Central Missouri Speedway thriving and surviving
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June 4, 2016  |  by Sam Stoecklin

A back straightaway way view of action at Central Missouri Speedway. (Mike Musslin Photo)

WARRENSBURG, Mo.—It’s a renaissance year in the making for the staff at Central Missouri Speedway. Affectionately known as CMS by fans and drivers who call the speedway home and the casual drop-in visitors, the twenty-second year of competition at the speedway under the guidance of arguably two of the most giving promoters in the business, Earl and Susan Walls, is shaping up to be a season for the ages!

Fresh off a wildly successful Memorial Day Weekend, which traditionally kicks off the ‘Big Three’ summer holiday specials at the track, drivers and fans have kept social media abuzz from reliving their CMS weekend stories and there is an excitement in the air not seen in quite some time for local racing in the West-Central Missouri Region.

The Walls and the CMS track staff continue to work hard at improvements and giving back to the racers and fans, this year’s improvements include a new pit-side concessions stand, new lighting, a few more loads of dirt, and an all-new party barn. After long-time track maintenance man Don Abney retired from full-time duties at the track at the end of 2015, the Walls found an all-new track maintenance man in Todd Johnson, who has jumped right in to learn the practices and tough trade of mastering the dirt at the track to prepare the best racing surface possible.

Throughout the holiday weekend the speedway grounds and surrounding area swelled with attendees and resembled something more like an outdoor festival than a racetrack with cars parked in every available pit space. Car loads of fans overflowed to the frontage road shoulders and packed the grandstands to see their favorite driver and car class in action.

The Walls have done their best to keep grandstand admission prices at a reasonable rate for those making their way to the track. Some of the lowest prices in the local area for concessions also await patrons when they walk up to either side of the speedway concessions stands. This season the Walls picked three different charities to donate money from 50/50 drawings and 2-seater car rides courtesy of driver Shad Badder. Over the Memorial Weekend, $1,000 was raised for a local cancer fund through the ‘Foundation’ at Western Missouri Medical Center.

A total of 158 drivers from 96 different hometowns in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, competed throughout the two days’ worth of competition. On Saturday, 100 drivers and teams turned a total of 186 laps during USRA Modified, Street Stock, B-Mod, and Pure Stock racing. This included 12 Heat Races, two B-mains, and four Main Events, for a total of 18 races.

During Sunday competition, 108 drivers and teams turned 247 laps around the speedway in 14 Heat Races, 4 B-mains, and 4 Main Events for a total of 22 races among drivers competing in USRA Modified, ULMA Late Model, Allstar Midget Series, and USRA B-Mod events. All total, fans watched their favorite drivers turn 433 laps in 40 races!

Drivers and fans know summer holiday weekends at CMS means big payouts and special events and this year’s Memorial Weekend saw the Walls pay out over $40,000 to competing drivers. Matt Dotson of Hallsville, Missouri, headlined the weekend by claiming the normal weekly $1,000-to-win USRA Modified main on Saturday and then came back on Sunday to claim the $3,000 top prize one night later.

Arguably, the ‘Mighty’ Modified competition at CMS is second to none in the general area with a total of 45 different drivers competing between Saturday and Sunday. The B-Mod contingent was strong as well with 54 different teams on hand throughout the weekend. This season, both Modified classes are averaging 22 cars per week on the regular weekly race nights.

As the CMS staff continues to celebrate the Memorial Weekend, they’re not resting on their laurels because they know the 11th Annual Tom Wilson Memorial BBQ Bowl is just four weeks away! The Independence Day weekend of events features one of the biggest USRA Modified races in the region. Boasting a $40,000 purse alone, the winner will take away $5,000 for the win with every car in the starting field earning $1,000 just to start the event!

On Saturday, July 2 Street Stocks compete in a $1,500-to-win special event while USRA Modifieds have their first attempt at making the Sunday starting grid with their night one qualifying attempts. B-Mods, Pure Stocks, and Allstar Midget Series drivers are also slated to compete throughout the night.

Night two features another round of qualifying attempts for the $5,000-to-Win USRA Modified race, which is a 50 lap event that will close out the night. ULMA Late Models compete for their $1,000-to-win Triple Crown Shootout, B-Mods are also slated to race for USRA National Points. After the races, a large fireworks show will entertain the crowd and the all-new decked out CMS Party Barn will once again come alive with a night of karaoke and DJ music with Char until the wee hours of the morning. Shad Badder will return for another round of charity 2-seater Modified car rides over the weekend for those thrill seekers looking to get a taste of fast laps turned at CMS!

Stay current with CMS on Twitter @CMSgoing_green, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Central-Missouri-Speedway. Join our email group by emailing info@centralmissourispeedway.net. Keep up with CMS news and information by pointing your browser to www.centralmissourispeedway.net and don’t forget about the all-new CMS Going Green YouTube video page!

CMS is located 3.5-miles north of Warrensburg, MO from the junction of Highways 50 and 13 in Warrensburg just north of the new Hwy 13 by-pass round-a-bout, or from the Higginsville exit off I-70, head south on Highway 13 for twelve and half miles. Primitive-style camping is permitted on CMS grounds (no dump sites) throughout the weekend of action, call (660) 747-2166 for complete details.

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