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Krohn topples Tesch in USMTS action at Jackson
posted: Sep 04, 2012 2:48:09
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JACKSON, Minn. -- One year and nine days after his last trip to victory lane, 2007 USMTS national champion Jason Krohn blasted back to the top of the dirt Modified racing world Thursday night with a thrilling win at the Jackson Speedway in round 10 of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup.

With 27 wins to his credit, Krohn ranks sixth among all drivers in career USMTS victories. But only two of those have come in the last two seasons, including Thursday night where he showed his desire to win is as strong as ever.

“We tried everything over the last two seasons,” said the 40-year-old from nearby Slayton, Minn.

He went from a Skyrocket Chassis to a Hughes Chassis, back to a Skyrocket and back to a Hughes again. He even pulled out the Modified he rode to the USMTS National Championship in 2007. And then he met dirt late model standout Jimmy Mars at the Gopher 50 early last month at the Deer Creek Speedway.

“We were looking to buy a late model, and Jimmy was on his four-wheeler checking out the track at Deer Creek,” Krohn said. “We got to talking and I gave him a call, then we went to Wisconsin to check out his operation.

“These guys know what they’re doing.”

Despite being a new player in the highly-competitive dirt Modified chassis business, Krohn was so impressed he ordered a new chassis from MB Customs – just the seventh they’ve built – and debuted his new ride last Friday at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minn., where the USMTS Modifieds will travel to tomorrow night. He finished second that night.

Krohn brought home a sixth-place finish in his first USMTS race in the new configuration Wednesday night at the Fairmont Raceway, but despite drawing the eighth starting spot for the second straight night, he was determined to win Thursday night at the track where he cut his teeth.

Dereck Ramirez took the lead at the start of Thursday’s 30-lap main event on the big half-mile at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, but Jon Tesch blasted into the lead on lap 4 and was in control for most of the race.

Tesch, who is fifth on the all-time list with seven more USMTS wins than Krohn, set a torrid pace on a fast and tacky track while Krohn slowly clawed his way to the front. He was fifth after the first lap, fourth on lap 5 and third by the sixth lap when the red flag waved when Garry Oskerson rolled over in turn 1.

Oskerson was unhurt in the crash, and Krohn used the restart to slip by Jason Hughes for second place. Two laps later, the race’s second caution came out when Hughes slowed on the track with a broken ignition.

Tesch was able to pull away on the restart while Krohn dropped to third behind Wednesday’s winner, Ryan Ruter with 12th-starting Ryan Gustin moving in to challenge Jason Cummins for fourth.

The race was slowed for the third and final time with 12 laps to go when Daniel Hilsabeck came to a stop on the high side of turn 4. On the restart, Gustin shot around the high side of Cummins to take fourth while Krohn went to the low side to challenge Ruter for second.

Krohn made the pass stick and, in the process, discovered a new line he found to his liking. Over the next six laps, Krohn was unable to cut into Tesch’s six-car-length advantage, but began to nibble away at the deficit with five laps to go.

Diving hard into the third turn, Krohn edged ahead of Tesch through the corner and took the lead as they completed lap 28. The pair took the white flag with Tesch’s nose glued to Krohn’s rear bumper, and they drag-raced side by side down the back-stretch on their way to the finish line.

With Tesch now using the low line and Krohn up top, Krohn drove a bit deeper into turn 3 and exited turn 4 with a half-car-length advantage. He streaked beneath the checkered flag for the win with Tesch again in his shadow but having to settle for the runner-up paycheck.

The victory was worth $3,000 and was Krohn’s first in USMTS competition since Aug. 21 last year at the Nobles County Speedway in Worthington, Minn. Prior to that, his most recent win was Aug. 28, 2010, at the now-closed 24 Raceway in Moberly, Mo., during ‘The Hunt’ that season.

With the win, Krohn became the eighth different winner in ten races during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup. Krohn also won the last time the USMTS Modifieds invaded the Jackson Speedway on Aug. 5, 2010.

The USMTS made their first visit to Jackson during the series’ inaugural season in 1999. Krohn also won that night, but that time it was in a 15-lap Stock Car feature where he took the lead from Randy Brands with three laps to go.

Ruter, who started ninth, held on for third while Gustin and Cummins rounded out the top 5 finishers. Zack VanderBeek finished sixth, Richie Gustin was seventh, Mark Noble took eighth, Kelly Shryock brought home ninth and Rodney Sanders completed the top 10.