Hodges preps for double duty at Lucas Oil Speedway

Dustin Hodges earned two feature wins while finishing second in the USRA Modified points in 2022 at the Lucas Oil Speedway.

Dustin Hodges earned two feature wins while finishing second in the USRA Modified points in 2022 at the Lucas Oil Speedway.

Dustin Hodges is eager to see some double duty in 2023, adding a Super Late Model to his USRA Modified stable.

After finishing a close second to Dillon McCowan in the Lucas Oil Speedway Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified division last season, plans came together this offseason for Hodges to drive a Rocket XR1.

“I’m really excited to get to try something that’s been an ultimate dream,” Hodges said.

“I think our main focus will be the Modified, but our main goal with it would be to hit a half-dozen to a dozen races with the Late Model.”

While stepping into the open Late Model world will be new, driving Late Models is not foreign to Hodges. He won ULMA national championships in 2016 and 2018 and was a series rookie of the year in 2015.

In recent years, Hodges settled into the USRA Modified division and has been a consistent contender. He raced regularly at Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time in 2022 and got better as the year went on, finishing with two wins in the second half of the season to go with 12 top-five finishes in 14 events.

Hodges wound up only 22 points behind McCowan in the points chase.

He also picked up six feature wins and the track championship in Fulton, Mo. Overall, Hodges was third in USRA National points behind Tyler Davis and McCowan.

“It was a really good year,” Hodges said. “The last half was really awesome once we finally got things figured out to what we were needing. Once we got the car dialed in, everything went pretty darn smooth.”

The success at Lucas was rewarding, especially the first trips to victory lane.

“Getting to race at that premier track, knowing that it is halfway close to home … we had a blast,” Hodges said. “It seems like overall track conditions have changed a little bit and it kind of fits us a little better.”

He’s looking to continue that success at Wheatland this season, even if he doesn’t run the Modified for points.

“I wouldn’t say we really have specific goals,” Hodges said of the year ahead. “Every time we jump in the Modified, I would like to be a podium car for sure and compete for wins everywhere we go with it. The Late Model stuff, we’re just trying to keep an open mind and try to learn from all those guys.

Hodges’ crew includes his uncle John Doerr and friend Kyle Harrison. Team sponsors are Kimberling Enterprise, Danny Crane Race Engines, Foundation Recovery Systems, Mid-America Carpenters Union, Melloway Fast Traps, Iron Gate Real Estate, The Drain Doctor, Rich and Chris Mobile Home Transport, Danny Wimer Law Firm, Show-Me Heating & Air and Flood Zone Motorworks.

Season openers: Lucas Oil Speedway's schedule begins with an open test and tune set for March 18 followed by the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series opener on March 25. Classes in action include Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds, O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars and Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods plus Hermitage Lumber Late Models.

Major event ticket reminders: Fans are reminded that reserved three-day pass renewals for the 31st annual Show-Me 100 presented by Protecttheharvest.com, May 25-27, are now available.

Three-day pass renewals for the event are $115 and can be purchased through the Lucas Oil Speedway office by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information. The renewals are available through Jan. 31. After that, the three-day reserved seats will be available for anyone to purchase. Each pass is for one reserved stadium-style seat, complete with high backs and armrests located in the top six rows of the main grandstand.

Show-Me 100 general admission three-day tickets through Stubwire are $100 for adults, $91 seniors/military and $30 for youth. Those can be found by clicking here.

Season passes available: Season ticket holders also can insure they have a seat for all three nights of the Show-Me 100 and the SRX event by purchasing a season pass. Those prices are adults (16-61) $650 (dirt track only), $750 (all speedway events), seniors (62+) $550 (dirt track only), $650 (all speedway events).

Contact Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information.

Continuing to crush it: Year after year, the USRA continues to attract more racetracks and dirt track racers through fair, logical and cost-effective rules accompanied by an organization that puts the racers, racetracks and their fans first. In the 2022 Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series, more than 50 of America’s finest dirt ovals host over 1,000 nights of racing.

USRA competitors can register online at MyRacePass today. Alternatively, you can call (515) 832-6000 to register by phone, or submit a completed USRA License Application by email at office@usraracing.com or fax (515) 832-7958. You can download the application at usraracing.com/downloads.

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