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Krohn comes out on top in Jamestown thriller
posted: Aug 02, 2010 10:33:01

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour made their northern-most stop on the 2010 campaign Saturday night as they invaded the Jamestown Speedway in Jamestown, N.D., for the first time in more than five seasons.

The wait was well worth it for the fans who packed the grandstands overlooking the high-banked quarter-mile clay oval as the drivers served up a thrilling nightcap that saw three lead changes in the final seven laps and a nail-biting finish.

Jason Hughes, who won the last USMTS event at Jamestown on June 18, 2005, drew the pole for the 40-lap WIX Filters “A” Main and slowly pulled away from outside front row starter Ken Schrader. Five laps into the race, defending and nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock scooted by Schrader on the inside and began to chase Hughes.

By the ninth lap, the leaders were maneuvering through lapped traffic while Jason Krohn and Zack VanderBeek worked their way into the top five. Using an extremely low line, VanderBeek raced into the runner-up spot on lap 12 while Krohn remained faithful to the equally extreme high line around the racetrack and followed into the third spot.

VanderBeek was able to close up on Hughes several times over the next 18 laps, but Hughes’ ability to navigate traffic helped him rebuild his advantage each time his pursuers got close.

Everything changed on lap 30 when a flat tire on Tim Thomas’ machine spread debris on the racing surface and resulted in the first and only caution of the contest.

After the restart, Hughes had his hands full with VanderBeek peeking underneath in each corner and Krohn zipping around the top of the track, pulling alongside Hughes in the straight-aways.

Meanwhile, fourth-running Schrader joined the rim-riding route and followed Krohn around the top of the track. With a strong run off of turn 4, Krohn edged Hughes by a nose to lead the 34th lap, but Hughes fought back to nip Krohn at the line the next two times around.

Krohn inched ahead again as they completed lap 37 while Hughes continued to hold VanderBeek at bay around the bottom. As they exited the final turn, Krohn chewed away at the cushion with perfection and streaked beneath the checkered flags to take the win and pocket the $2,000 winner’s share of the purse.

Schrader, Hughes and VanderBeek crossed the stripe three-wide with Schrader glued to Krohn’s bumper. Schrader was able to wrestle the runner-up spot away in the final few hundred feet while VanderBeek beat Hughes by a bumper to claim the third position.

Hughes had to settle for a fourth-place paycheck while Jon Tesch rounded out the top-5 finishers.

Shryock, who captured the first two events at Jamestown in 2003 and 2004, came home sixth ahead of 17th-starting Dereck Ramirez, 21st-starting Jason Grimes, Ryan Gustin and Mike Steensma.

Despite his first finish outside of the top-3 in the first seven races of the Dart Great Plains Region presented by Allstar Performance, Gustin continues to hold a healthy points lead on the strength of his four wins. “The Reaper” leads VanderBeek by 51 markers (703 to 652), while Tesch is third with 626 points. Ramirez sits fourth with 510, followed by Steensma (492), Shryock (488), Mike Hansen (468), Chase Junghans (430), Krohn (412) and Grimes (394).