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Hughes handles USMTS field at Fairmont
posted: Sep 01, 2011 10:09:11
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FAIRMONT, Minn. -- Jason Hughes captured the 30-lap main event Wednesday night as the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship powered by Swan Energy invaded the Fairmont Raceway in Fairmont, Minn.

The defending USMTS National Champion had to fight off a couple of young guns during the contest, but the 37-year-old from Watts, Okla., prevailed in the end to pocket the $2,000 top prize and his third win of ‘The Hunt.’

Polesitter Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., led the pack out of the gate to start the 25-car WIX Filters “A” Main. The 18-year-old driver held the point for four laps around the big half-mile clay oval at the Martin County Fairgrounds, but Hughes muscled his way into the lead to complete the fifth lap.

Soon thereafter, points leader Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, moved into second and began reeling in the leader until a caution on lap 17 slowed the action and bunched the field for the final 13 laps.

Gustin, 20, used the restart to his advantage and nosed ahead to lead lap 19, but Hughes fought back and the pair crossed beneath the flagstand side by side with Hughes scored the leader of the 20th lap.

While they raced door to door for the lead, the pack chasing them was embroiled in some battles of their own.

Hughes was able to keep Gustin at bay for the remainder of the distance while Ryan Ruter nipped Jason Krohn by a bumper to take the third-place money.

Fairmont regular Eric Dailey rounded out the top-5 finishers.

Sixth through tenth were Dustin Boney, Kelly Shryock, Dereck Ramirez, Tommy Myer and Zack VanderBeek.

Shryock earned the Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award after passing nine cars in the feature.

Although Ramirez passed 17 cars, provisional starters are not eligible for the $100 cash award from the trucking giant of the Southwest.