HUMBULDT, Kan. (Sept. 14) – The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship powered by Swan Energy heats up this week as the titans of dirt modified racing travel to four racetracks in three states in a 100-hour stretch of September madness.
The most anticipated title fight in the 13-year history of the United States Modified Touring Series is in the home stretch as the USMTS Modifieds invade the Humboldt Speedway on Thursday, Outlaw Motor Speedway on Friday, Salina Highbanks Speedway on Saturday and West Plains Motor Speedway on Sunday.
The grueling three-state, four-race stretch precedes the 13th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree the following weekend where the 2011 USMTS National Champion will be crowned.
Ryan Gustin is one of the rising stars in dirt track racing and comes into this week’s campaign as the points leader. A runner-up in the final standings each of the last two seasons, Gustin is trying to fend off the last two USMTS National Champions – Kelly Shryock and Jason Hughes.
In 2009, Shryock captured his unprecedented ninth USMTS National Championship after a hard-fought
points battle with Gustin, while Hughes turned in a stellar late-season performance last year to relegate Gustin to his second straight bridesmaid finish while Hughes claimed his first title.
Shryock has 174 career USMTS victories, Hughes owns 103 wins and Gustin has 47 main event triumphs. Between them, they are the three winningest drivers in USMTS history.
Other top names entered for this weekend’s showdowns include Jon Tesch, who is on a roll with two victories during the first 16 events during ‘The Hunt.’ The rest of the drivers currently ranked among the top 10 in points and looking to make a charge are Johnny Scott, Zack VanderBeek, Dustin Boney, Tommy Myer, Rodney Sanders and Dereck Ramirez.
Fans can also expect to see fellow USMTS dirt merchants such as 2007 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn, Al Hejna, 15-year-old phenom Lucas Schott, Rick Beebe, Corey Dripps, Bryan Rowland, Chase Junghans, Chris Spieker, Keith Foss, Colt Mather and others.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 15 – HUMBOLDT SPEEDWAY, HUMBOLDT, KAN.
Action kicks off on Thursday for the third visit of the season to Ron and Rhenda Whitworth’s Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan. The second visit last month was cut short by rain, and Thursday’s event takes its place.
Jason Hughes leads all USMTS drivers with eight career wins at Humboldt, including both ends of a doubleheader in March of last year and a last-lap pass of Shryock at ‘The Hummer’ this past March.
Shryock is a three-time winner at Humboldt and Johnny Bone Jr. has tasted victory twice, including the first event held in 2000. Other former winners include Tesch, Krohn, Scott, Gustin, Steve Holzkamper and Tim Donlinger.
Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with the first heat race starting at 7 p.m.
B-Mods, Factory Stocks and Pure Stocks will also be on the racing card.
The Humboldt Speedway is a located 0.1 mile west of US 169 at the Humboldt Exit, then 0.5 mile south, then 0.9 mile east on Georgia Rd. For more information call 620-431-2470 (office) or 620-473-3694 (track) or visit www.humboldtspeedway.com.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 16 – OUTLAW MOTOR SPEEDWAY, MUSKOGEE, OKLA.
On Friday, the Outlaw Motor Speedway near Muskogee, Okla., welcomes back the USMTS Modifieds for the second time in 2011. Jason Hughes is a two-time winner at “The Outlaw” with a win in March last year as well as the inaugural event in 2003 while Tommy Myer captured the second night of action eight years ago.
Ryan Gustin made his debut with the Gressel Racing team last year at the Outlaw Motor Speedway and has since racked up the most wins of any driver during the last year, including June 11 last season when the track added that date just two days earlier after another track canceled their event in the eleventh hour.
Gates open at 5:30 and racing begins at 8 p.m.
Factory Stocks, Pure Stocks, Grand Nationals and 360 Modifieds will also be in action.
The Outlaw Motor Speedway is located southwest of Muskogee on I-40 to US 69, then 10 miles north to the Wainwright Exit, then 0.1 mile east. For more information call 918-687-9200 or visit www.outlawmotorspeedway.com online.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 17 – SALINA HIGHBANKS SPEEDWAY, SALINA, OKLA.
Jason Hughes was the winner when the USMTS Modifieds made their only appearance at the Salina Highbanks Speedway on Aug. 27, 2004. The track was closed for more than five years, but new owner Bob Goins pumped new life (and a lot of money) into the facility and re-opened on April 2 to much fanfare.
The track has already held a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race earlier this year, and now welcomes the best of the best in dirt modified racing to the steep, lightning-fast clay oval.
Local favorites such as Joe Duvall, Mike Duvall, Ryan LaCoe, Brett Hansen, Mike Worblewski, Randy Frailey, Jeremy Rasmussen, Danny Womack, Roger Sawyer, Mark Cochran and others will be looking to keep the bulk of the prize money in the Sooner State.
Saturday’s event will also feature four of the track’s regular weekly classes, including Grand Nationals, 360 Modifieds, Factory Stocks and Pure Stocks.
Pit gates will open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps begin at 6:30 and race time is 7 p.m.
Among the track’s great features is the Finish Line Bar & Grill, which gives fans access to the comfort of indoor climate, a full service bar and grill and great views of beautiful Lake Hudson while enjoying the racing action. Admission is $25 and the area can accommodate up to 80 race fans. The gift shop is stocked full of merchandise sure to please every race fan with tons of selections and designs for men, women and children.
The Salina Highbanks Speedway is located 7 miles east of Pryor on SR 20. For more information, call the track office at 918-434-RACE or visit the track’s website at www.salinahighbanksspeedway.com.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 18 – WEST PLAINS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, WEST PLAINS, MO.
After an off-season that was busier than most tracks are during the height of the racing season, the new owners and management of the Salina Highbanks Speedway welcomed fans, drivers, crew members, sponsors and their families to the first night of weekly racing on April 2.
Thousands of hours and dollars later, dozens of renovations and upgrades have given the popular dirt track new life.
The West Plains Motor Speedway is a 100-acre motorsports facility with weekly racing action on Saturdays that features several exciting classes, including the popular USRA RHS Modifieds which boasts one of the highest weekly car counts for the division in the nation.
Drivers from West Plains such as track points leader Brandon Ball, Jason Hughes (same name, but not the same guy who has 103 career USMTS victories), Greg Hughes, Logan Martin, Josh Hughes, Matt Barry, Kyle Duke and Brian Judd are the drivers expected to battle to keep the bulk of the prize money in the Show-Me State.
Other locals to keep an eye on include veteran racers Rob and Stephen Muilenburg of Sparta, Scott Crigler of Alton, Rustin Miller of Houston and Carl Murphy of Caulfied.
And with a $2,000 bonus posted by track promoter Sonny Smith to any driver from Missouri or Arkansas taking the checkered flag this Sunday, fans can expect to see some heavy hitters like Terry Phillips and Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Austin Siebert of Grandview, Mark Dotson of Cameron, Mickey Burrell of Fair Grove, Terry Beckham of Webb City, Chad Lyle of Oak Grove and USRA RHS Modified national points leader Johnny Bone Jr. of Pea Ridge, Ark.
In addition to the $2,000 winner’s bonus, a $250 start bonus has also been posted for any local driver who has competed at the track at least six times during the 2011 season.
Presented by Mega Motorsports and Honda of West Plains, the event will also feature the Air Evac Lifeteam Weekly Racing Series classes featuring Crate Late Models, Reliable Chevrolet B-Mods, Super Stocks and Hobby Stocks.
Race time is 6 p.m.
Dustin Boney and his #22 Snickers Modified will be at the Casey’s General Store located at 100 Cherry St. in Allison from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the event. Fans can meet the driver, get an autograph or just check out the machine he’ll be wheeling that night at the West Plains Motor Speedway.
Motorsports enthusiasts are amazed at the power and excitement of racing on the 3/8-mile red clay oval surrounded by seating that will accommodate more than 12,000 fans. Fans can enjoy the action from their choice of molded contour seating, ground level bleachers or high-rise stadium style seating.
On-site camping is available free of charge with clean restrooms, showers, water fill and a dump station for motor homes. Full service food and souvenir concessions are conveniently located within the facility along with acres of free parking.
The West Plains Motor Speedway is located 6 miles south of West Plains on US 63. For more information, call the track office at 417-522-9891 or 417-257-2112 on race day. The track’s website can be found at www.westplainsdirt.com.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also follow the USMTS on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.
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USMTS TITLE SPONSORS: Casey’s General Stores, Swan Energy.
USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Awesome Race Suits, Cheetos, Intercomp, Karl Chevrolet, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, New Vision Graphics, Nitroquest, RACEceiver, SLAP Energy, Snickers.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arnold Motor Supply, ASi Racewear, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, DAY Motor Sports, Dirthead.com, DirtKnights.com, Dirt Track Racing School, DrySlik Dirt Trak Racewear, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Intensitee Custom Racewear, Karl Performance Parts, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Olympic Fire Protection, Ramirez Race Cars, Ruter Farms, Schwab’s Tinker Shop, Sybesma Graphics, Yeager Machine.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, COMP Cams, CPD Racing Tools, Eibach Springs, Erson Cams, Fast Shafts, Forty9Designs.com, Genesis Shocks, Hooker Harness, Hypercoil Springs, ISKY Racing Cams, The Joie of Seating, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, Out-Pace Racing Products, PBM Performance Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, RHS – Racing Head Service, Tiger Rear Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, WIX Filters.
United States Modified Touring Series, Inc. (USMTS)
1715 W. 2nd St., P.O. Box 905
Webster City, IA 50595