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Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Racing veteran Vanzandt eager to take his MLRA shot


Lucas Oil Speedway

Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Racing veteran Vanzandt eager to take his MLRA shot

WHEATLAND, MO. (April 10, 2024) - One of the newcomers on the Lucas Oil MLRA series in 2024 probably has more lifetime laps to his credit that most of his opposition. Certainly, Jimmy Vanzandt has seen and done about all there is during a racing career of more than four decades.

The Springfield-based driver has competed on dirt and pavement over the years and even gave the MLRA a brief whirl more than 20 years ago. In recent seasons, he’s been a regular on the Cash Money Late Model Dirt Series.

“I decided after last year that I wanted to do something different and I was running out of years to do it,” Vanzandt said. “I thought I would try the MLRA. I ran it years ago, back when Kenny Essary had it. So I thought I’d try it. I know I’m crazy, because these guys are super fast.

“If I can make the show, I’ll be happy. But I’m gonna have fun either way.”

Vanzandt, who turns 63 in about a week, plans to hit MLRA races within an eight-hour radius from home. It begins this Friday and Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway for the 11th annual MLRA Spring Nationals Presented by Arizona Sport Shirts.

The doublelheader begins on Friday when the MLRA standouts compete for a $7,000 feature win. The stakes are even higher on Saturday with the feature winner collecting $20,000.

Vanzandt said he decided the time was right to chase one of his remaining racing dreams and see how he stacks up against some of the best in the business.

“I’ve never got the opportunity to do this before,” Vanzandt said. “I’m probably not gonna go out and win races, but I’m gonna give it my all. Who knows? We’ll see what happens. I’m gonna make as many shows as I can.

“If we do really good, it’s hard to say how many races I[ll run. If you’re doing good, you can sometimes get resources you couldn’t come up with before.”

Vanzandt wound up fifth in Cash Money points a year ago after finishing third in the 2023 standings. He has a new Longhorn chassis and Roush-Yates motor with tech and set-up support from Billy Moyer Jr., who has moved from the driver’s seat into a consulting role. Moyer Jr. helped Vanzandt dial the car in during a test session last week at Batesville, Ark.

Vanzandt’s career began about 47 years ago at the Springfield Fairgrounds. He’s driven Bombers, Street Stocks, Modifieds and Sportsman cars over the years, in addition to the Late Model on pavement and dirt. He was a consistent contender on the asphalt at Lebanon I-44 Speedway for several years before returning to dirt about five years ago.

“The dirt is a lot more fun,” Vanzandt said. “Just the people. It’s a different world. Everybody’s friendly and can’t wait to help you, it seems like. I’ve got a lot of buddies with tractor trailer rigs that we buddy up with. They don’t treat me different than anybody else does.

“With the dirt there’s a lot more cleaning, a lot more maintenance. You have to stay up on everything.”

Helping him stay up with maintenance are crew members Perry “P Dog” Burton and Mark Reynolds. Team sponsors include Dirtworx General Contracting, Mossy Oak Properties, Double Down Asphalt, Hauter Fireworks, Pappy’s BBQ, Carrie’s Place, Gunny’s Mill, Queen City Bail Bonds, Vanzandt’s Affordable Auto Repair and Simpson Performance Products.

“We’re just going to go out and try to make shows and have as much fun as we can,” Vanzandt said.

The MLRA season was scheduled to open last weekend with the Winter Meltdown at Tri-City Speedway, but that event was canceled due to wet grounds from heavy rain earlier in the week.

Also in action Friday will be the POWRi Super Stocks running for $500 to win with the Show-Me Vintage Racers and Legends will be racing. On Saturday, the POWRi Super Stocks will be in action racing for $1,000 to win with the SMVR Show-Me Vintage Racers also on the program.

POWRi Super Stocks, Legends and SMVR drivers are asked to fill out a MyRacePass driver profile sheet online to help the announcers. This weekend's action will be shown on Flo Racing and MAVTV and an updated profile info form would help immensely.

A practice session will be held for all competitors racing this weekend will be held on Thursday night from 6-9 p.m. Pit passes are $30 with grandstand admission free. Limited concessions will be available on the pit side.

The first 500 fans through the grandstand gate on Saturday will receive a free 2024 Lucas Oil Speedway schedule magnet courtesy City Magnet.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and grandstands at 5 both days, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.

Friday admission:

Advance discount tickets online only (13 and up) - $22

Adults (13 and up) - $25

Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22

Youth (ages 6-12) - $10

Kids (5 and under) - FREE

Family pass - $60

Pit pass - $40

Saturday admission:

Advance discount tickets online only (13 and up) - $27

Adults (13 and up) - $30

Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $27

Youth (ages 6-12) - $10

Kids (5 and under) - FREE

Family pass - $70

Pit pass - $45

For ticket information about any event on the 2024 Lucas Oil Speedway schedule, fans can contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at for more information about any event on the 2024 Lucas Oil Speedway scheduled.


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.

2024 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners

Arizona Sport Shirts

"The Official Merchandise Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Bill Roberts Chevrolet

"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

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

2024 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, Bolivar Auto Sales & Detailing, Bolivar Farmers Exchange-MFA, Boone's BBQ Barn, Boubin Tire/American Racer, Bridal Cave, BWI Sanitation, Candlelight Creations-Dick's Wild Root Horseradish, Casey's, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Dixie Chopper, Eibach Springs, Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Hobbytime Motorsports, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, KC Bobcat, 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, RCR Designs, Real Racing Wheels, 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, Southwest Electric Cooperative, State Tech, Stillwater Resort, Summit Racing Equipment, Sunoco Race Fuels, Turn 1 Bar & Grill, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Vietti Marketing Group, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wieland, Wild Animal Safari, Woods Supermarkets.

Article Credit: By Lyndal Scranton, Lucas Oil Speedway

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