With the racing world paused amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SPEED SPORT is highlighting race tracks around the United States. This is part of that ongoing series.
Track of the Day: Lucas Oil Speedway
Address: 700 East Hwy 54, Wheatland, MO 65779
History: Lucas Oil Speedway has a short history when compared to most dirt tracks in the United States, but it has quickly become one of the premier dirt racing destinations in the country.
Located in Wheatland, Mo., Lucas Oil Speedway is actually the second race track to be built on land that was originally a hayfield and soybean field. Known as Wheatland Raceway, the original track was built by Ron and Mary Jenkins in mid-2001.
The three-eighths-mile dirt oval operated for a few years, but in 2004 things changed as Forrest Lucas, the founder of Lucas Oil, and his wife Charlotte acquired the facility late in the year.
Once the acquisition was completed, construction crews went to work rebuilding the facility from the ground up to transform it into Lucas Oil Speedway. A multi-million dollar renovation took place, which lasted until mid-summer 2006.
The track reopened in June of that year as Lucas Oil Speedway and featured new grandstands, luxury suites, a bar, concession stand and gift shop. The only thing left from the original facility was the dirt track itself.
The facility hosts a number of weekly divisions every season, highlighted by the late model class. Johnny Fennewald is the defending track champion in the top late model class.
The track also promotes several major touring series events each year, including the Diamond Nationals and Show-Me 100 for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Open Wheel Showdown and the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial featuring the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series.
Also on the property is an off-road racing course, a lake that hosts boat racing and a go-kart track.