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Krohn cashes in at North Central Speedway
posted: Jul 16, 2010 11:10:40
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BRAINERD, Minn. – Jason Krohn’s campaign in the Yeager Machine Upper Midwest Region got off toe a rocky start when he failed to qualify for the main event on May 28 at the Chateau Raceway. But since then, the 2007 USMTS National Champion has been a consistent threat to win, scoring three runner-up finishes and a third-place showing in five events.

Thursday night at the North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn., Krohn finally shed his bridesmaid tag, captured his first USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour victory of the 2010 season and snapped a winless drought dating back to June 27, 2009.

In doing so, he may have also thrown his name into the hat for the temporary title of “hottest Modified driver in the country” along with Tommy Myer and Ryan Gustin.

Myer came into Thursday’s Battle at Brainerd presented by Bob’s Building Supply riding a two-race win streak. From the outside of the front row, he looked poised to make it three in a row as he jumped ahead of polesitter Zack VanderBeek at the drop of the green flag to start the 35-lap WIX Filters “A” Main.

But VanderBeek fought back and grabbed the top spot away from Myer on lap 3. “The Z-Man” proceeded to pace the next seven laps while Gustin, Krohn and Kelly Shryock followed closely behind on the fast 3/8-mile clay oval.

After completing the tenth circuit, Gustin powered ahead of VanderBeek and took charge. The 19-year-old rattled off a second-best-all-time USMTS record of five straight wins in June, and now appeared the favorite to take the $2,000 top prize.

Behind him, however, Krohn was plotting his revenge.

Gustin’s fourth of those five straight wins came on June 21 at the Fairmont Raceway where Krohn led all but the final three laps before Gustin passed him and went on to win. The next night at the Mineral City Speedway, Krohn again was in position to win but again surrendered the lead to Gustin – this time in the final 200 feet before the checkered flag.

Krohn turned the tables on Gustin Thursday night, using a power move on the outside to take the lead on lap 28. From there, Krohn was flawless as he sailed to the win ahead of Gustin and Shryock.

Al Hejna scored his second straight top-5 with a fourth-place finish while VanderBeek held on for the fifth position. Jon Tesch was sixth, Tim Donlinger wound up seventh, Jason Grimes garnered an eighth-place paycheck in just his second career USMTS event, Steve Wetzstein was ninth and Dereck Ramirez was the tenth machine to cross the finish line.

Myer suffered a flat tire on lap 22 to bring out the race’s only caution flag, then clawed his way back to finish 11th, but it wasn’t enough to retain the lead in the points battle.

Although he didn’t win the race, Gustin’s runner-up finish was enough to wrestle the Yeager Machine Upper Midwest Region points lead away from Myer. Shryock, Krohn, Donlinger, Tesch, Wetzstein, VanderBeek, Doug Hillson and Ramirez round out the top-10 in the rankings as they head for the 2nd Annual AMSOIL Dirt Nationals at the Elko Speedway in Elko, Minn.

A one-of-a-kind event is in store for both fans and drivers on Friday and Saturday as the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour invades the historic asphalt track in Elko as it is transformed into a dirt gridiron for the 2nd Annual AMSOIL Dirt Nationals. Friday night's main event will pay $2,000 to win while Saturday night's victor will pocket $3,000.

Film crews will again be on location for both nights with live taping of action for the upcoming Dirt Knights TV show to be aired on the VERSUS cable network in January 2011. Filming will take place at a handful of races leading up to the start of Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship presented by Bad Boy Mowers on Aug. 12, and will be recording all of the action from then until the final checkered flag drops at the 12 Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Pits will open at 4 p.m. each day, with grandstand gates opening at 5, hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30. Also appearing on the racing card both nights will be the Elko B-Mods and 360 Winged Sprint Cars, plus a live band will be performing after the races each night.

Race fans can pick up $2-off discount coupons on Friday and Saturday at Casey’s General Stores locations in Lonsdale, Montgomery, New Prague and Northfield. For more information about Casey’s or to find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com online.

The Elko Speedway is a 3/8-mile semi-banked clay (temporarily) oval located off of I-35 at Exit 76, then 1.6 miles west on CR 2, then 0.3 mile south on France Ave. in Elko, Minn. For more information, check out the track’s website at www.elkospeedway.com or call 952-461-7223.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also follow the USMTS on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.