Wheatland, Missouri (June 11, 2019) - With the summer heat quickly approaching and all hopes that a disgruntled Mother Nature is now solidly in the rear-view, the Lucas Oil MLRA will break ground this weekend at a pair of first time series venues. Action will take off on Friday night June 14th, at the Beaver Dam Raceway before Saturday night June 15th, concludes under the lights at the Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway.
Will Vaught continues to stand atop the MLRA's Midwest Sheet Metal Leader Board, but only by 45 points over Wisconsin's Mitch McGrath and leading Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie candidate Logan Martin, who sits tied for the 2nd position. Fellow MLRA rookie drivers Jake Neal and Joseph Gorby round out the series top five after nine events.
Friday nights trek to the 1/3-mile high banked Beaver Dam Raceway will mark the first ever appearance by the Lucas Oil MLRA in the state of Wisconsin. In his second full season following the MLRA, Waukesha's Mitch McGrath is more than ready for a chance to take home the $4,000 top prize in front of his home state fans and sponsors.
McGrath is used to being the MLRA's road warrior, most weeks logging from six to twelve hours on the road to compete before heading home to prep and do it all over the next weekend. Excited for the upcoming weekend he said, "It's going to be really cool. Our group (MLRA) will put on a good show for the fans and I don't see any reasons why they would walk away disappointed."
Mitch McGrath (#74)-- Lloyd Collins, FastTrack Photos
The driver of the Diamond Jim's Auto Sales Pro Powered XR1 Rocket Chassis, already has a pair of podium finishes on the season and expects the racing this weekend to be intense. "It (Beaver Dam) races real nice, and not just because it's close to my house. It's a real nice track and facility, and always a racey surface. Coming off of two it gets a little pinchy, actually both corners get a little tight coming off, but easily side by side racing," concluded McGrath.
Two weeks ago Michael Kloos showed the value of experience by knocking off the MLRA regulars for his first series win at the Belle Clair Speedway. Beaver Dam Raceway could present the same opportunity for McGrath to break through this weekend. "It may be a little home court advantage," stated McGrath. "I don't think anyone else (MLRA regulars) has the laps around there (Beaver Dam) that I do--not to say that will apply because I actually have very few in the late model, but I think we will be good and comfortable being so close to home".
With six MLRA events already falling to mother nature in 2019, leaving just thirteen events to go, the importance of each of the remaining events comes with added pressure for the series top drivers to find the front. "Belle Clair was nice to lead a couple laps early on. I wish we could have held onto it, but we've got a long season left," commented McGrath. "Maybe Beaver Dam will be our lucky one."
Following Friday nights action, teams will take the two-hour journey to Dubuque, Iowa for the first time in series history. The inaugural $3,000 to win event on the 3/8-mile clay oval will mark the fifth tour stop of the season in the state of Iowa, and third under the DTR Trak Racing, Inc. promotional banner.
Under the direction of Promoter Robert Wagner, the MLRA has enjoyed solid car counts at prior 2019 stops in Davenport and West Liberty, where fields of 26 and 27 cars respectively have signed in for a shot at MLRA glory. The Lucas Oil MLRA has seen its fair share of surprise winners in 2019 and Saturday night could be another one of those occasions. It will also mark the first time since May 4th, that the series has competed at a speedway larger than a 1/3 mile, when Bobby Pierce cruised to the win at the West Liberty Raceway.
In The Rear View: For guys like Logan Martin and Jeremy Grady, the rained out "Show Down at the Lake" could loom big as the season winds down. Both drivers had strong runs one year ago at the Lake Ozark facility and were set to roll off inside the top five for the 40 lapper. Chalk it up as a an unfortunate missed opportunity at a good points night for both drivers, thanks yet again in 2019 to Mother Nature.
The Look Ahead: With only 13 events remaining on the 2019 schedule, the margin for error between the series top teams is all but gone. Pole sitter Will Vaught grabbed the easy money at the last MLRA event when mother nature abruptly ended the night at Lake Ozark Speedway before drivers could hit the track for the main event. Ironically, it was at Lake Ozark one year ago that Vaught started his impressive streak, winning five of six races down the stretch. This time from atop the standings, if Vaught can once again find the magic it could produce his first ever MLRA title come October.
Beaver Dam Raceway: Beaver Dam, WI-- Friday 6/14/19
Gates: 4:30 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Races to follow
Admission: Adult $20, Kids(6-12yrs) $10, Kids 5 & under FREE
Support Classes: Legends, Grand Nationals
Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway: Dubuque, IA-- Saturday 6/15/19
Gates: 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Races - 7:00 pm
Admission: Adults $18, Teens/Seniors $15, Kids (12 & Under w/ Paid Adult) FREE
Support Classes: IMCA-Type Street Stocks, Mods, Sport Mods, AIRS
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.