November 8, 2020
Kent Smith receives Forrest Lucas Award as Lucas Oil Speedway holds 2020 Postseason Banquet
WHEATLAND, MO. (Nov. 8, 2020) - The man who knows more about Lucas Oil Speedway than anyone - even well before it became the Diamond of Dirt Tracks - received prestigious recognition to conclude Saturday night’s Lucas Oil Speedway Postseason Championship and Awards Banquet.
Kent Smith, the long-time “Mr.-Fix-It-No-Matter-What-It-Is,” became the fourth recipient of the Forrest Lucas Lifetime Achievement Award, given for contributions to the sport on and off the track. The event - which honored season champions along with other specialty awards - was held at Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozark.
“You cannot understate Kent’s contributions to Lucas Oil Speedway and dirt-track racing in Wheatland in general,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said. “I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of this honor than Kent.”
When you take a walk around Lucas Oil Speedway it’s difficult to find any part of the track, piece of technology, or building that Kent - who celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday - hasn’t had his hands on.
When Ron Jenkins started building Wheatland Raceway in 2001, Kent was there. He worked mostly behind the scenes, advising on day-to-day activities, working on anything that needed to be done, and running the parts department while wife Marilyn ran the pit office and concession stand.
He joined forces with Gary Hubert in 2004 when Forest Lucas acquired the facility and helped transform the raceway into the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. Kent worked with utilities and helped again to write the original rules. No task was to big he couldn’t solve. In 2011, he became head of maintenance for Dan Robinson, where he fixed anything - from heavy machinery to speakers to even an old jukebox that was broken.
Even today, if anything goes wrong around the race track, the first call anyone makes is to Kent.
Originally from Wheatland, Kent fell in love with racing at an early age becoming a fan, hitch hiking rides to watch races at Humansville. He ran the Hickory County Auto Body shop in Hermitage for years before he and Squeak Richards went into the racing parts business with K and S Motorsports in the mid-90s. He developed a great relationship with drivers and became one of the biggest distributors in the area.
That evolved into building Modifieds ran by drivers such as Robbie Ott and Keith Short at local tracks. Kent’s grade-school relationship with Bill Allen turned into a business relationship when Allen built Urbana’s track in 1997. Kent took care of anything mechanical or electrical, loaned Allen a pickup truck for a year and dealt with track prep weekly. He understood the technical aspect, helped clean up the rule book, and when he put a rule in place, he got it right the first time.
Kent joins previous Forrest Lucas Lifetime Achievement Award winners Rex Merritt (2017), Jim Ruble (2018) and Kevin Fletcher (2019).
Track champions and overall top 10 in points in each of the four Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series divisions were recognized. Those points champions were Robbie Reed (Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds), Cole Henson (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models), Derek Brown (O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks) and Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods).
Derek Brown also received the award for “Best Appearing Race Car” as selected by track photographers Greg and Stacy Stanek.
For the fourth straight year, Kaeden Cornell of Willard was named Most Popular Driver in online fan voting over runner-up Mitchell Franklin. Brice Gotschall, JC Morton and Andy Bryant rounded out the top five in voting.
Lucas Oil Speedway Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series
Top 10 in 2020 season points
Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds - 1, Robbie Reed, Mexico. 2, Ryan Middaugh, Fulton. 3, Chase Domer. Nevada. 4, Chase Jones, El Dorado Springs. 5, Jason Pursley, Hermitage. 6, Robert Heydenreich, Bolivar. 7, Paden Phillips, Chanute, Kansas. 8, Rusty Skaggs, Arcadia, Kansas. 9, Donnie Fellers, Wheatland. 10, Tracy Wolf, Buffalo.
Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods - 1, Kris Jackson, Lebanon. 2, JC Morton, Springfield. 3, Eric Turner, Hermitage. 4, Andy Bryant, Fort Scott, Kansas. 5, JC Newell, Buffalo. 6, Mitchell Franklin, Camdenton. 7, Dayton Pursley, Hermitage. 8, Wesley Briggs, Lebanon. 9, Brayton Skaggs, Fort Scott, Kansas. 10, Brice Gotschall, Nevada.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks - 1, Derek Brown, Stoutland. 2, Toby Ott, Wheatland. 3, Johnny Coats, Joplin. 4, Brian Brown, Purdy. 5, Colton Bourland, Appleton City. 6, Bob Barnett, Republic. 7, John Scott, Warsaw. 8, Scott Johnson, Nevada. 9, Tim Brown, Stoutland. 10, Jame Flood, Crane.
Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models - 1, Cole Henson, Russellville. 2, Johnny Fennewald, Appleton City. 3, Larry Ferris, Nevada. 4, Tucker Cox, Jefferson City. 5, Kaeden Cornell, Willard. 6, Chad Richwine, Lee’s Summit. 7, Dustin Walker, Polk. 8, Ashlee Lancaster, Sturgeon. 9, Shawn Strong, Billings. 10, Todd Shute, Norwalk, Iowa.
Look for the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway tentative schedule to be unveiled in the near future.
For ticket questions or information for future events as Lucas Oil Speedway, or to inquire about gift certificates or season passes for the 2021 season, contact Admissions Director 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