Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Offseason detail sends Hendrix to early season Big O Tires Street Stocks success
Wheatland, Missouri (May 17, 2018) - A lot of offseason TLC on his race car has sent David Hendrix and his No. 54 Street Stock to victory lane twice already this season at Lucas Oil Speedway. It's a roll he hopes continues Saturday when the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes.
The "Buckhorn Bullet" is the Lucas Oil Speedway Tailgate Guys Radio Spotlight Driver of the Week. He credits attention to detail over the winter as reinvigorating a car that owner Jay Prevete had for sale after last season.
"We totally re-did the front end on it and spent hours and hour with angle finders and levels and tape measures during the winter," Hendrix said. "I think it has really helped the car turn a lot better.
"We raced that car quite a bit last year and didn't have a whole lot of luck with it. Jay Prevete owns it and he let me take it home over the winter and work it over. We put a tremendous amount of time into it. It's paying off, so far."
There's nothing like success to validate the work. Hendrix won the 2014 Lucas Oil Speedway championship with multiple feature wins and looks to have regained similar form in the Big O Tires Street Stocks division.
"It sure makes you feel like all the hours in the shop are worthwhile," he said. "It was 2014 when we won the championship and had some pretty good stuff going on then. But I think they put some new clay on the track after that and it seems like it holds moisture longer than it used to.
"Looking back at old notes and going off that, and trying some things that I thought might make the car turn better, it seems like it's helped so far. We'll see."
Hendrix, 41, said anyone could have had the car, turn-key and ready to race, for $12,500 after last season.
"We couldn't sell it because it hadn't run very good," he said. "Jay decided we'd keep it and go through it and give it another shot. I'm glad we did."
Certainly the handling and set-up have been key as Hendrix pointed out the motor isn't overpowering the competition. In victory lane following last Saturday's feature win, he said the engine is a compilation of parts purchased at Bodee's Racers Auction in Sedalia and some other components "from here and there."
Hendrix's uncle Ed Schutt - father of fellow Street Stocks competitor Brian Schutt - gave the motor a complete tune-up over the winter and that's helped.
"It was already assembled (before that) but it never really ran right," Hendrix said. "It was burning oil like crazy and we took it to Ed and let him go through it. He does a really good job."
Hendrix has spent most of his racing career in Street Stocks, with only brief stints in Modifieds and B-Mods. He called the Street Stocks "a comfortable class as far as finances."
"There are guys spending a lot of money on these cars, too. But you can do it with less," Hendrix said.
While he's not really focusing on points racing, Hendrix said the plan is to continue racing weekly at Lucas Oil Speedway. The bigger picture is focused on the $10,000-to-win Big Buck 50 there in October, which has raised awareness of the Street Stock division at the speedway.
Hendrix said that's why 37 Street Stocks showed up back on April 28 for a $750-to-win 25-lap special.
"I lot of guys from out of the area showed up and a lot of them said if it's $750 to win, they were coming back to get dialed in for the Big Buck 50," Hendrix said. "Now that it's $10,000 to win, I think it lit a fire under a bunch of guys and it gonna help this class a bunch."
Hendrix, who runs his own construction business, said he gets race-night pit help from his dad Eugene, girlfriend Ashely and 10-year-old son Jacob "who is getting more and more involved. He checks tire pressures and things like that."
Sponsors include Studs Construction, 1800NameTape.com, BSB Shocks, Schutt Performance, G&B Heating and Cooling, A&B Auto Parts, Bryant's Excavation and Rippee's Barber Shop.
The Tailgate Guys Radio Show can be heard each Saturday, from 11:05 a.m.-noon on KICK 92.3 FM, 1340 AM and online at 923kick.com. The show's focus is barbecue and sports with a segment on Lucas Oil Speedway with news and notes.
This Saturday night, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company along with OnMedia/DISH/DirecTV team up to present the evening of racing, with the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models running a special 25-lap, $1,000-to-win feature. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Big O Tires Street Stocks and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods also will be in action.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and opening ceremonies at 7.
Fans wishing to take in a full day of action can do so by coming early and attending the Kansas City Off Road Racing Association event on the off road track. Practice there is set for 10 a.m. with the opening ceremony and first round of races set for noon. Features in the seven scheduled divisions are set for approximately 3 p.m.
Those purchasing off road tickets will be admitted free to the evening's dirt-track program.
Dirt track admission prices:
Adults (16 and over) $12
Seniors (62 and over) and Military $9
Youth (ages 6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family pass $25
Pit pass $30
Off Road track admission:
(Includes admission to dirt-track races Saturday night)
Adults (16 and over) $15
Seniors (62 and over) and Military $12
Youth (ages 6-15) $
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Racer pit pass $30
For ticket information for any event in 2018 at Lucas Oil Speedway - including the 26th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Tickets also can be purchased online for any event during the 2018 season.
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket information and 2018 schedule 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.