BAYTOWN, Texas – Spring was in the air Thursday night as Chris Brown of Spring, Texas, brought a brand new race car Royal Purple Raceway, and then brought it to victory lane after a barnburner 30-lap main event to open the fifth annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals presented by Double H Bands.
The first half of the feature race for the dirt modifieds of the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy featured a tussle at the top between a trio of drivers from Las Cruces, N.M.
Fito Gallardo got a big jump at the start of the race and powered around the high side of the three-eighths-mile clay oval to command the first nine laps while fending off Johnny Scott and Stormy Scott.
After disposing of his younger twin brother, Stormy Scott scooted underneath Gallardo in the middle of turn three and then slid up in front of him to lead lap 10.
Brown, who started sixth in his 2014 season debut, got by Gallardo three laps later and then slowly reeled in the leader.
The final 10 laps were a spectator’s dream as Stormy Scott and Brown raced virtually side by side with each passing lap while Johnny Scott had his hands full with defending USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders and his teammate, 2007 USMTS titlist Jason Krohn.
As the leaders approached the white flag, Brown edged in front to lead for the first time. He carried his momentum into the next corner with Stormy Scott getting a strong run down the back-stretch to pull nearly even as they entered the final turn.
At the finish line, it was Brown getting his eighth career USMTS win while Stormy Scott trailed a mere two-tenths of a second behind.
The win-his second at the Royal Purple Raceway-was worth $2,000 to the 34-year-old driver of a never-before-raced LG21 Race Cars chassis-a customized version of the LG2 Chassis by Jimmy Owens.
It was also the first triumph in USMTS competition for engine builder Durham Racing Engines and Andy Durham who formerly headed-up the dirt modified engine program for Roush Yates Engines.
Stormy Scott’s runner-up finish extended his string of top-five finishes to three and added to his lead in the MVT Gulf Coast Border Region presented by Day Motor Sports points standings over Sanders, who finished fourth behind Johnny Scott.
Krohn was fifth, Kelly Shryock finished sixth, Jeremy Payne got his first top-10 with a seventh-place results, Gallardo held on for eighth, dirt late model standout Jimmy Mars wound up ninth in his USMTS debut and Zack VanderBeek passed nine cars en route to a tenth-place paycheck.