Home Dirt Late Model News David Melloway Claims 2016 ULMA Opener!

David Melloway Claims 2016 ULMA Opener!

ULMA - United Late Model AssociationSam Stoecklin
ULMA Public Relations
April 13, 2016

Racing to his first-ever ULMA Lucas Cattle Company victory, Hallsville, Missouri’s David Melloway became the first winner during ULMA’s Decade of Racing anniversary celebration. Melloway’s thrilling victory came during the association’s first-ever trip to I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri.

Melloway’s victory will go down in ULMA history as one of the biggest upsets in recent memory as he not only outran his own brother Jon, who just happens to be the defending Lucas Cattle Company ULMA Champion, but also former ULMA champions Jason Bodenhamer and Jon Binning and a former Lucas Oil MLRA winner at the track, Chris Smyser, to get to victory lane!

With a small but heavy on the quality field of 11 cars on hand, ULMA’s first-ever visit to I-35 Speedway also turned out to be the first ULMA points-earning event of the season after two previous cancellations at Callaway Raceway.

Two heat races sorted out the lineup for the main event with Chris Smyser outrunning former I-35 Speedway multiple time Late Model track champion driver Tommy Cordray, and David Melloway. Jon Melloway raced to the win in the second heat race with Jon Binning and last year’s Rookie of the Year Dustin Hodges just behind.

Jon Melloway and former MLRA I-35 Speedway winner Smyser led the field to the green flag in front of a dedicated group of fans who braved the 40-degree weather to see a rare glimpse of late models at the track. Smyser and Melloway battled for several laps in what may very well turn out to be a preview of two of the expected championship front-runners for this season.

Smyser asserted himself as the man to beat as Melloway slipped back behind a strong-running Tommy Cordray who kept Smyser in his sights. For 16 straight laps, drivers jockeyed for position all throughout the field. An encounter with the back-stretch wall foiled any plans for Jon Melloway’s bid for the win just as he seemed to be rebounding in the standings.

Meanwhile, David Melloway began his charge to the front by picking off his brother, Cordray and eventually Smyser, who at one point had built an 8-car lenghth lead on his closest pursuer. On Lap 16, the lone caution flew for the stalled car of Steve Clancy. With four laps remaining, Smyser was not able to reassume command of the event on the restart nd had to watch from the runner-up position as David Melloway sailed on to victory. Smyser finished second, followed by sixth-starting Jason Bodenhamer in third, Jon Binning fourth, Dustin Hodges fifth, Tommy Cordray sixth, Bobby Penney, Ron Binning, Wesley Briggs, Jon Melloway, and Steve Clancy.

For drivers competing at I-35, a near-perfect race surface greeted the drivers on hand. ULMA wishes to thank the entire speedway staff and hopes to return to Winston, Missouri for future ULMA events.

Callaway Raceway will try for a third time to begin its season this. Gates open at 5 with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30. The track’s physical location is 7419 County Road 405, Fulton, MO 65251. For additional information call (573) 592-7795 or (573) 642-6580. The website is available at www.callawayraceways.com.

Lucas Oil Speedway begins its 2016 weekly championship race season with a special memorial event honoring the track’s former champion, Jake Richards, who sadly and tragically lost his life in an accident during the off-season. The Jake Williams Memorial event will pay the Late Model winner $1,000 for the victory. Several drivers are scheduled to honor Williams with their attendance in the event and former ULMA Champion and a close friend of Williams, Jon Binning, will pilot Williams’ familiar #72 Late Model around the track to honor his late friend.

On Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway, gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30. Ticket prices are: Adults (16 and up) $12, Seniors (62 and up)/Military $9, Youth (6-15) $5, Kids (5 and under) free, Family Pass $25, and Pit Passes are $25. A limited number of VIP Suites are available for Saturday’s event. Contact LaRay Hankins at (417) 282-5984 or via email at laray@lucasoilspeedway.com for more info. For complete event information, archived stories, ticket info and schedule information for the season, visit lucasoilspeedway.com.

For both events this weekend and all events going forward this season, drivers must possess a valid ULMA license or purchase the $10 temporary license while on site at each event. Drivers are highly encouraged to make their way to the ULMA website at www.ulmaracing.com and complete the licensing paperwork prior to checking in at weekend events, printing it out, and bringing it with them to the tracks they will race at this season.

Drivers must be in compliance with ULMA Rules and Regulations as written. I-35 Speedway general race rules and procedures will be in effect for ULMA drivers. ULMA driver attendance at the driver’s meeting is mandatory, the meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Eight different tracks dot the ULMA schedule this season including Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri; Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri; Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Missouri; Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg, Missouri; Double XX Speedway in California, Missouri; Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas; I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri; and for the first time since 2012, Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Missouri as part of the Missouri State Fair.

For a printable schedule and printable copies of the association’s rules and regulations, be sure to visit www.ulmaracing.com. During the race season the association is also active on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ULMA-United-Late-Model-Association. ULMA’s outstanding group of season sponsors includes Lucas Cattle Company, Hoosier Tire Midwest, Radical Race Wear, FastShafts.com, RacingJunk.com, RacinDirt.com, and Photographics by Shelly Payne.

Upcoming ULMA Events
Friday, April 15 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 16 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, April 22 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 23 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, April 23 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, April 29 – Lakeside Speedway
Saturday, April 30 – Lucas Oil Speedway

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