Ryan Gustin took the lead on lap seven and never looked back to claim the MARS DIRTcar Series late model feature event Friday night in the series' inaugural visit to Longdale Speedway in Longdale, Okla.
Local favorite Kip Hughes and Justin Asplin started on the front row for the 25-lap feature with Asplin taking the lead as the green flag fell. Gustin quickly moved into the runner up position from his third starting spot and followed the leader for the first six laps before diving down low entering turns one and two to take the lead going down the backstretch.
It was at this time slower traffic appeared and “The Reaper” had no problems working through the back of the field, keeping a half stretch lead between himself and Asplin before the nights first caution fell on lap 11 when David Hennan came to rest up against the wall in turns three and four.
Once race action resumed Gustin jumped out front and once again opened a sizable advantage and kept a torrid pace out front while behind him, Asplin had his hands full with third starting Tony Jackson Jr.
With just three laps to go the final caution of the night fell when Hughes slowed coming down the front stretch, bunching up the field on the final restart. Yet there was no stopping Gustin on this night as his Mullins-powered Rocket Chassis pulled away from the field and he would go on to claim his eighth career series victory.
Asplin held on for second, followed by Jackson, Payton Looney and 15th-starting Randy Timms.
The three eight-lap heat races for the 19-car field were won by Gustin, Jackson and Asplin.
On Saturday night, Terry Phillips and Jesse Stovall started on the front row for the thirty lap feature with Phillips jumping out into the lead as the green flag fell. Stovall, Sanders and Gustin were the top four after the first lap was completed with Phillips opening a six car length advantage by lap three.
Phillips would go on to win. Sanders held on for second while Gustin settled for third. Tony Jackson, Jr. came home fourth with Payton Looney rounded out the top five.
The next event for the MARS DIRTcar series will be one week from tonight, May 21, at Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Missouri.
MARS DIRTcar Series
Longdale Speedway/Longdale, Oklahoma
Friday, May 13, 2016
1st Heat: 1) Ryan Gustin, 2) Rodney Sanders, 3) Mark Harrison, 4) Brandon McCormick, 5) Payton Looney, 6) Randy Timms, 7) Leroy Johnson.
2nd Heat: 1) Tony Jackson, Jr., 2) Kip Hughes, 3) Jeff Roth, 4) Joe Gorby, 5) Randy Roth, 6) Jason Redman.
3rd Heat: 1) Justin Asplin, 2) Sloppy Hog, 3) Jacob McGee, 4) David Hennan, 5) Damian Patocka, 6) Brandon Mitchell.
A Feature: 1) Ryan Gustin, 2) Justin Asplin, 3) Tony Jackson, Jr, 4) Payton Looney, 5) Randy Timms, 6) Brandon McCormick, 7) Sloppy Hog, 8) Joe Gorby, 9) Jeff Roth, 10) Mark Harrison, 11) Jason Redman, 12) Randy Roth, 13) Leroy Johnson, 14) Damian Patocka, 15) Brandon Mitchell, 16) Kip Hughes, 17) Jacob McGee, 18) David Hennan, DNS: Rodney Sanders.
Lap leaders: Asplin 1-6; Gustin 7-25.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
1st Heat: 1) Payton Looney, 2) Jason Redman, 3) Sloppy Hog, 4) Randy Roth, 5) David Hennan, 6) Brandon Mitchell, DNS) Joe Gorby.
2nd Heat: 1) Jesse Stovall, 2) Terry Phillips, 3) Tony Jackson, Jr., 4) Mark Harrison, 5) Leroy Johnson, 6) Justin Asplin, 7) Larry Campbell.
3rd Heat: 1) Rodney Sanders, 2) Ryan Gustin, 3) Randy Timms, 4) Brandon McCormick, 5) Jacob McGee, 6) Jeff Roth, 7) Damian Patocka.
A Feature: 1) Terry Phillips, 2) Rodney Sanders, 3) Ryan Gustin, 4) Tony Jackson, Jr., 5) Payton Looney, 6) Randy Timms, 7) Justin Asplin, 8) Jacob McGee, 9) Jesse Stovall, 10) Mark Harrison, 11) JSloppy Hog, 12) Jason Redman, 13) Jeff Roth, 14) Randy Roth, 15) David Hennan, 16) Damian Patocka, 17) Leroy Johnson, 18) Brandon Mitchell, 19) Brandon McCormack, 20) Larry Campbell.
Lap leader: Phillips 1-30.