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David Hendrix (54) at the Big Buck 50. (Kenny Shaw photo)

Big Buck 50, MLRA Fall Nationals Returns To Lucas Oil

WHEATLAND, Mo. — One of the biggest events in the nation for super stocks is returning to the Lucas Oil Speedway schedule next year with the Eighth annual Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt on Oct. 3-5.

The Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals also return to the schedule and will be run in conjunction with the Big Buck 50, making it a lucrative, action-packed weekend of Late Model and Super Stock racing at the same location.

Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said he has been fielding inquiries about super stocks returning, possibly as a guest class a few times next season. A meeting with Craig Danuser, the race’s former sponsor, led to bigger things.

“I reached out to Craig, who was the main sponsor of the Big Buck 50 and was involved in the making of the original event,” Lorton said. “He seemed very interested as we talked, so we set up a meeting and after the meeting I could see he was very excited in returning and bringing back the Big Buck 50.”

The eighth version of the Big Buck 50 event will be run using POWRi Super Stock rules and Lorton said officials will also work on the rules to allow the Arkansas cars that used to run the Big Buck 50. 

The Big Buck 50 will begin with practice and qualifying on Oct. 3, qualifying heat races to help set the feature field on Friday leading into Saturday night’s 50-lap main event, in which the winner will take home $10,000. The winner also will earn a free entry, valued at $3,195.00, into the prestigious Whitetail Trophy Hunt in mid-Missouri next November.

This year’s hunt begins this weekend and it’s the 35th edition for the long-sold-out event, which is limited to 220 hunters. Over $4 million in cash and prizes has been awarded in the hunt’s history.

The Big Buck 50 was held on an annual basis at Lucas Oil Speedway through 2020 and was a one of the highlights on the schedule. Danuser said he’s thrilled to help bring back the Big Buck 50.

“I’m excited about it and I know a lot of racers are excited about it,” Danuser said. “They’ve been burning my phone up about it.”

Danuser said the Big Buck 50 had become a destination weekend for the super stocks in its previous runnings, with racers and many fans spending the weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway in the campgrounds. That should get nothing but even bigger with the MLRA Late Models also a part of the action.

“So many people started making that their vacation, bringing the wives and kids because it was a three-day event,” Danuser said. “I think they really looked forward to it in the five or six years we had built the race up.”

Meanwhile, the Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals also return to the schedule with a big two-night show paying $5,000 to win the Friday-night feature and $10,000 on Saturday.

“I know that Ernie Leftwich (MLRA Series Director) was very excited to bring back the Fall Nationals and tie it back in with the Big Buck 50 as they were both on the same weekend for several years,” Lorton said. “It only seemed fitting to bring them both back together.”