Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ULMA Poised for Ten-Year Anniversary Season!

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The 2016 season marks two significant anniversaries for the all-volunteer-ran United Late Model Association (ULMA). First and foremost, officials recently learned that Lucas Cattle Company will return for its fifth-consecutive year as the association’s title sponsor.

“There are no words to describe the importance of having a solid business partner in this business and we are honored to again be teamed with Gary and Jan Hubert and the Lucas Cattle Company for another year of racing,” stated ULMA officials. The Cattle Company first partnered with ULMA as title sponsor in 2012.

The second significant anniversary for ULMA is that the 2016 season marks the association’s tenth year in existence. First formed in the fall of 2006 and with the first race coming a short time later in the spring of 2007, eight different drivers have earned the title of champion with just one repeat champion.

From day one, ULMA has focused on utilizing one set of unified rules at tracks running Late Models during their race program. From 2007 to 2015, the association sanctioned 419 events at various racing venues throughout Missouri and Eastern Kansas, helping to expand the footprint of Late Model racing.

ULMA recently unveiled its most expansive schedule to date with 53 championship points-earning nights available for drivers to choose from in 2016. Drivers accumulate points towards the title keeping their best overall 15 best points-earning nights throughout the year towards the title chase.

Drivers have a chance to compete at eight different venues in 2016, which is a record number of participating tracks in one season. These race venues include Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri; Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri; Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Missouri; Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg, Missouri; Double XX Speedway in California, Missouri; Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas; I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri; and for the first time since 2012, Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Missouri as part of the Missouri State Fair.

The State Fair race presents a unique opportunity for past champions to return to ULMA competition for a special one off night of competition under the lights and big stage of the half-mile track in Sedalia. Over the off-season, ULMA officials met with the race organizer who stated he liked what he saw with ULMA and wanted to know if the association was interested in being a part of the fair week racing when the ASCS National Sprint Car Tour pays a visit. However, there was an interesting twist to the association’s participation, and that was the organizer wanted two eight-car heat races and a 16-car main event. It was then up to ULMA officials to come up with a plan to accommodate the promoter’s wishes.

Association officials announced the event will be a non-points earning “Invitational” race with the first eight invitations going to past ULMA champions. Drivers eligible for a guaranteed starting spots on the grid include Brett Rollert (2007), Jason Bodenhamer (2008), Kevin Kaiser (2009), Vance Wilson (2010), Rylan Long (2011), Jason Russell (2012/2013), Jon Binning (2014), and Jon Melloway (2015). ULMA will set a deadline for these drivers to either accept or not accept this invitation.

To complete the roster of remaining participants, ULMA officials will use the championship standings, with a cutoff date to be announced, to complete the 16-car field of drivers to compete in this first-of-its-kind and prestigious race at the ‘Historic Half Mile’ in Sedalia. Drivers will draw for starting positions on the night of the race with the passing points system determining the main event lineup.

The coming season begins on Friday, April 1st at Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Missouri. In fact, the first two points-earning events of the season take place in Fulton. The third event of the new year marks the association’s inaugural visit to I-35 Speedway in Winston, Missouri. Over the past few years, owners and promoters Mike and Kyle Johnson have re-established the venue as one of the premiere venues in the Kansas City area.

ULMA is also excited to have a handful of events at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Last season’s inaugural winner at the venue during a season-ending event was Aaron Marrant. This event was a non-points earning race and therefore Marrant remains eligible for competing for the 2016 ULMA Rookie of the Year. ULMA recently learned Marrant will compete in a ULMA Late Model throughout the season in hopes of claiming not only the Hoosier Tire Midwest Rookie of the Year title but the overall title as well.

Last season, Jon Melloway and Todd McCoin raced to the wire in a furious battle for the ULMA title and once again the duo both have plans to contend for the ten-year anniversary title. Former champion Jon Binning is expected to claim a second title and a number of familiar names from previous years and former race winners are also ready to add their name to the list of title hopefuls including Chris Cox, Justin Russell, Chris Smyser, last year’s Rookie of the Year Dustin Hodges, Cody Holtkamp, Lane Ehlert, Bobby Penny, and Tommy Cordray to name a few.

ULMA will again team up with Hoosier Tire Midwest to remain the association’s official tire vendor. As the season draws near, ULMA will make a future announcement regarding the availability of tires that may be purchased from the association, each tire sold through ULMA helps the driver’s point fund.

Tragedy struck the ULMA family during the off-season as the region lost one of the most well-respected drivers when Jake Williams of Lockwood, Missouri, lost his life in an accident. Williams, a previous ULMA winner will be honored by the association with the running of the Jake Williams Memorial Triple Crown Shootout, which constitutes four straight days of racing centered around the Independence Day weekend. For the third-consecutive year RacinDirt.com will serve as the event’s presenting sponsor. Drivers have the opportunity to compete over four straight nights of racing at four venues in a mini points-earning series in which drivers will keep their three best finishes to count towards the Triple Crown Shootout title.

For a printable schedule and printable copies of the association’s rules and regulations, be sure to visit www.ulmaracing.com. During the race season the association is also active on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ULMA-United-Late-Model-Association. ULMA’s outstanding group of season sponsors includes Lucas Cattle Company, Hoosier Tire Midwest, Radical Race Wear, FastShafts.com, RacingJunk.com, RacinDirt.com, and Photographics by Shelly Payne.

2016 ULMA Schedule (Subject to Change)
53 points-earning races, 2 non-points events, at 8 different venues.
Friday, April 1 – Callaway Raceway
Friday, April 8 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 9 – I-35 Speedway
Friday, April 15 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 16 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, April 22 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 23 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, April 23 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, April 29 – Lakeside Speedway
Saturday, April 30 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, May 6 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 7 – Central Missouri Speedway
Saturday, May 7 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, May 13 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 14 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, May 20 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 21 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, May 27 – Callaway Raceway
Friday, May 27 – Lakeside Speedway
Saturday, May 28 – Randolph County Raceway
Sunday, May 29 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, June 3 – Callaway Raceway
Friday, June 10 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, June 11 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, June 17 – Callaway Raceway
Friday, June 17 – Lakeside Speedway
Saturday, June 18 – Central Missouri Speedway
Saturday, June 18 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, June 24 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, June 25 – Lucas Oil Speedway
JAKE WILLIAMS MEMORIAL TRIPLE CROWN SHOOTOUT (TCS) WEEKEND, PRESENTED BY RACINDIRT.COM
TCS Thursday, June 30 – Lucas Oil Speedway
TCS Friday, July 1 – Lakeside Speedway
TCS Saturday, July 2 – Randolph County Raceway
TCS Sunday, July 3 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, July 8 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, July 9 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Sunday, July 10 – Double XX Speedway (Tentative)
Friday, July 15 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, July 16 – Randolph County Raceway
Saturday, July 16 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, July 22 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, July 23 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, July 23 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, July 29 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, July 30 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, August 5 – Callaway Raceway
Friday, August 5 – Lakeside Speedway
Friday, August 12 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, August 13 – Central Missouri Speedway
Saturday, August 20 – Lucas Oil Speedway
**Sunday, August 21 – Missouri State Fair Speedway (Non-points event)
Saturday, August 27 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Sunday, September 4 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, September 9 – Lakeside Speedway
*Saturday, October 1 – Randolph County Raceway (Non-points event)

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