Hughes shines on opening night of World Modified Dirt Track Championship

Hughes shines on opening night of World Modified Dirt Track Championship

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. (July 24) – Jason Hughes was the class of the field Wednesday as he conquered a fast and furious field of USMTS Modifieds to top opening night at the 3rd Annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship presented by Bauer Built Tire and Hanson Tire Service.hughes

Race fans at the Deer Creek Speedway have become spoiled over the years, with two- and three-wide racing being the norm and, generally, demanded by the faithful.

What they got Wednesday was even more than usual as drivers jockeyed three-, four- and often five-wide on the 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval in Spring Valley, Minn.

With everybody anxious to get to the front right away, the 35-lap feature race had a rocky start with three cautions coming out before a lap could be completed. The worst of them was a six-car melee on the front-stretch that put an end to the night for Bob Timm and Zack VanderBeek, and sent Jason Cummins to the rear of the field.

When the first lap was finally in the books, Jason Hughes was in command with polesitter Lucas Schott following close behind.

By the tenth lap, Hughes and Schott had broken away from the pack and engaged in a wild fight for the lead once they encountered lapped traffic. Hughes picked his way through the traffic quickly and expanded his advantage to half a straight-away over the 16-year-old by lap 20.

Meanwhile, Cummins had clawed his way back into the top 10 using a high line hugging the outside concrete wall.

Hughes, who turned in the quickest time during qualifying earlier, never gave Schott a chance to challenge and sailed the rest of the way to the checkered flag.

“Now we can just relax for a couple of nights and watch some racing,” Hughes said following his 115th career USMTS feature win. “The track suited us pretty good. I was just trying to keep it up there in the moisture.”

Schott followed Hughes across the stripe to finish second and punch his ticket to the big dance two nights from now.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Schott said. “I’m just happy to be in the show Saturday.”

A thrilling four-car battle for third came to the finish line with Cummins powering around the outside of Mike Sorensen for third while Steve Wetzstein bested Joey Jensen by a little more than a bumper’s-length for fifth.

“We had to try something,” said Cummins. “Everyone was running the bottom so we went up top and it worked out for us.”

Brandon Jensen, Nate Wasmund, Johnny Scott and Dan Bohr rounded out the top 10.

The victory for Hughes-the 2010 USMTS national champ-locked him into Saturday’s 100-lap, $20,000-to-win main event where he will start in one of the three front-row spots. Only a second-place result in his heat race kept him from a perfect score and a guaranteed pole start for Saturday.

Points were awarded for qualifying, heat races and the main events, with the top 6 earning a spot in one of the first 18 starting slots for Saturday’s finale. Behind Hughes, the rest of Wednesday night’s top 6 were Schott, Cummins, Sorensen, Joey Jensen and Wetzstein.

The winner of Saturday’s 100-lap finale will walk away with a whopping $20,000 or more. No less than $1,500 will go home with each of the 31 main event starters.

Ryan Gustin is the defending WMDTC champion and will qualify on Thursday. Brad Waits won the inaugural event in 2011. He is slated to qualify on Friday.

Thursday and Friday will again feature group qualifying, heat races, last-chance races and a 35-lap main event for the USMTS Modifieds, with the top 6 in overall points each night being locked into the first six rows of Saturday’s main event. Saturday’s show will feature an “alphabet soup” of main events as drivers try to make their way into the big dance.

Nearly $100,000 has been earmarked for Saturday’s championship main event alone, with a total purse of more than $160,000 posted for the four-day extravaganza.

Joining the USMTS Modifieds on the racing card Thursday will be the Iron Man Challenge featuring USRA Stock Cars. Friday and Saturday night will feature Wissota Midwest Mods as the support class. Gates open at 4 p.m. and hot laps begin at 6:30 Wednesday through Friday. All times are one hour earlier on Saturday.

If you can’t be at the Deer Creek Speedway this week, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to miss a single lap or listen to all of the stories about ‘what might have been.’ Simply visit www.RacinDirt.com, scroll down, create an account, purchase your subscription and tune in live this week.

A three-day subscription for Thursday, Friday and Saturday is just $59.95. Single-day subscriptions are $19.95 Thursday and Friday or $29.95 on Saturday. All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted.

You can also keep up with everything going on with the World Modified Dirt Track Championship by liking the official Facebook page at www.facebook.con/wmdtc and joining the conversation on Twitter with #WMDTC.

The Deer Creek Speedway sits on 60 acres of scenic rural rolling hills with one of America’s most popular state-of-the-art racing complexes and a busy modern campground. The 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 (0.7 mile north of SR 16) in Spring Valley, Minn. For more info, call toll-free 877-327-7223 or 507-346-2342 on race day or visit www.deercreekspeedway.com online.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online, like the USMTS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow the USMTS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out the USMTS YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Modified Touring Series
3rd Annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship presented by Bauer Built Tire and Hanson Tire Service – Night 1 of 4
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, and chassis/engine builder. The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races are locked into the Bauer Built Tire “A” Main.

DAKOTA BUMPER QUALIFIER #1 (10 laps):
1. (4) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
2. (6) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla.
3. (2) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn.
4. (1) 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood, Wis.
5. (3) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (5) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
7. (9) 49 Bob Timm, Winona, Minn.
8. (7) 10 Mike Steensma, Luverne, Minn.
9. (10) 110 Chad Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
10. (8) 26f Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.

RED TAIL BAIT & TACKLE QUALIFIER #2 (10 laps):
1. (1) 30 Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.
2. (4) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (5) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn.
4. (3) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis.
5. (6) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
6. (9) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
7. (2) 29h Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
8. (7) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
9. (8) 4 Bill Byholm, Glidden, Wis.
10. (10) 6 Chris Theodore, Coweta, Okla.

MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE QUALIFIER #3 (10 laps):
1. (1) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
2. (4) 21b Brandon Jensen, Hammond, Wis.
3. (6) V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn.
4. (3) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
5. (5) 29d Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa.
6. (7) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa.
7. (8) 52 Chad Davis, Tulsa, Okla.
8. (2) 00 Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask., Canada.
9. (9) 36 Jeff Conner, Panora, Iowa.
10. (10) 01 Joey Galloway, Manor, Sask., Canada.

NORTH COUNTRY EQUIPMENT QUALIFIER #4 (10 laps):
1. (2) 19 Mike Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
2. (1) 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa.
3. (6) 7 Ron Jones, Princeton, Minn.
4. (5) 89 Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
5. (4) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
6. (3) 7j Justin Johnson, Gardner, Kan.
7. (7) 8s Jon Sheets, Nevada, Mo.
8. (9) 23k Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn.
9. (10) 96 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn.
10. (8) J17 Jacob Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.

HANSON TIRE SERVICE “B” MAIN #1 (15 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 89 Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
2. (2) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis.
3. (7) 49 Bob Timm, Winona, Minn.
4. (3) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
5. (4) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
6. (11) 110 Chad Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
7. (13) 26f Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.
8. (10) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s.
9. (12) 4 Bill Byholm, Glidden, Wis., MBCustom/Koch.
10. (6) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas.
11. (9) 23k Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn., Killer/Flyin’J.
12. (5) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla.
13. (8) 29h Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn., Killer/Flyin’J.
14. (14) 01 Joey Galloway, Manor, Sask., Canada, GRT/Tim’s.

HANSON TIRE SERVICE “B” MAIN #2 (15 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (3) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
2. (2) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
3. (4) 29d Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa.
4. (5) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa.
5. (13) 6 Chris Theodore, Coweta, Okla.
6. (14) J17 Jacob Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (1) 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood, Wis.
8. (6) 7j Justin Johnson, Gardner, Kan., GRT/Driskell.
9. (8) 8s Jon Sheets, Nevada, Mo., Extreme/Hatfield.
10. (11) 96 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn., BC/KSE.
11. (7) 52 Chad Davis, Tulsa, Okla., RaceCraft/BMS
12. (9) 10 Mike Steensma, Luverne, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s.
13. (10) 00 Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask., Canada, GRT/Tim’s.
14. (12) 36 Jeff Conner, Panora, Iowa, Skyrocket/RoushYates.

BAUER BUILT TIRE “A” MAIN (35 laps):
1. (2) 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla., Hughes/Mullins.
2. (1) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn., Hughes/Sput’s.
3. (11) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s.
4. (3) 19 Mike Sorensen, Rochester, Minn., Hughes/Action.
5. (5) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s.
6. (8) V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn., GRT/Tim’s.
7. (7) 21b Brandon Jensen, Hammond, Wis., SSR/Scott’s.
8. (14) 52w Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn., Hughes/Action.
9. (6) 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., GRT/RoushYates.
10. (20) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa, GRT/Sput’s.
11. (16) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn., Skyrocket/Grove.
12. (27) 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas, Hughes/Mullins.
13. (22) 6 Chris Theodore, Coweta, Okla., Boyd/STK.
14. (4) 30 Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., GRT/Schmidt.
15. (24) J17 Jacob Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M., GRC/BMS.
16. (19) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/ProPower.
17. (26) 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood, Wis., SSR/Scott’s.
18. (13) 89 Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, Hughes/Mullins.
19. (23) 110 Chad Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis., GRT/Anderson.
20. (10) 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa, Rage/RoushYates.
21. (9) 7 Ron Jones, Princeton, Minn., MBCustom/Sput’s.
22. (25) 26f Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa, Sidebiter/KSE.
23. (12) 26g Bob Gierke, Westport, Minn., GRT/RoushYates.
24. (15) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp, Wis., GRT/TriStar.
25. (21) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, Hughes/Sput’s.
26. (18) 29d Brad Dierks, Clarence, Iowa, Shaw/Sperry.
27. (17) 49 Bob Timm, Winona, Minn., GRT/BuckBuilt.
28. (28) 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla., Hughes/Geddes.

Lap Leader: Hughes 1-35.
Total Laps Led: Hughes 35.
Margin of Victory: 3.572 seconds.
Provisional Starters: Brown, Tillison.

Point Standings:
1. 12 Jason Hughes … 751.0
2. 69 Lucas Schott … 733.5
3. 71 Jason Cummins … 704.0
4. 19 Mike Sorensen … 690.5
5. V2 Joey Jensen … 685.5
6. 90 Steve Wetzstein … 669.0
7. 21b Brandon Jensen … 668.0
8. 1st Johnny Scott … 648.0
9. 7 Ron Jones … 589.5
10. 95 Keith Foss  … 587.0
11. 3 Kelly Shryock … 579.5
12. 21 Chris Brown … 579.0
13. 89 Steve Whiteaker … 574.5
14. 30 Jordan Grabouski … 564.0
15. 31 Corey Dripps … 553.0
16. 52w Nate Wasmund … 548.5
17. 66 Dan Bohr … 545.5
18. 26g Bob Gierke … 538.0
19. 5 Jake Hartung … 537.0
20. 91 Craig Thatcher … 531.0
21. 29d Brad Dierks … 531.0
22. 33z Zack VanderBeek … 514.0
23. 7j Justin Johnson … 493.0
24. 85 Thomas Tillison Jr. … 493.0
25. J17 Jacob Gallardo … 468.0
26. 29h Joe Horgdal … 463.0
27. 6 Chris Theodore … 458.0
28. 0 Masen Big Eagle … 452.0
29. 8s Jon Sheets … 451.0
30. 65 Tommy Myer … 445.0
31. 49 Bob Timm … 443.0
32. 110 Chad Mahder … 440.5
33. 26f Dan Fetters … 438.0
34. 52 Chad Davis … 436.5
35. 10 Mike Steensma … 434.0
36. 4 Bill Byholm … 423.0
37. 23k Darwin Karau … 420.5
38. 96 Greg Jensen … 401.5
39. 36 Jeff Conner … 401.0
40. 1 Joey Galloway … 382.0

The top 6 are locked into one of the first 18 spots in Saturday’s “A” Main. Any driver may keep his points total from tonight for Saturday’s starting line-ups or forfeit tonight’s points and use a mulligan (if one was purchased) to qualify again Friday.

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