(Special to Lyndal Scranton)
With the Silver Anniversary Edition of the Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com coming to Lucas Oil Speedway for three big nights, it’s time to take a quick look at the numbers. Fittingly, 25 numbers to know:
1 – There can be only one first-time winner. That honor went to Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., in the inaugural Show-Me 100 on May 29, 1993, at West Plains Motor Speedway.
2 – Two full programs on the first two nights of Show-Me 100 weekend were run for the first time in 2016 and return this year, with the “Cowboy Classic Presented by Hot Rod Processing” the Thursday-night feature and the “Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson” on Friday. Both features will pay $6,000 to win.
3 – Three of Dirt Racing’s stars – Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist and Bobby Pierce – were staging a classic battle for the lead with 10 laps to go a year ago. Owens prevailed after Pierce, charging from the back of the pack, and Bloomquist had tire issues.
4 – Number of top-five Show-Me 100 finishes for Bob Pierce, father of modern-day Late Model star Bobby Pierce. Bob Pierce finished as high as second in 2001, but never won the Show-Me 100.
5 – Number of Show-Me 100 wins by Scott Bloomquist – more than any other driver. The Tennessee driver won the race in 1995, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.
6 – Finishing position in the first Show-Me 100 of the legendary Larry Phillips, making a rare dirt-track start in the midst of a stretch of five NASCAR Racing Series Short-Track National Championships on the pavement.
7 – The seventh Show-Me 100 in 1999 saw the only Missourian to win the race as Springfield’s Terry Phillips took the checkers at West Plains Motor Speedway, finishing in front of Billy Moyer and Freddy Smith.
8 – Arkansas veteran Wendell Wallace has eight top-five finishes, including three Show-Me 100 wins. Wallace has yet to score a top-five in the seven races at Lucas Oil Speedway.
9 – The ninth Show-Me 100 in 2001 saw veteran Freddy Smith of Knoxville, Tenn., beat Bob Pierce to the finish. It was Smith’s second Show-Me win, going with one in 1998.
10 – Top-10 finishes for Missouri drivers have been common in recent years. Billings’ Jesse Stovall has three consecutive top-10 finishes, including third in 2016. Lebanon’s Tony Jackson Jr., has posted top-10 finishes the last two years.
11 – Combined number of top-two finishes for Scott Bloomquist. Along with his record five Show-Me 100 victories, Bloomquist’s six runner-up finishes (1994, 1996, 1997, 2011, 2015, 2016) are more than any driver.
12 – The only No. 12 to win the Show-Me 100 was driven by Rick Aukland of Fargo, N.D. That was in 1997 when Aukland, driving a Rayburn chassis, beat Scott Bloomquist and Wendell Wallace.
13 – It’s been said that race-car drivers are superstitious about the No. 13. Indeed, according to available records, no driver has ever started a Show-Me 100 with that number adorning his car. Conversely, at least one No. 1 car has started every Show-Me but two and 30 No. 1s have started the race through 24 years.
14 – Only 14 different drivers have posted top-five finishes through the first 24 editions of the event.
15 – As in 15.053 seconds to claim fast-qualifier honors for Bill Frye, among 102 cars, in the inaugural Show-Me 100 in 1993 at West Plains Motor Speedway. Frye went on to finish fifth in the feature.
16 – Drivers representing 16 states were among the 30 starters in the 2016 Show-Me 100, won by Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. Jason Papich, listed from Nipomo, Calif., made the longest haul and finished 27th.
17 – Scott Bloomquist has a whopping 17 top-five finishes in the Show-Me 100, seven more than the nearest competitor, Billy Moyer.
18 – Eighteen years ago, a race-record 128 Late Models checked into the pits for the 1999 event at West Plains Motor Speedway. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., set fast qualifying time and Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., picked up the victory.
19 – At the age of 19, Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., drove from the back of the pack using the high groove and into contention for the win in 2016. A late flat tire relegated him to a sixth-place finish.
20 – Car number of Jimmy Owens, the most dominate Late Model driver at Lucas Oil Speedway. Owens has won the Show-Me 100 four times over the last six runnings and also has three wins in the mid-July Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Diamond Nationals at the speedway.
21 – Car number of the legendary Arkansas driver Billy Moyer, who has Show-Me 100 victories in 1993, 1994 (first two events) and 1996.
22 – The 22nd edition in 2014 saw veteran Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., finally break through to win his first Show-Me 100 after two decades of trying and end Jimmy Owens’ three-year stranglehold on the event.
23 – At least 23 autographed door panels of top Late Model stars will be up for silent auction on the hillside leading to the main grandstand on Saturday. Organized by long-time Ozarks racing photographer Ron Mitchell, proceeds benefit the Relay for Life and American Cancer Society.
24 – The top 24 non-qualifiers for the main event will get one more shot through the Midwest Sheet Metal Show-Me Challenge, just before the feature. The winner can either keep the $2,500 check, or give it back for a chance to start the 100-lapper shotgun on the field.
25 – The Silver Anniversary Edition of one of America’s Crown Jewel events for Dirt Late Models has arrived. The winner of Saturday night’s race will earn $30,000 with the total purse of approximately $160,000.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:35 Thursday and Friday. Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:35.
Here’s a rundown of the three upcoming race days at Lucas Oil Speedway:
Thursday: The “Cowboy Classic Presented by Hotrod Processing” headlines opening night, with the $6,000-to-win feature honoring the late MLRA owner/promoter Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor. A full program for the Late Models and Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds is scheduled.
Friday: The “Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson” honoring the long-time West Plains Motor Speedway owners who started the Show-Me 100 also will pay $6,000 to win. Full programs for the Late Models and Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds are slated with finishing order in both helping set the field for Saturday’s features.
Saturday: Action concludes with the $30,000-to-win Show-Me 100, following the Midwest Sheet Metal Show-Me Challenge in which the winner can forfeit the $2,500 check to start at the rear of the main event. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds feature, presented by RacinDirt.com, will pay $1,200 to win and $150 to start.
A select number of three-day passes remain. Contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.