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Young McCowan looks to dismiss stress, have fun on home track in Modified portion of USRA Nationals

Lucas Oil Speedway track champion Dillon McCowan (8) looks to protect his USRA Modified national championship points lead at the 8th annual Summit USRA Nationals Presented by MyRacePass, this week at Lucas Oil Speedway.

WHEATLAND, MO. (Oct. 4, 2021) – During his 2021 season, which included a march to the Lucas Oil Speedway Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified track championship, Dillon McCowan paid little attention to the USRA National points chase.

But now, with the three-day, 8th annual Summit USRA Nationals Presented by MyRacePass just a few days away, McCowan admits the stress level is rising. The 17-year-old from Urbana holds a 72-point lead over Clyde Dunn Jr. of Rockwell, Texas in the American Racer USRA Modified title race.

“I hadn’t worried about it a lot until later in the year,” McCowan said. “The closer it gets, the more stressful it gets. We’re at the point if we don’t get a win, it’s a drop for national points.

“It gets hectic,” McCowan added of final preparations for the National’s first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway. “I try not to look at the points as much as I can to kind of keep the pressure down, but it’s going to get hectic for sure.

“We want to go over the car with a fine-tooth comb and make sure everything is ready to go. Hopefully we don’t have a DNF. If we have something come loose or something go wrong, that could change the outcome of the points. So we definitely have to go through it really good.”

The United States Racing Association-sanctioned action kicks off with a test and tune from 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday. Racing action begins on Thursday and will feature American Racer USRA Modifieds, Medieval Chassis USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks all three nights. USRA Tuners join the card Friday and Saturday. Due to the large number of entries, starting time has been moved up to 6 p.m. each night.

A complete show of qualifying heat races and main events will be held each night. Competitors earn points on Thursday and Friday to help determine lineups for Saturday’s main events.

For both local fans and those visiting Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time, McCowan will be one to keep an eye on. McCowan’s first full season in the USRA Modified has been a smashing success. He has 11 wins in 34 top-five finishes in 68 USRA events.

A national championship would cap it off in fine fashion, though the team did not intend to make points a priority at the start of 2021- it just worked out that way.

Part of the story line for McCowan has been his success at Lucas Oil Speedway, where he’s posted three feature wins and 13 top-fives this season.

“I hope so,” McCowan said when asked if he has a home-track advantage this week. “It’s gonna be right there where we’ve raced all year. Hopefully that gives us a little advantage.

“It’s gonna be a lot about draw. If you can get a good draw, that’s 50 percent of your night right there.”

No matter what happens, McCowan said it’s a cool event when drivers from all over the country converge for a multi-day affair. He competed in the USRA Nationals last season in his B-Mod, at Iowa’s Hamilton County Speedway, winning one of the preliminary-night features.

“I always like racing against new drivers,” he said. “You get to race against people who have different driving styles. It’s a lot of fun getting to race with some other people. Clyde Dunn Jr., I’ve heard a lot of great things about that guy. I hear a lot of the USMTS guys are going to be there. It’s fun to race against good competition.

“I can’t really speak for a lot of the other racers, but for me it’s a big deal. It’s one of the shows that I really look forward to. It plays a big role in national points for the guys who are up there running for a national championship. It’s a fun weekend and it’s one of my favorite shows.”

Lots of off-track activity also is scheduled throughout the week, beginning with Wednesday’s Test and Tune. Karaoke with a DJ will be held starting at 10:05 p.m. on the drag boat midway, with a beer tent open. The entertainment and beer tent also will be available following racing on Thursday. On Friday after the races, musician Joe Inman will perform on the drag boat midway.

Some special activities have been scheduled during the day for drivers and crew members, beginning on Thursday morning with a kickball tournament. Signup starts at 9 a.m. with a $100 entry fee for 9-10 players per team with room for up to 16 teams. The tournament will be held in the grass area by the pit shack.

On Friday, a dodge ball tournament is schedule for 10 a.m. by the pit shack. Sign-up starts at 9 with a $50 entry free for six players per team and a maximum of 16 teams.

A cornhole tournament is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. on the Midway by the USMTS trailer. Sign-up starts at 9 for a maximum of 64 teams with a $50 entry fee. The top five finishers will be paid.

USRA Points Standings (top 5 in each division)

American Racer USRA Modifieds – Dillon McCowan 4236; Clyde Dunn Jr. 4164; Tyler Hibner 4153; Josh Angst 4146; Jason Cummins 4031.

Medieval USRA Stock Cars – Mitch Hovden 4372; David Hendrix 4142; Gary Kerr Jr. 4102; Kevin Donlan 4085; Myles Michehl 4032.

USRA B-Mods – Jim Chisholm 4518; Dan Hovden 4422; Cole Campbell 4415; Kris Jackson 4392; Tyler Kidwell 4329.

Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks – Dustin Gulbrandson 4443; Tyler Schlumbohm 4334; Dylan Clinton 4279; Joshua Lukeking 4263; Dylan Clinton 4242; Matthew Machen 4196.

USRA Tuners – David Thompson 4254; Jett Hefti 4240; Daniel Thompson 4227; Brad Stahl 4105; Brandon Vink 4089.

Fans can visit USRAracing.com for complete point standings, photos and archived stories.

Summit USRA Nationals schedule/ticket info

Wednesday

Pit gates open – 10 a.m.

Test and tune – 6-10 p.m.

Spectator admission to main grandstands – FREE

Pit pass – $25

4-day pit pass – $135

 

Thursday

Gates open – 4 p.m.

Racing begins – 6 p.m.

Adult admission (16 and over) – $20

Seniors (62 and over)/Military – $17

Youth (ages 6-15) – $5

Kids (5 and under) – FREE

Family pass (two adults and up to three youths) – $45

Pit pass – $35

Adult 3-day general admission – $65

Senior/Military 3-day general admission – $56

Youth 3-day general admission – $20

3-day pit pass – $110

 

Friday

Gates open – 4 p.m.

Racing begins – 6 p.m.

Adult admission (16 and over) – $20

Seniors (62 and over)/Military – $17

Youth (ages 6-15) – $5

Kids (5 and under) – FREE

Family pass (two adults and up to three youth) – $45

Pit pass- $35

Adult 2-day general admission – $45

Senior/Military 3-day general admission – $39

Youth 3-day general admission – $15

2-day pit pass – $75

 

Saturday

Gates open – 4 p.m.

Racing begins – 6 p.m.

Adult admission (16 and over) – $25

Seniors (62 and over)/Military – $22

Youth (ages 6-15) – $10

Kids (5 and under) – FREE

Family pass (two adults and up to three youth) – $60

Pit pass – $40

 

Tickets, for single days and 3-day passes, may be purchased at the gate or online.

 

Most camping spots are sold out. Admissions director Nichole McMillan said only primitive dry camping remains, on a first-come, first-served basis for $10 per night, per tent/camper. Those areas are located in the timber on the east side of the campground and also north of the camp shack located east of Speedway Drive. People will need to check in at the camp shack before dropping campers in the spots they have chosen.

 

There are a few suites available Thursday and Friday, but as a whole suite holding 18-27 people. Contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 for pricing and availability.

 

For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.

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