Wheatland, Missouri– Following a busy July stretch running primarily in conjunction with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, it’s back to the grindstone for the Lucas Oil MLRA and the chase for the 2017 championship. With only seven races left, there really isn’t a clear favorite emerging in a wide open points battle. This weekend is the annual trek to Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Nebraska. Paying $3,000 and $5,000 to win respectively, each night will be full of action. Last season Terry Phillips swept both of the King of the Hill events.
Jesse Stovall leads the contingent into action, with Terry Phillips 40 markers back in the runner up spot. Tony Jackson Jr is two points behind Phillips in third. Sunoco Rookie Points leader Rodney Sanders is fourth, with Randy Timms completing the top five in the standings. When talking Junction Motor Speedway it is nearly impossible to not think about one of Nebraska’s most decorated Late Model drivers, Kyle Berck. 2017 will be remembered by Berck, and his fans as one where they just made it through.
Back in early May while heading to their first race of the season, about nine miles from the shop, the left rear trailer tire blew out and caught the entire trailer on fire. They lost nearly everything inside. “It is the biggest disappointment, or set back that I’ve had in my entire career,” commented Berck. “It was kind of depressing, but you know all in all, we were pretty fortunate. No one was hurt and we’ve still been able to race.”
Berck’s trailer was a total loss and some of the things he lost in the form of tools and parts, he had for close to thirty years and couldn’t buy again. “I just feel unorganized, between my normal schedule of family, racing, farming and customers to add the rebuilding of a racing operation has been a lot. But like I said we really were lucky, it could have been a lot worse.”
Back on the topic of the weekend, Berck spoke at length about the changes to the track and a little about how he expects racers to attack it this weekend. “The bottom of both turns one and two as well as three and four were shortened and cut out from the infield. The result has been a top shelf around the top of one and two, and a little less of one in three and four. There is also a new track exit. You really race one and two differently than you used to. It’s incredibly wide, so wide in fact that part of the top doesn’t seem to be used much.”
Berck will bring his 2015 Missle Chassis into the weekend with his wide bore Scott Bailey Ford under the hood. He will be looking to shake off his winless streak in Lucas Oil MLRA shows there, dating back to 2012. Racing begins Friday evening.
Junction Motor Speedway Information
Gates: (Both Days) 5:00 PM
Racing: (Friday) Qualifying 7:00 PM, Racing 7:30 PM, (Saturday) Qualifying 6:30 PM, Racing 7:00 PM
Admission: (Friday) Adults $18, Students (6-12) $5.00, Kids (5 and Under) FREE, Pit Pass $25, (Saturday) Adults $20, Students (6-12) $5.00, Kids (5 and Under) FREE, Pit Pass $30
Support Classes: (Friday) Hobby Stocks, Sport Compacts, (Saturday) Modifieds, NeSmith Late Models, Sport Mods
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.
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