By Sam Stoecklin
MSFS Public Relations
August 14, 2012
Big horsepower, bragging rights, bravado, flashy machines, and throngs of fans will all be a part of Sunday’s Missouri State Fair Championships at Missouri State Fair Speedway. The final night of the 110th edition of the state fair will draw to a close Sunday night in Sedalia. Make no mistake about it, only dirt car racing could do justice to such a special occasion in the storied history of the fair. The drama unfolds this weekend on the hallowed grounds of the big half mile when four more drivers will walk away forever known as a State Fair Champion!
Four exciting classes take part in the action including ASCS Warrior Region Sprint Cars, MLRA Super Late Models, Modifieds, and Law Enforcement Crown Victoria Battle of the Badges cars. Last year’s champions were Brian Brown in sprints, John Anderson in MLRA, and Jim Moody in modifieds. These drivers are expected to compete again this year.
Two of the biggest and fastest race tracks in the Kansas City region have combined forces to make an already scheduled big weekend of racing even bigger. The tracks will host the first-ever MO-KAN Sprint Car Shootout presented by Tompkins Industries and Impact Signs, Awnings, and Wraps/Impact4800.com! The combined effort includes two powerful nights of action on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18, at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City and the Historic Half Mile on Sunday.
The best of the best in the ASCS Warrior Region will compete for the win. A special three-night mini point championship will determine the shootout champion over the course of the weekend. The standard ASCS point structure will be in effect. First place will take away an extra $500 with second receiving $400, third $300, fourth, $200, and fifth place claiming an extra $100.
John Anderson leads the charge of the Lucas Oil Products MLRA late models. Anderson currently leads the point standings and has five victories this season, including last weekend’s event at Junction Motor Speedway. Kevin Sather and Mark Dotson are expected to bring their Rookie of the Year battle to the big track. Among others expected to compete is local driver Jason Bodenhamer, who recently returned to MLRA racing at Junction. Another late model driver set to compete Sunday night will have one-up on the rest of the field as he already claimed a victory at the speedway this season. This driver is none other than the ‘Neosho Night Hawk,’ Chris Hawkins, who picked up a ULMA late model win earlier this season.
Hawkins stated, “I have every intention on racing at the state fair race. I have made the MLRA race there several years as well and ran third in an outlaw Sportsman in 2002. My sponsors are Jim and Vicki Odell of O’Dell Trucking and Pro-Lube Maintenance Center and SafeRacer, and Super Moon Graphics.” Hawkins currently sits inside the top five overall ULMA standings and is the current late model track point’s leader at Valley Speedway.
For area modified fans, Sunday night’s action is not to be missed as several local area hot shoes are expected to compete for the title of Missouri State Champion. Although USRATM modifieds rules are used for this event, the race is not a USRATM point’s-earning race. Jim Moody has racked up multiple championships over the years and will surely be one of the stronger drivers to take the field.
Another driver planning to attend is Account Executive by day at Henry Wurst Incorporated, and racer by night, Dave McVey of Greenwood, Missouri. McVey said, “I am planning on racing the fair. I don’t have many highlights this year, blown motors, bent shocks etc., but we have been having fun.” McVey competes at local modified tracks, has one feature victory, and last year finished among the top ten in points at the now defunct Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg. His sponsors include Napa Auto Parts of Garden City, Rockin’ C Bar & Grill, Clint’s Tire and Lube, and Precision Pipe.
Scotty Roberts of Columbia, Missouri has every intention of competing Sunday night. Roberts recently stated, “It’s been a decent year even though we got a late start to the race season. I’ve been top five every night except for a few times. I mainly raced at LA Raceway but did venture down to Lucas Oil Speedway a few times. The fair continues to be one of the biggest races of importance to me and my team. When I was a kid, we went to the races every weekend two nights a week and sometimes three, and the fair race was always the biggest of any of them. Of course it was a day race then but drivers from all over the state and surrounding states would show up to race. One favorite memory was watching Buddy Mullens win the 100 lap day race in 1993. Memories such as this stick out vividly in my mind and that’s why this race means so much to me. We will be there with our Allen Auto Sports chassis, SRD Performance Engine, with sponsorship from Tiger Towing in Columbia, Scotty’ Sign, and Auto Zone.”
John Allen of Chanute, Kansas is another fierce competitor planning on making the long haul to the track Sunday evening in his familiar #98 Allen’s Automotive entry. John has over 200 career main event wins and 27 years of racing under his belt. His sponsors include Harrison Auto Racing, Hillsdale Storage, Aero Race Wheels, Face Designs, Fast Shafts, Simpson, BSB, McCarthy Auto Group, and Allen’s Automotive Inc. The veteran driver also has three NCRA Modified Championships to his credit and will be a definite threat to add a Missouri State Fair championship to his resume.
One modified driver who has been missing in action this year, at least behind the wheel, will make just his third start of the year this Sunday. Jason Thompson of Concordia, Missouri will pilot the Ron Keith owned #25 Hughes Chassis modified powered by Mullins Race Engines. Thompson was the Central Missouri Speedway modified track champion in 2010 and also picked up championship winning seasons at LA Raceway in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Thompson has over 50 main event wins to his credit and has served as car/crew chief for Rick Beebe this year on the modified touring series. Sponsors on the entry include Arbor Masters, DeSoto Auto Parts, Car Quest, John Flegler, Shred It, Robert E. Mueller Insurance Group, Beebe Heating & Air, Steve’s Auto Repair, and BRP of Shawnee, Kansas.
It was just over two years ago on August 6, 2010 when officers representing several different genres of the law enforcement profession gathered at the ‘Historic Half Mile’ to raise funds for the Special Olympics. In three events, law enforcement officers have raised over $80,000 for this special cause. This Sunday, the Battles cars return for exciting heat race action along with a main event to crown the Battle of the Badges Missouri State Fair Champion.
The effort supports over 15,000 Missouri Special Olympics Athletes. There are over a dozen different teams expected to compete Sunday night in Crown Victoria’s decked out like law enforcement cars. Last year’s winner was Aaron Bolinger from the Cole County Sheriff’s Department.
Lieutenant Mike Nienhuis of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office will drive the Morgan County #95 car in the battle race. Nienhuis stated, “My main sponsors are D&R Towing, Bill and Mary DiMarsico with the Civil Air Patrol Auxiliary, Coconuts Caribbean Bar & Grill at the lake, and Envision Signs and Graphics. This will be my first time at the State Fair. We need to remember the Battles race is for the kids and with the kids is where we will be able to make a difference in the world.”
The theme at the fair this year is ‘Then and Now’ and race fans will have a taste of this theme as they make their way to the speedway when a piece of local race history will be on display with the McCown #96 car owned by CT Jacobi on display for all to see. Race Receivers are required for all classes. Drivers are reminded that there will not be Race Receivers for sale or rent at the track, all drivers will need to bring their own. ASCS 360 Sprints, MLRA Late Models, and Modifieds make up the exciting competition during the championships along with the officers in the Battle of the Badges!
Visit the speedway’s official website at www.missouristatefairspeedway.com or search and like the speedway on Facebook. Note: mention of driver name within this press release DOES NOT guarantee race-night participation. On Sunday, pit gates open at 3 p.m., admission gates open at 4:30; hot laps take place at 5:30 with racing getting underway at 6 p.m. General Admission – $18, Senior & Military – $15, Kids 6-12 – $8, Five & under free; all pit passes are $25.