ARDMORE, Okla. (May 15) – Up next for the USMTS National Championship Series is another pair of $4,000-to-win events at two premier dirt ovals in Oklahoma and Texas.
On Friday, May 18, the world’s Best of the Best in open-wheel dirt modified racing invades the new and improved Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla., and then on Saturday, May 19, it’s a return to the state-of-the-art Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo, Texas.
Southern Oklahoma Speedway promoter and off-and-on USMTS competitor John Webb is enjoying a successful freshman year at the former Lake Country Speedway.
Purchasing the facility from long-time owner Virgil Page around mid-season last year, Webb jumped right in and started making improvements to the facility that was badly needed.
“This track has tons of potential, it just needed somebody to come in, spend some money and time and get it to where it needs to be,” said Webb.
Among the noticeable changes are new infield lights, painted buildings, a new concession stand with a bigger kitchen as well as an inside eating area on the spectator side and remolded bathrooms on both the pits and grandstand area.
Gates for this Friday’s USMTS National Championship Series event open at 5:00 with hot laps at 7:00 and racing action set for 7:30. The track’s weekly divisions of Limited Modifieds and Stock Cars will also be competing.
The Southern Oklahoma Speedway is a semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval located off of I-35 at exit 29, then 0.7 mile east on US 70, then 1.8 miles south on US 77. For more track information check out their website www.southernoklahomaspeedway.com or call the track (405)-816-4314.
The USMTS Modifieds return to the Route 66 Motor Speedway for the third straight season on Saturday. Rodney Sanders of nearby Happy, Texas, emerged as the winner of the inaugural event in 2012 after a hard-fought battle with Bumper Jones while Kelly Shryock held off Ryan Gustin and Sanders to win last year’s tilt.
The 17-year-old facility is a popular racing destination for drivers and fans in the Texas panhandle, with the past two USMTS events playing in front of standing-room only crowds.
The racing surface at Bill Worthen’s speedplant is a generous 75 feet wide in the turns with 20 degrees of banking and 65 feet wide down the straight-aways with 5 degrees of banking. The facility has a seating for 4,000 race fans, plus handicapped parking, stadium lighting, full concessions and several luxurious V.I.P. booths. For the race teams, the pits have concrete pads available with lighting and water.
Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m., grandstands open at 6, hot laps take to the track at 7 and racing is scheduled to begin at 7:30.
The Route 66 Motor Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval located 1.5 miles south of I-40 at Exit 75 on Lakeside Dr. in Amarillo, Texas. For more information, call the track office at 806-383-0375 or 806-335-3478 for race day updates. The track’s website is www.route66motorspeedway.com.
The USMTS National Championship Series currently has 29 events and each will pay at least $4,000 to win with up to 30 cars taking the green flag in every main event. The driver with the best 20 showings during the campaign will earn the title of 2012 USMTS National Champion and pocket a record $30,000 while the runner-up in the final standings will get a cool $20,000.
In the first eight events of 2012, six different drivers have entered the winners circle. Jason Hughes and Johnny Scott each have two wins while Shryock, Terry Phillips, Chris Brown and Mike Sorensen have also drank from the victor’s goblet.
Hughes comes in as the points leader, but his lead over Gustin is a mere eight points while Sanders lurks nearby in third – just three markers in arrears to Gustin. Nine more points back is Shryock, followed by Johnny and Stormy Scott in sixth and seventh, respectively. Chase Junghans, Phillips, Dereck Ramirez and 2007 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn complete the top 10.
Other drivers expected for both events this weekend include Bryan Rowland, Rick Beebe, Chris Brown, Zack VanderBeek, Austin Siebert, Mike Sorensen, Brandon Davis, Jeremy Payne, Al Hejna, Clyde Dunn Jr., Corey Dripps, Ron Keith, Daniel Hilsabeck, Casey Penn, Tristan Dycus, Randy Timms, Tracy Denby Jr., Shane Hebert and many more.
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.
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