Payne Hits Fall Jamboree Paydirt
SPRING VALLEY, Minn. – Jeremy Payne blasted by former teammate Terry Phillips on lap three, and then held off Ryan Gustin in the final stages to win the main event Thursday during the opening round of the 14th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway.
Polesitter Josh Angst beat fellow front row starter Rodney Sanders to the flagstand to lead the first lap, but Phillips scooted underneath the next time around to lead the second lap. The defending Featherlite Fall Jamboree champion’s time at the top was short, however, as Payne flew by on the high side with three laps in the books.
Phillips took note and followed Payne’s line the next time around but was unable to track down his former teammate. USMTS national champion Ryan Gustin moved in to challenge Phillips for second on lap 5, but Payne was long gone up front.
The 27-year-old from Springfield, Mo., caught the back of the field on lap 10. Three laps later, Phillips and Gustin were right on his tail but a quick move around three back-markers padded Payne’s cushion again but that evaporated on lap 16 when the yellow flag waved when Kelly Shryock’s machine came to a stop at the top of turn four.
Gustin got by Phillips on the restart, but Payne once again pounded his No. 186 SLAP Energy GRT Chassis into the cushion and pulled out to a four-car-length advantage.
With five laps remaining in the 35-lapper, Payne again encountered lapped traffic which helped Gustin narrow the gap between himself and the leader. Gustin took a look to the inside of Payne a couple of times, but Payne was flawless on the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval and held off ‘The Reaper’ to take his career-first win at ‘The Creek.’
“This is awesome,” Payne said in victory lane. “I’ve always wanted to win one here and the track was perfect tonight.
“This car worked the best up top, so I went up there and tried to run away from everyone.”
The win was worth $3,000 and was the eighth of his USMTS career. It was also his second straight during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup after winning the most recent outing at the Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minn., on Sept. 9.
Payne is now eligible for a $5,000 bonus from Randy & Patty Eastvold of Hanson Tire Service if he can win either one of the main events on Friday and Saturday.
Although Gustin settled for the runner-up paycheck, his finish was good enough to leapfrog Stormy Scott for the points lead in the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series while Rodney Sanders finished fourth behind Phillips to close the gap on Scott, but lost ground to Gustin. The top 3 are separated by just 29 points going into the final two nights of racing.
Jon Tesch started fifth and finished fifth, while Jason Cummins came from tenth on the 30-car grid to secure the sixth spot. Track champion Brandon Davis, Scott, Clayton Wagamon and Dereck Ramirez rounded out the top 10 at the finish line.
A total of 116 drivers signed in for action Thursday night.