USMTS Announcer Bryce Hall, in conjunction with RacinDirt.com, recently spoke with 2020 Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Tanner Mullens to discuss this past year in the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey’s and what lies ahead for the 28-year-old from Wichita, Kansas.
While Mullens has won several local races in his Modified over the years, the first USMTS triumph on June 3 at the Lucas Oil Speedway might have been the biggest of his career. He inherited the lead with four laps remaining when front-running Terry Phillips had mechanical issues and beat runner-up Dereck Ramirez by 2.19 seconds. The win removed the bad taste he had after losing the lead late and failing to win his first in front of his hometown family and friends at the 81 Speedway.
Before the season was done, he rattled off three more wins at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa; Mason City Motor Speedway in Mason City, Iowa; and Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kansas.
Mullens got a late start, missing nine races on the tour, but didn't given up hope on earning the Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year honors. He tracked down early leader Tyler Davis and won going away on his way to a seventh-place finish in the final points for the Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's.
Along with his four wins, Mullens recorded 15 top-five and 28 top-ten finishes in his 31 starts. He led 148 main event laps and wound up third in the final FK Rod Ends Hard Charger Award standings.
Final 2020 Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year points:
1. Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. ... 2145
2. Tyler Davis, Haysville, Kan. ... 1851
3. Calvin Iverson, Eleva, Wis. ... 1698
4. Casey Skyberg, Rapid City, S.D. ... 1628
5. Nathan Hagar, Adair, Okla. ... 1265
Grant Junghans USMTS Rookie of the Year Award winners include Tanner Mullens (2020), Hunter Marriott (2019), Jake O'Neil (2018), R.C. Whitwell (2017), Ricky Thornton Jr. (2016), Jesse Sobbing (2015), Cade Dillard (2014), Trevor Hunt (2013), Stormy Scott (2012), Jason Grimes (2011), Johnny Scott (2010), Grant Junghans (2009), Brandon Kenny (2008), Scott Green (2007), Jay Poidinger (2006), Brad McEwan (2005), Zack VanderBeek (2004), Corey Dripps (2003), Justin Boney (2002), Jason Hughes (2001) and Kevin Peters (2000).
Visit usmts.com for schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to get USMTS news delivered to your inbox.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Beyea Headers, Casey’s, Chevrolet Performance, Compstar, Dirt Draft, Eibach, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KS Engineering, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD Performance, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, Summit Racing Equipment, Super Clean, The Chunky Poodle, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: ARMI Contractors, Boomtest Well Service, Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Hacienda Mechanical, Mel Hambelton Ford Racing, Miller Welders, Mtn Dew RISE Energy, PBM Performance Products, Rancho Milagro Racing, RHRSwag.com, S&S Fishing & Rental, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, BigDeal Car Care, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, Deatherage Opticians, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Penske Racing Shocks, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Wilwood Racing.
USMTS RACETRACKS: 34 Raceway, 81 Speedway, Ark-La-Tex Speedway, Arrowhead Speedway, Big O Speedway, Casino Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Dallas County Speedway, Deer Creek Speedway, Fayette County Speedway, Hamilton County Speedway, Humboldt Speedway, Lakeside Speedway, Lucas Oil Speedway, Mason City Motor Speedway, Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Ogilvie Raceway, Park Jefferson Speedway, Rapid Speedway, RPM Speedway, Superbowl Speedway, Tri-State Speedway, Upper Iowa Speedway.