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Green flag ready to wave for 2016 Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup


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Green flag ready to wave for 2016 Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup


GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (Aug. 3) -- The 2016 season for the United States Modified Touring Series kicked off 175 days ago in South Texas, and now 32 rugged road warriors will embark on the annual crusade in pursuit of the most lucrative title in all of dirt modified racing.


With a USMTS national championship and $25,000 in their crosshairs, racers are readying for the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental which begins this Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., for the first of four straight nights of racing to begin the championship chase.


On Friday, the series heads back to the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan., and then travels east to the state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday. The four-night swing wraps up Sunday at the Monett Speedway in Monett, Mo.


Thursday, Aug. 4, Valley Speedway, Grain Valley, Mo.
Friday, Aug. 5, Humboldt Speedway, Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, Aug. 6, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo.
Sunday, Aug. 7, Monett Speedway, Monett, Mo.
Wednesday, Aug. 10, Amsoil Speedway, Superior, Wis.
Thursday, Aug. 11, Red Cedar Speedway, Menomonie, Wis.
Friday, Aug. 12, Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Saturday, Aug. 13, Ogilvie Raceway, Ogilvie, Minn.
Sunday, Aug. 14, Mason City Motor Speedway, Mason City, Iowa
Thursday, Aug. 18, Adams County Speedway, Corning, Iowa
Friday, Aug. 19 - Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
Saturday, Aug. 20, Salina Highbanks Speedway, Pryor Creek, Okla.
Sunday, Aug. 21, 81 Speedway, Park City, Kan.
Thursday, Aug. 25, Hamilton County Speedway, Webster City, Iowa
Friday, Aug. 26, Rapid Speedway, Rock Rapids, Iowa
Saturday, Aug. 27, Park Jefferson Speedway - Jefferson, S.D.
Sunday, Aug. 28, Casino Speedway, Watertown, S.D.
Thursday, Sept. 1, Fairmont Raceway, Fairmont, Minn.
Friday, Sept. 2, Chateau Raceway, Lansing, Minn.
Saturday, Sept. 3, Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Sunday, Sept. 4, Cresco Speedway, Cresco, Iowa
Thursday, Sept. 22, Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.


Twenty-nine drivers from 12 states and three carrying the Canadian flag have earned a chance at becoming the 2016 USMTS National Champion by virtue of finishing in the top 15 in points or having perfect attendance in one or more of three regions.


Each of the 32 title hunters have a legitimate shot to pocket the $25,000 prize that goes with being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the dirt modified world.


The Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental is comprised of 22 events, with the first 21 spanning 32 days at 21 different race track in seven different states from Aug. 4 through Sept. 4.


When the checkered flag drops on opening night of the Featherlite Fall Jamboree on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., the USMTS will crown it's 18th national champion.


After sweeping all three regional titles this year, Jason Hughes comes into The Hunt as the points leader as he seeks to defend his title from one year ago and garner his third crown overall.


Hughes brings a slim three-point advantage over Cade Dillard and just seven markers ahead of Jesse Sobbing. Dillard, who captured the 2014 USMTS rookie title, finished second to Hughes in each region while last year's top rookie, Sobbing, finished third in two regions and fourth in the other.


The Bash Bros-Cody and Brock Bauman-enter The Hunt separated by just two points in fourth and fifth, while their battle at the top of the Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year points remains tight as well.


Joe Duvall, two-time USMTS national champ Rodney Sanders, Dereck Ramirez, Zack VanderBeek and Johnny Scott complete the top 10 in points entering Thursday's showdown in 'The Valley.'


1. 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla. ... 90
2. 97 Cade Dillard, Robeline, La. ... 87
3. 99 Jesse Sobbing, Malvern, Iowa ... 83
4. 4 Cody Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill. ... 59
5. 6 Brock Bauman ®, Eureka, Ill. ... 57
6. 91 Joe Duvall, Claremore, Okla. ... 45
7. 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas ... 40
8. 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. ... 37
8. 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa ... 37
10. 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 29
11. 21 Jacob Bleess ®, Chatfield, Minn. ... 28
12. 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa ... 26
13. 12d Scott Drake, Joplin, Mo. ... 25
13. 37 Mike Jergens ®, Plover, Iowa ... 25
13. 00 Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask., Canada ... 25
16. 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa ... 22
16. 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas ... 22
16. 99 Jett Big Eagle ®, Manor, Sask., Canada ... 22
19. 02 Tanner Mullens, Wichita, Kan. ... 21
19. 4w Tyler Wolff ®, Fayetteville, Ark. ... 21
21. 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn. ... 11
22. 21 Lance Town, Louisburg, Kan. ... 10
22. 8 Steve Miller, Rosanky, Texas ... 10
22. 5 Todd Shute ®, Des Moines, Iowa ... 10
22. 9 Kevin Rutherford ®, Flower Mound, Texas ... 10
22. 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn. ... 10
27. 10 Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D. ... 8
27. N81 Mike Densberger ®, Lincoln, Neb. ... 8
29. 4m Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, Texas ... 7
29. 2s Stormy Scott, Arroyo Hondo, N.M. ... 7
29. 01 Joey Galloway, Emo, Ont., Canada ... 7
32. 60 Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, Minn. ... 6


While the 2016 Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup will award $25,000 to the champion, all licensed drivers competing in all of the Hunt races are guaranteed at least $2,000 in year-end points fund money whether they are battling for points or not.


Proving that any driver who qualifies for The Hunt is capable of winning the title, Jason Krohn captured the 2007 USMTS national championship after entering the first event with just seven points and ranked 18th in the standings. He became just the second driver to wear the USMTS crown, dethroning Kelly Shryock who had captured all eight previous titles from 1999-2006.


Similarly, Tim Donlinger found himself outside of the top 10 after the first two races of the 2008 championship crusade. He won the third event, but was only seventh in the rankings with 11 races to go. He went on to upset Shryock for the 2008 title, sealing the deal with a thrilling victory at the Featherlite Fall Jamboree.


Despite winning just two races all season, Shryock went on to claim his ninth USMTS crown in 2009 by just 33 points, beating out an 18-year-old up-and-comer named Ryan Gustin.


Hughes finally secured his first USMTS national championship in 2010 while Gustin settled for runner-up honors again. But 'The Reaper' roared back in 2011 to claim his first title, and then did it again in 2012 to join Shryock as the only other multi-time champion before Sanders duplicated the feat in 2013 and 2014.


While chasing his third straight title and a $100,000 payoff, Sanders was unable to match the strength of Hughes during the Hunt as he went on to claim his second title.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: At each of the USMTS Casey's Cup Series regional events, drivers earned points toward the regional championship. The champion of each region received 20 points to begin The Hunt with second-place getting 24 points and so on back to the 15th-place finisher who got 6 points. All drivers with perfect attendance in the region also received 10 points toward their base points for The Hunt regardless of where they finished in the final standings. Drivers with a 20-race license also had the opportunity to make the cut. From here on out, the traditional USMTS points system is used for each event in the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup.


USMTS POINTS SYSTEM: "A" Main Finish - 1. 100 points, 2. 95 points, 3. 91 points, 4. 87 points, 5. 84 points, 6. 81 points, 7. 78 points, 8. 76 points, 9. 74 points, 10. 72 points, 11. 70 points, 12. 68 points, 13. 66 points, 14. 64 points, 15. 62 points, 16. 60 points, 17. 58 points, 18. 56 points, 19. 55 points, 20. 54 points, 21. 53 points, 22. 52 points, 23. 51 points; all other "A" Main starters earn 50 points while non-qualifiers get 45 points each. In addition, each driver who leads at least one "A" Main lap earns 1 point and the driver leading the most "A" Main laps earns another 2 points.


CASEY'S CREW: The Bauman brothers, Duvall and Mike Jergens will represent Casey's General Stores and their affiliated brands during each race of the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup. All three members of the Casey's Crew will have unique graphics for their machines, snazzy new branded driving suits, autograph cards and more. Plus, each driver will be making appearances at local Casey's General Stores locations at various events.


TOP DOG BONUS: Beginning with Thursday's kick-off at the Valley Speedway, all drivers ranked among the top 10 points in are guaranteed a minimum of $400 in earnings at each event. Each driver must maintain perfect attendance during the campaign to remain eligible.


PROVISIONALS: All licensed drivers in The Hunt are guaranteed two provisionals. An additional provisional is earned after the tenth event, and another after 20 races are complete. Again, the driver must maintain perfect attendance to remain eligible.

Celebrating its 18th season in 2016, the United States Modified Touring Series is the most popular dirt modified series in the world. Attracting the most talented and popular drivers in North America, the fan-friendly format and exciting show produces an enthusiastic and loyal fan base. When it comes to a touring series that features the Best of the Best in dirt modified racing, the USMTS has no equal.


With the USMTS, every night is an all-star race... and those stars shine even brighter during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental.


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/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.

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