Story courtesy usmts.com
When the United States Modified Touring Series pays its first-ever visit to the Liberal Fairgrounds Speedway in Liberal, Kan., this Friday, June 21, drivers and fans can expect a unique experience they will find D-lightful.
When promoter Glen Thompson took the reins of the facility last year, he made several improvements including widening the track by almost 20 feet. One thing he did not change, however, is the unique D-shaped layout.
Drivers will be “elbows up” from the time they enter turn 1 until they exit turn 4. Actually, everything but the front-stretch is one big left-hand turn with the only outside wall located in front of the grandstands. The rest of the track has a run-off area before the stone walls that surround the old fairgrounds.
The facility was improved with new bright lights and a good sound system in 2009, and the infield is kept clear of haulers to give fans an unobstructed view of the action on the big, round, slightly-banked dirt track.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” said Thompson. “I really like to bring in these big shows for the fans. If we have a good turnout, I’d like to have the USMTS back a couple times each year.”
With its one-of-a-kind shape, a handful of drives with experience may have an advantage over the rest of the field. One of those is Rodney Sanders, the current points leader in the Allgayer, Inc. Southern Region.
“Two guys to watch this weekend are Sanders and Jon Schwab,” added Thompson, who turned hundreds of laps as a competitor at the track several years ago. “Those two used to clean house back then, so it should be a popular homecoming for the long-time fans at the track.”
Gates open at 5:30 tonight with the first heat race slated to hit the track at 7 p.m. Stock Cars will also join the program.
Points will be awarded in the Arbor Masters Central Region presented by Day Motor Sports. Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo., is the current points leader in the region, and will be near the top of the “drivers to beat” list.
Other drivers expected include twin brothers Stormy Scott and Johnny Scott, nine-time USMTS national champion Kelly Shryock, 2010 USMTS national champion Jason Hughes, Zack VanderBeek, Dereck Ramirez, 14-year-old rookie sensation Trevor Hunt, Canadian teammates Joey Galloway and Masen Big Eagle, Thomas Tillison Jr., Joe Duvall, Rick Beebe and more.
The main event will pay $2,000 to win or $4,000 to win for drivers participating in the Big Dog Buy-In.
The Liberal Fairgrounds Speedway is located at the west edge of Liberal to 8th St., then north on Stadium Ave. For more information call 620-624-3743.
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 or check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/USMTSTV.