|Rodney Sanders claimed his second Open Wheel Modified victory in as many nights on Saturday in Round #5 of the Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway (Tucson, Arizona).
A strong field of twenty-nine entries were on hand for the program, and Sanders would see his night start much like it has all week. A convincing heat race win from the third starting spot earned Rodney the fifth starting position on the feature grid. When the race went green, Sanders quickly marched forward and took control of the second spot just as Jake Gallardo assumed the lead on lap four.
Sanders would make his first attempt at the top spot on lap ten only to be denied by Gallardo. The duo continued to race side-by-side with Sanders using a slider in turn four to take the lead on lap thirteen. Gallardo would return the favor entering turn one on lap fourteen but, slip over the cushion allowing Sanders regain control down the backstretch. From there, Sanders went on to take the checkered flag and the $1,000 payday ahead of Ricky Thornton Jr., Gallardo, Mike Stearns and Fito Gallardo.
Fifty-two Super Late Models registered for the $3,000-to-win event, and Sanders would rocket from his ninth starting spot to finish fifth in his heat race, locking him into the fifteenth starting position for the 30 lap feature. During the course of the finale, Rodney drove past eight other competitors in route to a solid eighth place finish in the final rundown.
The miniseries drew to a close on Sunday evening with Sanders once again competing in both the Open Wheel Modified and Super Late Model ranks. Twenty-four Open Wheel Modified warriors registered for battle, and an eighth to fourth run in his heat race positioned him starting second in the $1,000-to-win finale. At the drop of the green, polesitter Ricky Thornton Jr. lead the way with Sanders trailing in second. Sanders waged a fierce battle at the front of the pack lap-after-lap before ultimately settling into the runner-up spot behind race winner, Ryan Gustin. Jake Gallardo, Mike Stearns and Fito Gallardo rounded out the top five finishers.
A $10,000 winner's check was posted for Super Late Models as fifty entries registered for battle. A heat race win positioned Rodney starting eighth in the 50 lap finale. Sanders battled amongst the top ten throughout the duration of the feature before crossing the finish line in sixth behind race winner, Jimmy Owens, Jimmy Mars, Chris Simpson, Jason Papich and Tony Jackson Jr.
In addition to a trio of victories over the course of the week-long miniseries, Sanders was also crowned the Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout Super Late Model champion. Finishing just two points ahead of Jason Papich in the championship standings, and earning $2,000 for efforts.
Complete results from the events are available at www.RaceUSARaceway.com