July 15, 2004

Rain Spoils Show at Scotland County Speedway For Second Straight Week

By Chris Feeney Forget about Indian rain dances or any other magical charms Ė if your area needs precipitation simply call upon the United Modified Touring Series to schedule a race in your area. The drought will be over as the USMTS has missed a record number of races this year due to rainouts and July 9 at Scotland County Speedway was no different.

The special Friday night races at the Scotland County Fair made it through nearly half the show before a short, but steady rain shower washed out the A-modified feature event just 10 laps into the 35-lap USMTS main event.

The show will be made up on July 31 when the tour returns to Memphis. The rest of the classes (hobby stocks, cruisers and pony stocks will run double-features next Saturday night, July 24.

The racers were able to complete all heat races and had two features down on Walker Motors Collision Center and Spilman Auto night at the track.

Wyatt Lantz continued to climb up in the standings for the B-modified class as he took the 22L car back to victory lane in the first feature of the night.

Lantz made a strong run after starting in 18th place in the 20-car field. He and Jerry Poor (#86) who started dead last, quickly moved to the front of the class in just a couple of laps.

They were not the only hard chargers as Jack Evans, Jr. moved up from his eighth spot to start the race and took over the early lead.

Poor was the first to challenge the #00 car as he got by John Shaffer for the second spot. Points leader Jerry Reese, Jr. was also in the hunt early until his car went out in turn three leaving him on the infield for the rest of the evening.

Poor looped the 86 car in turn two bringing out the races fourth caution of the night and shuffling the front of the field again. The field continued to shrink as Logan Trueblood and the #22 car also headed to the infield with motor problems. The 17-year-old had made a solid run from the back of the pack up to challenge for third place when the motor gave up.

Lantz ultimately got by Shaffer for the second spot and then made his move past Evans, Jr. to take over the top spot. The #00 car settled for second with Shaffer taking a season-best third place finish. Teddy Collins was fourth followed by Chris Leathers.

Heat races victories went to Evans, Jr., Bob Woodrow and Reese, Jr.

As usual the stock car class put on one of the best shows of the evening but with an unusual end as a new face emerged in victory lane. Todd Phillips jumped out to the front off the field and never relinquished the top spot.

The 8s car thrilled the crowd with a NASCAR-like doughnut in front of the grandstands. Phillips wasnít done yet as he topped of his celebration of his first-ever stock car feature win with a tap dance on the top of the car as the crowd cheered him on.

Phillips took advantage of his front-row starting spot to build the early lead. Mike Robinson, who started on row two had the 78r car ready for the challenge and ran at least a pair of laps side by side with the 8s at the midway point.

But Phillips got some breathing room when Robinson had to turn his attention to holding off the charge from Ryan Cook and the 27r car. Those two drivers went side-by-side for a couple of laps as they wrestled for the right to challenge Phillips. It all proved for not as the 8s car held his line and went on to take the checkered flag.

Cook edged out Robinson for second place. Jim Brown and the 54 car were fourth followed by Jeremy Miller.

The dark clouds began rolling in as the USMTS show took to the track. Sprinkles shortened the normal show as the cars made their infamous laps around the track with the Red, White and Blue flying from each carís window.

Local drivers Tony Fraise and Mark Burgtorf started one two on the pole ahead of the national drivers.

Fraise jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green flag with Burgtorf close in tow. Tommy Meyer was in third place with USMTS pointís leader Kelly Shryock moving up from eighth place to push his way into the top five. But the sprinkles turned to rain by lap eight and the yellow flag came out. The storm was short but more than enough precipitation to finish off the races for the night.

Burgtorf, Mike Hejna and Meyer had picked up heat race wins to earn their top eight starting spots. Fraise, Bruce Hanford and Jon Tesch had second place finishes in the heat races. Mark Noble and Corey Dripps were the winners in the nightís two B-main races.

The heat races in the hobby stock class went to John Oliver, Jr. (#05), Mark Holt (#11) and Jeremy Hamlin (#95).

The cars of Bill OíHaver and Michael St. Clair were victorious in the two cruiser heats while David Burdett and Gordon Blankenship took the two Pony Stock heat races.

The hobby stocks, cruisers and pony stocks will run double features July 24 while the USMTS race will start up where it left off when the tour returns to Memphis July 31.

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