April 29, 2021
Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Former track champ Hendrix enjoying USRA Stock Car debut
WHEATLAND, MO. (April 29, 2021) - There was some mystery regarding Lucas Oil Speedway’s new Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series class in 2021 and how speedway regulars would accept and adapt to the O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Car division.
Two former track champions in the Street Stock class, Wayneville’s David Hendrix and Stoutland’s Derek Brown, have split the first two feature wins. For Hendrix, who holds a slim four-point lead over the Brown in the early championship standings, the USRA Stock Cars have been a refreshing change.
“I’m having a good time and enjoying this Stock Car deal,” Hendrix said this week. “It’s a lot less money wrapped up in the car and that makes it more enjoyable, as far as I’m concerned.
“We have a relatively cheap race car to go out there and have fun in. That’s what it’s supposed to be about.”
The USRA Stock Cars are the featured division on Saturday night as KY3 Presents $5 Night at the Races. They’ll run 25 laps for $750-to-win to headline a program that also includes the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds, Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Models and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.
Hendrix, a Lucas Oil Speedway track champion in 2014 and again in 2018 when he reeled off six straight feature wins, has adjusted quickly in a car that Jay Prevete purchased from Iowa’s Pat Graham. Hendrix said he bought a motor for $6,500 and, after some initial carburetor issues on opening night, has been strong.
“The motor was $6,500, which is still a lot of money, but considering some guys were spending up to $20,000-$25,000 on the open-class motor, I think $6,500 is pretty reasonable,” Hendrix said. “I think the cars are pretty evenly matched. I like the motor rule.
“It took us a little while to figure out the tires. We had to bump the air pressure up to get some of the sidewall flex out of it so I can feel the car underneath me.”
Along with the economics, Hendrix said the USRA Stock Cars gobble up a lot less time to get race-ready during the week. That’s huge for him because of his busy schedule, running his own business, Hendrix Construction.
After winning the 2018 championship, the “Buckhorn Bullet” was simply too busy to race anything close to a regular schedule. He estimated that he entered five races over the next two years.
“We just didn’t have any time,” Hendrix said. “My Dad (Eugene) has worked for me the last five or six years. I’m trying to let him retire. I have a pretty good crew now and that takes some pressure off Dad and I as far as the work load we’ve had. Dad has been hanging around the shop and has been able to tinker with the race car these last three or four months more than he has the last five years. So it’s kind of nice.”
The addition of new faces also has made for fun competition on the track. There are several drivers making the weekly pull to Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time in 2021 in the USRA Stock Car division. Just 20 points separate the top five in points.
“The last four or five years, every week you pretty much knew who you were going to race against,” Hendrix said. “It does make it interesting when you don’t know how these guys are going to race. We pretty much knew about what line everybody we raced against before liked to run.
“I’m enjoying it. I just hope the car count keeps increasing. I think some of the guys, once they get over the initial shock of switching, if they keep an open mind and try it, they’ll have a lot of fun with the class. In my opinion, I think it’s what Stock Car racing is supposed to be.”
The economics advantage of the USRA Stock Car also could mean another generation of the Hendrix family getting into the sport, at some point.
“A big point for me is I have a 13-year-old son and he’s acting a little interested in racing,” Hendrix said. “If he decides he wants to race, I can afford to put him in one of these cars.”
Sponsors on Hendrix’s No. 54 include Jay Neal at BSB Racing Shocks and Springs, Steve Rees at S&R Insurance, Martin Metal, Dan Griffin at Great Escapes RV, Midstate Machine Race Engines, Hess Technology, Tommy Clark Painting and Jeff Browning Living the Dream Outdoor Properties.
Two-Seater Raffle: During Saturday night's program, raffle tickets will be sold on the midway for a chance to win a five-lap ride in the Lucas Oil Speedway 2-Seater Late Model, driven by track General Manager Danny Lorton, during intermission.
Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the evening with the winning ticket drawn just prior to intermission. Tickets will be sold for $2 each, six for $10 or 12 for $20. Fans must be 18 years of age or older to participate and sign a waiver form.
Frogs Jr Fan Club Pit Tour: Fans arriving early - particularly those with youngsters - also are encouraged to sign up for the Frogs Jr Fan Club Pit Tour. Kids ages 5-12 can sign up on the midway, behind the main grandstands, before 5 p.m. with eight names drawn for a special pit-area tour at 5:15 with flag man Mike Striegel.
They will get to meet some of the drivers, see the cars up close and attend the drivers' meeting prior to return to the midway. Each of the eight will receive a Frogs Jr Fan Club T-Shirt, checkered flag and a gift bag sponsored by RaceGear Unlimited to put items in they receive from the drivers.
Suite deal available: Fans can take in Saturday's action from a VIP Suite on the third level overlooking the front straightaway, as a limited number of individual tickets are available priced at $24 apiece. All VIP Suite seats must be pre-paid and can be reserved by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984.
The suite offers prime viewing from inside, where the temperature is climate-controlled, or an outside seating area. Food and drinks are not included in the ticket price, though a host/hostess will be available to take food and drink orders throughout the evening.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.
Saturday's admission prices:
Adults (16 and over) - $5
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $5
Youth (ages 6-15) - $5
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass - $15
Pit pass - $30
VIP individual suite - $24 (must be pre-paid)
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.
In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway
About Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" lives up to its title.
Twenty-One VIP Luxury Suites, HD Jumbo-Tron Screen, Stadium Style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, Go-Kart Slick Track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart. This year marks the ninth season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.
Lucas Oil Speedway's dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most-popular events in the Midwest with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, United States Modified Touring Series, ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.
In addition to the special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Weekly Racing Series features the ULMA Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
2021 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners
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"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
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2021 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
Advanced Automotive Repair, AM Pyrotechnics, Angler's Resort, Arizona Sport Shirts, Ash Grove Aggregates, Ball Tree Service, Benton County Tire, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick, Bolivar Auto Sales & Detailing, Bolivar Farmers Exchange-MFA, Boone's BBQ Barn, Boubin Tire/American Racer, Branstetter & Lightfoot LLC, Bridal Cave, BWI Sanitation, Camden on the Lake Resort, Candlelight Creations-Dick's Wild Root Horseradish, Casey's General Stores, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Central Life Sciences, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar,DirtonDirt.com, Dixie Chopper, Eibach Springs, Evans Pipe & Steel Co., Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Heritage Tractor Inc., Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Highway 54 RV Park, Hobbytime Motorsports, Hoosier Race Tires, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, LimeBank, Lucas Cattle Company, Merck Animal Health, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Metal Buildings, Missouri Welding Institute (MWI), MyRacePass, Nemo Quarry, NMI/VMG Marketing Group, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PFI Western Store, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, ProThings Apparel, RACEceiver, Racinboys.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Rod End Supply, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Rugged Radios, Ryan E. Murphy Law Firm LLC, SBU Athletics, Safety Kleen, Schlesselman Fencing, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Stillwater Resort, Stover Milling, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunflower Resort, Superior Products, TA/PETRO, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wild Animal Safari, Windsor Livestock Auction, Woods Supermarkets, Wrisco Industries, ZINPRO Performance Minerals.