Wheatland, Missouri (April 30, 2019) - The Lucas Oil MLRA will jump back into action this weekend, embarking on their first four race weekend of 2019. The extended weekend of action will come to life on Thursday night and feature a stretch of new and old venues reaching from West Central Iowa to the banks of the Mississippi River in Quincy, IL. A pair of first time visits for the MLRA will bookend the swing, while return visits to a pair of legendary eastern Iowa facilities will fill in the weekend slate.
For the first time ever the MLRA will tackle the Stuart International Speedway in Stuart, Iowa on Thursday night May 2nd. The ¼ mile clay oval has only hosted a handful of weekly late model races over the years, but never of the depth and caliber that the MLRA will present when the green flag drops.
Veteran promoter and race director Mike Van Genderen is in his first year at the helm of the West Central Iowa facility and is excited to reunite with the MLRA. Since the event was announced last winter it has created quite the buzz among late model fans who have long awaited the opportunity to see the super late models on the ¼ mile.
Located just west of Des Moines, IA the Stuart International Speedway is in its 58th year and Van Genderen expects it to be one of the biggest and wildest shows in the history of the facility. Thursday nights inaugural visit by the MLRA should also mark the first time in the modern era that fans will witness what most expect be a full 24 car field of late models taking the green as they chase after the $3,000 top prize.
"We have had two shows already this year and it has literally been all over the race track---four wide, slide jobbing each other, it's just been phenomenal. If we can do it again like we did the last two weeks we will be in for a heck of a show," commented Van Genderen.
Friday night May 3rd will have teams eastbound and down to the Davenport Speedway for the 2nd time this season. Chase Junghans picked up the MLRA season opener back on April 19th on the ½ mile speedway, but on Friday night drivers will go at it short track style for the second night in a row as they trade sheet metal on the facilities inner ¼ mile venue with another $3,000 top prize on the line.
Defending MLRA champion Chad Simpson took home the ¼ mile hardware one year ago, while Bobby Pierce grabbed the checkers in 2017 in what was his first ever visit to the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds facility. Two weeks ago Pierce topped Simpson with a late race top side pass, in what was a classic one vs two battle at the Slocum 50. Both drivers are again expected to challenge for the win during all four nights of the upcoming swing.
Drt Trak Racing, Inc., the promotions team behind the MLRA action at Davenport, will give fans yet another chance to catch the MLRA on Saturday night May 4th, as they bring super late model racing back to the West Liberty Raceway. The legendary half-mile facility last hosted the MLRA in 2016 when Oxford, Iowa's Chris Simpson took the win, his fourth that season, all of which came at facilities in his Eastern Iowa backyard.
Saturday will mark just the third appearance all time for the Lucas Oil MLRA at the West Liberty Raceway. Once a national hot bed for NASCAR Weekly Series Late Model racing, the wide half mile slightly banked dirt track has produced many top regional drivers over the years. Saturday nights finale should bring another strong field of cars as this time a $5,000 winner's check will await one lucky driver in victory lane.
The final checkered flag of the weekend is set to fly Sunday night May 5th, as patience will again be tested a quarter mile at a time. For the first time in series history, drivers will take to the Quincy Raceways located in Quincy, IL.
Often referred to as the "Broadway Bullring", this action track has been hosting racing for over four decades. Sunday's event on the semi-banked clay oval will again shell out $3,000 to the winner and serve as a warm up to the MLRA's second visit of the season, which will bring teams back once again on Labor Day Weekend.
Will Vaught stands atop the Midwest Sheet Metal point standings heading into the weekend with a 46 point margin over Waukesha, Wisconsin's Mitch McGrath. Vaught recorded his first win of the season this past weekend at the quarter mile Caney Valley Speedway, while McGrath recorded back-to-back top five finishes for the first time since joining the series in 2018. Payton Looney and Logan Martin sit third and fourth respectively, while Jesse Stovall rounds out the top five.
Stuart International Speedway: Stuart, IA Race Info-- Thursday 5/2/19
Gates: 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:45 PM, Races - 7:30PM
Admission: Adult $20, Kids $10
Support Classes: Sport Mods, Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks
Davenport Speedway: Davenport, IA Race Day Info-- Friday 5/3/19
Gates: 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps 6:30 pm, Races to follow
Admission: Adults $18, Teens/Seniors $15, Kids 12 & under Free
Support Classes: Open Street Stocks, Modifieds, & Sport Mod (no sanction)
West Liberty Raceway: West Liberty, IA Race Day Info--Saturday 5/4/19
Gates: 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Races to follow
Admission: Adults $18, Teens/Seniors $15, 12 & under Free
Support Classes: IMCA-type Street Stocks, A.I.R.S, Modifieds, & Sport Mods
Quincy Raceways: Quincy, IL Race Day Info-- Sunday 5/5/19
Gates: 3:30 PM
Racing: Hot Laps -5:15 PM Races to follow
Admission: Adults/Seniors $20, Students $12, Kids 10 & under Free w/ paid adult
Support Classes: Sport Mods & Open Stock Cars
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509