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LIVE UPDATES: USMTS Belleville Modified Nationals

Belleville High Banks
Belleville, Kan.
Tuesday, June 4, 2002

United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS)
Hot Laps: 7:00 p.m.
Racing: 7:30 p.m.

Pre-Race Notes:

2:00 PM -- This is the first ever visit to the historic Belleville High Banks for the United States Modified Touring Series. The USMTS Modifieds will be the only class running and fans will have a chance to make five laps around the track during intermission in the BMS two-seater modified.

Some of the expected drivers for this race include Kelly Shryock, Tommy Myer, Jason Hughes, Mark Noble, Mike Chasteen, Klint Pursley, Steve Holzkamper, Dan Daniels, John Allen, Joey Kates, Joe and Steve Kosiski, Rick Gustin, Kevin Peters, Johnny Bone, Justin Boney, Mark Dotson, Darrick Klima, Johnny Saathoff, Kevin Larkins, Luke Cochran, Todd Klees, Farrell Skelton, Ron Schreiner, Chris Speiker, Phil Dixon, Marc Robe, David Lahey, Scott Green, Greg Stephens, Greg Skaggs, Randy Zimmerman, Adam Larson, John Anderson and many, many more.

Tonight's agenda includes heat races, consis and an A-main. The top eight cars from tonight's feature will be locked into the $5,000-to-win main event tomorrow night.

6:45 PM -- Skies are cloudy and the air is cool tonight in Belleville. Tonight's event is also a Valvoline Cup night, with some of the top feature finishers -- and fans to -- will share in more than $800 worth of product awards from Valvoline. Despite the lack of sunshine, it does not appear that rain will become a factor. The track, meanwhile, should be sticky and fast -- nothing moves slow at Belleville!

7:10 PM -- Cars are on the track warming their engines as they get ready to squeeze every ounce of life out of their powerplants around the steep half-mile banking at Belleville.

Driver Roster:
A1 Phil Dixon, Houston, TX
1D Don Renfro, Wichita, KS
1st Brook Phillips, Wichita, KS
2 Marc Robe, Wichita, KS
2K Darrick Klima, Belleville, KS
3 Kelly Shryock, LeMars, IA
3D Dan Daniels, Humboldt, KS
3rw Ronnie Wallace, North Platte, NE
4x Kevin Larkins, Greenwood, NE
11 Steve Burch, Junction City, KS
12 Jason Hughes, Colcord, OK
12B Johnny Bone Jr., Pea Ridge, AR
18 Justin Boney, DeSoto, KS
23K Joey Kates, Kansas City, KS
29 Greg Metz, Washington, KS
30 Curt Fulps, Haysville, KS
C40 Mike Chasteen, Creve Coeur, IL
40 Luke Cochran, Omaha, NE
43 Curt Barnett, El Paso, TX
65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, MN
68 Brandon Watson, Dennison, TX
74 Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, MN
77K Kurt Johnston, Concordia, KS
79 Clint Bowyer, Emporia, KS
82 George White, Ft. Worth, TX
90 Steven Wetzstein, W. Concord, MN
96 Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, NE
97 Ron Schreiner, Hudson, WI
97M David Murray, Oberlin, KS
98 John Allen, Chanute, KS
105 Kevin Peters, Monmouth, IL
Total Entries: 31

8:00 PM -- Following some fans' rides in the Belleville Motor Sports two-seater Modified, the first heat is on the track. The track is smooth, tacky and fast. Gettin' ready to go green ....

1st Heat (7 laps):

77K · 11
79 · 1D
97 · 96
12B · A1
1. 77K
2. 79
3. 1D
4. 11
5. 96
6. 12B
7. 97
8. A1

Notes: Johnston ran away with the first heat, finishing a full straightaway ahead of the pack. A great four-way battle for 3rd-7th. Seven laps green to checkered ... and not once did a single driver pull his right foot off the floorboard. Wow!

2nd Heat (7 laps):

23K · 43
12 · 2K
1st · 74
82 · 2
1. 12
2. 1
3. 2
4. 82
5. 23K
6. 74
7. 2K
8. 43 (dnf)

Notes: Jason Hughes led the entire distance, but not without heavy pressure from Curt Barnett. Unfortunately, Barnett's engine went up in a cloud of smoke down the backstretch on the final lap.

3rd Heat (7 laps):

C40 · 3D
3 · 18
4X · 105
98 · 68
1. 18
2. 3
3. 98
4. 105
5. 68
6. C40 (dnf)
7. 4X (dnf)
8. 3D (dnf)

Notes: A great battle up front as Justin Boney holds off current points leader Kelly Shryock. A caution on lap 4 saw Kevin Larkins drop out, while John Allen came to a stop against the turn 2 guardrail. Over the next 3 laps, Allen stormed through the field and finished 3rd, earning many valuable passing points.

4th Heat (7 laps):

3rw · 29
40 · 30
97M · 65
1. 30
2. 90
3. 65
4. 40
5. 97m
6. 29 (dnf)
7. 3rw (dns)

Notes: Great three-way race for the lead. Fulps, Wetzstein and Meyer cross the stripe nose-to-tail to complete the fourth and final heat.

8:45 PM -- We're having a brief intermission at the moment ... will have lineups for your B Mains and A Main shortly.

Drivers earn passing points in their heat races to determine their starting spots in the B and A Mains. Ten drivers automatically qualified for tonight's A Main. Two drivers will come from each B Main tonight to start the 15-lap A Main.

The lights are shining bright as the sun is nearly set. Getting ready to go green with tonight's first B Main ...

1st B Main (8 laps):

65 · 82
68 · 40
23K · 12B
C40 · 97
4x · A1
1. 82
2. 12B
3. 23K
4. 97
5. A1
6. 68
7. 40 (dnf)
8. 65 (dnf)
DNS - C40
DNS - 4x
DNS - 3D

Notes: Tommy Myer was following George White to a 1-2 finish when Myer's car shut down. White took the win and goes to tonight's A Main, along with second-place finisher Johnny Bone Jr.

2nd B Main (8 laps):

1D · 105
11 · 96
97M · 74
29 · 2K
3rw · 43
1. 74
2. 105
3. 97M
4. 1D
5. 2K
6. 11
DNS - 96
DNS - 29
DNS - 3rw
DNS - 43

Notes: Ouch! The tacky track has taken it's toll on motors. Johnny Saathoff, Greg Metz, Ronnie Wallace and Curt Barnett are all scratched for the night. Mark Noble stomped the field in the second B Main with Kevin Peters finishing second to earn the final A Main spot.

9:20 PM -- We are in a brief intermission. We've got 15 minutes until the mud hits the fence.

9:35 PM -- Cars are rolling onto the clay banks right now. As veteran announcer Wayne Dake gives the fans the lineup, USMTS flagman Jerry VanSickle holds up his index finger to signify one more lap before the rpm's max out for 7.5 straight miles.

Two cars added - Tommy Myer and Ron Schreiner -- as provisionals. See notes below for lap-by-lap updates ...

A-Main (15 laps):

Row 1: 18-Boney · 30-Fulps
Row 2: 90-Wetzstein · 12-Hughes
Row 3: 1st-Phillips · 77K-Johnston
Row 4: 2-Robe · 98-Allen
Row 5: 79-Bowyer · 3-Shryock
Row 6: 82-White · 74-Noble
Row 7: 12B-Bone · 105-Peters
Row 8: 65-Meyer · 97-Schreiner
1. 18 Justin Boney, DeSoto, KS
2. 77K Kurt Johnston, Concordia, KS
3. 12 Jason Hughes, Colcord, OK
4. 1st Brook Phillips, Wichita, KS
5. 90 Steven Wetzstein, W. Concord, MN
6. 2 Marc Robe, Wichita, KS
7. 3 Kelly Shryock, LeMars, IA
8. 79 Clint Bowyer, Emporia, KS
9. 30 Curt Fulps, Haysville, KS
10. 12B Johnny Bone Jr., Pea Ridge, AR
11. 98 John Allen, Chanute, KS
12. 74 Mark Noble, Blooming Prairie, MN
13. 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, MN
14. 97 Ron Schreiner, Hudson, WI
15. 105 Kevin Peters, Monmouth, IL
16. 82 George White, Ft. Worth, TX (dnf)

Notes: As the field took the green flag, Noble and two other cars got together with Noble backing into the turn 1 guardrail. Crew made repairs and he tags the rear of the field.

Lap 1 - 18-12-30
Lap 2 - 18-12-30
Lap 3 - 18-12-30
Lap 4 - Boney and Hughes side by side since the start!
Lap 5 - 18-12-30-77K
Lap 6 - 18-77K-12
Lap 7 - 18-77K-12-1st-
Lap 8 - 18-77K-12-1st
Lap 9 - 18-77K-12-1st
Lap 10 - 18-77K-12-1st ... Nose to tail as Johnston keeps trying low. Hughes is right there!
Lap 11 - 18-77K-12-1st-90-2-3-
Lap 12 - 18-77K-12-1st-90-2-3-79-30-12B
Lap 13 - 18-77K-12-1st-90-2-3-79-30-12B
Lap 14 - 18-77K-12-1st-90-2-3-79-30-12B .. white flag, top four cars nose to tail!
Lap 15 - 18-77K-12-1st-90-2-3-79-30-12B-98-74-65-97-105-82(dnf) ... Hughes tries to take Johnston at the flagstand, but can't make the pass. Justin Boney goes 15 laps foot-to-the-floor for the win. Wow - what a race!

Post-Race Notes:

10:00 PM -- Everybody was waiting for Justin Boney to make a mistake ... it never happened. Boney is now automatically qualified for tomorrow night's $5,000-to-win USMTS finale, along with the rest of the top 8 finishers.

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