WHEATLAND, MO. (October 7, 2020) – When Mason Oberkramer returns to Lucas Oil Speedway this week, he might have a bit of extra swagger to his step. After all, he finally was able to conquer his nemesis on the last visit to Wheatland.
Oberkramer captured the Lucas Oil MLRA Ron Jenkins Memorial over Labor Day Weekend, a $6,000 triumph that meant a lot more than money to the 28-year-old Late Model driver from Broseley in the Missouri bootheel.
It not only was his first career win at Lucas Oil Speedway, but his first on the Lucas Oil MLRA circuit.
“It was a pretty big win for me,” Oberkramer said. “Like I said at the track that night, I had been battling Wheatland for four or five years. It seemed like I always had a good car, but never could capitalize on it. Just to be able to finally land one and for it to be a big memorial event like that, it was awesome.”
Oberkramer looks for repeat success on Friday and Saturday at the 7th annual Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals, which pay $3,000 and $5,000 to win on successive nights. An open practice for the Late Models and USRA B-Mods, taking part in the co-headlining B-Mod Clash of Champions III, is set for 5-8 p.m. Thursday.
It’s been a little different kind of year for Oberkramer, as he’s not been chasing points. With a busy work schedule as part of the family business (Oberkramer Trucking) he said it’s been fun to “go race when we’re able to go race.”
In nine MLRA events in 2020, Oberkramer has four top-10 finishes, including a sixth one night after the win as the MLRA series visited Randolph County Raceway.
“We’ve had a pretty good year,” Oberkramer said. “We’ve run a few big shows and made them. We didn’t make the Show-Me (100), but had a good car. We’ve had a good car most of the year. This new Barry Wright car, it seems to fit my style and we kind of got a grip on it about mid-year.”
Oberkramer, who’s been racing Lade Models since about 2010, said any Late Model win is truly extra special these days because they are so hard to come by, no matter where it comes.
“It takes everything to line up just right these days,” Oberkramer said. “You can’t just show up and win a race any more. I don’t care if it’s Jimmy Owens or Scott Bloomquist, none of them just show up and win. Everything has to play in your favor and if not, it’s a battle.”
Everything lined up for Oberkramer on the last visit to Lucas Oil Speedway, where he had a strong showing in time trials and won his heat race to start inside of row two in the feature. He took over the lead from Justin Duty with 11 laps remaining and held on from there, including after a restart with two laps left.
“We unloaded our normal package there, we timed in good and had a strong heat race and that put us up front of the feature,” Oberkramer said. “It was just a good night. Things fell our way.”
With only five events remaining in the MLRA season, the championship chase is heating up. Republic’s Payton Looney, winner of the Show-Me 100 back in July, leading 2018 MLRA champion Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, by 57. Series Rookie of the Year leader Jeremiah Hurst of Dubuque, Iowa, also is in title contention, just 77 points behind Looney.
For more information on the Lucas Oil MLRA Series, including point standings, archived stories and the 2020 schedule, please visit MLRAracing.com.
The Lucas Oil MLRA will have a 40-lap, $3,000-to-win feature on Friday night while the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods will be running a double set of heat races to determine the alphabet soup lineups leading into Saturday’s main event. On Saturday, the MLRA will go 50 laps for $5,000 to win as the USRA B-Mods will conclude with a 30-lap, $3,000-to-win feature.
Activities begin on Thursday with an open practice from 5-8 p.m. Grandstand admission is free with pit passes $25. There will be limited concessions on the pit side and music in the tech building following practice.
4 p.m. – Gates open
6:30 p.m. – Hot laps
7 p.m. – Opening ceremonies
7:05 p.m. – Racing begins
3 p.m. – Gates open
5:30 p.m. – Hot laps
6 p.m. – Opening ceremonies
6:05 p.m. – Racing begins
Adults (16 and over) – $15
Seniors (62 and over)/Military – $12
Youth (ages 6-15) – $5
Kids (5 and under) – FREE
Family pass – $35
Pit pass $35
Adults (16 and over) – $20
Seniors (62 and over)/Military – $17
Youth (ages 6-15) – $10
Kids (5 and under) – FREE
Family pass – $50
Pit pass $40
For ticket questions or information for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at email@example.com for more information.