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USMTS SOUTHERN SERIES AT ENID SHAPING UP TO BE A “WHO'S WHO”
by: Jeff Nun
ENID, Okla. (March 29) -- When the USMTS Southern Series roars back into action this weekend with a doubleheader at the Enid (Okla.) Speedway Park on Friday and Saturday, March 30-31, race fans are in store for what is shaping up to be a “who's who” of Modified racing. The race will feature some of the top Modified drivers from throughout the United States, and will also serve as the second USMTS Southern Series event of the season.
“Based on the entries we've received and the phone calls we've taken, there are some pretty heavy hitters on the road to Enid,” said USMTS president Todd Staley. “This quite possibly could be the biggest car count we'll see all year, and the toughest field of drivers assembled at one event.”
Heading up the list of pre-entered drivers from the O’Reilly USMTS national tour is eight-time defending national champion and current points leader Kelly Shryock. The 41-year-old from Fertile, Iowa, has one win under his belt this season to go along with four runner-up finishes and a third-place finish. In addition to sitting atop the national rankings, Shryock also leads the points in the Southern Region, Western Region and USMTS Southern Series while his creation -- the Skyrocket Chassis -- leads the Builders Championship points.
Other expected invaders from the north include last year's national title runner-up Zack VanderBeek of New Sharon, Iowa, and Dean Mahlstedt of Clear Lake, Iowa, who will be debuting his new Bullet Modified. Also making the long trip to the Sooner State will be veteran Mark Noble of Blooming Prairie, Minn. Noble's KraftKar Modified will be propelled by a new Ford powerplant utilizing the Brodix spec head.
From the east, Team GRT will be represented by the powerful trio of Terry Phillips from Springfield, Mo.; 21-year-old Jeremy Payne of Cave City, Ark.; and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark.
Jamie Burford of Keatchie, La., Johnny Bone Jr. of Pea Ridge, Ark., and Steve Holzkamper of Gentry, Ark., are expected to vie for the Enid trophy in their TRE Chassis machines. The Lone Star State is also expected to have a potent contingent with Chris Henigan (Marshall), Clyde Dunn (Sunnyvale), Tim Clonch (Quinlan), Brent Nicholson (Houston), Troy Taylor (Grand Prairie) Chase Allen (Midlothian) and Rockin' Rodney Sanders (Happy) among the marquee names. Sanders is currently ranked third in the USMTS Southern Series standings while Allen is ninth.
Of course, Oklahoma will have it's share of homeboys looking to protect their turf. Among the likely winners circle visitors are Jason Hughes (Colcord), Greg Skaggs (Bixby), Tommy Weder (Woodward), Randy Timms (Wheatland), Derek Ramirez (Woodward), Jeremy Ross (West Grove), Dena Wilson (Coweta), Joe Duvall (Chelsea) Brandon Morton (Coweta) and Chad Wheeler (Muskogee).
Friday’s main event winner will earn $2,000 while Saturday’s top dog will pocket $3,000. Each night, race fans will be treated to some great Modified racing with heat races, last-chance consolations and a feature event. Gates are slated to open both days at 3 p.m., with the first green flag waving at 7 p.m. Enid Speedway Park will also present Street Stocks and E-Mods on the racing card both nights.
In case of inclement weather, Sunday will be used as a raindate with hot laps at 3 p.m. and racing at 3:30.
The Enid Speedway Park is located 2.5 miles north of U.S. Hwy. 412 on U.S. Hwy. 81, then 0.5 mile east on W. Oxford (at the Garfield County Fairgrounds). Race day information is available by calling the track hotline at (580) 234-4488 or online at www.enidspeedwayparkllc.com .
All USMTS rules will apply. American Racer is the Official Tire of the USMTS, and any driver seeking to receive USMTS Southern Series points and/or contingency awards must use the American Racer KK-704 racing tire. The Hoosier G60 tire will also be allowed for this race, but must be mounted on all four wheels with no grooving allowed.
To learn more about the O’Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series, call the headquarters office at (515) 832-7944 or visit www.USMTS.com online.
USTMS SOUTHERN SERIES
Points as of March 28, 2007
1. 3 - Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa .... 219
2. 7n - Jay Noteboom, Hinton Iowa .... 184
3. 20 - Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas .... 174
3. 7 - Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa .... 174
5. 5 - Steve Holzkamper, Gentry, Ark. .... 165
6. 27 - Greg Skaggs, Bixby, Okla. .... 155
6. 5 - Randy Timms, Wheatland, Okla. .... 155
8. 93 - Cale Sponsler, Grimes, Iowa .... 145
9. 76 - Chase Allen, Midlothian, Texas .... 144
10. 33z - Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa .... 143
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USMTS SOUTHERN SERIES OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Race Tires, AMSOIL, BORCO LP, Day Motor Sports, Fast Company Performance, Holley Performance Products, Home Pride Companies, Intercomp, KEVKO Oil Pans & Components, Kraft Kars, Marsh Racing Wheels, Nitroquest Web Solutions, Olympic Fire Protection, Real Racing Wheels, Rookies Rockin’ Sports Bar, Yeager Machine.
USMTS SOUTHERN SERIES CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Boyer’s Engine Development, Dynatech Racing Exhaust, Edelbrock, Fast Shafts, GRT Race Cars, Hawk Performance, Hyperco, Isky Racing Cams, KSE Racing Products, Pflugerville Machine, Quarter Master, QuickTime Performance Race Parts, Racer’s Choice (RCI).