Wheatland, Missouri – Recently Aurora, Missouri driver Cole Wells informed Lucas Oil MLRA officials of his intentions to joint the tour for the coming season and compete for the Sunoco Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year Award. Wells, 22, has competed in the Late Model division for the past seven years on mostly the local level, with scattered starts regionally.
To date Wells biggest triumph came last summer in the Four State Dirt Track Championship at his hometrack Monett Speedway in Monett, Missouri. Wells will have the opportunity to defend the win this year when the Lucas Oil MLRA makes a return to Monett Speedway, for the first time in several years. In addition to the career win, Wells has two track titles there.
This past season Wells was running his own program, and rolling along pretty well until he had engine trouble. Instead of a major setback, Wells was able to work with Scott Fry, who had a TNT Chassis. The partnership blossomed over the year and Wells now has the resources of his team, but also the offerings of Fry.
“I just knew I couldn’t ever tackle something like the MLRA series on my own,” said Wells. “Teaming with Scott gives us a lot more equipment at our disposal. I knew I had to try something like this now when I had the resources available, or just be settled where we were.”
The majority of tracks on the schedule will be new for Wells and he knows there will be a pretty steep learning curve.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing all these new places. Specifically I can’t wait to race at LaSalle (Speedway in LaSalle, Illinois), Park Jefferson (International Speedway in Jefferson, South Dakota) and the quarter mile in Davenport (Iowa).”
Joining Wells on the road will be a pair of guys who remain on his crew. Kyle Medlin works on tires and Jackson Bailey helps on the car overall.
“These guys are great friends. They are with me through thick and thin and extremely loyal. I couldn’t ask for better help.”
Wells has a strong group of supporters who are behind him this season including; Midwest Sheet Metal, Bass Livestock, Wilson’s & Sons Hardwood Flooring, Marty’s Machine, TNT Race Cars, Jason’s Stump Grinding, Global Steel Buildings, Tri Rivers Logging, Waltz Tractor and Bowling Farms.
Cole is a machinist by day at Midwest Sheet Metal in Springfield, Missouri. Running this type of schedule will require a few extra days off for Wells and he is quick to thank owner, Chris Davis, who is an avid supporter of racing, for his understanding.
“When I told him this is what I’d like to do, I think he was really excited. I appreciate so much what he does for me. Kyle, my tire guy, also works there so he will have to miss a few days too. Not many people would work with that kind of schedule!”
The 2018 schedule kicks off at Tony Izzo’s LaSalle Speedway for the Thaw Brawl Friday, March 30 and continues through Saturday, March 31. It will pay $15,000 to win the final night and $5,000 for the season opener.
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