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The Reaper rolls to Rice Lake win
posted: Aug 19, 2011 11:44:45

RICE LAKE, Wis. -- The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship powered by Swan Energy continued on Thursday with a huge crowd on hand for the first visit by the USMTS Modifieds to the Rice Lake Speedway.

Twenty-five cars and drivers took the green flag in the 40-lap WIX Filters “A” Main with local favorite Mike Anderson beating polesitter Ryan Ruter to the flagstand to lead the first lap with USMTS points leader Ryan Gustin giving chase.

Gustin disposed of Ruter with three laps down and then scooted past Anderson on lap 9 after a spirited battle for the top spot.

Dustin Boney worked his Snickers-sponsored mount past Ruter at the same time, got by Anderson on lap 11 and began to reel in Gustin as the leader reached lapped traffic with 17 laps complete.

The caution flag waved at the halfway point, which bunched up the field and gave Gustin a clear track ahead. He used the restart to his advantage and continued to build on his lead over the final 20 laps to score his fourth win of ‘The Hunt’ and extend his points lead in he championship chase.

The win – the 46th of his USMTS career – was worth $2,110 to the 20-year-old from Marshalltown, Iowa, and his 22nd triumph of the season. Not only is he in position to capture his first USMTS National Championship but can also be considered a serious challenge to Kelly Shryock’s record of 30 wins during the 2006 season.

Behind Gustin, great battles emerged throughout the field. Ruter just nipped Boney by a bumper to claim the runner-up paycheck while Jon Tesch and Jason Krohn finished fourth and fifth. Anderson held on for sixth, followed by Jason Hughes, Shryock, Kevin “Buzzy” Adams and Chase Junghans.

The sixth event of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship powered by Swan Energy takes place on Friday at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., where Gustin leads all drivers with three career victories at the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval.