VIVIAN, La. (Feb. 23) — The third round of USMTS Winter Speedweeks happens at the Ark-La-Tex Speedway this Thursday
–Saturday, Feb. 25-27, for the 5th Annual USMTS Cajun Clash presented by Horseshoe Bossier City, and this one is shaping up to be the biggest one of the year so far.
And comparing this week’s show to the previous two weekends of racing in Texas, that’s saying a lot.
Four different winners captured the checkered flag in the previous six nights of racing to kick off the 2016 campaign for the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental, and the marquee list of drivers attending this week’s mega-event has gotten even more powerful.
On the strength of his two victories last Thursday and Saturday at the Heart O’ Texas Speedway, Iowa’s Zack VanderBeek comes into this week’s tripleheader as the points leader in the Production Jars Southern Region powered by Day Motor Sports.
But the Z-Man’s lead is a mere three points over defending USMTS national champ Jason Hughes, who captured theSaturday night finale on opening weekend at the Shady Oaks Speedway.
Close behind is Cade Dillard. The 2014 USMTS Rookie of the Year has yet to visit the winner’s circle in the first six events, but he’s finished no worse than seventh this season.
Ryan Gustin-a two-time winner already this year-sits fourth in the rankings, followed by Jesse Sobbing, Scott Drake, Ben Kates, Joe Duvall and Austin Arneson while Philip Houston and Bobby Malchus are tied for the tenth position.
Others chasing their first win of the season this weekend include Dereck Ramirez, Casey Arneson, Kyle Strickler, Steve Whiteaker Jr., rookie points leader Tyler Wolff, Brock and Cody Bauman, Johnny and Stormy Scott, Chase Jupe, Clyde Dunn Jr., Billy Vogel, Chadd Howell and Steve Miller.
Drivers expected to join the already stellar field competing in the Production Jars Southern Region include Todd Shute, Terry Phillips, Jeremy Payne, Fito and Jake Gallardo, Chris Brown, Austin Siebert and Rodney Sanders returning to the USMTS circuit after a week of racing late models in Florida.
As always, the “Land of Three Wide” high-banked clay oval boasts some of the nation’s toughest local competitors such as Jason Ingalls, Lucas Lee and Chris Henigan who captured both of his two career USMTS wins here.
In 2014, Cade Dillard posted his career-first USMTS victory on Thursday night during the 8th Annual Winter Nationals, Rodney Sanders claimed Friday’s feature and Kelly Shryock ended the season on a high note with a trip to the winner’s circle on Saturday. All three days of the ninth running of the event was rained out this past November.
Other USMTS winners here include Hughes, Johnny Scott and Duke Whiseant.
Wednesday’s practice is from 6 to 9 p.m. with free admission to the grandstands and $20 pit passes.
Thursday’s racing program starts at 7 p.m. with $2,000 to win for USMTS Modifieds, $500 to win Limited Mods and $300 to win Factory Stocks. Grandstand tickets are $15 with kids ages 12 and under getting in for free. Pit passes are $35.
On Friday, the green flag unfurls at 7 p.m. with USMTS Modifieds competing for $3,000 to win while Limited Mods will battle for $600 to win and Factory Stocks $400 to win. Grandstand tickets are $20 with kids ages 12 and under getting in for free. Pit passes are $35.
Saturday’s finale at Gene Boyter’s popular high-banked oval gets started at 6 p.m. USMTS Modifieds will race for $4,000 to win with Limited Mods paying $700 to win, Factory Stocks $500 to win and Pro-Mods joining the card for $400 to win.
The Ark-La-Tex Speedway is located 0.6 mile south of SR 2 on SR 1, then 0.7 mile west on Airport Rd., then 2.2 miles south on Boyter Lane Rd. For race day information, call the track hotline at 318-375-3470 or clickwww.arklatexspeedway.net to visit them online.
For unfortunate fans unable to make one or more of these blockbuster events, every lap of every race at every event during USMTS Winter Speedweeks will be broadcast live via pay-per-view atwww.RacinDirt.comm/LiveVideo.
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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