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USMTS Winter Nationals set for tonight at Houston Racway Park


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Practice wraps up, sets stage for 4th Annual Texas Winter Nationals opener Thursday

 

Baytown, Texas (November 19, 2010) - The premier dirt modified drivers in America are converging on the Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, for the 4th Annual Texas Winter Nationals this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-20, and this year it looks like Mother Nature is making up for her cruel joke one year ago.

 

A field of 74 entries were in attendance on Dec. 3 for a program cut short by snow – the earliest ever recorded for the southeast Texas metropolis — and bitter cold, forcing the cancellation of the final two nights of racing.

 

If the weatherman is to be believed, warm and dry weather is in store for all three days of this year’s installment of the richest event and season finale on the USMTS Southern Series campaign.

 

Sixty-two drivers got a head start on the weekend Wednesday night during a three-hour practice session on the 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval.

 

“The track surface was really smooth tonight, and drivers got to try out their set-ups on both a tacky and slicked-off surface,” said USMTS President Todd Staley. “The weather is perfect, the track is perfect … everything points to an awesome show this weekend.”

 

A possible $10,000 to win is up for grabs over three days.

 

Thursday’s winner will take home $2,000 while Friday’s first-place finisher pockets $3,000. Saturday’s finale will carry a $5,000 top prize – an increase from the previously advertised amount of $4,000 thanks to support from local businessman Ed Rinehart.

 

What's more, the 2010 USMTS Southern Series champion will emerge from the weekend tripleheader that will wrap up the 2010 campaign.

 

Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla., holds a nearly insurmountable lead in the points standings and is primed to capture his third straight USMTS Southern Series crown to add to his USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Championship he clinched less than two months ago.

 

Nine-time USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock sits a distant second in the points, while Sooner State speedster Randy Timms is just 50 markers behind the all-time winningest USMTS driver from Fertile, Iowa. Texans Rodney Sanders and Morgan Bagley are fourth and fifth.

 

Sixth through tenth – Bumper Jones, Ryan Gustin, Steve Holzkamper, John O Whittington and Steven Whiteaker Jr. – hope to solidify their spot in the final rankings while Shane Hebert, who is just one point back in eleventh, will look to take somebody’s place among the top ten.

 

Others expected to stake their claim to a piece of the money pie are Tommy Weder Jr., Johnny Scott, Rory Jordan, Tracy Denby Jr., Dereck Ramirez, Troy Seidl, Zack VanderBeek, Ben Stephens, Jerry Standifer, P.J. Egbert, Jimmy Ray, Terry Phillips, John Webb, Jeremy Payne, Melvin Pilcher, Jon Tesch, Howard Willis, Trevor Egbert, Dustin Hyde, Mike Dillard, Randy Heston, Kyle Anderson, Wes Armstrong, Lee Patton, Darrel Dawson, Jeremy Ross, Stormy Scott, Nathan Bichsel, Jeremy Gossett, Jay Sale, Danny Barringer, John Allen, Chris Henigan, Bryan Rowland, Kyle Schmidt, Brandon Davis, Alan Sharpensteen, Jason Armstrong, Mark Noble, Philip Houston, Tristan Dycus, Robert Metz Jr., Jon Mitchell, Matt Newkirk, David Horner, Shane Killingsworth, Steve Miller, Kenny Battarbee, Kevin Battarbee, Derick Grigsby, Brad Lasater, Brent Nicholas, Cody Smith, Mark Smith, Shawn Stephenson, Travis Tucker, Michael Robertson, Hunter Rasdon, Patrick Linn, David Winslett, Brad Doherty, John Schwab, Allen Chickering, Chase Allen, Steve Pugh, Jeff Wood, Joshua Majek, Garrett Durrett, Clyde Dunn Jr., Ronnie Barbee, Bobby Malchus, Jarrod Havens and more.

 

Paul White won the first-ever USMTS Southern Series event at Houston Raceway Park in 2007.

 

Since then, one-time trips to victory lane have also been made by Alan Mondus, Tommy Weder Jr., Johnny Bone Jr., Zack VanderBeek and Jeremy Payne.

 

Shryock has won twice at the Houston Raceway Park and Hughes has tasted victory four times in the thirteen previous visits.

 

In addition to the touring open-wheel titans of the USMTS, the racing card will feature Southern Limited Modifieds racing for $500, $700 and $1,000 to win, respectively. Southern Limited Modifieds may use the IMCA-stamped Hoosier 500 or H500 tire only.

 

FREE TICKETS: Race fans can enjoy all of the action on Friday and Saturday for just $10 per carload with a special free two-day pass available at O’Reilly Auto Parts Stores throughout the Houston area, or simply call the HRP ticket office at 281-383-7223 and they’ll hold your ticket(s) at Will Call for you to pick up on raceday.

 

THURSDAY: On Thursday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing begins at 6:30. Grandstand tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and children under 6 get in for free. Pit passes are $30.

 

FRIDAY: On Friday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing begins at 6:30. Without your free ticket, grandstand prices are $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and children under 6 get in for free. Pit passes are $30.

 

SATURDAY: On Saturday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4 and racing begins at 6. Without your free ticket, grandstand prices are $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and children under 6 get in for FREE. Pit passes are $35.

 

USMTS SOUTHERN SERIES POINTS STANDINGS:

 

Drivers Championship:

 

1. 12 Jason Hughes, Westville, Okla. ... 1231 (5 wins)

2. 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa ... 1039 (1 win)

3. 5t Randy Timms, Wheatland, Okla. ... 989

4. 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas ... 960 (1 win)

5. 5r Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas ... 933

6. 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M. ... 891

7. 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa ... 859 (1 win)

8. 5 Steve Holzkamper, Gentry, Ark. ... 850

9. 5w John O Whittington, Vidor, Texas ... 829

10. 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas ... 796

11. 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La. ... 795

12. 02 Tommy Weder Jr., Woodward, Okla. ... 735

13. 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 702 (2 wins)

14. 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas ... 621

15. 25 Scott Green, Derby, Kan. ... 614

16. 51 Tracy Denby Jr., Vidor, Texas ... 612

17. 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. ... 597

18. 20 Troy Seidl, Magnolia, Texas ... 585

19. 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa ... 516 (1 win)

20. 34 Ben Stephens, Hattiesburg, Miss. ... 496

Other winners:

74 Jeremy Payne, Springfield, Mo. (1 win)

99 Howard Willis, Dayton, Texas (1 win)

 

“Just Say Yes” Rookie of the Year:

1. 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 702

2. 7x Rory Jordan, Victoria, Texas ... 621

3. 51 Tracy Denby Jr., Vidor, Texas ... 612

4. 20 Troy Seidl, Magnolia, Texas ... 585

5. 34 Ben Stephens, Hattiesburg, Miss. ... 496

6. 2 Jerry Standifer, Howe, Okla. ... 483

7. 707 P.J. Egbert, Copperas Cove, Texas ... 437

8. 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 398

9. 87 John Webb, Pauls Valley, Okla. ... 375

10. 47 Melvin Pilcher, Springdale, Ark. ... 361

 

AFCO Pole Award:

1. 12 Jason Hughes, Westville, Okla. ... 118

2. 25 Scott Green, Derby, Kan. ... 81

3. 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas ... 70

4. 5r Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas ... 68

5. 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa ... 65

 

WIX Filters Lap Leaders:1. 12 Jason Hughes, Westville, Okla. ... 165

2. 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 46

3. 99 Howard Willis, Dayton, Texas ... 40

3. 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M. ... 40

5. 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa ... 35

 

COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year:

1. Mullins Race Engines, Mt. Olive, Ill. ... 118

2. ASI Racing Engines, Lubbock, Texas ... 92

3. Rowland Racing Engines, Cedar Hill, Texas ... 73

4. Sput’s Racing Engines, Owatonna, Minn. ... 65

5. CB Racing Engines, Houston, Texas ... 63

 

Chassis Builders Championship:1. Hughes Racing Chassis, Colcord, Okla. ... 122

2. Skyrocket Chassis, Fertile, Iowa ... 93

3. TRE Race Cars, Fayetteville, Ark. ... 90

4. Larry Shaw Race Cars, Batesville, Ark. ... 71

5. Bob Pierce Race Cars, Oakwood, Ill. ... 66

 

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.

 

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, Twitter and YouTube.

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