Lucas Oil Speedway Preseason Spotlight: USRA Modified runner-up Hodges preps for double duty
2023-01-18 00:09dirtFan website https://dirtfan.com/dirtfan/assets/graphics/dirtfan-200x200.jpg
WHEATLAND, MO. (Jan. 17, 2023) - Dustin Hodges is eager to see some double duty in 2023, adding a Super Late Model to his USRA Modified stable.
After finishing a close second to Dillon McCowan in the Lucas Oil Speedway Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified division last season, plans came together this offseason for Hodges to drive a Rocket XR1.
"I'm really excited to get to try something that's been an ultimate dream," Hodges said.
The specifics of Hodges' schedule remains uncertain, though the driver from Centralia does plan to make his debut in the Late Model at the 10th annual MLRA Spring Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway, March 31 and April 1.
"We hope to do some MLRA stuff and some regional stuff, just to kind of get our feet wet and try to create as much of a notebook as we can this year," Hodges said. "The plan is to kind of see how things go with it.
"I think our main focus will be the Modified, but our main goal with it would be to hit a half-dozen to a dozen races with the Late Model."
While stepping into the open Late Model world will be new, driving Late Models is not foreign to Hodges. He won ULMA national championships in 2016 and 2018 and was a series rookie of the year in 2015.
In recent years, Hodges settled into the Modified division and has been a consistent contender. He raced regularly at Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time in 2022 and got better as the year went on, finishing with two wins in the second half of the season to go with 12 top-five finishes in 14 events.
Hodges wound up only 22 points behind McCowan in the points chase. He also picked up six feature wins and the track championship at Callaway Raceway. Overall, Hodges was third in USRA National points behind Tyler Davis and McCowan.
"It was a really good year," Hodges said. "The last half was really awesome once we finally got things figured out to what we were needing. Once we got the car dialed in, everything went pretty darn smooth."
The success at Lucas was rewarding, especially the first trips to victory lane.
"Getting to race at that premier track, knowing that it is halfway close to home … we had a blast," Hodges said. "It seems like overall track conditions have changed a little bit and it kind of fits us a little better."
He's looking to continue that success at Wheatland this season, even if he doesn't run the Modified for points.
"I wouldn't say we really have specific goals," Hodges said of the year ahead. "Every time we jump in the Modified, I would like to be a podium car for sure and compete for wins everywhere we go with it. The Late Model stuff, we're just trying to keep an open mind and try to learn from all those guys.
"The amount of technology and, unfortunately the amount of money it takes to run a Late Model, we have to see if we can compete and keep everything well-maintained to see if we can run with those guys."
If the budget allowed, Hodges said he would like to run the Late Model all season and chase the MLRA rookie title. That might not be in the cards, however, with only one motor on hand.
"Our ultimate goal is to get an additional power-plant so we can look to run for the (MLRA) Rookie title," Hodges said.
Hodges' crew includes his uncle John Doerr and friend Kyle Harrison. Team sponsors are Kimberling Enterprise, Danny Crane Race Engines, Foundation Recovery Systems, Mid-America Carpenters Union, Melloway Fast Traps, Iron Gate Real Estate, The Drain Doctor, Rich and Chris Mobile Home Transport, Danny Wimer Law Firm, Show-Me Heating & Air and Flood Zone Motorworks.
Season openers: Lucas Oil Speedway's schedule begins with an open Test and Tune set for March 18 followed by the Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series Weekly Opener on March 25. Classes in action include the Hermitage Lumber Late Models, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds, O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars, and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods. The Hermitage Lumber Late Models will be running a special 25-lap $1,000-to-win featured event.
Major event ticket reminders: Fans are reminded that reserved three-day pass renewals for the 31st annual Show-Me 100 Presented by Protecttheharvest.com, May 25-27, are now available.
Three-day pass renewals for the event are $115 and can be purchased through the Lucas Oil Speedway office by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The renewals are available through Jan. 31. After that, the three-day reserved seats will be available for anyone to purchase. Each pass is for one reserved stadium-style seat, complete with high backs and armrests located in the top six rows of the main grandstand.
Fans also can now purchase online tickets for general admission for the Show-Me 100 and the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) race at Lucas Oil Speedway, scheduled for Aug. 17th. The SRX Thursday Night Thunder event will be the finale in the six-race series, which features some of racing's biggest names.
Show-Me 100 general admission three-day tickets through Stubwire are $100 for adults, $91 seniors/military and $30 for youth. Those can be found at https://www.stubwire.com/event/31stannuallucasoilshowme100/lucasoilspeedway/wheatland/28138/
Tickets for the SRX event will be $35 in advance and $40 at the gate (ages 16 and over). Kids (ages 6-15) will be $20 with ages 5-and-under free. Advance tickets can now be purchased via Stubwire - https://www.stubwire.com/event/srxespnthursdaynightthunder/lucasoilspeedway/wheatland/28075/
Season Passes available: Season ticket holders also can insure they have a seat for all three nights of the Show-Me 100 and the SRX event by purchasing a season pass. Those prices are:
Adults (Age 16-61) - $650 (dirt-track only), $750 (all speedway events)
Seniors (Age 62 and up) - $550 (dirt track only), $650 (all speedway events)
Contact Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at email@example.com for more information.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984
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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. The Lucas Oil Speedway EZ Texting number is (417) 804-4141.
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 12th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring a host of 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 Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
2023 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners
Arizona Sport Shirts
"The Official Merchandise Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Mowers of Lucas Oil Speedway"
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Products
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway
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Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official 2-Way Communications Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway
Sunoco Race Fuels
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway
2023 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
AM Pyrotechnics, Arizona Sport Shirts, 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, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar, DirtonDirt.com, Dixie Chopper, eBay Motors, Eibach Springs, Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, 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, Lucas Cattle Company, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Division of Tourism, MyRacePass, Nutrien Ag Solutions, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PEM, 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, Scott Furniture, Simpson Racing Products, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Stillwater Resort, Summit Racing Equipment, Sunoco Race Fuels, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Vietti Marketing Group, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wild Animal Safari, Woods Supermarkets, Wrisco Industries.