PRYOR CREEK, Okla.– Less than an hour from home, Jason Hughes found his way back to Widow Wax Victory Lane Saturday after an exciting main event at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. Still, the road to his 145th career USMTS win was less than easy for the current points leader in the Hunt for the USMTS Caseys Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental.
Polesitter Dereck Ramirez led the opening circuit with Hughes trailing, but veteran Terry Beckham Jr. shot by both of them on the outside to lead the second lap and then began to pull away. Beckham was in charge for the next 18 laps but Hughes was able to reel the leader in and grabbed the spot to lead lap 21.
Beckham kept the heat on, along with Zack VanderBeek and then Cade Dillard, but despite the pressure and three yellow flags in the last 12 laps Hughes cruised to his fifth career win at the track including both events this year. Dillard snuck into the runner-up spot to minimize the damage in the points battle, and Terry Phillips made a late-race charge to get third. Jesse Sobbing and VanderBeek rounded out the top five.
Rodney Sanders, Chris Henigan, Beckham, Daniel Hilsabeck and Austin Siebert completed the top 10 in a fantastic race that produced multiple ever-changing racing grooves. Earlier in the night, things got hairy with three roll-overs. Kenny Gaddis got on his lid during hot laps while Kevin Guinn and Mike Cook were both in the wrong place at the wrong time and tipped over during their heat races. None of the drivers were injured.
A whopping 64 cars and drivers were on hand. The USMTS returns to the popular 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan., on Sunday.
In the seven previous trips to C. Ray Halls facility, Jeremy Payne and Rodney Sanders each have two wins while Cade Dillard got his first here a little more than two months ago on June 9. Stormy Scott won the 2014 Hunt race here and current points leader Jason Hughes captured the inaugural event in 2008. The NCRA Mod Lites will join the traveling USMTS titans with gates opening at 5 p.m. and race time at 7. Fans can find $2 discount coupons at Bumper To Bumper Auto Parts in El Dorado and Newton, Garnett Auto locations in Wichita and Derby, plus Stephens Auto Parts in Hutchinson.
Joe Duvall and his AMP Energy-sponsored USMTS Modified will be on hand for a meet n greet with fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Caseys located at 3520 N. Woodlawn Blvd. in Wichita. The 81 Speedway is located north of Wichita on I-135 to exit 16, then 0.7 miles west on 77th St. in Park City. For more race and ticket information contact the 81 Speedway office (316) 755-1781 or check out their website at www.race81speedway.com.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.