Photos compliments of
Tyler Rinken Photography
By Jeff Nunn, USMTS.com & Dan Bailey
FOUNTAIN CITY, WI (Friday May 26, 2017) – The worst part about the checkered flag waving at the conclusion of the USMTS main event Friday night at the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY was that it had to end. The best part was that everybody in attendance was finally able to take a breath.
Bob Timm’s reshaping and resurfacing of the Fountain City, Wis., oval during the off-season paid dividends with a 40-lap feature race that could have been called great even without the incredible hair-raising final five laps.
But despite a new look and feel, victory lane felt just like old times with Ryan Gustin holding the winner’s paycheck. It was his fourth career USMTS win at the track, and second straight going back to last fall’s $40,000-to-win USRA Modified Nationals where Gustin edged Scott Bloomquist for the colossal payday.
This one was different for Gustin though.
On Monday, the patriarch of the DeFrance and Gustin families—Dale DeFrance—passed away at the age of 81. He was laid to rest yesterday.
“I’ve never wanted to win a race so bad in my life,” an exhausted Gustin said after he climbed out of his winning mount. “This one’s for you, Grandpa. We love you.”
It was the 82nd career USMTS win for Ryan Friday night.
Cade Dillard was in command most of the way. After starting on the outside of the front row, this season’s winningest driver so far wrestled control away from polesitter Jake Timm, but the boss’s son applied heavy pressure to Dillard for the first couple of laps before settling into the third spot behind the leader and Gustin.
While Dillard checked out slightly, Gustin and Timm waged a furious battle for second while Zack VanderBeek, who won the last race here for the Casey’s USMTS National Tour powered by S&S Fishing & Rental two years ago, began creeping up by taking the shortest route around the high-banked 1/3-mile dirt oval.
Lapped traffic became a factor on lap 12 with the top four runners racing in close quarters, swerving and diving inside and outside of back-markers until the race’s first and only yellow flag waved on lap 17.
On the restart, Gustin’s car faltered and that allowed both Timm and VanderBeek to slip past the two-time USMTS national champ. Gustin fought back with a vengeance, challenging VanderBeek around the bottom in one corner and rubbing elbows with Timm in the next.
Gustin finally edged ahead of Timm for second with nine laps remaining, and VanderBeek snuck underneath Timm one lap later. With five laps to go, lapped traffic was again part of the equation and the fans in attendance got to witness an incredible finish.
After splitting a lapped car, Dillard and Gustin raced side by side down the back-stretch and Gustin took advantage of the momentum shift with a full-throated ‘slider’ into turn three and up to the top of turn four. Dillard, however, was able to cross back underneath to remain the leader by a nose on lap 37.
Dillard returned the favor in the ensuing turn and Gustin made the hard left turn to launch back underneath Dillard, taking the lead as they raced down the back-stretch. Dillard slid up in front of Gustin again in the next corner, and the next, before Gustin finally was able to shut the door with two laps to go.
Meanwhile, while a raging storm was taking place in front of him, VanderBeek snuck up on the leaders as he calmly churned the shortest route around the track and Lucas Schott, who won his two previous USRA Modified starts here, crept into the picture after starting ninth on the grid.
After taking the white flag, Gustin took control and left his three pursuers to fight it out for second. VanderBeek edged in front of Dillard as they exited turn two, and Schott threw one final slide-job at Dillard as they raced through the final left-hand turn.
At the finish line, VanderBeek trailed Gustin by less than half a second while Dillard was able to minimize the damage with a cross-over move at the end to take back third from Schott. The top four crossed the stripe within less than a second of each other.
Never out of it, Timm followed close behind in fifth. Dustin Sorensen, R.C. Whitwell, Jason Hughes, Travis Saurer and Cory Mahder rounded out the top ten.
KANZ COLLECTS SECOND STRAIGHT BLACK HORSE BAR & GRILL USRA B-MOD FEATURE WIN
CODY GARDNER WINS REDBOX+ 600 MOD FEATURE IN ONLY FOURTH START
- 2012 MTS Track Champion Erik Kanz won his second straight feature,
- Feature opened with 24-car field,
- Racing up front was intense through the entirety of the 18-lap feature,
- Kanz raced forward from his starting spot on the outside of the second row,
- Pole sitter (and 2016 Track Champion) Ben Moudry (No. 85) led the opening 8-laps battling for the lead with:
- Alex Williamson (No. 15W)
- 2-time USRA National Champion Brandon Hare (No. 56)
- 2015 MTS Track Champion Parker Hale (No. 28)
- Flyin' Ryan Olson (No. 21)
- JT Wasmund (No. 51W)
- Kanz took the lead on lap 9 and led the remainder of the feature but was never able to relax as the top 5-7 continually battled for the lead.
- Scary moment on lap 8:
- While battling inside the top-10, No. 19 of Nick Wagner tangled with a competitor at the beginning of the front straight.
- Wagner's Mod turned to the RIGHT and went nose first into the concrete retaining wall,
- Then spun around and stopped facing the infield.
- The entire 2nd half of the field was storming down the front straight and John Feirn had no escape round - slamming into the left side of Wagner's Modified.
- Feirn's car spun around before rolling over and coming to a rest upside down - on its roof.
- As speedway safety officials, EMT and Ambulance raced to the scene - Feirn's car briefly caught fire!
- Speed of the safety crew quickly extinguished the fire.
- Feirn's car was rolled back onto its wheels and both drivers were, thankfully, unhurt.
- Fastest lap of the feature - Ben Moudry - Lap 2 - 16.681 seconds - 80.93 miles/h (average speed for the entire lap)
LINK & HANSON 'SHARE' USRA HOBBY STOCK VICTORY LANE VISIT
- Cody Gardner won his first feature in only his fourth start behind the wheel of a 600 Mod
- Gardner's #1 led every lap of the 18-Lap feature
- After starting fifth (inside third row) Bruce Schmitt (No. 80) dropped to sixth before racing towards the front and finishing second.
- Chris Gilbertson's 4G ran second to Gardner all the way to lap 16 before Schmitt raced past - Gilbertson finished third
HARMSTON WINS HARMSTON TRUCKING MTS HORNET FEATURE IN FIRST NIGHT OUT
- Test run event as Street Stocks were mixed in with regular competitors of the USRA Hobby Stock division.
- Former MTS Track Champion Danny Hanson (No. 5) used a late-race pass to take the lead and win the feature.
- Travis Krause (No. X01) finished second after leading the first 2/3s of the race.
- Feature winner from the opening three nights, Brady Link (No. 29) was the highest finishing Hobby Stock racer in third.
Next week enjoy Exciting Dirt-Track Action featuring the USRA Stock Car Special and Victory Promotions 600 Mods Touring Series (No USRA A Modifieds) at MTS.
- On his first night out in 2017, 2016 Track Champ Howard Harmston won the feature with his #777
- "I made a tire pressure change after the heats," said Harmston in Victory Lane, "and it really improved the handling of the car for the feature."
Green flag competition begins at 6 pm with the Sunshine Refuse Slingshots on the LIGHTNING SPEEDWAY.
Action on "The Big 1/3 Mile" resumes immediately following the 7 PM Opening Ceremonies with green flag laps provided by
the Centerville Welding & Repair USRA Limited Late Models presented by Big Toy Storage, Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA
B-Mods, USRA Stock Cars, Victory Promotions 600 Mod Touring Series, Jailhouse Saloon USRA Hobby Stocks, & Harmston Trucking MTS Hornets!
MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on Wisconsin Highway 35. For more information, call 608-687-3282 or
visit www.MississippiThunder.com on the World Wide Web.
- Pit gate Opens at 4:00 PM
- General Admission Grandstands Open at 5:00 PM
- Family Friendly General Admission Prices continue with ALL Students - even college (23 yrs old and younger with
current Valid Student ID) and Children 17 & Under are admitted ABSOLUTELY FREE!
- Adult Grandstand admission just $12!
- Senior Citizens (65 & Older) only $10!
- - - - - - - - - - - -
MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is presenting its 9th season of top-notch dirt track action in Fountain City, WI. The high-banked 1/3 mile dark-clay oval is
quickly becoming known as one of the best speedways in the upper Midwest presenting dirt track racing in a fan and family friendly atmosphere every Friday night
throughout the racing season.
For all details, continue visiting the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY web site: www.MississippiThunder.com
RESULTS - FRIDAY MAY 26th - USMTS / COCA-COLA BOTTLING COMPANY OF WINONA NIGHT
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United States Modified Touring Series
USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental – RHRSwag.com Northern Region presented by Summit Racing Equipment
Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed and money won.
SIMPSON PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (1) 19 Dustin Sorensen (r), Rochester, Minn.
2. (2) 96 R.C. Whitwell (r), Tucson, Ariz.
3. (3) 21 Jacob Bleess (r), Chatfield, Minn.
4. (4) 21 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
5. (7) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis.
6. (9) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
7. (6) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.
8. (8) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn.
9. (5) 4b Cory Bruggeman (r), Stillwater, Minn.
FAST SHAFTS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (1) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La.
2. (9) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
3. (2) 1m Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis.
4. (3) 89x Tony Bahr, Haugen, Wis.
5. (7) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
6. (4) 73 Andy Jones (r), Princeton, Minn.
7. (5) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb.
8. (6) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
9. (8) 23 Adam Kates (r), Tonganoxie, Kan.
EDELBROCK HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
2. (2) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (7) 55 Cory Mahder (r), Eau Claire, Wis.
4. (3) 1s Travis Saurer (r), Elizabeth, Minn.
5. (6) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (8) R1 Jay Richardson (r), Spring Valley, Wis.
7. (4) 5k Kyle Prauner (r), Norfolk, Neb.
8. (9) W Cory Williams, Spring Valley, Wis.
9. (5) 14 Amanda Stiffler (r), Farmdale, Ohio.
THE JOIE OF SEATING HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
2. (8) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (4) 05 Jake Hartung (r), Elmwood, Wis.
4. (5) 4w Tyler Wolff (r), Fayetteville, Ark.
5. (3) 4a Joel Alberts, Kasson, Minn.
6. (6) 14 Scott Stiffler (r), Farmdale, Ohio.
7. (1) 15 Steve Bangart, Auburndale, Wis.
8. (7) 3f Cole Ferguson (r), Dexter, Iowa.
9. (9) 5d Devon Havlik (r), Iowa Falls, Iowa.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (3) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis.
2. (4) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (7) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.
4. (10) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
5. (1) 4w Tyler Wolff (r), Fayetteville, Ark.
6. (6) 73 Andy Jones (r), Princeton, Minn., Jones/J&J, $90.
7. (11) 4b Cory Bruggeman (r), Stillwater, Minn., MBCustom/Tim’s, $90.
8. (5) 4a Joel Alberts, Kasson, Minn., Rocket/Action, $90.
9. (2) 89x Tony Bahr, Haugen, Wis., MBCustom/Mullins, $90.
10. (8) 5k Kyle Prauner (r), Norfolk, Neb.
11. (12) 14 Amanda Stiffler (r), Farmdale, Ohio, Taylor/HRE, $90.
12. (9) W Cory Williams, Spring Valley, Wis., /RPM, $75.
REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 5 advance):
1. (2) 1s Travis Saurer (r), Elizabeth, Minn.
2. (4) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
3. (1) 21 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn.
4. (3) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla.
5. (5) R1 Jay Richardson (r), Spring Valley, Wis.
6. (7) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb.
7. (6) 14 Scott Stiffler (r), Farmdale, Ohio, Taylor/HRE, $90.
8. (11) 23 Adam Kates (r), Tonganoxie, Kan., LG2/Speedway, $90.
9. (8) 15 Steve Bangart, Auburndale, Wis., MadMan/Bangart, $75.
10. (10) 3f Cole Ferguson (r), Dexter, Iowa, DirtHustler/Mullins, $90.
11. (9) 6T7 Brian Albrecht, Winona, Minn., Shaw/Adams, $75.
12. (12) 5d Devon Havlik (r), Iowa Falls, Iowa, Sidebiter/Johno’s, $90.
CASEY’S GENERAL STORES “A” MAIN (40 laps):
1. (3) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, Hughes/Mullins, 40, $3000.
2. (5) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, VanderBuilt/Sput’s, 40, $1700.
3. (2) 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La., MBCustom/ASI, 40, $1200.
4. (9) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $1000.
5. (1) 49jr Jake Timm, Winona, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $900.
6. (4) 19 Dustin Sorensen (r), Rochester, Minn., MBCustom/Action, 40, $800.
7. (7) 96 R.C. Whitwell (r), Tucson, Ariz., MBCustom/Hatfield, 40, $700.
8. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins, 40, $650.
9. (14) 1s Travis Saurer (r), Elizabeth, Minn., MBCustom/Dakota, 40, $600.
10. (8) 55 Cory Mahder (r), Eau Claire, Wis., MBCustom/Power Line, 40, $550.
11. (17) 94jr John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis., Rocket/Sput’s, 40, $500.
12. (10) 05 Jake Hartung (r), Elmwood, Wis., SSR/Scott’s, 40, $450.
13. (12) 1m Curt Myers, Cameron, Wis., LG2/Sput’s, 40, $425.
14. (16) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $400.
15. (11) 21 Jacob Bleess (r), Chatfield, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s, 40, $375.
16. (20) 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla., LG2/Cornett, 40, $350.
17. (15) 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/Mullins, 39, $325.
18. (19) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis., MBCustom/Troy’s, 39, $300.
19. (23) 5k Kyle Prauner (r), Norfolk, Neb., Razor/GMPP, 39, $300.
20. (22) R1 Jay Richardson (r), Spring Valley, Wis., SSR/MAS, 39, $250.
21. (21) 4w Tyler Wolff (r), Fayetteville, Ark., MBCustom/Hatfield, 37, $300.
22. (13) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis., GRT/TriStar, 30, $300.
23. (24) 81 Mike Densberger, Lincoln, Neb., Jet/Speedway, 21, $300.
24. (18) 21 Joey Jensen, Harris, Minn., MBCustom/Tim’s, 11, $300.
(r) = Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year contender
Lap Leaders: Dillard 1-37, Gustin 38-40.
Total Laps Led: Dillard 37, Gustin 3.
Margin of Victory: 0.497 second.
Time of Race: 13 minutes, 41.470 seconds (1 caution).
Provisional Starters: Densberger, Prauner.
KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Doelle (started 17th, finished 11th).
Next Race: Saturday, May 27, Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
RHRSwag.com Northern Region Points: VanderBeek 190, Dillard 181, Hughes 177, Whitwell 154, Gustin 151, Saurer 146, Timm 142, Scott 142, Bleess 135, Hartung 132.
Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year Points: Whitwell 1764, Saurer 1646, Wolff 1577, Kates 1240, Billy Vogel 982.
Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 244, Durham 197, ASI 192, Sput’s 181, Hatfield 151.
Manufacturers Championship Points: Hughes 244, MBCustoms 234, GRT 214, VanderBuilt 185, LG2 162.
Allstar Performance – Hughes.
American Racer – Jones.
Beyea Custom Headers – VanderBeek.
BigDeal Car Care – Gustin.
BSB Manufacturing – Wolff.
Casey’s General Stores – Crapser.
Chix Gear Racewear – Saurer.
Day Motor Sports – Densberger, Jensen.
Deatherage Opticians – Hartung.
Dickson Racing Shocks – Bleess.
E3 Spark Plugs – Dillard.
Edelbrock – Timm.
Fast Shafts – Dillard.
Forty9Designs.com – Angst, Prauner.
Fuel Safe Racing Cells – Sorensen.
GRT Race Cars – Thatcher.
Hooker Custom Harness – Myers.
Integra Shocks & Springs – Crapser.
Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts – Scott.
Keyser Manufacturing – Mahder.
KSE Racing Products – Doelle.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Ramirez.
QA1 – Schott.
Real Racing Wheels – all non-qualifiers.
Simpson Performance Products – Sorensen.
Sweet Manufacturing – Thatcher.
Sybesma Graphics – Timm.
Tire Demon – Doelle.
Tyler Rinken Photography – Richardson.
VP Racing Fuels – Gustin.
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products – Gustin.
Wilwood Engineering – Whitwell.
MTS results at MyLaps.com
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