Missouri racers have strong showings in USRA Modified national points chase
by Ronnie Williams
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With the strong support that Missouri area race tracks have given the USRA Modified division, Show-Me State drivers will head into this weekend's events doing very well in the top 25 of the American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series national points standings.
Clyde Dunn Jr. of Sunnyvale, Texas, currently leads the USRA Modified national standings with 4,229 points.
A driver's best 20 feature finishes along with car count and starting start to finishing spot adds into the factor with the top 20 drivers receiving extra money at the end of the season.
Springfield Raceway USRA track points leader Jackie Dalton of Carthage has moved into the second place spot after last week's events and has totaled 3,367 points in just 18 starts. Dalton competes at Springfield and the Monett Speedway.
Veteran racer Rob Muilenburg of Sparta has quietly jumped into third place with 3,328 points in 19 starts while racing Friday night at the North Central Arkansas Speedway in Flippin, Ark., and Saturday nights at Springfield.
Defending USRA National Champion Johnny Bone Jr. of Pea Ridge, Ark., made a big jump this week and sneaks into the fourth place with 3,014 points while running at different tracks on Friday and Saturday nights and a regular at Monett on Sundays. Bone has been credited with only 14 starts so far this season, and last year the national title earned the 25-year second-generation driver over $10,000.
Sparta's Steve Muilenburg has been racing at different USRA-sanctioned tracks each night and sets sixth with 2,967 points in 15 starts.
Sedalia's Terry Schultz moves into the 10th spot with 2,892 points and 17 starts. Schultz normally competes at the LA Raceway in La Monte on Friday nights and at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland where he is the track's points leader. Schultz showed everyone early in the season he was a force to be in contention by leading Terry Phillips at Springfield in the Turkey Classic make-up date before going out with problems.
Oronogo's Bobby Pearish slid down this week into 13th with 2,832 points in 16 starts. Pearish races at Springfield and Monett while Pierce City driver Brian Green sets 15th with 2,678 points in 17 starts. Green is a regular at Springfield and Monett.
From Central Missouri racing, Dean Willie has quietly moved into 16th place with 2,645 points in 13 starts. The hard charger from Warrensburg is a regular at the LA Raceway and Valley speedway in Grain Valley as another driver from the Central area of Missouri, Tim Setzer, is 17th with 2,616 and 14 starts while competing mostly at LA Raceway and Lucas Oil Speedway, plus occasonally at Valley Speedway.
Young charger Logan Martin of West Plains holds the 19th place spot with 2,569 points in 14 starts and is a regular at the West Plains Motor Speedway. He has been hitting some different tracks as the season goes on. This young gentleman also competes in a URSA B-Mod and started his career in kart racing.
The driver on the bubble is defending Lucas Oil Speedway track champ Mickey Burrell of Fair Grove. After doing some regional traveling with the USMTS, Burrell has been staying closer to home this season and helping more with the D/D Welding business since the mishap of Rusty Dukes being burned. Burrell competes at LA Raceway, Lucas Oil Speedway and has a few shows at Monett this season.
Two drivers just about to make the top 20 are Webb City's Mitch Keeter, listed in 21st place with 2,435 points and 13 starts, along with Modified veteran from Billings, Rex Merritt. Merritt, who got a later-than-usual start this season, is 25th with 2,361 points and 13 starts.