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Gustin grinds out fourth win at Lonestar Speedway; 27 drivers punch ticket to ‘The Hunt’
posted: Mar 28, 2011 3:45:44

KILGORE, Texas -- Ryan Gustin led all drivers with 16 victories during the 2010 season for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour powered by Swan Energy, and even before April has arrived the 20-year-old from Marshalltown, Iowa, has already amassed four wins in the ten events staged so far.

The most recent conquest for “The Reaper” came Saturday night when the series visited the Lonestar Speedway in Kilgore, Texas.

Bobby Malchus of Red Oak, Texas, drew the pole position for the 35-lap main event and paced the first 23 circuits before Gustin powered by to take the lead and eventual win.

Defending USMTS National Champion Jason Hughes has been no slouch himself with three wins in the early stages of the 2011 campaign.

The chassis builder from Watts, Okla., followed Gustin’s lead and got by Malchus a few laps later, and then put the heat on during the closing laps but had to settle for the runner-up paycheck while Gustin took home the $2,000 top prize.

Malchus held on for a career-best third-place showing with Dereck Ramirez of Woodward, Okla., and Shane Hebert of Lafayette, La., finishing fourth and fifth.

Rodney Sanders, Randy Timms, Cody Smith, Kelly Shryock and Tommy Weder Jr. rounded out the top ten finishers.

Although this was not the final event in the Southeast Region, drivers ranked in the top ten in points – along with everybody else with perfect attendance through the first eight races – secured a spot in the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship powered by Swan Energy.

In all, 27 drivers locked themselves into the season-ending title chase which begins Aug. 11 at the Great American Dirt Track in Jetmore, Kan., wraps up Sept. 24 during the final night of the Featherlite Fall Jamboree and culminates with the crowning of the 2011 USMTS National Champion.

Drivers will return to the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-19, for the 5th Annual Texas Winter Nationals and the final three points races in the Southeast Region.

Up next for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour powered by Swan Energy is a pair of fan-favorite venues in Missouri.

On Friday, April 1, the series invades the LA Raceway in La Monte, Mo., for the Schwab’s Tinker Shop Show-Me Shootout, then heads north to the I-35 Speedway in Winston, Mo., for the first time since the 2003 season and the Yancy’s Automotive Missouri Meltdown.

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.