With a weekend weather forecast calling for hot and dry weather, all systems go for two big nights of Late Model racing at Lucas Oil Speedway for the 13th annual CMH Diamond Nationals.
The event has been expanded to two nights to help make up for the cancellation of the Show-Me 100 after severe storms damaged the speedway in May. The Diamond It will feature the the stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series chasing $15,000-to-win features Saturday and Sunday nights, July 13-14, according to a Lucas Oil news release.
“I know the fans have been waiting a long time for this one, and we're excited about a big weekend,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said in the release.
Lorton noted the Lucas Oil MLRA Series regulars will also be on hand, along with undercards both nights.
The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will be the support class on Saturday with a $2,000-to-win feature. On Sunday, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks will be in action, with the feature winner taking home $1,000, according to the release.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7:05.
An autograph session with the drivers is scheduled for 4:30-5:15 p.m. Saturday.
On Sunday, gates open at 3 p.m. Hot laps are at 5:30 and racing is at 6:05.
Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Georgia, rolls into a big week for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. A doubleheader is set for Thursday and Friday at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois, and the driver owns a 360-point lead over Tyler Erb in the championship chase. Davenport, the 2015 Diamond Nationals winner, has seven feature wins this season, the release stated.
Last year's Diamond Nationals saw Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist collect a landmark victory — No. 600 of his storied career, according to the release.
Bloomquist missed nearly four months of racing action earlier this year following a motorcycle accident. He returned for a handful of events in June, but has been idle for about a month as he continued physical therapy. However, Bloomquist recently announced on his website last week he would return for this week's four-race swing, the release stated.
The Lucas Oil MLRA Series finds Will Vaught of Crane leading the way with a 71-point lead over Mitch McGrath. Vaught has three MLRA wins this season.
The support classes this weekend also will be Lucas Oil Speedway points events. Robbie Reed of Mexico holds a nine-point lead over Paden Phillips in the Pitts Homes USRA Modified division. Wheatland's Toby Ott is 80 in front of Johnny Coats in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks, according to the release.
Also on Saturday will be Ron Mitchell’s annual door panel auction on the hillside between the front gate and main grandstands.
Mitchell, a long-time southwest Missouri racing photographer, has been doing the silent auction for several years during the Show-Me 100 with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. He expects to have at least 60 panels from various drivers available for bid. Last year, the auction raised $10,600, according to the release.
For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at 282-5984 or email Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.