flew on lap 24.  

On the restart, O’Neil again proved to the be the class of the field, while Mullens took his shot to hang with Jake out front. Phillips settled back into second while Devolder and Sanders continued to swap the fourth and fifth spots lap after lap.  

Outside of the top five. Zack VanderBeek and Jake Gallardo were locked in battle for sixth, with Nathan Smith, Fito Gallardo and Carlos Ahumada Jr inside the top ten as well.

As laps wound down, lapped traffic would slow O’Neil’s progress just a bit, allowing Mullens to close in slightly, but O’Neil was just too strong, leading all 50 laps en route to the biggest win of his career and the $21,000 payday that went along with it. Mullens ran second with Phillips third. Devolder outlasted Sanders for fourth, with VanderBeek, Jake Gallardo, Nathan Smith, Fito Gallardo and Carlos Ahumada Jr. rounding out the top ten. 

Special thanks to Rancho Milagro for being the title sponsor of the 2021 Fall Nationals, along with S&S Fishing & Rental for being the presenting sponsor and to Gallardo Construction and Hacienda Mechanical for their associate sponsorship of the weekend as well. 

For complete results visit VadoSpeedwayPark.com/Results.

The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action on Friday and Saturday, November 5th and 6th with the first ever visit by the Monster Trucks to the facility. Tickets are able to be pre-purchased online at VadoSpeedwayPark.com.  

For fans not able to attend in person, all events held during the 2021 season at the Vado Speedway Park will also be live streamed online by pay-per-view at WatchFYE.tv.

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit VadoSpeedwayPark.com.