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Lucas Oil Speedway Champions Spotlight: Early adversity fails to slow Modified champ Middaugh


Lucas Oil Speedway

Lucas Oil Speedway Champions Spotlight: Early adversity fails to slow Modified champ Middaugh

WHEATLAND, MO. (Dec. 18, 2023) - Making Ryan Middaugh’s championship in Lucas Oil Speedway’s USRA Modified division even more remarkable was how the Fulton driver overcame adversity just before the season opener.

Returning from what already was a bad mid-March night of racing at Tulsa Speedway, Middaugh and his team were about an hour from home when a huge wind gust sent their truck and trailer off Highway 54 going through the Lake of the Ozarks area.

“I was driving and just held the steering wheel straight and got everything stopped and shut down,” Middaugh recalled. “We jumped a pretty sizable ditch and took some air time.”

Middaugh and five others riding escaped injury. The trailer did not. It was totaled and the race car, already with damage after an 11th-place feature finish, and everything inside the trailer was beat up.

“It was a mess getting everything out of our trailer onto the side of the road,” Middaugh said. “My buddy brought down a flat-bed and we got the car out of the trailer and other stuff loaded.”

By the afternoon, the car and equipment had been hauled back to the shop in Fulton. Somehow, Middaugh had things ready to go in just seven days and made the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opener at Lucas Oil Speedway and posted a second-place feature finish.

“Somehow we rebounded and our on-track results never wavered,” Middaugh said recently, reflecting on the bounce back.

With five feature wins and 14 top-five five finishes, he won his first Lucas Oil Speedway track championship by 193 points over runner-up Jason Pursley. Overall, he won 18 features in 2024 and added a fourth championship at his hometown Callaway Raceway.

He also wound up third in USRA Modified national points.

“Good people,” Middaugh said of the key to the season - and the rally from the highway accident. “Without other people helping out it never would have happened.”

Middaugh gave shout-outs to Jordan Martin, his cousin and a B-Mod racer, along with former B-Mod competitor Jason Watson for loaning his trailers to get him through a one-month period before he located a trailer. Just before his April 22 victory at Wheatland, he made a trip to West Virginia for a replacement truck.

Points racing can be a thankless grind. Missing just one week or having a DNF can be devastating. Middaugh declared prior to the season that he was going to chase goals of winning the championships and followed through at both Wheatland and Fulton.

“Between those two tracks we ran about 40 races. It was a pretty grueling schedule just to do that,” he said. “Friday and Saturday, April through end of August or so … there’s a lot of hot days through the summer where you want to do other things. It takes its toll. I have a two-year-old at home and want to spend time with her.

“But when you have the results like we had, it definitely makes it worth it,” he added, noting that he and the team enjoyed feature wins on the nights they happen. “But the next day rolls around and there’s always a next race.”

Middaugh, 31, has his MB Customs car on the market and is shopping for a new ride for 2024. He said the title-winning car is still in good shape, “but I’m trying to rotate my stock a little bit. Every three or four years, I try to get a new car. Everything changes so much, so fast, I feel that’s what it takes to keep up with these guys.”

The 2024 season likely will see Middaugh running a similar schedule, with the new Heartland Modified Tour another intriguing option. The HMT has been added to the May 11th program at Lucas Oil Speedway, paying $2,000 to win.

“I’m not gonna commit to doing anything (points-wise), but the hope is to run as good as we did this year,” Middaugh said.

Season pass renewals, gift cards available: Lucas Oil Speedway recently unveiled its tentative 2024 schedule with Open Test & Tune set to kick things off on March 30. The speedway has gift cards available for purchase as a Christmas-gift option and also has season pass renewals for the 2024 season available at a discount through the end of the year.

Season passes for the 2024 season are available now at a $50 discount for renewals from 2023. Contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at for more information.

Season Pass Renewals before Dec. 29th, 2023:

Adults (Age 16-61) $700 (dirt-track only)

Seniors (Age 62 and up) $600 (dirt-track only)

Season Passes beginning Jan. 15th, 2024:

Adults (Age 16-61) $750 (dirt-track only)

Senior (Age 62 and up) $650 (dirt track only)

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 ticket office, pit office, camp shack, concessions, gift shop, suites and the Diamond Bar.

Lorton added that the gift shop is remaining open year-round, during week-day business hours, for those interested in stopping by the track and shopping for items.

For ticket information about any future event at Lucas Oil Speedway contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at for more information.


Danny Lorton

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

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 for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984. The Lucas Oil Speedway EZ Texting number is (417) 804-4141.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at and on

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 12th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring a host of 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 Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.

2023 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners

Arizona Sport Shirts
"The Official Merchandise Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Dixie Chopper
"The Official Mowers of Lucas Oil Speedway"

General Tire
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Lucas Oil Products
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway

"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Rugged Radios
"The Official 2-Way Communications Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Summit Racing Equipment
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Sunoco Race Fuels
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Super Clean
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway

2023 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
AM Pyrotechnics, Alliance Sport Marketing, Arctic Food Equipment, Arizona Sport Shirts, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, 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, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Dirt Track Specialist, Dixie Chopper, Eagle Vision Paving LLC, Eibach Springs, Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Hobbytime Motorsports, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, KC Bobcat, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, Lucas Cattle Company, MD3, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Division of Tourism, MyRacePass, Nutrien Ag Solutions, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PEM, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, Pomme de Terre Resort, ProThings Apparel, RACEceiver,,,, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Reed Environmental, River's End Motel & RV Park, Rod End Supply, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Rugged Radios, Ryan E. Murphy Law Firm LLC, SBU Athletics, Safety Kleen, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Simpson Racing Products, SMC, Southwest Electric Cooperative, State Tech, Stillwater Resort, Summit Racing Equipment, Sunoco Race Fuels, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Vietti Marketing Group, Wasoba Seed & Trucking, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wieland, Wild Animal Safari, Woods Supermarkets.

Article Credit: By Lyndal Scranton, Lucas Oil Speedway

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