OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — It was a night to pay tribute to the stars of the 2022 season while also recognizing a long-time major contributor to the regional racing scene during Saturday’s Lucas Oil Speedway Championship Banquet at Margaritaville Lake Resort.
Harriett Chancellor, co-owner of the Midwest Late Model Racing Association for 16 years, was named the sixth recipient of the Forrest Lucas Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the sport on and off the track.
Meanwhile, track champions in the four Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series divisions and the top ten in points in each class were featured during the banquet. Track champions recognized were Dillon McCowan (Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modifieds), Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods), Larry Ferris (Hermitage Lumber Late Models) and Bryan White (O’Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars).
McCowan also was named Most Popular Driver, determined through fan voting, for the second straight year. Ryan Gillmore, runner-up in the B-Mod points, won Best Appearing Race Car as determined by the GS Stanek Racing Photography and speedway staff.
“We’re proud to recognize our track champions and top 10 in points, plus the individual award winners after another terrific season,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said. “Congratulations to all who made it a great year and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2023.”
One of the highlights of the evening was the announcement of Chancellor, who along with her late husband Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor owned and operate the MLRA from 1996-2012, as the Forrest Lucas Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Harriett and Allen met at the race track and purchased a Western Auto Racing parts van in the early 1980s and traveled to area tracks selling race-car parts, tires and fuel. They purchased the MLRA in 1996 and grew it into one of the nation’s top regional dirt Late Model series with drivers such as Terry Phillips, Al Purkey, Bill Frye, Alan Vaughan and Billy Moyer becoming mainstays.
The Chancellors were known for fairness across the board, with no favoritism and Harriett was not afraid to uphold the rules. Ernie Leftwich, who’s now series director of the Lucas Oil MLRA, was a young official for the series at the time. He recalled when Frye tried to pass through tech with unapproved tires saying it was all he had available. Leftwich told Frye he would, “have to take it up with the boss lady.”
Instead of letting it slide, Harriett sent him home as everyone was going to be treated the same.
One of Harriett’s biggest contributions was as a promoter and consultant to other tracks and even leasing tracks to give drivers and fans a place to enjoy the sport. Even in retirement, Harriett has remained active and not missed many nights at Lucas Oil Speedway, always willing to help in any way she can.
Chancellor joins previous Forrest Lucas Lifetime Achievement Award winners Rex Merritt (2017), Jim Ruble (2018), Kevin Fletcher (2019), Kent Smith (2020) and Bill Allen (2021).