Waits Ends 4-Year USMTS Drought

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Brad Waits in victory lane. (USMTS photo)
Brad Waits in victory lane. (USMTS photo)

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. — One day after the fourth anniversary of his last USMTS victory, Brad Waits snapped his winless streak by coming out on top of a wild thriller in the 11th annual Coca-Cola Spring Shootout presented by Fast Shafts at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

A multi-time track champion dating back to the days of the former Tri-Oval Speedway, the 51-year-old veteran dirt track racer from Rochester, Minn., held off repeated challenges from Ryan Gustin and then fended off Jake O’Neil in the closing laps to secure the $3,000 triumph.

Waits’ win was the third of his USMTS career at the three-eighths-mile high-banked clay oval and his ninth overall. He remains the only driver to win on both the old and new track layout.

O’Neill, who started 14th was the FK Rod Ends Hard Charger as he advanced to snag the runner-up spot with national points leader Rodney Sanders, Gustin and 17th-starting Zack VanderBeek following close behind in the top five.

Of the nine career wins for Waits, four of them have occurred at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., which is where the rugged USMTS road warriors return to Saturday for the 17th annual Crenlo Southern MN Spring Challenge.

The finish:

Brad Waits, Jake O’Neil, Rodney Sanders, Ryan Gustin, Zack VanderBeek, Hunter Marriott, Cory Crapser, Jacob Bleess, Dereck Ramirez, Lucas Schott, Matt Leer, A.J. Diemel, Josh Angst, Erik Kanz , Mike Striegel, John Doelle, Grant Southworth, Brett Bumgardner, Adam Hensel, Chris Oertel, Joe Horgdal, Steve Bangart, Jake Timm, Brian Albrecht, Taylor Ausrud.