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Salute to 75 Honoring NASCAR Champ Larry Phillips


#75 Larry Phillips is the only 5 time NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Champion LEBANON, MO - The "High-Banks" of The Lebanon I-44 Speedway will conclude the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Season this Saturday Night. The Salute to 75 is the final race of the season as the speedway, drivers and fans will pay honor to the only Five Time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Larry Phillips with The O'Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models competing in a 75 lap feature event with added money in the Late Model purse. The 2015 NASCAR Champions will also be determined with full programs for The Budweiser Modifieds, Sportsman, Hoosier Tire Street Stocks, and Coca-Cola Chargers. Phillips claimed Lebanon I-44 Speedway as home track in 3 of his 5 National titles in 1989, 1995 and 1996. Phillips also captured National Titles in 1991, and the 1992 season as well. Known as a Short-Track Specialist, Phillips was a key player in the careers of Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray and many others, Phillips ran the last race of his career in 2001 on the opening night at I-44 finishing 2nd while battling Cancer. I-44 honored the "Short-Track Legend" in 2002 with the first ever Phillips event called The Larry Phillips Show-Me Show-Down won by Tim Swearengin in a near photo finish with Tony Jackson Jr. as Modifieds and Bombers were also part of the race card that evening. The 75 lapper is in honor of his car number and Brennon Willard captured the event in 2014. A very strong field of Pro Late Models is expected to be on hand for the last race of the season. "What a perfect night to honor all of our 2015 NASCAR Champions as we also pay tribute to the man that was probably the most recognized champion from our area in the history of racing. Larry has been nominated in the same NASCAR Hall of Fame as drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty as well as Bill France and that really says it all. This Saturday night we will pay tribute to him as well as watch the next group of racers that would like to follow in his footsteps" said Lebanon I-44 Speedway General Manager Kevin Greven. Current O'Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Model point leader JC Newell has to start the 75 lap feature to claim the Track and Missouri State Title. Newell a 5-time feature winner this season holds a 98 point lead over 2014 NASCAR Track and State Champion "Special K" Kaleb Allison of Mexico, Mo. The real battle is for 3rd place honors as only 87 points separate Steve Holt currently in 3rd and 8th place Brian Brown. 4th place Brennon Willard is currently 3 points behind Holt with Paul Jepsen, Jimmy Vanzandt and Kyle Donahue also in that group. This season has seen 8 different Feature winners in The Championship Chase as Newell (5 wins), 2013 Champion Cole Williams (3 wins) have more than 1 victory. Other feature winners include Allison, Payton Lucas, 2010 and 2012 Champion Mike Slone, Kevin and Kyle Donahue and 2014 Sportsman Champion Paul Jepsen as 31 different drivers have competed in the weekly point races. Former Pro Late Model Track Champion Tim Swearengin of Springfield has shown consistency despite no feature wins to lead the Budweiser Modified Division. Swearengin won I-44 Track Championships from 2000-2002 and returned to action last year in The "Ground Pounders". In a class mixed with veteran talent and young chargers, Ricky Icenhower has claimed 7 wins, but 2 nights off have cost the former NASCAR Regional Champion a shot at the title. Icenhower is only 49 points ahead of 1 time winner Richard Lewis in the battle for 2nd place and defending champion Stephen Counterman has rallied with back to back wins which has propelled him to 4th place including 4 wins and 2 off nights while Brian Lewis ranks a steady 5th. James Newell fought hard for his 3rd win of the season over grandson "Little" JC Newell last Saturday night to secure the points lead in the NASCAR Sportsman class. The younger Newell who won the 2012 Sportsman title, started the season late in the class while concentrating on the Pro Late Model, but has racked-up 8 wins. This class has been like watching "The Family Feud" as Both JC's, Ben Newell, Dayton Newell have competed against regulars such as points runner-up Jim Fohn, Aaron Douglas, Jake Piel and others throughout the season. "The Gentle Giant" has rumored this might be his last full-time season and if so will be going out in style. The Hoosier Tire Street Stocks have had the 2nd largest group of different winners in the 5 NASCAR classes as former Coca-Cola Charger front runner Jordan Nisbett has tried to stay ahead of the Championship Chase by grabbing his 7th win out of 15 features. In his Rookie season and by competing in all events Nisbett has finished on the podium almost every night for the Lebanon driver in "The Terry Brumley Tribute Bumblebee" Camaro. Current points runner-up Zack "The Z-Man " Morgan has grabbed 3 feature wins this season as 3rd in points "Papa Drake" Les Mallard has overcame several different mechanical issues to capture 2 wins. Other feature winners include "The Mopar Man" Aaron Wilke of Bridgetown, David Douglas of Lebanon and former 3-time Street Stock Champion Chris Nichols. With several strong cars hoping to get into the winner's circle this Saturday night this class has quickly become a fan favorite. With the Championship on the line in The Coca-Cola Chargers, the "Dynamic Duo" of Ben White and 2013 Champion Jimmy Poindexter go into Saturday night with only 1 point dividing their championship quest. White is protecting a 1 point margin after getting his 8th feature win last Saturday night with Poindexter right on his quarter panel. Poindexter has 5 feature wins while capturing 8 heat race wins while White has 5 heat race wins. The point's battle in this class will also run through the entire pack with 3rd place still up for grabs as Jesse Poindexter holds a 17 point margin over Nik Taylor while 5th place is up for grabs also with Japheth Nisbett holding a 31 point margin over Luke Oyster. As always, The Speedway's Entry level class provides lots of action and excitement. Gates will open at 4pm for the Grandstand, Wild Side, VIP Suites and Fan Deck as racing action will blast off of the 3/8 mile high banked asphalt oval at 6PM for the final race of the season. Regular Admission prices will be effect as Grandstand Adults are $12 with Discounts for Senior's and Military. Kids 11-15 are only $5 and kids 10 and under are FREE. The Budweiser Wildside Tier Parking tickets only $15 for Adults with Discounts for Seniors and Military. Kids 11-15 are $7 and 10 and under are FREE for the biggest tailgate party around. For more information visit The Website at WWW.I44Speedway.Net and join the large crowd as part of our Facebook Page at Missouri's only Active Asphalt and NASCAR Sanction Track.

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FasTrack Racing Journal Online covers all forms of racing including NASCAR, asphalt racing, dirt racing, and short track action all over the country.