CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The United States Modified Touring Series kicked off the 2014 campaign Saturday night at the South Texas Speedway with the first of 90 scheduled races this year and a visit to victory lane by 2007 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn.
Hometown favorite Steve Whiteaker Jr. took the lead from the outside of the front row when the green flag waved to start the 40-lapper, and then built a commanding lead through the first half of the race.
Meanwhile, Krohn started sixth on the 24-car grid and charged into the second spot on lap 15.
The race’s first yellow flag waved five laps later for a tangle in turn 1 between Daniel Hilsabeck and Dereck Ramirez, which saw Whiteaker’s 10-car-length advantage evaporate.
Back under green, Krohn took just one lap to make his move and shot past Whiteaker to gain control of the top spot.
Whiteaker fought back the next time around but Krohn fended off the challenge and pulled away from there.
A second caution flag with seven laps to go gave Whiteaker another shot at the leader, but he was unable to place a detour in Krohn’s road to the winner’s circle.
The win was Krohn’s 30th USMTS triumph of his career and worth $3,000 to the 42-year-old Slayton, Minn., driver.
“It took a little while to get rolling, but once we got some momentum we were really fast,” Krohn said following the race. “I needed that yellow to catch the leader, but we had a fantastic car tonight. I could really put the car anywhere.”
Advancing seven spots in the feature race, reigning USMTS National Champion Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, came home in third with Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., fourth, and Robeline, La., racer Cade Dillard rounding out the top 5 finishers.
Sixth through tenth were Zack VanderBeek, Kelly Shryock, Johnny Scott, Tracy Denby Jr. and Rick Beebe.