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MLRA Prepares for 3rd Annual "Battle At The Beach"


Lucas Oil MLRA

MLRA Prepares for 3rd Annual "Battle At The Beach"

Wheatland, Missouri (April 25, 2023) – A busy month of Lucas Oil Midwest Late Model Racing Association (MLRA) action comes to a close this weekend when the series returns to the Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, MO for the 3rd Annual “Battle at the Beach”.

The first of two nights will get under way on Friday April 28th with a full $5,000 to win feature event on tap, followed by a $7,000 to win and $700 to start weekend finale on Saturday night. Mother nature washed out the 2022 addition of the event, while Payton Looney scored the win in 2021 over Billy Moyer and Chad Simpson in a condensed one-day event. Other MLRA winners at the Lake include Jeff Taylor and three-time winner Will Vaught.

Chad Simpson enters the weekend on top of the Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Standings by 120 points over Garrett Alberson for the $20,000 series championship. Brandon Sheppard, leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Dillon McCowan, and Chris Simpson round out the top five in points.

Only 90 points separates drivers in positions two through eight, which includes the likes of sixth place Jeff Herzog, Jake Timm, and rookie contender Tyler Stevens of Searcy, AR. Veteran driver Billy Moyer and Daniel Hilsabeck finish out the top ten through just four events.

This weekends action will be the final tune up for series drivers before heading to next months crown jewel Show-Me 100 weekend at the Lucas Oil Speedway May 25th – 27th. In addition to the $5k and $7k pay checks on the line this weekend, the top two series drivers in points following Saturday nights main event will walk into the Show-Me 100 with guaranteed provisional starting positions if needed, making the “Battle at the Beach” an even more important stop for series regulars.

The trip to the 1/3 mile Lake Ozark Speedway will be a homecoming of sorts for Brennon Willard, driver of the Hudson Feed & Grain #3 Capital Chassis. 39 year old Willard says he see’s it as a rare opportunity to compete at one of the tracks that he considers a home track—although only having raced there twice in his dirt racing career prior to this weekend.

The former asphalt racer hails from Lebanon, MO just about an hours driver from this weekends action. “This will be fun,” exclaimed Willard. “We literally went from racing a mile from home every night back in the pavement days, to if we race an hour from home now I call it a home race.”

“Lake Ozark is a really cool facility and a really nice place. Every time we’ve went there it’s been really racey, so hopefully it’s like it has been in the past and we can put on a good show for the fans.”

Willard’s only MLRA start at Lake Ozark was back in his second full year of dirt late model racing and came with mixed results. After qualifying 9th in a 26 car field, he rallied from 22nd on the starting grid to come home in 13th, a strong nine position swing that was second best on the night.

“I was a terrible qualifier back then, and it was one of the best nights I had qualifying, and then I did something stupid in the heat race and put us behind. When we got out there in the feature our car was pretty decent and we came up through there and it was a lot of fun. I was sad we missed it last year, so I’m really glad to see it back on the schedule this year."

Lake Ozark Speedway: Eldon, MO (Race Day Info)--Friday 4/28/23
Pit Gates: 1:00 PM, Grandstands 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Racing to follow
Admission: Adults $25, Seniors/Military $22, Youth (6-12) $10, Family Pass $60
Support Classes: POWRi Midwest Mods, POWRi Super Stock, & POWRi B-Mods

Lake Ozark Speedway: Eldon, MO (Race Day Info)--Saturday 4/29/23
Gates: 1:00 PM, Grandstands 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:30 PM, Racing to follow
Admission: Adults $25, Seniors/Military $22, Youth (6-12) $10, Family Pass $60
Support Classes: POWRi Midwest Mods, POWRi Super Stock, & POWRi B-Mods

Article Credit: Billy Rock

Submitted By: Billy Rock

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Lucas Oil MLRAas of 6/7/2024
  • 1.Chad Simpson 955pts
  • 2.Chris Simpson 940pts
  • 3.Gordy Gundaker 935pts
  • 4.Trevor Gundaker 865pts
  • 5.Dillon McCowan 860pts
  • 6.Tony Jackson Jr830pts
  • 7.Earl Pearson Jr805pts
  • 8.Jeff Herzog 740pts
  • 9.Clayton Stuckey 685pts
  • 10.Aaron Marrant 665pts
Full Points