Toby Ott (27) led for 22 of 25 laps before settling for a runner-up finish to James Flood in last Saturday's Big O Tires Street Stocks feature. (Kenny Shaw photo)
Wheatland, Missouri (April 20, 2017) - Toby Ott was so close to winning his first feature at Lucas Oil Speedway that the hometown driver could almost taste it.
Instead, the immediate bite was somewhat bitter when Ott surrendered the lead to James Flood with three laps remaining in Saturday's Big O Tires Street Stocks main event. But after a few days to reflect upon his near-miss, Ott was upbeat and reflective.
"I would surely think we're going to," Ott said of attaining the long-coveted feature win - if his early strength is any indication of what lies ahead. "Hopefully this year will be a turning point and we'll make it all happen."
Ott, of Wheatland, is the Tailgate Guys Radio Show Spotlight Driver of the Week at Lucas Oil Speedway. He's off to a stout start with finishes of fifth and sixth to go along with the strong second. He will pursue a win again this Saturday as the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes.
"I had a really good run going until I made just a little driving oops," Ott said of Saturday's feature, in which he led the first 22 laps. "We had a really good car. One of my sponsors, Chris Davis, got me hooked up with another driver who gave me really good insight. We maybe found out that missing piece on setups."
The proper setup always is key, especially when running a GM crate motor in a division in which most field open-power engines. But count Ott as a believer in the crate and not just for the affordability factor.
Ott said Burl Woods ran a crate two weeks ago and Donnie Miller had one in his Street Stock last weekend.
"I spoke to both of them and they have the same opinion that I have," Ott said. "Is it the most horsepower out there? No. But it's one of the raciest motors I've ever had. It brings you the power when you need it.
"Of course, the motor itself is more affordable. If you have motor troubles, you're not out six weeks waiting for an engine builder to get you a new one. You can go get one in a week. That means a lot to people who are points racing.
"The only negatives to the crate are the accessories it takes to get everything out of the crate you have to have. There's a lot of bolt-on stuff. It's a lighter motor and a lighter front end. That's what we're fighting this year, a different weight ratio in the car. But I think we're getting there."
Ott, 43, has been racing dirt cars since 2002. He was runner-up in Limited Late Models the first season of Lucas Oil Speedway in 2006 and he can't count how many times he's been a feature-race runner-up in a Late Model or Street Stock over the years. He's won features at other venues.
This year, he's optimistic of not only visiting victory lane just a few miles from his house, but of contending for a track championship. Not a bad outlook for a guy who normally is a one-man operation on race nights, unless his dad, Bob Ott, comes along to help.
Ott's sponsors include Jeff Freeman and Hobbytime Motorsports, where Ott is a service manager. He also gets support from Davis' Midwest Sheet Metal, TNT Quick Shop, Mike Striegel's Outlaw Race Bodies, Buck's Service Center and Loehr Auto Sales.
Ott pointed out that Davis is an ally to many, with both financial and emotional support.
"Chris Davis probably does more for local racers than anybody out there," Ott said. "Everybody knows he supports some of the Lucas Oil Late Model guys, but he does so much for the local racers around here that people don't always know about. He's a guy that ought to be in the (Ozarks) Racers Hall of Fame, I'd say."
This Saturday, the Springfield News-Leader Media Group presents the first $uper $aver $pecial Night of 2017 with four admissions, four hots dogs and four 20-ounce Coca-Cola products offered to fans arriving before 6:30 p.m.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:35 with all four weekly classes - the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, the Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, the Big O Tires Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods - back in action. The Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods will be the featured class of the evening running a special 25-lap, $500 to win main event.
In additional to the $uper $aver $pecial and regular admission prices, a select number of suites are available. Contact admissions director Nichole McMillan (417) 282-5984 or by email email@example.com for information.
The Tailgate Guys Guys Radio Spotlight Driver of the Week is a regular feature in 2017. For more information on the Tailgate Guys Radio Show, which airs 11:05 a.m.-noon each Saturday on KICK 92.3 FM in Springfield with co-hosts Lyndal Scranton and Steve Koehler, visit Facebook.com/TailgateGuysRadio.
SATURDAY ADMISSION PRICES
$uper $aver $pecial: 4 admissions, 4 hot dogs and 4 Coca-Cola products for $30 for fans arriving prior to 6:30 p.m.
Adults (16 and up) $12
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $9
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $25
Pit Pass $30
Reserved with Electric and Water- $35/Night (limited availability)
Reserved Dry Spots- $20/Night (limited availability)
Dry Camping- $10/night
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five Race Tracks in the Nation. Located in Wheatland,Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri and just a quick hour and a half from the Kansas City Metro Area, dubbed the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" Lucas Oil Speedway certainly lives up to the title.
Twenty-One VIP Luxury Suites, HD Jumbo-Tron Screen, Stadium Style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, Go-Kart Slick Track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart. 2017 marks the 7th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, Lake Lucas. Two Nationally televised Drag Boat Races featuring the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series will be held in 2017.
Lucas Oil Speedway hosts some of the largest and most popular events in the Midwest! National and regional touring series appear frequently for Special Events on the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro-Pulling League, United States Modified Touring Series, ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.
In addition to the incredible Special Events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Budweiser Weekly Racing Series features the ALPS Food Store ULMA Late Models, Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Carson's Corner NAPA Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, racing weekly.
Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
E3 Spark Plugs
"The Official Spark Plug" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Insurance" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Products
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Battery" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Truck Lube and Tire Center" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Sunoco Race Fuels
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Advanced Automotive Repair, ALPS Food Store, AM Pyrotechnics, American Broadband, American Racer Race Tires, Andy's Frozen Custard, Anglers Port Marine, Anstine Realty, AR Bodies, Ash Grove Aggregates, ASI Racewear, The Barnwood Inn, Benton County Tire, Big Surf Water Park, Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick, Bridal Cave, Budweiser, BWI Sanitation, Candlelight Creations, Carson's Corner Napa Auto Parts, Casey's General Stores, Chix Gear Racewear, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar, DirtonDirt.com, Eibach Springs, Elite Auto Repair, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment, Frogs Signs, G2 Gemini Apparel, Happy Trails RV Center, Harbor Campground & Marina, Heart of America Beverage, Hermitage Lumber, Hobbytime Motorsports, Hoosier Race Tires, Hot Rod Processing, Hot Rod Tracker, Impact Signs Awnings & Wraps, inthepits.net, In the Garden of Eden, Jake's Corner Cafe, JH Custom Wheel & Accessory, Kenny Carroll Excavating, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Lawless Harley-Davidson, Lucas Cattle Company, MFA Bolivar, Midwest Low-E Insulation, Midwest Sheet Metal, National Wild Turkey Federation, Nemo Marina, Nemo Quarry, NMI/VMG Marketing Group, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, Old Kinderhook Golf Resort, Oil & Octane Shop, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Osage Bluff Lodge, Out-Pace Racing Products, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Petro Stopping Centers, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, PolyDock Products, RACEceiver, RaceNote, Racinboys.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Ron's Racing Collectibles, S & H Farm Supply, SBU Athletics, Scott Furniture, Shadow Lake Golf Course, Sleep Inn-Camdenton, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Stillwater Resort, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunflower Resort, Travel Centers of America, Triangle Quick Shop, US Army Corps of Engineers, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV, Wheatland Motel, Wheeler Livestock Auction, White's Marine Center, Whitetail Trophy Hunt, Wild Animal Safari.