2020 Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Tanner Mullens
USMTS Announcer Bryce Hall, in conjunction with RacinDirt.com, recently spoke with 2020 Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Tanner Mullens to discuss this past year in the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s and what lies ahead for the 28-year-old from Wichita, Kansas.
While Mullens has won several local races in his Modified over the years, the first USMTS triumph on June 3 at the Lucas Oil Speedway might have been the biggest of his career. He inherited the lead with four laps remaining when front-running Terry Phillips had mechanical issues and beat runner-up Dereck Ramirez by 2.19 seconds. The win removed the bad taste he had after losing the lead late and failing to win his first in front of his hometown family and friends at the 81 Speedway.
Before the season was done, he rattled off three more wins at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa; Mason City Motor Speedway in Mason City, Iowa; and Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kansas.
Mullens got a late start, missing nine races on the tour, but didn't given up hope on earning the Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year honors. He tracked down early leader Tyler Davis and won going away on his way to a seventh-place finish in the final points for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's.
Along with his four wins, Mullens recorded 15 top-five and 28 top-ten finishes in his 31 starts. He led 148 main event laps and wound up third in the final FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award standings.
Final 2020 Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year points:
1. Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. ... 2145
2. Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan. ... 1851
3. Calvin Iverson, Eleva, Wis. ... 1698
4. Casey Skyberg, Rapid City, S.D. ... 1628
5. Nathan Hagar, Adair, Okla. ... 1265
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Award winners include Tanner Mullens (2020), Hunter Marriott (2019), Jake O'Neil (2018), R.C. Whitwell (2017), Ricky Thornton Jr. (2016), Jesse Sobbing (2015), Cade Dillard (2014), Trevor Hunt (2013), Stormy Scott (2012), Jason Grimes (2011), Johnny Scott (2010), Grant Junghans (2009), Brandon Kenny (2008), Scott Green (2007), Jay Poidinger (2006), Brad McEwan (2005), Zack VanderBeek (2004), Corey Dripps (2003), Justin Boney (2002), Jason Hughes (2001) and Kevin Peters (2000).
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