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Press Release
June 24, 2010  at 10:58:10
Submitted by David Smith Jr.
Steensma notches career-first USMTS win at Mason City

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Steensma notches career-first USMTS win at Mason City

MASON CITY, Iowa (June 23) – The grandstands at the I-35 Speedway were overflowing with race fans overlooking a bumpy but lightning-fast racing surface that had withstood a beating from Mother Nature over the previous few days.

NASCAR veteran Kenny Wallace sat on the pole and Kelly Shryock – the winningest driver in USMTS history – started next to him on the front row for the 30-lap main event.

Struggling to even make the show for most races this season and starting fourth on the 25-car grid, the deck was stacked against Mike Steensma.

But perhaps some of Ryan Gustin’s luck rubbed off on Steensma.

Gustin came into Wednesday night’s USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour event riding a five-race winning streak – a feat eclipsed only by Shryock’s 11 straight wins during the summer of 2006.

It appeared that nothing short of a mechanical breakdown could stop Gustin’s march.

The 19-year-old’s good fortune continued when he drew the pole for the first heat race with Steensma starting next to him on the front row. Gustin’s luck faded, however, when a broken drive shaft sent him to the pits while Steensma went on the win the heat and earn a spot in the WIX Filters “A” Main.

The result put Gustin at the tail of the first Real Racing Wheels “B” Main, but he powered his way past 14 cars in 11 laps to take the lead. Charging down the back-stretch with the checkered flag waiting around the next turn, the second gremlin of the night found its way into Gustin’s drive train and forced him to pull off the track, out of the race and into the pit area where he would be a spectator for the main event.

Steensma, on the other hand, wasted little time challenging for the top spot in the main event. With one lap in the books, he pulled alongside Shryock to inch ahead at the flagstand to lead the second lap just as the red flag waved.

Pat Graham, who started tenth in the field, barrel-rolled his Razor Chassis several times before coming to a rest in the corner. Although his racecar was badly damaged, the 41-year-old from Ames, Iowa, walked away uninjured.

On the restart, Steensma padded his advantage over Shryock while Wallace, Steve Wetzstein and Mark Dotson fought it out for the third spot. In all, six caution flags slowed the action, including the final yellow flag with four laps to go when mechanical woes brought third-running Ryan Ruter’s mount to a halt.

Steensma was up to the challenge each and every restart and went on to earn his career-first USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour victory.

At the end of the 2006 season, Steensma won the annual Non-Qualifiers Race during the Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway – a race that starts 30 cars, pays $2,000 to win and boasts as much talent as most USMTS main events – but Wednesday’s win was the first main event points win for the Luverne, Minn. resident.

Shryock had to settle for the runner-up spot while Wallace held on for a third-place showing. Tommy Myer finished fourth, Colt Mather was fifth, J.J. Wise came from 20th to sixth, Mike Weidemann was seventh, Kevin Pittman grabbed the eighth spot, Levi Nielsen finished ninth in his USMTS debut and Jeff Schluetter rounded out the top-10 finishers.

Despite failing to take the green flag in the feature race, Gustin’s four wins in six starts kept him firmly atop the Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Central States Region standings with a 22-point cushion (570 to 548) over Shryock. Mather is third with 464 markers, followed by Corey Dripps (458), Al Hejna (440), Zack VanderBeek (418), Myer (408), Jason Krohn (405), Johnny Scott (384) and Nick Deal (384).

It was a tough night for the USMTS “Top Dogs” as four of the top-10 drivers in points – Gustin, Hejna, Scott and Deal – failed to make the main event while three of the seven in the nightcap –Dripps, VanderBeek and Krohn – failed to finish the race.

NEXT GREEN FLAG UNFURLS IN REDWOOD …

USMTS Northern Speedweek action moves to the Redwood Speedway in scenic Redwood Falls, Minn., tomorrow (Thursday, June 24). This will be the first-ever visit to the Redwood Speedway by the United States Modified Touring Series in the 11-year history of America’s Premier Dirt Modified Show.

The track is under new management this year with promoters Brent Prouty and Paul Swoboda investing a lot of time and money into making the track one of the gems in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5, hot laps start at 6:15 and the first green flag will be unfurled at 7 p.m. IMCA Stock Cars will also be racing for $750 to win and $125 to start their 24-car main event.

The Redwood Speedway is a 1/2-mile slightly-banked dirt oval located east of Redwood Falls on US 71 to DeKalb St. (at the Redwood County Fairgrounds). For more information call 507-430-1662 or 507-430-6353 or check out www.redwoodspeedway.com online.

Thursday’s show at the Redwood Speedway will be race #7 of 8 over the course of 11 days. Each race is worth a minimum of $2,000 to the winner with no less than $250 to start the main event. More than $100,000 in total prize money is up for grabs during the swing.

USMTS Northern Speedweek Schedule:

Wed Jun 16 … Buena Vista Raceway, Alta, Iowa (winner: Ryan Gustin)
Thu Jun 17 ... Huset’s Speedway, Brandon, S.D. (winner: Ryan Gustin)
Sat Jun 19 ... Scotland County Speedway, Memphis, Mo. (winner: Ryan Gustin)
Mon Jun 21 ... Fairmont Raceway, Fairmont, Minn. (winner: Ryan Gustin)
Tue Jun 22 ... Mineral City Speedway, Fort Dodge, Iowa (winner: Ryan Gustin)
Wed Jun 23 ... I-35 Speedway, Mason City, Iowa (winner: Mike Steensma)
Thu Jun 24 ... Redwood Speedway, Redwood Falls, Minn. (Inaugural Event)
Fri Jun 25 ... Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis. (8th Annual Event)

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also follow the USMTS on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour – Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Central States Region presented by Arnold Motor Supply
2nd Annual Event presented by C & W Used Cars and Ray’s Body Shop
I-35 Speedway, Mason City, Iowa
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown, chassis/engine builder, laps completed, reason out (if any) and money won. The top 12 drivers in passing points accumulated in the heat races are locked into the “A” Main, with the top 8 re-drawing for starting positions 1-8.

ISKY RACING CAMS HEAT RACE #1 (8 laps):
1. (2) 10 Mike Steensma, Luverne, Minn.
2. (4) 555 Ryan Ruter, Kanawha, Iowa.
3. (8) 12h Mike Hansen, Alton, Iowa.
4. (5) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas.
5. (9) 5 Steve Holzkamper, Gentry, Ark.
6. (6) 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
7. (7) 18 Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.
8. (3) 68 J.J. Wise, Manly, Iowa.
9. (1) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa.

NEW VISION GRAPHICS HEAT RACE #2 (8 laps):
1. (5) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
2. (7) 37x Mike Weidemann (R), Dubuque, Iowa.
3. (1) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
4. (8) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.
5. (4) 56 Chris Spieker, Massena, Iowa.
6. (6) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa.
7. (2) 23 Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn.
8. (3) 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La.

SCHOENFELD HEADERS HEAT RACE #3 (8 laps):1. (1) 36 Kenny Wallace, Concord, N.C.
2. (5) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa.
3. (6) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa.
4. (3) 02 Tommy Weder Jr., Woodward, Okla.
5. (8) 7c Nate Caruth, Ames, Iowa.
6. (7) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa.
7. (2) 7k Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
8. (4) Z3 Mike Albertsen, Audubon, Iowa.

EIBACH SPRINGS HEAT RACE #4 (8 laps):
1. (2) 85d Mark Dotson, Cameron, Mo.
2. (3) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
3. (7) 1k Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa.
4. (1) 35 Jeff Schluetter, New Hampton, Iowa.
5. (5) 3a Jason Schueller (R), Dubuque, Iowa.
6. (4) 55d Nick Deal (R), Walnut, Iowa.
7. (6) 45 Levi Nielsen, Mason City, Iowa.
8. (8) 1st Johnny Scott (R), Las Cruces, N.M.

AWESOMERACESUITS.COM HEAT RACE #5 (8 laps):
1. (2) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
2. (1) 8 Colt Mather, Webster, Iowa.
3. (3) 26p Kevin Pittman, Waterloo, Iowa.
4. (4) 11 Ryan Peckham (R), Corning, Iowa.
5. (7) 12 Mark Elliott (R), Webster City, Iowa.
6. (5) 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa.
7. (6) R21 Ryan Schaffer (R), Corning, Iowa.
8. (8) 25$ Shane Monson, Clear Lake, Iowa.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #1 (12 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (1) 8 Colt Mather, Webster, Iowa.
2. (8) 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas.
3. (11) 7k Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
4. (6) 12 Mark Elliott (R), Webster City, Iowa.
5. (4) 7c Nate Caruth, Ames, Iowa, $75.
6. (7) 3a Jason Schueller (R), Dubuque, Iowa.
7. (5) 35 Jeff Schluetter, New Hampton, Iowa.
8. (15) 19r Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, Iowa, $400.
9. (9) 55d Nick Deal (R), Walnut, Iowa, $400.
10. (3) 5 Steve Holzkamper, Gentry, Ark., $90.
11. (2) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn., $90.
12. (14) 1st Johnny Scott (R), Las Cruces, N.M., $400.
13. (13) 9 Shane Hebert, Lafayette, La., $90.
14. (10) 18 Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., $90.
15. (12) R21 Ryan Schaffer (R), Corning, Iowa, $90.

REAL RACING WHEELS “B” MAIN #2 (12 laps, top 7 advance):
1. (2) 26p Kevin Pittman, Waterloo, Iowa.
2. (4) 02 Tommy Weder Jr., Woodward, Okla.
3. (1) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa.
4. (12) 68 J.J. Wise, Manly, Iowa.
5. (9) 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa.
6. (6) 56 Chris Spieker, Massena, Iowa.
7. (11) 45 Levi Nielsen, Mason City, Iowa.
8. (14) 25$ Shane Monson, Clear Lake, Iowa, $75.
9. (10) 23 Darwin Karau, Kasson, Minn., $75.
10. (3) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, $90.
11. (7) 7 Al Hejna, Clear Lake, Iowa, $400.
12. (5) 11 Ryan Peckham (R), Corning, Iowa, $90.
13. (13) Z3 Mike Albertsen, Audubon, Iowa, $90.
14. (8) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa, $90.

WIX FILTERS “A” MAIN (30 laps):
1. (4) 10 Mike Steensma, Luverne, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s, 30, $2000.
2. (2) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, Skyrocket/ASI, 30, $1500.
3. (1) 36 Kenny Wallace, Concord, N.C., Impressive/Mullins, 30, $1000.
4. (11) 65 Tommy Myer, Blooming Prairie, Minn., GRT/Sput’s, 30, $900.
5. (13) 8 Colt Mather, Webster, Iowa, Skyrocket/Sput’s, 30, $800.
6. (20) 68 J.J. Wise, Manly, Iowa, Skyrocket/KSE, 30, $600.
7. (8) 37x Mike Weidemann (R), Dubuque, Iowa, Stealth/Zenner, 30, $650.
8. (14) 26p Kevin Pittman, Waterloo, Iowa, Victory/AEM, 30, $600.
9. (25) 45 Levi Nielsen, Mason City, Iowa, Harris/JR, 30, $450.
10. (24) 35 Jeff Schluetter, New Hampton, Iowa, Skyrocket/AEM, 30, $500.
11. (23) 56 Chris Spieker, Massena, Iowa, IROC/Hill, 30, $450.
12. (9) 555 Ryan Ruter, Kanawha, Iowa, Sidebiter/KSE, 26, mechanical, $425.
13. (17) 7k Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s, 19, mechanical, $400.
14. (3) 85d Mark Dotson, Cameron, Mo., GRT/KSE, 19, mechanical, $375.
15. (6) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn., Skyrocket/Sput’s, 17, mechanical, $350.
16. (16) 02 Tommy Weder Jr., Woodward, Okla., Hughes/Clements, 17, mechanical, $300.
17. (15) 89 Steven Whiteaker Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas, Hughes/Mullins, 12, overheating, $300.
18. (7) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M., TRE/BMS, 12, valve cover, $300.
19. (12) 33z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa, Skyrocket/Sput’s, 11, mechanical, $400.
20. (21) 31 Corey Dripps, Waterloo, Iowa, BC/AEM, 9, engine, $400.
21. (5) 12h Mike Hansen, Alton, Iowa, GRT/PerfOnly, 6, mechanical, $300.
22. (22) 3a Jason Schueller (R), Dubuque, Iowa, Skyrocket/ProPower, 4, mechanical, $300.
23. (10) 1k Pat Graham, Ames, Iowa, Razor/JR, 2, mechanical, $250.
24. (18) 26 Dan Fetters, Montour, Iowa, Sidebiter/KSE, 2, mechanical, $250.
25. (19) 12 Mark Elliott (R), Webster City, Iowa, Harris/Sput’s, 1, mechanical, $300.

(R) = DandyLand Farms Rookie of the Year contender.

WIX Filters Lap Leaders: Shryock 1, Steensma 2-30.
Total Laps Led: Steensma 29, Shryock 1.
Margin of Victory: 0.892 second.
AFCO Pole Winner: Wetzstein.
PBM Performance Products Hard Charger: Nielsen (started 25th, finished 9th).
Ruter Farms Long Tow: Junghans (435 miles).
Next Race: Thursday, June 24, Redwood Speedway, Redwood Falls, Minn.
Farm Boy BBQ Sauce Central States Region Points: Gustin 570, Shryock 548, Mather 464, Dripps 458, Hejna 440, VanderBeek 418, Myer 408, Krohn 405, Scott 384, Deal 384.
DandyLand Farms Rookie of the Year Points: Scott 1113, Deal 587, Elliott 355, Lucas Conley 327, Peckham 317.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Points: Mullins 172, Sput’s 159, ASI 123, KSE 68, AEM 49.
Chassis Builders Championship Points: Hughes 172, Skyrocket 157, GRT 129, Ramirez 111, TRE 90.

Contingency Awards:
Ai-Racing – not awarded.
American Racer – Gustin.
Dart Machinery – Ruter.
Eibach Springs – Dotson.
Forty9Designs.com – Myer.
Hooker Harness – Krohn.
Isky Racing Cams – Steensma.
KSE Racing Products – Weidemann.
Marsh Racing Wheels – Elliott.
Out-Pace Racing Products – Spieker.
PBM Performance Products – not awarded.
Quarter Master – Steensma, Pittman.
QuickTime – Weidemann.
Real Racing Wheels – Schueller, Spieker.
Schoenfeld Headers – not awarded.
WIX Filters – Steensma.

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USMTS TITLE SPONSORS: Casey’s General Stores, Castle Rock Recruiting.

USMTS OFFICIAL SPONSORS: American Racer Racing Tires, AwesomeRacesuits.com, GoPro, Intercomp, Karl Chevrolet, Kevko Oil Pans & Components, New Vision Graphics, Nitroquest, RACEceiver.

USMTS PARTICIPATING SPONSORS: Allstar Performance, Arnold Motor Supply, ASi Racewear, Bear Tire, Big Dog Chassis & Fabrication, BRODIX Cylinder Heads, Cagle Motorsports, DandyLand Farms, Day Motor Sports, Dirt Track Racing School, Dirthead.com, DirtKnights.com, Falcon Wind Power, Farm Boy BBQ Sauce, Gressel Oil Field Service, Intensitee Custom Racewear, Just Say Yes, Karl Performance Parts, Olympic Fire Protection, Ramirez Race Cars, Ruter Farms, WIX Filters, Yeager Machine.

USMTS CONTINGENCY SPONSORS: AFCO Racing Products, Ai-Racing, Belleville Motorsports, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, COMP Cams, Dart Machinery, Dynatech Racing Exhaust, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, Forty9Designs.com, GRT Race Cars, Hooker Harness, Hypercoil Springs, Isky Racing Cams, KSE Racing Products, Marsh Racing Wheels, Out-Pace Racing Products, PBM Performance Products, Quarter Master, QuickTime Inc, Real Racing Wheels, RHS – Racing Head Service, Schoenfeld Headers, US Brake, Willy’s Carburetor & Dyno Shop, WIX Filters.

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