TIPTON, Iowa – Two-time defending USMTS National Champion Ryan Gustin got the monkey off his back Thursday night as he scored a decisive victory at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa, during Round 13 of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup.
Winless since June 13, the 22-year-old from Marshalltown, Iowa, took the lead with nine laps in the books and blistered the field over the final 31 circuits to score his fourth win of the season and first during ‘The Hunt.’
Rookie points leader Trevor Hunt garnered his first pole and used his starting position to take command at the drop of the green flag. The rising star paced the first nine laps before ‘The Reaper’ blasted by and off into the distance.
2010 USMTS National Champion Jason Hughes drove the fastest car on the track over the last dozen laps, clawing his way from 13th on the 24-car starting grid to a runner-up finish, albeit more than five seconds behind Gustin at the checkers.
Johnny Scott, who held the second position until the final lap, scored a third-place finish while Zack VanderBeek and Rodney Sanders took fourth and fifth. Brad Dierks, Hunt, Lucas Schott, Kelly Shryock and Jeremy Payne rounded out the top 10.
For Gustin, it was his 65 career USMTS victory as he left the high-banked quarter-mile dirt oval with a $3,000 winner’s paycheck plus an additional $2,000 for taking part in the Big Dog Buy-In.
In the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup, Scott regained the points lead he lost last week and now leads Sanders by a mere six points (1216 to 1210) with just four races left to determine the 2013 USMTS National Champion. Hughes closed the gap on the two young guns and is 35 markers out of first place. Fourth through ninth are Stormy Scott, Payne, VanderBeek, Shryock, Dereck Ramirez and Schott while Gustin moved into a tie with Hunt for tenth.