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Lebanon I-44 Speedway
Press Release For Immediate Release
 
NASCAR Pro Late Models Rewind at I-44
  
NASCAR Whelen All American Series   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2013
  
Kevin Greven, (417) 399-5756
  
Contributed by Ronnie Williams
    

2013 NASCAR Class Rules Announced at Lebanon I-44 Speedway

 

 

(LEBANON, Mo.) - As the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Lebanon I-44 Speedway Championship banquet draws closer, the chase for the Monster Energy Championship in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models went right down to the wire as Sellersburg, Indiana 17 year old speedster Cole Williams fended off 17 year old Matt Wallace of Concord, N.C. to grab the Lebanon I-44 Speedway and the Missouri State NASCAR Championship.

 The battle of these youngsters kept the crowd into the racing action all season long as the drivers showed a lot of promise, patience and kept the competition on their toes during all 18 feature events.

 After the first two attempts in late April and early May to get the season underway fell to rain, the 1st green flag flew on May 11th during the Willard Asphalt & Willard Quarries Night at the Races as 21 Pro Late Models checked-in to compete as several drivers from the CRA/JEGS Series were on hand to prepare for the special event the following week. After several different lead changes and tight action, Matt Wallace would fire the 1st shot by holding off last season's Sportsman Champion JC Newell and Cole Williams to take the win. Wallace last season's points runner-up was looking to become the third Wallace family member to claim an I-44 title as father Mike(1990) and sister Chrissy(2011) had laid claim to the honors.

 For the 1st time ever, the CRA/JEGS Series checked into the high-banks on May 18th for the Mercy Masters of the Pro's 144 with 39 cars checking in. Chase Elliott would steal the show for the 144 lap feature setting fast time, just a few ticks off the asphalt track record, and take home the feature win before a capacity crowd as the local talent held-up the I-44 weekly action very well. Cole Williams(10th quick), 2 time LM champion Mike Slone of Rolla(11th quick), Grant Sharp(17th) and rookie Cole Rouse of Fort Smith, Ark(18th), all made the feature in time trials, while point leader Wallace and Oklahoma's Austin Fullerton made the starting grid through last chance events. Williams would fare the best with a 8th place finish and on the lead lap. Rolla, Mo. car owner Kevin Crider brought in Louisville, Kentucky ace Chuck Barnes and they wheeled the Missouri based car to the runner-up spot.

 NASCAR Whelen All American Series action picked back-up on May 25th during the Caddy Shack Golf Cars Night at the Races as Cole Williams held off repeated challenges from Wallace and Austin Fullerton to take his 1st win of the season as that win would start a roll towards the run for the title.

 On Sunday evening June 9th before the NASCAR K&N West Series Reliable Toyota / G-Oil 150 with Speed TV on hand, Williams would cross the line behind winner Mike Slone, but a rules infraction in post-race tech handed Williams his second win in a row as Wallace and JC Newell followed closely and the Teenage Trio were starting to steal the season early. Former I-44 Track Champion Ken Dickinson looked to be the car to beat, but problems just before midway forced him to the rear of the field. 

 On June 22nd before a standing room crowd during the Our Town Your Town event presented by the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, Williams came from the 13th starting spot and took home his third straight Late Model feature win fending off Newell and Wallace along with 15 other drivers.

 On June 29th during the Lebanon I-44 Speedway Military Appreciation Night Williams would again start back in the 13th starting spot and patiently began a charge just past half way to overtake early pace setter Jimmy VanZandt and held off JC Newell to take his 4th in a row as VanZandt would get his 1st podium finish of the season.

 On a Wednesday night special July 3rd event with a large fireworks show lined-up, Williams was looking to make the drive for 5, however local driver and last season's Sportsman Champion JC Newell of Stoutland took early command to capture his 1st ever Pro Late Model feature event as Williams and Austin Fullerton completed the Independence celebration event.

 Just when it looked as if Williams was going to make a run away with the title chase, Matt Wallace and the Mike Scott/Sportsland Accessories/Lucas Oil team regrouped and came loaded for bear with a dominating performance on the July 20th Emerson Copeland Night at the Races to record their 2nd win of the season as veteran Kansas City driver Joe Ross recorded his best finish of the season with a runner-up spot as point leader Cole Williams grabbed third place.

 On July 27th, the 1st of 4 double feature nights during the Monster Energy Chase for the Championship would see Joe Ross fast in practice and was possibly set to take home a victory, however a blown motor while leading his heat race ended his night early. In the 1st feature, Wallace came from the 13th spot to grab win number 3 and his second straight victory as CRA/JEGS regular 14 year old Jake Griffin of Quincy, Illinois grabbed the runner-up money while Brennon Willard took his first podium finish in 3rd place. Wallace's attempt for three in a row ended in the 2nd feature as Cole Williams ran down leader Austin Fullerton late in the feature to capture win number 5 as Fullerton and Wallace followed.

 Following the 5th rainout of the season, teams checked in on August 10th ready to begin the stretch drive in the Monster Energy Chase for the Cup as Wallace picked right back up passing Fullerton late in the race and was closing quickly on William's point lead in taking his 4th win of the season and 3 of the last 4 features as Fullerton and Williams followed. For the 17 year old Oklahoma driver Fullerton known as "Grasshopper", he became a member of the front running teenagers which now was named the Fab Four as the top 4 in points were all 17 years old.

 Another double-header was on tap for the Aug 17th Whelen Engineering Night at the Races as 16 Pro Late Models were ready for twin 25 lap features. While everyone was watching Williams and Wallace, it would be 14 year old Jake Griffin grabbing his 1st ever Asphalt Late Model win as he checked away from the field early and never looked back while Williams grabbed a runner-up spot and Terry Limberopolous took a podium finish. In the 2nd feature, Sleeper's own Brennon Willard survived late race yellows and Joe Ross in capturing his first ever Pro Late Model feature win as Ross and Jimmy VanZandt followed to the stripe.

 Aug.24th the Compliance Fire & Safety Night at the Races Pro Late Model feature would see the 6th different winner of the season as Jim Reaves would grab the opening lead and then survive a mid-race yellow in holding off both JC Newell and Grant Sharp. Reaves in only his second race of the season felt the competition had really picked-up this season.

 During the Coca-Cola Night at the Races on Aug.31st, Newell found himself in victory lane for the 2nd time in the 2013 season  and a solid third in the point standings as Williams and Willard followed.

 The final 2 weeks would find twin 25 lap features in the effort to get the Late Models their 18 feature events as the point difference between Williams and Wallace was tight. In the 1st feature during the United Insurors Night at the races on Sept 7th, "Grasshopper" Fullerton drove a flawless 25 lap feature ending the rough 3 week stretch in which nothing was going right. Wallace was keeping the pressure on Williams in the point chase as he got back into the podium finish with a solid runner-up spot while Williams trailed in third. The 2nd feature of the evening saw Williams back into the winner's circle with his 6th feature win of the season and his first since July 27th  while Newell and Fullerton followed.

 The season championship night featured twin 25's again as Wallace did everything he needed to do in feature number 1 with a dominating win, his 5th of the season and his 1st win in over a month. Fullerton and Brennon Willard followed as Wallace still had a shot at the title. In feature number 2, Fullerton quickly asserted himself as the car to beat while Newell tried to run him down during the caution free feature. Wallace and Williams were glued together as Wallace had to start 13th while Williams was 12th. In the chase Wallace would take the 3rd spot home with Williams in 4th giving him the Lebanon I-44 Speedway title along with the NASCAR Whelen All American Series State Championship and State Rookie Of the Year honors.

  For the 1st time since 2001, The High-Banks of I-44 were a part of the NASCAR Series again and featured Pro Late Models for the top billing class. An average of 15 cars competed in 18 features in 14 race nights with a high of 21 cars and a low of 12 cars on hand weekly. 7 different feature winners took home a Trophy. 26 different drivers checked-in the Late Model class in 2013 with Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana ,Arkansas and North Carolina being represented. This does not count Pro Late Model drivers that checked in for special events. Cole Williams will receive over $6,000 for a combination of his Lebanon I-44 Speedway championship along with his NASCAR Whelen All American Series Missouri State Championship and NASCAR State Rookie Title in Springfield, Mo. on Sat. November 23rd as 40 plus other drivers and race teams for the 2013 season will share in the $75,000 in cash and contingencies.

 For 2014 The High-Banks of the I-44 Speedway will again fly the NASCAR Whelen All American Series banner and will start the 5th season back with Short-track Asphalt Racing action featuring Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Road Warriors and Chargers.

 For more information visit the website at www.i44speedway.net and be sure to view the Facebook page to keep up to date.

 

 

O'Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models Top 10

1

   Cole Williams

   46

   Sellersburg IN

1887

2

   Matt Wallace

   6

   Concord NC

1859

3

   James Newell

   15

   Stoutland MO

1771

4

   Austin Fullerton

   20

   Chelsea OK

1650

5

   Brennon Willard

   3

   Sleeper MO

1576

6

   Jimmy Vanzandt

   67

   Fair Grove MO

1445

7

   Terry Limberopoulos

   07

   Cuba MO

1276

8

   Steve Holt

   35

   Strafford MO

1216

9

   Aaron Rouse

   42

   Fort Smith AR

1066

10

   Kaleb Allison

   47

   Mexico MO

1008

 

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About Lebanon I-44 Speedway

 

Lebanon I-44 Speedway is Missouri's only NASCAR facility and weekly Asphalt Racing Oval settled nearly 300 miles from any other and is Missouri's only NASCAR sanctioned facility. Located in Lebanon, Missouri, along Interstate 44 on Route 66 adds easy access from any direction. Just about 45 minutes to the East of Springfield, Missouri on I-44 and just 2 hours East of St. Louis on I-44 as well as just 30 minutes south of Lake of the Ozarks.

 

Lebanon I-44 Speedway has a history of producing great racecar drivers, and some of the biggest stars in American motorsports honed their skills on our tracks high banked 3/8-mile asphalt oval. Legends such as the great Larry Phillips, the only 5-time national champion in NASCAR's weekly racing series, along with NASCAR stars like Mike Wallace, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart and the late Tony Roper have either won races or even track championships over the years.     

 

Lebanon I-44 Speedway has perhaps the smoothest racing surface of any weekly racing facility in the nation along with new aluminum backed Monster Energy grandstand seating, Budweiser "Wild Side" tier parking that you can pull up in your car or tailgate in your pickup and enjoy all of the racing from a great view, the new Central Bank VIP Suites in the middle of the front stretch and entering turn one is the newest addition, the Budweiser Fan Deck.

 

Lebanon I-44 Speedway runs many special events throughout the race season as well as an exciting NASCAR weekly show that consists of Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Sportsman, Road Warriors and the Chargers with special appearances by the United States Super Truck Series, Pro National Baby Grand Cars, NASCAR racing special events and various Concerts.

 

For all of the latest information always visit 

www.i44speedway.net   

2013 Lebanon I-44 Speedway Official Partners:

NASCAR - National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

Big Surf Water Park - Preferred Amusement Park

Budweiser - Official Beer

Caddy Shack Golf Cars - Official Golf Cars

Central Bank - Preferred Banking Partner

Compliance Fire & Safety - Preferred Fire & Safety Provider

Green Earth technologies - Preferred "Totally Green" Clean Tech Company 

Hampton Inn / Lebanon - Preferred Hotel

Holiday Inn Express / Lebanon - Preferred Hotel

Hoosier Tire - Official Race Tire

K&N Engineering - Preferred Performance Filter

Mercy - Official Health Care Provider

Missouri Eagle - Official Beer, Energy Drink & Tea Supplier

Monster Energy - Official Energy Drink

O'Reilly Auto Parts - Preferred Auto Parts Store

Ozarks Coca-Cola Dr. Pepper - Official Supplier: Soft Drinks, Water, Sports Drinks

Peace Tea - Official Tea

Racing Electronics - Official Communications Supplier

Safety-Kleen - Preferred Environmental Services Company

Springfield Yamaha - Official UTV & ATV Supplier

Sunoco - Official Racing Fuel

Super 8 / Lebanon - Preferred Hotel

 

2013 Lebanon I-44 Speedway Supporting Partners:

Advanced Electric & Communications, Auto Body Supply, Auto Meter, Commerce Bank, Cometic Gaskets, Contingency Connection, Dickies Barbecue, Emerson Climate Technologies, Energy Companies, ESPN Radio, E-Z Disposal, Graven Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Headley's Value Tire Center, Helton's Home Furnishings, Heritage Bank, Home Depot, Independent Stave Inc., JEGS, KZNN Superstation, Lebanon Ready Mix, Liberty Tire, Lindsay Auto Group, McGunegill Engine Performance, Missouri Tool & Automation, Owens Sandblasting, Ozarks Harley Davidson, Regional Radio - KJEL, Reliable Toyota, Rock Auto, Royal Purple, Shadel's Colonial Chapel, Sherwin Williams, Show Me Guns, Sprint, Starnes Auto, Totally You, Toyota Motorsports, Unilever, United Insurors, US Foods, Waffle House, Whelen Engineering, Willard Asphalt, Z102.3 Radio, 107.9 The Coyote

Lebanon I-44 Speedway

Kevin Greven 

General Manager 

lebanoni44speedway@yahoo.com

24069 Route 66

Lebanon, MO 65536 

Track (417) 532-2060

Cell (417) 399-5756

Fax (417) 532-7624 

Lebanon I-44 Speedway

Jordan Kuehne
I-44 Speedway Public Relations Director
I-44 Speedway Writer/Trackside Announcer

Racing Online Columnist

www.racingonline.com

speedwayjordan@yahoo.com

(815)601-5673 (Cell)

jordo99 (Twitter)