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Lebanon,Mo-The high-banks of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway is set to begin the Silver Anniversary season of local racing on March 29th as the United States Modified Touring Series rolls into the speedway as the Fastest Modifieds on Dirt will tackle the tough local area competition.
Drivers from 6-7 states are expected to be on hand as 8 time National Champion Kelly Shryrock of Fertile,Iowa,Jason Hughes Of Colcord,Oklahoma,Jon Tesch of South Dakota,Zack Vanderbeek of Iowa,Al \\\”A Train\\\” Henja Of Iowa and many others will tackle the local Casey General Stores USRA Modified Local talent such as defending I-44 USRA Champion Tony Jackson Jr of Lebanon,David Hendrix of Buckhorn,2006 Kingpin Justin Neuman of Waynesville,2004 I-44 Mod Champion Eric Hudson of Rolla and many others.
Action will also feature the FactoryStocks,B-Mods and Bombers.
Gates will open at 5PM with hotlaps to start at 6:45 and Racing at 7:30 Sharp.
Admission for both the Grandstands and Tier Parking is $15.00 for adults children 13-15 are $5 and 12 and under are Free.
For more information contact Randy Mooneyham at 417-732-2766 or visit the website at www.LebanonI44Speedway.net
Lebanon,Mo.-Officials at the high-banks of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway have announced that the World Of Outlaw LateModel date set for April 26th has been moved to Sat Night May 3rd.
The World Of Outlaws will be battling the Stars-N-Cars Of The MARS Series that evening.
This was requested as a conflict with the scheduling of the World Of Outlaw LateModel Series.
The I-44 Speedway will be hosting an action packed schedule in 2008 as the Speedway host its Silver Anniversary Season of Stockcar Racing.
For more information contact Promoter Randy Mooneyham at 417-224-7074 or visit the newly designed website at www.lebanonI44Speedway.net
With a passion for local area racing and a downward swing in the local area racing,Lebanon Businessman and racefan Bill Willard decided it was time to set the pace for local racing and with some land he owned right off of Historic Rt 66 and I-44 began the building of the then state of the art I-44 Speedway.
During the late part of 1982 and the winter of 1983,land was cleared,dirt was put down and the foundation for a 3/8ths mile clay oval was formed.
Bill constructed a dirttrack that was both fan and driver friendly.After taking many notes from his travels to many different tracks,Bill would take shorttrack racing to a new level constructing pits on the outside of the track,a self service quick moving concession area,a parking lot to where the fans had strong lighting to find there cars afterwards and a picture perfect setting with hillsides to be able to view of An Ozark setting.
After over 3 weeks of having to delay the opening,it was in May the track opened before an estimated crowd of 5,000 with MonettSpeedway promoter Randy Monneyham leading the opening season with the track featuring LateModels,Sportsman and StreetStocks.
Fans were treated to an asphalt sloped hillside with long benched-back seats and plenty of leg room for all.
The Speedway also held it\’s first special event in the fall with a 2 day format and drivers from over 5 states competing for a 5,000 to win purse.Some young hotshoe named Billy Moyer outran the local track kingpin Ken Essary and area hotsohe Larry Phillips to grab the victory and special events were a popular term with the fans.
In 1985-The term high-banks became the term as Bill who felt the need to do something different with the track to attract new crowds and drivers took the corners from a semi-banked 8 degrees to the over 20 degrees providing consistant 3 wide racing.1985 also brought a new class to the Speedway as the IMCA Modified division was introduce to the crowd.The new High-Banks also broght in a talented field in StreetStock Racing as 2 young guns named Rex McCroskey and Bill Frye fought for the title and a driver named Mike Wallace became a regular racer at I-44.The season also saw the first of what was known as a sanctioned event as the NDRA made the visit to I-44 before a crowd estimated of close to 5700 plus with Willy Kraft nipping Larry Phillips for the win in the tracks first ever 100 lap feature.
During 1986-Bill trimmed down the High-Banks and Randy Mooneyham returned as promoter as the track offered strong weekly shows and several sanctioned and independent specials with the USAC LateModels and NCRA LateModels competing.
The Speedway continued strong with Open LateModels,Sportsman,StreetStocks and Modifieds on the weekly shows as the reputation was if you could win at I-44 you could win most anywhere and special events always brought large crowds and talented drivers.
In 1988-The World Of Outlaw LateModels raced before the 3rd largest crowd at I-44 up to that time.
Bill was always a man of vision and was seeing the trend change.During that winter of 1988 and 1989,he laid asphalt down and put back the high-banks at over 20 degrees and brought the Nascar Weekly Racing Series to the area.
While a young driver named Kirk Shaw won the track title,it was veteran Larry Phillips who brought attention to I-44 as he won the Nascar National Championship.
In 1990-The track made the LateModels put on what was called-Stockcar Bodies and Mike Wallace won the Mid-America Regional Championship as drivers competed hard to finish in the top 10 of the region.Wallace would gather a Busch Series Ride later that season at Martisville and climbed to finish 6th in the Race.1990-also saw the USAC SprintCars compete with names like Rich Volger,Bettenhauser,Steve Butler and others compete.The track also hosted some 100 lap specials with Nascar Drivers Ted Musgrave,Rick Carrelli,Rich Bickle and others compete.
The 1990 season was also the opening of tier parking or what we call\”The WildSide\”where tailgating became very popular.
1991-would see the independent specials go by the wayside as the ARTGO Series competed with NASCAR\’S Ken Schrader competing before a packed house as the car count continued to grow.
It was in 1992 that Bill redesigned the banking of I-44 to make it where the drivers would just run on the top of the track and changed it to a progessive banking-this provided plenty of 2-3 wide racing.
In 1993-Nascar\’s Race of Champions came to the speedway before the largest crowd ever as over 7,000 people were in attendance to see Rusty Walace,Ken Schrader,Kenny Wallace,Harry Gant,Micheal Waltrip,and Rick Wilson compete in a 20 lap exhibition race along with an autograph session.
The Speedway continued as an Asphalt track with drivers such as Tony Stewart,Johnny Parsons,Matt Kenseth,Steve Carlson,Tony Roper and other top named drivers would leave there tire tracks on the I-44 Asphalt
Larry Phillips captured 5 Nascar National Titles with 3 coming from I-44.
1997-Jamie McMurray captured the LateModel title and would later moved on to the Nascar ranks while Carl Edwards was making his name at I-44 in 2002 in the BabyGrand Division-this lead to the St Louis Nascar Truck team of the Mittler Bros to give Carl a shot.
Bill Willard passed away on May 27,2002 at the age of 71.
In the winter of 2004,Randy Mooneyham took back over control of the High-banks and brough dirt back over the Asphalt.Traveling circuits such as the MARS Series,ASCS Sprints,WOW 360 Sprints,USMTS Modifieds and the World of Outlaw LateModels have competed on the High-Banks.Currently the track sanctions the LateModel through the UMP sanction and the Modified through USRA out of Iowa.This allows drivers to compete for national championships with drivers all over the United States.
Billed as the fastest 3/8ths mile oval,it was in 2006 that Billy Moyer would blister the old Asphalt record during the World of Outlaw show.THe old track record was set at 14.198 and Moyer turned the oval at 13.670.
For the Silver Anniversay season-I-44 will provide an action packed schedule featuring the World Of Outlaw LateModels,WOW 360 Sprints,USMTS Modifieds,THe DLRA and MARS LateModel Series along with the MRSA LateModels.
Lebanon,Mo.-It started 25 years ago as racefan and local businessman Bill Willard saw a need for local area racing as it was on a downward slide.
Bill had some land right off Historic Route 66 and Interstate 44,jumped on his dozer and began moving trees,brush and everythingelse to create the then state of the art I-44 Speedway.
Bill always took notes when visiting other racetracks and jotted down what he felt fans and drivers needed.
After a 3 week delay due to weather,the gates were opened to a beautiful 3/8th mile red clay oval track with comfortable benched seats,easy parking, a 5000 seating capacity and set the trend for shorttracks over all America to follow.
Opening night saw 3 classes of racecars-Open LateModels,Sportsman(Limited LateModels) and Streetstocks with over 80 cars total check into the pits and compete before a capacity crowd.
Opening night winners would find Rex McCroskey take his Chevelle home with the win in the Streetstock class.
Veteran racer Dave Williams of Springfield was the class of the Sportsman class grabbing the opening night win and in the LateModel division,Bobby Menzie battled Moe Miller hard for the win in the LateModel class pulling off the upset over a stellar field.
Fans were treated to leaning back in the spaced out benched backed bleachers and history was in the making as Sat night was found this the place to be as Randy Mooneyham promoted the track in its 1st season.
This season the High-banks of the I-44 Speedway will celebrate 25 years of local Racing with an action packed schedule.
The Speedway has announced 2 schedule changes as May 31st will be a regular points show.THe first draft of the scheduled listed the track being off that night.
The Speedway has also announced that the popular Show-Me Racin Series LateModels will be battling in action in a return apperance on Sat Night May 10th along with regular action for the support classes.
The season opener is scheduled for Sat Night March 29th as the popular USMTS Modified Series rolls into the High-banks of the I-44 Speedway as the Greatest Modified show on dirt takes to the clay along with FactoryStocks and B-Mods.A practice night is set for Sat night March 22nd as the season long points battle for the Central Bank I-44 Racing Series will start on April 5th with the regular show consisting of UMP LateModels,USRA A-Mods,FactoryStocks,B-Mods,Bombers, and Rookies.
Special apperances will feature the WOW 360 Sprints,the DLRA LateModels along with the MARS LateModels,The World Of Outlaw LateModels,USMTS Modifieds and Superstocks and 305 Winged Sprints on a limited schedule.
For more information on the I-44 Speedway visit the website at www.lebanonI44Speedway.net or contact Randy Mooneyham at 417-224-7074