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Off Road Track

National Medal of Honor Museum
Cole Henson won twice with 11 top-five finishes en route to a repeat Lucas Oil Speedway ULMA Late Model championship at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)


Lucas Oil Speedway


WHEATLAND, MO. (Dec. 6, 2021) - Cole Henson began the season in a white Longhorn chassis with the No. 31 on its side and finished it in a black Rocket carrying the No. 21. No matter the make, model or number, Henson consistently ran near the front.

It all led to a repeat Lucas Oil Speedway ULMA Late Model track championship and Lucas anther Cattle Company ULMA national title. Three months after wrapping up those championships, the always upbeat Henson is still riding high.

“To be able to come back this year and do it all over again, oh man, it was awesome,” Henson said this week. “We had one heck of a year. It’s one I’ll definitely always remember.”

The 26-year-old from Russellville in mid-Missouri wound up with two feature victories and 11 top-five finishes in 12 starts at Lucas Oil Speedway and three wins overall in 17 attempts. He finished 43 points in front of Johnny Fennewald in the Lucas Oil Speedway championship battle and 76 ahead of Tucker Cox in the ULMA national standings.

“The Hammer” said a fast start was a key. He finished second on opening night at Lucas Oil Speedway before winning in week two. He led the points the rest of the way.

“We weren’t gonna run for points,” Henson said of the plan he and car owner Rob Schlup mapped out early in the 2021 season. “It seems like points is a huge mind game. It gets in your head. You have to finish in the top five and all that.

“At the beginning of the season we decided, ‘Let’s go out and not worry about points. Let’s go out to win and run consistent.’ That’s what our goal was. Then at the end of the year, we were right there so we said, ‘Let’s go battle for it, let’s go do it.’ It all worked out.”

But not before a nudge from Fennewald and Larry Ferris, who were driving new cars that were becoming noticeably faster than Henson’s as the season passed the mid point.

“The Longhorn was a really good car. We started off strong in it, but then things got a little slower and we started to struggle,” Henson said. “With Larry and Johnny having new cars, you could definitely tell that the technology in the new cars was where it was at.

“With the help of my car owner, Rob Schlup - and it’s all him - he got with Tony Jackson Jr. and we got a new Rocket (XR1). It was a game-changer. Again, the Longhorn was a great car. We won track championship at the Lake (Lake Ozark Speedway), ULMA Rookie of the Year and followed up with track and ULMA championship. And it helped us again this year.”

Henson said the Rocket proved not only faster, but forced him to change his driving style to be more aggressive.

“Tony helped me with driving style and get to the changes with how I needed to drive it,” Henson said. “Rob’s brother Jeff Schlup showed me different things. Those guys helped me a bunch.

“Once I got the hang of it, it was good. We got four nights on it and picked up two wins. It could have been three, but Larry got me at the end of the race that last night at Lucas. I love the car. It’s what we needed to keep up and it was a good change with our team.”

The team even entered a Lucas Oil MLRA race late in the season at Lake Ozark and finished 10th with their under-powered motor. Which leads into some exciting plans for Henson in 2022.

Schulp has secured an open motor with the plan for Henson to race selected MLRA events and the Show-Me 100.

“We’ll go out and have fun,” Henson said. “We also have our ULMA motor and will switch motors and run the weekly shows at Lucas with the ULMA motor, too. I’m sure it’ll be a busy, but fun season for us.”

As for fans who might wonder about the number change from 31 to 21, Henson that’s a bow to Rob Schlup, who had 21 on his Street Stock when he used to race.

“When I first started, Rob helped me with my Street Stock and he bought a Street Stock from Tony and ran it,” Henson said. “Their number has always been 21, when he and Jeff drove. Rob’s the one that does all this. I can’t thank him enough and absolutely cannot do this without him.

“My thought was, he deserves to have their number on it. We went to 21 and put an S on there for Schlup. That’s why we changed it.”

The team’s sponsors include Locate On Freight, Superior Power Custom Homes, Windy Ridge Landscaping, Cedar Ridge Taxidermy, Lee’s Door Company, Heidbreder Foundation, Hatfield Racing Engines, TJR Motorsports and DHR Customs.

Season passes, gift cards available: With the Christmas shopping season ready to shift into high gear, don’t forget to take care of the motorsports fan in your life with 2022 Lucas Oil Speedway Season Passes and Gift Cards.

Season passes for the 2022 season are available now for those who had them in 2021 at a $25 discount. Contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at for more information.

Season Pass renewal by Dec. 31:
Dirt Track: Adults (ages 16-61) ($475); Seniors (62 and over) ($375)
All-Events: Adults (ages 16-61) ($575); Seniors (62 and over) ($475)

Season Passes beginning Jan. 3, 2022:
Dirt Track: Adults (ages 16-61) $500; Seniors (62 and over) $400.
All-Events: Adults (ages 16-61) $600; Seniors (62 and over) $500.

Each season pass holder is entitled to one reserved stadium-style seat, complete with high backs and armrests located in the top six rows of the main grandstand of the dirt track.

Meanwhile, Lucas Oil Speedway Gift Cards are available in any dollar amount. Gift Cards can be used in all departments including in the pit office, camp shack, concessions, gift shop, suites and the Diamond Bar.

For ticket information for any future event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Fans also can use the online ticketing system.

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