Lucas Oil MLRA set for big Labor Day Weekend tripleheader

Terry Phillips (75) has the Lucas Oil MLRA points lead over Rodney Sanders (20) entering this weekend's tripleheader. (Kenny Shaw photo)

McCool Junction, Nebraska (August 29, 2017) - As the Lucas Oil MLRA season enters the home stretch, a critical Labor Day Weekend of races will shape the championship chase.

Veteran Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., holds a narrow lead over Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, as a three-race swing kicks off Thursday with the Rock N' Roll 40 at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb.

Action continues on Friday at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., with the Clyde Ellis Memorial, another $3,000-to-win main event. The trifecta wraps up on Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., for the Larry Phillips Memorial paying $5,075 to the winner.

Terry Phillips, with an MLRA-record 115 career wins, admits he's set his sights on a fourth career MLRA championship to go with titles he won in 1994, 1996 and 2015.

"It's just kind of the way I race. I race to win," Phillips said. "You just don't want to do anything stupid (that would affect) the points. That's the main thing."

Phillips has been on a roll in the second half of the season. He has four victories and a second place over his last seven MLRA starts and will carry the Midwest Sheet Metal Points Leader fluorescent yellow spoiler.

"We're running a little better," Phillips said. "You just hit it right every once in a whole. It's nothing in particular. Just all the little stuff and making the right decisions."

Phillips said he enjoys both I-80 Speedway and Lakeside, but admits Lucas Oil Speedway - where Saturday's race is a tribute to his late father - has been a puzzle to him in recent years.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said of the Larry Phillips Memorial. "I don't tend to run very good there, but I'm gonna keep a good attitude about it. I think it's more me than it is the race car."

Phillips will begin the weekend with a 46-point lead over Sanders, who's all but a cinch to earn Sunoco MLRA Rookie of the Year honors. Reigning MLRA champion Jesse Stovall of Billings, Mo., is third, 59 points behind Phillips, but has been slowed of late with concussion symptoms from an accident at I-80 Speedway back in July.

Stovall said on Tuesday that he has been feeling better, has his car prepared and plans to make the trip to I-80 Speedway. He said he will see how he feels once he gets there and make a decision as to whether to race or not.

"Some days are better than others. Yesterday was good, but I don't know how today will be," Stovall said. "I'm tentatively planning on going and we'll see. I want to go racing, but I can't promise how I'll feel when I get there.

"Concussions take time to heal. In general, you just do what your body lets you do."

Here's a look at each stop this weekend stops:

Rock N' Roll 40: Thursday's program is a makeup of the rained-out Spring Meltdown at I-80 Speedway back in April. Also racing at the Rock N' Roll 40 are unsanctioned B Mods and unsanctioned Stock Cars. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstands open at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 7:15.

Grandstand Admission is $20 for adults, $5 for juniors (ages 6-12) with ages 5-and-under free.

I-80 Speedway is located one block north of Interstate 80 Exit 420, halfway between Omaha and Lincoln. For more information, visit www.I-80speedway.com.

Clyde Ellis Memorial: The pit gate opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Lakeside Speedway with grandstands open at 5 p.m., hot laps at 6:45 and racing at 7:30. USRA Modifieds, USRA Stocks and USRA B-Mods also will be in action.

General admission tickets are $20 with seniors (65 and over), military and students with ID $18, ages 7-12 $18 and ages 6-and-under free.

Go to LakesideSpeedway.net for more information.

Larry Phillips Memorial: Saturday's event at Lucas Oil Speedway honors the late Larry Phillips, a former MLRA champion and five-time NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion. The Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods also will be in action, with $1,075 to the winner of a special 30-lap feature.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30. Admission is $20 adults, $17 seniors (62 and up)/military, $10 youth (6-15), FREE 5-and-under, pit pass $40. The Diamond Drag Boat Nationals also are being held at Lucas Oil Speedway during the day with those buying drag-boat tickets admitted free to the dirt track.

For complete information about Lucas Oil Speedway, please visit LucasOilSpeedway.com.

After this weekend, the only remaining event is the 4th annual Fall Nationals Oct. 6-7 at Lucas Oil Speedway.

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.

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