Wheatland, Missouri (August 31, 2020) - After a long seven week break in the action, the Lucas Oil MLRA will roar back into action this upcoming Labor Day weekend with a double dip on Saturday and Sunday September 5th & 6th. A total of just seven races remain on the 2020 championship schedule, with the lucrative series title still open for the taking.
Action will pick up on Saturday night September 5th, when the series returns to the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO for the"Ron Jenkins Memorial", Presented by Rugged Radios. This will mark the MLRA's first stand alone visit this year to the Diamond of Dirt Tracks, following July's combined Show-Me 100 & Diamond Nationals, which were co-sanctioned with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
This first annual event pays honor to Jenkins as the builder of the original Wheatland Raceway. Thanks to the generosity of Mary Jenkins, widow of the late Ron Jenkins, drivers will have even more on the line Saturday night. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist fast time award will not only position the fast qualifier on the pole in their respective heat race, but it will also net them a $500 bonus.
In addition to the quick time bonus, Jenkins has also added $1,000 to the winners take, making the 40 lapper worth $6,000 to win along with paying $500 to start.
Lucas Oil Speedway will play a critical part in the crowning of the 2020 series champion as three of the final seven events are to be contested at the 3/8-mile facility. Payton Looney will lead the series back into action holding down a 120-point advantage over two-time series champion Chad Simpson of Mt. Vernon, IA. Looney, the winner of three of the last four MLRA events including the Show-Me 100, is searching for his first series title while Simpson is trying to win his first as an owner-driver.
Leading up to the MLRA dirt track action on Saturday night, fans can also enjoy day number one of the Diamond Drag Boat Nationals at the adjacent Lake Lucas on Saturday afternoon. Fans purchasing tickets to the Diamond Drag Boat Nationals will be admitted free into the Ron Jenkins Memorial on Saturday night.
Sunday night action will move north to the high banked Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, MO for the 2nd Annual "Scottie 46" Presented by Lowe's. Shannon Babb grabbed the win over Ryan Gustin in the MLRA season opener back on June 12th, topping a field of 36 MLRA Late Models.
This $5,000 to win and $500 to start event was originally slated for the Quincy Raceway's where Bobby Pierce grabbed the win one year ago, but Covid-19 restrictions forced JMG Promotions to move their 2020 slate of action to the once idle Randolph County Raceway. This high-banked & high speed track will also be a critical step towards the series title, as it will also be the new home for the MLRA's championship finale on October 18th.
TURN FOUR NEWS & NOTES:
Jeremiah Hurst comes into the weekend on top of the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year Standings and only 145 markers behind Looney for the series overall title. The Dubuque, IA driver along with his Roberts Motorsports teammate Garrett Alberson, have taken advantage of the recent downtime in the MLRA schedule by racing at a handful of Midwestern venues. The added seat time and laps in the open motor late model division could pay off big down the stretch for this duo as they both look for their first career MLRA wins.
Tony Jackson Jr. had a nightmarish weekend back in July during the Show-Me 100/Diamond Nationals weekend as the 2013 series champ was plagued with motor issues. Jackson has since came back swinging and should bring a load of confidence into the series return to action this weekend. He recently recorded his first ever USMTS Modified win and followed it up less than 24 hours later with his first Late Model win of the year at Tri-City Speedway. With seven races to go the schedule is shaping up nice for Jackson with a strong potential to claw himself back into the title picture.
Jason Papich--Lloyd Collins FastTrack Photos
Nipomo, California's Jason Papich has recorded just two top ten finishes this season but like Jackson, he looks to be turning the corner and heading for a strong finish to the season. Papich who commutes from his California home to his race shop in Camdenton, MO recently scored a non-sanctioned win at the Randolph County Raceway, something that should give him an added boost when the 91 team rolls through the gates on Sunday.
Chad Simpson may be winless in 2020 MLRA action, but his Deuce Nickel Team appears to have found momentum heading into the MLRA stretch run as well after recording back-to-back wins this past weekend. The Mount Vernon, IA driver swept a twin bill at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway on Friday night, pocketing $7,000 for the nights work.
Lucas Oil Speedway: Wheatland, MO Race Day Info-Saturday 9/5
Gates: 4:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Racing - 7:05 PM
Admission: Adults $20, Seniors (62+)/Military $17, Youth (6-15) $10, Kids (5 & Under) FREE, Family Pass $50
Support Classes: USRA B-Mods & Street Stocks
Randolph County Raceway: Moberly, MO Race Day Info-Sunday 9/6
Gates: 4:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 5:45 PM, Racing to follow
Admission: Adults $25, Seniors $22, Students $18, Ages 6-11 $5, 5 & Under FREE
Support Classes: B-Mods & 4-Cylinders