After suffering three rainouts in the last four weeks, the “High-Banks” of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway will be back into action Saturday night Sept. 13th. United Insurors of Lebanon will present the NASCAR Whelen Monster Energy Chase for the Cup with a 40 lap O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Model feature to head-line the night’s activities.
With only 2 weeks left in the 2014 season, drivers are ready to swing back into action and make the final run for Championship title hopes and bragging rights.
United Insurors was established in 1946 by E. Ellwood Willard and is currently owned by Bruce Meckem, President, and Judy Jeffries, Vice President, who have a combined 75 years of experience in the insurance industry. They are a full-service insurance agency that serves the insurance needs of nearly 2300 individuals and families, and over 800 business concerns in Southwest Missouri. As an independent Agency, we don’t work for an insurance company, we work for you. With a full staff of employees they offer over 150 years of experience and represent over 50 companies. This enables United Insurors to be able to select the coverage you want and need at a competitive price!
“We have 2 weeks left in the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All American Series schedule and still have a ton of positions left up in the air for the Lebanon I-44 Monster Energy Chase for the Cup Championships. The weekend of September 20th is the last that NASCAR accepts points toward their standings so our drivers have a lot on the line in these last two events” said General Manager Kevin Greven. “With our drivers being rained-out the last 3 out of 4 weeks and Season Championships night next week, we optioned to run the Pro Late Models a 40 lap event and run our other four NASCAR classes in their normal format one last time. This will get everyone back into the swing and ready for that last big event on Sept. 20th. We know that we will have at least two drivers that have qualified for trips to Charlotte for the NASCAR Whelen All American banquet and that number could actually be three, this Saturday night is pivotal for their possibilities as well as all competitors competing in our NASCAR program”.
Heading into this Saturday’s race night, Kaleb Allison of Mexico maintains a 37 point advantage in the Track Standings and a 22 point margin in the Missouri State title chase over Stoutland’s JC Newell. Newell, with 4 feature wins this season has been quietly climbing up the ladder in this stretch drive. Allison has captured 2 features, while he hasn’t been out of the top 4 on any point’s nights in 2014. Fourteen year old Kyle Donahue of Wildwood holds down 3rd spot in both the state and track standings with 1 win and 8 top 5’s out of 12 events. 8 different winners out of 13 events have kept the fan’s guessing each night in the main event and this weekend another driver familiar with Winners Circle makes his return to I-44 as the 2013 Missouri State NASCAR Champion Cole Williams brings his familiar #46 back to the High Banks.
Cole has spent much of the 2014 season running closer to home at the Historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and with one event left in their season he sets in second place in points and definitely within striking distance for that title. Nashville doesn’t run again until October so does that leave a window open to come back to the track he considers home and try to get a couple of wins before the I-44 season comes to an end?
Two other drivers that have made laps in their Pro Late Models at I-44 have plans to be back this Saturday night with Josh Woody and Cole Rouse expected to pull back through the pit gates for this 40 lap shootout.
The Budweiser Modifieds have been nip and tuck as Fair Grove’s Stephen Counterman is hanging to 6 point margin over Springfield’s Tim Swearengin. The three-time Pro Late Model Track Champion has been out of competition for over 10 seasons, but hasn’t forgotten how to run up front. Both Counterman and Swearengin have 2 feature wins this season as Counterman has turned around from a 2013 season that didn’t meet his expectations. Willard’s Richard Lewis holds to the 3rd spot, while looking for his 1st win of the season only 50 points out of the lead. All of the modified drivers will go hard core points racing this Saturday night to have their cars set up for the Inaugural Roper Classic on September 20th.
The Coca-Cola Chargers have been in the fans high-light reel each week as 5 different drivers have been at the top of the standings. St. James 2nd season driver and last year’s rookie of the year, Jason Walls leads defending champion Jimmy Poindexter of Willard by only 4 markers with Rolla’s John Huhn setting 3rd only 70 behind and the top 6 are separated by less than 100 points. The top two drivers have 2 wins each setting the stage for a shootout as 6 different drivers have captured wins in the entry level class. This class knows points are at a premium this Saturday night as they have two features to contend with on September 20th.
Keyser Manufacturing Road Warrior point leader Carl Harlow of Exeter has been at the top spot since opening night with 6 wins but the field has really tightened up the second half of the season. Fair Grove’s Les Mallard is a solid second in the standings and is building momentum to finish out the season. Mallard has 1 win and his teammate Rick Sharp captured the last feature ran on Aug. 23rd. Neosho’s Geoff Ledford has been very fast with 3 wins and has plans to finish strong along with a host of others.
Monster Energy Sportsman point leader Paul Jepsen holds a 240 point margin over JC Newell. Jepsen has been shut-out in the last 2 races as Lebanon’s Justin Blake has been getting a better handle on his car late in the season. Toby Harden was a very strong competitor early in the season until an injury sidelined him for the last several weeks but he is expected back to try and notch another win with only two events left. Very tight competition has been the call every Saturday night with several new drivers getting the bugs worked out for next season as well. This class will try to lay it all out there this weekend to set up their 40 lap brawl to finish out the season on September 20th.
Start time for Saturday is 6:30PM as Grandstand and “Wildside” Tier Parking Gates will open at 5PM. Cars will already be on the track practicing with regular admission prices prevailing. Tickets for the event in the Monster Energy Grandstand AND Budweiser Party deck will be only $10 for Adults with discounts for Military and seniors. Kids 11-15 are only $4 while kids 10 and under are FREE.
Fans can park in the Budweiser “Wildside” Tier Parking to get the tail-gate party started for only $15 for Adults with discounts for Military, juniors and seniors. Take advantage of the 6-pack special as 6 Adults in the same vehicle is only $75 or buy 5 get 1 Free.
For more information on Missouri’s only NASCAR Track and only Asphalt Oval please visit www.i44speedway.net or like Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Facebook for the latest up to date information.
– I-44 Speedway Press Release
Photo Credit: I-44 Speedway