170711 bloomquistThe stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series - including points leader Josh Richards - and Lucas Oil MLRA return to Wheatland on Saturday for the 11th annual CMH Diamond Nationals. (Kenny Shaw photo)

Wheatland, Missouri (July 11, 2017) - Fans get their final chance to catch the stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2017 during Saturday's 11th annual CMH Diamond Nationals.

The event, co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil MLRA, will award $12,000 plus a diamond ring to the feature winner. It kicks off a huge two-week stretch at Lucas Oil Speedway, with the inaugural GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire coming up July 21-23 on the new off-road track.

"This is arguably the biggest two-week stretch we've ever had," Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Dan Robinson said. "While there's a lot of buzz surrounding our first Lucas Oil Off Road Series event at the new track, the Diamond Nationals remains one of the annual highlights on the schedule.

"There's been anticipation of this event since the Show-Me 100 weekend just a little over six weeks ago. With the championship chases close for both the Lucas Oil Late Model Series and the Lucas Oil MLRA, it only adds to the event."

A red-hot battle is underway for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship. After two recent wins, Josh Richards of Shinnston, West Virginia has taken a slim 10-point lead over three-time series champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn.

No matter the outcome of Friday's Lucas Oil Late Model Series race at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois, either Richards or Bloomquist could emerge from Lucas Oil Speedway atop the standings.

The title chase also is heating up in the Lucas Oil MLRA Series after Terry Phillips' recent doubleheader sweep of the Freedom Classic in Salina, Okla. That brought the veteran Springfield, Mo., driver, with an MLRA-best 114 career feature wins, within 40 points of reigning MLRA champion Jesse Stovall of Billings, Mo. Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., is just 42 behind Stovall.

Show-Me 100 weekend saw three different winners with Bobby Pierce taking the big finale after Tim McCreadie won the Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson and Earl Pearson Jr. captured the Cowboy Classic. Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., won the 2016 edition of the Diamond Nationals.

Jimmy Owens, the most dominant Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model driver at Lucas Oil Speedway, is coming off a series win on Saturday at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. Owens has won the Diamond Nationals three times to go with four Show-Me 100 victories.

Modifieds chase extra money: The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds run in support of the Late Models and will be in action gunning for a top prize of $750 to win courtesy of Clearlight Inn. The Modified winner will also receive an additional $500 bonus in memory of Ron Jenkins, the original builder of Wheatland Raceway.  

Three-time defending track champion Jeff Cutshaw remains atop the Pitts Homes USRA Modified points chase, 62 in front of Jason Pursley.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:35.

Ticket information:
Adults (16 and up) $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $22
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $50
Pit Pass $40

For ticket information on all all events at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact admission director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or by email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.

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