Krohn all the way in USMTS Winternationals finale
McALLEN, Texas -- The USMTS finished its weekend of racing with the $3000 to win grand finale of the first southern series races on the USMTS schedule. 51 of the fastest modifieds from 8 states throughout the middle of the country checked in to qualify for the 40 lap A-main on the 1/4 mile semi banked clay surface. 24 spots were up for grabs with the top twelve spots going to drivers with the most passing points in the heats, two B-mains taking the top five from each and two final provisional spots for the top two non-qualified drivers in points.
In heat 1, Steve Kosiski got the early lead, while Clay Huston got loose and stacked up the pack. Eddie Martin went airborne over someone’s tires during the back up and was forced to pit. Jason Krohn caught Kosiski just before the midpoint, with the duo running side by side on lap 4. Krohn secured the top spot and held off Kosiski, who gave it his best shot in the final laps. Skeet Amason moved up to third after starting dead last, Steve Holzkamper and Chris Bragg rounded out the top five.
Jerry Thompson lead flag to flag in heat 2 after an early scare when he got out of shape and was clipped by Klint Pursley. Mark McKim made a strong charge up to second from his last row starting spot but was unable get by Thompson on the final lap. Ryan Ruter was 3rd, Pursley 4th and Randy Bailey 5th.
Heat 3 saw TJ Huston get the early lead with Scott Drake in hot pursuit. Huston and Drake ran door to door on lap 2 and just as looked like Drake would take command, he slid high in turn four allowing Huston to regrab the point. Huston and Drake put on a great battle for the lead, while Phil Dixon closed on them in the final two laps. The top three held steady at the finish followed by Russell Moore and Adan Arambula.
At the start of heat 4, Tom Carey and Sam Galvan ran wheel to wheel on lap 1 with the pack battling three and four wide. Carey led until lap 4 when Ron Jones got around for the lead. Jones and George White then fought it out with White gaining the advantage on lap 6. White then zoomed off into the night leaving Jones and Randy Zimmerman to slug it out for second. White took the easy win ahead of Zimmerman, Jones, Bobby Sliva and Aaron Hudgeons. Polesitter Jimmy Roach got the lead early in heat 5 until Lawrence Mikulencak moved in to challenge. As the lead duo battled side by side, there was a three wide scum for third and four wide for last. Mikulencak grabbed the point on lap 3 and began to pull away leaving Roach and Eddie Tidwell to settle the score for second place. Mikulencak got the win with Tidwell second, Roach third, with Jason Hughes and Johnny Bone Jr. working their way up to fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the first of two 15 lap B-mains Tidwell and Holzkamper paced the 19 car field to green. Tidwell got the lead on lap 1 while Martin was getting squeezed into the wall by Austin Carter. Martin then rolled to a stop to bring out the yellow. On the restart Bone Jr. got along side Tidwell for the lead, with third running Bragg pulling off.. Bone Jr. nosed ahead on lap 2, but fell back on lap 3 giving the top spot back to Tidwell.
At halfway Tidwell was starting to ease away, while a good scrap was going on three wide for the final transfer spot. The top five at that point were Tidwell, Bone Jr., Holzkamper and Moore. In the last half Tidwell ran off to a full straightaway lead to score the victory. Tidwell, Bone Jr., Holzkamper, Moore, Ruter, Hudgeons, James Schach, Carter, Doug Hibbard, Virgil Page, Darryl Hugaboom, James Blaylock, Elias Anderson, Robert Boyd, Bragg, Carey, Martin and Charles Nelson (DNS).
In B-main 2, the 16 car field was lead to green by Hughes and Sliva. On the initial start Arambula got into Sliva sending him spinning in front of the pack. Miraculously everyone was able to scatter and miss the stalled car of Sliva. Sliva was awarded his spot back, while Arambula slowed and pitted with a flat tire. Sliva got the lead on green and began inching ahead of the second place battle between Hughes and Roach.
At the crossed flags it was still Sliva leading the way ahead of Hughes, Roach, Bailey and Brandon Reid. Hughes closed ground on Sliva and dove inside on lap 9 snare the point. Once in the lead Hughes then blasted away from the field to take the win, followed by Sliva, Roach, Bailey and Reid.
After the redraw for the top 8, Jerry Thompson and Jason Krohn paced the 24 car field to green, while Fri. night’s winner Eddie Martin was forced to take a provisional. Krohn got the jump on green and headed for the high groove to lead lap 1, while Lawrence Mikulencak and Randy Zimmerman battled for second. Johnny Bone Jr.'s troubles began early when he slid high in turn one losing several spots.
Jason Krohn rode the high side to victory in Saturday's $3,000-to-win USMTS Southern Series opener. (Marc Roy Photo)
Just before halfway Bobby Sliva spun into the wall, collecting Bone Jr. again.
At halfway it was Krohn, Amason, Mikulencak, Scott Drake and Phil Dixon running in the top five, with Krohn and Amason moving away. Just after halfway, Jason Hughes rolled to a stop for another caution. On the restart, Krohn, Amason and Mikulencak went three wide into turn one, but all came out of turn two in their original position.
After losing some ground and bouncing off the front stretch wall a couple times, Mikulencak closed on the lead duo with a few laps to go. The top three were a full straight ahead of the fourth place battle between Dixon and Drake with two to go. As the leaders took the white flag, they caught lap traffic.
Krohn held the high line while Amason was trying the middle and Mikulencak down low. Mikulencak spun in turn two leaving Krohn and Amason to fight it out for the win.
As the checkers flew it Krohn piloting the Kruger Seeds/Bose Farms/Lime Creek Ag Service/Johns Automotive/Schwanke Engine/Kraft Kar Chassis to the victory.
USMTS Winternationals A-Main:
1. 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
2. F5 Skeet Amason, New Boston, Texas
3. A1 Phil Dixon, Houston, Texas
4. 1D Scott Drake, Webb City, Mo.
5. 1K Steve Kosiski, Pappillion, Neb.
6. 51 Eddie Martin, Stillwell, okla.
7. 82 George White, Fort Worth, Texas
8. 12x Johnny Bone, Pea Ridge, Ark.
9. 7 Ron Jones, Zimmerman, Minn.
10. 0 Craig Scott, Rosemount, Minn.
11. 98 T.J. Huston, McAllen, Texas
12. 7x Jimmy Roach, Kahoka, Mo.
13. 71 Steve Holzkamper, Gentry, Ark.
14. 9 Klint Pursley, Locust Grove, Okla.
15. 66 Jerry Thompson, Ft. Smith, Ark.
16. Z28 Randy Zimmerman, Ft. Scott, Kan.
17. 50x Mark McKim, Friendswood, Texas
18. 11 Randy Bailey, Deer Park, Texas
19. 87 Lawrence Mikulencak, Corpus Christi, Texas
20. 36 Brandon Ried, Willow Park, Texas
21. 12 Jason Hughes, Colcord, Okla.
22. 17 Bobby Sliva, Taylor, Texas
23. 148 Russell Moore, Conroe, Texas
24. V8 Eddie Tidwell, Ada, Okla.