VIVIAN, La. — Another night of USMTS racing at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway. Another white-knuckle ride for the fans. And a fourth win for Cade Dillard.
The second night of the 6th Annual Cajun Clash on Friday backed up the barn-burner on Thursday night with a 40-lap main event battle at Gene Boyter’s high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval in Vivian, La.
But in the end, the cream rose to the top as Cade Dillard of nearby Robeline, La., notched his fourth feature win of the 2017 campaign to extend his points lead in the Summit Racing USMTS Southern Region presented by Production Jars.
Wheeling the No. 97 S&S Fishing & Rental MB Customs machine from the fourth row, Dillard tracked down early leader Zack VanderBeek to snag the lead with just seven laps in the books.
Dillard never relinquished the lead over the remaining 33 circuits, but VanderBeek never let him out of his sight as the two dodged heavy lapped traffic throughout the race.
Meanwhile, tenth-starting Ryan Gustin found the high line to his liking and began to quickly narrow the gap late in the race, stealing second away from VanderBeek with four laps to go but coming up two car-lengths short at the finish line.
The win was worth $3,000 to Dillard as he racked up his 14th career USMTS victory, tying him on the all-time wins list with three legendary racers-Johnny Bone Jr., Tim Donlinger and Mark Noble.
Gustin held off VanderBeek to register his second runner-up finish in as many nights while Ricky Thornton Jr. bested Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Jon Mitchell for the fourth spot.
Chris Brown, who started 15th, earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award by finishing sixth, Kyle Strickler came from 13th to snare the seventh-place paycheck, Kyle Pleasant earned eighth, defending USMTS national champ Jason Hughes nabbed ninth and Stormy Scott rounded out the top 10.
One more night of racing remains at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway. Saturday’s finale will see USMTS Modifieds race for $4,000 to win with both Limited Mods and Factory Stocks paying $600 to win and Pro-Mods joining the card for $300 to win.
Pit gates open at 2 p.m. and the grandstands open at 5 p.m. Hot laps start at 6 p.m. with racing at 6:30. Grandstand tickets are $20, kids ages 11-16 are $10 and children ages 10 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $40.
The Ark-La-Tex Speedway is located 0.6 mile south of SR 2 on SR 1, then 0.7 mile west on Airport Rd., then 2.2 miles south on Boyter Lane Rd. For race day information, call the track hotline at 318-375-3470 or click www.arklatexspeedway.net to visit them online.
For unfortunate fans unable to attend Saturday’s finale, every lap of every race will be broadcast live at www.RacinDirt.com/Live.
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.