May 5, 2021
Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Veteran USRA Modified driver Pursley off and running in 2021
WHEATLAND, MO. (May 5, 2021) - Last season can be summed up succinctly for one of Lucas Oil Speedway’s most consistent drivers over the years.
“Very frustrating,” said Jason Pursley, the veteran Modified driver from Hermitage. “About the worst year we’ve had, forever. Lots of things went wrong. We had electrical issues and that kind of got started us off bad and we fought that for five or six weeks. We were just ready for a change and Tom was ready for a change. He went and picked up this car.”
Tom is Tom Campbell, the team’s car owner. Campbell and Pursley have been teamed up for a dozen years and the duo is off to a flying start in 2021, with a new MB Customs chassis. On the strength of feature finishes of second, fourth and sixth, Pursley leads the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified points chase entering Saturday night’s Round 4 of the Big Adventure Weekly Racing Series.
“We got (the car) towards end of last year and had about five races on it entering this season,” Pursley said. “It’s a different feel than what we were used to. So far, it’s been really consistent. When you make a change to the car, no matter how small, you can feel it. So far, so good.”
Except at the “Battle of the Bullring” at Humboldt Speedway in late March, where Pursley said “we kind of got our butts kicked and came back home and changed everything but the driver and he was next. We’re pretty happy so far at Lucas.”
“Mike Striegel gave me a couple of ideas that he learned on his MB Custom. We talked to a few other people. Darron Fuqua helped us with some ideas. We put it all together and so far, so good.”
Pursley said having a car owner like Campbell has been a blessing. It’s rare that a driver and team owner have such a long-standing partnership.
“We’re good friends and we work good together,” Pursley said. “My personality and his personality goes well together. We both want to do well and do as good as we can but if we have a bad night, it’s not the end of the world either. Tom is real sensible in that aspect.”
Pursley’s frustration in 2020 saw him salvage a top-five in Lucas Oil Speedway points despite zero top-five feature finishes. Pursley has three runner-up finishes in points since 2015, along with a third and a pair of fourths.
Known as “The Racing Principal,” Pursley said finally winning a Lucas Oil Speedway championship is an obvious goal but that it’s way too early to focus on that.
“Right now you just want to get top-fives,” Pursley said. “We just want to be competitive and towards the front every week. Eventually I would like to win the points championship, just because I’ve been second like 20 times. But you don’t worry about points until the last quarter of the season. If you do, it makes racing not enjoyable as you have stress every week.
“For now, you just do what you can and when you get down to it, we’ll worry about it at that point. We just want to be competitive with our speed and be in the top five every week. Then if you can do that little extra and get a couple of wins, it’ll be a successful season.”
Pursley has added a new sponsor this season, joining Campbell and longtime sponsors Fugate Motors and Carson’s Corner NAPA Auto Parts. Ozarks Community Health Center out of Hermitage came aboard this season. Pursley, completing his 17th year as Principal at Hickory County R1 Skyline Elementary, has worked closely with OCHC the last few years.
“Scott Crouch is the CEO and they do a lot for the schools,” Pursley said. “They have a behavior specialist they send to the schools along with ‘Miles for Smiles,’ a mobile dental unit to the schools providing dental care for hundreds of kids for free. I’m used to working with them and one thing led to another. I think it’s gonna be a really good partnership.”
A younger Pursley, Jason’s 18-year-old son Dayton, also is off to a good racing start. Dayton is seventh in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B Mod points.
“He’s getting there. He really developed last year,” Jason said of Dayton. “I really look for him to get a win this year. He’s doing a good job, keeping his nose pretty clean and showing some speed.”
Lucas Oil Speedway resumes action on Saturday night with NMI/VMG Marketing and Wild Animal Safari Presenting the action. Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds will run a special 25-lap, $1,000-to-win feature to highlight the program. Metal Buildings ULMA Late Models, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods and O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars also are on the schedule.
In honor of Mother's Day Weekend, all Mom's will be admitted free courtesy of NMI/VMG Marketing and Wild Animal Safari.
Fans can take in Saturday's action from a VIP Suite on the third level overlooking the front straightaway, as a limited number of individual tickets are available priced at $24 apiece. All VIP Suite seats must be pre-paid and can be reserved by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984.
The suite offers prime viewing from inside, where the temperature is climate-controlled, or an outside seating area. Food and drinks are not included in the ticket price, though a host/hostess will be available to take food and drink orders throughout the evening.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and opening ceremonies at 7:05.
(*Mothers admitted FREE)
Adults (16 and over) - $12
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $9
Youth (ages 6-15) - $5
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family pass - $30
Pit pass - $30
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.
Find additional information on NMI/VMG Marketing at ViettiMarketing.com and Wild Animal Safari at AnimalSafari.com.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984
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Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.
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 LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.
In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway
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 ninth season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other 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 ULMA Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
2021 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Mowers of Lucas Oil Speedway"
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Battery" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official 2-Way Communications Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway
2021 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
Advanced Automotive Repair, AM Pyrotechnics, Angler's Resort, Arizona Sport Shirts, Ash Grove Aggregates, Ball Tree Service, Benton County Tire, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick, Bolivar Auto Sales & Detailing, Bolivar Farmers Exchange-MFA, Boone's BBQ Barn, Boubin Tire/American Racer, Branstetter & Lightfoot LLC, Bridal Cave, BWI Sanitation, Camden on the Lake Resort, Candlelight Creations-Dick's Wild Root Horseradish, Casey's General Stores, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, CED Electric, Central Life Sciences, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Comfort Inn-Bolivar,DirtonDirt.com, Dixie Chopper, Eibach Springs, Evans Pipe & Steel Co., Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Heritage Tractor Inc., Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Highway 54 RV Park, Hobbytime Motorsports, Hoosier Race Tires, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, LimeBank, Lucas Cattle Company, McCoy Logging LLC, Merck Animal Health, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Land Co. LLC, Missouri Metal Buildings, Missouri Welding Institute (MWI), MyRacePass, Nemo Quarry, NMI/VMG Marketing Group, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PFI Western Store, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, ProThings Apparel, RACEceiver, Racinboys.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Rod End Supply, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Rugged Radios, Ryan E. Murphy Law Firm LLC, SBU Athletics, Safety Kleen, Schlesselman Fencing, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Square B Ranch, Stillwater Resort, Stover Milling, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sunflower Resort, Superior Products, TA/PETRO, Transportation Distribution Co. (TDC), US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wild Animal Safari, Windsor Livestock Auction, Woods Supermarkets, Wrisco Industries, ZINPRO Performance Minerals.