Hometown title sweet for Wheatland's Striegel
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December 3, 2015  |  by Lyndal Scranton

WHEATLAND, Mo.—There have been times during Mike Striegel's 15 years of driving a race car that he simply climbed in, fired up the motor and drove to the speedway.

Living just across Highway 54 from Lucas Oil Speedway, Striegel didn't have to load up a transport vehicle. Racing in his hometown was a labor of love. Winning a championship was secondary to having fun.

But Striegel enjoyed both in 2015. The 45-year-old won his first track championship, beating out Kris Jackson and Andy Bryant for the USRA B-Mod title.

"That was a pretty cool deal," Striegel said of winning a championship at his hometown oval. "It's the best season I ever had."

Driving a car owned by Springfield businessman John Stewart for the first time, Striegel said everything "kind of fell into my lap" after Stewart offered him the full-season ride.

"He bought a modified the year before and had a bunch of different drivers running for him," Striegel said. "This year we made a deal that I would take care of the car and do all the work on it.

"At the start of the year, we weren't even going to race for a points championship. About halfway through the season we were 49 points ahead and, one our way home from a race at Winston, a track up north, he's like 'you know what? We might win that points deal.'

"So we shifted gears and started running for it. It worked out for us."

Striegel won only one race at Lucas Oil Speedway, but checked into the post-race tech building (where the top five feature finishers must undergo inspection) all but one time.

Success spread as Striegel took his show on the road. He won 11 times overall, including a $2,000-to-win King of America feature at the Humboldt Speedway in Kansas and a USRA Holley Iron Man Series race at Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota.

"I'd never had the funds to have that opportunity," Striegel said of the travel. "(Stewart) gave me the funds and ability to go and do that."

It's the perfect combination of hobby and professional opportunity for the man who stays busy running a plumbing business in Wheatland, along with building and selling race-car bodies. Look for more of the same in 2016.

"We're going to do it again next year," Striegel said, noting that the B Mod division is the right fit for him because of its affordability compared to the A Mod division.

Racing against young, up-and-coming drivers such as USRA B-Mod national champion Bryant keeps him on his game.

"I'm old," Striegel said, laughing. "Those kids such as Andy Bryant, Logan Martin and Jonathan Cornell are really good. But you have to have them. They keep our sport going."

Please visit www.LucasOilSpeedway.com for the most up to date information about "America's New Motorsports Destination", Lucas Oil Speedway.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, MO. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it's 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 www.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.

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