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Krohn pockets Moberly money as Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship heats
posted: Aug 30, 2010 8:53:20
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MOBERLY, Mo. – Round 10 of The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship presented by Bad Boy Mowers took place at the 24 Raceway in Moberly, Mo., Saturday night, and for 23 laps it looked like Ryan Gustin was well on his way to extending his points lead with a third ‘Hunt’ victory.

But everything changed on lap 24. The checkered flag waved six laps later with Jason Krohn in victory lane for the sixth time this season and Jason Hughes in command of the points at the halfway point in the title campaign.

Darin Walker, who captured a USMTS victory in 2003 at the Deer Creek Speedway, started on the pole for the 30-lap WIX Filters “A” Main, but it was Gustin taking charge at the drop of the green flag from his outside front row starting spot.

For the next ten laps, Gustin threatened to turn the contest into a rout as he built a full straight-away lead over third-starting Hughes.

The yellow flag waved when Kevin Blackburn smacked the turn 4 wall on lap 11 and gave Gustin’s pursuers hope as the field bunched up for the restart.

Hughes, who had been following Gustin around the extreme high side of the speedway, opted for the inside line for the double-file restart. As the green flag flew, Hughes dove to the bottom, Gustin churned away at the top and Tim Donlinger found the middle groove to his liking as the three raced out of turn 2 three-wide for the lead.

Gustin powered into the third turn with the lead while Donlinger shut the door on Hughes for the second spot while Krohn and Tommy Myer followed close behind in fourth and fifth. Two laps later, Krohn snuck by Hughes while Donlinger bobbled in turn 2 and let Krohn take over second.

With 15 laps in the books, Gustin continued his dominant charge ahead of Krohn while Myer picked off Hughes for fourth as Kelly Shryock also applied pressure for the fifth position.

Caution waved again with 21 laps complete when Corey Dripps came to a stop on the front-stretch with a flat tire. Dripps, who dominated the second Real Racing Wheels “B” Main to earn a spot in the main event, was running sixth at the time.

On the restart, Gustin again remained faithful to the high line around the high-banked 3/8-mile oval with Krohn in tow and Myer hugging the inside concrete wall. Gustin again was able to hold them off while Shryock used the high line to get by Hughes for fourth.

Meanwhile, Zack VanderBeek was making his presence known. After starting 23rd on the 24-car grid, VanderBeek was 16th after the first caution on lap 11 and sixth after the lap 21 restart as he moved by Donlinger in the first turn.

After crossing beneath the flagstand to complete lap 23, Gustin bounced off the concrete wall in the first turn and suddenly found himself in fourth as Krohn, Myer and Hughes sped by on the inside. At the same time, Shryock also tagged the barrier which dropped him from fourth to seventh.

As the leaders finished lap 24, Gustin slowed on the front-stretch and coasted into turn 1 where Rodney Sanders made contact with Gustin’s left front wheel, sending Sanders’ machine onto its roof and bringing out the red flag. Sanders was not injured in the incident, but his night was done while Gustin ducked into the pits to change two flat tires and rejoin the field for the restart.

Krohn was flawless over the final six laps and streaked beneath the checkered flags to take home the $3,000 winner’s share of the purse. It was the 23rd career win for the 38-year-old from Slayton, Minn., who won the USMTS National Championship in 2007.

Hughes got by Myer with two laps to go to claim the runner-up spot with VanderBeek earning the PBM Performance Hard Charger Award with his fourth-place finish and Shryock bouncing back to take fifth.

Colt Mather, Dereck Ramirez, Donlinger, Michael Long and Nate Caruth rounded out the top-10 finishers. Gustin ended up 15th out of the 16 finishers.

Hughes, who is looking to claim his third straight USMTS Castle Rock Recruiting Southern Series title later this season, took over the top spot in the points as he seeks his first USMTS National Championship.

With his tenth top-10 and ninth top-5 finish in ten events, Hughes’ advantage is 30 points (981 to 951) over Gustin. VanderBeek looms in third with 939 markers, followed by Myer (909), Krohn (854), Shryock (847), Ramirez (771), Donlinger (765), Sanders (745) and DandyLand Farms Rookie of the Year points leader Johnny Scott (689).

Ten races are in the books in The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Six of the remaining nine events will happen over the course of six days and nights beginning this Tuesday at the Marshalltown Speedway in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Tue Aug 31 … Marshalltown Speedway, Marshalltown, IA ($3000 to win)
Wed Sep 1 … Southern Iowa Speedway, Oskaloosa, IA ($3000 to win)
Thu Sep 2 … Highway 3 Raceway, Allison, IA ($3000 to win)
Fri Sep 3 … Chateau Raceway, Lansing, MN ($3000 to win)
Sat Sep 4 … Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, MN ($3000 to win)
Sun Sep 5 … Dodge County Speedway, Kasson, MN ($3000 to win)

A whopping $18,000 will be paid out to the winner(s) of the six events with more than $100,000 in total prize money to be doled out during the brutal 144-hour stretch.

The 2010 season for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour will wrap up with the 12th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-25, at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.