March 17, 2021
Lucas Oil Speedway Preseason Spotlight: Heydenreich excited to team up with mentor, champion Cutshaw
WHEATLAND, MO. (March 17, 2021) - The familiar red No. 98 Modified - which won countless features and four track championships - again will take to the Lucas Oil Speedway oval this season.
Even though it will be Jeff Cutshaw’s car, the driver who’s been retired the last two seasons will be watching from the pit side and not from behind the wheel. Robert “Hollywood” Heydenreich, a young driver with talent - but not always patience - will be piloting Cutshaw’s new Domination by Cutshaw chassis in the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified division.
“He hangs around the house all the time and is good friends with the family,” Cutshaw said of Heydenreich, a fellow Bolivar resident. “I just wanted to give the kid a chance and put him in some good stuff.
“He’s got some talent. We just have to fine-tune him a little bit and calm him down and get him to finishing races.”
For Heydenreich, 24, the chance to learn from a veteran with championship pedigree and a totally different driving style, is a dream scenario. The driver who got his nickname of “Hollywood” a few years ago after rolling his car and posing for cameras as he crawled out of the crumpled ride, can hardly believe the opportunity that awaits.
“I don’t know that I deserve it; there are probably better options for Jeff out there,” Heydenreich said. “But he said, ‘You’ve got a lot of potential, we just need to slow you down and get you focused a little bit more.’ That got me excited. I’ve never been taught by anybody.
“I didn’t start racing until I was old enough to pay for it myself. I’ve never had anybody like Jeff who’s a multi-time track champion with well over 100 feature wins offer to help me. He says, ‘Hey, you’re doing good, you just need some help.’ For him to stick his neck out for me, it’s saying something.”
The way Heydenreich found out about the offer to drive for Cutshaw made it more memorable. He had been doing some welding work for Cutshaw and was asked to stop by Cutshaw’s shop to take a look at a potential project.
Little did he know what awaited behind Door No. 1.
“I got over there and walked into the shop and there’s this brand-new race car sitting on jack stands,” Heydenreich said. “I said, ‘You getting back into racing?’ He said, ‘No. That’s what I had you come over here for. We’ve got to have a talk.’ ”
Heydenreich is entering his sixth season of racing, spending time in a USRA B-Mod before switching over to the his first full season in a USRA Mod in 2020. He wound up sixth in Lucas Oil Speedway points, but did pick up a feature win in exciting fashion last June, passing reigning track champion Robbie Reed on the outside in the final 100 yards.
Cutshaw joked that Heydenreich is notorious for aggressively riding the high side around the track while he won his championships by religiously sticking to the low groove. That makes the pairing of the duo more unique and already, the high vs. low path around the track has been a subject of conversation between student and teacher.
“We’ve already had discussions about that and I told him I was gonna pull him out of the car if I ever saw him on the high side,” Cutshaw said, with a laugh. “I told him I won way more races on the bottom than I ever did on the top.”
Heydenreich said learning a more-patient approach will help him in his goal of finishing at or near the top of the championship chase. Too often last season, Heydenreich failed to finish races.
“Jeff told me ‘wrong place, wrong time. It’s not always your fault, but you have to not put yourself in those situations.’ This week we’re reviewing a lot of race video footage from last year and he’s gonna point out some areas, things that will help me. To be able to finish high in points, you have to finish races. Just be smooth and consistent.”
Cutshaw, who won consecutive track championships at Lucas Oil Speedway from 2014-17, retired from driving after a runner-up finish in the 2018 standings. He admittedly missed the sport and had some ideas of the kind of car he wanted to build.
“I started messing around with this a couple of years ago,” he said. “Right after I quit, I wanted to do something different, so we’re gonna do a different kind of suspension. We went into a partnership deal with a guy building cars out of McClure, Ohio. He had never built a Modified before. He’s a Late Model guy, but he had a suspension like I wanted to build.
“We’re trying something that’s completely different. We’re going to see if we can make it work.”
The team looks to do some testing prior to opening night and let the process of dialing in the new car, along with the education of the young driver - begin to play out.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Heydenreich said. “I’m gonna learn as much as I can and do anything I can to help out. Jeff is a big part of me being where I am. He helped me with a motor deal last year when we went to the ‘A’ Mod.
“I asked him about our plans and he said, ‘we’re gonna go fast and have fun.’ I’m excited. I know there are a lot of fans who cheered for Jeff and will be excited to see that No. 98 car back on the track.”
Team sponsors include Cutshaw Farms, The Big Slice, Tri-Lakes RV, Parrish Tire & Alignment, Eletric Beach Tanning Salon, Boone’s BBQ Barn, Lucas Oil, Custom Land Works, SCP Race Engines, Cullum and Brown, Fast Shafts, Wehr’s Machine, Midwest Sheet Metal, RPI Suspension, Bud’s Tire & Wheel, Cutshaw Motorsports and Double H Motorsports.
Test & Tune coming up: Lucas Oil Speedway's Open Test & Tune is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. March 27 with pit passes $25. The Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series Spring Opener Presented by Benne Media is set for April 3 with the Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Models in the spotlight with a $1,000-to-win main event sponsored by HICKAMO Country Store.
The Weekly Racing Series includes 14 events, from opening night through the Rempfer Memorial Season Championship on Aug. 28, which crowns season champions. Competing classes include Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds, Missouri Metal Buildings ULMA Late Models, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars.
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984
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.
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 ninth season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other 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 ULMA Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
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2021 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
Advanced Automotive Repair, AM Pyrotechnics, Angler's Resort, Arizona Sport Shirts, Ash Grove Aggregates, Ball Tree Service, Benton County Tire, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, Big O Tires, 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 General Stores, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Central Life Sciences, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar,DirtonDirt.com, Dixie Chopper, Eibach Springs, Evans Pipe & Steel Co., Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Farmer's State Bank, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, 54 Buildings and More, 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 Racing, Inc.; Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, Lucas Cattle Company, McClaren, Merck Animal Health, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Metal Buildings, Missouri One Call System, Missouri Welding Institute (MWI), MyRacePass, Nemo Quarry, NMI/VMG Marketing Group, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PFI Western Store, 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, Schlesselman Fencing, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Stillwater Resort, Stover Milling, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunflower Resort, Superior Products, TA/PETRO, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Wheatland Motel, Wheeler Livestock Auction, White's Marine Center, Wild Animal Safari, Windsor Livestock Auction, Woods Supermarkets, Wrisco Industries.