Richie Gustin Rules IMCA Super Nationals

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Richie Gustin in victory lane at Iowa's Boone Speedway.

BOONE, Iowa — After finishing second in his qualifying feature on Friday night, Richie Gustin figured he had a pretty good chance to win Saturday’s IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Modified main event.

He was right.

The 2011 Super Nationals champion, Gustin passed 2007 race winner Todd Shute to get to the front of the 40-lap headliner, then outran defending champion Ricky Thornton Jr. in taking the Boone Speedway checkers.

“I felt like we had a pretty good race car when we qualified last night,” said Gustin, who had passed 24 cars to finish second behind Thornton on Friday. “People say there’s a lot of luck that plays into this deal but when you get your second championship, it’s not luck. This is unbelievable.”

Shute ended in third and Ricky Stephan was fourth. Three other former champions were in the show, with Gustin’s brother Jimmy finishing fifth, Randy Havlik seventh and Kyle Strickler 18th.

“This is the biggest race to win in all of dirt-track racing,” said Gustin, who pocketed $2,000 plus a $1,900 bonus for his Saturday victory. “There are bigger paying races for sure but none of them have the car count Super Nationals does.”

Mike Nichols became a first-time Stock Car champion, beating Devin Smith across the stripe by not much more than a car length while Brian Efkamp ended his on-track career with the Northern SportMod crown.

And Shannon Anderson won his career fourth Super Nationals Hobby Stock title in a 30-lapper he led green to checkers.

Strickler won the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modifieds, David Smith won the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions for Stock Cars, Jason Fusselman win the Stephenville Starter Hobby Stock Race of Champions and Dakota Sproul won the BSB Manufacturing Race of Champions for Northern SportMods.

Strickler has now won the Modified main event, Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational and Harris RoC during his Super Nationals career. David Smith is the first driver to win the Stock Car RoC three times.

Cayden Carter became the first driver to compete in three main events at the same Super Nationals, qualifying for Late Model, Modified and Stock Car championship races.

The finish:

Richie Gustin, Ricky Thornton Jr., Todd Shute, Ricky Stephan, Jimmy Gustin, J.D. Auringer, Randy Havlik, Jeremy Mills, Ricky Alvarado, Nick Roberts, Jeremy Payne, Cayden Carter, Jordan Grabouski, Josh Most, Jonathan Snyder, Kelly Shryock, Drew Christianson, Kyle Strickler, Justin O’Brien, Cody Laney, Troy Cordes, Nick Meyer, Jesse Richter, Eric Elliott, Jason Wolla, Paul Stone, Corey Dripps, Ryan Ruter, Chris Abelson, Chris Mills, Jay Noteboom, Randy McDaniel, Darin Duffy.