FAIRMONT, Minn. –When Zack VanderBeek broke down on lap 14 Thursday night at the Fairmont Raceway, Ryan Gustin inherited the lead and that’s where ‘The Reaper’ remained for the final 11 laps as he picked up his third win during the USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental and 90th of his United States Modified Touring Series career.
While a broken fan blade thwarted VanderBeek’s chance for his first win during The Hunt, flat tires were the culprit for many of the other competitors.
Tyler Wolff suffered a flat tire on lap 8, and Dereck Ramirez had the same problem while running second behind VanderBeek. Cade Dillard was also a victim of worn out rubber.
While Dillard could only climb back to 11th and Ramirez settled for a 14th-place finish, Wolff had a spectacular run from the rear of the field.
Restarting 22nd with 18 orbits to go, Wolff found something a car-width higher than the lane preferred by the others and clawed his way to a fourth-place finish after nipping Stormy Scott for position on the final lap.
While Gustin earned $4,500 for a day’s work, R.C. Whitwell crossed the finish line second in front of points leader Jason Hughes.
Scott started 15th and finished fifth, 14th-starting Pat Graham was sixth, Ricky Thornton Jr. finished seventh after starting 11th, eighth went to 17th-starting Jake Timm, Philip Houston nabbed ninth from the 18th starting spot and Cory Crapser advanced two positions to complete the top 10.
The series heads to the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa, on Friday for the fifth visit by the USMTS since 2007 when Jason Krohn won the inaugural event there.
Jake Neal picked up his first and only USMTS victory the following year, and Gustin won here in 2009.
The series returned last year with VanderBeek getting the win.
The pit gate opens at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 4:30, hot laps begin at 6:30 and racing starts at 7. Adult tickets are $20, kids ages 11 & under get in for free and pit passes are $30.
Coupons good for $2 off adult admission available at Casey’s General Stores locations in Clermont, Decorah, Fairbank, Fredericksburg, Maynard, Oelwein, Ossian, Postville, Strawberry Point, Sumner, Tripoli and West Union. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com.
USMTS driver Curt Myers and his Snickers-sponsored machine will be at the Casey’s General Store located at 102 E. Bradford in West Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fans can get a special $5-off ‘Hot Ticket’ directly from Myers during his appearance.
Presented by Appliance Plus of West Union, the Iron Man Challenge featuring Holley USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods will be back in the spotlight with the tireless USMTS touring titans.
The Fayette County Speedway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located 0.9 mile south of US 18 on SR 150, then 0.1 mile east on SR 56 (Vine St.). For more information, call (563) 422-5202 or (563) 422-5286 or visit www.fayettecountyspeedway.net online.
Saturday takes the tireless USMTS touring titans to the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., and the five-night swing wraps up Sunday at the Cresco Speedway in Cresco, Iowa.
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. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.