Gustin Wins USMTS Opener at Cotton Bowl Speedway
The opening night at Cotton Bowl Speedway last Thursday proved to be an exciting one as Iowa native, Ryan Gustin clenched his second straight USMTS win. Gustin and his brand new Hughes Racing Chassis made quick work of the polesitter, Travis Saurer on the first lap and continued to lead the race until the checkered flag. Four of the top ten finishers battled hard as those drivers passed ten cars each before the finish. Travis Saurer started in the pole position on opening night and maintained a solid race as he finished in 6th place in the RHRSwag.com MB Custom 1s car, just behind Ricky Thorton Jr. The second night of racing was just as good as Gustin’s teammate Jason Hughes won the race from the 16th position. The leaders of the first 20 laps battled back and forth as Travis Saurer and Stormy Scott traded 2nd place just behind the leader and twin brother, Johnny Scott. Jason Hughes had already strategically picked his way through the masses and took his 3rd place position to 1st on lap 21 just after the caution was pulled in; he led the remainder of the 40 lap race. On Saturday, Chris Brown of Spring, Texas pulled in the win from the 6th position followed by Jason Hughes and Ricky Thorton Jr. Saurer finished 19th in the 50 lap race from the 12th position.
The Scott Bintz Racing cars are a force to be reckoned with as Travis Saurer drove both cars directly into the top 12 all three nights and never had to prove himself in a B main race. Despite changing cars on the second night of racing, Saurer went on to win his heat race and stayed toward the front of the pack for most of feature event, but then fell back to 8th during a few restarts late in the race. Overall, Saurer finished the USMTS opening weekend with two top ten finishes and remains in second place of the Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year competition with 212 points, just behind R.C. Whitwell’s 224. In all competitions, Saurer has shown his capability with the 1s cars and will definitely be a driver to watch for through the Summit Racing Southern Tour.