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Archive for August, 2008

GUSTIN GARNERS FIRST O’REILLY USMTS CHECKERS IN 4TH ANNUAL HAWKEYE SUMMER CLASSIC

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Ryan Gustin was just eight years old when Kevin Pittman won the first O’Reilly USMTS Modified race at Allison (then called Butler County Speedway) in 1999. Now 17 years old, the popular young gun from Marshalltown, Iowa claimed
his first O’Reilly USMTS National Tour victory with a thrilling last-lap pass of Corey Dripps to become the youngest winner in USMTS history.

Over an inch of rain in the preceding 24 hours made for a rough racing surface, but Gustin was up to the challenge all night long as he claimed the $2,000 top prize and the 4th Annual Hawkeye Summer Classic trophy in his 38th
career start.

After winning his heat race and earning the AFCO Pole Award, Gustin drew the pole position for the start of the Holley “A” Main. Gustin steered his #19 Harris Auto Racing/ProPower Modified into the lead at the drop of the green flag and led the first six circuits before Dripps went high in turn 1 then blasted by Gustin on the low side of turn 2 to lead the seventh lap.

From there, Dripps pulled away and looked to be on his way to his first O’Reilly USMTS win since April 1, 2005. But with four laps to go, Gustin closed the gap and began pressuring Dripps. As the white flag waved, Gustin shot to the high side of turn 1 and, like Dripps did on lap 6, shot to the inside of turn 2 and motored into the lead.

Gustin carried his momentum through the next turn and streaked under the checkered flags first while Dripps settled for a season-best runner-up finish.

Eight-time O’Reilly USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock came home third, with Tim Donlinger fourth and 13th-starting Al Hejna fifth. Alan Mondus, Jon Tesch, Scott Green, Donovan Lodge and Ron Ver Beek rounded out the top 10.

The race produced the seventh different winner in seven races so far in the Casey’s General Stores Hunt for the O’Reilly USMTS National Championship where the close battles have created a razor-thin margin between the top 5 in the points.

Despite a disappointing 13th-place finish, Zack VanderBeek hung on to the points lead, but Shryock jumped to second in the standings and closed the gap between himself and VanderBeek from 32 to just 8 points (655 to 647). Tesch is
only 11 back with 636 points, with Donlinger at 634 and Hejna with 633. Dereck Ramirez is sixth with 554 markers, followed by Tommy Weder Jr. (532), Mondus (519), Dripps (505) and John Allen (494).

WHAT’S ON TAP?

FRIDAY, AUG. 29 – It’s off to the Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minn. for another wheel-to-wheel battle in the 3rd Annual Cedar River Races. This will be the fifth time the O’Reilly USMTS National Tour has visited the 1/3-mile
semi-banked clay oval. Five different drivers have tasted victory, including Mike Chasteen (2001), Kelly Shyrock (2001), Jon Tesch (2006), Tommy Myer (2007) and Jason Krohn (2008).

Also on the race card will be Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks. Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the first green flag waves at 7:30. The Chateau Raceway is located 5.0 miles north of Austin on US 218 to
the Lansing Exit, then 1.3 miles east on CR 2, then 0.4 mile south on CR 25, then 0.3 mile east. For more information, call the track hotline at (507) 433-4578 or log on to www.chateauraceway.net.

SATURDAY, AUG. 30 – Saturday will find the Modified Monsters at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., for the 5th Annual Labor Day Dual, and the final tune-up race before the 10th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree, Sept. 17-20. A huge field of cars is expected, along with a jam-packed grandstand as the WDRL Late Model Series will also make an appearance.

Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. and the grandstands will begin filling up at 3, with hot laps slated for 5 and racing at 5:30. The 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located off of I-90 at Exit 209, then 11.3 miles south on US 63 (0.7 mile north of SR 16). Day-of-race info is available by calling (507) 346-2342 or check out www.deercreekspeedway.com online.

SUNDAY, AUG. 31 – The four-race weekend wraps up on Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Dodge County Speedway in Kasson, Minn. for the 7th Annual Kasson Klash—the 22nd USMTS event staged at the 1/3-mile semi-banked clay oval. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the mud starts flying at 5 p.m. Late Models, Super Stocks, Midwest Mods and Street Stocks will also be featured.

The Dodge County Speedway (formerly Kasson Speedway) is located 1.1 miles north of US 14 on SR 57 (at the Dodge County Fairgrounds). For more information, call Track: (507) 634-4281 or check out www.dodgecountyspeedway.com.

Fans can pick up $2-off discount coupons all weekend long at Casey’s General Stores locations in Austin, Owatonna, Rochester and Stewartville, Minn.

On Friday, Kelly Shryock will be on hand to meet and greet fans in Austin, Minn. at the Casey’s General Store located at 1702 12th St. SW from 12-2 p.m. Saturday will find the Skyrocket pilot at 605 S. Main St. in Stewartville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Sunday Shryock fans can meet the man and his machine at the Casey’s General Store location at 4500 18th Ave. NW in Rochester from 12-2 p.m.

All four events will pay $2,000 to the winner of the O’Reilly USMTS main event.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, call the headquarters at (515) 832-7944 or visit www.usmts.com online for the latest news and information from the USMTS — America’s Hottest Ticket on Dirt.

Billy Moyer closes out 2008 Farmer City Raceway season with a win in the Farmer City 50!!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The first event of the evening was time trials, with Mr. Smooth reeling off a lap of 12.464 seconds, the fastest of the 36 late models on hand. Moyer went on to win his heat in convincing style, easily winning over the 2008 track champion Eric Smith, followed by Kevin Weaver and Ryan Unzicker. The second heat went to Steve Sheppard Jr over a hard charging Frank Heckenast Jr, followed by Rich Bell and Ryan Little.

The third heat had a little trouble getting started due to third place starter Ted Loomis twice making a pass on the polesitter Jimmy Mars before the green flag would wave. Eventually, Brian Shirley would get the win, with Mars finally getting around Loomis in turn four of the final lap for second, with Loomis third and Kyle Logue fourth. The fourth heat was the most exciting as polesitter Don O’Neal jumped to the early lead, only to be run down on lap four and passed by Jason Feger, who went on to the win over O’Neal with Daren Friedman and Donny Walden rounding out the top four spots. The first semi feature went to Kevin Claycomb over Kerry Matthew, Joe Harlan and Mike Glasscock. The second semi went to Scott Bull. The next three finishers put on a show for the fans running three wide most of the race, with Jimmy Dehm finishing second over Terry Babb and Rick Scheffler.

Come feature time, the heat winners started up front, meaning Moyer and Sheppard Jr were the front row. Moyer took off to the early lead, followed closely by Sheppard, and Shirley. The first of two cautions came for Sheppard Jr as the right rear of his car had serious problems while he was running second. The second caution was for a spinning Rich Bell with eighteen laps to go. Up until that point in the race, Brian Shirley, Jimmy Mars and Jason Feger had been trading positions almost every lap. When the green flag flew again, however, third place Feger got around Shirley on the restart and set sail to try and catch Moyer. With about 10 laps to go, Feger caught Moyer and over the next six laps would try to pull alongside, and a couple of times almost made the pass complete. The fans in the stands were on their feet in amazement as Feger just would not give up. But all was in vain, as Moyer would turn up the wick and slide past some backmarkers and go on to victory lane.

The modified class saw a new track record in time trials, as Danny Schwartz would blister off a lap of 13.883 seconds in his father Denny’s car. There were 34 modifieds on hand, and the first heat went to Kent Robinson over Danny Schwartz and Jeb Friedman. The second heat went to a very fast Jeremy Nichols over Lane Dehm and Kevin Hastings. The third heat went to Jeff Leka over Mckay Wenger and Terry Barker. The final heat went to Gary Cook Jr over Chad Evans and Cory Schwengel. Brian Lynn won the semi feature. In the feature, Kent Robinson would lead the opening laps, but Jeff Leka would overpower him and run on to the checkers, followed by a hard charging Gary Cook Jr. Danny Schwartz, Mckay Wenger, Kent Robinson Chad Evans, Jeb Friedman, Mike Spatola, Cory Schwengel and Kevin Hastings rounded out the top ten finishers.

The streetstock class saw the first heat go to Jim Quinn over Greg Rubenacker and Scott Thrasher. The second heat went to Al Crawley over Terry Miller and Jesse Simmons. The feature went to Al Crawley over Jim Quinn, Terry Miller, Chris Tackett, Josh Griffith, Darrell Lehigh, Scott Thrasher and Greg Rubenacker.

The hornet class had David Reed win the first heat over Cook Crawford and David
Lorenzen. The second heat went to Stacy Whitehouse over Josh Osborne and Matt Corey. The feature ended in normal Reed style, as last row starter Joe Reed would take the lead from his brother David as they came off turn four, with a little love tap, and take the checkered flag and the track championship.

There were 102 cars in the pits, and all races were complete at 10:40 pm
Congratulations to 2008 track champions Eric Smith, Jeff Leka, Joel Funk, Jim Quinn, and Joe Reed.

Chateau Raceway and USMTS put on a Great Night of Racing

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Joining the USMTS cars, which featured several local drivers, the track also featured three other classes. The Pizza Ranch Pure Stocks, Affordable Portables sponsored WISSOTA Street Stocks, and Power 96 WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.

The USMTS drivers lead the way with a nice field of thirty-seven cars on hand to run a five heat, two consy set of preliminaries to set up a twenty-four car, forty lap main event. From the drop of the green flag in the first heat, right through to the checkered flag in the feature the field put on some of the most exciting racing of the season. In heat one Zach VanderBeek of New Sharon Iowa jumped from the outside of the front row to the front and held
off Joe Wernecke of Dodge Center to grab the win. Donovan Lodge of Moline Illinois made an early move out of row two to second but on lap two he went to high in turn two and slipped all the way back to eighth. That was just the start of his bad luck on the night as it got even worse for him later in the night in his consy. He stated deep in the field in that one and had just about worked his way into a transfer spot to the “A” Main when he drove into somebody else’s mess. The right front suspension was torn up and left him waiting for the next stop on the tour. Meanwhile in heat two Todd Scharkey
of Kasson out drove Jon Tesch of Watertown South Dakota in a classic side by side duel. Todd ran the top side while Jon stuck to the bottom. Tesch could get a good run into turns one and two lap after lap getting along side Scharkey down the back straightaway and into turn three. But each time Todd would out pull him out of four and win the race back to the line. The two ran six laps of that action and never once touched. Heat three went to Scott Green of Derby Kansas who got out in front of Steve Wetzstein of West Concord and was able to hold him off as the two duplicated the action of heat two over the second half of the race with Green staying to the top and making it work for the win. Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie ran down early leader Dan Bohr of Decorah Iowa on lap two to got to the front in heat four. Bohr would eventually have problems and fall back to the tail end of the field. Kelly Schryock of Fertile Iowa came up to second and put some pressure on Noble but could not get by him. The final heat belonged to Brandon Kenny of Woodward
Oklahoma who out ran Mike Sorensen of Rochester for the lead on the drop of the green as the two came off the front row. It became a three car battle late as Tim Donlinger of Rochester worked his way from row three up to Sorensens back bumper. Tim made several runs and finally made the pass for second coming to the checkers out of turn four beating Mike to the line by the nose of the car.

Losing that race for second ended up costing Sorensen a spot in the feature. He ended up having to run one of the Consys to try and earn a spot in the feature which he actually did as he held off Dereck Ramirez of Woodward Oklahoma to win his Consy. Unfortunately his car was smoking badly over the latter stages of the race and it proved to be terminal as it was announced he’d put a hole in a piston in the engine and he would be a no show for the feature. The other Consy event featured a flag to flag win for Ryan Gustin of
Marshalltown Iowa. Gustin rocketed from the outside of the front row to the front and than held off Tommy Weder Junior of Woodward Oklahoma who worked out of row two to finish second. Jake Neal of Omaha Nebraska had a nice run in that race as he started back in row five and worked his way all the way up to third.

With the twenty-four car field lined up on the track according to passing points and there finishes in the consys, the top eight drivers had to step forward to redraw for their starting spots in the first four rows. After the first six stepped up and pulled there starting spots the final two numbers left to be pulled were one and eight. Tim Donlinger and Kelly Schryock were the two left to draw. One would start on the pole and the other back outside of row four. Donlinger drew first and pulled number eight leaving Schryock to start on the pole for the $2000 to win main event. For Donlinger its been an interesting year at Lansing, in five previous stops at the track this season he had finished second in the feature each time. It seemed the dirt oval was against him, or least wanted to see him work harder that coming off of the front row if he was going to break his streak of runner up finishes.

As the field lined up it was Brandon Kenny who would start outside of Schryock. The two brought the field to the green for the forty lap feature and it was Kenny off the outside who took the early advantage with Kelly falling in line second ahead of VanderBeek, Tesch, Noble and Scharkey. Donlingers tough draw got worse as he was forced up high on the first lap and fell completely out of the top ten. Up front the leaders were picking there lines. Kenny went to the top with Kelly worked down low and the two spent several laps dueling side by side. Schryock lead lap eleven in one of those side by side battles but Kenny went back to point one lap later. Behind those two Tesch moved ahead of VanderBeek for third and closed up on the top two to make it a three way battle. Steve Wetzstein cracked the top five on lap sixteen as he was picking his way forward from a row six starting spot and Donlinger was trying to move back forward as he came up to sixth behind Steve. The caution flag came out just short of halfway on lap nineteen when Mark Noble had mechanical problems and his car stalled at the top of turn four. Off the restart Schryock dug down low again on Kenny and finally on lap
twenty-one he got a gun run off the bottom of turn two and slide up in front of Brandon to take over the lead. Behind the top two Wetzstein and Donlinger were still trying to pick there way forward and with twelve laps to go they moved up to third and fourth behind Kelly and Brandon. The third and final caution of the race came out on lap thirty-two when a slow car was unable to clear the track. Schryock got a good jump on the restart and the trio behind him fanned out three wide to duel for second. Kenny was eventually
schuffled back to fourth with Donlinger getting by Wetzstein for second. With just seven laps remaining and Schryock off to a nice lead it looked like it would be six visits – six second place finishes for Donlinger this season at Lansing. But Tim went out and in just three laps pulled up on Kelly and as they completed lap thirty-six they were side by side, with Donlinger on the bottom of the track. It was lining up for a fantastic finish. The two were
still running side by side as they crossed the line with two to go but as they came out of turn two and headed around for the white flag Donlinger got some good bite and pulled to the front and took the lead away from Kelly. Donlinger took the white with a couple car lengths between him and Schryock and finally got that first feature win of 2008 at Chateau and it came in one of the biggest races of the season that the track hosts. Wetzstein held on for
third ahead of Tesch, Kenny and VanderBeek.

Meanwhile in the Power 96 WISSOTA Midwest Modifeids Kenny Wytaske of Lansing put together a couple of nice runs as he took his heat and the feature for the sweep. Both races he had the benefit of starting on the front row. That along with a set of races that ran caution free he was able to get out to a lead and run and hide leaving the field to duke it out over second. Dustin Steinbrink of Austin ran second early in the race before falling to third behind AJ Wiste of Adams. Albert Wytaske of Lansing finished fourth ahead
of Greg Pfeifer Junior of Austin and Brandon Davis of Medford. Davis, who won the classes other heat event earlier in the night, had worked his way into the top three until mechanical problems slowed him on the races final lap dropping him back to his sixth place finishing spot. For Wytaske it was his third feature win of the season.

AJ Zvorak of Blooming Prairie picked up his sixth feature win of the year as he lead flag to flag in a very short field of Affordable Portables WISSOTA Street Stocks. Just six cars showed up for the class with Jesse Stahl finishing second in the feature after picking up the classes lone heat win.

Pizza Ranch Pure Stocks had a field of twelve cars on hand with Billy Steinberg of Kasson scoring his fourth feature win of the year. He also picked up a heat win giving him a sweep for the first time this season as well. Stacy Krohnberg of Walters lead the first two laps of the feature after starting on the pole. Billy was able to use a restart on lap three to his advantage as he jumped to the front when the green came back out. Tyler Peterson of Hollandale moved past Krohnberg for second. The classes other heat winner was Wayne Nelson of Freeborn.

The Fall Specials Continue next Friday and Saturday Night at Lansing with the “2nd Annual Buzz Festival”. Full shows both nights with the tracks full complement of six classes on hand for both nights of action. The track will also host a pair of specials the last weekend of September with the “3rd Annual Midwest Modified Fall Nationals”. Friday and Saturday Night, September 26 and 27 will be another full two nights of racing action with all six of the tracks regular classes participating in that weekends activities as well.

The Classic Returns to Madison International Speedway

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

“This is going to be a huge event. We are expecting a great car count and the fans will really be treated to an outstanding show. There really is something for everyone,” said MIS General Manager Dave Grueneberg. “Last year was our first year having a fall event at MIS since back in the 1980’s. Despite the rain things went pretty well, but we have made some changes this year to make it even better than last year.”

A total of eight divisions will be in action on Friday night including Limited Late Models, Area Sportsman, AST / International Four Cylinders, Hobby / Pure Stocks, Bandits, Legends, Bandoleros, and Grand National Vintage cars. The pit gates will open at noon with practice beginning at 1:00, qualifying at 5:00 and racing at 7:00.

On Saturday seven divisions will be taking to the track including Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Mid American Stock Cars, USST Super Trucks, Central States Super Cups, Legends and Grand National Vintage cars. Highlighting Saturday’s racing schedule will be Twin 50’s for the Super Late Models. The INEX Legends will be running a national qualifying event with cars from throughout the country expected to come to MIS. Rounding out the night and the season will be Dave’s Famous Trailer Race. The pit gates open at 9:00 with hot laps scheduled for 3:00, qualifying at 5:00 and racing at 7:00.

On-track activities will actually being on Saturday long before the first cars begin their practice sessions. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) will be holding their annual Walkathon on Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile. Over 2,000 walkers are expected at MIS for a morning and afternoon of exercise, live music, games, food, and fun. “This is a major event for JDRF and we are happy to be having them come to MIS. We are hoping to have the drivers put their cars on display for the walkers to see in the morning,” said MIS marketing manager Holly Coley.

“We want to make this affordable fun for the entire family. Kids eleven and under will still be free and rides in the race cars are scheduled for Saturday night,” added Grueneberg. Adult tickets are $12 for Friday and $18 for Saturday or a two-day pass for $25.00. Student (12-16) tickets are $8 for Friday and $14 for Saturday or a two-day pass for $20. Children eleven and under are free.

Madison International Speedway is located just south of Highway 138 on Sunrise Road just two miles east of Oregon or four miles west of Stoughton. For more information check out the track website at madisoninternationalspeedway.com or call the track office at 608.835.9700. A downloadable schedule and entry form are available on the website.

TSRS series hits the track after 28 long (and hot) days

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Thus, TSRS late models will hit the track for the first time in 28 days this
Saturday night (Aug. 30) at Thunderhill Raceway (THR) in Kyle, TX. The series’
drivers have been itching to hit the pavement and will do so in a race lineup that includes the three THR classes – the ASA A-Line Auto Parts Super Stocks, Thunder Stocks, Grand Stocks and NASKARTS – as well as the Texas Pro Sedans and Allison Legacy Series.

Heath Stewart (Del Valle, TX) leads the points chase over Brian Moczygemba (San
Antonio) by 97 points and Robert Barker (Boerne) by 104 points. The series’ ninth race will take place on THR’s 3/8th-mile asphalt oval.

Previous TSRS winners at THR this season include: April 19 @ THR: Heath Stewart April 26 @ THR: Brian Moczygemba May 31 @ THR: Heath Stewart
July 26 @ THR: Heath Stewart

Dillon Spreen (Boerne, TX) continues to lead Jake Kruger (Bastrop, TX) by 63 points in the TSRS rookie chase headed into Saturday night’s race.

Information on TSRS can be found at www.manracingpromotions.com. Information about THR can be found at www.thunderhillraceway.com.