BELLS, Texas-Chris Brown picked up his third United States Modified Touring Series win of the season and first since February the mighty Modifieds of the USMTS Caseys Cup Series powered by Swan Energy invaded the Grayson County Speedway in Bells, Texas, for the first time.
Starting fifth on the 27-car grid, the 35-year-old from Spring, Texas, quickly found his way to the front and drove underneath nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock to take the lead as they completed the fifth lap.
Midway through the race, Stormy Scott and Rodney Sanders the two hottest drivers on the circuit this year with a combined 19 wins clawed their way into the second and third spots, but neither was able to rattle Brown.
A racy bullring with an ever-changing surface and two caution flags the last of which collected six cars on lap 23 of the 40-lapper were no help to Brown’s pursuers as he turned flawless lap after flawless lap to edge Scott by three car-lengths at the finish line.
I saw Stormy on that last caution, I saw him roll up to the high side in (turns) one and two, Brown revealed in victory lane. I noticed we were pushing up a bunch of moisture up there off the exit so I figured somebody was going to try and get up there and carry momentum in that line.
I was really parking it on the bottom, so once I saw that I said Well, I’ve got to pick up the pace and carry a little more corner speed, that way it would offset what they were picking up in the middle.
Sanders was a close third behind Scott while Sybesma Graphics Pole Award winner Clyde Dunn Jr. got around Shryock late in the race to claim the fourth spot.
Johnny Scott came from the 19th starting spot to finish sixth and earned the Mesilla Valley Transportation Hard Charger Award.
Kevin Sustaire secured the seventh spot, Trevor Egbert earned an eighth-place paycheck, polesitter and local favorite B.J. Baze nabbed ninth and Cade Dillard came from 23rd to finish tenth.
The win, worth $2,000, was the tenth of Brown’s USMTS career but it would never have happened if not for a phone call made by Grayson County Speedway promoter James Craig just one day earlier.
As of Wednesday morning, the USMTS Modifieds had never competed at the Grayson County Speedway, and there were no plans to do so in 2014, but a war with Mother Nature can produce strange coalitions.
Heavy rainfall peppered North Texas for most of this week, causing flooding in many areas. Steady showers dropped a little more than a half-inch of rain at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Sunday, while areas to the south and southwest were drenched with up to eight inches of rain, forcing evacuations and stranding motorists.
In what has been one of the driest years on record for the region, the moisture was a welcome addition to many local residents, but not for race fans who had circled this weeks string of USMTS events in the Dallas and Waco regions on their calendars many weeks ago.
The wet weather on Sunday and Monday forced track officials at the Heart O Texas Speedway in Elm Mott to cancel Tuesday nights scheduled event, and then more rain into Tuesday and Wednesday caused the plug to be pulled on Wednesdays event at the Devils Bowl Speedway in Mesquite and the USMTS debut at the Mountain Creek Speedway in Grand Prairie on Thursday.
It was shortly after noon on Wednesday when USMTS boss Todd Staley heard his phone rang. On the other end of the call was Grayson County Speedway promoter James Craig. Less than an hour later, the racers had a place to race the next night, and the fans had a place to watch them.
We’ve been dry as a bone here, Craig said. Our weekly car count is really good and our fan support is fantastic, so we felt like this is something we could pull off and offer them a great show to be a part of.
Twenty years ago, getting the word out this fast would have been impossible. But through the miracle of email, text messaging and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, thousands if not millions of people can get the message in no time.
Three more nights of racing in the S&S Fishing & Rental Southern Region remain this week to wrap up the Dozens Days of Dirt with stops at the Superbowl Speedway in Greenville on Friday; Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore, Okla., on Saturday; and Outlaw Motorsports Park in Oktaha, Okla., on Sunday.
Friday nights event at the Superbowl Speedway will also feature Limited Mods and Factory Stocks. Gates open at 6 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7. Adult grandstand tickets are $15, kids ages 7-11 and seniors are $10 and children 6 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $30.
The Superbowl Speedway is a quarter-mile semi-banked clay oval located 5.0 miles south of Greenville on SR 34, then west on FM 1903. For more information call 903-883-2504, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/superbowlspeedway or visit them online at www.superbowlspeedway.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 at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.