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Daily Dirt 06/19/2024 04:51:21

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May 4
Mississippi Thunder Speedway,
Fountain City, WI
Sanction: World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series (Dairyland Showdown) - $25,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated May 6, 4:49 pm)
Late-race pass propels Gustin to $25,000 win
Dairyland Showdown
  1. Ryan Gustin
  2. Nick Hoffman
  3. Bobby Pierce
  4. Brandon Sheppard
  5. Tyler Erb
  6. Dustin Sorensen
  7. Kyle Bronson
  8. Tyler Bruening
  9. Brian Shirley
  10. Jake Timm
  11. Max McLaughlin
  12. Brent Larson
  13. Shannon Babb
  14. Cade Dillard
  15. Tristan Chamberlain
  16. Dennis Erb Jr.
  17. Nick Panitzke
  18. Sammy Mars
  19. Daniel Hilsabeck
  20. Todd Cooney
  21. Cody Overton
  22. Dustin Walker
  23. Jordan Yaggy
  24. Chad Mahder
  25. Chris Madden
presented by
Emily Schwanke/woolms.com
Ryan Gustin emerges from his winning car in Fountain City, Wis.
What won the race: Regaining the point as mid-race leader Bobby Pierce was mired in lapped traffic, pole-starting Ryan Gustin led the final four laps to win Saturday's $25,000 fourth annual Dairyland Showdown at Mississippi Thunder Speedway. Gustin led a total of 29 laps (1-25, 47-50) to earn his first World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series victory of the season and the sixth of his career.
Key notes: It's Gustin's third overall victory of the campaign and his second in as many weeks after collecting a $15,000 Hunt the Front Series triumph last weekend at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. ... Saturday's finale lasted 28 minutes, with 16 drivers completing 50 laps and 20 running at the finish.
On the move: Jake Timm of Winona, Minn., started 21st and finished 10th.
Winner's sponsors: Gustin’s Todd Cooney-owned Infinity by Wells Chassis is powered by a Jay Dickens Racing Engine and carries sponsorship from Alan’s Seamless Gutters, Karl Auto Group, May Properties, Murty Farms, Mark Hambelton Ford, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, FK Rod Ends, Swift Springs, VP Race Fuels, Bilstein Shocks, Dynamic Drivelines and Performance Bodies.
Points chase: After Mississippi Thunder: 1. Brandon Sheppard (1,528); 2. Nick Hoffman (1,504); 3. Cade Dillard (1,464); 4. Chris Madden (1,462); 5. Tyler Bruening (1,432); 6. Kyle Bronson (1,414); 7. Bobby Pierce (1,410); 8. Ryan Gustin (1,392); 9. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,384); 10. Brian Shirley (1,372); 11. Dustin Sorensen (1,334); 12. Cody Overton (1,326); 13. Brent Larson (1,308).
Current weather: Clear, 52°F
Car count: 32
Fast qualifier: Ryan Gustin
Time: 13.417 seconds
Polesitter: Ryan Gustin
Heat race winners: Ryan Gustin, Tyler Erb, Bobby Pierce, Cade Dillard
Consolation race winners: Dennis Erb Jr., Sammy Mars
Provisional starters: Todd Cooney, Dustin Walker, Tristan Chamberlain
Next series race: May 16, Raceway 7 (Conneaut, OH) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series reports

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (May 4) — Saturday night’s Dairyland Showdown finale offered another step forward in the partnership of Ryan Gustin and Todd Cooney Racing.

Breaking through for the team’s biggest victory since joining forces during the off-season, Marshalltown, Iowa’s Gustin outdueled Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., in the closing circuits to capture the 50-lap World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series feature at Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

The $25,000 triumph marked the 33-year-old Gustin’s sixth career checkered flag in WoO competition but first with the operation fielded by Todd Cooney of Des Moines, Iowa, a veteran racer who is in his second year following the national tour. Gustin’s two previous wins this season came in January’s Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Short in Eastaboga, Ala., and April 27’s Hunt the Front Super Dirt Series event at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn.

Gustin enjoyed a perfect night at Mississippi Thunder, setting a new track record of 13.417 seconds in qualifying, winning the first heat and then wrestling the lead from Pierce on lap 47 to emerge victorious. He started from the pole and paced the first 25 laps before chasing Pierce for laps 26-46.

After losing the top spot to Gustin, Pierce, 27, slid up the track in turn one on the final lap while making a final bid to regain command and smacked the wall moments later, opening the door for Friday-night winner Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., to slip by and finish second, 0.733 of a second behind Gustin. Pierce settled for third with ninth-starter Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., finishing fourth and outside polesitter Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, completing the top five.

Gustin maintained control at the front of the pack during the first half of the race that was slowed by three of the race’s five caution flags, but Pierce snatched the lead from him with a powerful slider on lap 26. He proceeded to stalk Pierce until finally getting his chance to grab the lead back amid lapped traffic on lap 47.

“Well, this big ol’ Jay Dickens engine showed out to keep the tires pretty good,” Gustin said. “I was trying to pace myself there in the first half, then I let Bobby get a big ol’ run on me and slide on me and I knew I had to get up, follow him, and hopefully he had to slide somebody (in traffic). And that’s how it all worked out.

“You win and lose by lapped traffic. I’ve lost a fair share and I’m sure he has too, so that’s how it all goes.”

A winner in open-wheel modified action five times previously at the 3/8-mile oval, Gustin was thrilled to come out on top of a battle with Pierce, the defending WoO champion and No. 1-ranked driver in DirtonDirt.com’s Top 25 poll.

“It makes us feel good (to win) ya know, for sure,” Gustin said. “Anytime that you can throw sliders with Bobby Pierce up there in the front through lapped traffic, it makes you feel pretty damn good.”

Gustin’s triumph was his second since debuting a new Infinity by Wells Motorsports Chassis, a new brand that only Wells Motorsports driver Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., is also currently campaigning.

“Everybody at Wells Motorsports has been great to us,” Gustin said. “And I gotta shoutout Brandon Overton for helping us at Smoky Mountain Speedway. This thing has been on rails. My guys (Todd Cooney Racing) have been working extremely hard and I can’t thank everyone enough for that.”

Hoffman, 32, never had a chance to seriously challenge Gustin after taking advantage of Pierce’s slip on the final lap to grab second place, but the sophomore WoO driver felt his Tye Twarog-owned Longhorn Chassis was coming on in the late stages.

“I knew I wasn’t gonna pass Bobby and Ryan on the cushion,” Hoffman said. “I made a little bit of speed in the middle of the track when I needed to get back to fourth at that point (midway through the race). Once the top began to slow down and getting right against the wall, that bottom-to-middle came back into play. That’s how I won last night and that’s what we were set for tonight. The racetrack had a little more grip with the rain we had, and the (track crew) did a fantastic job to give us a track where we could race all around.”

“When (Gustin and Pierce) started sliding each other (late), it got me back to them. I was gonna settle for third, but Bobby hit the fence on the last lap. I tried biding my time, stayed in fifth for a while battling with the guys and it got the tires hot, but I had enough left towards the end and, if we got a caution with a few laps to go, we could’ve won again.”

Hoffman was very satisfied, however, with earning a win and runner-up finish in a WoO doubleheader for the second time in less than a month.

“To win once and run second the next like Farmer City (last month’s Illini 100 is badass,” said Hoffman, who left Mississippi Thunder sitting second in the WoO standings, 24 points behind Sheppard.

Pierce, meanwhile, mourned his fall from a potential victory to a third-place finish.

“It was definitely a heartbreaker for us,” Pierce said. “I thought I had it in the bag, but I caught the lapped traffic with awkward timing. The top was kind of getting slower, but yet, it was still there. The way those guys ahead of me raced mattered a lot and messed up the air there. Just did the dip when I should've made a dive and Gustin capitalized on it.

“I wish I held onto second, but of course I tried to get the lead and jumped the cushion. I’ll be kicking myself in the butt for a while for that. But it’s just one of them deals and who knows what could’ve been.”

Notes: Gustin’s five previous WoO victories came all across the map: two at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio (2022 and ’23), Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. (’22), Marion Center (Pa.) Speedway (’23) and River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. (’23). … Pierce’s quest to overcome the loss of 144 points from Feb. 16’s WoO event at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., due to a tire penalty continued as he ended Saturday’s action seventh in the standings, 118 points behind Sheppard. He’s cut his deficit by 20 points in four post-Speedweeks races. …WoO rookie Dustin Sorensen of Rochester, Minn., gained six spots for a season-best sixth-place result. … Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., rebounded to finish 13th after pitting with a flat right-rear under a lap-33 caution. ... Cade Dillard of Robeline, La., slowed from fourth with a flat right-rear tire and drew the race's second caution on lap nine. ...  Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., slowed from seventh to cause the race's first stoppage on the fourth lap. He didn’t return, leaving him with a 25th-place finish that dropped him to fourth in the points standings. … Twelfth-running Cody Overton brought out the fifth and final yellow when he hit the turn-four wall on lap 36. ... Saturday's finale lasted 28 minutes, with 16 drivers completing 50 laps and 20 running at the finish.

Feature lineup

(50 laps)

Row 1: Ryan Gustin, Tyler Erb
Row 2: Bobby Pierce, Cade Dillard
Row 3: Nick Hoffman, Tyler Bruening
Row 4: Chris Madden, Kyle Bronson
Row 5: Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley
Row 6: Cody Overton, Dustin Sorensen
Row 7: Shannon Babb, Chad Mahder
Row 8: Max McLaughlin, Nick Panitzke
Row 9: Dennis Erb Jr., Sam Mars
Row 10: Daniel Hilsabeck, Jordan Yaggy
Row 11: Jake Timm, Brent Larson
Row 12: Todd Cooney, Dustin Walker
Row 13: Tristan Chamberlain

Consolation results

(10 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Dennis Erb Jr., Daniel Hilsabeck, Jake Timm, Clay Stuckey, Lance Matthees, James Giossi, Jason Strand, Todd Cooney.

Second consolation: Sam Mars, Jordan Yaggy, Brent Larson, Tristan Chamberlain, Lance Hofer, Tad Pospisil, Dustin Walker. Scratched: Parker Foster

Heat race recap

Pole-starting Ryan Gustin commanded control of all eight laps and won the first heat race by 0.658 of a second over Friday’s winner Nick Hoffman. Brandon Sheppard and Shannon Babb each improved one position, finishing third and fourth. They will join Gustin and Hoffman in Saturday’s 50-lap, $25,000-to-win Dairyland Showdown finale. … Second-starting Tyler Erb used a high-to-low move to lead the entire distance and win heat two by 0.854 of a second over Chris Madden. Cody Overton and Max McLaughlin held serve, finishing third and fourth. … Bobby Pierce led green-to-checkered to win heat three by 0.686 of a second over Kyle Bronson. Fifth-starting Brian Shirley finished third, with Chad Mahder grabbing the final transfer spot. … Second-starting Cade Dillard dominated the fourth and final heat race, winning by 1.012 seconds over pole-starting Tyler Bruening. Dustin Sorensen passed Nick Panitzke to finish third, while Panitzke settled for fourth. … Each heat race was completed without incident and combined to last a total of eight minutes and 35 seconds.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top four transfer)

First heat: Ryan Gustin, Nick Hoffman, Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb, Dennis Erb Jr., Daniel Hilsabeck, Jake Timm, Jason Strand.

Second heat: Tyler Erb, Chris Madden, Cody Overton, Max McLaughlin, Todd Cooney, Lance Matthees, James Giossi, Clay Stuckey.

Third heat: Bobby Pierce, Kyle Bronson, Brian Shirley, Chad Mahder, Jordan Yaggy, Brent Larson, Lance Hofer, Tad Pospisil.

Fourth heat: Cade Dillard, Tyler Bruening, Dustin Sorensen, Nick Panitzke, Sam Mars, Tristan Chamberlain, Parker Foster, Dustin Walker.

Time trials

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
1. Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 13.417
2. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 13.476
3. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 13.482
4. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 13.518
5. Nick Hoffman (9), Mooresville, N.C., 13.539
6. Cody Overton (97c), Evans, Ga., 13.630
7. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 13.670
8. Max McLaughlin (22*), Mooresville, N.C., 13.691
9. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.719
10. Todd Cooney (30), Des Moines, Iowa, 13.751
11. Jake Timm (49), Winona, Minn., 13.888
12. James Giossi (11), Hudson, Wis., 13.946
13. Daniel Hilsabeck (22), Earlham, Iowa, 13.995
14. Clay Stuckey (15), Shreveport, La., 14.230
15. Jason Strand (E85), Portland, N.D., 14.309
16. Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn., 14.464
Group B
1. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.499
2. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 13.672
3. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 13.761
4. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 13.799
5. Lance Hofer (11H), Cochrane, Wis., 13.862
6. Nick Panitzke (22p), Lonsdale, Minn., 14.000
7. Chad Mahder (88), Bloomer, Wis., 14.002
8. Dustin Sorensen (19), Rochester, Minn., 14.026
9. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 14.027
10. Sam Mars (28m), Menomonie, Wis., 14.087
11. Jordan Yaggy (77), Rochester, Minn., 14.097
12. Tristan Chamberlain (20tc), Richmond, Ind., 14.106
13. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 14.276
14. Dustin Walker (14w), Polk, Mo., 14.409
15. Tad Pospisil (04), Norfolk, Neb., 14.519
16. Parker Foster (35), Winona, Minn., 15.127

Saturday’s schedule

(All times local)
11 a.m. - Wine tour bus begins loading
11:30 a.m. - Wine tour bus departs
3 p.m. - Pits open
4:30 p.m. - Drivers’ autograph session
5 p.m. - Grandstands open
6 p.m. - Drivers' meeting
6:30 p.m. - On-track activity begins
- Late Model hot laps
- Modified hot laps
- Late Model time trials (2 laps)
Opening ceremonies
- Late Model heats (8 laps)
- Modified heats (8 laps)
Late Model redraw
- Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- Modified consolations (12 laps)
Feature events
- Late Models (50 laps)
- Modifieds (40 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Gustin, T. Erb
Row 2: Pierce, Dillard
Row 3: Hoffman, Bruening
Row 4: Madden, Bronson
Row 5: Sheppard, Shirley
Row 6: C. Overton, Sorensen
Row 7: Babb, Mahder
Row 8: McLaughlin, Panitzke
Row 9: D. Erb Jr., S. Mars
Row 10: Hilsabeck, Yaggy
Row 11: Timm, Larson
Row 12: Cooney, Walker
Row 13: Chamberlain

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