MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – After a couple of near misses, Jimmy Gustin’s patience finally paid off. The veteran earned his first career track championship at Boone Speedway in the IMCA Modified division.
“It’s been our goal every year, and we got it done this time,” said Gustin, who fell one point short last season and a couple points shy in 2007.
“It was hard last year. We were down by one point, then championship night got rained out.”
Gustin made sure weather wouldn’t be a factor this time around as he took the lead on the second night of the season, then held the top spot the rest of the year to win the title by a convincing 32 points.
Still, Gustin didn’t take anything for granted. “When you lose by one and two points, you never know for sure,” he said.
Putting yourself into position to win a points title at Boone is tough enough. As Gustin explained, “Typically, at Boone you just want to finish races to have a chance to win it.”
“You can’t overdrive the first five or 10 laps. You have to be patient, then let everything fall into place.” he continued. “We had some flag-to-flag features, which makes it even harder coming from the sixth row every week.”
That patience became even more important late in the year at the home of the IMCA Super Nationals.
“The hardest part is racing there all year, then the last few nights a lot of new cars show up at the track thinking they have a shot at Super Nationals,” Gustin explained.
“They race the first night, start up front their second night there, then spin out in front of you,” he laughed.
Not only was Gustin in search of a track title, he also had his sights set on winning IMCA’s North Central Region. “In hindsight, to do that, you have to win Boone,” he said.
“You have to focus, concentrate and not do anything stupid to get the title and the 20 bonus points for the track championship. People don’t realize how much patience that requires,” said Gustin, who is leading the region entering the stretch run of the season.
Along with a new addition to the family on the way, Gustin hopes to add another title to his already-accomplished racing career. “We have a new baby coming at the end of October, but we’re going to be 110% committed to IMCA. It looks like we’re going to win the region this year, so I guess all we have left is to win the national championship.”
It’s the competition and drive to win that keeps Gustin committed to racing. “That’s what I love about IMCA,” he said. “You can’t pull in then pull off and get points to win. You have to earn what you get.”
2012 BOONE SPEEDWAY STATS
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