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Gustin notches 50th USMTS win at Southern Oklahoma Speedway
posted: May 21, 2012 9:05:17

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Ryan Gustin turned in a dominating performance Friday night as he captured the United States Modified Touring Series main event at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla.

The defending series champ from Marshalltown, Iowa, picked up a USMTS Casey’s Cup Series win four weeks ago, but Friday night’s feature win – the 50th of his USMTS career – was his the first $4,000 winner’s check for ‘The Reaper’ in the USMTS National Championship Series this season.

Looking to turn around a disappointing start to the 2012 campaign, Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo., led all points earners during heat race qualifying, and then redrew the pole position for the 40-lap Swan Energy “A” Main.

Payne took the lead at the drop of the green flag and held on to the top spot through several early-race cautions during the first half of the race, while Gustin kept him in his sights each lap. Two laps after the fifth and final yellow flag on lap 19, Gustin blasted into the lead and went unchallenged the rest of the way for his second straight triumph at the Ardmore, Okla., speedplant.

The win propelled Gustin back into the lead of the USMTS National Championship Series standings while Payne and his newly-designed GRT Chassis held on for the runner-up finish – his best result of the season – with 2007 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn taking third.

Johnny Scott won the first Real Racing Wheels “B” Main, started 13th in the main event and raced his way to a fourth-place finish with Troy Taylor coming home fifth after a strong run up front.

Randy Timms, 22nd-starting Chris Brown, Mike Sorensen, 20th-starting Jason Hughes and Zack VanderBeek rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Gustin holds a 19-point lead (741-722) over Hughes in the latest rankings, followed by Rodney Sanders (687), Kelly Shryock (681), Johnny Scott (678), Chase Junghans (624), Krohn (621), Stormy Scott (614), Dereck Ramirez (604) and Terry Phillips (555).