(KENNEDALE, Texas) – The USMTS Modifieds invaded the Cowtown Speedway for the first time since 2008 Friday night, and Ryan Gustin once again proved to be a quick study in an unfamiliar environment as he delivered yet another flawless performance and earned his seventh USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour powered by Swan Energy main event win of the season.
From the outside of the front row, Bobby Malchus snagged the lead at the start of the 40-lap WIX Filters “A” Main, but his reign at the front of the field was short-lived as Gustin passed six cars in the first four laps before disposing of Malchus with just five laps in the books.
Thick lapped traffic hindered Gustin’s charge midway through the race and allowed Malchus and Jason Hughes to cut into Gustin’s lead, but his advantage was big enough to keep him out of reach.
A caution flag with nine laps to go cleared the path ahead for Gustin, but it also put Hughes and Malchus on his rear bumper for the restart.
With Gustin remaining faithful to the extreme high side of the racetrack and Hughes using the shortest route around the quarter-mile oval, Malchus joined the battle using the middle groove and made it a three-wide race for the lead with seven laps to go.
After a couple of laps that saw Hughes inching ahead just slightly in the turns, Gustin settled into a quick and comfortable line and then stretched his lead out again over the final five orbits to take his second $2,000 win in as many nights.
Malchus and Hughes crossed beneath the checkered flags side by side with Malchus nipping the defending USMTS National Champion by 2/100ths of a second to secure a career-best runner-up finish.
Johnny Scott passed ten cars on his way to grabbing the fourth spot and Shane Hebert got by eleven competitors en route to a fifth-place finish.
Sixth through tenth were Bryan Rowland, Randy Timms, Rodney Sanders, Sean Jones and Jason Grimes. Grimes, who started 26th, earned the PBM Performance Products Hard Charger Award.
Tomorrow night (Saturday, May 7) the scene will be at Virgil Page’s Lake Country Speedway in Ardmore, Okla., and the 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval promises to be one of the best passing tracks on the schedule this season as both fans and drivers alike have heralded the racing surface at ‘Devil’s Backbone’ as one of the smoothest and best-prepared in the country right now.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m., grandstand gates open at 5, hot laps begin at 7 and the first heat race takes the green flag at 8:00. Also on the racing card will be HotMods/B-Mods, Late Models and Hobby Stocks.
Lake Country Speedway is a 3/8-mile semi-banked clay oval located just off of I-35 at exit 29, then 0.7 mile east on US 70, then 1.8 miles south on US 77. For race day information, call 580-220-7565 or visit www.lakecountryspeedwayok.com online.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also follow the USMTS on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.