Wells captures Late Model feature to headline Lucas Oil Speedway “Thursday Night Thunder”

Veteran Late Model racer Justin Wells of Aurora picked up the Hermitage Lumber Late Model feature win to highlight Lucas Oil Speedway’s “Thursday Night Thunder” program. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)

WHEATLAND, MO. (June 30, 2022) – The man who is the answer to one of Lucas Oil Speedway’s great trivia questions celebrated again in victory lane Thursday night.

Ozarks-area racing veteran Justin Wells, who won the first Late Model feature at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2006, made a 13th-to-first charge to take the Hermitage Lumber Late Model win.

Wells, of Aurora, earned $1,000 courtesy of Rains Ice in the special “Thursday Night Thunder” holiday-weekend program Presented by Casey’s and KY3.

Other feature winners were Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods), Darron Fuqua (Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds) and Derek Brown (O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars). A total of 101 cars checked into the pits.

Wells – who won a Midwest Late Model Racing Association feature as the speedway opened 16 years ago – became the first Late Model winner other than midseason co-champions Larry Ferris and Cole Henson in 2022. He beat Ferris by about six car lengths and emerged from the car with a big smile and fist pump.

“I just want to tell the guys here at Lucas Oil Speedway, what a hell of a track,” Wells said. “Man, this thing, you could run anywhere on it.”

Wells, making his first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway this season, found the low line was golden. He advanced to third by lap six and began to reel in Cole Henson before passing to move into second by lap 14.

“They threw the green and I went from 13th to fifth in two laps,” Wells said, adding that an early caution forced him to go to the back after a restart and do it all over again.

“I thought my chances were gone,” Wells said. “But I caught Cole and Larry there, as they were running the high side and I had a really good line on the bottom that worked really good.

Continuing to use the extreme low groove. Wells began to gain on Ferris and pulled alongside and made a pass for the lead coming out of turn four to complete lap 17.

Wells took it home from there, but not before a pair of cautions – on laps 18 and 20 – forced him to hang on through a pair of restarts. The Ozarks Area Racers Foundation Hall of Famer executed them both to perfection and went on to beat Ferris by .701 seconds.

“I want to thank my crew. Kenny Patterson and them worked all week to try and get this car ready,” Wells said. “They switched motors. We were still bolting stuff on it when we got here and that’s why we (didn’t finish) the heat race.”

Henson beat fellow front-row starter Ferris as the race began, but Ferris used a crossover move in turn four to grab the lead on lap two. As those two set sail and opened a considerable gap from the field, Wells was quickly advancing.

Tucker Cox finished third with Tommy Cordray fourth and Larry Jones in fifth.

Henson pulled off with mechanical problems on lap 19 and wound up 12th, taking a big hit in the points.

Jackson wires B-Mod field: Lebanon’s Kris Jackson started up front and led all 20 laps in a caution-free event to win his fourth Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature of the season. Jackson beat Springfield’s Ryan Gillmore by 1.3 seconds.

“It was nice to get a good, smooth racetrack like this,” said Jackson, the six-time track champ who’s again leading the points this season. “It was a little wide-open, but it was good. Nice and smooth. No holes. They’re fun like that.”

Jackson wasted little time taking command with Gillmore moving from row two into the runner-up spot on the opening lap. Gillmore stayed within two car lengths until the leaders entered lapped traffic at the mid point of the feature and Jackson gradually pulled away from there.

Gillmore, second in the points chase, was nearly four seconds in front of third-place JC Morton at the finish. Terry Schultz finished fourth after starting seventh and Kyle Slader came from ninth to fifth.

Fuqua earns USRA Modified win: Darron Fuqua of Mayetta, Kansas, led all 20 laps to score the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified feature win, holding off Dustin Hodges.

“The track was awesome,” Fuqua said, echoing the words of other feature winners. “You could run about anywhere on it. I wasn’t for sure where I needed to be, actually.”

Driving a new Mullens chassis with a Mullens engine, Fuqua held a half-second lead over Hodges as both were battling through lapped traffic when a caution flew with three laps remaining.

With a clear track ahead, Fuqua cruised after the restart and prevailed by 1.2 seconds. Nic Bidinger finished third with Ryan Middaugh fourth and Tyler Wolff in fifth.

Fuqua, a former Lucas Oil Speedway track champ who now mostly runs the United States Modified Touring Series, started on the front row and set the pace from the start. Hodges started third and moved into second on lap two.

Points leader Dillon McCowan, already with six feature wins this season, spun to bring out a caution on lap two. He pulled off the track one lap later and wound up 26th.

Brown captures USRA Stock Cars triumph: Derek Brown of Stoutland took over the lead on lap two and went on to earn the O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars 20-lap feature.

“I was really happy with the track. This is just the way I like it,” Brown said. “It kind of puts the driver in it. The smoother you are, the faster you go usually.”

The father-son duo of Robert White and Bryan White started on the front row and Robert White grabbed the early lead, with Brown moving past Bryan White and into second on lap four.

Brown went to the outside and made a three-wide pass for the lead, coming out of turn four to complete lap five. Brown stretched his lead from there and won it by 1.7 seconds over Robert White. It was Brown’s second feature win of the Lucas Oil Speedway season.

Ed Griggs moved past Bryan White for third on lap 13 and held it to the finish with Bryan White fourth and William Garner in fifth.


Hermitage Lumber Late Models

A Feature -1. 98-Justin Wells[13]; 2. 51-Larry Ferris[2]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[4]; 4. 5-Tommy Cordray[12]; 5. 99-Larry Jones[7]; 6. 7J-Jake Morris[14]; 7. 90-Joe Walkenhorst[10]; 8. 160-Michael Maggard[5]; 9. 0X-Jason Sivils[8]; 10. 96-Dalton Imhoff[3]; 11. 7-Jay Fields[11]; 12. (DNF) 21S-Cole Henson[1]; 13. (DNF) 00-Matt Becker[9]; 14. (DNF) 72-JC Morton[6]; 15. (DNS) 11-Brent Smith

Ozarks Coca-Cola Heat 1 – 1. 51-Larry Ferris[3]; 2. 96-Dalton Imhoff[6]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[7]; 4. 0X-Jason Sivils[1]; 5. 90-Joe Walkenhorst[5]; 6. (DNF) 5-Tommy Cordray[8]; 7. (DNF) 7J-Jake Morris[4]; 8. (DNS) 11-Brent Smith

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Ozarks Coca-Cola Heat 2 – 1. 21S-Cole Henson[5]; 2. 160-Michael Maggard[1]; 3. 99-Larry Jones[3]; 4. 72-JC Morton[7]; 5. 00-Matt Becker[4]; 6. 7-Jay Fields[6]; 7. (DNF) 98-Justin Wells[2]

Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods

A Feature – 1. 65-Kris Jackson[1]; 2. 66-Ryan Gillmore[3]; 3. 18-JC Morton[2]; 4. 7B-Terry Schultz[7]; 5. 19K-Kyle Slader[9]; 6. 7G-Gabriel Hodges[5]; 7. 28-Andy Bryant[6]; 8. 69ER-Tyler Cadwallader[11]; 9. 56-Shadren Turner[18]; 10. 32-Robbe Ewing[10]; 11. 28K-Krew Walburn[12]; 12. 2-Quentin Taylor[16]; 13. 29-Bronson Wicker[14]; 14. 3W-BJ Deal[19]; 15. 15-Cayden Stacye[8]; 16. 49-Randy Zimmerman[20]; 17. 51-Brian Schutt[22]; 18. 24-Jerry Ellis[23]; 19. 24L-Dakota Lowe[17]; 20. 39-Dwight Brown[24]; 21. 10-Johnny McGinnis[13]; 22. 34G-Billy Gordon[21]; 23. (DNF) 83-JC Newell[15]; 24. (DNF) 8S-Jon Sheets[4]

B Main 1 – 1. 24L-Dakota Lowe[2]; 2. 3W-BJ Deal[1]; 3. 34G-Billy Gordon[6]; 4. 24-Jerry Ellis[9]; 5. 98-Christopher Watts[7]; 6. 7-Kynsey Collins[4]; 7. (DNF) 35-Justin Dick[5]; 8. (DNF) 16H-Jake Hereford[11]; 9. (DNS) 28B-Wesley Briggs; 10. (DNS) 25-Kenny McDonald Jr

B Main 2 – 1. 56-Shadren Turner[1]; 2. 49-Randy Zimmerman[4]; 3. 51-Brian Schutt[8]; 4. 39-Dwight Brown[6]; 5. 21-Greg Scheffler[9]; 6. 15H-Jeremy Hazel[5]; 7. 1M-Richard Magee[11]; 8. 31M-Michael Hascall[10]; 9. 25G-James Gish[3]; 10. (DNS) 7J-Jake Richards; 11. (DNS) 11S-Logan Smith

Heat 1 – 1. 65-Kris Jackson[5]; 2. 69ER-Tyler Cadwallader[1]; 3. 29-Bronson Wicker[3]; 4. 10-Johnny McGinnis[7]; 5. 56-Shadren Turner[2]; 6. 28B-Wesley Briggs[8]; 7. 35-Justin Dick[9]; 8. (DNS) 31M-Michael Hascall; 9. (DQ) 1M-Richard Magee[6]

Heat 2 – 1. 18-JC Morton[4]; 2. 28K-Krew Walburn[1]; 3. 19K-Kyle Slader[6]; 4. 32-Robbe Ewing[9]; 5. 24L-Dakota Lowe[2]; 6. 25G-James Gish[7]; 7. 15H-Jeremy Hazel[8]; 8. 7J-Jake Richards[5]; 9. 25-Kenny McDonald Jr[3]

Heat 3 – 1. 7B-Terry Schultz[1]; 2. 8S-Jon Sheets[5]; 3. 7G-Gabriel Hodges[8]; 4. 2-Quentin Taylor[2]; 5. 3W-BJ Deal[6]; 6. 49-Randy Zimmerman[3]; 7. 34G-Billy Gordon[7]; 8. 98-Christopher Watts[9]; 9. 51-Brian Schutt[4]; 10. (DNF) 30-Jared Willard[10]

Heat 4 – 1. 15-Cayden Stacye[1]; 2. 66-Ryan Gillmore[6]; 3. 28-Andy Bryant[8]; 4. 83-JC Newell[5]; 5. 11S-Logan Smith[4]; 6. 7-Kynsey Collins[7]; 7. 39-Dwight Brown[10]; 8. (DNF) 24-Jerry Ellis[2]; 9. (DNF) 21-Greg Scheffler[3]; 10. (DNS) 16H-Jake Hereford

Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds

A Feature – 1. 87-Darron Fuqua[2]; 2. 22H-Dustin Hodges[3]; 3. 3B-Nic Bidinger[5]; 4. 21M-Ryan Middaugh[4]; 5. 4W-Tyler Wolff[6]; 6. 38C-Jason Pursley[12]; 7. 96-Cody Brill[10]; 8. 4R-Jared Russell[14]; 9. 155-Terry Kirk[13]; 10. 16S-Eric Turner[11]; 11. 26K-Kevin Blackburn[1]; 12. 7-Daniel Franklin[17]; 13. 73-Mickey Burrell[8]; 14. 23-Lucas Dobbs[24]; 15. 92-Tyler Grooms[19]; 16. 15W-Wyatt Gaggero[21]; 17. 98-Jeff Cutshaw[18]; 18. 24D-Donnie Fellers[26]; 19. 28C-Thomas Creech[25]; 20. 247-Jarret Dotson[22]; 21. (DNF) 21TW-Tracy Wolf[16]; 22. (DNF) 40-Jessy Willard[20]; 23. (DNF) 11-Brent Smith[15]; 24. (DNF) 49-Andy Bryant[9]; 25. (DNF) 03-Chase Jones[23]; 26. (DNF) 8-Dillon McCowan[7]

Heat 1 – 1. 22H-Dustin Hodges[2]; 2. 3B-Nic Bidinger[3]; 3. 73-Mickey Burrell[4]; 4. 155-Terry Kirk[1]; 5. 4R-Jared Russell[7]; 6. 98-Jeff Cutshaw[5]; 7. 92-Tyler Grooms[9]; 8. 23-Lucas Dobbs[6]; 9. 24D-Donnie Fellers[8]

Heat 2 – 1. 26K-Kevin Blackburn[4]; 2. 4W-Tyler Wolff[3]; 3. 96-Cody Brill[1]; 4. 16S-Eric Turner[6]; 5. 38C-Jason Pursley[8]; 6. 7-Daniel Franklin[7]; 7. 15W-Wyatt Gaggero[5]; 8. 247-Jarret Dotson[2]

Heat 3 – 1. 21M-Ryan Middaugh[2]; 2. 87-Darron Fuqua[6]; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan[5]; 4. 49-Andy Bryant[7]; 5. 21TW-Tracy Wolf[3]; 6. 11-Brent Smith[9]; 7. 40-Jessy Willard[8]; 8. 03-Chase Jones[4]; 9. 28C-Thomas Creech[1]

O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars

A Feature – 1. 11D-Derek Brown[3]; 2. 5-Robert White[1]; 3. 47-Ed Griggs[4]; 4. 41-Bryan White[2]; 5. 7W-William Garner[12]; 6. 0F-Mason Beck[7]; 7. 74-Rodney Schweizer[21]; 8. 7-Doug Keller[6]; 9. 717-Chris Tonoli[18]; 10. 2-Zeb Keepper[15]; 11. 3C-Chad Staus[9]; 12. 7X-John Scott[17]; 13. 68-Dean Wille[14]; 14. 11-Waylon Dimmitt[11]; 15. 8M-James McMillin[5]; 16. 23-Kevin Simon[19]; 17. 7J-Scott Johnson[16]; 18. 50-Darrell Hurt[13]; 19. 421-Karla Lampe[10]; 20. 83-James Ellis[20]; 21. (DNF) 39-Burl Woods[8]; 22. (DNF) 21P-Darren Phillips[22]; 23. (DNS) 9-Mark Simon

Bill Roberts Chevrolet Heat 1 – 1. 51-Larry Ferris[3]; 2. 96-Dalton Imhoff[6]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[7]; 4. 0X-Jason Sivils[1]; 5. 90-Joe Walkenhorst[5]; 6. (DNF) 5-Tommy Cordray[8]; 7. (DNF) 7J-Jake Morris[4]; 8. (DNS) 11-Brent Smith

Bill Roberts Chevrolet Heat 2 – 1. 21S-Cole Henson[5]; 2. 160-Michael Maggard[1]; 3. 99-Larry Jones[3]; 4. 72-JC Morton[7]; 5. 00-Matt Becker[4]; 6. 7-Jay Fields[6]; 7. (DNF) 98-Justin Wells[2]

Heat 3 – 1. 5-Robert White[7]; 2. 8M-James McMillin[3]; 3. 39-Burl Woods[4]; 4. 421-Karla Lampe[2]; 5. 50-Darrell Hurt[6]; 6. 717-Chris Tonoli[5]; 7. (DNF) 74-Rodney Schweizer[1]


Next up: The Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series resumes on Saturday, July 9 as

KOZL Presents Veterans and Military Appreciation Night, with all veterans or military personnel admitted free with ID. The Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods will be the evening’s featured class running for a special 25-Lap, $750 to win Main Event.


Action on Lake Lucas also will be going strong on July 9-10 with the Kentucky Drag Boat Association (KDBA) Summer Thunder on Lake Lucas.


To purchase tickets for any event on Lucas Oil Speedway’s schedule, or to inquire about camping information, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com.