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Archive for March, 2018

Former USRA B-Mod National Champion Morton returns to Lucas Oil Speedway Weekly Series in 2018

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

WHEATLAND, Missouri- Even though it didn’t work out at planned, JC Morton is glad he ventured out and tried a new racing opportunity last season.

“If I hadn’t, I’d have sat here and kicked myself in the butt saying I regret this and I regret that,” Morton said of driving for a team based in northern Arkansas. Morton and his wife, Destiny, even moved there for most of 2017.

“Some things don’t work out and you learn from them,” Morton said. “So I’m glad I tried it. But I’m glad to be back home.”

Morton is back at home in Springfield and scheduled to return to his racing home at Lucas Oil Speedway. He plans to race weekly in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, a division in which he won the track championship in 2016. That also was a springboard to his USRA B-Mod National Championship that season.

“I’m definitely excited about being back home,” Morton said this week. “Last year we raced two hours away (from Springfield) every weekend. It was a struggle for Dad (his crew chief Gene Morton) and the family to get down there. Dad’s the backer for just about everything for me as far as making sure we’re ready to race. It wasn’t very much fun without him for a lot of the races.

“I’m ready to get back into the Lucas swing. The publicity and the competitiveness there … you have 8-10 cars that are capable of winning on a given night and 40-50 cars for a typical weekly show. I’m just ready to get back to what I know.”

Even before the Lucas Oil Speedway Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener on April 7, Morton already is showing championship form. He captured the Iron Man Challenge for USRA B-Mods last weekend at Humboldt Speedway in Kansas.

Driving a new Phoenix-chassis car, Morton recorded three top-four feature finishes three straight nights, including a wire-to-wire triumph in the $1,000-to-win finale.

“It’s been a pretty good car right out of the box,” Morton said of the Phoenix, which is built in Nevada, Missouri. “They called me during the winter and we talked back and forth for about two months and came to an agreement.”

Morton, 28, said he doesn’t have a master plan to chase another USRA B-Mod National Championship. Time will tell whether that chance presents itself.

“The national points deal usually doesn’t come into play until a month is left in the season and you see yourself in the top three or four,” Morton said. “That’s when you really pursue it.

“You just get yourself ready to go and try to win races every week,” added Morton, who plans to compete in the B-Mod Bedlam at Salina, Oklahoma, March 30-31 before opening the Lucas Oil Speedway season.

Morton’s sponsors on the No. 18 car include Phoenix Race Car, Yeoman Race Engines, Midwest Sheet Metal, Troop 4 Shocks, Lucas Gibbs Racing, Chris Claunch Photography, R&R Graphics and Fast Shafts.

The Lucas Oil Speedway dirt track roars to life on March 31 with an open test and tune from 2-6 p.m. The season begins on April 7 with the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener with action in the Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, Big O Tires Street Stocks and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

For ticket information for any event in 2018, including general admission or three-day reserved seats for the 26th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com.

Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket information and 2018 schedule can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com. Fans also can purchase general admission tickets for any 2018 event on the web.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its 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 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

CONTACT:

Dan Robinson
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Office: (417) 282-5984

Dan@lucasoil.com

About Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks” lives up to its title.

Twenty-One VIP Luxury Suites, HD Jumbo-Tron Screen, Stadium Style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, Go-Kart Slick Track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart. This year marks the 8th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, “Lake Lucas.” Two nationally televised Drag Boat Races featuring the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series are held annually. New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.

Lucas Oil Speedway’s dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most-popular events in the Midwest with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro-Pulling League, United States Modified Touring Series, ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.

In addition to the special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series features the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Big O Tires Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

RJ Johnson is Back on TOp at Arizona Speedway

Friday, March 30th, 2018

By Lance Jennings

MARCH 19, 2018… Racing past polesitter “Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. on the tenth lap, R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) led the rest of the way to claim last Saturday’s victory at Arizona Speedway. The five-time champion earned his second $1,500 Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car win ahead of Davis, top qualifier “The Bull” Tye Mihocko, hard charger Zack Madrid, and Michael Curtis.

Driving Bobby Martin’s #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson ran second to Mihocko in his heat race and ranked second in passing points out of twenty-three entries. After starting fifth in the main event, the second generation driver left the San Tan Valley oval with a seven point lead on the strength of two wins and 48 feature laps led.

“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona) led the first nine laps but had to settle for second last Saturday night. Piloting his #50 RSS Industries / MP Environmental RSS, Davis ran second to Chris Bonneau in his heat race and placed sixth in passing points. The five-time Arizona sprint car champion heads to Canyon’s March 31st “Easter Eggstravaganza” sitting third in points with one heat race victory, four top-10 finishes, and 9 feature laps led to his credit.

“The Bull” Tye Mihocko (Peoria, Arizona) scored a third place finish at San Tan Valley after starting sixth. Racing the family owned #5 Dave Wilson Realty / Mears Mechanical Spike, Mihocko won the third heat race and earned his first Beaver Stripes Passing Master Award of the year. After finishing third, “The Bull” climbed to second in points with one heat race victory and three top-10 finishes.

Zack Madrid (Phoenix, Arizona) earned the night’s hard charger award with a fourth place run after starting twentieth. Driving the #5M WSM Auctioneers / Martin Auto Museum Maxim, Madrid finished seventh in his heat race and sat twentieth in the Beaver Stripes Passing Points. To date, Zack is thirteenth in the point chase with on top-10 finish on the season.

Michael Curtis (Cottonwood, Arizona) charged from twelfth to score fifth in the 30-lap main event. Racing Kevin Turner and Greg Wheeler’s #11C DAR Racing / JT Engineering Maxim, Curtis placed fourth in his heat race and ranked twelfth in passing points. To date, Michael is fourth in championship points with two top-10 finishes in the campaign.

Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) won the night’s first 8-lap heat race. Piloting the John Grau and Mike Burkhart’s #34AZ Western Premier Hauling / KSE Custom Drywall DRC, Sussex was fourth in passing points and took seventh in the main event. At press time, the hard charger is sixth in the point chase with one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 20 feature laps led.

Chris Bonneau (Phoenix, Arizona) took the checkered flags in the third heat race. Driving his #15 Priced Right Auto Sales / Triple X Race Company entry, Bonneau ranked fifth in passing points and scored eighth in the feature. The veteran driver left Arizona Speedway ranked fourteenth in points with one heat race victory and one top-10 finish.

The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars will be back on action at Canyon Speedway Park’s “Easter Eggstravaganza” on March 31st. The showcase will also feature the Leading Edge IMCA Modifieds, Arizona Differential IMCA Northern Sport Mods, and the Power 600 non-wing Micro Sprints. Advance tickets are on sale and for more information, visit www.canyonspeedwaypark.com or call 602.258.7223.

The Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks AMSOIL, Hoosier Tire, and Beaver Stripes for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.southwestsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook.

Morton masters final feature at King of America VIII Iron Man Challenge

Friday, March 30th, 2018

HUMBOLDT, Kan.–Things just kept getting better and better for J.C. Morton this weekend at the Humboldt Speedway for the King of America VIII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

After leading the Out-Pace USRA B-Mod main event two nights in a row but settling for a fourth-place finish on Thursday and a runner-up on Friday, the 28-year-old put it all together Saturday with a wire-to-wire performance in the Iron Man Challenge finale.

The win was worth $1,000 to the Springfield, Mo., racer who captured the 2016 Out-Pace USRA B-Mod national championship.

Thursday’s winner, Cody Jolly, finished second, with 2015 Out-Pace USRA B-Mod national champ Andy Bryant holding off Kris Jackson and Jake Richards for the third spot.

Brian McGowen, 21st-starting Riley Whitworth, Jackie Dalton, Dale Kraling and 24th-starting Gunnar Watkins completed the top 10.

A trio of Iron Man Challenge events are on tap for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 5-7, with the inaugural Summit USRA Frost Busters featuring Out-Pace USRA B-Mods and Holley USRA Stock Cars presented by Medieval Chassis. USRA Modifieds will also be in action all three days.

Three straight nights start at the 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan., on Thursday. Friday night takes the tour to the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., and Saturday will be at the I-35 Speedway in Winston, Mo. Each show will pay $1,500 to win and $150 to start for Modifieds. Stock Cars and B-Mods will battle for $1,000 to win and $125 to start all three nights.

To learn more about the USRA, visit usraracing.com or call (515) 832-6000. You can also like USRA Racing on Facebook at facebook.com/usraracing, follow twitter.com/usraracing on Twitter and check out the USRA YouTube channel at youtube.com/usratv. Keep up to speed with everything USRA by joining our email list at usraracing.com/subscribe.

Schott wears King of America VIII crown

Friday, March 30th, 2018

HUMBOLDT, Kan.–Lucas Schott delivered the most dominating performance to date at the King of America VIII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment on Saturday night, leading all 75 laps of the main event against a star-studded field at the Humboldt Speedway.

“This car was just flawless all weekend,” the 21-year-old from of Chatfield, Minn., said in victory lane. “I can’t thank Mike (Wedelstadt, car owner) and Riley (Hatfield, crew chief) enough for giving me this opportunity and all the work they’ve done to get us here.”

Schott snagged the lead from polesitter Jake O’Neil when the green flag waved, and except for the start of the race and several yellow-flag restarts that dotted the feature, that was as close as anybody would get to ‘Cool Hand Luke’ on a chilly night in Humboldt, Kan.

Schott remained just outside of O’Neil’s grasp for the first nine laps when the first of eleven cautions waved for fourth-starting Josh Angst’s mechanical breakdown just as the leader had reached the back of the field.

The yellow flag appeared four more times over the next four laps, but on each ensuing restart Schott was able to pull away to a sizeable advantage over the pack.

Meanwhile, R.C. Whitwell and Johnny Scott were locked in a heated battle for second place with O’Neil, Jason Krohn and Ricky Thornton Jr. close behind in a three-way tussle for fourth.

The race stayed clean and green for the next 25 laps until defending King of America winner Ryan Gustin spun directly in front of the leader. Schott swerved to avoid ‘The Reaper’ and barely kept his car off of the concrete wall in turn one.

Back under green, Thornton disposed of Scott for the second spot and Thursday night’s USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup feature winner, Kyle Strickler, found himself inside the top ten after starting 23rd on the 28-car grid.

Schott continued to overpower his pursuers and picked off back-markers without incident, but Thornton was able to stay within four to six car-lengths of Schott with each passing lap.

The fifth caution of the main event came with just 16 laps remaining when Bumper Jones lost a rear wheel and was collected by Kent Arment and Non-Qualifiers Race winner Bobby Malchus. It was the first of six cautions that plagued the final stages of the contest.

Despite multiple opportunities to challenge Schott’s supremacy over the final dozen laps, Thornton was unable to keep up with Schott past the first set of turns. Even a two-lap green-white-checkered finish could not deter Schott as the 2016 USRA Modified National Champion sailed to a $10,000 payday.

For Schott, it was his fifth career USMTS triumph and biggest since pocketing a little more than $11,000 less than two years ago after winning the inaugural Grant Junghans Memorial.

Thornton, who started eighth, had to settle for a $5,000 runner-up paycheck while Johnny Scott fended off his twin brother and 2012 King of America titlist, Stormy Scott, for third-place money.

Rodney Sanders, who captured this event in 2014, rounded out the top five while 2016 winner Zack VanderBeek was sixth. Whitwell held on for seventh, Dereck Ramirez was eighth, Cody Skytland finished ninth and Austin Siebert completed the top ten.

Eleventh-starting Travis Saurer finished in the eleventh position as the last car running at the finish line.

Eighty-four different dirt modified drivers from 18 different states competed over the three days and nights at King of America VII.

With a nearly four-month hiatus underway, the USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental is back in action on Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, with the first-ever event in the Copper State at the Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz. Both the national tour and Summit USMTS Southern Series will compete the following weekend, April 20-22, at the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces for the Short Track Shootout.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, visit www.usmts.com online or call 515-832-7944. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usmts, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usmts and Instagram at www.instagram.com/usmts or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usmtstv. Keep up to speed with everything USMTS by joining our email list at www.usmts.com/subscribe.

Army, racing veteran Welschmeyer looks to break into Big O Tires Street Stock victory lane in 2018

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

WHEATLAND, Missouri – Even before a new racing season begins, veteran mid-Missouri Street Stock driver Ted Welschmeyer already is a winner.

Welschmeyer took home a first-place trophy from a car show held last weekend at Capital Mall in Jefferson City. Among 31 race cars on display, Welschmeyer and his No. 21W received the most donations from fans as funds were raised for the Missouri Veterans Honor Flight.

“Being a veteran myself, that hits close to home for me,” said Welschmeyer, who is set to return as a regular in the Big O Tires Street Stocks division at Lucas Oil Speedway. The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series begins on April 7.

Welschmeyer’s car took in more than $400 in donations as the event raised $2,068 for the Honor Flight, which transports Missouri veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honor their services and sacrifices.

“I appreciate everyone that came out and voted for all the cars,” Welschmeyer said. “The vets are the biggest winners in this deal. It’s great to support them.”

Welschmeyer, from the small town of Tebbetts, Missouri, spent seven years in the United States Army on active duty and 18 more in the Army Reserves. He earned two bronze stars before retiring in 2014.

Racing was a passion before, during and after his time in the Army which included deployments in Iraq and Kuwait where Welschmeyer was a commander of the 428th Transportation Company.

Welschmeyer has won two track championships at LA Raceway in LaMonte, Missouri, and one at Callaway Raceway in Fulton. He finished fifth in 2017 in the Lucas Oil Speedway points chase despite scuffling with motor issues for more than half a season.

“We finally got our engine back at the end of the year last year and were able to finish strong,” Welschmeyer said, noting a seventh-place finish out of nearly 100 entries in the season-ending Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt.

“When we showed up for the Big Buck 50, it was like having a different car,” he said. “It was a much-faster car. So I think we’re moving in the right direction.

“We’ve done some updating on the chassis this winter and hopefully it will be a little bit better. We’ve had some help from Brian Schutt on our chassis set-up and it’s been working. I appreciate the help from everyone.”

Welschmeyer said the stout run in the Big Buck 50 at Lucas Oil Speedway provided positive momentum that cannot be over-estimated headed into the offseason.

“That was huge. I’m much more confident going into the 2018 season,” he said. “Last year was a struggle. About halfway through, we started making some gains on the car in its speed and handling. We’re going to hopefully keep it going forward.”

The goal for the new season is to celebrate a feature win at Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time. If that happens, he figures the points-chase contention will take care of itself.

“I want to win there,” he said. “It’s tough competition, but I think we can do it.”

Welschmeyer owns and operates Bronze Star Truck and Trailer in Jefferson City and self-sponsors his racing operation along with his wife, Victoria. Son Gary along with friend and fellow racer Mike Lucas give him some race-night help.

“We don’t have a lot of help, but we have enough,” Welschmeyer said. “We’re ready to get the season started.”

The Lucas Oil Speedway dirt track roars to life on March 31 with an open test and tune from 2-6 p.m. The season begins on April 7 with the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener with action in the Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, Big O Tires Street Stocks and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

For ticket information for any event in 2018, including general admission or three-day reserved seats for the 26th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com.

Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket information and 2018 schedule can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com. Fans also can purchase general admission tickets for any 2018 event on the web.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its 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 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