USMTS: Thunderhill round two preview

No rest for the wicked: O'Reilly USMTS rolls into Thunderhill Speedway WEBSTER CITY, Iowa -- After a thrilling opening weekend at the Junction Motor Speedway, the stars of the O'Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series will barely...

No rest for the wicked: O'Reilly USMTS rolls into Thunderhill Speedway

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa -- After a thrilling opening weekend at the Junction Motor Speedway, the stars of the O'Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series will barely have time to catch their breath as Mid-America's Premier Modified Series rolls on this Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, with a doubleheader event at Thunderhill Speedway in Mayetta, Kan.

"Last weekend's show is going to be a tough act to follow," said O'Reilly USMTS race organizer Todd Staley. "The Friesen family had the track in excellent shape and we had a good crowd despite the cold weather. I don't think a single person left their seat before the checkered flag.

"The fact that we had 24 cars go 30 laps without a caution in our first feature of the year is simply a testament to the skill and professionalism of the O'Reilly USMTS drivers and teams. If you thought this past weekend was good, just wait and see what these guys will do now that they've gotten warmed up!"

After a pair of top-5 finishes on Friday and Saturday, defending O'Reilly USMTS National Champion Kelly Shryock of Fertile, Iowa, enters the "USMTS Kansas Spring Fling" sitting third in the O'Reilly National points standings, and will be looking to put his familiar orange No. 3 Skyrocket back in the winners circle. Shryock swept both nights at Thunderhill Speedway last season en route to his sixth O'Reilly USMTS National Championship.

After a dominating victory on Friday, followed up by a crowd-pleasing come-from-the-back fifth-place finish on Saturday, Corey Dripps of Waterloo, Iowa, leads all points contenders into this weekend's race. Just one marker behind Dripps (199-198) is Colcord, Okla.'s Jason Hughes. 2003 "USMTS Kansas Spring Fling" winner Tommy Myer of Blooming Prairie, Minn., sits fourth in points while fellow Gopher-Stater Jason Krohn rounds out the top 5 in the O' Reilly USMTS National Championship chase.

Other O'Reilly USMTS drivers expected this weekend at Thunderhill Speedway include Mark Noble, Jeremy Payne, Ryan Ruter, Mike Sorensen, Brad McEwan, Al Hejna, Zack VanderBeek, Jon Tesch, Brad Bakken, Danny Concelman, Dean Mahlstedt, Julie McDermid, Mike Wedelstadt, David Murray Jr., Alan Dix, Jay Noteboom, Jon Thompson, Tim Karrick and Greg Metz.

Friday's Holley "A" Main winner will pocket $2,000 while Saturday's winner will take home $3,000.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing to follow. Grandstand general admission is $12 for adults and $4 for kids. On Saturday, gates open at 12 noon, with hot laps at 3 p.m. and racing at 3:30. Grandstand general admission is $15 for adults and $5 for kids. Pit passes are $25 each day.

Factory Stocks and Super Stocks will also be on the racing card both days (no entry fee - pit pass only). The Factory Stock winner will earn $250 each night. Super Stocks will pay $300 to win on Friday and $350 to win on Saturday.

This weekend will be the third and fourth races of the season for the O' Reilly USMTS -- part of 10 events comprising Swing #1 on the 2005 slate. A big field of cars is expected for this event. Last season saw more than 70 drivers on hand.

<pre> O'Reilly Auto Parts United States Modified Touring Series National Driver Standings (top 10) as of March 14, 2005:

1.   31         Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa            199
2.   12         Jason Hughes, Colcord, Okla.            198
3.    3         Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa            191
4.   65         Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn.     176
5.   7K         Jason Krohn, Salyton, Minn.             173
6.  555         Ryan Ruter, Kanawja, Iowa               163
7.   19         Mike Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.         160
8.   26         Brad McEwan, Storm Lake, Iowa           157
9.    7         Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa              142
10. 33z         Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa       136

-www.USMTS.com.

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Series Stock car
Drivers David Murray , Jason Hughes