Lady Luck Helps Phillips Find USMTS Win at Rapid Speedway
A beautiful Friday night brought a big crowd of fans and 120 racers to Rapid Speedway as the United States Modified Series and the USRA Iron Man Series came to town for the Dave Mulder Memorial Race.
The 40 lap USMTS feature wowed the crowd as Ryan Gustin shot out to the lead for the first ten laps before lapped traffic would allow Terry Phillips to catch up and pull underneath Gustin and momentarily take the lead away. Gustin would shoot back around the top and retake the lead one lap later. Traffic would once again play a factor in the race as the leaders were looking for space while series point leader Rodney Sanders from Happy, Texas would join the party and grab second away from Phillips and on lap 22 steal the lead away from Gustin. Sanders would look to run away until a caution with 10 laps to go would change the whole complexion of the race. On the restart Gustin would find the high line and pull even. The two battled side by side for three laps and with 7 to go Gustin would slide off the top of the track and at the exact same time Sanders would spin on the bottom. Phillips who was running third would take advantage of the leaders’ mistakes and grab the lead coming out of 4. After the final restart the driver from Springfield, Mo was flawless as he hit the top of the track and cruised to his 4th win in the Hunt for the Casey’s Cup National Championship Series. Gustin would hang on for 2nd ahead of Oklahoma’s Dereck Ramirez. Rock Rapids’ Don Gerritsen Jr would charge from 10th to finish 4th while Hunter Marriot came from 12th to finish 5th. Phillips won his heat race as well as Tucson, AZ Jake Neal and Tonganoxie, KS driver Adam Kates.
The feature events started with the Lems Auto Recyclers Sportsmans and Marni Deboer grabbing the early lead until lap two when Bill Kroon would drive under her and the two would trade some paint before Kroon emerged as the new leader. Kroon continued to hold off the field on the bottom side of the racetrack while Brian Kroon worked his way to 2nd from the 7th starting position. After a late caution Bill moved to the high side and continue to run out front, even a last lap bobble wasn’t enough for Brian to get by his father and Bill would take the victory. Brian took the runner-up spot ahead of Marni and Roger Deboer while Tyler Bradley rounded out the top 5. Bill Kroon and Roger Deboer grabbed the heat wins.
Point leader Dustin Gulbrandson took the lead away from Trevor Kragt early on and raced his way to victory in the Sybesma Graphics Hobby Stocks. There was side by side and 3-wide racing throughout the field with multiple cars swapping positions on every lap, but the constant was Gulbrandson out front of the field. A restart with 4 laps to go would allow Eric Stanton from Carlisle, IA to challenge Gulbrandson. Stanton would show his nose a few different times, but Gulbrandson closed the door each time and held on for the win over Stanton. “Eric is fast everywhere he goes and I saw him down there and knew I couldn’t give him room,” said Gulbrandson in victory lane. Brady Klaassen kept himself within striking distance of the point title coming from 11th to finish 3rd ahead of Dylan VandenTop. Corey Yeigh won the B feature and charged from 17th to finish 5th. Kragt, Klaassen, Stanton, and Gulbrandson were the heat winners.
Elijah Zevenbergen would get his 2nd win in as many weeks at the raceway in the Precision Auto Body Iron Man Stock Car event. The early lead belong to Lynn Panos from Calmar, IA, but it only took til lap three for Zevenbergen to find his way to the front from his 4th starting spot. The 66z increased his lead to half a straight away at the halfway point of the 20 lap feature with Derek Green, Dillion Anderson, and Darrin Korthals battling for 2nd. A caution late in the race would give Anderson and Green one last chance at Zevenbergen, but to no avail as the driver from Ocheyedan, IA once again drove away from the field and on to victory. “I knew Green and Anderson were there on the restart and they are some tough runners. My car was great tonight,” said Zevenbergen after the win. Green, Anderson, and Korthals followed Elijah to the line. Justin Regnerus, who found himself in some early race troubles would battle back from the back to finish 5th. Josh Kelderman won the B feature while Korthals, Panos, Green, and Colton Arends won the heats.
The Dave Mulder Memorial Race for the J&L RV Sales Iron Man Bmods saw cars on the move throughout the race. Trevor Tesch had the early lead and held onto it through multiple cautions to keep us from getting going. Brock Hess would eventually show his nose under Tesch, but Tesch would hang on. Hess and Ben Moudry then battled for 2nd and then collided with each other and Hess would go to the back with a flat tire. As all this would go on and a few more cautions B feature winner Dan Hovden of Decorah, IA charged from 17th and took the lead. On the last restart of the night Jared Boumeester from Waseca, MN was in 7th and jumped up top when everyone else was on the bottom and would charge to the lead. Tyler Johnson also found the high side and made his way through the pack and was chasing down Boumeester until a mechanical failure would take him out of the race. Boumeester go the rest of the way for the win. Hovden would hang on for 2nd ahead of Ben Moudry and Cole Denner while Cole Suckow drove from 15th to 5th. Heats went to Denner, Hess, Kevin Joachim, and Lyndon Johnson.
Next Friday night is Season Championship Night at Rapid Speedway. Hot Laps at 7 with racing to follow.
Article Credit: Joel Vis
Submitted By: Geoff Kruse