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June 10, 2021

Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Darren Phillips having fun, success in USRA Stock Car division

Darren Phillips of Wheatland is second in the O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Car division points entering Saturday's Midseason Championship program at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)
WHEATLAND, MO. (June 10, 2021) - When it all comes down to it, racing is supposed to be about having fun and Darren Phillips said he’s back to having a bunch of it this season at Lucas Oil Speedway.
 
“I was done racing last year, until I got this car,” Phillips said of the USRA Stock Car has acquired in a trade for his USRA Modified. “Now, I’ve fallen in love with racing again.”
 
The 43-year-old from Wheatland stands a solid second in the O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Car division heading into Saturday night’s Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series Midseason Championship, Presented by the Bolivar Herald-Free Press and KTTS.
 
The USRA Stock Cars will run a 25-lap, $750-to-win feature to headline the action. Any driver doubling up with USRA Stock Car feature wins Friday at Dallas County Speedway and Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway will earn a $250 bonus.
 
For Phillips, who’s driven just about every style of dirt-track car since starting in four-cylinders as a 19-year-old at Nevada Speedway, the USRA Stock Car division has been exactly what he was looking for.
 
“I’m really enjoying this class,” said Phillips, who has posted back-to-back second-place finishes. He trails points leader David Hendrix of Waynesville by 74 points and ranks seventh in the USRA Stock Car national standings.
 
“Getting out of the Modified and having a chance to get this car, it was probably the best decision I made in my racing career, period,” Phillips said. “This class brings it back to the old days of racing. I’m having a lot of fun. There was good racing back when the old Street Stocks were affordable to race.”
 
Phillips said the affordability of the USRA Stock Cars is appealing to someone on a budget.
 
“It’s a good class for a cheap man and a poor man to race again,” he said. “That’s what I like about it. I don’t have to go spend thousands of dollar on a motor to go run with high-dollar cars and I don’t have to go buy a high-dollar car to go race. That’s what this class is good for. You don’t have to go spend a lot of money to race in this class.”
 
Phillips had a rough start to his season at Lucas Oil Speedway, losing a motor on opening night. He’s bounced back nicely with the replacement engine and has decided to make a run at USRA national points with an eye toward October’s USRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway.
 
A higher car count at his hometown track would enhance the points for all who compete there. Phillips is hopeful that more drivers will enter as more of them are able to finish their cars. He’s heard many are waiting for parts that have been hard to come by, like many products in the supply chain these days.
 
“We may be a little rough this year, but there are a lot of new cars still being built,” Phillips said. “I would say by next year, plus by the Fall Nationals, you’re going to see a lot of cars down here. At the (USRA) Nationals, you’ll see cars from all over.
 
“This is my first big chance to run for national points. I first started looking at it early in the season and was way down the list. I told some guys there was no way I could afford to travel and run with these guys for points. Well, a few weeks later, a buddy sent me a message that said, ‘You ought to be proud of yourself. You’re sitting third in national points.’ I was shocked.
 
“Since then I’ve been trying my best to stay up there. Like everybody tells me, I need to stop worrying about it. It’s going to change. I’ve just got to lay back and just race.”
 
While Phillips does most of the work on his car, his son Dalton helps when he’s not out-of-state working, and daughter Kylee has been a big help as well. Dalton Phillips hopes to have his own USRA Stock Car ready to race in a few weeks.
 
Team sponsors include Schuetz Construction, Snap-On Tools, Griff’s Flooring, TNT Quick Stop and Endrizzi Diesel.”
 
Phillips said his goals the remainder of the season are simple - just keep plugging away and see what happens.
 
“That’s about all you can do. Got out and have fun,” Phillips said.
 
Getting a feature win, against the likes of a former track champion like Hendrix, also would be quite the accomplishment if he could pull it off.
 
“The last couple of weeks racing with him, it’s been fun,” he said. “I didn’t honestly think I could ever run with him, but I’ve been right there with him.”
 
Midseason champions will be crowned in the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified, Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Model, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod and O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Car divisions on Saturday night.
 
Fans can take in nearly all the racing action possible on Saturday as Day One of the Kentucky Drag Boat Association Summer Thunder on Lake Lucas will be going on from 9 a.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m. Those purchasing tickets to the drag-boat event will be admitted free to the dirt track races.
 
Gates to the dirt track open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and opening ceremonies at 7. Look for discount ticket coupons in the Bolivar Herald-Free Press.
 
Dirt-track tickets:
(FREE to those purchasing Saturday or two-day drag boat tickets)
Adults (16 and over) - $12
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $9
Youth (ages 6-15) - $5
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass (two adults and up to three youth 6-15) - $30
Pit pass - $30
 
Frogs Jr Fan Club Pit Tour: Young fans arriving early at the dirt track are invited to sign up for the Frogs Jr Fan Club Pit Tour. Kids ages 5-12 can sign up on the midway, behind the main grandstands, before 5 p.m. with eight names drawn for a special pit-area tour at 5:15 with flagman Mike Striegel.
 
They will get to meet some of the drivers, see the cars up close and attend the drivers' meeting prior to return to the midway. Each of the eight will receive a Frogs Jr Fan Club T-Shirt, checkered flag and a gift bag sponsored by RaceGear Unlimited to put items in they receive from the drivers.
 
Kids Bicycles sought: The annual Frog’s Signs Junior Fan Club “Kids’ Night Bicycle Giveaway” is part of Casey’s General Stores Thursday Night Thunder, on July 1. Drivers, sponsors and fans are being asked to donate bicycles for youngsters, ages 5-12, for the event.
 
Both girls’ and boys’ bicycles are being accepted at the speedway office during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, and on race nights. New bicycles will be accepted, or monetary donations can be dropped off or mailed to the speedway.
 
For questions or more details, contact Lisa Lorton at the Lucas Oil Speedway office (417) 282-5984 or via email at Lisa@lucasoilspeedway.com. The mailing address is Lucas Oil Speedway, 18842 Speedway Drive, 700 East Highway 54, Wheatland, MO 65779.
 
Suite seats available: Fans can beat the heat and take in Saturday night's dirt-track action from a VIP Suite on the third level overlooking the front straightaway, as a limited number of individual tickets are available 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.
 
On the water: Drag boat action is scheduled in both Pro and Sportsman divisions starting at 9 a.m. Saturday as drivers compete for a guaranteed $30,000 purse during the Summer Thunder on Lake Lucas. Both days of the event will find television cameras rolling for later airing on both MAVTV Motorsports Network and CBS Sports.
 
For more information on the Kentucky Drag Boat Association, including registration details, visit KDBA.net.
 
Saturday’s tentative event schedule:
7 a.m. - Registration opens
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. Round 1 qualifying Sportsman session
10:30 a.m. - Round 1 qualifying Pro session
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 qualifying Sportsman session
2 p.m. - Round 2 qualifying Pro session
 
Saturday Drag Boat tickets:
(*General Admission/Pit Pass combo, plus admission to Saturday-night dirt-track races)
Adults (16 and over) - $25
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $22
Youth (ages 6-15) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass (includes two adults and up to three kids 6-15) - $60
Adult 2-day Pass - $50
Seniors (62 and over)/Military 2-day Pass - $44
Youth (ages 6-15) 2-day pass - $20
 
Sunday tentative event schedule:
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Eliminations begin
 
Sunday Drag Boat tickets:
(*General Admission/Pit Pass combo)
Adults (16 and over) - $25
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $22
Youth (ages 6-15) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass (includes two adults and up to three kids 6-15) - $60
 
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact Admissions Director Nichole 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, 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 Metal Buildings, 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.