Labor Day Weekend looms large for USMTS
The United States Modified Touring Series embarks on an electrifying triple-header of mud-slinging madness when the USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by Summit lunges into the Labor Day Weekend at three iconic dirt ovals.
Action kicks off Friday, Aug. 30, at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., and then travels to the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., before wrapping up on the first day of September at the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa.
While the 72-hour journey encompasses three of our nation’s 50 states, only about 160 miles will turn on the odometer.
MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY – On Friday, the unrelenting USMTS dirt daredevils trek to Bob Timm’s Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., for the 7th Annual Dahl Chevrolet Buick GMC End of Summer Bash presented by Edelbrock.
Nearly a dozen years ago, Todd Scharkey won the first-ever USMTS race in Fountain City when the track was known as the Tri-Oval Speedway. Nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock, Brad Waits and Al Hejna also won main events on the old configuration.
Timm took the reins in 2009 and with him came a new configuration for the track, a new clay surface and a new name for the track.
Since then, Ryan Gustin has posted a series-best four USMTS victories. Most notably, ‘The Reaper' collected $40,000 in 2016 by holding off Scott Bloomquist during the wee hours of the morning in the USRA Modified Nationals here.
Waits won again in 2011 to become the only driver to get the job done on both the old and new track layout. He collected his third career win here this past May.
Jon Tesch won back-to-back races in 2011 and 2012 to be the only other USMTS multi-race winner at MTS. Tim Donlinger, Tommy Myer, Terry Phillips, Jason Hughes, Rodney Sanders and Zack VanderBeek each have one victory here.
The pit gate will open at 4 p.m. and grandstands open at 6 with hot laps at 7:30 and opening ceremonies to follow. Joining the on-track action will be Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon USRA Hobby Stocks and Centerville Welding & Repair USRA Late Models.
Adult general admission is $20, seniors (65+) are $18. Students (13-18) are $5 and kids (12 & under) get in for free. Pit passes are $35. Race fans can pick up coupons good for $2 off adult admission at Casey’s General Stores locations in locations in Preston and Rochester in Minnesota. To find the location nearest you, visit caseys.com.
The Mississippi Thunder Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on SR 35. For more information, visit mississippithunder.com online.
DEER CREEK SPEEDWAY – By the end of the Saturday’s 14th Annual J&S JCB Labor Day Duel presented by FK Rod Ends, the USMTS will dole out a feature winner’s check at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., for the 109th time—more than any other racetrack in America.
The list of former USMTS winners at ‘The Creek’ could serve as dirt modified racing’s half of fame members. Nine-time USMTS national champ Kelly Shryock won the first-ever USMTS race here in 2002 but his 10 career wins at the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval puts him second on the list behind Jason Hughes, who has a series-best 14 victories here.
Rodney Sanders has garnered nine checkered flags here, including last year's Featherlite Fall Jamboree finale. Ryan Gustin has seven checkered flags. Tim Donlinger and Terry Phillips each have five, Jason Cummins and Brad Waits have four apiece and three wins are noted by Cade Dillard, Zack VanderBeek, Joey Jensen and current USRA Modified national points leader Brandon Davis. Two-time winners include Corey Dripps, Jason Krohn, Ryan Ruter, Stormy Scott, Lucas Schott, Johnny Scott and Dustin Sorensen, who won the most recent race here in May.
Drivers who have visited victory lane here one time include Mark Noble, Steve Wetzstein, Darin Walker, Tony Fraise, Dan Daniels, Chad Kinder, Mark Burgtorf, Brad McEwan, Randy Timms, Dean Mahlstedt, Tommy Myer, Mike Sorensen, Mike Spaulding, Dan Chapman, Les Duellman, Mike Hejna, Steve Arpin, Jon Tesch, Jordan Grabouski, Jeremy Payne, Craig Thatcher and Tommy Weder Jr.
Sharing the spotlight with the USMTS will be the Arnold Motor Supply Iron Man Challenge featuring American Racer USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods. Wissota Street Stocks will also be on the card.
The pit gate opens at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 4, hot laps begin at 5:30 and racing starts at 6 p.m. Adult general admission tickets are $20 and kids ages 12 and under get in for $5. Pit passes are $35 for adults or $20 for students ages 6-15. Kids 5 and under are $5 for the pits.
Race fans can pick up coupons good for $2 off adult admission at Casey’s General Stores locations in Austin, Blooming Prairie, Dodge Center, Hayfield, Mantorville, Oronoco, Preston, Rochester, Spring Valley and Stewartville, plus Riceville, St. Ansgar, Cresco, Osage and Lime Springs in Iowa. To find the location nearest you, visit caseys.com.
Hunter Marriott and his No. 62 Snickers-sponsored USMTS Modified will be at the Casey’s General Store located at 735 N. Broadway Ave. in Spring Valley to meet ‘n’ greet fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Deer Creek Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 or 0.7 mile north of SR 16 in Spring Valley, Minn. (25262 US Hwy 63, Spring Valley, MN 55975). For more info, check out deercreekspeedway.com online.
FAYETTE COUNTY SPEEDWAY – The industrious and illustrious USMTS gas-mashers will welcome the month of September with a Sunday evening show at the Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa, for the 7th Annual USMTS War in West Union presented by KSE.
This will be the seventh visit by the USMTS since 2007 when Jason Krohn won the inaugural event here. Jake Neal picked up his first and only USMTS victory the following season, and Ryan Gustin won here in 2009.
Zack VanderBeek got the win here in 2016 and Gustin became the first two-time winner of this event in 2017. Lucas Schott is the defending champion of the event sponsored by Breitsprecher Detailing and H & M Trimming.
The pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4, hot laps begin at 5:30 and racing gets underway at 6 p.m. Spectator tickets are $20 for those ages 12 and older. Kids ages 11 and under get in free with a paid adult. Pit passes are $30.
Coupons good for $2 off adult admission available at Casey's General Stores locations in Clermont, Decorah, Fairbank, Fredericksburg, Maynard, Monona, Oelwein, Ossian, Postville, Strawberry Point, Sumner, Tripoli and West Union. To find the location nearest you, visit caseys.com.
Ryan Gustin and his Spike Hardcore Energy USMTS Modified will be at the Casey’s General Store located at 102 E. Bradford in West Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to meet ‘n’ greet fans.
The Fayette County Speedway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located 0.9 mile south of US 18 on SR 150, then 0.1 mile east on SR 56 (Vine St.). For more information, visit fayettecountyspeedway.net on the World Wide Web.
STILL MUCH MORE TO COME – The 21st Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree happens Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19-21, back at the Deer Creek Speedway, where the world’s elite Modified and B-Mod drivers will be racing for three nights and more than $150,000 in prize money.
The USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by Summit points champion will emerge from Saturday’s finale. The 2019 Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Champion will be determined at the 2nd Annual Summit Southern Nationals at the Kennedale Speedway Park in Kennedale, Texas, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.
The USMTS season concludes Nov. 15-16 at the 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan. The annual Chisholm Trail Showdown will be one night only on Friday and pay $3,000 to win. The 4th Annual Grant Junghans Memorial happens on Saturday and will once again pay $10,002 to win and $1,202 to start.
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USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Casey’s General Stores, Chevrolet Performance, CP-Carrillo, Deatherage Opticians, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, Intercomp, Jerovetz Motorsports Racing Parts, K1 RaceGear by Ryan Bowers Motorsports, KSE Racing Products, Malvern Bank, Mesilla Valley Transportation, MSD, MyRacePass, Nitroquest Media, Pace Performance, PEM Racing Gears & Drivetrain, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Snickers, Spike Hardcore Energy, Summit Racing Equipment, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco Industries.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arizona Sport Shirts, ASi Racewear, Boubin Tire & Automotive, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Duvall Electric, Eagle Moon Farm, Impact RaceGear, PBM Performance Products, RACEceiver, Rancho Milagro Racing, River’s Edge Scrap Management, Tony Moro Powder Coat, Top of the World Ranch, YouDirt.com.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: 905 Ink, AFCO Racing Products, Allstar Performance, Beyea Custom Headers, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bryke Racing, BSB Manufacturing, Champ Pans, E3 Spark Plugs, Edelbrock, Forty9 Designs, Genesis Racing Shocks, Hooker Harness, Hyperco, Integra Racing Shocks and Springs, Keyser Manufacturing, Maxima Racing Oils, Out-Pace Racing Products, QA1, RacerWebsite.com, Real Racing Wheels, Simpson Performance Products, Swift Springs, Sybesma Graphics, Tire Demon, Wilwood Racing.