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USMTS Southern Series Feb. 18-20 at Houston Raceway Park


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, February 8, 2010

 

USMTS Southern Series kicks off 2010 season Feb. 18-20 at Houston Raceway Park

 

HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 8) – The stars and cars of the USMTS Southern Series are gearing up to take care of some unfinished business when they return to the Houston Raceway Park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18-20, for the 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals.

 

Due to snow and bitter cold in the Houston area during the first weekend in December, the remaining two nights of the event were canceled after the completion of Thursday night's action. The event was postponed to become the kick-off event for the 2010 season and a true winter-time tilt.

 

The entire tripleheader was postponed to Feb. 18-20, 2010, with the same full slate of events and full purse posted for the top dirt Modified drivers in the nation.

 

The event will be the highest-paying in the four-year history of the USMTS Southern Series, with a possible $10,000 to win over three nights. The main event will pay $2,000 to win on Thursday, with $3,000 earmarked for Friday's winner and $5,000 to win on Saturday.

 

Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla. was the most dominant USMTS Southern Series driver in 2009, and he capped off a personal-best record-setting season with his second straight title. Hughes garnered 10 USMTS Southern Series wins during the season plus an additional nine wins in the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour.

 

Nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, finished second behind Hughes in the standings.

 

Between the two rival chassis builders, they have 239 career wins under the USMTS banner. Shryock, who was also the 2007 USMTS Southern Series titleist, leads Hughes in National Tour wins with 152 to 61, but Hughes holds the edge in Southern Series triumphs with 19 to Shryock’s 7.

 

Both drivers are expected to be on hand for the season-opener at the Baytown, Texas, quarter-mile bullring, along with dozens more of the best of the best in dirt Modified racing, including three-time IMCA Super Nationals winner and USMTS veteran Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn., who will be piloting a new machine owned by Mark Smith and built by Willy Kraft.

 

Other heavyweights that fans can expect to see in action are Jon Tesch, Rodney Sanders, Morgan Bagley, Bumper Jones, Scott Green, Zack VanderBeek, Shane Hebert, Chris Henigan, Dereck Ramirez, Bryan Rowland, Cody Smith, John O Whittington, Steven Whiteaker Jr., Randy Timms, Wes Armstrong, B.J. Robinson, Garrett Durrett, Dustin Hyde, Jason Armstrong, Kyle Schmidt, Steve Holzkamper, Chad Davis, William Gould, Jeff Huckaby, Bobby Malchus, Michael Robertson, Eddie Martin, Howard Willis, David Horner, Tracy Denby Sr., Danny Barringer, Tracy Denby Jr., Paul White, Kyle Anderson, Phil Dixon, Chris Brown, Grant Junghans and many more.

 

In addition to the touring titans of the USMTS, the racing card will feature Southern Limited Modifieds racing for $700, $1,000 and $1,500 to win, respectively, courtesy of Express Race Cars.

 

Paul White won the first-ever USMTS Southern Series event at Houston Raceway Park in 2007. Since then, trips to victory lane have also been made by Alan Mondus, Kelly Shryock, Jason Hughes, Tommy Weder Jr., Johnny Bone Jr. and Zack VanderBeek, who captured the finale at the 2nd Annual Texas Winter Nationals in 2008.

 

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.

 

An open practice is also scheduled for Wednesday night, Feb. 17, from 6-9 p.m.

 

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 SH 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.

 

EVENT PAYOUTS: Thursday – 1. $2000, 2. $1200, 3. $800, 4. $600, 5. $500, 6. $400, 7. $350, 8. $300, 9. $250, 10. $230, 11. $210, 12-26. $200, Tow $60; Friday – 1. $3000, 2. $1800, 3. $1200, 4. $800, 5. $600, 6. $500, 7. $450, 8. $400, 9. $350, 10. $300, 11-26. $275, Tow $80; Saturday – 1. $5000, 2. $2500, 3. $1700, 4. $1000, 5. $700, 6. $600, 7. $500, 8. $450, 9. $400, 10. $350, 11. $325, 12-26. $300, Tow $100.

 

Published payouts are for non-licensed drivers. There is no requirement to purchase a USMTS license to compete in any USMTS event. However, benefits enjoyed by licensed drivers includes higher event purses and bonus payouts, increased tow money, discounted entry fees, contingency awards, points funds, a personalized driver profile page at www.usmts.com and more. The cost of a license is $200 for the USMTS Southern Series, which is good for all 31 events on this year’s campaign.

 

ENTRY FEES: The entry fee for Thursday is $80 for licensed drivers, $90 for non-licensed or $100 for all drivers entering at the track. Friday’s early entry fee for licensed drivers is $100, non-licensed $110 and at-the-track entry for all drivers is $125. On Saturday, early entry is $125 for licensed drivers, $135 for non-licensed drivers and $150 for all drivers on race day.

 

Early entries must be received in the USMTS office, postmarked no later than Feb. 12, 2010. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.usmts.com.

 

There is no entry fee on any night for Limited Mods. However, any driver racing in both Modifieds and Limited Mods will pay an entry of $30 on Thursday and Friday, and $35 on Saturday.

 

RULES & PROCEDURES: All USMTS rules apply. The American Racer KK704 is the Official Tire of the USMTS; however drivers may utilize the Hoosier G60 but will not be eligible to earn points. Qualifying will be done by heat race passing points and Real Racing Wheels “B” Mains. Draw for heat race starting spot ends 15 minutes before hot laps begin.

 

FREE TICKETS: Free grandstand tickets for Friday and Saturday night are available at several locations throughout the Houston area, or by calling the track’s ticket office at 281-383-RACE and requesting free tickets by will-call for the USMTS race. Free event passes that were distributed for the December event are still good for the Feb. 18-20 show this year.

 

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also follow the USMTS on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

 

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