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Archive for February, 2017

Offseason preparation has Jackson optimistic for season ahead

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Wheatland, Missouri- Tony Jackson Jr. has been burning the candle at both ends lately. New cars and more engines than ever, a day at the track in Wisconsin, a sellout of his street stock business and a brand new crew chief highlight his last few months. “I’m sure ready to get racing,” said Jackson from his race shop earlier this week. “This is without the question the most prepared I have ever been heading into a season.”

Jackson is eyeing a calendar full of race dates and will run the majority of the Lucas Oil MLRA tour like previous seasons. The 2013 series champion has nothing but good things to say about the events on the schedule this season. “It’s a really good schedule this year,” Jackson elaborated. “I like running at all the tracks on the schedule, there’s not even one where I would like to shy away from. It should be a great year.”

New to the team are three MB Customs Race Cars, built by Jimmy and Chris Mars, from Menomonie, Wisconsin. The five race ready power plants come by way of Cornett Racing Engines. “I’ve been in several cars the last few years and this time around I was really looking for something that not everybody else in the pits was unloading,” said Jackson. “I also wanted to be back on Integra Shocks. Those are kind of just home to me. This deal came about, and I couldn’t be happier.”

About a month ago Jackson and Mars were able to get away and spend a day testing at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wisconsin. He felt comfortable right off the bat and his lap times were in line with Mars right out of the trailer. The past couple of seasons he has also established himself as a force in the street stock world, building some of the most successful cars in the country. Gone are the jigs and related components. When asked about the decision, he was very matter of fact.

“I think I proved what we needed to with those cars. I felt like that success came at a cost to my racing, and it had to go. For me to race the way we need to, I couldn’t continue building those cars.” Also new is Tony Allen, a highly respected veteran Dirt Late Model Crew Chief. Allen was looking for a spot to land when Jason Papich sold his operation at the end of the year. Jackson provided him the opportunity to remain in the midwest.

Allen joins Dustin Atkinson and Jeff Morgan. Atkinson works full time for TJR and specializes in sheet metal and body work. Morgan handles tire duty in the evenings, and is occasionally at the track to help as well.”I think it’s important to set realistic goals heading into the season,” Jackson offered. “This year I’d really like to win ten races. I’ve had a few years better and several worse. We’re extremely prepared, with folks like Jim and Vicki O’Dell on board, and also Raymond Merrill, who is planning to race a bunch with us this season. I can’t thank them and all of our sponsors enough for their help.” The first weekend of racing for the Lucas Oil MLRA is just under two months away. It will again originate from the Kosiski family’s I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, March 31, and April 1. The Spring Meltdown will pay $2,000 and $3,000 to win respectively.

For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com. Fans may also “like” the Lucas Oil MLRA Facebook page by clicking www.Facebook.com/lucasoilmlra or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MLRA.

Midwest Sheet Metal bringing spoiler program to MLRA

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Wheatland, Missouri – Lucas Oil MLRA Officials are pleased to welcome back Springfield, Missouri based Midwest Sheet Metal, in a larger capacity. For the coming season Midwest Sheet Metal will present the “MLRA Point Leader Spoiler Challenge.”

The current point leader heading into every event will carry a special fluorescent yellow spoiler built by Midwest Sheet Metal. The spoiler will carry the Midwest Sheet Metal logo on both side supports of each spoiler. The driver leaving each event with the points lead will also receive a $25 product certificate. The 2017 series champion will pocket an additional $500 from Midwest Sheet Metal at the year end awards banquet.

“Racing has become a big part of what we do at Midwest Sheet Metal,” commented owner Chris Davis.”We’ve been involved with Lucas Oil for several years now, and are thrilled to extend our partnership even further. The spoilers look really neat and will stand out well on the track.”

In addition to stocking virtually any color of aluminum for race car bodies, Midwest Sheet Metal offers body components, bracing kits, spoilers and custom fabrication. They also boast a full machine shop with a CNC mill on site. Midwest Sheet Metal has become a leader in the metal industry with a large inventory of stainless and carbon steel, to go along with aluminum.

Midwest Sheet Metal will also be presenting the “Midwest Sheet Metal Show Me Challenge” at the Show Me 100 on Saturday, May 27. This race annually has been packed with excitement. The race’s winner will get the opportunity to take the $2,500 check or start at the tail of the prestigious Show Me 100 main event. Annually this has been an incredibly exciting feature, with every winner thus far electing to roll onto the main event. Previous winners include Mike Marlar, Tommy Weder Jr., Chris Simpson and Bobby Pierce. On three of the four occasions the winner has finished the main event inside of the top ten.

“Chris Davis has done so much for racing in our area and beyond,” said Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director Dan Robinson. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership and excited to see how these new spoilers look on the track!”

The first weekend of racing for the Lucas Oil MLRA is less than two months away. It will again originate from the Kosiski family’s I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska, March 31, and April 1. The Spring Meltdown will pay $2,000 and $3,000 to win respectively.

For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.

Fans may also “like” the Lucas Oil MLRA Facebook page by clicking www.Facebook.com/lucasoilmlra or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MLRA.

Racing, chili and charity: Stop by and see Lucas Oil Speedway staff at Sertoma Chili Cook Off

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Wheatland, Missouri- Come out and join the Lucas Oil Speedway staff this Saturday at one of the Ozarks’ biggest fundraisers, the 36th annual Sertoma Chili Cook Off.

Lucas Oil Speedway will be located in booths 66 and 67 at the Expo Center, 636 E. St. Louis, in downtown Springfield. The Lucas team will be among more than 70 teams serving up chili and competing for votes in the “People’s Choice” category of the event. Unlimited chili sampling is included in the ticket price, which is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Parties of 30 or more can get tickets for $12 per person by contacting Angie Doke of Lucas Oil Speedway at (417) 399-5090 or from Laurie Looney at Harbell’s Grill and Sports Bar – site of the Lucas Oil Speedway/Lucas Oil MLRA Watch Party at noon Sunday.

There also will be schedules for the 2017 Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series season and the special events at the track, along with prize giveaways that include a set of General Admission season passes. Raffle tickets for the passes are 11 tickets for $10 and $20 for an arm’s length. The raffle winner of the passes will be drawn at Sunday’s Watch Party at Harbell’s.

“Lucas Oil Speedway is proud to be a part of one of the largest fundraisers for children’s charities of the year,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Dan Robinson said. “This also is a fun opportunity for our fans to come out and see our staff, talk racing, get info on the upcoming season and taste some of our fabulous chili.” The Sertoma Chili Cook Off runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and also includes two stages with some of the area’s best bands and musicians. Sertoma is one of the oldest service clubs in the United States and is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from the Chili Cook Off go toward the Springfield Boys and Girls Clubs. For more information on tickets and the complete schedule, go to SertomaChiliCookoff.com.

The 2017 Lucas Oil Speedway season begins with the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener on April 8, followed by the 4th annual Lucas Oil MLRA Spring Nationals on April 14-15. Here is the complete schedule for 2017. For complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket info and schedule information for the season, visit lucasoilspeedway.com. Three-day passes for the 25th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com are now on sale.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it’s entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. Click www.LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway.

The Lucas Oil Speedway Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opens on April 8.

Jason Hughes Hustles to Shady Oaks Win; Mississippi Trip Next

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Hughes parked his Henryetta Ford #12 Hughes Chassis/ Mullins Racing Engine Modified in victory lane with the United States Modified Touring Series.

Jason Hughes made the trip to Shady Oaks Speedway (Goliad, Texas) on Thursday for the second weekend of action for the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) Southern Region. Drawing 31 entries, Jason edged his
way into the opening night feature with a 3rd-place finish in his heat. Rolling off 9th for the A-Main, Hughes improved two spots in the 30-lapper to place 7th at the checkered flag.

The following night starting on the pole of his heat, Jason cruised to an 8-lap heat race win, positioning him 4th on the starting grid for the feature. Battling with Ricky Thornton Jr. for the top spot in the opening laps, Hughes inherited the lead on lap-14 after Thornton Jr. and another competitor tangled, causing Thornton Jr. to spin. Holding the field at bay for the remaining 21 circuits, Jason Hughes charged to his second victory of the season with Ryan Gustin, Travis Saurer, Cade Dillard, and Johnny Scott rounding out the Top 5.

For the final night of the Summit Racing Southern Region presented by Production Jars tripleheader, Hughes logged a 6th-place outing in his heat, which relegated him to the B-Main. Sending the Top 5 to the finale, Jason landed a runner-up finish behind Tyler Wolff, which locked his spot into the $4,000-to-win feature. Passing nine cars in the 40-lap affair, Jason Hughes reeled in a 7th-place finish.

Jason continues to sit atop the latest USMTS point standings. Complete results and the latest standings can be found at www.USMTS.com.

This coming weekend Hughes Motorsports will trek to the state of Mississippi for a tripleheader through the Magnolia State. Action opens on Friday evening at Jackson Motor Speedway (Byram, Mississippi) before moving to Whynot Motorsports Park (Meridian, Mississippi) on Saturday night. The weekend draws to a close on Sunday evening at Greenville Speedway (Greenville, Mississippi). The historic weekend marks the first time that the USMTS has sanctioned events in Mississippi. For more information on the event, please visit www.USMTS.com .

Jason Hughes would like to thank his sponsors including Henryetta Ford,

Tail Tackle, AFCO Brakes, West Siloam Pawn, Murphrey Oil Company, Gressel Racing, Hughes Racing Chassis, Mullins Race Engines, D and G Directional Drilling, 45 Pipeline Services, JRI Shocks, Hanson Tire Service, Braka Operating, Sunoco Race Fuels, Mert’s Truck Center, SAEF Custom Finishing, Wheeler Metals Rainbow Graphics, Hooker Harness, Quarter Master, Beyea Custom Headers, Ultra-Shield Race Products, MB Machine & Tool, T&D Machine Products, Callies, Quick Car Racing Products, Dan Olson Racing Products, FSR Radiators & Racing Products, Tiger Rear Ends, Driven Racing Oil, Sweet Mfg, Real Racing Wheels, Rod End Supply, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.

For more information on Jason Hughes, please visit www.JasonHughes12.com .

Sheppard Wins in Dramatic Fashion at Bubba Raceway Park

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

OCALA, FL – The former Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year, Brandon Sheppard took the lead on the final lap from Scott Bloomquist to win Sunday night’s Lucas Oil Winter Nationals – presented by GEICO at Bubba Raceway Park. The exciting finish brought the packed grandstand to its feet as Sheppard charged from his 11th starting spot to take the win.

Bloomquist finished in second, followed by Dennis Erb Jr. in the Vomac Trucking, Clements Racing Engines, Black Diamond Chassis. Earl Pearson Jr. came home fourth in the Dunn-Benson Ford, Larry Wallace Racing Engines, Longhorn Chassis. Frank Heckenast Jr. completed the top five in the St. Louis-U-Pic-A-Part, Capital Race Car. Sheppard ended the Georgia-Florida Speedweeks with his second win in the Mark Richards Racing, Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunter’s Honey, Sallack Well Services, Sunoco, Durham-powered Rocket House Car.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the sixth time in his career, the 24-year-old racer was at a loss for words; “Anytime you can pass Scott [Bloomquist] for the lead, it’s pretty big. He is probably one of the greatest in our sport. I guess you could say it was an honor to pass him on the last lap for the win.” “It was crazy out there. Turns three and four and down the front stretch were pretty slippery. You had to make sure you hit the little bit of brown on the bottom of three and four,” said Sheppard.

“The caution with two laps to go, let us pack the top of one and two and made it so we could roll around on the top better. Scott was running on the top before that caution come out. I kind of expected him to go to the top and then he went to the bottom on the restart. I guess I just grinned a little bit and got on the gas and went right by him on the outside.”

At the start of the race Josh Richards and Bloomquist led the field to the green flag. Bloomquist led the first lap and Richards took over the point on lap two. Richards then started to receive heavy pressure from Don O’Neal who had moved by Bloomquist into second place.

As Richards and O’Neal exited off turn four on lap 20, a car spun directly into front of them, leaving those two drivers with nowhere to go and they came to a halt with heavy damage to both cars. Richards went pit-side and made repairs to re-join the field on the tail while O’Neal was done for the night.

Bloomquist inherited the lead, which he held until a caution with two laps to go for a slowing car in turn two, which bunched the field for a green-white-checker finish. Erb, who had been all over Bloomquist in the final five laps of the race charged to the bottom trying to get by Bloomquist as Sheppard swung out wide and went by both to take the win.

Bloomquist crossed the line in second even though it wasn’t the result he was looking for. “We were pushing badly at the end, especially in three and four. The tire was starting to give-up a little bit. The crew guys pointed to get to the bottom on the restart. I didn’t expect him [Sheppard] to get a run like that, and the car didn’t feel as good at the end, it was just one of those things. We had a good race and I am sure that everybody enjoyed watching that one.”

Erb took third, and commented on his podium finish, “We had a good car all night long. From the time we hot lapped, qualified, ran the heat, this car stayed good and to be running up front near the end, we are real pleased with that. We worked on this car all week-long and finally brought it out tonight, we made a lot of changes on this car, but at least we are going in the right direction.”

Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Chub Frank, Boom Briggs, Jonathan Davenport, and Josh Richards.