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April 9, 2019

Vaught Ready for MLRA Opener at Lucas Oil Speedway

Will The Thrill Vaught
Will "The Thrill" Vaught looks to start his season strong in this weekends MLRA Spring Nationals at the Lucas Oil Speedway. Lloyd Collins--FastTrack Photos

Wheatland, Missouri (April 9, 2019) - For the 31st time in its storied history, the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model Series will take the green flag this weekend April 12th -13th at Wheatland, Missouri's Lucas Oil Speedway. The double header weekend will feature complete $3,000 to win shows both nights, setting the stage for the tour's thirty-one race date schedule.

Saturday's feature payout will also include a special $750 Bonus to the winner in memory of Ron Jenkins, the original builder of Wheatland Raceway, making the actual winners take $3,750.

With cool evening temperatures being forecasted, speedway and series officials have moved up the start times both days with hot laps hitting the track at 5:30 pm and racing at 6:05 pm sharp.

This 6th Annual "Spring Nationals" presented by RacingJunk.com has historically provided fans a large field of cars, comprised of many of the Midwest best regional late model drivers. Defending and two-time series champion Chad Simpson captured the season finale last October in Wheatland and will look to go back to victory lane, as will 2018 series runner-up Will Vaught, when action gets under way Friday.

One year ago Vaught put on a clinic over the course of the 2nd half of the MLRA schedule, racking up five wins in an eight race span to go along with a runner-up finish and an impressive 4th place run with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series during the "Diamond Nationals."

Vaught's run to the finish line came close to erasing a near 140 point deficit to eventual series champion Simpson, but for the second time since 2013 he fell just short of the elusive series crown coming home the series runner-up. When Vaught unloads his Rocket Chassis XR1 this weekend it will be for one reason- to win.

A sluggish start in 2018 to a point proved beneficial for the team.  Removing the typical stresses associated with racing for a championship, it gave them the ability to simply focus on winning races and being "# 1". Vaught attributes much of that success a year ago to a single element--hard work. "We are a small budget team and we work really hard to get better. We weren't running for a championship last year even though we were at every race, we just wanted to win races," commented Vaught.

Vaught, who is a 13-time winner on the MLRA tour, found the momentum swing he enjoyed last year to be different than years past. "We had so many guys chasing our back bumper instead of it being the other way around it was kind of nice."

The 32-year old Vaught understands how valuable team chemistry is in relation to his on track success. Crew chief Eric Barnes was awarded the 2018 MLRA Crew Chief of the Year Award, Presented by Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool. Of the team's success in 2018 he noted, "When you get on top you feel good about your team and car, and it can be hard to beat."

Family is also a very important ingredient to Vaught's recent success, something that is evident in his victory lane celebrations. "Maddox and Mallory are very involved at the shop and they like to get out there

and work, and they enjoy when we are victorious--they sure really like to be in the middle of that," commented Vaught of his eldest children. "It's a pretty good tradition, and hopefully we have to replace the roof again this year."

In preparation for another run at the full MLRA schedule the Crane, MO driver has landed a new Rocket XR1 to go along with the one that propelled the team to a series high, six wins in 2018. Vaught knows it can be beneficial having a proven car on night one of a season-something they didn't do one year ago that presented them with a learning curve of adjustments.

Plans are to open the season leaving the new car in the box for the first few weeks, noting that he feels they already have the car where they want it from a year ago which will present a better opportunity for winning on night one. "We would be stupid not to run last year's car as well as it ran mid-season to the end of last year," he stated.

Vaught, who picked up the MLRA opener in 2017 at Lucas Oil Speedway said of the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks", "We've always ran good there. The last several years we have been able to put both nights together and kind of figured out how we needed to go about adjusting the car throughout the nights. We are confident with that place anymore".

Vaught Racing Specs: Rocket Chassis XR1, Clements Racing Engines, Integra Shocks

Team Marketing Partners: Johnson's Service Station, Mad Mal Trucking, GW Performance

Racing in support action both nights will be the USRA Modifieds, along with the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks. Modifieds will chase after a $1,000 top prize on Saturday while the Street Stocks will be side-by-side for a shot at the winners $750 pay day to close out the weekend.

Lucas Oil Speedway: Wheatland, MO Race Day Info-- Friday 4/12/19

Gates: 3:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 5:30 PM, Races - 6:05 pm
Admission: Adult(16+) $15, Senior(62+)/Military $12, Youth(6-15yrs) $5, Kids 5 & under FREE, Family Pass $30
Support Classes: Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds & O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks
Website: www.lucasoilspeedway.com                      

Lucas Oil Speedway: Wheatland, MO Race Day Info-- Saturday 4/13/19
Gates:
 3:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 5:30 PM, Races - 6:05 pm
Admission: Adult(16+) $20, Senior(62+)/Military $17, Youth(6-15yrs) $10, Kids 5 & under FREE, Family Pass $40
Support Classes: Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds-$1,000 to WIN & O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks--$750 to WIN

For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.

Fans may also "like" the Lucas Oil MLRA Facebook page by clicking www.Facebook.com/lucasoilmlra or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/MLRA

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CONTACT:

Ernie Leftwich
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509