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Wednesday, March 19, 2008








McCOOL JUNCTION, Neb. (March 19) — The O’Reilly USMTS National Tour springs back into action this weekend with their annual trek to the state-of-the-art Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., on Friday and Saturday, March 21-22, for the 5th Annual Nebraska Spring Thaw. After a sizzling season-opening weekend in Kansas last Friday and Saturday, race fans are once again expected to flock to the Cornhusker State for the would-be lidlifter on the 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval.




Sub-freezing temperatures two weeks ago greatly hamper track preparation, and rather than subject fans and drivers to arctic cold and a possible rough racing surface, the event was postponed from its original March 7-8 date. No weather worries this weekend, however, as Mother Nature herself appears ready for the high-horsepowered, mud-slinging excitement of America's Hottest Ticket on Dirt.




Defending race winner Al Hejna of Clear Lake, Iowa, tops the list of favorites for this year's episode after winning back-to-back main events on Friday and Saturday last year. In addition to seeing him in action on the track, race fans can stop by the Casey's General Store location just north of the I-80 Exit in York prior to the races each day to meet the “A Train” and get a sneak peek of his Casey's General Stores #7 Harris Modified.




While you're there, be sure to pick up a coupon good for $2 off admission price at the racetrack. Race fans can pick up $2-off coupons on Friday and Saturday at both York locations, as well as the Casey's General Store location in Geneva.




All past O’Reilly USMTS National Tour winners at Junction Motor Speedway are primed to return to capture another Nebraska Spring Thaw title. In addition to Hejna, other past champions of this event include 2006 winners Jason Friesen of Sutton, Neb., and Jon Tesch of Watertown, S.D., who captured his first of four main event wins during the 2006 season on his way to a fifth-place finish in the season’s final rankings. 2005 winners Corey Dripps of Waterloo, Iowa, and local hero Johnny “The Jet” Saathoff of Beatrice are expected, along with eight-time O’Reilly USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, who won the first-ever event at JMS in 2004 en route to his sixth O’Reilly USMTS title. Veteran Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn., ruled the second night of the 2004 doubleheader, while Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla., dominated a special one-day show at the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval on June 22, 2004.




Some of the other O’Reilly USMTS National Tour road warriors expected include defending O’Reilly USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn, 2006 title runner-up Zack VanderBeek, Dean Mahlstedt, Randy Timms, Jay Noteboom, Steve Kosiski, Justin Boney, Josh Reisch John Allen, Derek Ramirez, Pat Graham, Steve Holzkamper, Tommy Weder Jr., Mike Lineberry, Mark Dotson, Mike Wedelstadt, Scott Green, Jeremy Rasmussen, Bryan Rowland, Dan DeMey, Blake Sedgwick, Dustin Boney, Greg Skaggs and many more.




Local and regional hotshoes expected to contend for this year’s crown include Dylan Smith, Chris Alcorn, Matt Richards, Jake Neal, Chevy Hadan, Jon Thompson, Wade Cross, Chad Dolan, Kurt Johnson, Ricky Stephan and others.




Located five miles south of I-80 (York Exit) on U.S. Hwy. 81, Junction Motor Speedway is a state-of-the-art facility entering its fourth year of operation. The track is a super-fast, 3/8-mile clay oval boasting 80-foot-wide straight-aways, making for a lot of racing room for the drivers and a lot of wheel-to-wheel action for fans.




Gates will open at 34 p.m. on Friday with hot laps slated for 5:30 and racing at 7. On Saturday, gates will open at 10 a.m. with hot laps slated for 1:30 p.m. and racing to follow.




The 5th Annual Nebraska Spring Thaw will be the third and fourth of more than 60 races on the 2008 schedule for the O’Reilly USMTS National Tour, and the second and third events in the Great Plains Region. Friday's main event winner will earn $2,000 while the winner of Saturday's finale will pocket $3,000.




Open Stock Cars will also be on the racing card both nights, racing for $250 and $300 to win, respectively.




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.

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