PRYOR CREEK, Okla. — From the time he rolled his USMTS Modified out of his hauler until the time he put it back, Ryan Gustin was the class of the field Thursday night on opening night of the inaugural Sooner Showdown at the Salina Highbanks Speedway.
After leading his group in time trials, Gustin roared from the sixth spot to win his heat race and then led all 20 laps of the “A” Qualifier to give himself a perfect score and the pole for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start 30-car main event that will start three-wide on the insanely popular high-banked clay oval.
‘The Reaper’ snagged the lead at the drop of the green flag from polesitter Austin Siebert and proceeded to distance himself from the field, leading by 10 car-lengths when he streaked below the checkered flag.
Siebert remained second for most of the race, but reigning USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders slipped past with three laps to go to earn the runner-up spot while Siebert held on for a third-place finish.
Jeremy Payne finished in the fourth spot with veteran Rick Beebe coming home fifth. By scoring a perfect 766.5 points, Gustin will start on the pole in Saturday’s main event.
Ryan Gustin, Rodney Sanders, Austin Siebert, Jeremy Payne, Rick Beebe, Jeremy Rasmussen, Zack VanderBeek, Johnny Scott, Dereck Ramirez, Tate Cole, Johnny Bone Jr., Kelly Shryock, Ken Schrader, Chris Theodore, John Allen, Trevor Hunt, Kip Hughes, Eddie Martin, Chad Wheeler, Thomas Tillison Jr., Steve Whiteaker Jr., Brian Williams, Brett Hansen, Tyler Wolff, Delaney Erickson, Justin Shoemaker, Grady Smith, Donovan Lodge