By Jordan Kuehne
Historic Missouri Track Rejoins NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Lebanon I-44 Speedway Expands NASCAR’s Presence In Midwest
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2012) – NASCAR short-track racing returns to a premier Missouri facility in 2013.
Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway, a star-making .375-mile banked paved oval, and NASCAR announced today the track will be a member of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series next year.
The marquee track operates on Saturday nights and Late Models is the track’s top division. Lebanon is located about 50 miles northeast of Springfield, Mo., adjacent to Interstate 44. The track remains within the family of the late Bill Willard, who built and opened it in 1983. Willard’s sons Bradley and David now own the speedway. Kevin Greven became the general manager this year.
“The addition of Lebanon I-44 Speedway is a big step for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “It expands the series’ national footprint deep into America’s heartland at one of Missouri’s greatest short tracks.”
Greven, a longtime leader within the motorsports industry, charted the new course for the track’s 30th season in 2013.
“When we looked at the possibilities for our track, drivers, fans and sponsors, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series offers the most to all of them,” Greven said.
Lebanon I-44 was part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series from 1989-2001. During that time the speedway was the home track for five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Larry Phillips. Phillips competed full-time at Lebanon I-44 during three of those national championship seasons (1989, 1995-96). He also won five Lebanon NASCAR Late Model track titles. Phillips’ other national championships came while he raced primarily in upstate Missouri in 1991-92.
One of many young drivers Phillips mentored, Jamie McMurray — now a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner — won the Lebanon track championship in 1997. Multi-series NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, the youngest brother of Rusty and Kenny Wallace, won a track and NASCAR regional championship there in 1990. Other Lebanon NASCAR Late Model track champions include Kirk Shaw, Russell Phillips (who is not related to Larry), Steve Shive, Ken Dickinson and Tim Swearengin.
Willard built and opened Lebanon I-44 as a dirt track in 1983, then paved it and joined NASCAR in 1989. The track returned to a dirt surface from 2003-2009, before the clay was removed to go asphalt racing again in 2010.
Greven joined the Lebanon I-44 team at mid-season this year. He was a crewman for Larry Phillips in the early 1990s. He later spent 10 years as O’Reilly Auto Parts’ director of motorsports marketing. Most recently, Greven managed a dirt track in Wheatland, Mo.
“The timing was perfect,” Greven said. “I’ve known the Willards for a long time and this track is part of my heritage.”
In addition to Late Models, Greven said he expects weekly divisions to include Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks and Chargers. Baby Grands and Trucks will also make appearances.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. The series encompasses more than 50 speedways across the United States and Canada.
NASCAR-licensed Division I drivers in Lebanon I-44 Speedway are eligible to compete for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championships and point fund awards at the track, state or province, and national levels. NASCAR-licensed drivers in each track’s NASCAR-sanctioned support divisions compete for points in the NASCAR Finalist program. The program brings added recognition to drivers in NASCAR Divisions II-V.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series information is available at NASCARHomeTracks.com.
Integrated Marketing Communications
Lebanon I-44 Speedway is located four miles east of the Lebanon city limit on Historic Route 66. Patrons using Interstate 44 may take Exit 135 and then drive approximately one mile east on Route 66 to the track’s main entrance. Additional information about the track’s 2012 ‘Kickin’ Asphalt’ racing schedule may be found on the facility’s official website, www.i44speedway.net, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Lebanon-I-44-Speedway, and on Twitter (@i44Speedway).
Looking forward to the 2013 season at Lebanon I-44 Speedway involves changes. Some major. Lebanon I-44 Speedway will hold a press conference at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon Missouri on Tuesday morning at 11:30 am to release these changes to the fans, racers, sponsors and track officials.
About Lebanon I-44 Speedway
Lebanon I-44 Speedway is Missouri’s only weekly Asphalt Racing Oval and is settled nearly 300 miles from any other. Located in Lebanon, Missouri, along Interstate 44 adds easy access from any direction. Just about 45 minutes to the West of Springfield, Missouri on I-44 and just 2 hours East of St. Louis on I-44 as well as just 30 minutes south of Lake of the Ozarks.
Lebanon I-44 Speedway has a history of producing great racecar drivers, and some of the biggest stars in American motorsports honed their skills on our tracks high banked 3/8-mile asphalt oval. Legends such as the great Larry Phillips, the only 5-time national champion in NASCAR’s weekly racing series, along with NASCAR stars like Mike Wallace, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, the late Tony Roper and Tony Stewart have either won races or even track championships over the years.
Lebanon I-44 Speedway has perhaps the smoothest racing surface of any weekly racing facility in the nation along with the newest aluminum backed Monster Energy grandstand seating, Budweiser “Wild Side” tier parking that you can pull up in your car or tailgate in your pickup and enjoy all of the racing from a great view and our latest addition is the new Central Bank VIP Suites in the middle of the front stretch.
Lebanon I-44 Speedway runs many special events throughout the race season as well as an exciting weekly show that consists of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Models, Budweiser Modifieds, Hardee’s Sportsman, Hoosier Tire Road Warriors and the Coca-Cola Chargers with special appearances by the United States Super Truck Series, Pro National Baby Grand Cars, ASA Racing special events and various Concerts.
www.lebanoni44speedway.net For the latest information always visit
2012 Lebanon I-44 Speedway Official Partners:
Budweiser – Official Beer
Caddy Shack Golf Cars – Official Golf Cars
Central Bank – Official Bank
Cintas – Official Uniform Rental Service Company
Hardee’s – Official Fast Food Restaurant
Hoosier Tire – Official Race Tire
Missouri Eagle – Official Beer & Energy Drink Supplier
Monster Energy – Official Energy Drink
Munger Moss – Official Motel
O’Reilly Auto Parts – Official Auto Parts Store
Ozarks Coca-Cola / Dr. Pepper Bottling Company – Official Soft Drink, Water & Sports Drink Supplier
Racing Electronics – Official Radio Supplier
Safety-Kleen – Official Enviromental Services Company
Sunoco – Official Race Fuel
2012 Lebanon I-44 Speedway Supporting Partners:
Commerce Bank, Contingency Connection, Dickies Barbeque, Energy Companies, E-Z Disposal, Graven Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Headley’s Value Tire Center, Helton’s Home Furnishings, Heritage Bank, Independant Stave Inc., Lebanon Ready Mix, Lindsay Chevrolet, McGunegill Engine Performance, Missouri Arive Alive Program, Missouri Tool & Automation, Rock Auto, Shadel’s Colonial Chapel, Starnes Auto, Totally You, United Insurers, Waffle House, Whelen Engineering, Willard Asphalt, 107.9 The Coyote