DES MOINES, Iowa — The first order of business for the 30th rendition of the Lucas Oil MLRA is the release of the season’s schedule of events.
This year’s tour features a return to familiar places and a few new stops mixed in as well. Also to honor the 30th year a new special logo will be used for the season.
“I’m really glad to get the schedule out for everyone to take a look at what we have laid out for the year,” said series director Ernie Leftwich. “I’m proud to expand the series a little bit and reach into some new markets with Lucas Oil, Protect The Harvest and all of our great partners.”
The opening event of the year at the Izzo Family’s LaSalle Speedway in La Salle, Illinois is the second largest purse the series has competed for, where they are the sole sanction.
The seventh annual event features a Friday, March 30 payout of $5,000 to the winner and Saturday boasts a whopping $15,000 payday, with $1,500 guaranteed just to start the feature.
April 13-14 sees a return to familiarity for the MLRA contingent at Lucas Oil Speedway for the fifth annual Spring Nationals. Racing the final two weekends of the month will bring a busy April to a close. April 20 features fast action the half- mile track in Davenport, Iowa, and then for the first time ever a stop at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa for the Slocum 50. It has a one-day payoff of $10,555. April 27-28 the show rolls south to Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee, Okla., and Legit Speedway in West Plains, Mo.
The third straight week of action is the opening weekend in May. A return trip to Davenport Speedway is first up, this time on the quarter-mile track. The following evening there will be show promoted by Tony Izzo. The month wraps up like it always does with the $30,000 to win Show Me 100. This year, scheduled for May 24-26, it marks the first traditional Late Model crown jewel of the year.
The final two weekends in June are packed full of racing. June 22 marks the first ever visit to Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa and the following evening it is down the road to Park Jefferson International Speedway in Park Jefferson, South Dakota.
Salina Highbanks Speedway in Salina, Oklahoma has welcomed the series back again this season for their Independence Day weekend Freedom Classic, with $3,000 and $5,000 on the line. Another new event opens July. The recently re-opened Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., will run a twin bill July 6-7.
The second and final co-sanctioned race with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is slated for Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday, July 14. A standalone show on Friday, July 27, completes the month at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.
August racing features a return to Farley Speedway and West Liberty Raceway for the Monday Mayhem and Tornado Tuesday events, on Aug. 6-7. Each night pays $10,000 to win.
Labor Day weekend has become a staple at Lucas Oil Speedway for the Larry Phillips Memorial. This year it runs on Sept. 1. The following night, the series heads to Monett Motor Speedway for the running of the Four State Dirt Track Championships. It’s the first time the MLRA has raced in Monett in many years.
MLRA will close out its 2018 season with the crowning of a champion at Lucas Oil Speedway, Oct. 12-13.
The October Fall Nationals, along with the Freedom Classic at Salina Highbanks Speedway and the April 28 show at Legit Speedway will be ran in conjunction with the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series, adding to what will already be extremely competitive fields.
March 29-31, LaSalle Speedway, LaSalle, Ill.; April 13-14, Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo.; April 20, Davenport Speedway, Davenport, Iowa; April 21, 34 Raceway, Burlington, Iowa; April 27, Thunderbird Speedway, Muskogee, Okla., April 28, Legit Motor Speedway, West Plains, Mo.; May 3, Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa; May 4, Davenport Speedway; May 5, LaSalle Speedway; May 24-26, Lucas Oil Speedway; June 22, Rapid Speedway, Rock Rapids, Iowa; June 23, Park Jefferson Int’l Speedway, Jefferson, S.D.; June 29-30, Salina Highbanks, Salina, Okla.; July 6-7, Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, Mo.; July 14, Lucas Oil Speedway; July 27, Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.; July 28, TBA; Aug. 6, Farley Speedway, Farley, Iowa; Aug. 7, West Liberty Speedway, West Liberty, Iowa; Sept. 1, Lucas Oil Speedway; Sept. 2, Monett Motor Speedway, Monett, Mo.; Oct. 12-13, Lucas Oil Speedway.