Jensen Rolls To Rice Lake Glory
RICE LAKE, Wis. — The United States Modified Touring Series rolled into the Rice Lake Speedway Thursday night for round six of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup, and Joey Jensen rolled out with his third victory of the season and a $3,000 paycheck.
Johnny Scott took the lead at the drop of the green flag to kick off the 40-lap Swan Energy “A” Main with polesitter Daniel Hilsabeck following close behind. Five laps later, the rookie driver from Waukee, Iowa, wrestled the top spot away from Scott to lead his first lap in a USMTS feature race.
Scott regained the lead with nine laps complete. Meanwhile, Jensen was hounding the leaders with Ryan Ruter, Kelly Shryock, Adam Hensel and Rodney Sanders all within striking distance.
Jensen made his move after the 10th lap and took control as they wrapped up the 11th orbit around the three-eighths-mile clay oval. Scott fought back, but his bid for the lead ended two laps later when mechanical woes sidelined the Las Cruces, N.M., racer.
Although the field remained close behind, Jensen continued to set the pace through lap 35 when caution waved to set up a five-lap dash to the finish with Sanders and 15th-starting Ryan Gustin on his rear bumper.
With Jensen running the middle groove, Sanders used the low line to duck underneath Jensen on several occasions while Gustin looked for a faster line around the high side of the racing surface. With the white flag waving, Sanders edged in front of Jensen as they streaked down the back-stretch but Jensen pulled blasted back ahead in the final turn and beat ‘The Rocket’ to the finish line by half of a car length.
Gustin settled for third while another rookie USMTS pilot, Adam Hensel, claimed the fourth spot ahead of Hilsabeck at the checkered flag.
With his fifth podium finish in five starts, Gustin remains the point leader in the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series with a 45-point cushion (596 to 551) over Sanders.
Joey Jensen, Rodney Sanders, Ryan Gustin, Adam Hensel, Daniel Hilsabeck, Jason Cummins, Jason Miller, Kelly Shryock, Zack VanderBeek, Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Stormy Scott, Mark Noble, Bryan Rowland, Jason Hughes, Austin Siebert, Kenny Wallace, Al Hejna, Eric Pember, Richie Gustin, Brandon Beckendorf, Corey Dripps, Mike Steensma, Jeremy Payne, Jon Tesch, Ryan Ruter, Steve Lavasseur, Johnny Scott, Doug Hillson.