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Gustin shows the way at Worthington
posted: Aug 03, 2010 9:46:10
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WORTHINGTON, Minn. – The USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour wrapped up a six-night, six-event, three-state campaign Sunday night at the Nobles County Speedway in Worthington, Minn.

Yet another jam-packed grandstand was the backdrop for yet another thrilling show.

And Ryan Gustin picked up yet another win as he led the final 38 of 40 laps to capture his 11th WIX Filters “A” Main of the season – his 12th overall if you throw in the USMTS Castle Rock Recruiting Southern Series win on June 11 – and his fifth win in eight starts in the Dart Great Plains Region presented by Allstar Performance.

The win was worth $2,000 to “The Reaper” as he all but clinched the regional points title, which carries a $2,000 top prize and puts the 19-year-old phenom from Marshalltown, Iowa, over $50,000 in earnings since taking the reigns of the #19r Gressel Racing ride on March 19.

Mike Hansen of nearby Alton, Iowa, drew the pole for Sunday night’s main event and led the first two laps before relinquishing the lead to Gustin. From that point on, it was a race for second.

Starting eighth in the field, Rodney Sanders clawed his way to the front and moved in to challenge Hansen near the halfway point of the race. Sanders was able to make the pass on the restart after a caution with seven laps to go, but Hansen used a restart to get back by the 20-year-old from Happy, Texas, after a caution with five laps to go.

Sanders was able to muscle his way back around Hansen, but was unable to mount a serious challenge to Gustin and had to settle for a runner-up finish.

Tommy Myer and Zack VanderBeek also slipped by Hansen in the closing laps, but Myer’s mount was underweight at the post-race weigh-in and he was disqualified. The result was a third-place finish for VanderBeek, fourth for Hansen and a top-5 finish for nine-time and defending USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock.

Jon Tesch secured the sixth spot, Al Hejna fought his way to seventh, Corey Dripps came from 22nd to earn an eight-place finish, Dereck Ramirez nabbed ninth and 17-year-old Chase Junghans wound up 10th after advancing from the Real Racing Wheels “B” Main.

After six grueling events through North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, the mud-slinging USMTS Modifieds get a one-day rest before hitting the trail again for a four-race stretch that will determine the points champion in two regions and set the field for The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship which begins on Thursday, Aug. 12.