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Hughes banks LA Raceway loot
posted: May 10, 2012 8:35:49
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LA MONTE, Mo. -- The USMTS Modifieds invaded the LA Raceway Friday for the second time in just over two weeks for the Arbor Masters Modified Nationals presented by Beebe Heating & Air Conditioning. This time, the stakes were doubled with $4,000 to win on the line and valuable USMTS National Championship Series points.

Unlike the last visit on April 19, there was no lightning in the sky, but Stormy Scott was poised to make it two in a row as he started the 40-lap main event from the outside of the front row. Scott shot out to an early lead over polesitter Bryan Rowland as the green flag fell, with Jason Hughes, Randy Timms and Chase Junghans in pursuit.

Scott continued to lead the first ten laps but Hughes remained glued to his rear bumper. Meanwhile, defending USMTS National Champion Ryan Gustin was up to 16th from his 22nd starting spot while the rest of the 30-car starting field slugged it out throughout the pack.

Trailing by eight car-lengths by lap 16, Hughes began to reel Scott back in as Gustin climbed to eighth by the halfway point when a caution slowed the pace or the race.

Scott got a big jump on the restart as Junghans followed him into second. But two laps later, Hughes reclaimed the position and set his sights on Scott while Rodney Sanders muscled his way past Junghans for the runner-up spot.

With nine laps to go, Hughes powered his way by Scott to take the lead for the first time. Scott tried the high side of the track, but Hughes held on to lead lap 32. Meanwhile, Scott had his hands full trying to fend off Sanders while Jason Krohn worked into fourth and Gustin followed Junghans in sixth.

Coming for the white flag, Hughes and Scott made contact down the front-stretch with Scott showing some wrinkled sheet metal from the exchange. Hughes took advantage, and held off Scott at the checkered flags by less than a car length with Sanders right there in the mix finishing third.

Krohn wound up fourth and Junghans rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Gustin, Dereck Ramirez, Mark Dotson, Terry Phillips and Kelly Shryock.

Friday’s event marked the ninth USMTS event at Mike and Carol White’s 3/8-mile clay oval, and the third win at the LA Raceway for the 2010 USMTS National Champion. The $4,000 win was also the 107th career USMTS triumph for Hughes.