Two years ago, the first Mercy “Master of the Pros” 144 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway brought in some of the top drivers in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour event. Defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott won the first event in 2013 and Georgia’s Anderson Bowen won it last year.
The event has become one of the top Pro Late Model events with $8,000 and a green jacket going to the winner.
The same event is back in 2015, but not on the same Saturday in the middle of May, instead the third annual event will take place on Saturday, May 30.
I-44 Speedway Promoter Kevin Greven recently told Speed51.com powered by JEGS that the date change for the event was made for a few reasons.
“For many around this area, it is high school graduation time and many families are busy hosting parties that weekend. Some of those included the team members at Mercy Hospital and Healthcare who didn’t want to miss the event,” explained Greven. “Plus, this event is now the week after the Show Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. That is two marquis events in the same area on back to back weekends and Lucas isn’t running on the 30th, so it will help allow more fans to attend either or both events.”
Greven also noted that at the time the event was scheduled there weren’t any other large competing Pro Late Model events in the region, which would allow more competitors to consider coming to the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval.
The entry list already includes top names like Bubba Pollard, Sterling Marlin, Cole Williams, Matt Wallace, Cody Coughlin, Eddie Hoffman, Dalton Armstrong and many more.
“We still have entries coming in every day and hope to put up a full list soon for everyone to see,” Greven said. “This will be the premiere asphalt short track event in the region this year.”
Another thing that is helping with the growth of this event is the partnership commitment from Mercy.
“This event is really put together as a major fundraiser for the Mercy Health Foundation and some of the projects that they support. We have taken that initial model and tweaked it a little to turn it into a team member appreciation as well for all of the Mercy team members in the area.”
The advance entry deadline for this event is Saturday, May 16. Any entries received after that date will have to pay an additional $25 entry fee.
More information can be found on the track’s website at www.i44speedway.net or at www.cra-racing.com
– Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Director of Business/Midwest Editor. Twitter: @KevinRamsell
Photo Credit: Speed51.com