Locked and Loaded: Best of the Best collide when “Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup” fires off this weekend. The regular season has concluded and now the playoffs begin as the road warriors of the United States Modified Touring Series embark on their annual crusade in pursuit of the most lucrative title in all of dirt modified racing.
SATURDAY, AUG. 3 – WEST PLAINS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, WEST PLAINS, MO. Saturday night will be alright for fighting as the stars and cars of the United States Modified Touring Series invade the historic West Plains Motor Speedway. Mother Nature thwarted the series debut here in 2011, but fans finally got their due last year and witnessed Kelly Shryock take down his 177th career USMTS triumph. This past May, Jason Hughes picked up a win in West Plains. The West Plains Motor Speedway is a 100-acre motorsports facility with an exciting 3/8-mile red clay oval surrounded by seating that will accommodate more than 12,000 fans. Fans can enjoy the action from their choice of molded contour seating, ground level bleachers or high-rise stadium style seating. On-site camping is available free of charge with clean restrooms, showers, water fill and a dump station for motor homes. Full service food and souvenir concessions are conveniently located within the facility along with acres of free parking. Pit gates open at 5:00, grandstands open at 6:00, hot laps begin at 7:00 and racing starts at 7:30. Also in action will be USRA B-Mods, Hobby Stocks, Super Stocks and Crate Late Models. Adult tickets are $15, Kids ages 6-11 are $5 and children 5 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 or $15 for kids. On race day, fans can pick up a coupon good for $2 off adult grandstand admission at any of the four Casey’s General Stores locations in West Plains. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com. The West Plains Motor Speedway is located 6 miles south of West Plains on US 63. For more information, call the track office at 417-522-9891 or 417-257-2112 on race day. The track's website can be found at www.westplainsdirt.com.
Last year, eventual USMTS Rookie of the Year Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., held the top spot in the standings when ‘The Hunt’ started. This time his twin brother, Johnny Scott, sits atop the rankings on the strength of his points championship in the Allgayer, Inc. Southern Region presented by Day Motor Sports, along with top-five finishes in the other two regions as well. Zack VanderBeek used a model of consistency to claim the second position in the initial standings for ‘The Hunt.’ Despite no visits to victory lane, the 28-year-old from New Sharon, Iowa, wound up in the top four of all three region points battles. Fresh off his win at the 3rd Annual World Modified Dirt Track Championship, Jason Hughes holds down the third spot in the points as he looks to garner his second USMTS national championship when ‘The Hunt’ wraps up back at the Deer Creek Speedway on the first night of the Featherlite Fall Jamboree on Thursday, Sept. 19. Nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, enters the battle in fourth and is also seeking his first win of the year to add to his series-leading 178 career USMTS triumphs. Stormy Scott comes in fifth. The rest of the top ten is filled with first-time title-chasers. Fourteen-year-old rookie points leader Trevor Hunt of Kearney, Mo., rides in sixth place while his closest competitor in the Rookie of the Year contest, Canada’s Joey Galloway, is seventh. Dereck Ramirez starts eighth and fellow Sooner State speedster Thomas Tillison Jr. is ninth. Galloway’s teenage teammate, Masen Big Eagle, starts ‘The Hunt’ in the tenth position, tied with Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas. Two-time defending USMTS national champion Ryan Gustin is 25, and sits 85 markers out of first place. Twenty-eight drivers from eight States and Canada qualified to earn points during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup and a shot at becoming the 2013 USMTS national champion. CASEY’S CUP POINTS STANDINGS: 1. 1st Johnny Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 99 2. 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa. ... 97 3. 12 Jason Hughes, Watts, Okla. ... 94 4. 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa. ... 89 5. 2s Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 84 6. 99h Trevor Hunt, Kearney, Mo. ... 76 7. 01 Joey Galloway, Manor, Sask., Canada ... 70 8. 4r Dereck Ramirez, Woodward, Okla. ... 59 9. 85 Thomas Tillison Jr., Wellston, Okla. ... 54 10. 00 Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask., Canada ... 52 10. 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas. ... 52 12. 186 Jeremy Payne, Springfield, Mo. ... 35 13. V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn. ... 34 14. 21 Chris Brown, Spring, Texas. ... 33 15. 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn. ... 30 16. 88xxx Clyde Dunn Jr., Sunnyvale, Texas. ... 28 17. 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa. ... 26 17. 16 Austin Siebert, Grandview, Mo. ... 26 17. 89c Steve Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas. ... 26 20. 7 Ron Jones, Princeton, Minn. ... 25 21. 22d Daniel Hilsabeck, Adel, Iowa. ... 24 21. 71 Philip Houston, Odessa, Texas. ... 24 23. 1k Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa. ... 23 24. 36 Jeff Conner, Panora, Iowa. ... 22 25. 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa. ... 14 26. 22b Rick Beebe, Shawnee, Kan. ... 13 27. 5* Casey Penn, Shreveport, La. ... 11 28. 91 Joe Duvall, Chelsea, Okla. ... 10 While the drivers participating in ‘The Hunt’ will be grappling for their piece of more than $60,000 in year-end points fund cash and thousands in contingency awards, all entrants will lock horns on a nightly basis for at least $3,000 to win ($5,000 to win with the Big Dog Buy-In) and more than $400,000 in prize money up for grabs during the 20-race campaign. More than $40,000 in points fund money has already been doled out to top points-getters in the three regional campaigns, with another $50,000 or more in points fund cash earmarked for drivers in the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup. The champion will pocket at least $15,000. Any driver competing in all events during ‘The Hunt’ will earn a minimum of $1,000 at season’s end. The 2013 Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup will wrap up on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., on the first night of the 15th Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree. Proving that any driver who qualifies for ‘The Hunt’ is capable of winning the title, Jason Krohn captured the 2007 title 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. 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 on the final night of the Featherlite Fall Jamboree. Despite winning just two races all season, Shryock went on to claim his ninth USMTS National Championship in 2009 by just 33 points, beating an 18-year-old up-and-comer named Ryan Gustin. Jason 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. 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 25 points to begin ‘The Hunt’ with second-place getting 24 points and so on back to the 15th-place finisher who got 11 points. All drivers with perfect attendance in the region—regardless of where they finished—also received 10 points toward their base points for ‘The Hunt.’ 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: Trevor Hunt, Lucas Schott and Steve Whiteaker Jr. will represent Casey’s General Stores and their affiliated brands during each race of ‘The Hunt.’ All three members of the Casey’s Crew will have unique graphics for their USMTS Modifieds, 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. Hunt will be driving the #99h GRT Chassis with sponsorship from Snickers, Schott will represent AMP Energy Drinks with his #69s Hughes Chassis and Whiteaker’s #89c Hughes Chassis will be carrying the Cheetos colors. Be sure to stop by a Casey’s General Store location before and after the races for all your supplies and needs, and remember to get your $2-off admission coupons available on race day at most events during ‘The Hunt.’ Check out www.caseys.com for more information or to find the location nearest you. TOP DOG BONUS: Beginning with Friday’s kick-off at the Batesville Motor 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. BIG DOG BUY-IN: This program give competitors the opportunity to take home an extra $2,000 at every USMTS points race. Each race during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series pays a minimum of $3,000 to win, but for drivers who pay an additional $100 when they register the winner’s paycheck expands to $5,000. The bonus will be in effect whether just one driver takes part or every driver in the field joins the party. Celebrating its 15th season in 2013, the United States Modified Touring Series is the fastest-growing and most popular dirt modified series in the world. Attracting the most talented and professional drivers in North America, the fan-friendly format and exciting show creates an enthusiastic and loyal fan base, and the USMTS routinely competes in front of capacity crowds. When it comes to a touring series that features the Best of the Best in dirt modified racing, the USMTS has no equal. To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online, like the USMTS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow the USMTS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts or check out the USMTS YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv.