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USMTS title fight continues at Battleground Nov 19-21

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HIGHLANDS, Texas (Nov. 4) – The mud-slinging Modifieds of the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series are readying their rigs for a trip to the Battleground Speedway in Highlands, Texas, for a tripleheader of action on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19-21.


With his USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series 34-race winless streak over following his win at the Gator Motorplex on Oct. 24, 2007 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, leads the points in the Hunt for the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series Championship presented by Dirt Modified Magazine and appears poised to sweep both USMTS titles this year.


But defending USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series champ Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla., along with more than a dozen others, know that it's far from a done deal and they don't plan on rolling over.


Hughes is a mere 11 points behind Shryock coming into Round 3. On the strength of back-to-back runner-up finishes two weeks ago, Jon Tesch from Watertown, S.D., finds himself third in points and just 19 behind Shryock, followed by Sanders (-39), Bagley (-54), Chris Henigan (-57), Green (-67), Bumper Jones (-69), Rowland (-70) and John O Whittington (-73).


Shryock is now a nine-time USMTS National Champion after sewing up his unprecedented ninth USMTS National Championship at the 11th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., in September for his first crown in three years. A hard crash on the next-to-last night at Deer Creek cost Hughes a shot at his first national title, but he rallied back for a $9,500 win on the final night with a thrilling last-corner pass on Terry Phillips.


With two races in the books, six big events at two great Houston-area ovals is where this year's USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series will get settled.


The Battleground Speedway is up first on the weekend before Thanksgiving, then two weeks later the 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown is where the 2009 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series champion will get crowned on Dec. 3-5.


The six races pay a combined $15,000 to win.


On Friday, May 8, the series made it's debut at the rejuvenated Battleground Speedway. The 3/8-mile oval opened on March 31, 1984, and operated through 2001 before closing. It re-opened briefly from 2004-06 under the name Highland Motor Speedway, changing the name back to Battleground Speedway just before closing again.


Mike Walling purchased the complex in September 2008, and has overseen a remarkable turnaround at the track. The facility boasts a 4,000-seat grandstand topped by a new press box. The former press box was blown off the stands and landed in the nearby woods when Hurricane Ike rocked the area last September – just four days after Walling assumed ownership of the track.


The three-night blockbuster at the Battleground Speedway will pay $1,000 to win on Thursday, $2,000 on Friday and $3,000 on Saturday.


Chris Brown of nearby Cleveland held off Rodney Sanders and found his way to the winner's circle when the series made their debut at the 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval on May 8.


2009 Battleground Speedway track champion Phil Dixon joins Frank Kitchenhoff Jr., David Horner, Danny Barringer, Pete Sagmiller, Corey Babbitt, Phillip French, Tracy Denby Sr., Danny Ducote, Howard Willis and several other of the weekly warriors expected to contend for the winner's trophy each night.


The pit gates will be open all day beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, for teams arriving early. Pit gates will officially open at 4:00 each night, with grandstands opening at 5:00, hot laps at 6:00 and racing to follow.


USRA Southern Limited Modifieds will also compete all three nights. Hobby Stocks will join the program on Friday night. Saturday night's show will feature Pure Stocks in action.


The Battleground Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval located east of Houston on I-10 to Highland Exit 787, then 4.0 miles north on FM 2100 (Crosby Lynchburg Rd.). For more information, call 832-421-RACE or check out www.battlegroundspeedway.net online.


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.

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