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Wells rallies for Late Model feature win in Night One of Lucas Oil Speedway’s Fall Brawl

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WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 22, 2023) – Justin Wells patiently waited before making a bold pass for the lead on lap 24 and pulled away from there to earn the State Tech Hermitage Lumber Late Model feature on Night One of the Fall Brawl Presented by SMC.

Wells, of Aurora, earned $2,000 for his 11th feature win of 2023 at Lucas Oil Speedway. He will take aim for the $4,000 prize in Saturday’s finale, a program that has been moved to a 1 p.m. start due to a forecast of rain in the evening. Grandstand gates open at noon.

In the Springfield Mechanical Services Inc. POWRi Pure Stock Shootout, Mason Beck captured the feature win to take home $500. The payout on Saturday night for the SMSI Power Stock Shootout will be $1,500 to win.

Also earning feature triumphs on Friday were Brandon Jordan (Show-Me Vintage Racers Series) and Matthew Hirst (the American Iron Racing Series).

While Wells trailed until late in Friday’s 30-lapper, he wound up living up his his billing as the man to beat after capturing the Hermitage Lumber Late Model track championship in the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series.

Wells said he looks forward to chasing double the money on Saturday and isn’t worried about different track conditions that could develop from a day-time race.

“They always provide a good track,” Wells said. “There was two or three grooves out there tonight. Johnny (Fennewald) and the 81 (Jimmy Dowell), we were three-wide for the lead. No matter what you get thrown at you, it’s always pretty good. I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Dowell beat fellow front-row starter Fennewald to the lead on lap one and set a quick pace, opening a 1.4-second lead after five laps with Wells trailing in third. Fennewald started to cut into the margin as the leaders found lapped traffic and was just two car lengths behind by lap nine when the first caution flew.

Dowell repelled Fennewald’s bid for the lead on the restart and was able to regain a one-second margin by lap 16 when another caution appeared. This time the restart went Fennewald’s way as he surged to the lead in turn two and Wells followed him past Dowell down the backstretch.

That set it up for a Fennewald-Wells battle the rest of the way. Wells made a bold dive into the low portion of turn four to take the top spot on lap 24. Wells said it was go-time.

“I think Johnny and I was both hanging back there just a little bit because the track was gonna keep the speed or maybe pick up,” Wells said. “I got the chance on that caution and then Johnny kind of squeezed me there and got me in the wall.

“I thought, you know what, we’re gonna man up and get this done and that’s what I done.”

Wells drove away from there for a 3.5-second win over Fennewald. Tucker Cox rallied for third with JC Morton fourth and Larry Jones fifth. Dowell faded to sixth.

Early start on Saturday: The Saturday portion of the Fall Brawl has been moved to earlier in the day due to a forecast of rain and possible severe weather starting early in the evening. Pit gates will open at 11 a.m. Saturday with grandstands at noon, hot laps at 12:30 p.m. and racing at 1.

Beck takes SMSI Pure Stock Shootout: Mason Beck of Urbana led all 20 laps and held off Mark Simon of Buffalo for the SMSI POWRi Pure Stock Shootout win on opening night, taking home the $500 first prize.

“This is my car that was my dad’s old car,” Beck said. “He and my uncle built it back in the ’90s. I figured we’d bust it out one weekend. It’s still good, but barely good enough.

“Simon was good. He was there the whole time. We’ve raced all year in the (USRA) Stock Cars together. I knew the only way he was gonna beat me was to go above me and I wasn’t gonna get off those tires” on the low side.

Beck led the way from his pole-position starting spot and had a 1.1-second lead in the early going, but Simon closed in on his bumper by lap six. By the midpoint on lap 10, Bobby Brown was a close third with Robert High and Robert White rounding out the top five – all separated by a second.

The leaders caught lapped traffic on lap 13 with Beck able to stave off a Simon bid for the lead off turn two. Beck hung onto the lead until finally clearing lapped traffic coming to the white flag and he took it to the checkered by two car lengths over Simon for his 14th overall victory of the season.

White wound up third with High fourth and Darin Porter fifth in a race that ran caution-free after an opening-lap yellow led to a complete restart.

Jordan captures SMVR win: Brandon Jordan of Pineville, Mo., led wire-to-wire to capture the Show-Me Vintage Racing Series feature by a narrow margin over Bob Werkmeister of Omaha, Neb.

“My car owner Doug Perry, I called him Doug the Legend Perry,” Jordan said. “It’s guys like him that keep racing alive. He was racing these cars with his dad when they were late models. That made his pretty much stock, ’41 Ford straight axle car as fast as any of them.”

Jordan rolled to the top spot on the opening lap and Werkmeister gave chase, with third-place Lawrence Waters four seconds behind the leaders by lap six.

The caution-free race saw Jordan work his way smoothly through lapped traffic as Werkmeister continued to run right behind, all the way to the checkers. Jordan prevailed by a diminishing car length at the finish, the official margin being .249 seconds.

Tom Charles came home in third with Waters fourth and Damon Clevenger fifth.

AIRS feature goes to Hirst: Matthew Hirst of Davenport, Iowa, led all 15 laps and held off a late challenge from Travis Heier to capture the American Iron Racing Series feature.

Hirst started up front and opened up a 1.6-second lead over Heier when a caution flew on lap eight. Heier closed in after the restart as the top two broke away from third-place Daniel Wauters by about eight car lengths.

Hirst and Heier were side-by-side for most of the final two laps, but Hirst was able to hang on by a half second to earn the win.

“This is a tribute car to (Iowa driver) Roger Dolan,” Hirst said. “Roger was a champion back in the ’70s and ’80, a fantastic race-car driver. My dad was and is great friends with him.

Bart Miller finished third with Wauters fourth and Scott Tiedt taking fifth after starting 12th

Saturday admission:

Advance Discount Tickets online only (16 and up) – $17

Adults (16 and up) – $20

Seniors (62 and up)/Military – $17

Youth (6-15) – $10

Kids (5 and under) – FREE

Family Pass – $50

Pit Pass – $40


State Tech Hermitage Lumber Late Models

A Feature – 1. 98-Justin Wells[3]; 2. 21-Johnny Fennewald[1]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[6]; 4. 72-JC Morton[11]; 5. 99-Larry Jones[5]; 6. 81-Jimmy Dowell[2]; 7. 14-Kyle Graves[12]; 8. 1A-Bryon Allison[4]; 9. 5-Tommy Cordray[16]; 10. 82-Jace Parmley[13]; 11. 90-Joe Walkenhorst[19]; 12. 73-Francisco Escamila[15]; 13. 7J-Jake Morris[14]; 14. 6-Bob Cummings[17]; 15. (DNF) 15-Bobby Ruff II[8]; 16. (DNF) 21P-Darren Phillips[9]; 17. (DNF) 40-Josh Newman[18]; 18. (DNF) 28-Jim Greenway[7]; 19. (DNF) 13-Shawn Whitman[20]; 20. (DNF) 51-Larry Ferris[10]

Wasoba Seed & Trucking Heat 1 – 1. 1A-Bryon Allison[1]; 2. 21-Johnny Fennewald[8]; 3. 15-Bobby Ruff II[2]; 4. 21P-Darren Phillips[6]; 5. 72-JC Morton[4]; 6. 51-Larry Ferris[9]; 7. 7J-Jake Morris[5]; 8. 73-Francisco Escamila[10]; 9. 40-Josh Newman[7]; 10. (DNF) 90-Joe Walkenhorst[3]

Reed Environmental and Dirt Track Specialist Heat 2 – 1. 98-Justin Wells[2]; 2. 81-Jimmy Dowell[6]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[5]; 4. 99-Larry Jones[9]; 5. 28-Jim Greenway[10]; 6. 14-Kyle Graves[1]; 7. 82-Jace Parmley[3]; 8. 5-Tommy Cordray[8]; 9. 6-Bob Cummings[4]; 10. (DNF) 13-Shawn Whitman[7]

SMSI POWRi Pure Stock Shootout

A Feature – 1. 5-Mason Beck[1]; 2. 23-Mark Simon[3]; 3. 99-Robert White[7]; 4. 42-Robert High[13]; 5. 21-Darin Porter[6]; 6. 71-Chris Tonoli[11]; 7. 30-Trevor Wilson[2]; 8. 05G-Grayson McKiney[4]; 9. 7G-Shannon Geller[15]; 10. 23R-Jeff Reid[19]; 11. 88-Chris Messerli[16]; 12. 92-Josh Payton[14]; 13. 17-Shayne Healea[9]; 14. 25-Dale Senters[17]; 15. 07-Jordan Goddard[18]; 16. (DNF) 12-Greg Dykstra[8]; 17. (DNF) 27D-Dominick Dattoli[20]; 18. (DNF) 54-Dennis Crenshaw[21]; 19. (DNF) 216-Payton McDowell[10]; 20. (DNF) 20-Robbie Jones[12]; 21. (DNS) 3-Jerry Wheeler; 22. (DQ) 136-Bobby Brown[5]

Heat 1 – 1. 23-Mark Simon[4]; 2. 99-Robert White[2]; 3. 216-Payton McDowell[3]; 4. 71-Chris Tonoli[6]; 5. 42-Robert High[7]; 6. 25-Dale Senters[5]; 7. 07-Jordan Goddard[1]; 8. 23R-Jeff Reid[8]

Heat 2 – 1. 5-Mason Beck[5]; 2. 21-Darin Porter[1]; 3. 17-Shayne Healea[2]; 4. 12-Greg Dykstra[7]; 5. 92-Josh Payton[6]; 6. (DNF) 27D-Dominick Dattoli[4]; 7. (DNS) 3-Jerry Wheeler

Heat 3 – 1. 30-Trevor Wilson[5]; 2. 05G-Grayson McKiney[7]; 3. 136-Bobby Brown[6]; 4. 20-Robbie Jones[3]; 5. 7G-Shannon Geller[2]; 6. 88-Chris Messerli[4]; 7. (DNS) 54-Dennis Crenshaw

Show-Me Vintage Racing Series

A Feature – 1. 2 D-Brandon Jordan[3]; 2. 32W-Bob Werkmeister[5]; 3. 81-Tom Charles[11]; 4. 54-Lawrence Waters[7]; 5. 6-Damon Clevenger[9]; 6. 113-Jim Thorne[10]; 7. 1A-Rodney Ashworth[2]; 8. 14-Mickie Cook[12]; 9. 9D-Bryant Moyer[4]; 10. 88-John Martin[15]; 11. 711-Darrell Doerr[22]; 12. 8-Rocky Rhodes[13]; 13. 58T-Jeff Triggs[17]; 14. 58-Beth Martin[16]; 15. 44-Terry Price[19]; 16. 42-Rob Brash[21]; 17. 08-Dan Schmidt[1]; 18. 48-Kevin Anderson[18]; 19. 72-WIlliam Holohan[24]; 20. 1-Angela Ashworth[23]; 21. (DNF) 3-Ed Neil[20]; 22. (DNF) 09-Chad Eickleberry[8]; 23. (DNF) 2B-Brian Cox[6]; 24. (DNF) 35-BILL BERENS[14]

Heat 1 – 1. 2 D-Brandon Jordan[3]; 2. 32W-Bob Werkmeister[5]; 3. 54-Lawrence Waters[7]; 4. 1A-Rodney Ashworth[2]; 5. 9D-Bryant Moyer[4]; 6. 08-Dan Schmidt[1]; 7. (DNF) 2B-Brian Cox[6]; 8. (DNF) 09-Chad Eickleberry[8]

Heat 2 – 1. 6-Damon Clevenger[1]; 2. 81-Tom Charles[3]; 3. 113-Jim Thorne[2]; 4. 14-Mickie Cook[4]; 5. 88-John Martin[7]; 6. 8-Rocky Rhodes[5]; 7. 35-Bill Berens [6]; 8. 3-Ed Neil[8]

Heat 3 – 1. 711-Darrell Doerr[4]; 2. 58T-Jeff Triggs[2]; 3. 48-Kevin Anderson[5]; 4. 44-Terry Price[3]; 5. 42-Rob Brash[6]; 6. 72-WIlliam Holohan[8]; 7. 1-Angela Ashworth[7]; 8. (DNS) 58-Beth Martin

American Iron Racing Series (AIRS)

A Feature – 1. 51-Matthew Hirst[1]; 2. 68-Travis Heier[5]; 3. 501-Bart Miller[10]; 4. 31-Daniel Wauters[4]; 5. 80-Scott Tiedt[12]; 6. 01-Doak Allen[6]; 7. 22Q-Tracy Quigley[7]; 8. 5-Brian Gade[11]; 9. 17SR-Ron Cook[9]; 10. 42-Bruce Yoerger[13]; 11. 29-Owen Hayes[8]; 12. P 51-Dave Bielenberg[17]; 13. 23-Lisa Miller[15]; 14. A1-John Fish[16]; 15. (DNF) 11-Jake Hayes[2]; 16. (DNF) 16-Robin Atkins[3]; 17. (DNF) 2-Domanic McNabb[14]

Heat 1 – 1. 501-Bart Miller[2]; 2. 11-Jake Hayes[4]; 3. 68-Travis Heier[1]; 4. 01-Doak Allen[5]; 5. 17SR-Ron Cook[3]; 6. 5-Brian Gade[8]; 7. 2-Domanic McNabb[7]; 8. 23-Lisa Miller[6]; 9. P 51-Dave Bielenberg[9]

Heat 2 – 1. 51-Matthew Hirst[2]; 2. 16-Robin Atkins[3]; 3. 31-Daniel Wauters[4]; 4. 22Q-Tracy Quigley[1]; 5. 29-Owen Hayes[6]; 6. 80-Scott Tiedt[7]; 7. 42-Bruce Yoerger[5]; 8. A1-John Fish[8]

For information on any event at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2023 contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information.


Danny Lorton

Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager

Office: (417) 282-5984


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