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USMTS drivers ready for Friday’s “Spring Thaw” opener


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Thursday, March 25, 2010


Practice makes perfect: USMTS drivers ready for Friday’s “Spring Thaw” opener at Junction Motor Speedway


McCOOL JUNCTION, Neb. (March 25) – For the seventh straight year, the best Modified drivers on dirt will kick off the action in the Cornhusker State with a doubleheader at the state-of-the-art Junction Motor Speedway this Friday and Saturday, March 26-27.


An open practice was held on Thursday night with drivers from seven different states taking part in the three-hour test ‘n’ tune session on the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval.


Among the drivers getting in some warm-up laps Thursday night were nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock, Zack VanderBeek, Mike Steensma, 2008 USMTS National Champion Jason Krohn, Scott Green, Ryan Gustin, Grant and Chase Junghans, Josh Reisch, Danny Charles, Ryan Ruter, Andy Wilkinson, Jeremy Rasmussen, Shane Stutzman, two-time WISSOTA Late Model National Champion Mitch Johnson and others.


Sub-freezing temperatures and lingering snow three weeks ago hampered track preparation. Rather than subject fans and drivers to arctic cold and a possible rough racing surface, the event was postponed to this weekend.


At Thursday night’s practice, all evidence of the long and cold winter have melted away … and there were certainly no flakes on the racetrack either.


On Friday, pit gates will open at 12 noon, grandstand gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps are slated for 5:30 and racing is set for 7. On Saturday, pit gates will open at 10 a.m. and grandstands open at 12 noon. Hot laps are at 1 p.m. with racing at 2. Tickets each night are $15 for adults, $4 for kids ages 6-12 and children 5 and under are admitted free of charge.


Just in case Mother Nature decides to intervene, Sunday is reserved as a rain date with the same start times as Saturday.


Last year, Tommy Myer won from the 18th starting spot against a stout field that included 55 entries. With a runner-up finish last Friday at the Outlaw Motor Speedway near Muskogee, Okla., Myer will once again be among the list of favorites.


Other ready-for-primetime road warriors expected include Jon Tesch, Dereck Ramirez, Steve Holzkamper, Mike Hansen, Mike Lineberry, Danny Booth, Brandon Davis, Nick Deal, Kent Willms, Don Gerritsen Jr., Andrew Gordon, Scott Ward, Jim Mathieson, Don Eischens, Anthony Mann and more.


Friday’s event will pay $2,000 to win while the victor in Saturday’s main event will pocket $3,000. Open Stock Cars and Two-Man Cruisers will also be on the racing card both nights.


The 7th Annual Nebraska Spring Thaw will kick off action in the Dart Great Plains Region presented by Allstar Performance. Other regional events on the calendar include:


Thursday, June 17 … Huset’s Speedway, Brandon, S.D.

Tuesday, July 27 … Park Jefferson Speedway, Jefferson, S.D.

Wednesday, July 28 … Red River Valley Speedway, Fargo, N.D.

Thursday, July 29 … Casino Speedway, Watertown, S.D.

Friday, July 30 … Brown County Speedway, Aberdeen, S.D.

Saturday, July 31 … Jamestown Speedway, Jamestown, N.D.

Sunday, Aug. 1 … Nobles County Speedway, Worthington, Minn.

Friday, Aug. 6 … Murray County Speedway, Slayton, Minn.


Camelot Inn and Suites is the Official Host Hotel for the 7th Annual Nebraska Spring Thaw. Located just 5.7 miles from the racetrack in York, Neb., Camelot Inn and Suites is offering a special rate of just $44.95 for race fans. This exclusive rate is valid for any single or double room with up to four guests per room, at no additional cost. This special rate is available only by calling the hotel at 402-362-6885 and mentioning the code “JMS” when booking your reservation. For more information, visit www.camelotyork.com online.


For those that can’t attend the 7th Annual Nebraska Spring Thaw in person, you can watch the action through XRN Race Cast – a high-quality Internet video pay-per-view. The broadcast will cover the entire racing show with lap-by-lap coverage of all classes, Motorstats.com Instant Replay, interviews and highlights. To order, go to www.xrnetwork.com and click to proceed to the live player. Then just sign up for an account, purchase and sit back in the comfort of your own home with the mud-slinging Modifieds of the USMTS!


Located five miles south of I-80 (York Exit) on U.S. Hwy. 81, the Junction Motor Speedway is 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.


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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