Friday, September 4, 2009

Hughes Collects 4th Hunt Win

The United States Modified Touring Series made its second stop of the season at the Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa on Thursday, Sept 3. It would be night #3 of six on the current swing in the Hunt for the USMTS National Championship. After not qualifying for the first Hunt race back in La Monte, Missouri, Jason Hughes has stepped up his game and has collected three wins thus far going into the Alta race.

Before the thirty-lap modified finale, the support class features would be run with the hobby stocks first to hit the track. Fifteen cars took the green flag with Pat Cross grabbing the lead at the start. Just before the halfway point, Craig Brotherton showed his strength as he passed Drew Barglof for third. Brotherton started ninth on the grid of the twelve-lap race. A caution with three laps to go bunched the field up, but that didn't slow Pat Cross down as he took home his first BVR win. He was followed across the line by Daniel Smith, John Briggs, Devin Smith, and Justin Nehring.

1. 21c Pat Cross
2. 88 Daniel Smith
3. 87 John Briggs
4. 81 Devin Smith
5. 20N Justin Nehring
6. 45B Criag Brotherton
7. 9F Kurt Fothergill
8. 66 Matt Mahoney (66L Lynn Wichers' car)
(all I got, 15 cars)

Twelve bmods would make their way to the speedway for their feature of the evening. Pole sitter Brett Meyer jumped out front early on and opened up a comfortable lead while Austin Lucas took the second spot away from Jason Mallicoat when his car pushed up the race track at the halfway point. Mallicoat was piloting the car normally driven by Tyler Olson. Tim Rupp made a late charge to the front as he passed Mallicoat on the inside for the third position with four laps to go. However he would overdrive the corner on the last lap and spin around in turn one, allowing most of the field to get by him. Brett Meyer would take home the win followed by Austin Lucas, Jason Mallicoat, Tony Pogeler, and Doug Smith.

1. 1M Brett Meyer
2. 9x Austin Lucas
3. 11 Jason Mallicoat
4. 9 Tony Pogeler
5. 12 Doug Smith
6. 14z Zach Norgaard
7. 90 Chris Grothe
8. 2 Keith Sanders
9. 59 Eric Puhrmann
10. 98x Dan Hanselman
11. 33 Tim Rupp
12. 57 Doug Bartels

Only eight stock cars checked in on the evening and pole sitter Dustin Smith made it look easy as he took home yet another feature win. He was followed by Chris Ullrich, Wayne Crimmins, David Smith, and Josh Suhr.

1. 85 Dustin Smith
2. 01U Chris Ullrich
3. 35 Wayne Crimmins
4. 8 David Smith
5. 16 Josh Suhr
6. 66z Elijah Zevenbergen
7. z28 Jeff Zehr
8. 60 Kurt Krauskopf

After picking up an impressive heat race win, track local Justin Sackett would make the redraw and pick the lucky number one frisbee to put himself on the pole for the thirty-lap USMTS feature. He would be flanked by eight-time national champion Kelly Shryock. Sackett would get the jump on the start and take command of the race until the caution came out on lap seven. With Shryock second on the restart, he would fade back a bit as R.C. Whitwell and Jason Hughes motored by in turn two. Unfortunately for those two drivers, a caution would come out before the completion of the lap, negating the passes.

That didn't seem to bother Hughes as he again powered his machine up on the cushion on the restart to climb into the third spot. He would later make the pass for the lead down the backstretch a lap later. Another yellow flag came out with nine laps to go, at which point the attention was given to youngsters Jake Neal and Ryan Gustin. Both drivers were manhandling their machines on the top side and making up ground on the leaders. Neal took over fourth with eight to go before climbing to third a lap later. Gustin would also get by Jon Tesch to slide into the fifth spot with five to go before another caution came out when Jon Tesch spun around.

The top five at that point were Hughes, Shryock, Neal, Whitwell, and Gustin. Shryock elected to take the outside on the restart, forcing Neal to take the inside. Neal would get the better restart and take the runner up spot away while Gustin slipped by Whitwell for fourth. Shryock would edge out Neal at the line for second while Gustin crossed the line just behind them in fourth with Whitwell taking fifth. Neal, however, would later be disqualified in post-race tech.

Top 10
1. 12 Jason Hughes
2. 3 Kelly Shryock
3. 19R Ryan Gustin
4. 96T R.C. Whitwell
5. 20 Rodney Sanders
6. 17 Justin Sackett
7. 7K Jason Krohn
8. 31 Corey Dripps
9. 33z Zack VanderBeek
10. 65 Tommy Myer

After taking the win, Hughes cut into Shryock's lead for the Hunt. The gap is now down to 58 points with seven races to go. The USMTS heads north to the Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minnesota tonight (Friday) before finishing up the weekend at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota Saturday and at the Dodge County Speedway in Kasson, Minnesota Sunday.

The Buena Vista Raceway announced they will have a two-day special on October 17-18. I believe it was mentioned that the modifieds and sportmods would be going topless. So check out the track website at for more details.

- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!

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