SPRING VALLEY, Minn. — Although he came up short in his quest for a second USMTS national championship on Friday, Jason Hughes got the last laugh Saturday night at the Deer Creek Speedway with his fourth Featherlite Fall Jamboree title in nine years.
Hughes started his charge from the outside of the second row in the 60-lap main event that started 30 of the best open-wheel dirt modified drivers on the planet three-wide and ten rows deep.
He snuck underneath race-long leader Johnny Scott on lap 21 and then fended off 2011 Featherlite Fall Jamboree champion Terry Phillips the rest of the way to take home the $8,000 winner’s paycheck back to Watts, Okla.
“It was a hell of a good track,” an elated Hughes said in victory lane. “I wish we could have come out with that championship-I think we had as good a shot as anybody-but we just couldn’t get qualified out of our heat. It was fun racing out there and I hope the fans enjoyed the show.”
Stealing the show at ‘The Creek’ is nothing new for the 2010 USMTS national champ. After pocketing $20,000 here in July at the World Modified Dirt Track Championship, he returned Labor Day Weekend to score another $5,000 in the BP Labor Day Duel presented by Baudoin Oil.
In addition to the published $6,000 winner’s share of the prize money, Hughes also bagged an additional $1,000 from Red Tail Tackle and another $1,000 past champion bonus.
With his fourth Featherlite Fall Jamboree title, he remains the only repeat winner in the 15-year history of the event.
Phillips shadowed Hughes for most of the race, but was unable to exact revenge for the last-lap, last-corner pass Hughes put on him in the 2009 event.
“I’m old. I’m sore. But we had a decent run,” Phillips said. “He just had a better car tonight. He could turn better and as the race went on I got tighter, but we gave it a whirl.”
Sanders, who sealed the deal on the 2013 USMTS national championship Friday night, smacked the wall on the first lap and dropped all the way back to 14th on the first lap but rebounded for a third-place finish.
“I made a mistake on the first lap, hit the wall and kind of faded back,” said Sanders. “But we had a good car and were able to get back up through there. We were just a little too tight, but it was a good run.”
Kelly Shryock put a bow on a satisfying weekend with a fourth-place finish after starting 14th on the grid. In addition to winning the main event Friday night, he also finished ninth in Thursday’s feature race that was delayed to Friday evening.
Jason Hughes, Terry Phillips, Rodney Sanders, Kelly Shryock, Ryan Gustin, Joey Jensen, Johnny Scott, Jeremy Payne, Tommy Myer, Tim Setzer, Bryan Rowland, Stormy Scott, Matt Dotson, Zack VanderBeek, Steve Wetzstein, Jason Cummins, Corey Dripps, Lucas Schott, Brandon Jensen, Trevor Hunt, Joel Alberts, Scott Stiffler, Steve Whiteaker Jr., Tracy Denby Jr., Joe Duvall, Travis Peery, Mike Sorensen, Ron Jones, Eric Dailey, Daniel Hilsabeck.