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Texas Winter Nationals has R.O.Y. award on the line.

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Marshall trio eyes Dustin Duncan Memorial “Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year Award


BAYTOWN, Texas (Dec. 1) - While this weekend's 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals at the Houston Raceway Park will produce the 2009 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series champion, one other hotly-contested battle will also be wrapped up.


Wes Armstrong, 42, holds a thin lead of just 17 points over his younger brother Jason, 36, as their sibling rivalry reaches a settlement this weekend in Baytown, Texas, with the Dustin Duncan Memorial “Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year emerging from the event.


While the pair of Marshall, Texas, mudslingers have swapped the top spot in the rookie points several times throughout the 2009 campaign, Chris Henigan — another member of the “Marshall Mafia” — has thrown his name into the hat as well, and is just 27 points out of the lead.


With his ninth-place finish at the Battleground Speedway two weeks ago, 25-year-old Garrett Durrett of Simsboro, La., closed on the other three leading rookies contenders and sits fourth in the Dustin Duncan Memorial “Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year points standings.


The youngest contender of the bunch is 18-year-old Chad Davis of Tulsa, Okla., who is currently fifth and trails Wes Armstrong by 57 markers.




1. 5a Wes Armstrong, Marshall, Texas ... 310

2. 57 Jason Armstrong, Marshall, Texas ... 293

3. 16 Chris Henigan, Marshall, Texas ... 283

4. 58 Garrett Durrett, Simsboro, La. ... 282

5. 52 Chad Davis, Tulsa, Okla. ... 253

6. 02x B.J. Robinson, Shreveport, La. ... 246

7. 10 Kyle Schmidt, Farmington, Ark. ... 241

8. 05 Michael Robertson, Minden, La. ... 199

9. 71k Kevin Sustaire, Emery, Texas ... 180

10. 18 Cody Smith, Kaufman, Texas ... 129


The top seven drivers are still mathematically in contention for the title, but by simply showing up for all three nights at this weekend's 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals, Wes Armstrong eliminates everybody outside of the top four of having any shot at taking the honor.


To be eligible for the award, a driver may not have participated in more than 12 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series events in a single season, more than 20 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series events overall or more than 24 USMTS-sanctioned events overall prior to the 2009 season. Furthermore, eligible drivers may not have won a USMTS-sanctioned “A” Main during a prior season, nor could they have earned a rookie-of-the-year award or championship from any similar touring series or sanctioning bodies. Rookie points are awarded at each event based on their performance in relation to other eligible rookies. The highest-finishing rookie at each event earns 25 points, second gets 23, third gets 21 and so on back to 11 points minimum for each rookie that starts the “A” Main. Rookies that fail to qualify for the “A” Main earn 10 points.


In addition to the $2,000 top prize, the 2009 Dustin Duncan Memorial “Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year will also earn contingencies from Dynatech Racing Exhaust, Nitroquest and more.


In 2007, the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series exceeded all expectations for the first-year campaign that saw hundreds of drivers pit their skills against the best in Modified racing throughout the South. USMTS officials revealed a rookie recognition program in 2008 with the announcement of the Dustin Duncan Memorial “Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year Award.


John O Whittington of Vidor, Texas, captured the title in 2008.


Dustin Duncan was living life in the fast lane. From the outside, everything seemed to be going well for this vibrant 22-year-old Texan. But Dustin had a hidden dependency on drugs, which ultimately led to his death in November, 2005. He scored his first and only feature win with less than a year's experience in May of 2005 at Sabine Speedway in Many, La.


Just Say Yes is a faith-based drug awareness program that was founded in 2005. The goal of Just Say Yes is to introduce a healthier alternative to those suffering with the bondage of illegal prescription drug dependency. Through both personal outreach and multimedia, Just Say Yes aims to spread God’s healing from the effects of these drugs.


More information about Just Say Yes is available online at www.justsayyes.tv.


This weekend's event will be the highest-paying USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series event in the three-year existence of the popular dirt modified tour, with a possible $10,000 to win over three nights.


On Thursday and Friday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing begins at 6:30. On Saturday, pit gates open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4 and the first heat race hits the track at 6 p.m. Hot laps each day will begin approximately one half-hour before race time.


The Houston Raceway Park is a state-of-the-art 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval with a main grandstand seating capacity of 7,500 which includes fourteen VIP luxury suites and boasts a modern Musco Lighting system suitable for television productions. Located in Baytown, Texas, the track is located east of Houston on I-10 to Exit 799, then 2.5 miles south on SR 99 (Grand Parkway), then 0.3 mile west on FM 565. Speedway entrance located at Gate 3.. For more information, call the track office at 281-383-RACE or visit www.houstonraceway.com online.


Free grandstand tickets for Friday and Saturday night are available at Marshall Mobile Homes in Marshall, Day Motorsports in Tyler and at dozens of O'Reilly Auto Parts locations throughout Texas and Louisiana.


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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