CRESCO, Iowa – Production crews were on hand at the Cresco Speedway Wednesday night for taping of all of the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour action for the Dirt Knights television show to be broadcast this January 2011 on the VERSUS cable sports network.
Although the docu-drama is an unscripted look into the lives of USMTS drivers, crewmembers, fans and their families, you couldn’t have written a more exciting and controversial script for Wednesday night’s blockbuster event.
One of the featured Dirt Knights, Corey Dripps drew the pole position for the 35-lap WIX Filters “A” Main at the 6th Annual Kabrick Distributing Cresco Bowl. Dripps set a torrid pace throughout the main event, but nine-time USMTS National Champion gave “Mr. Excitement” all he could handle.
In the late stages of the race, Shryock pulled alongside Dripps on several occasions but passed the flagstand as the leader just once on lap 32. Dripps, however, was the first to the stripe on lap 35 as the Waterloo, Iowa, pilot pocketed the $2,000 top prize with his second win of the season.
The win was the first USMTS triumph for Dripps at the Mighty Howard County Fairgrounds where Shryock has been dominant over the years with 8 wins in 14 events.
Shryock had to settle for the runner-up paycheck while AFCO Pole Award winner Tommy Myer finished third ahead of Dirt Knights Al Hejna and Ryan Gustin.
Gustin came into the show as the points leader in the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Central States Region presented by Arnold Motor Supply with a slim 14-point lead over Shryock. With a fifth-place finish, Gustin’s margin would be five points in the final tally, but the 19-year-old was disqualified for failing to go to the scales after the race.
Zack VanderBeek was credited with a fifth-place finish Wednesday night while sixth through tenth went to Kevin Pittman, Colt Mather, Mark Elliott, Josh Angst and Ryan Dolan.
The minor miscue carried major ramifications as his penalty pushed Shryock into the top spot of the final regional points standings and dropped Gustin to second.
In the final points for the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Central States Region presented by Arnold Motor Supply, Dripps finished third behind Shryock and Gustin. Hejna wound up fourth, Colt Mather finished fifth, Myer sixth, VanderBeek seventh, Jason Krohn was eighth, Elliott ended up ninth and DandyLand Farms Rookie of the Year contender Nick Deal rounded out the top-10.
Since the inception of the regional points format in 2006, Shryock has now captured 14 of the 18 regional points titles. Tim Donlinger won the Yeager Machine Upper Midwest Region title in 2008 en route to the USMTS National Championship. Jon Tesch and Jason Hughes each captured a regional title in 2009 and Hughes also earned the Falcon Wind Power Mo-Kan Region points championship this year.
While his chance for notching three regional crowns faded away Wednesday night, Gustin sits atop the standings in the Yeager Machine Upper Midwest Region with two points races remaining and Dart Great Plains Region presented by Allstar Performance with that region’s finale this Friday night.