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Gustin draws first blood, wins USMTS opener at Cotton Bowl Speedway

Gustin draws first blood, wins USMTS opener at Cotton Bowl Speedway


Marshalltown, Iowa’s Ryan Gustin picked up where le left off last November and notched his second straight USMTS victory with a wire-to-wire triumph in Thursday’s season opener at the Cotton Bowl Speedway.

The inaugural event for the United States Modified Touring Series at the two-year-old speedplant in Paige, Texas, was a gold-star battle of dirt modified firepower that saw four of the top ten main event finishers get there by passing ten or more cars.

Gustin, however, had just one competitor to get around and he did just that when he edged polesitter Travis Saurer of Elizabeth, Minn., at the flagstand to lead the opening circuit of the 40-lap feature race.

The two-time USMTS national champ rode the high line around dirt oval for the final 39 laps, surviving two cautions and several challenges from runner-up Cade Dillard of Robeline, La., to claim the $2,000 top prize and the initial points lead in the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars.

“This thing was good,” Gustin said in victory lane. “We’d take off there and be decent, and then try and back it down so I didn’t hit the concrete. Hats off to Cade. He drove me clean.”

It was the 79th career USMTS win for ‘The Reaper’ in his first race behind the wheel of a brand new Hughes Racing Chassis in his first race with new teammate Jason Hughes.

Dillard, who wound up three points behind Hughes in last year’s season-long title chase, finished two car-lengths behind Gustin to cash the second-place paycheck while Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., came on late in the race to finish third after starting 13th.

Debuting his brand new VanderBuilt Race Cars machine, New Sharon, Iowa’s Zack VanderBeek ran among the top five for most of the race and took fourth behind Scott while Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., came through a Real Racing Wheels “B” Main and finished fifth after starting 16th.

Saurer held on for a solid sixth-place finish, Dereck Ramirez started 19th and finished seventh to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award, Johnny Scott earned the eighth spot, Hughes opened his USMTS national championship title defense with a ninth-place run and George Egbert IV rounded out the top ten from 22nd on the starting grid.

Two-time USMTS national champ Rodney Sanders was running third when he blew an engine on lap 26.

Action continues for a second night Friday with $3,000 on the line for the winner. Pits open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 7:10 and racing starts at 7:30 p.m.

General admission spectator tickets are $20, youth ages 11-16 are $8 and kids ages 10 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35. Limited Mods and CBS Stock Cars join the card Friday evening.

For those unable to attend in person, every lap of every race this weekend will be broadcast live by RacinDirt.com.

The Cotton Bowl Speedway is a 3/8-mile, high-banked clay oval located east of Paige at the intersection of US 290 and CR 202. For more information, call (512) 589-2738 or visit www.cottonbowlspeedway.com online.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars
Cotton Bowl Speedway, Paige, Texas
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.

PRODUCTION JARS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas.
2. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
3. (5) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
4. (8) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
6. (9) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
7. (2) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La.
8. (7) A1 Phil Dixon, Crosby, Texas.
9. (4) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas.

FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark.
2. (4) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D.
3. (5) 26 Austin Huskey (R), Lubbock, Texas.
4. (6) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
5. (8) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas.
6. (9) 48 Chris Swenson, Boerne, Texas.
7. (2) 18 Terry Tussey Jr., Texarkana, Ark.
8. (7) 33f Jardin Fuller, Memphis, Mo.
9. (3) 2 Chad Rockefeller, Monee, Ill.

EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (2) 715 J.P. Dowell, Killeen, Texas.
2. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
3. (4) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
4. (3) 23 Logan Robertson, Shamrock, Texas.
5. (1) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
6. (5) 137 William Pittaway, Corpus Christi, Texas.
7. (7) 12 Cody Leonard, Sinton, Texas.
8. (8) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas.

THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (6) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
3. (3) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
4. (1) 74 Jason Sartain, Royse City, Texas.
5. (8) 1 Eddie Ingram, Linn Valley, Kan.
6. (7) 64 Jay Sale, Edmond, Okla.
7. (5) 141 Rob Sanderson, San Antonio, Texas.
8. (4) J41 Monte Bolton, Wolfforth, Texas.

VP RACING FUELS HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (4) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (6) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn.
3. (2) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
4. (7) 91 R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
5. (5) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
6. (8) 89t Danny Turner, Brenham, Texas.
7. (1) 78 Corey Weir, Nixa, Mo.
8. (3) 29 Jamie Campbell, Adkins, Texas.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 91 R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz.
3. (3) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
4. (6) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (4) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas.
6. (10) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La.
7. (8) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla.
8. (5) 23 Logan Robertson (R), Shamrock, Texas., MBCustom/PPE, $80.
9. (9) 64 Jay Sale, Edmond, Okla., MBCustom/Mullins, $60.
10. (12) 78 Corey Weir (R), Nixa, Mo., Shaw/Yeoman, $80.
11. (11) 12 Cody Leonard (R), Sinton, Texas., Harris/Wells, $80.
12. (7) 48 Chris Swenson, Boerne, Texas., Kraft/GMPP, $60.
13. (13) 33f Jardin Fuller (R), Memphis, Mo., Hughes/Mullins, $80.
14. (14) J41 Monte Bolton, Wolfforth, Texas., MBCustom/Sput’s, $80.
15. (15) 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas., MBCustom/Mullins, $80.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
2. (7) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.
3. (3) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
4. (2) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla.
5. (13) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas.
6. (6) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas.
7. (5) 74 Jason Sartain, Royse City, Texas.
8. (12) A1 Phil Dixon, Crosby, Texas., Elite/Durham, $80.
9. (14) 29 Jamie Campbell, Adkins, Texas., DirtWorks/AARE, $60.
10. (9) 137 William Pittaway (R), Corpus Christi, Texas., Shaw/Wells, $80.
11. (10) 18 Terry Tussey Jr. (R), Texarkana, Ark., GRT/Mullins, $80.
12. (11) 141 Rob Sanderson, San Antonio, Texas., DirtWorks/Cotton’s, $60.
13. (15) 2 Chad Rockefeller, Monee, Ill., Fast1/USA, $60.
14. (8) 89t Danny Turner, Brenham, Texas., BMS/Turner, $60.
15. (4) 1 Eddie Ingram (R), Linn Valley, Kan., BillsBuilt/GMPP, $80.

SUMMIT RACING “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (2) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $2000.
2. (3) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 40, $1500.
3. (13) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, 40, $1000.
4. (10) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $800.
5. (16) 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $700.
6. (1) 1s Travis Saurer (R), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/Dakota, 40, $600.
7. (19) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 40, $500.
8. (7) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Durham, 40, $450.
9. (11) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $400.
10. (22) 717 George Egbert IV, Salado, Texas, Rocket/Mullins, 40, $375.
11. (15) 91 R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., GRT/GMPP, 40, $350.
12. (18) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, MBCustom/Durham, 40, $325.
13. (5) 4w Tyler Wolff (R), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $300.
14. (14) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla., Hughes/Geddes, 40, $275.
15. (17) 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, LG2/Durham, 40, $250.
16. (25) 34 Mickey Lassiter (R), Piedmont, Okla., Hughes/Sput’s, 40, $250.
17. (4) 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas, MBCustom/KPE, 40, $250.
18. (23) 6x Kyle Pleasant, Natchitoches, La., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $250.
19. (9) 4 Billy Vogel (R), West Fargo, N.D., LG2/Durham, 40, $250.
20. (24) 78 Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, GRT/Mullins, 40, $250.
21. (21) 9 Kevin Rutherford (R), Flower Mound, Texas, MBCustom/Mullins, 34, $250.
22. (20) 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla., MBCustom/Sput’s, 33, $250.
23. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, MBCustom/Hatfield, 26, $250.
24. (26) 74 Jason Sartain, Royse City, Texas, Skyrocket/, 26, $200.
25. (8) 715 J.P. Dowell, Killeen, Texas, GRT/Geddes, 26, $250.
26. (12) 26 Austin Huskey (R), Lubbock, Texas, Shaw/Dubose, 10, $250.

(R) = Rookie of the Year contender.

Lap Leader: Gustin 1-40.
Total Laps Led: Gustin 40.
Margin of Victory: 0.883 second.
Time of Race: 19 minutes, 47.744 seconds (2 cautions).
Provisional Starters: none.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Ramirez (started 19th, finished 7th).
Entries: 42.
Next Race: Friday, Feb. 10, Cotton Bowl Speedway, Paige, Texas.

Contingency Awards:
Allstar Performance – J. Scott.
American Racer – Jordan.
Beyea Custom Headers – Jordan.
BigDeal Car Care – Gustin.
Day Motor Sports – Sartain, Dowell.
Deatherage Opticians – Lassiter.
E3 Spark Plugs – S. Scott.
Edelbrock – Dowell.
Fast Shafts – Wolff.
Forty9Designs.com – Tillison, Vogel.
GRT Race Cars – S. Scott.
Hooker Harness – Wolff.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Pleasant.
Keyser Manufacturing – G. Egbert.
KSE Racing Products – Ramirez.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Lassiter.
QA1 – Houston.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Sweet Manufacturing – Duvall.
Sybesma Graphics – Saurer.
Tire Demon – Whitwell.
VP Racing Fuels – Gustin.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Whitwell.
Wilwood Engineering – Ramirez.

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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Argo Manufacturing, Casey’s General Stores, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Fast Shafts, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Leaf Racewear & Safety Equipment, Malvern Bank, MSD, Pace Performance, RacerWebsite.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, Summit Racing Equipment, The Joie of Seating, VP Racing Fuels.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, ElbowsUp.com, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oreo, Production Jars, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, YouDirt.com.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, BigDeal Car Care, Day Motor Sports, Dickson Racing Shocks, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, FK Rod Ends, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, GRT Race Cars, Holley Performance Products, Hooker Custom Harness, Integra Shocks & Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1 Precision Products, Real Racing Wheels, Sweet Manufacturing, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Wilwood Disc Brakes.



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