Although the temperatures may not be cooperating, spring has arrived and it is once again race time for Lucas Cattle Company ULMA late models. The new season begins this Saturday, April 20 at Lucas Oil Speedway during the track’s first regular weekly race program of the year. This is the seventh straight year of competition for drivers at the track located, which is located in Wheatland, Missouri. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7, and racing at 7:30; for additional information visit www.lucasoilspeedway.com.

A stellar group of drivers are poised to begin their quest for the title including past champions and familiar faces. Jason Russell sets out to defend his title but there are plenty of other racers who have different things in mind; one of those being Quincy, Illinois driver Vance Wilson, the 2010 champion, who is looking for a return to victory lane. Tommy Cordray, Jeremy Kelley, Donnie Timmerman, Jon Binning, Lane Ehlert, Chris Lapp, Justin Russell, Chris Cox, R.D. Peterson, and Zeke Langley are just a few of the additional drivers among others who completed early season paperwork ready to hit the tracks.

Payton Looney, son of super late model driver Brad Looney, put his name in the hat for rookie of the year along with another second-generation driver, Dalton Imhoff, son of Walt Imhoff, a long-time ULMA competitor. Kenny Mudd, Steve Dieckmann, Jon Melloway, Bobby Penney, Bridget Clifford, and Greg Strong also enter the season with rookie of the year intentions. These drivers make up the largest rookie of the year contingent ULMA has witnessed since inception.

Lucas Oil Speedway, Callaway Raceway, and Randolph County raceway host ULMA competition this season along with Double XX Speedway in California, which has three ULMA races scheduled in the heat of summer. Visit www.callawayraceways.com for track information and event details for their opening night, which takes place on Friday, April 26. Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri kicks off their season with ULMA competition on Saturday, May 11, visit www.randolphcountyraceway.com for details. Please note that mention of driver name does not guarantee race appearances at all sanctioned events.

This season all sanctioned tracks have implemented ULMA memberships. Beginning this weekend, drivers will show their membership license upon arrival. If licenses have not arrived in the mail by the start of each respective track’s season opener, ULMA officials will be on-site to provide license and registration paperwork, decals, and to answer questions. Drivers are encouraged to visit www.ulmaracing.com and click on the membership link to print and complete the 2013 form. In order to make opening night check in run as smooth as possible, ULMA asks drivers to complete paperwork prior to arrival.

This season marks the first year for ULMA to partner with Hoosier Tire Midwest. Drivers may purchase tires from ULMA throughout the season by contacting ULMA officials, the program benefits drivers at the end of the season during the October 19 championship banquet, which takes place in California, Missouri. Please visit www.racetires.com for additional information.

ULMA also welcomes the highly anticipated and much-appreciated return of FastShafts as a business partner. FastShafts is a division of Axle Exchange, Inc. and has produced drive shafts for Late Models, Modified, Stock Car, Dirt Truck, and Hobby Stock race cars since 1992.  Axle Exchange, Inc. opened nearly 20 years ago as a constant velocity axle rebuilder. FastShafts offers carbon fiber, steel, aluminum, and chromoly drive shafts. Visit their website at www.fastshafts.com. FastShafts will provide one drive shaft to the ULMA champion and the season rookie of the year at the season-ending banquet.

Drivers earn championship points by keeping points earned from their 15 best race appearances throughout the season of the more than 50 possible scheduled race nights. To learn more about ULMA’s title sponsor visit www.lucascattlecompany.com. ULMA sincerely thanksFastShaftsRacingJunk.com, and PhotoGraphics by Shelly Payne for their support this season.

ULMA Schedule at a Glance

Saturday, April 20th – Lucas Oil Speedway

Friday, April 26th – Callaway Raceway

Saturday, April 27th – Lucas Oil Speedway

Friday, May 3rd – Callaway Raceway

Friday, May 10th – Callaway Raceway

by Sam Stoecklin

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