ALLISON, Iowa – Jason Hughes had the best seat in the house to watch a dazzling battle between Johnny Scott and Stormy Scott midway through the USMTS National Championship Series main event Friday night at the Highway 3 Raceway.
He also had the best spot on the track to take advantage of Stormy Scott’s mechanical woes on the next-to-last lap.
Johnny – the younger of the 22-year-old Scott twins – took command of the 35-lap Swan Energy “A” Main from the outside of the front row and quickly built a four-car-length advantage over polesitter Dan Bohr, Hughes, Zack VanderBeek and Jon Tesch.
Hughes disposed of Bohr on the second go-around and closed the distance between himself and Johnny Scott by the tenth lap. Meanwhile, Rodney Sanders and defending USMTS National Champion Ryan Gustin were picking off cars on their way to the front after starting deep in the field.
Back-to-back brief cautions with eight laps in the books and another on lap 11 helped keep the pack bunched tightly, and Sanders used the third to his advantage to get around Tesch and Stormy Scott for third.
But trying to make a charge around the high side, ‘The Rocket’ missed his mark in turn 3 and was unable to keep his Modified under control. With 19 laps in the books, his spin brought out the third caution with Hughes, Stormy Scott, Tesch and Gustin falling in behind the leader.
Back under green, Stormy Scott powered around Hughes for the runner-up spot and then set his sights on his sibling. Another brief yellow flag waved two laps later to set up a wild tussle for the final 13 laps.
Shooting to the low side on the restart, Stormy Scott drove deep into turn one and slid up in front of Johnny Scott, who cut back and pulled to the low side. The pair raced side by side down the back-stretch with Johnny returning the “slide job” through the next corner and retaining his lead with 23 laps complete.
Again in turn one, Stormy Scott made a power move down low and then slid up in front of Johnny Scott. Again, Johnny reversed lines and the two were neck and neck down the long back straight-away, but this time Stormy Scott’s momentum into turn 3 was enough to keep Johnny on the low side of the racing surface.
With 24 laps down, Stormy Scott passed the flagstand as the leader and then proceeded to run away and hide from the field.
Five previous cautions extended the number of laps that the drivers were circling the track, and it may have been just enough to spoil Stormy Scott’s impressive run as he became the cause of the sixth and final yellow flag when smoke and sparks preceded him stopping at the top of turn four with the white flag ready to wave.
Hughes inherited the lead for the restart, and he took care of any notion his pursuers had of spoiling his victory party as he executed a perfect restart and pulled out to a four-car-length advantage by the time he reached the first corner.
Two laps later, Hughes crossed the finish line first for the fifth time this season to pocket the $4,000 winner’s share of the prize money and celebrate in victory lane with his wife, Julie, on the two-month anniversary of their new daughter, Jacie.
Gustin was impressive again tonight, racing to a second-place finish from 16th on the starting grid. Tesch got by Johnny Scott to grab the third position, while Ryan Ruter bounced back from a spin on lap 8 to score a top-5 finish.