McCowan looks to dismiss stress, embrace fun on home track in Summit USRA Nationals
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October 4, 2021  |  by Lyndal Scranton

During his 2021 season, which included a march to the Lucas Oil Speedway Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified track championship, Dillon McCowan paid little attention to the USRA national points chase.

But now, with the three-day 8th Annual Summit USRA Nationals powered by MyRacePass just a few days away, McCowan admits the stress level is rising. The 17-year-old from Urbana, Mo., holds a 72-point lead over Clyde Dunn Jr. of Rockwell, Texas, in the USRA Modified title race.

"I hadn’t worried about it a lot until later in the year," McCowan said. "The closer it gets, the more stressful it gets. We’re at the point if we don’t get a win, it’s a drop for national points.

"It gets hectic," McCowan added of final preparations for the National's first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway. "I try not to look at the points as much as I can to kind of keep the pressure down, but it’s going to get hectic for sure.

“We want to go over the car with a fine-tooth comb and make sure everything is ready to go. Hopefully we don’t have a DNF. If we have something come loose or something go wrong, that could change the outcome of the points. So we definitely have to go through it really good.”

The United States Racing Association-sanctioned action kicks off with a test and tune from 6-10 p.m. on Wednesday. Racing action begins on Thursday and will feature USRA Modifieds, Medieval USRA Stock Cars, USRA B-Mods and Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks all three nights. USRA Tuners join the card Friday and Saturday.

Due to a huge entry list of more than 300 Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series competitors, starting time has been moved up to 6 p.m. each night.

A complete show of qualifying heat races and main events will be held each night. Competitors earn points on Thursday and Friday to help determine lineups for Saturday’s main events.

For both local fans and those visiting Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time, McCowan will be one to keep an eye on. McCowan's first full season in the USRA Modified has been a smashing success. He has 11 wins and 34 top-five finishes in 68 events.

A national championship would cap it off in fine fashion, though the team did not intend to make points a priority at the start of 2021—it just worked out that way.

Part of the story line for McCowan has been his success at Lucas Oil Speedway, where he's posted three feature wins and 13 top-fives this season.

"I hope so," McCowan said when asked if he has a home track advantage this week. "It’s gonna be right there where we’ve raced all year. Hopefully that gives us a little advantage.

"It’s gonna be a lot about draw. If you can get a good draw, that’s 50 percent of your night right there."

No matter what happens, McCowan said it's a cool event when drivers from all over the country converge for a multi-day affair. He competed in the Summit USRA Nationals last season in his USRA B-Mod at Webster City, Iowa's Hamilton County Speedway, winning one of the preliminary night features.

"I always like racing against new drivers," he said. "You get to race against people who have different driving styles. It’s a lot of fun getting to race with some other people. Clyde Dunn Jr., I’ve heard a lot of great things about that guy. I hear a lot of the USMTS guys are going to be there. It’s fun to race against good competition.

"I can’t really speak for a lot of the other racers, but for me it’s a big deal. It’s one of the shows that I really look forward to. It plays a big role in national points for the guys who are up there running for a national championship. It’s a fun weekend and it's one of my favorite shows."

Lots of off-track activity also is scheduled throughout the week, beginning with Wednesday's Test and Tune. Karaoke with a DJ will be held starting at 10:05 p.m. on the drag boat midway, with a beer tent open. The entertainment and beer tent also will be available following racing on Thursday. On Friday after the races, musician Joe Inman will perform on the drag boat midway.

Some special activities have been scheduled during the day for drivers and crew members, beginning on Thursday morning with a Kickball Tournament. Signup starts at 9 a.m. with a $100 entry fee for 9-10 players per team with room for up to 16 teams. The tournament will be held in the grass area by the pit shack.

On Friday, a Dodgeball Tournament is schedule for 10 a.m. by the pit shack. Sign-up starts at 9 with a $50 entry free for six players per team and a maximum of 16 teams.

A Cornhole Tournament is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. on the midway by the USMTS trailer. Sign-up starts at 9 for a maximum of 64 teams with a $50 entry fee. The top five finishers will be paid.

With 100 bonus points for all competitors in the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series national points battle, along with the huge car counts and opportunities for deep-field runs, most of the top racers in each of the USRA’s five national divisions will be at the Lucas Oil Speedway blockbuster.

Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series national points standings (top 10 in each division featured at the Summit USRA Nationals):

USRA Modifieds
1. 8 Dillon McCowan, Urbana, Mo. ... 4236
2. 88XXX Clyde Dunn Jr., Rockwall, Texas ... 4164
3. 89 Tyler Hibner, Chillicothe, Mo. ... 4153
4. 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn. ... 4146
5. 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn. ... 4031
6. 15W Kale Westover, Blair, Okla. ... 4030
7. 97 Houston Johnson, Kansas City, Mo. ... 4017
8. 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis. ... 3989
9. 47 Jack Sartain, Terrell, Texas ... 3937
10. 21 Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo. ... 3855

Medieval USRA Stock Cars
1. 15 Mitch Hovden, Decorah, Iowa ... 4372
2. 54 David Hendrix, Waynesville, Mo. ... 4142
3. 71 Gary Kerr Jr., Odessa, Texas ... 4102
4. 33 Kevin Donlan, Decorah, Iowa ... 4085
5. 21 Myles Michehl, Fort Dodge, Iowa ... 4032
6. 7 Doug Keller, Easton, Mo. ... 3957
7. 23 Brayden Gjere, Mabel, Minn. ... 3866
8. 29 Brady Link, Waukon, Iowa ... 3802
9. 35 Bill Crimmins, Fort Dodge, Iowa ... 3788
10. 43 Calvin Lange, Humboldt, Iowa ... 3776

USRA B-Mods
1. 24C Jim Chisholm, Osage, Iowa ... 4518
2. 16D Dan Hovden, Decorah, Iowa ... 4422
3. 22C Cole Campbell, Mexico, Mo. ... 4415
4. 65 Kris Jackson, Lebanon, Mo. ... 4392
5. 54 Tyler Kidwell, Chanute, Kan. ... 4329
6. 18 J.C. Morton, Springfield, Mo. ... 4311
7. 17 Jeremy Chambers, Baldwin City, Kan. ... 4265
8. 56 Ty Griffith, Webster City, Iowa ... 4222
9. 21 Jackie Dalton, Carthage, Mo. ... 4207
10. 69ER Tyler Cadwallader, Amazonia, Mo. ... 4202

Mensink Racing Products USRA Hobby Stocks
1. 6 Dustin Gulbrandson, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 4443
2. X Tyler Schlumbohm, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 4334
3. 18K Dylan Clinton, Edgewood, Iowa ... 4279
4. 81 Joshua Ludeking, Decorah, Iowa ... 4263
5. 26 Matthew Machen, Roswell, N.M. ... 4196
6. 8 Levi Vander Weide, Sioux Falls, S.D. ... 4174
7. 15 Jeremy Crimmins, Fort Dodge, Iowa ... 4162
8. 22 Steve Larson, Decorah, Iowa ... 4104
9. 86 Tracy Halouska, Worthing, S.D. ... 4070
10. 27H Austin Hoeft, Charles City, Iowa ... 4020

USRA Tuners
1. 33T David Thompson, Mesquite, Texas ... 4254
2. 11 Jett Hefti, Kemp, Texas ... 4240
3. 17T Daniel Thompson, Mesquite, Texas ... 4227
4. 35 Brad Stahl, Castalia, Iowa ... 4105
5. 7V Brandon Vink, Humboldt, Kan. ... 4089
6. 33B Bondy Cannon, Mineral Wells, Texas ... 4086
7. 43 Jade Lange, Humboldt, Iowa ... 4018
8. 6H Hunter Krugle, Wichita Falls, Texas ... 3918
9. 17H Clint Haigler, Humboldt, Kan. ... 3879
10. 613X Joseph Smith, Mesquite, Texas ... 3762

Visit USRAracing.com for complete point standings, photos and archived stories.

Summit USRA Nationals schedule and ticket info:

Wednesday, October 6
Pit gate opens – 10 a.m.
Test ‘n’ tune – 6-10 p.m.
Spectator admission to main grandstands – FREE
Pit pass – $25
4-day pit pass – $135

Thursday, October 7
Gates open – 4 p.m.
Racing begins – 6 p.m.
Adult admission (16 & over) – $20
Seniors (62 & over)/military – $17
Youth (ages 6-15) – $5
Kids (5 & under) – FREE
Family pass (two adults + up to three youths) – $45
Pit pass – $35
Adult 3-day general admission – $65
Senior/military 3-day general admission – $56
Youth 3-day general admission – $20
3-day pit pass – $110

Friday, October 8
Gates open – 4 p.m.
Racing begins – 6 p.m.
Adult admission (16 & over) – $20
Seniors (62 & over)/military – $17
Youth (ages 6-15) – $5
Kids (5 & under) – FREE
Family pass (two adults + up to three youth) – $45
Pit pass – $35
Adult 2-day general admission – $45
Senior/military 2-day general admission – $39
Youth 2-day general admission – $15
2-day pit pass – $75

Saturday, October 9
Gates open – 4 p.m.
Racing begins – 6 p.m.
Adult admission (16 & over) – $25
Seniors (62 & over)/military – $22
Youth (ages 6-15) – $10
Kids (5 & under) – FREE
Family Pass (two adults + up to three youth) – $60
Pit pass – $40

Entry fees from now through October 5 are $150 for Modifieds, $100 for Stock Cars and B-Mods, $75 for Hobby Stocks and $40 for Tuners. Beginning October 6 (practice night) and through the rest of the event at the gate, entry fees increase to $200 for Modifieds, $150 for Stock Cars and B-Mods, $100 for Hobby Stocks and $50 for Tuners.

Tickets, for single days and multi-day passes, may be purchased at the gate or online.

If you can't be there in person, RacinDirt has you covered with live coverage of every lap of every race in every division. Check out RacinDirt.TV or download the RacinDirt app for your phone, computer or television. Available on iTunes, AndroidTV, ROKU, fireTV, AppleTV and Google Play Store.

Drivers, click here and get yourself registered for this year's blockbuster Summit USRA Nationals powered by MyRacePass at the Lucas Oil Speedway.

Most camping spots are sold out. Admissions director Nichole McMillan said only primitive dry camping remains, on a first-come, first-served basis for $10 per night, per tent/camper. Those areas are in the timber on the east side of the campground and north of the camp shack located east of Speedway Drive. People will need to check in at the camp shack before dropping campers in the spots they have chosen.

There are a few suites available Thursday and Friday, but as a whole suite holding 18-27 people. Contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for pricing and availability, plus ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season. Fans also can use the online ticketing system.

Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its 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.

About Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" lives up to its title.

Twenty-one VIP luxury suites, HD Jumbo-Tron screen, stadium-style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose sound system, go-kart slick track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting Lucas Oil Speedway apart.

This year marks the ninth season for the liquid quarter-mile drag racing lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built off-road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.

Lucas Oil Speedway's dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most popular dirt track racing events in the world with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, Summit USMTS National Championship fueled by Casey's, Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.

In addition to the special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway hosts the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series on Saturdays featuring USRA Modifieds, Medieval USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods plus ULMA Late Models.

Visit usraracing.com for schedules, points, photos, souvenirs, videos and more. Follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Click here to get USRA news delivered to your inbox.

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