Monett dirt is a destination for some

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Kelly Shryock looks over his Skyrockett USTMS race cars prior to the feature finish at the Monett Speedway Sunday night. Shryock made the trip to Monett from Fertile, Iowa. Jared Lankford

Speedway known throughout the Midwest for fast finals

No one can't blame Kelly Shryock for wanting to sit in his trailer and have people that want to talk to him come inside.

The circles under his eyes, dirt under his fingernails and smell of transmission fluid and fuel tell a big part of the tale.

By the time the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) hit Monett on Sunday, it was the third race in three days for Shryock, of Fertile, Iowa.

"It's a grind," he said. "We race over 100 events each season and it can take a toll on you."

Shryock has been addicted to racing for 30 years. He started out building Skyrocket chassis and other car parts, and he then transferred his passion into the racing circuit.

As for a secret formula to win races, Shryock says there isn't one. Instead, several things have to go right for a driver to be successful.

"You have to have some big time sponsors and a car that can perform," he said. "You have to have a design that can perform and a body that can endure a race. Then you have to go and prove it on the track."

The USMTS has a 19-race championship series called, "The Hunt," which is similar to NASCAR's final 10 races for the chase for the cup.

Monett was the third stop in that 19-race series.

"Monett has a good surface to run on," Shryock said. "It is a great place for a feature race. We look forward to coming here each year."

On Sunday, Rodney Sanders took the checkered flag and the $3,000 prize, followed by Springfield native Terry Phillips.

Shryock had a disappointing heat, finishing dead last in the "B" main, but he did manage to claim 12th position.

Sanders is the overall points leader in "The Hunt" with 388. Shryock is fifth with 309.

There is no rest for the USMTS gang. They packed up Monday morning and headed for 81 Speedway in Park City, Kan.

Racing action at Monett Speedway resume on Friday night.

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