Springfield gives Gustin first Late Model victory
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (May 11) — Modified ace Ryan Gustin has now staked his claim in the Dirt Late Model division. The 22-year-old driver from Marshalltown, Iowa, grabbed his first full-fendered victory Saturday at Springfield Raceway, earning $3,000 in the MARS DIRTcar Series-sanctioned John Kuntz Memorial. | Video | Slideshow
“It’s awesome. To be able to win our first Late Model race is a great feeling," Gustin said. "I can’t think Gressel Racing, Ed (Gressel), Cinde (Gressel) and Zack my crew chief enough ... they’re awesome."
Gustin, who started outside the front row, led all the way in finishing ahead of six-time MARS champion and hometown driver Terry Phillips while reigning series champ Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., was third. Brantlee Gotschall of Nevada, Mo., and consolation race winner Jason Bodenhamer of Centerview, Mo. rounded out the top five. Pole-starting Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., was 14th.
The feature included a multicar tangle that saw Brad Looney's No. 14 get upside down. No injuries were reported.
Notes: Gustin’s Gressel Racing No. 19r Rocket Chassis is sponsored by McCarthney Welding, Integra Racing Shocks and Eibach Springs. ... Gustin is the second first-time series winner this season; Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., won the March 8 opener at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway. ... The John Kuntz Memorial honors the late founder of Andy’s Frozen Custard, a long-time sponsor supporter of dirt racing and sponsor of Phillips. ... Drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Mike Berger, Jacob Magee, Steve Johnson and Chris Morelock. ... Next up for MARS is a May 26 event at Monett (Mo.) Speedway.
John Kuntz Memorial: (1) Ryan Gustin, (2) Terry Phillips, (3) Jesse Stovall, (4) Brantlee Gotschall, (5) Jason Bodenhamer, (6) Eric Turner, (7) Justin Wells, (8) Mark Dotson, (9) Shawn Knuckles, (10) Brandon McCormick, (11) Patrick Johnson, (12) Justin Asplin, (13) Cole Wells, (14) Tony Jackson Jr., (15) Dustin Walker, (16) Leroy Johnson, (17) Darrell Mooneyham, (18) Chuck Comer, (19) Chance Bishop, (20) Brad Looney, (21) Matt Brookshire, (22) Brandon Morton. Heat race winners (among 26 cars): Phillips, Stovall, Gustin, Jackson. Consolation winner: Bodenhamer.