Bone’s silver anniversary campaign nets USRA RHS Modified National Championship
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November 17, 2011

PEA RIDGE, Ark. -- In his 25th year of racing, Johnny Bone Jr. of Pea Ridge, Ark., put together a career year on the dirt tracks during the 2011 season.

He didn't break his personal season wins record, but his 22 feature wins in 44 starts against some big fields and stiff comeptition was remarkable and earned the 45-year-old the title of USRA RHS Modified National Champion.

“It’s been really stressful,” said Bone, who raced weekly at three tracks in three different states –none of them in his home state of Arkansas. “I didn't think I could win it, but we were really dedicated to the USRA this season.”

Prior to the start of the 2011 campaign, Bone and his team thought it might be possible to pull off such a feat with the Humboldt Speedway in Humboldt, Kan.; Mid America Speedway in South Coffeyville, Okla.,; and Monett Speedway in Monett, Mo., all competing under the USRA banner.

“Around the middle of the season, we saw we had a really good opportunity to win it,” he recalled. “We knew we had to buckle down and stick with running our USRA races.”

On the way, Bone garnered eight wins each at Humboldt and South Coffeyville, five at Monett and a late-season triumph in the 6th Annual Bordertown Casino OctoberFAST at the Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo.

Just for good measure, he also had 14 second-place finishes and finished outside of the top-5 just once (ninth) en route to recording an astonishing 43 top-five finishes in 44 starts.

While he has hundreds of victories in a quarter-century behind the wheel of a race car, including 13 USMTS Modified wins during his career, Bone proclaimed that his USRA crown ranks at the top of his achievements.

“We had an extremely good year. I can’t complain at all,” he said. “I feel really lucky to have gotten the wins we did this season because, to be honest with you, the tracks we raced at are really tough places to go into and win against the competition there.”

This is Bone’s first USRA National Championship. He also finished fourth in the final 2010 rankings and third in 2008.

Making it even more difficult was the pressure coming from the north. Defending USRA RHS Modified National Champion Jason Cummins of New Richland, Minn., kept the heat on for most of the season and finished the season with a flurry of wins and three track championships in the Gopher State but came up one spot short of beating Bone and claiming his second straight title.

Cummins also finished third in 2009 behind Greg Skaggs of Bixby, Okla., and was tenth in 2007. Brad Waits of Zumbrota, Minn., is the only two-time champion, claiming the crown in 2007-08. Larry Herring of Lone Tree, Iowa, was the first USRA RHS Modified National Champion in 2006.

Bone will collect a national points funds check worth $10,000 plus track points funds and numerous contingency awards. He also captured his fourth straight track champion at Monett Speedway this season and will earn an additional $1,500 for that effort.

Cummins will earn $5,000 for his runner-up finish with Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., pocketing $3,000 for his third-place showing.

Fourth through tenth, respectively, in the 2011 USRA RHS Modified final standings were rookie Brandon Davis of Medford, Minn. ($2,000); Jason Hughes of West Plains, Mo. ($1,500); Justin Folk of Iola, Kan. ($1,000); Terry Beckham II of Webb City, Mo. ($900); John Allen of Chanute, Kan. ($800); Brian Bolin of Fort Scott, Kan. ($700) and Kyle Sweeney of Purcell, Okla. ($600).

Final USRA RHS Modified National Points (top 20):

1. 12 Johnny Bone Jr., Pea Ridge, Ark. ... 4433
2. 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn. ... 4362
3. 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 4328
4. 50III Brandon Davis, Medford, Minn. ... 4283
5. 8H Jason Hughes, West Plains, Mo. ... 4211
6. 6 Justin Folk, Iola, Kan. ... 4205
7. 118 Terry Beckham II, Webb City, Mo. ... 4194
8. 98 John Allen, Chanute, Kan. ... 4154
9. X2 Brian Bolin, Fort Scott, Kan. ... 4132
10. 21F Kyle Sweeney, Purcell, Okla. ... 4105
11. 32 Brandon Ball, West Plains, Mo. ... 4103
12. 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn. ... 4062
13. 21 Jackie Dalton, Carthage, Mo. ... 4059
14. 49 Bob Timm, Winona, Minn. ... 4053
15. 7JR Jess Folk Jr., Iola, Kan. ... 4004
16. 15C Cam Case, Edmond, Okla. ... 3998
17. 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn. ... 3979
18. 52 Mitch Keeter, Joplin, Mo. ... 3952
19. 33 Steve Muilenburg, Sparta, Mo. ... 3941
20. 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M. ... 3917

The 11th through 20th place drivers in national points will take home $500 from the points fund and each eligible USRA RHS Modified track champion will pocket $1,500.

In each of the four USRA-sanctioned national divisions, a driver’s best 20 events based on points earned from March 4 through Oct. 16 applied toward American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series national points. In order to be eligible for national points funds, a driver must possess a USRA competitor license and have competed in at least 50% of the events held at any one USRA-sanctioned racetrack (minimum of 8 events with a minimum of 4 starts).

Despite being one of the smallest dirt track racing sanctioning bodies in America, the USRA will distribute a national points fund of more than $60,000 in the four classes plus thousands in contingencies from USRA marketing partners. The USRA will also dole out track points funds which are among the highest-paying in the nation for dirt track racing.

The USRA was founded in 2002 with the sanctioning of Modifieds and Stock Cars at the Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, Ark. Hobby Stocks were added in 2003 and the organization grew steadily over the next three years with 14 tracks hosting USRA events in 2005. The B-Mod division arrived on the scene in 2006.

Champions were not crowned in individual divisions during the first four years, but an overall National Champion was crowned in 2005. Earning that honor was Modified driver Ron Luitjens of Brewster, Minn. Since then, USRA Weekly Racing Series National Champions have been crowned in all four premier divisions.

During the 2011 racing season, more than 2,000 individual drivers competed in USRA-sanctioned events at 37 unique dirt ovals in Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

To learn more about the USRA, visit www.usraracing.com or call 515-832-6000. You can also like us on Facebook, join us on MySpace or follow us on Twitter.

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