“At the end of the day, there’s a lot of guys loading up their stuff and we’re giving 24 of them an opportunity,” said Midwest Sheet Metal owner Chris Davis, the man who again will sponsor the last-chance 20-lap race that gives the winner the option of taking a $2,500 winner’s check – or surrendering it for a starting spot at the rear of the Show-Me 100 field.
This year will mark the sixth Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge, prior to the May 26 main event. It allows drivers failing to nail down a feature starting spot in the Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com through conventional means one final chance to crack the big show – which pays $30,000 to win.
“That one guy is going to get an opportunity to change his whole life,” Davis said of the appeal of the race format. The last-to-first storybook run nearly came to fruition a couple of times.
In 2016, Bobby Pierce won the Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge and started 29th in the Show-Me 100. He was dueling for the lead late in the event, bringing fans to their feet in a duel with Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens before a flat tire ruined his chances. Pierce still wound up sixth and earned $5,000.
Three years ago, Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge winner Chris Simpson went from 31st to third and took home $6,000. Last year’s last-chance winner, Jake O’Neil, wasn’t as fortunate as he finished 26th in the main event after starting 29th.
“Everybody in racing wants to give to the leaders and the winners, and that’s all fine and good,” Davis said. “I’m giving 24 guys, who otherwise wouldn’t be getting anything, an opportunity to win 30 grand. They get that one more chance.”
Davis and Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Dan Robinson came up with the idea for the Challenge six years ago. In the format, the top 24 drivers not already locked into the main event after heat races and B-mains are eligible for the 20-lap Challenge.
In addition to the winner’s share, the Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge pays a minimum of $250 to start so it gives everyone in the field a chance for additional winnings despite not making the main event.
The Show-Me 100 is co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Lucas Oil MLRA.
“The Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge has really become an exciting part of Show-Me 100 weekend for the fans,” Robinson said. “It’s also an important event for the racers as they know it gives them not only one last shot to get into the Show-Me 100, but it also gives them a chance to make a little extra money if they have had a bit of a rough weekend.
“Chris Davis (owner of Midwest Sheet Metal) is a terrific supporter of dirt-track racing in not only southwest Missouri but all over the country. We appreciate him stepping up and making this race a key part of our biggest weekend once again.”
Something else that’s become a Show-Me 100 weekend tradition is the Midwest Sheet Metal Challenge $5 t-shirts. Davis’ wife, Jan, designs new shirts each year. What began as an inventory of about 200 shirts six years ago will be around 2,000 this year.
Midwest Sheet Metal is a family owned and operated business specializing in the design and custom fabrication of carbon steel, stainless and aluminum products. Midwest Sheet Metal has one of the nation’s largest in-stock inventories of steel, aluminum, stainless and structural shapes.
For more information on the company, check out www.msmfab.com or call (417) 869-1252.
Three-day Show-Me 100 reserved-seat passes are $100 and offer the comfort of the high-back, stadium-style seats and prime viewing on the top few rows of the front straightaway. For information on the passes – or to purchase general admission Show-Me 100 tickets – contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.
The 26th annual Show-Me 100 kicks off on May 24 with the “Cowboy Classic” headlining the program, with a $6,000-to-win, $600-to-start main event which also enables drivers to earn valuable points toward starting position into the night-night main event.
The “Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson” on May 25 also will see a $6,000-to-win feature with more points earned for the starting lineup the next night. Full USRA Modified programs also are scheduled each night.
The May 26 program includes B Mains, the Midwest Sheet Metal Show-Me Challenge and the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win main event along with a $1,200-to-win USRA Modified feature.
The Lucas Oil Speedway dirt track roars to life on March 31 with an open test and tune from 2-6 p.m. The season begins on April 7 with the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener with action in the Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, Big O Tires Street Stocks and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.
For ticket information for any event in 2018, including season passes for all events plus three-day reserved seats for the 26th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com.
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket information and tentative 2018 schedule 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