While the fans in the grandstands were facing south and focused squarely on the wild action happening on the 1/3-mile high-banked clay oval, a massive thunderstorm riddled with lightning was creeping up from the north behind them. Officials worked to move the show along quickly, foregoing driver introductions and the traditional four-wide “Salute to America” parade lap.
Cool winds and sprinkles began peppering the track with four laps to go in the 40-lap Holley “A” Main, but the fans got a complete show featuring a battle up front between two heavyweights, and the drivers got a workout that would make Lance Armstrong break a sweat.
Sunshine was abundant late in the afternoon, but by the end of hot laps clouds began to block the sun and helped keep the racing surface fast and sticky throughout the night. Nonetheless, the rugged road warriors of the O’Reilly USMTS National Tour found three different grooves on the racetrack, which provided plenty of action and passing in the main event.
Eight-time O’Reilly USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock drew the outside of the front row for the start of the main event and snagged the top spot from polesitter Scott Green at the drop of the green flag. Shryock went on to lead all 40 laps, but he was challenged the entire distance by last year’s O’Reilly USMTS National Champ, Jason Krohn of Slayton, Minn.
After starting ninth on the 24-car grid, Krohn used every inch of the track to claw his way to the front. By lap 20, he was in second place and challenging Shryock for the lead. Despite several cautions and a last-lap dive underneath by Krohn, the veteran from Fertile, Iowa, never bobbled and held off his fellow Skyrocket Chassis pilot to earn his sixth O’Reilly USMTS National Tour victory of the season.
John Allen of Chanute, Kan., finished where he started in third, while Justin Boney of Leavenworth, Kan., earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award by racing from 16th to fourth. New Sharon, Iowa’s Zack VanderBeek finished
fifth in his Cheetos/Casey’s General Stores #33z Skyrocket after starting twelfth.
Sixth through tenth went to Green, Rookies Rockin’ Sports Bar Rookie of the Year points leader Brandon Kenny, Jason Hughes, Gary Langworthy Jr. and Dereck Ramirez.
With the $2,000 win, Shryock padded his points lead in the Mo-Kan Region and now holds a 65-point advantage over Hughes (684 to 619) heading into Saturday’s Mo-Kan Region tilt at the Mid America Speedway in South Coffeyville, Okla. Tesch is third with 580 markers, followed by Allen (576), VanderBeek (526), Boney (521), Kenny (518), Krohn (510), Johnny Bone Jr. (490) and Langworthy (454), who moved up three spots in the standings.
Saturday’s event at the Mid America Speedway will be the sixth of 12 events scheduled over 13 grueling days:
Mon Jun 16 – Iowa State Fair Speedway, Des Moines, Iowa (winner: Jason Hughes)
Tue Jun 17 … Mineral City Speedway, Fort Dodge, Iowa (winner: Zack VanderBeek)
Wed Jun 18 …Park Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, S.D. (winner: Jason Hughes)
Thu Jun 19 … Thunderhill Speedway, Mayetta, Kan. (rained out)
Fri Jun 20 … U.S. 36 Raceway, Osborn, Mo. (winner: Kelly Shryock)
Sat Jun 21 … Mid America Speedway, South Coffeyville, Okla.
Mon Jun 23 … Independence Motor Speedway, Independence, Iowa
Tue Jun 24 … Buena Vista Raceway, Alta, Iowa w/ Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace
Wed Jun 25 … Huset’s Speedway, Brandon, S.D. w/ Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace
Thu Jun 26 … Casino Speedway, Watertown, S.D.
Fri Jun 27 … Rapid Speedway, Rock Rapids, Iowa
Sat Jun 28 … Nobles County Speedway, Worthington, Minn.
Afterwards, the O’Reilly USMTS National Tour teams get a well-deserved Summer Break before returning to action on Tuesday, July 22, at the Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa, for the final stretch run to the Casey’s General
Stores Hunt for the USMTS National Championship.
The USMTS is celebrating its 10th Anniversary Season in 2008 with many special promotions to show thanks to the fans, drivers, team members, families and sponsors who have helped make the USMTS the premier dirt modified
series in the nation.
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.