Gustin reaps bulk of hardware at USMTS awards banquet
ALTOONA, Iowa (Feb. 11) – United States Modified Touring Series
competitors, car owners and crew members were honored for their efforts
during the 2012 racing season Friday as the USMTS hosted the annual
awards banquet at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona,
For the first time in its 14-year history, the series crowned two
champions from two separate and distinct tours. However, just one name
needed to be etched into the champion’s trophies as Ryan Gustin nailed
down his second USMTS National Championship in a row and also captured
the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series crown.
“With the caliber of drivers we race against every night, it just makes
this that much sweeter knowing we did it against the best there is,”
Gustin said as he accepted his awards Friday night. “I can’t say enough
about my team and all of our sponsors. None of this would be possible
‘The Reaper’ and the Gressel Racing team bested nearly every statistical
category in 2012. The 22-year-old from
Iowa, won 10 USMTS National
Championship Series features and topped four USMTS Casey’s Cup Series
races in 2012.
For the second straight year, Gustin led more main event laps than
anybody. He passed beneath the flagstand as the leader 538 times during
the year. Gustin also claimed the AFCO Pole Award by earning the most
passing points during heat race competition and laid claim the
season-ending Mesilla Valley Hard Charger Award.
Earning $30,000 for winning the USMTS National Championship and $15,000
for capturing the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series crown, plus a victory on July
28 at the World Modified Dirt Track Championships where he pocketed a
cool $25,00 for his efforts, Gustin’s purses and points fund rake for
the 2012 campaign totaled just under $170,000 plus thousands more in
product and contingency awards from numerous and generous sponsors.
Gustin’s 61 career wins ranks him third behind nine-time USMTS national
champ Kelly Shryock (178) and 2010 USMTS national champ Jason Hughes
(111) on the all-time wins list.
Hughes wound up second in the USMTS National Championship Series
standings, with Rodney Sanders finishing third, Chris Brown fourth and
Shryock in fifth. Stormy Scott bested twin brother Johnny Scott by eight
points for the sixth-place check, Dereck Ramirez earned the eighth spot,
Zack VanderBeek was ninth and Terry Phillips rounded out the top 10.
In the USMTS Casey's Cup powered by Swan Energy, Sanders was the
runner-up behind Gustin followed by Stormy Scott, Hughes and Jeremy
Payne. Completing the top-10 in the standings were Johnny Scott, Shryock,
Jason Cummins, Ramirez and VanderBeek.
Points funds were also up for grabs for the next five spots with Bryan
Rowland, Jon Tesch, Al Hejna, Corey Dripps and Daniel Hilsabeck securing
11th through 15th in the final rankings.
Stormy Scott took the lead in the USMTS Rookie of the Year points on the
first night of the 2012 season and never gave it up. Previous Rookie of
the Year Award recipients include Jason Grimes (2011), Johnny Scott
(2010), Grant Junghans (2009), Brandon Kenny (2008), Scott Green (2007),
Jay Poidinger (2006), Brad McEwan (2005), Zack VanderBeek (2004), Corey
Dripps (2003), Justin Boney (2002), Jason Hughes (2001) and Kevin Peters
After nearly a decade of domination by Shryock’s Skyrocket Chassis,
Hughes Racing Chassis secured its third straight Tiger Rear Ends
Manufacturers Championship. Adding to his haul for the night, Gustin
garnered a new complete rear end from Tiger Rear Ends after his name was
drawn at random from all drivers earning points and competing in a
Hughes chassis in 2012. GRT Race Cars, Skyrocket Chassis, BC Chassis and
Side Biter Chassis completed the top-5 in the year-end standings.
Another back-to-back-to-back title went to Mullins Race Engines as the Mt. Olive, Ill., -based engine
builder captured its third straight USMTS COMP Cams Engine Builder of
the Year Award. Geddes Racing Engines made a lot of noise in 2012 and
finished second in the standings, followed by Pro Power Racing, Sput’s
Racing Engines and Roush Yates Engines.
While the drivers basked in the spotlight throughout the night, the crew
members were not forgotten. CPD Racing Tools presented the Crew Chief of
the Year Award to Joey “Joe Bob” Ciechanowski. This was the second
straight time that the crew chief of Gustin’s Gressel Racing team took
home the top honors.
The 15th season for the USMTS begins at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas,
for the 4th Annual USMTS Texas Spring Nationals powered by Lecolift. A
practice session is slated for Wednesday night, followed by three days
of racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-23.
All three nights will kick off the 2013 season and award points in the
Allgayer Inc. Southern Region presented by Day Motor Sports.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit
www.usmts.com online or call
515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at
follow us on Twitter at
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s General
Stores, Cheetos, Day Motor Sports, Dominator Race Products, Intercomp,
KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, New Vision Graphics, Nitroquest, RACEceiver,
RacinDirt.com, Snickers, Swan Energy.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Allgayer Inc., Arbor Masters, ASi Racewear,
BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Erson Cams, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Integra Racing
Shocks & Springs, Intensitee Custom Racewear, Lecolift, Mesilla Valley
Transportation, O’Brien Enterprises, Olympic Fire Protection, Ramirez
Motorsports, Road Runner Trucking, Ruter Farms, Sybesma Graphics.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AERO Race Wheels, AFCO Racing Products,
Beyea Custom Headers, Champ Pans, COMP Cams, CPD Racing Tools, Crane
Cams, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, Forty9 Designs, Genesis
Shocks, Hooker Harness, JRi Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, KSE Racing
Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, PBM Performance Products, Quarter Master,
Real Racing Wheels, Tiger Rear Ends.