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Algona checkers put Gustin back on top of Hawkeye Dirt Tour point race


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Algona checkers put Gustin back on top of Hawkeye Dirt Tour point race


ALGONA, Iowa (July 3) – Richie Gustin loaded up and left Algona Raceway with his first JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour feature win of the season Tuesday night. Better yet, Gustin's series career-leading fifth victory put him back on top of the IMCA Modified tour point standings.


Gustin took the lead 11 circuits into the 30-lapper and wound up winning comfortably ahead of tour visitor David Murray Jr. The win paid $1,000.


Mike Van Genderen ran in the top five all night and was rewarded with a third place finish. Twelfth place starter Mark Schulte charged forward to finish fourth and Austin Wolf was fifth at his hometown track. Jeremy Mills came into the night with the tour point lead but was forced to exit early. Darin Duffy and defending HDT champion Mark Elliott suffered similar fates.


Mills led early from the pole, with Wolf and Van Genderen close behind. Wolf hopped the cushion on lap 10, allowing both Van Genderen and the ninth starting Gustin to get by. Gustin continued making up ground on Mills and had the lead by a bumper width when the 11th lap was scored. Cautions on laps 13 and 17, the second yellow involving Mills, kept the field close but Gustin maintained control on the ensuing restarts.


Murray entered the fray with six laps left after passing Schulte for third. He ran side-by-side with Van Genderen and earned second place points and pay by half a car length.


Rich Smith changed engines after he was unable to start his heat race. He improved 15 spots from his original starting position in the feature and finished 12th.


The first seven of 13 series events on the 2012 HDT schedule have produced as many different winners. Mills was scored 24th; he’s now second in the standings, 14 points behind Gustin. Jay Noteboom, Ryan Dolan and Schulte follow, with just 12 points separating second through fifth place.


Next on the Hawkeye Dirt Tour slate is the Tuesday, July 17 show at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. That event also pays $1,000 to win and is one of the first qualifying races for the 2013 Fast Shafts All-Star invitational ballot.


Pit gates open at 5 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 6 p.m. Hot laps are at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m.

Feature results– 1. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 2. David Murray Jr., Oberlin, Kan.; 3. Mike Van Gen­deren, Newton; 4. Mark Schulte, Delhi; 5. Austin Wolf, Algona; 6. Jay Noteboom, Hinton; 7. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon; 8. Dustin Smith, Lake City; 9. Clayton Christensen, Spencer; 10. Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup; 11. Rob Hughes, Humboldt; 12. Rich Smith, Davenport; 13. Jeff Nielsen, Pocahontas; 14. Ray Cox Jr., Maquoketa; 15. Jeff Feaster, Humboldt; 16. Jeff Ignaszewski, Wells, Minn.; 17. Stacey Mills, Webb; 18. Josh Rogotzke, Sanborn, Minn.; 19. Tim Stevens, Cedar Rapids; 20. Mike Jergens, Plover; 21. Jason Schoenberger, Russell, Kan.; 22. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 23. Ryan Watnem, Humboldt; 24. Jeremy Mills, Garner; 25. Mark Elliott, Webster City; 26. Dan Menk, Franklin, Minn.; 27. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill.; 28. Darin Duffy, Hazleton.


1st heat – 1. Gustin; 2. Elliott; 3. Van Genderen; 4. Hughes; 5. Christensen; 6. Cox; 7. Nielsen; 8. Ignasziewski; 9. Lauritzen; 10. Jergens.


2nd heat – 1. Wolf; 2. Schulte; 3. Duffy; 4. Dolan; 5. Waterman; 6. Carter; 7. Stacey Mills; 8. Schoen­berger; 9. Stevens.


3rd heat – 1. Murray; 2. Watnem; 3. Dustin Smith; 4. Jeremy Mills; 5. Noteboom; 6. Feaster; 7. Rogotzke; 8. Menk; 9. Rich Smith.

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