MLRA Spring Nationals Spotlight: Four-time series champ Phillips relishes rare 'home' weekend
2022-04-21 11:47dirtFan website https://dirtfan.com/dirtfan/assets/graphics/dirtfan-200x200.jpg
WHEATLAND, MO. (April 20, 2022) - Due to the nature of scheduling and with Modified action his primary focus in recent years, Springfield's Terry Phillips doesn't race as close to home as he used to.
The 2021 inductee into the Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame gets to change that this weekend when he brings his Late Model to the 9th annual Pitts Homes MLRA Spring Nationals, Friday and Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
"It's nice. I've been off from the Modified for about a month so it's an opportunity to run the Late Model a little more and kind of get into the swing of things," Phillips said earlier this week from his Springfield race shop.
The two big nights of action will see the winner of Friday's feature taking home $5,000 and Saturday's feature winner earning $7,000.
Joining the MLRA Late Models on the program on Friday night will be the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds running for $750-to-win and Show-Me Vintage Racers.
Night two will find the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds again in action, along with the O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods. The USRA Modifieds will be chasing a $1,000-to-win payday with the USRA Stock Cars and the USRA B-Mods feature winners earning $750.
Phillips, who won his fourth MLRA championship in 2017, said it's always nice to race in front of his still-large fan base and his major sponsors, including Bolivar businessman Don Babb.
"Wheatland is definitely a place I need to run good at," Phillips said. "I tend of struggle there in a Late Model, but hopefully we can get it going there this weekend."
In his second season of driving a Capital Race Car, Phillips feels like he has reason for optimism. In a season-opening Lucas Oil MLRA doubleheader earlier this month at 81 Speedway near Wichita, Kansas, Phillips set fast qualifying time in his group and won his heat race on night two. He was near the front of the feature when caught up in an accident.
"That's probably as good as I've had my Late Model in a while," Phillips said. "The night before the car wasn't very good, but we made some changes and got the car a lot better. Maybe we can build on that."
Phillips said he likes the Capital chassis because "it's a well-built car" and owner Marshall Green, despite being based in Georgia, is always a ring away and willing to help.
"He communicates real well. It's like having a crew chief just a phone call away," Phillips said. "He watches the races and helps you out. There's a lot of support there."
Even though much of his focus has switched to Modifieds, the four-time MLRA champion said Late Models always will be his first love.
"There's nothing better than a good-working Late Model," Phillips said. "But getting it to work good is another deal. If you're one-tenth off, you're in 10th place. It's a tough deal anymore.
"It seems like I can go to Wheatland and run decent, then take the same set-up back and be terrible. Maybe if I just go there and don't think about it too much, it'll come natural to me. I put too much stress on it and I run worse."
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and opening ceremonies at 7:05.
Adults (16 and up) - $20
Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $17
Youth (ages 6-15) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass - $50
Pit pass - $35
Adults (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22
Youth (ages 6-15) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass - $60
Pit pass - $40
This weekend will be for track points and USRA national points for the Modifieds, B-Mods and Stock Cars. Lucas Oil Speedway's Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 30, with the four weekly classes - Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and Hermitage Lumber Late Models - in action.
To purchase tickets for any event on Lucas Oil Speedway's schedule, or get ticket information for the Show-Me 100 or any future event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at email@example.com.
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.
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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.
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