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February 18, 2020

Lucas Oil Speedway Preseason Spotlight: Ferris ready to contend in loaded ULMA Late Model division

Larry Ferris found victory lane and finished a solid fourth in the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division last season at Lucas Oil Speedway. (Kenny Shaw photo)
WHEATLAND, Missouri (Feb. 18, 2020) - Veteran Late Model racer Larry Ferris realized a long-time goal last season, winning not only his first-ever feature at Lucas Oil Speedway but adding a second before the season concluded.

 

Now that he's found his way to victory lane? Ferris is ready for more.

"Hopefully we're ready to pick up where we left off, even with a little more speed," Ferris said.

Ferris, 49, is part of a deep field of contenders in the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division. The Nevada, Missouri driver wound up fourth in points last year, 88 points behind three-time reigning champion Johnny Fennewald.

"It's going to be tougher this year," Ferris said of the competition level. "I know several guys have new cars and others who are gonna come and race. It's gonna be fun."

Ferris plans to return with the same Black Diamond race car equipped with a Scott Bailey-built motor. He said the winter has been spent "plugging away" with getting the car put back together after stripping it down.

"Just normal stuff. Things are going good the winter," he added. "We're looking forward to getting started (racing) again."

The team took momentum into the offseason after a feature victory at Lucas Oil Speedway during the Street Stock Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt weekend. It was a good way to cap 2019 after earning the much-sought first feature win on July 4 to go along with 10 top-five finishes.

But one bad night, early in the season when he failed to make the feature due to mechanical issues, stands out almost as much. That's because it wound up keeping him from contending for a championship with the top three of Fennewald, Aaron Marrant and Kaeden Cornell.

"Just not having any DNFs is key," Ferris said of a potential title run. "If you have one night with a DNF, that pretty much takes you out of contention. If it wasn't for that, we'd have been right up there, right in the mix for a championship.

"That's definitely what we want to do. I'd like to get a championship before I quit."

Ferris has the confidence necessary after a breakthrough season at a track he had previously struggled to figure out. He said there was no specific key, but gave a lot of credit to Bryan Larimore of Dirt Track Specialist for helping boost the program.

"It was just a bunch of little things," Ferris said. "I think we just finally got better. We just kept plugging away at it.

"Bryan, I couldn't do this without him. He's the difference between me racing and not racing."

This year, Ferris said he's looking forward to son Ryan racing a USRA Modified. While that will make things even more hectic on race nights for the family supported team, it'll also double the fun. Larry Ferris owns and operates his own over-the-road trucking company - Larry Ferris Trucking - with a fleet of eight, hauling mostly livestock.
 
The Lucas Oil Speedway season kicks off with the Open Test and Tune on March 28, with the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series opening night set for April 4 with action in all four divisions - Pitts Homes USRA Modified, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks.

 

Season passes for 2020, along with gift cards which can be redeemed in any department of the speedway, are now available. Contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information.

 

CONTACT:
Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984