WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — Three former USRA national champions emerged as feature winners Thursday night as the Hamilton County Speedway hosted opening night of the seventh annual Summit USRA Nationals powered by MyRacePass on a cool night with a fast and smooth race track.
Dustin Gulbrandson is well on his way to an unprecedented sixth USRA National Championship in the Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stock division, and the 30-year-old warmed up his seat on the throne with a victory in Thursday’s 16-lap feature race.
His fellow Sioux Falls, S.D., racer Tyler Schlumbohm led the first seven laps before Gulbrandson edged ahead to complete the first half of the race. From there, it was all Gulbrandson as he pocketed $300 and his 24th win of the year and an additional $470 in bonus money—$10 for each of his 47 starts prior to Sep. 30.
Schlumbohm held on for the runner-up honors while 2009 Hobby Stock national champ Chris Hovden of Cresco grabbed the third spot with Bryce Sommerfeld of Fort Dodge and Hamilton County Speedway track champion Scott Dobel of Manly rounding out the top five.
Bonus money equal to $10 per USRA start in 2020 was also awarded to Travis Christensen of Sioux Falls ($160) via random draw by the feature winner and ($) via random draw at the drivers meeting.
A stout field of USRA B-Mods saw the cream rise to the top and a wild finish that found defending national champion Kris Jackson of Lebanon, Mo., standing in Integrity Trucking Victory Lane at the conclusion of the 20-lapper.
The feature was actually 21 laps as the caution flag waved on the final lap while Dan Hovden had the win in sight. With a green-white-checkered finish, Jackson appeared to get quicker and Hovden slower as Jackson passed the race-long leader in the final turn to take the $400 top prize plus an additional $440 in bonus money—$10 for each of his 44 starts prior to September 30.
While Hovden settled for second, the 35-year-old Jackson registered his 17th feature win of 2020 in his quest for another national title. Meanwhile, Jake Richards of Lansing, Kan., claimed the third spot ahead of two-time track champion Ty Griffith of Webster City and current USRA B-Mod national points leader Jim Chisholm of Osage, who started 14th on the grid.
Bonus money equal to $10 per USRA start in 2020 was also awarded to Brandon Hare of Elma ($440) via random draw by the feature winner and ($) via random draw at the drivers meeting.
The American Racer USRA Stock Car main event saw Myles Michehl, 32, lead all 20 laps en route to a $400 reward plus an additional $120 in bonus money—$10 for each of his 12 starts prior to September 30. The Fort Dodge speedster did it the hard way, fending off seven-time USRA National Champion Mitch Hovden of Decorah from start to finish.
It was Michehl’s fourth win under the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series banner this season.
Hovden was a close second with fellow Decorah drivers Kyle Falck and Kevin Donlan trailing in third and fourth, respectively. Defending track champ Reid Keller was fifth at his hometown half-mile oval.
I-35 Speedway points leader Tyler Hibner of Chillicothe, Mo., made his first trip to the facility and earned the pole for the 20-lap USRA Modified main event.
But it was 2016 USRA National Champion Lucas Schott of Chatfield, Minn., getting the advantage at the start. ‘Cool Hand Luke’ led every lap and survived a caution with two laps to go to snag $500 for his efforts plus an additional $270 in bonus money—$10 for each of his 27 starts prior to September 30.
Behind the 24-ydear-old, USMTS superstar Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, was third and another pair of former USRA Modified national champs—Jake Gallardo (2015) and Fito Gallardo (2014)—seized the third- and fourth-place paychecks, respectively. The son, Jake, was seventh on the opening lap and climbed as high as second midway through the race.
Jacob Bleess finished fifth.