The first race of the 2010 season for the Lucas Oil Super Late Model division at Montana Raceway Park gets underway Saturday night. With last weekend’s rain forcing cancellation of the season-opener this race takes on the added meaning as being the Flathead Valley’s first race on the high-banked oval in over eight months.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Fun Beverage–the official adult beverage company of Montana Raceway Park’s 20th Anniversary season, present this weekend’s racing.
Also racing this weekend will be the Westward Bound Construction/Keller Williams Realty Legends Series, Hornets, Thunder Roadsters and the Flathead Beacon Crusin’ Compacts.
Alex Lessor is the defending champion of the Lucas Oil division and will be debuting a new Bob’s Alley Speed Ford Fusion this weekend. With months of hard work put into building the new Lefthander chassis and only a limited amount of spring testing under their belt, Lessor’s Rainbow Bar & Casino pit crew has its work cut out for themselves right out of the box, he said.
“It’s been a huge change for our team,” Lessor explained. “We’ve built a Ford crate engine powered car and my car owner, Bob Schweigert, sees this as a direction late model racing is going in the region and we wanted to get a head start on that here at Montana Raceway Park.
“The crate program was a big start-up for us but in the long run we’re going to see a savings down the line on oil costs, fuel costs, tire wear and other items so Bob felt this was a good way to go and I’m excited to get started.”
In limited testing Lessor has had to adjust his driving style and how to approach changes to make the car drive better, he added.
“The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make so far has been dealing with the tight conditions of the car where as in the past we had a big horsepower engine that you could get loose by just throttling up off the corners a little harder. Some of our handling issues have been based on getting use to not having the horsepower but having the potential to have a better handling car overall.
“This is a whole new program but I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Lessor and his team have realistic expectations heading into the season with an unknown car.
“We’d love to pull off a win this year and get into the top-12 qualifying positions for the (20th Annual) Coors Light Montana 200 which would be really big for a crate car. If we’re able to finish the year strong so we could maybe make a trip to the (Yakima Speedway) Fall Classic that would be icing on the cake.”
Bodie Morton, Mark Owens, Wrango West, Agni Howell, Billy Salmonsen and many others will be out to dethrone Lessor as the champion of the Lucas Oil division, plus, three-time Inland Northwest Super Stock Association champion David Garber has announced he will be running full-time in Montana in hopes of winning the title.
Lessor is unfazed by the competition and takes the interest as a note of appreciation for the work sponsors, officials and fellow racers put into making Montana Raceway Park a premier racing facility in the Northwest.
“I think it’s kind of cool to have guys from out of town wanting to come in here and race with us every week,” Lessor said. “This weekend we’ll see guys from Canada, Garber, and a whole bunch more out to run and that is cool for the fans and says a lot about what we do at Montana Raceway Park.”
For tickets and other information regarding this weekend’s 2010 opener sponsored by Mike’s Hard Lemonade fans can log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com or call (406) 257-RACE (7223) or text MTRACE to 91011.