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TWICE THE ACTION-- SHOW-ME 100 & DIAMOND NATIONALS ON TAP FOR MLRA

Thursday, July 16, 2020
Justin Duty (left) and Payton Looney (right) are both riding high coming into this weekends MLRA & LOLMDS action at the Lucas Oil Speedway. Lloyd Collins, FastTrack Photos

Wheatland, Missouri (July 16, 2020) - Not one, but two huge events await the stars of the Lucas Oil MLRA this weekend when the series returns to the Lucas Oil Speedway for the second time this season.  MLRA drivers will find themselves going door-to-door with the nation's best late model drivers from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) in a pair of co-sanctioned events.

For the first time since May of 2018, the Show-Me 100 Presented by Protect the Harvest.com, will return to the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" in a special one-day format this Saturday July 18th, with a hefty $20,000 awaiting the winner.  This traditional three-day crown jewel was lost one year ago as a result of severe storms, while this springs Memorial Day Weekend schedule had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

The weekend double-header will conclude on Sunday night July 19th with the running of the $12,000 to win, CMH Diamond Nationals.  One year ago in a two-day modified format, it was Jimmy Owens and Jonathan Davenport scoring trips to victory lane and cashing in on the events coveted winners Diamond ring.

Fresh off of an MLRA one-two finishing at the Bullring at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds, series point leader Payton Looney and Mulino, Oregon's Justin Duty are both excited at their chances on the big stage this weekend. 

For the first time in his young career, Looney comes into the weekend on top of the Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge standings for the MLRA series, riding a two race win streak.  "We are feeling really good and the race car is working really good," said Looney.  "Everything is clicking in our favor and it seems were finally to the spot that I always knew we could get to, it's just taken a little longer than I had hoped."

Looney already has three Slick Mist Fast Time Awards to his credit this season with the MLRA, but knows this weekend the stakes will be higher and competition level as high as ever.  "The first thing you've got to do is make the race, and once you make the race you've got a lot of laps and you have just got to dictate your own fate, everybody is tough and everybody's got speed.  It doesn't matter if you're at a regional race or national race everybody is good.  Fortunately, they are coming to my back yard I guess.  It's where I grew up racing, so I feel like I kind of have an advantage in that aspect, but these guys are the best of the best and it will be tough regardless."

Duty comes into the weekend 6th in the series standings, and in a three way tie for second in the Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year battle, behind leading rookie Jeremiah Hurst.   The runner-up finish at East Moline marked Duty's second top five of the season and his highest MLRA podium finish to date.  After struggling with mechanical woes at the start of last weekend, Duty now comes into the weekend's action riding high with a nice jolt of confidence.

"It would have been a different story if we had started on the pole and finished second, but starting 16th and running on up through there helped a ton with our confidence," said Duty.  "It was one of those deals where the race track did what I thought it would do and came to me--we had a really good car for that.  If a guy would have paid me to have pulled off on lap five I would have taken it.  We were so bad, but by the time things got to rolling and the race track got to where it needed to be we were good."

Just over three weeks ago, Duty collected a heat race win and sat on the DirtonDirt.com Pole at the Lucas Oil Speedway during the MLRA's first annual Mid-Week Mayhem event.  Although his end result was not indicative of his performance that night, he is ready to return to the Diamond for two big shows this weekend, going up against the nation's best. 

"It's definitely a step up (LOLMDS), but quite honestly at a place like Wheatland I look back at Payton Looney, he has been as good as anybody there even on the Lucas side of things.  Most of the guys that run MLRA seem to be really good there even when the Lucas guys are in town.  It's going to be a challenge with a lot of really good cars but our series has quite a few cars in it as well that are good there week in and week out."

28th Annual "Show-Me-100" Race Day Info-- Saturday 7/18
Gates: 4:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Racing 7:05 PM
Admission: Adults (16+) $35, Seniors (62+)/Military $32, Youth (6-15) $10, Kids 5 & Under FREE, Family Pass $80       
Website:  www.lucasoilspeedway.com

14th Annual "Diamond Nationals" Race Day Info-- Sunday 7/19
Gates: 4:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Racing 7:05 PM
Admission: Adults (16+) $30, Seniors (62+)/Military $27, Youth (6-15) $10, Kids 5 & Under FREE, Family Pass $70