Martin, Lucas among 10 named to 2017 Ozarks Racers Foundation Hall of Fame class
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August 9, 2016  |  by Lyndal Scranton

Forrest Lucas, whose Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., opened in 2006, is one of 10 named to the 2017 Ozarks Area Racers Foundation Hall of Fame class. (Chris Bork photo)

WHEATLAND, Mo.—A few weeks ahead of his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Arkansas native Mark Martin will headline a 10-person class for the Ozarks Area Racers Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies for Martin, who cut his racing teeth at the Springfield Fairgrounds Speedway as a teenager, and nine others including Lucas Oil Products founder Forrest Lucas, are set for next Jan. 7 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex.

This will mark the 30th Ozarks Area Racers Reunion and Hall of Fame ceremony and bring the total in the Hall to 185. Hall of Famers' names are on a display on a granite display on the west side of the Fairgrounds near the "old pit road" where cars once lined up to pull into the race track.

Martin will enter the Ozarks Area Racers Hall in the "Legends" category along with drivers Terry Bivins, Rick Sharp, Robbie Johnson and the late Rayme Johnson.

 

Lucas, whose sparkling Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland turned 10 years old this year, is part of the "Pioneers" category for impacting the sport in ways other than driving. Other Pioneers for the 2017 class are the late Julian Martin (Mark's father and his first car owner), Bill Davis (an Arkansas native who owned NASCAR teams and helped launch Mark Martin's career), sports journalist Ned Reynolds and racing announcer Ronnie Williams.

Lucas' impact on motorsports is sweeping, both locally and nationally since he and wife Charlotte founded Lucas Oil Company in 1989. He's been a sponsor of race teams in NASCAR and NHRA and Lucas Oil is a sponsor of multiple racing series including the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.

In recent years, Lucas has been a driving force behind televised motorsports through MAVTV and the new LucasOilRacing.TV, the world's first streaming TV network devoted entirely to motorsports.

Martin, a native of Batesville, Ark., won 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and 49 times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He was runner-up for the Sprint Cup Championship five times. His final full season was 2011, but he still competed part-time up until 2013 when he subbed for Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing.

In recent years, Martin has become involved in dirt-track racing as a sponsorship partner with Scott Bloomquist and Batesville's Jared Landers in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Before the induction ceremony, an autograph session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 4 with race cars (both modern-day and vintage) on display with a large display of racing memorabilia. There also will be a silent auction for an array of racing items. The formal program is set for 6:30 p.m. with a Salute to Champions honoring champions from Ozarks-area speedways.

Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and over and can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/30th-annual-ozark-area-racers-reunion-tickets-26447755950. Tickets will be available at O'Reilly Auto Parts location starting in December. At the door, tickets will be $20 - but due to the expected high demand fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early.

For more information, visit the Ozarks Area Racers Foundation Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Ozarks-Area-Racers-Association-48433833708/ .

Up next at Lucas Oil Speedway: No racing is scheduled this week at Lucas Oil Speedway. The next action is Aug. 20 with Travel Centers of America Night at the Races Presented by Petro Stopping Centers.

The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will be featured, running a special 25-lap feature paying $750 to win. Other classes in action include the ALPS Food Store ULMA Late Models, the Carson's Corner Napa Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30 in the next-to-last Budweiser Weekly Championship Series program before the season championships on Aug. 27.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. 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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