Tanner Mullens Controls Mod Mania

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Tanner Mullens in victory lane. (USMTS photo)

MASON CITY, Iowa — Capturing his third USMTS victory of the year, Tanner Mullens led all 35 laps to top opening night of Mod Mania at the Mason City Motor Speedway.

The 27-year-old from Wichita, Kan., was the Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner and remained at the front of the field the entire distance to capture another multitude of awards that await each winner. He also pocketed $2,000.

“I tried to ride around as long as I could on the bottom and was just trying to slow the pace down to save the tire there,” Mullens revealed. “I was getting tight there at the end and it (right rear tire) don’t look like we have too much left on it.”

Zack VanderBeek started from the outside of Mullens on the front row. He was second on the first lap and stayed glued to Mullens’ rear bumper until the checkered flag waved.

“I could kind of hear him,” Mullens recalled,” and I think he bumped me there once but I was just trying to slow down and save the tire. I didn’t think they were going to be able to drive around me on the outside.”

Mullens was in the mix the entire race when the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s visited Mason City on June 18, eventually finishing third behind Dereck Ramirez — who was unable to crack the top 10 tonight — and point leader Rodney Sanders.

Then again, he’s been in the mix since the start of the 2020 campaign. He won the first USMTS main event of his career at the Lucas Oil Speedway on June 3 and followed that up with a heart-breaking runner-up the following night at his hometown 81 Speedway before winning again two weeks later at the Cedar County Raceway.

In addition to three wins he has eight top-five finishes and he’s finished among the top ten in all 13 of his starts utilizing a family-built chassis and engine.

VanderBeek brought his VanderBuilt home second while Sanders had to settle for the third-place paycheck. Hunter Marriott was fourth and Terry Phillips found himself fifth in the end.

The finish:

Tanner Mullens, Zack VanderBeek, Rodney Sanders, Hunter Marriott, Terry Phillips, Tyler Davis, Lucas Schott, Al Hejna, Jacob Bleess, Jake Timm, Dereck Ramirez, Dustin Sorensen, Calvin Iverson, Brooks Strength, Alex Williamson, Jason Hughes, Jason Cummins, Joe Duvall, Chase Rudolf, Casey Skyberg, Adam Hensel, Adam Kates, Joe Horgdal, Jake O’Neil