Casey Skyberg (pictured leading the pack, in the No. 6) has had a rough go in his first season following the United States Modified Tour Series (USMTS) circuit. In an effort to revitalize his team, he ventured to the Mountain States Tour for IMCA modifieds and WISSOTA Midwest modifieds.
“[Our team] needed to go somewhere and win some races,” said Skyberg, 48, of Rapid City, South Dakota. “We weren’t doing as well as expected [in USMTS competition] — I started thinking it was me.”
Series promoters Justin Elmer and Chad Switzenberg came up with the idea for the tour just before the first snow fell after the 2019 season. However, it wasn’t until June 13 that the series publicly confirmed its schedule on Facebook.
Teams scrambled to get ready for the Mountain States Tour, including Skyberg’s, which debuted a brand-new car for IMCA modified competition. More than 120 cars filled the pits at both tracks, racing in front of sold-out crowds.
“Despite the last-minute rush, they did a great job with the tracks — they were in really good shape,” Skyberg said.
At Big Sky and Sheridan speedways, Skyberg found his groove again, winning three of the four events.
“Confidence is of huge importance to a driver,” said Skyberg. “When you start questioning your ability, it is not good. To go out and win three against some really good drivers, it reaffirmed to me that I could drive. It was exactly what I needed.”
Skyberg’s success earned him a spot on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals at Iowa’s Boone Speedway.
Now back home, Casey Skyberg is preparing to finish the last half of the USMTS season.
“We’re tearing apart our cars and getting ready to get back on the road,” Skyberg said. “We’d be happy with a top five in the USMTS, but now we know we can win.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.