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United States Modifieds visit I-35 Speedway

by Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer –

The I-35 Speedway at the North Iowa Events Center hosted a special event, featuring the United States Modified Touring Series Wednesday night.

It all got started when the fearless lead-footed USMTS pilots invaded Joe Ringsdorf’s I-35 Speedway for the third time. Three separate attempts were made to get the show in last year, but the event was twice rained-out and canceled a third time when the heat index reached 110 degrees.

From the United States Modified Touring Series website, giving more information on the ongoing series:

This will be the eleventh straight year for the Memorial Day Weekend pentathlon through Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota that annually draws dozens of the region’s best open-wheel modified drivers to five of the most popular dirt ovals in America’s heartland.

The USMTS one-of-a-kind four-wide parade lap featuring each driver displaying the American Flag has become a renowned tradition to race fans everywhere, but the show takes on special meaning this weekend as fans, drivers, officials and sponsors remember the fighting men and women of the United States military who, through their sacrifices, make it possible for all of us to enjoy the greatest spectator sport on the planet.

Five days of cash and chaos is up next for the United States Modified Touring Series as the series head north for their traditional Memorial Day Weekend swing this Wednesday through Sunday, May 23-27.

After Wednesday nights opening race in Mason City, the series continues Thursday, the first of three events this year at the historic Highway 3 Raceway in Allison, Iowa. Friday will find the rugged USMTS road warriors at the Chateau Raceway in Lansing, Minn., and on Saturday, it’s the first trip of the 2012 campaign to the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. The weekend wraps up on Sunday in Kasson, Minn., at the Dodge County Speedway.

Each event will pay $2,000 to win, a minimum $250 to start and will award points in the USMTS Casey’s Cup Series.

Along with the USMTS, the Sports Mod series also raced. After the usual hotlaps that started at 7:00 PM, there were the heat races and then the features. In the Sports Mod feature, the cars hadn’t got to the green flag before the first pile up accident occurred taken out the first few cars. It was only a half of track later, on turn two, the second set of cars crashed. (see videos)

The United States Modified Touring Series was a whole different story. There were no big smash-ups. As the laps went by, the cars just dropped off one by one for different reasons. Only ten cars finished the last feature of the night, with Kelly Shryock #3, from Fertile, Iowa taking first place. Half of the twenty-six race cars were from Iowa, JJ Wise #68, from Manly coming in fifth, Eric Dailey #7, from Armstrong, coming in sixth, Kurt Krauskopf #60, from Decorah, seventh, Levi Nielsen #45, Mason City, eleventh and Ryan Ruter #555, Kanawha, twelfth, all coming in on the top fifteen.

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