Augsut 10, 2006

Hejna Ends Shryock’s USMTS Streak at Pepsi Scotland County Speedway

by Brian Neal

Memphis, MO (August 5) - The question going into the final night of the five-day swing for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Untied States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) was, “Who or when was Kelly Shryock going to be beat.”

Well that question was answered at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway in Memphis on Saturday night, as Walker Motors and Collision and Spilman Auto Parts presented the O’Reilly USMTS.

Mike Hejna put an end to Shryock’s streak by claiming his first O’Reilly USMTS win.

Also taking home feature wins on the night were Jason Cook (USRA Stock Cars), Tony Dunker (Tony Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modifieds), Nathan Wood (USRA Hobby Stocks), Adam Birck (Outlaw Hobby Stocks) and Gordon Blankenship Jr. (Hornets)

The first feature to take to the speedway was the 15-lap USRA Hobby Stocks, with Mike Shelton and Mark Moore drawing the front row for the event. Shelton grabbed the lead on lap 1 and then held it until lap 6, when Nathan Wood, who started 10th, slipped by for the top spot. Wood then pulled away from the field to lead the final nine laps to claim his ninth win of the season at the track.

Bill Gibson would come home second, Bob Lynch was third, Chase Mitrisin came from the rear after a early caution to finish in fourth, with Cory Brown rounding out the top five. Wood and Lynch picked up the heat race wins.

Up next was the 15-lap Outlaw Hobby Stock feature, with Justin Hamilton and Adam Birck leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Birck would take advantage of his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1. Birck then held the top spot until lap 10, when Rodger Dresden, who started seventh, slipped by up top for the lead. Birck and Dresden would cross the line on lap 11 dead even, with Birck once again grabbing the top spot on lap 12. Birck then held off Beau Taylor and Dresden over the final 3 laps to pick up his second win of 2006 at the track. Michael St. Clair came from 10th to finish in fourth, with Brian Howerton coming from the rear after being involved in a caution to finish in fifth. Heat race winners were St. Clair, Howerton and Jim Lynch.

Jason Cook and Matt Greiner led the field to the green flag in the 18-lap USRA Stock Car feature, with Cook jumping into the lead on lap 1. Jason would go on to lead all 18 laps to claim his third win of the season at the speedway. Greiner held off a closing Zack VanderBeek, who started 10th, to finish in second, T.J. Criss came from the rear after being involved in a yellow to finish in fourth, with Donovan Lodge rounding out the top five.

Cook, Greiner and VanderBeek each picked up a heat race win.

Gordon Blankenship Jr. made it three wins in three starts in the 8-lap Hornet feature, as he held off Travis DeMint to claim the checkers. Brent Hartley came home in third, Andrew Hustead was fourth, with Jim Hamilton coming home in fifth. Blankenship Jr. made it a clean sweep as he claimed the heat race win.

Up next was the 15-lap Toni Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modified feature, with Tony Morton and Jeff Waterman leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Waterman would take advantage of his front row starting spot to lead lap 1, but his lead only lasted for one lap as problems ended his night. Browning would inherit the lead on lap 2 and then went on to hold the top spot until lap 5 when Toni Dunker slipped under him for the lead. Dunker then went on to lead the final 10 laps to claim his fifth win of the season at the speedway.

Browning would finish in second, Joe Hooper came from tenth to finish in third, Lance Stott was fourth, with Larry Newman coming from ninth to round out the top five. Heat race winners were Dunker and Waterman.

The final feature of the night was the 30-lap Holley A-Main for the O’Reilly USMTS. Mike Hejna and Mark Burgtorf drew the front row for the event. On the drop of the green flag, Mike jumped out into the early lead, with Burgtorf close behind in second. Hejna would hold the top spot until lap 5, when Burgtorf slipped by up top to grab the top spot. Hejna, who worked the bottom of the speedway, got back by Burgtorf, who was up top, to grab the lead back on lap 7. Henja and Burgtorf had a great battle for the lead, running the next 12 laps side-by-side around the 3/8th mile oval. But a caution on lap 18 would bunch the field back up.

On the restart, contact was made behind Hejna which resulted in Burgtorf getting a left rear flat and sending him pit side to change it. Hejna would once again grab the top spot on the restart, as Jason Hughes, Brad Pinkerton, who started 11th, and Kelly Shryock battled for the second spot. Hejna would pull away from the second place battle over the final 12 laps to claim his first victory in the O’Reilly USMTS and ending Shryock’s 11-race winning streak.

The battle for second place was a great one, as Pinketon edged out Hughes at the line to pick up the Olympic Fire Protection Hard Charger of the race award. Shryock would settle for fourth, with Ryan Ruter of Forest City, Iowa coming from 10th to round out the top five.

Coming up next week the O’Reilly MLRA Late Models will invade the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway. Many of the top Late Model drivers in the area will battle it out for $2,500 to win the Late Model feature plus all the regular classes. Gates next week will open at 4:30 p.m., hot laps at 6:30, with racing to follow.



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