Rain Delays and Radiator Problems Didn’t Slow Saurer
There were several factors that tried to slow the success of Travis Saurer this past weekend, but he prevailed and drove himself to 2 top 10 finishes to keep himself in the lead for rookie points. The first night of racing in Mississippi at the Jackson Motor Speedway resulted in a rain delay as the feature event wasn’t able to start until after midnight, making for a long day for the drivers and fans. Cade Dillard won his second straight USMTS race of 2017 as he took the lead from Trevor Egbert halfway through the race and never looked back. Travis Saurer started the night off well, though the pictures tell a different story. In the heat race Friday night he maintained his second place finish from the same starting position, but drove off the track with radiator problems. Saurer and his crew were able to get the Truck Hero sponsored #1s car fixed in time for the B Main where he went on to win from the 2nd position. Earning himself the 14th position for the feature race, Saurer cruised up to finish 7th, but was surpassed for the Hard Charger award by R.C. Whitwell who passed a total of 13 racers.
As the racers moved to Whynot Motorsports Park on Saturday night, Dillard pulled off a hat trick winning his 3rd race in a row in the Southern Region USMTS Tour. This win was Dillard’s 13th win in his USMTS career and he did it with ease as he took the lead during the third lap and drove all the way to the finish. Second place was taken by Chris Brown of Spring, Texas which was his second straight night coming in behind Dillard. Ricky Thorton Jr. improved to 5th place after not seeing the feature event Friday night for mechanical reasons. Saurer continued to run the #1s RHRSwag.com sponsored car with some success; in his heat race he finished 6th from the 3rd position, but rebounded by finishing 4th from the 9th position in the B Main event and rounded out the feature race by finishing 16th after starting at the 20th position.
Come Sunday, Saurer decided to switch to the MB Customs/Dakota Engines Builders car at the Greenville Speedway where he finished in the top 10 for the 2nd time this weekend. After two average performances in the heat and B Main events, Saurer started in the 21st position. During the race, he was able to pass 14 cars to finish seventh during the 40 laps, but was surpassed for the hard charger award which was given to Timothy Culp who also passed 14 cars, but finished once place ahead of Saurer in 6th. There were a total of 9 cautions during the feature race which didn’t seem to matter to 1st place finisher Ricky Thorton Jr. The last caution came during the 33rd lap and no one could keep up with the Thorton after the restart as he rode the wall around the track earning the win by more than 7 seconds. Dereck Ramirez clenched the 2nd place check after Kyle Beard was disqualified during the post race inspections.
As the weekend came to a close, Saurer still leads in rookie points with a total of 676, R.C. Whitwell comes in 42 points below Saurer for 2nd place. In the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Tour standings, Saurer currently holds 7th place with 682 points just behind Ryan Gustin’s 706. Next weekend’s events start on Wednesday with practice runs at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Vivian Louisiana.