SPRING VALLEY, Minn.- The win was the 129th of Hughes’ USMTS career and 12th at the Deer Creek Speedway. , Jason Hughes relied on experience, hard work…and a little luck Thursday night, and came out with the win on opening night of the 17th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree and also claimed his second USMTS national championship.
Hughes entered the night with a delicate four-point lead over two-time defending USMTS national champion Rodney Sanders. Whichever driver finished in front of the other Thursday was almost certain to secure the title.
Both drivers drew daunting tasks for their 15-lap, 15-car heat race with Hughes starting in the 12th position while Sanders took the green flag from 15th. Hughes won while Sanders finished sixth.
That put Hughes in the redraw for the 40-lap feature race while Sanders was relegated to one of five “B” Mains. Hughes redrew the outside of the front row for the start of the race while Sanders won his last-chance contest to earn the 20th starting spot.
As he was in his heat race, there was little doubt throughout the “A” Main that Hughes brought a rocket to ‘The Creek.’ With 40 green flag laps following the race’s only caution for a two-car tangle at the start of the race, Hughes was uncontested as he led every lap to secure the win and the USMTS crown.
“It’s a great night,” Hughes said as he celebrated with family and crew members in victory lane. “We knew coming up here that we were prepared, but luck plays a lot of it in this deal. We had good luck tonight.”
Hughes began the Hunt tied for 15th in the standings and 82 points behind the leader. Winning three main events along the way, he slowly chipped away at the deficit and notched his fourth win of The Hunt in dominating fashion Thursday night.
“It took a lot of luck to get there, but we had good racecar and a lot of hard work,” he added.
Jason picked up the $5,000 winner’s paycheck Thursday, the USMTS national championship carries with it a $20,000 prize. It’s his second USMTS title after winning the same race in 2010 with the same crew chief, Steve Karver, in 2010.
“It took a long time to get that first one,” Hughes said. “The second one’s getting even harder. It means a lot.
The entire Hyperco / MW Industries staff congratulates Jason, Steve and the whole team on another great win and their second Championship. As always…they rely on Hypercoil suspension springs for the performance and consistency needed to win Races…and Championships!