Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jason Russell Starts Year with Lucas Oil Speedway ULMA Victory!

Russell_Kelley_Lucas_4-20-13Sam Stoecklin – The 2013 Lucas Cattle Company ULMA season got underway Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway in a big way with 26 competitors hitting the track for competition. Early season racing is sometimes anyone’s guess as to how the night will pan out but the track crew did their best to stay up on things throughout the night in the cool and damp air and drivers raced hard to work their way to the front of the field.

Prior to the main event, drivers competed to secure passing points for a spot in the main event starting grid. Jason Russell, last year’s overall ULMA champ picked up where he left off by taking the first heat race with Larry Jones and JD Hubert close behind. Tommy Cordray and Jon Binning put on a side-by-side race clinic in heat two until Cordray pulled away late to take the win over Binning and Mike Berger. The third and final heat went to ULMA Rookie of the Year contender Payton Looney who secured the win ahead of last year’s Lucas Oil Speedway track champion Jeremy Kelley followed by newcomer Earl Roark.

All cars took the green flag in the 20-lap main and for a short time it looked like the racing was going to be close all the way, but with Russell out front by nearly a straightaway at the start of lap three; a multi-car accident took place right under the flag stand. The incident actually started coming off of turn four as cars from just outside of the top five made heavy contact. The cars of Payton Looney, Jon Binning, Kevin Coyne, Vance Wilson, Donnie Timmerman, JD Hubert, and Mike Berger were all stopped on the track after the melee, some with very heavy damage. Thankfully, all drivers were reported okay after the crash. Only Looney was able to continue after the carnage was cleared.

After the red-flag delay, the field went back to action with Russell quickly pacing the way over Tommy Cordray and a hard-charging Joe Walkenhorst. Kelley then slipped back to fourth with Jones, Roark, Ehlert, and Justin Russell not far behind as the race progressed. Caution flew on lap six for debris as the field once again regrouped for a restart. Just as he had done through previous laps, Russell led the way again with Walkenhorst now second until the yellow flew another time on lap 8 for Ehlert’s single-car spin.

On the ensuing restart, Walkenhorst tried to make a move low but lost ground to Russell as Cordray pressured for second. Kelley’s night came to an end on lap 11 with mechanical issues just as the caution waived for debris in turn three. Once green conditions returned, Jason Russell continued to lead Walkenhorst, Cordray, Jones, Justin Russell, Roark, Peterson, McCoin, Andy Kennedy, and Chris Cox inside the top ten.

Larry Jones moved into second ahead of Cordray on lap 12 as Justin Russell also came forward to fourth leaving Cordray to battle with Roark and McCoin. By now, leader Russell had a full straightaway lead at lap 15 over his closest pursuer, Walkenhorst. Cordray fought his way back around Justin Russell by lap 17 and tried to move ahead of Jones as well. Time ran out on the field though as Russell dominated to kick off the new season with a win. In victory lane, Russell said, “It was a little choppy out there but everyone has to race on the same thing. We’ve had a lot of rain and all.”

Behind Russell at the line were Walkenhorst, who came from eighth to finish second. Jones finished third ahead of Cordray, Justin Russell, Roark, McCoin, Daniel Jessen, RD Peterson, and Chris Cox to round at the top ten. ULMA drivers return to Wheatland on Saturday, April 27. For additional event details, start times, and admission information be sure to visit the speedway online at

Next Friday, April 26, Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Missouri will try once again to begin their season. Visit for track information and event details. Pre-season work continues at Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri. The track is scheduled to open Saturday, May 11, for their weekly race program, visit for details.

ULMA officials are on-site at each of the tracks to provide license and registration paperwork, decals, and to answer questions. Drivers are encouraged to visit and click on the membership link to print and complete the 2013 form. In order to make opening night check in run as smooth as possible, ULMA asks drivers to complete paperwork prior to arrival and have license ready to present.

ULMA is proud to announce the return of Rod End Supply as a contingency partner for the season. Rod End Supply has been a loyal sponsor for ULMA for many years and it is a pleasure to have them as part of the team once again in 2013. Rod End Supply has the unique opportunity to be involved with all sorts of auto racing and performance-related industries. Rod End Supply has the assortment of rod ends, radius rods and specialty products that will help drivers perform at maximum potential. Visit for product information or call them at 800-284-2902.

This season marks the first year for ULMA to partner with Hoosier Tire Midwest. Drivers may purchase tires from ULMA throughout the season by contacting ULMA officials, the program benefits drivers at the end of the season during the October 19 championship banquet, which takes place in California, Missouri. Please visit for additional information.

Drivers earn championship points by keeping points earned from their 15 best race appearances throughout the season of the more than 50 possible scheduled race nights. Visit ULMA’s title sponsor at ULMA sincerely thanks Hoosier Tire Midwest, FastShafts, Rod End Supply,, and PhotoGraphics by Shelly Payne for their support this season.

ULMA Schedule at a Glance
Friday, April 26th – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, April 27th – Lucas Oil Speedway
Friday, May 3rd – Callaway Raceway
Friday, May 10th – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 11th – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, May 11th – Randolph County Raceway

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