Photo: Lloyd Collins - Fast Track Photos
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (May 20) – Five days of cash and chaos is up next for the United States Modified Touring Series as the series head north for their traditional Memorial Day Weekend swing this Wednesday through Sunday, May 23-27.
This will be the eleventh straight year for the Memorial Day Weekend pentathlon through Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota that annually draws dozens of the region’s best open-wheel modified drivers to five of the most popular dirt ovals in America’s heartland.
The USMTS one-of-a-kind four-wide parade lap featuring each driver displaying the American Flag has become a renowned tradition to race fans everywhere, but the show takes on special meaning this weekend as fans, drivers, officials and sponsors remember the fighting men and women of the United States military who, through their sacrifices, make it possible for all of us to enjoy the greatest spectator sport on the planet.
Action kicks off Wednesday at the I-35 Speedway in Mason City, Iowa, followed on Thursday by the first of three events this year at the historic Highway 3 Raceway in Allison, Iowa. Friday will find the rugged USMTS road warriors at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minn., and on Saturday, it’s the first trip of the 2012 campaign to the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. The weekend wraps up on Sunday in Kasson, Minn., at the Dodge County Speedway.
Each event will pay $2,000 to win, a minimum $250 to start and will award points in the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23 — I-35 SPEEDWAY, MASON CITY, IA
It all gets started this Wednesday as the fearless lead-footed USMTS pilots invade Joe Ringsdorf’s I-35 Speedway at the North Iowa Fairgrounds for the third straight season.
This will be the third event in four years that the USMTS Modifieds have invaded the half-mile clay oval. Ryan Ruter captured the inaugural event in 2009 while Mike Steensma won his first and only USMTS feature in the 2010 standing-room-only tilt.
Three separate attempts were made to get the show in last year, but the event was twice rained-out and canceled a third time when the heat index reached 110 degrees.
Pit gates open at 5:00 and grandstands open at 5:30. Hot laps begin at 7:00 with racing to follow.
The I-35 Speedway is a 1/2-mile semi-banked clay oval located off of I-35 at Exit 194, then 5.1 miles east on SR 122 (at the North Iowa Fairgrounds). For more information, call the track hotline at 641-424-6515 or visit www.i-35speedway.com online.
Race fans can stop by any of the five Casey’s General Store locations in Mason City on Wednesday and pick up a coupon worth $2 off adult grandstand admission for the show that night.
THURSDAY, MAY 24 — HIGHWAY 3 RACEWAY, ALLISON, IA
On Thursday, the rugged USMTS road warriors head north to the Highway 3 Raceway for the 10th Annual USMTS Spring Clash and the first of three visits this season to the historic half-mile clay oval at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa.
Colt Mather held off Ryan Gustin to capture his first and only USMTS victory last May in Allison, while Gustin returned to win the second stop in September. It was Gustin’s second career win at the Highway 3 Raceway since getting his first-ever win in 2008 at the age of 17.
Kelly Shryock has three wins at the facility and Kevin Pittman has two at the former Butler County Speedway. Other past winners at the Highway 3 Raceway include Corey Dripps, Jon Tesch, John Logue, Mike Sorensen, Johnny Saathoff, Ryan Ruter, Mark Noble, Mike Hejna and Tim Donlinger.
Pit Gates open at 4:00, grandstand gates open at 5:00 and hot laps begin at 6:00 with racing to follow. Also on the card will be the Industrial Material Surplus Iron Man Challenge featuring USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
Race fans can pick up $2-off coupons on race day at Casey's General Stores locations in Allison, Aplington, Cedar Falls, Clarksville, Nashua and Waverly.
The Highway 3 Raceway is located 0.3 miles north of SR 3 on S. Main St. (at the Butler County Fairgrounds). For more information, call 515-297-1691 or 319-267-9977 on race day. Check out www.highway3raceway.com online to learn more.
FRIDAY, MAY 25 — CHATEAU RACEWAY, LANSING, MN
Friday will find the series at Darin Toot’s Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minn., for the 5th Annual Guttormson Memorial presented by Tiny’s Body Shop and A&A Electric and Underground.
The 1/3-mile semi-banked clay oval always provides for exciting side-by-side racing from the drop of the first green flag to the final checkered flag.
Gustin emerged victorious last May after a tussle for the lead with local favorite Brandon Davis while now-retired Tommy Myer won the most recent event on July 14, 2011.
Other former USMTS event winners at the Chateau Raceway include Doug Hillson, Jason Hughes, Tim Donlinger, Jason Krohn, Jon Tesch, Kelly Shryock and Mike Chasteen. Tesch is the only driver with two USMTS main event wins to his credit at the Lansing bullring.
Gates open at 5:00 with hot laps at 7:00 and racing to follow. Also racing Friday night will be USRA B-Mods, Stock Cars, Wissota Midwest Modifieds and Pure Stocks.
Race fans can pick up $2-off grandstand admission coupons on race day at Casey's General Store locations in Austin, Blooming Prairie and Mantorville.
The Chateau Raceway is located 5.0 miles north of Austin on US 218 to the Lansing exit, then 1.3 miles eat on CR 2, then 0.4 mile south on CR 25, then 0.3 mile east . For more info, call 507-391-2486 or 507-433-4578 on raceday or visit www.chateauraceway.net.
SATURDAY, MAY 26 — DEER CREEK SPEEDWAY, SPRING VALLEY, MN
On Saturday, it's the first of several occasions this season that the USMTS Modifieds will tackle the popular Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. The 10th Annual A&A Electric Southern MN Spring Challenge will pit some of the best Modified drivers in the nation against arguably the toughest field of weekly racers on the planet.
The Deer Creek Speedway sits on 60 acres with one of America’s most popular state-of-the-art racing complexes. More USMTS main events have been staged here than any other racetrack, and Saturday’s feature race will be the 57th here in the 14-year history of the United States Modified Touring Series.
Kelly Shryock won the first-ever race here on May 25, 2002, and has taken home the most hardware from the high-banked 3/8-mile oval with nine career wins at ‘The Creek.’ Jason Hughes has six and Tim Donlinger is a five-time winner while Terry Phillips, Zack VanderBeek and Jason Cummins have three victories to their credit. Corey Dripps, Ryan Ruter, Zack VanderBeek and Brad Waits have two victories each. Drivers with one victory in their pocket include Randy Timms, Mike Sorensen, Jason Cummins, Tommy Myer, Dean Mahlstedt, Jon Tesch, Jason Krohn, Steve Arpin, Chad Kinder, Mark Burgtorf, Brad McEwan, Mike Spaulding, Mike Hejna, Les Duellman, Dan Chapman, Dan Daniels, Tony Fraise, Darin Walker, Mark Noble and Steve Wetzstein.
The Industrial Material Surplus Iron Man Challenge will make its second stop of the weekend on Saturday with USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods joining the action. Wissota Super Stocks and Wissota Street Stocks will also be on tap.
Grandstands gates open at 3:00 with $1 beer, pop and hot dogs available until 4:00. Hot laps are at 4:30 and races start at 5:00. Slingshots will be racing on the Button Buck Speedway at 2:00.
Race fans can pick up $2-off grandstand admission coupons on race day at Casey's General Store locations in Owatonna, Rochester and Stewartville.
The Deer Creek Speedway is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 (0.7 mile north of SR 16). Order your tickets now on-line at www.deercreekspeedway.com or call 877-DCS-RACE.
SUNDAY, MAY 27 — DODGE COUNTY SPEEDWAY, KASSON, MN
The best racing anywhere in America on Sunday will happen at the Dodge County Speedway in Kasson, Minn., for the 11th Annual Stars & Stripes Shootout.
Fans can expect 35 to 40 of the top modified drivers in the country with a mix of USMTS touring pros and all the local stars on hand as well. Gustin and Tesch have split the last four shows at Dodge County with two wins apiece. There have been 29 USMTS shows at the speedway and nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, leads the way with four wins.
Jason Hughes, Tesch and Tommy Myer of Blooming Prairie all have three wins. Then it is Gustin, Rochester’s Brad Waits, Dan Chapman of Clarence, Iowa, and Todd Scharkey of Kasson with two wins each. There have been 16 different winners in the 29 programs at Dodge County.
Also on the special holiday card will be USRA B-Mods, Wissota Midwest Modifieds, Wissota Stocks, DCS Stock Cars and Pure Stocks. Gates will open at 3:00 with racing scheduled to start at 6:00.
Race fans can pick up $2-off grandstand admission coupons on race day at Casey's General Store locations in Owatonna, West Concord and Zumbrota.
For more information on the Dodge County Speedway please visit www.dodgecountyspeedway.com.
To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
USMTS TITLE SPONSORS: Casey’s General Stores, Swan Energy.
USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, Awesome Race Suits, Cheetos, Dominator Race Products, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, New Vision Graphics, Nitroquest, RACEceiver, SLAP Energy, Snickers.
USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Arbor Masters, Arnold Motor Supply, ASi Racewear, Beebe Heating & Air Conditioning, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Dirthead.com, DirtKnights.com, Erson Cams, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Intensitee Custom Racewear, Mesilla Valley Transportation, O’Brien Enterprises, Olympic Fire Protection, Ramirez Motorsports, Road Runner Trucking, Ruter Farms, Sybesma Graphics, Yeager Machine.
USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AERO Race Wheels, AFCO Racing Products, Beyea Custom Headers, COMP Cams, CPD Racing Tools, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, Forty9Designs.com, Genesis Shocks, Hooker Harness, Integra Racing Shocks & Springs, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, PBM Performance Products, Quarter Master, Real Racing Wheels, Tiger Rear Ends.