HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Tanner Mullens laid claim to his first career Hutchinson Grand Nationals championship in the NCRA Modified division at the Kansas State Fairgrounds Sunday night.
Mullens, who won both qualifying heat races held on Friday night, started on the pole for the 20-lap feature finale and out ran outside front row starter Marc Hurd into turn one to take the lead.
Third starting Dan Powers got passed Hurd for the runner up position with the leader opening up a five car length lead.
Seventh starting Ryan McAninch started making his move towards the front on lap three and would relegate Hurd back to the fourth position while Mullens continued to set the pace, opening up to a ten car length lead.
The first caution of the feature fell on lap eight when current series point leader Tyler Davis spun in turn two.
After the restart Mullens again throttled his Mullens powered Hughes chassis out ahead the rest of the field while behind him, McAninch and fifth starting Brian Franz would move past Powers into the second and third positions respectively.
After a pair of cautions on lap eleven and thirteen slowed the pace, racing action resume and go non-stop the rest distance with Mullens now opening up a comfortable ten car length lead over McAninch with five laps to go, a lead in which he would never relinquish.
He would go on to lay claim as the fifteenth modified series Hutchinson Grand Nationals champion and pick up $2,000 for his victory. Tanner’s father, Buddy, won the non-sanctioned modified portion of the Hutch Nationals six times in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
McAninch would hold on to the runner up position while defending Nationals champion Franz came home third. Hurd would get around Powers late to rebound for a fourth place finish.
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