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July 29, 2021

Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: USRA Modified title contender Middaugh balances baby watch with checkered flags

Ryan Middaugh of Fulton has two feature victories and trails Dillon McCowan by 55 points in Lucas Oil Speedway's Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds points chase. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)
WHEATLAND, MO. (July 29, 2021) - As the Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series resumes on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway, Ryan Middaugh takes aim at a second straight Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified victory.
 
At least, that’s the plan. But for Middaugh, plans can change on a moment’s notice these days. Wife Haylee is pregnant and on bed rest. The original due date was Sept. 4, but the couple’s first child could arrive at any time.
 
Last Saturday, Haylee went to the hospital with contractions mid-afternoon. It turned out to be a false alarm as she was cleared to go home about 3:30 p.m., leaving Ryan just enough time to make the two-hour haul from Fulton to Wheatland to make that night’s races.
 
The tense day turned out a good one as Middaugh led all 20 laps to earn his second feature victory of the season and closed within 55 points of points leader Dillon McCowan.
 
“We’ve kind of been playing it day by day,” Middaugh said of his racing plans. “It’s definitely been hard to just focus on racing. I’ve been doing this for 13 years, the Modified deal, and it’s always pretty well come first but now that I’ve got a family that’s expanding. It’s definitely taken my priority to a different level.
 
“I’m committed to racing, but have to be cognizant with what I have going on at home as well.”
 
It’s been a stellar season for the 29-year-old Middaugh in his new MB Customs car. But even picking up the car from MB headquarters in Wisconsin was scary and perhaps a sign that this season was going to be an adventure.
 
“Heading up there in early February, we got to Donaldson, Iowa, hit some black ice and wrecked my Dad’s dually and our enclosed trailer,” Ryan Middaugh said. “Then it wound up coming a pretty big snow storm. My friend Tucker Cox, his dad Chris came and picked up our trailer. My Dad somehow limped his truck home three hours in a snowstorm. It was a mess.
 
“A couple of weeks later took a different truck and trailer to go and get the car. So it’s been a crazy year.”
 
Middaugh called the new car “really well-balanced” and he praised Jimmy Mars and his team at MB Customs for their help in getting it quickly dialed it. Middaugh picked up his first feature victory at Lucas Oil Speedway on May 8 and has six other top-five finishes.
 
Yet he felt a slight disconnection between himself and the car in the weeks prior to the most-recent win.
 
“The last few weeks, we had been just a little off,” he said. “I’m hoping we found it this past week because we were good. Racing will humble you, especially at Lucas. The track changes so much week to week. It keeps you on your toes racing down there.
 
“I was gonna take a big swing and change quite a bit of stuff. I didn’t have all the parts in to make the changes I wanted, so I went just a little different direction with just two minor changes. It freed the car up enough for me to drive it how I need to. I felt the most comfortable I have all year in the car. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.”
 
With only three Weekly Racing Series events remaining in the points chase, Middaugh said catching McCowan is going to be difficult.
 
“Dillon has been super consistent with a really good crew behind him and a really good car underneath him,” Middaugh said. “At this point, with the baby and uncertainty, the points are going to work out however they may. I’m not gonna worry about it.
 
“After not winning a race last year, we’ve won three this year, two at Lucas and one at Randolph County. It’s been a successful year compared to last year. We’re just setting out to win races. If we don’t win another one, it’s been a good year, but it could turn into a great year by winning a few more races.”
 
In the back of his mind, Middaugh already is thinking about the USRA Nationals, which come to Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time Oct. 7-9. He’s gone north to compete in the event in recent years and looks forward to competing on his home turf this time.
 
“That’s a big one for us, at our home track,” Middaugh said. “We’ve run that deal a couple of times at I-35 and had pretty good luck. I know we can run with those guys. Being at Lucas, I think will play in our hands.”
 
The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series program on Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night Presented by the OzarksCW/O-zone. Festivities will begin with John Schneider, who played Bo Duke on the iconic television program "Dukes of Hazzard," singing the National Anthem with Schneider and his wife Alicia also racing B-Mods in the Ozarks Golf Cars USRA B-Mod division.
 
The Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds will be the featured class, with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event. O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and ULMA Late Models also will be in points action. The Show-Me Viintage Racers will make their annual appearance as special guest class.
 
There will be food and drink specials throughout the evening, including $1 nachos & Cheese, $2 hot dogs and $2 soft drinks or water.
 
Concert, car show, movie and boat racing: The big weekend begins on Friday with a Car Show prior to Schneider's "Bo's On The Road Extravaganza" concert and a showing of his movie "Stand On It" on the video board.
 
On Saturday, Day One of the Kentucky Drag Boat Association Summer Shootout will take place the morning and afternoon on Lake Lucas. Both Saturday and on Sunday, for the final half of the Summer Shootout, kids can play on a 35-foot-long wet water slide/bounce house combo that will be set up on the drag boat midway.
There also will be corn-hole boards under the beer tent. 
 
On Sunday prior to the beginning of Day 2 of the KDBA Summer Shootout, Schneider will hold Cowboy Church services along with a pastor from Racers for Christ at Lake Lucas.
 
Beat The Heat in a Suite: The speedway has a limited number of VIP Suite tickets available for Saturday night's program, on the third level overlooking the front straightaway, priced at $24 apiece. All VIP Suite seats must be pre-paid and can be reserved by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984. 
 
The suite offers prime viewing from inside, where the temperature is climate-controlled, or an outside seating area. Food and drinks are not included in the ticket price, though a host/hostess will be available to take food and drink orders throughout the evening.
 
WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday:
5 p.m. - Gates Open/Car Show on Midway
6-7 p.m. - John Schneider VIP Meet & Greet
7:30 p.m. - Concert begins
 
Friday Concert Admission:
VIP Meet & Greet with John Schneider - $125 (Includes: 1 Friday admission price, special lanyard, a snapshot with their camera, along with an autographed item. Additional charge for additional items) 100 VIP tickets available.
Adults (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22
Youth (age 6 to 15) - $10
Kids (age 5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass - $60 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15)
Adult 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $75
Seniors (62 and up)/Military 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $70
Youth Ages (6-15) 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $30
All 3-Day tickets include access to the Drag Boat pit area and include entry to the dirt track event on Saturday, July 31
 
Car Show
Entries are $40 and they include two adult tickets for the Friday-night concert and movie, one dash plaque and one speedway t-shirt. Trophies will be award for Best of Show and Bo's Choice, per entry class. Those classes are:
 
  • Dukes of Hazzard Charger
  • Daisy Duke Jeep
  • Boss Hogg Cadillac
  • Uncle Jesse Ford Truck
  • Muscle Car (1980 and up)
  • Muscle Car (50s, 60s, 70s)
  • Street Rod
  • Rad Rod
  • Race Car
 
Car Show entry gate opens at 4 p.m. and cars must be set up and ready by 5.
Trophies will be presented around 7:30 p.m. Car Show entries can be purchased at the pit office the day of show.
 
Saturday (Lake Lucas)
Kentucky Drag Boat Association Day 1
(Tentative schedule)
7 a.m. - Registration Opens - Spectator Gates Open
9 - Round 1 Qualifying Sportsman Session
10:30 - Round 1 Qualifying Pro Session
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 Qualifying Sportsman Session
2 - Round 2 Qualifying Pro Session
Saturday Spectator Admission
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) - $22
Youth GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 6 to 15) - $10
Kids GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo - $60 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15)
Adult 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $50
Seniors (62 and up)/Military 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $44
Youth Ages (6-15) 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo - $20
*All tickets include access to the Drag Boat pit area.
*All Saturday and 2-Day tickets include entry to the dirt track on Saturday July 31st.
 
Saturday (Dirt Track)
The CW Ozarks/O-Zone Presents Fan Appreciation Night Round 12 of the Lucas Oil Speedway Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series with food and drink specials including $1 Nachos & Cheese, $2 hot dogs and $2 soft drinks or water.
 
4 p.m. - Gates open
6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
7 p.m. - Opening ceremonies
 
Dirt Track Admission
Adults (16 and up) $12
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $9
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $30
Pit Pass-$30
 
Sunday (Lake Lucas)
Kentucky Drag Boat Association Day 2
(Tentative schedule)
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Eliminations
 
Sunday Grandstand Admission
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) - $22
Youth GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 6 to 15) - $10
Kids GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo - $60 (Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages 6-15)
All tickets include access to the Drag Boat pit area.
 
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.
 
CONTACT:
Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984 
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.
 
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.
 
Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.
 
In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway  
 
 
About Lucas Oil Speedway 
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" lives up to its 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. This year marks the ninth season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.
 
Lucas Oil Speedway's dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most-popular events in the Midwest with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including: 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 special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Weekly Racing Series features the ULMA Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
 
 
2021 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners
 
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
Dixie Chopper
"The Official Mowers of Lucas Oil Speedway"
 
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway
  
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway 
 
 MAVTV 
"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
"The Official Battery" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
RacingJunk.com
"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
Rugged Radios
"The Official 2-Way Communications Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway 
 
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
Super Clean
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway
 
 
 
2021 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
Advanced Automotive Repair, AM Pyrotechnics, Angler's Resort, Arizona Sport Shirts, Ash Grove Aggregates, Ball Tree Service, Benton County Tire, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick, Bolivar Auto Sales & Detailing, Bolivar Farmers Exchange-MFA, Boone's BBQ Barn, Boubin Tire/American Racer, Branstetter & Lightfoot LLC, Bridal Cave, BWI Sanitation, Camden on the Lake Resort, Candlelight Creations-Dick's Wild Root Horseradish, Casey's General Stores, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, CED Electric, Central Life Sciences, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar,DirtonDirt.com, Dixie Chopper, eBay Motors, Eibach Springs, Evans Pipe & Steel Co., Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Heritage Tractor Inc., Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Highway 54 RV Park, Hobbytime Motorsports, Hoosier Race Tires, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, LimeBank, Lucas Cattle Company, McCoy Logging LLC, Merck Animal Health, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Land Co. LLC, Missouri Welding Institute (MWI), MyRacePass, Nemo Quarry, NMI/VMG Marketing Group, Nutrien Ag Solutions, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PFI Western Store, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, ProThings Apparel, RACEceiver, Racinboys.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Rod End Supply, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Rugged Radios, Ryan E. Murphy Law Firm LLC, SBU Athletics, Safety Kleen, Schlesselman Fencing, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Square B Ranch, Stillwater Resort, Stover Milling, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunflower Resort, Superior Products, TA/PETRO, Transportation Distribution Co. (TDC), US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wild Animal Safari, Windsor Livestock Auction, Woods Supermarkets, Wrisco Industries, ZINPRO Performance Minerals.