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Tuesday, February 18, 2020
2013 Lucas Oil MLRA Champion Tony Jackson Jr., #56 appears poised to chase yet another Championship in 2020.

Wheatland, Missouri (February 18, 2020) -Tony Jackson Jr. may have only logged four starts with the Lucas Oil MLRA Series in 2019, but he is confident that final start which landed him in victory lane at the "Fall Nationals" will give his TJR Motorsports team great momentum when the 2020 MLRA campaign kicks off in early April.

After finishing 3rd in the series standings in 2018 Jackson took a different route last year, splitting his weekends between his asphalt racing roots and the dirt tracks. Now the 2013 MLRA Champ is back, and ready to chase down another series title. "We decided to do this MLRA deal again after seeing the new tire rules and the schedule, it just makes sense for us to do that again", said Jackson Jr.

The Lebanon, Missouri driver has had a busy off-season after enjoying his October victory at the Lucas Oil Speedway. Jackson Jr. is putting the finishing touches on a brand new race shop that he says will help get his TJR Motorsports operation more organized and make his race team even better. "We've got two brand new race cars, all new motors, and I am probably the most prepared I have ever been since I started racing," commented Jackson Jr.

Jackson Jr. will again pilot a Barry Wright Race Car for the upcoming season after teaming up with the longtime chassis builder in 2019. "These new Barry Wright cars are fantastic, and with Darrell Lanigan coming over to Barry this winter to drive their house car that is a plus. It gives us two areas to work with, them being on the World of Outlaws schedule and it leaves us running the Midwest."

#56 Tony Jackson Jr.  --Lloyd Collins, FastTrack Photos

At 37 years of age, the 7-time MLRA Feature winner also shared his excitement with a couple of rules changes made by the series in the off-season, including the move to a more open type tire rule. "When you're working with harder tires and edges you are always wanting a new fresh tire, so it seems like your wasteful with the harder tires," noted Jackson Jr.

"When you say "open tire" it scares a lot of people, but my experience with it has been good. It gives you more choices, the tires last longer, and it makes the racing better because the drivers have choices entering the feature when you might make a correct choice or you might make a wrong one. That honestly makes the racing better--when you start up front and make a bad choice you're going to be going the wrong way, but when you start in the back and make a right choice you will be going to the front."

In addition, the MLRA previously announced a transition to a time trial qualifying format at all events in 2020, one that he feels will put more pressure on the drivers and teams to perform. "Everybody is so close and the cars are so competitive these days you hate to spend all that money to driver eight hours across the country to support a series and then have your night depend on being unlucky drawing a pill in a trailer."

"When you are running with this caliber of drivers, teams, and cars all you want is a fair shake and to just see how it plays out," said Jackson Jr. He concluded, "If you suck at time trials on a given night you've kind of created your own luck for that night and it's your own fault then."

Lloyd Collins, FastTrack Photos

Longtime crew member Casey Mooneyham will again be turning wrenches for the Cornett powered #56, while Jackson Jr. notes they are also working on securing another team member before the season opener.

Tony Jackson Jr. along with many of the Midwest top Late Model drivers will be ready when the MLRA goes green on April 9th - 11th at the Lucas Oil Speedway for the 7th Annual "MLRA Spring Nationals", Presented by A practice session will lead off the weekend on Thursday night followed by a pair of complete $3,000 to win shows on Friday and Saturday.

Tony Jackson Jr. Motorsports Marketing Partners: Merrill Self Storage, Willard Quarries, Champion Racing Oil, Merrill Bonding Co., LEVI Storage Center, Accu-Force Dynos, Carget Motors, Fox Shocks-Ronny Crooks, Cornett Racing Engines, Swift Springs, Winning Edge Carburetion, BASE Fuel & Oils, Hoosier Midwest by Zoo, Modern Images, & C&R Radiators.