by Lyndal Scranton, Lucas Oil
After a successful test and tune last weekend, all systems are set on go as Lucas Oil Speedway fires up a new season with Saturday night’s Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series Spring Opener Presented by Benne Media.
The first of 14 points programs for the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars and Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Models will find hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7:05. Gates open at 4 p.m.
“We had a great test and tune last Saturday and everyone is excited to get the new season underway,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said. “Opening night always has an extra buzz in the air and this year will be no exception.”
If there’s anything certain, it will be another competitive and fun season in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod division.
Three former USRA B-Mod national champions – JC Morton, Kris Jackson and Andy Bryant – are Lucas Oil Speedway regulars. There also are veterans like Ryan Gillmore and Eric Turner who always are threats to win and up-and-coming younger drivers such as Dillon McCowan and JC Newell.
“They’re coming up through the ranks and getting better and better each year,” Morton said of the youngsters. “It’s tough. It’s hard to get into the top five some nights. Everybody’s continually getting better.”
Morton, a two-time Lucas Oil Speedway champion, finished just five points behind Jackson in the points chase a year ago as Jackson claimed his fifth track championship. Morton, from Springfield, will have momentum and a new chassis as the season begins.
Driving a new Allen Autosports chassis, Morton won the Battle at the Bullring at Humboldt Speedway last weekend with Jackson in second. After a heat-race mishap, Morton came from the C and B mains to earn a 20th-starting position in the main event.
“We kind of kept digging,” Morton said. “We made it through the C and then the B and started in the back of the A. I kind of bought some time early and finally, by the end of the night we were at the front.”
Robbie Reed returns in pursuit of a third straight Lucas Oil Speedway Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified title and Cole Henson is set to defend the Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Model crown after he broke Johnny Fennewald’s three-year streak as champ. The Late Models will be the featured class this Saturday with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event courtesy of HICKAMO Country Store.
Making their debut as a points division will be the O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars, which is expected to bring several new faces to the speedway along with some familiar names who competed in the Street Stock division in past years.
Drivers who have not yet done so are encouraged to register much of their paperwork information ahead of time with MyRacePass at
myracepass.com/tracks/1865/registrations/3584. Upon entering the basic information, drivers will be able to bypass almost all paperwork at the track.
Drivers can also save time at check in by printing off the driver registration paperwork, including a W-9, from the Lucas Oil Speedway website, completing it ahead of time and bringing it in with them.
USRA Modifieds, USRA B-Mods and USRA Stock Car drivers all have to purchase their USRA Licenses directly from USRA prior to the first event, with only temporary licenses sold at the track. ULMA Late Model drivers can purchase their licenses in advance or at the speedway office.