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MLRA Action Heats Up With Inaugural "Battle At The Beach"

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Lake Ozark Speedway is set to host the Lucas Oil MLRA in a double header this weekend with the inaugural running of the "Battle at the Beach". Photo Credit: Lloyd Collins FastTrack Photos

Wheatland, Missouri (August 10, 2021) – After a one-year hiatus, the Lucas Oil MLRA returns to the confines of Lake Ozark Speedway just outside of Eldon, Missouri for two big nights of action this Friday and Saturday August 13th & 14th. The inaugural “Battle at the Beach” will feature two complete shows, including a $3,000 to win main event on Friday night followed by Saturday’s $5,000 to win and $500 to start weekend finale.

2019 MLRA Champion Will Vaught has dominated MLRA action at Lake Ozark in recent years, collecting victories in 2007 and sweeping a double header weekend in 2018. Vaught was also on the pole for the main event in 2019 before rains cancelled the feature event just as drivers were ready to pull onto the speedway.

Tony Jackson Jr. will come into the weekend as the MLRA series point leader with just eight events remaining in 2021. His four wins has put the Lebanon, Missouri driver in a prime position to capture his second career series title. Garrett Alberson comes into the event second and trailing Jackson by 225 points. West coast drivers Jason Papich and Justin Duty hold down fourth and fifth, while leading Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the year candidate Mason Oberkramer sits in the fifth spot.

Defending MLRA Champion Jeremiah Hurst has been strong as of late and holds down the sixth spot. Missouri’s Brennon Willard is seventh just ahead of Chris and Chad Simpson who are eight and ninth respectively. Rounding out the top ten is California ace Tony Toste who already has a pair of podium finishes on the season.

Sitting just outside the top ten is second year late model driver Daniel Hilsabeck. The 31-year old from Earlham, Iowa continues to edge closer to the front of the pack each week and has already recorded three top ten’s this season—all while missing three events following a rollover during the final night of the Show-Me 100.

Hilsabeck spent close to three years running with the USMTS Modified series before making the jump into the open late model ranks in 2020. While he admits the learning curve has been a challenge he is excited about his team’s progress and is ready to get back on track this weekend.

In late June he notched a career best 4th place MLRA finish at the Salina Highbanks and followed that up in July with an 11th place run in the Diamond Nationals at the Lucas Oil Speedway. Hilsabeck qualified an impressive 3rd overall in the event, behind only Jimmy Owens and Stormy Scott, and stresses how critical qualifying can be.

“Qualifying is a huge part, it’s way easier to stay in front then to have to pass,” he noted.

“It seemed like I wasn’t very good in qualifying, but once the track slowed down I was a lot better and could pass cars. We knew we needed to work on timing in so I don’t have to pass cars, but rather I just have to stay up front. We have been working on that a lot the last couple of months and I feel like we are getting better and better at timing in and being able to run in the mud and know what to go back to when it does get dry and slick. So much of it's just watching the track and knowing what to do to keep up with the track.”

Since his last MLRA event in mid-July the driver of the Banning Chiropractic, Big Deal Car Care #22 has been racing on a national level in marquee events like the Silver Dollar Nationals and USA Nationals this past weekend. It’s that high caliber competition that he feels has him ready for this weekend.

“We feel confident, especially racing with some of the competition we have been racing against and keeping up. It’s not like we are beating those guys but it seems like we are just as fast as them. We have confidence now going into MLRA. A lot of our races the past month have been against all the best national touring guys, so I feel if we can run competitively with them, then we should be able to race pretty well with the MLRA."

Friday will mark off another first time track for Hilsabeck when the MLRA invades the 1/3-mile Lake Ozark Speedway facility. “I keep a pretty good notebook. We’ll go back and look at our notes and see what we had at other tracks that were similar or comparable and go from there. It can totally change once you hot lap on it. It might look just like another track, but drive completely different," he concluded.

Lake Ozark Speedway: Eldon, MO -- Friday 8/13/21

Gates: 4:00 PM
Hot Laps: 6:30 PM
Racing: 7:30 PM
Admission: GA Adults $20, Military/Senior (62+) $17, Kids ages 6 – 12 $10, 5 & Under FREE. Family Passs: (2 adults + 2 youth age 6 to 12 yrs) $50
Support Classes: ULMA Late Models & POWRi Super Stocks

Lake Ozark Speedway: Eldon, MO -- Saturday 8/14/21

Gates: 4:00 PM
Hot Laps: 6:30 PM
Racing: 7:30 PM
Admission: GA Adults $20, Military/Senior (62+) $17, Kids ages 6 – 12 $10, 5 & Under FREE. Family Passs: (2 adults + 2 youth age 6 to 12 yrs) $50
Support Classes: USRA B-Mods, Midwest Modifieds, & POWRi Super Stocks