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RYAN’S REDEMPTION: Ryan Gustin Nets Third World of Outlaws Win of 2023 at River Cities

Ryan Gustin wins at River Cities
Chris Madden cuts Bobby Pierce’s points lead to 40 after fifth-place finish

One night after a flat tire cost him a potential win, Ryan Gustin got his redemption Friday at River Cities Speedway 

The Marshalltown, IA driver thundered around Kyle Bronson on Lap 12 and held on through lap traffic to score his third World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series win of 2023. 

Bronson rocketed from third to first on Lap 1, diving under Cade Dillard and Mike Marlar in Turn 2 and running away with the lead down the backstretch. While he pulled away, Gustin also began his march forward. 

Gustin used the bottom to quickly move from seventh to second in two laps, getting by Marlar, Dillard, Chris Madden, Blair Nothdurft, and defending Series champion Dennis Erb Jr. on the way. That’s when he set his sights on Bronson and made the decision that would ultimately win him the race. 

When Bronson caught lap traffic, Gustin moved to the top and found the momentum he needed to make a challenge on Lap 12. With a burst of speed off Turn 2, Gustin pulled even with Bronson as the two waged war down the backstretch. The battle continued through Turns 3 and 4, but Gustin had more momentum as they exited the corner, nosing ahead by the completion of the lap. 

Ryan Gustin and Kyle Bronson
Ryan Gustin drives around Kyle Bronson for the lead on Lap 12/Jacy Norgaard photo

However, Gustin wasn’t in the clear yet, as lap traffic kept Bronson in striking distance. 

Bronson got another shot at the lead on Lap 31 when Gustin’s slider attempt on Cole Schill fell short in Turn 2, allowing Bronson to pull even with Gustin down the backstretch. Bronson pulled a slide job as the two thundered into Turn 3 but left too much room for Gustin to cross over in Turn 4, keeping the #19R ahead. 

From there, Gustin mastered lap traffic the rest of the way to earn the $12,000 victory—his fifth career World of Outlaws CASE Late Models win. 

His quick rise to second in the first two laps allowed him to adjust his strategy based on what was ahead. 

“Obviously, the more you can pass earlier, the easier it is to win the race,” Gustin said. “Our car was really good around the bottom all night. I just knew we had to get ourselves in position early while we could, and lap traffic kind of played into our favor. When you’re running second in lap traffic, you’re in the cat bird’s seat so you can kind of see where they’re losing time.” 

With a rapid caution-free Feature, Gustin had to be on his game to stay in front of Bronson. That included navigating traffic, like his run in with Schill – a challenge that almost cost him the race.  

“I got held up behind [the slower car of Cole Schill] for about 20 laps, I felt like,” Gustin said. “Every chance I felt like I got a good enough run to slide him, there was a car on the bottom, so I couldn’t get down low enough. It all worked out, though, and we have a really fast hot rod right now. So, hopefully, we can keep it going.” 

Gustin’s win moves him to third in the Series standings, 46 points behind Bobby Pierce, who finished 11th. 

Bronson settled for second, scoring his second straight podium finish. Despite being happy about how well his Rocket Chassis ran, he said he knew what he should’ve done differently on Lap 31. 

“When I slid him, I gave him a little too much room to crossover,” Bronson said. “He did a damn good job. He only made one mistake, and that’s when I slid him. Our car was really damn good, and we can’t wait to get to the next one.” 

Like Bronson, Marlar scored his second straight podium, finishing in third. ‘

Mike Marlar
Mike Marlar scores his second consecutive podium Friday at River Cities Speedway/Jacy Norgaard photo

The Winfield, TN driver, who started on the outside pole, climbed back to third after falling out of the top five early in the race. 

“On the start, the outside was a little greasy, and someone slid up in front of me, and it just kind of had me in a bad spot,” Marlar said. “We fell back to sixth and got around some of them to get back to third. But I didn’t have anything for Kyle or Ryan. After [Thursday’s] heartbreak for Ryan, he deserved to win, for sure.” 

Dillard finished fourth, and Chris Madden finished fifth. 

Madden’s fifth-place finish moved him back to second in the standings, 40 points behind Bobby Pierce. Germfree Rookie of the Year leader Nick Hoffman dropped back to fourth in the championship standings after finishing 13th.  

UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models finish World of Outlaws Heartland Speedweek with a 50-lap, $15,000-to-win finale at I-94 EMR Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN, on Saturday, July 1. 


If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.

CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Feature (40 Laps): 1. 19R-Ryan Gustin[7]; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson[3]; 3. 157-Mike Marlar[2]; 4. 97-Cade Dillard[1]; 5. 44-Chris Madden[4]; 6. 25-Shane Clanton[9]; 7. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 8. B5-Brandon Sheppard[11]; 9. 76-Blair Nothdurft[6]; 10. 3S-Brian Shirley[10]; 11. 32-Bobby Pierce[8]; 12. B1-Brent Larson[13]; 13. 9-Nick Hoffman[15]; 14. 11-Gordy Gundaker[12]; 15. 96V-Tanner English[14]; 16. 44*-Cole Schill[19]; 17. 28S-Dustin Sorensen[18]; 18. 30-Todd Cooney[23]; 19. 14W-Dustin Walker[24]; 20. 1ST-Johnny Scott[16]; 21. 5E-Shane Edginton[17]; 22. 55C-Chad Mahder[22]; 23. 12-Brad Seng[20]; 24. 58-AJ Diemel[21] FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Ryan Gustin [+6] 

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