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Cummins, Hejna, Payne revealed as Casey’s Crew drivers for 2012 ‘Hunt’


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Cummins, Hejna, Payne revealed as Casey’s Crew drivers for 2012 ‘Hunt’ campaign


ANKENY, Iowa (July 23) -- Officials from the United States Modified Touring Series revealed today the drivers that will comprise the Casey’s Crew during the 2012 Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by Swan Energy.


While all three competitors come from different backgrounds and reside in three different states, each member of the trio has proven himself a threat to reach victory lane with the Best of the Best in open-wheel dirt modified racing.


This year’s Casey’s Crew drivers are Jason Cummins of New Richland, Minn.; Al Hejna of Clear Lake, Iowa; and Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo.


During the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup, each of the three competitors will carry an associate sponsorship from Casey’s General Stores (www.caseys.com), and primary sponsorship courtesy of three of the most popular brands available in every Casey’s General Store location




Cummins, who has primarily competed with the USMTS in the Southern Minnesota area, has just four career USMTS wins but each of them were big ones. His first came during the “Night of Victory” Shoot-Out held prior to the first night of the 2008 Featherlite Fall Jamboree. The 20-lap race featured 20 local, regional and national racing stars, including NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick.


The 32-year-old has also conquered a pair of preliminary night main events at the Jamboree – one in 2009 and again in 2011. He also won the opening night qualifying feature at last year’s inaugural World Modified Dirt Track Championship.


The latest conquest for the 2010 American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series Modified National Champion came this past November when he took $10,000 from the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M., after winning the USRA Modified Fall Nationals.


Cummins’ #71 Skyrocket Chassis is powered by Sput’s Racing Engines and will be sponsored by Cheetos – the Official Snack of the USMTS.




The “A” Train has been one of the most popular drivers on the USMTS circuit since its inception in 1999, and was also one of the stars of the 2010 television docu-drama ‘Dirt Knights’ which featured six drivers as they competed in the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup.


This will be the second stint for the 49-year-old as a member of the prestigious Casey’s Crew. Hejna donned the Casey’s General Stores livery in the first campaign back in 2008. His last of 23 career victories came on Aug. 4, 2009, when he scored his fifth USMTS win of the season with a wire-to-wire performance at the Cresco (Iowa) Speedway to clinch the Yeager Machine Upper Midwest Region title.


Hejna operates Rookies Rockin’ Sports Bar and Sevens Restaurant & Steakhouse in Clear Lake along with his brother Mike – a former USMTS standout himself.


Hejna’s #7 BC Chassis powered by JR Motorsports will be sponsored by Snickers – the Official Candy Bar of the USMTS.




“JP” originates from Tucson, Ariz., but in 2006 made his home in Springfield, Mo., where he currently resides. Now 26 years old, he started racing go-karts at the age of 8 and made the jump to open-wheel dirt modifieds when he was 16. One year later, he made the decision to leave home and pursue his dream of a full-time racing career.


In addition to six career USMTS victories that includes a ‘Hunt’ win at his hometown Springfield Raceway in 2009, Payne also has dozens of prestigious wins around the country in both Modifieds and Late Models.


After a successful six-year partnership, Payne decided to leave Terry Phillips Racing earlier this year to venture out on his own as he builds his open wheeled modified program.


Payne’s #186 GRT Chassis powered by RoushYates Engines will be sponsored by SLAP Energy – the Official Energy Drink of the USMTS.




In what may be a first in motorsports, the partnership between the United States Modified Touring Series and Casey’s General Stores directly benefits competitors through sponsorship of their teams. Throughout the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup, fans can enjoy appearances by these drivers at local Casey’s General Stores locations, as well as related branded spin-off merchandise such as apparel, die-casts, autograph cards and more.


In addition to sponsorship dollars from their sponsor, each driver will utilize a new Awesome Race Suit (www.awesomeracesuits.com) and each racecar will be professionally detailed with the latest vehicle wrap technology from New Vision Graphics (www.newvisiongraphics.cc).


Drivers in the Casey’s Crew are selected based on several criteria including, but not limited to, accomplishments both inside and outside of the cockpit, popularity among both fans and fellow competitors and the ability to represent themselves, the USMTS and Casey's General Stores and their participating vendors in a positive manner.




Aug. 9 ... Valley Speedway, Grain Valley, Minn.

Aug. 10 ... Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.

Aug. 11 ... Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo.

Aug. 12 ... Monett Speedway, Monett, Mo.

Aug. 15 ... Ogilvie Raceway, Ogilvie, Minn.

Aug. 16 ... Rice Lake Speedway, Rice Lake, Wis.

Aug. 17 ... Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.

Aug. 18 ... Upper Iowa Speedway, Decorah, Iowa

Aug. 19 ... Nobles County Speedway, Worthington, Minn.

Aug. 29 ... Fairmont Raceway, Fairmont, Minn.

Aug. 31 ... Chateau Raceway, Lansing, Minn.

Sept. 1 ... Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.

Sept. 2 ... Dodge County Speedway, Kasson, Minn.

Sept. 20-22 ... Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.


The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup currently has 16 events on tap with the possibility of two additional dates to be announced. Spanning 45 days, the champion will emerge at the conclusion of the 14th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., on Sept. 22. This year’s champion will pocket a whopping $15,000 for the series title.


To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ustmts and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts.

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