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NHRA vet Palmer spreads the word about Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series

Wheatland, Missouri (June 10, 2016) - Friends and fans of Scott Palmer are using this weekend's 5th annual John Haas Memorial Drag Boat Classic at Lucas Oil Speedway as a rare opportunity to get up close to the Ozarks' racing veteran.

Palmer, the veteran NHRA Top Fuel driver, has mixed it up with the big boys on pavement at 300-plus miles-per-hour for two decades. He's back at Lucas Oil Speedway for the second straight year as a Top Fuel boat owner on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series.

"We want to look good and put on a good show in our hometown race," Palmer said of the Liquid Voodoo, which is driven by Scott Compton.

The five pro divisions and eight sportsman classes made their first qualification runs Friday on "Lake Lucas." Day two of qualifying begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, part of a huge day of speed at the Lucas Oil Speedway complex. A full program on the dirt track is set for Saturday night, starting at 7 with hot laps. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will be running a $1,000-to-win feature.

Action shifts back to the water on Sunday for eliminations starting at 9 a.m.

There may not be a better spokesperson these days for drag-boat racing than Palmer, who has embraced an opportunity to bring extra attention to the Lucas Drag Boat Series. He promotes it on his NHRA car, talks up the boats at every opportunity and even has a constant video stream of drag-boat highlights going in his pits at NHRA events.

The timing is excellent. Palmer is having one of his best NHRA seasons, recently running a career-best 3.87 at 312 miles-per-hour over 1,000 feet at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas.

"The car's been running good and we've won a few rounds," said Palmer, 12th in NHRA Top Fuel points. "We've run all but two NHRA races this year. We skipped last weekend to prepare the boat. But the car's been running good. It's been a good crossover.

"There's a lot boat racers in the pit area when we go to (car) races. We've had a lot of NHRA drag fans in the last year go to boat races to check it out and see what it's all about. It's a good deal for us and we're proud of it."

Palmer said Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas has supported his NHRA efforts for nearly 20 years, as he campaigned as a part-time team. He said the opportunity to promote the Lucas Drag Boat Series is a natural.

"Boat racers don't get a lot of notoriety and they should. It's a great sport," Palmer said. "A lot of great racers have devoted their life to it. A lot of them have lost their lives."

Along for the ride with Palmer is Tommy Thompson, one of the top names in drag-boat racing. Thompson owns five boats on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series and also lends support to Palmer's effort on both land and water.

Palmer said Thompson has made it possible for his NHRA team - which also includes sponsorship from Marck Recycling and Lucas Oil Products - to run an expanded schedule.

"Scott's good for boats," Thompson said. "He does a lot of PR. Racers are racers. It don't matter what they drive. Scott does a lot of PR work for us on his boat and on his car. We're glad to help him out."

Part of the charm of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series is that the admission price includes pit passes. Palmer said it will be good to have a lot of visitors - many from southwest Missouri - in his pit area this weekend.

"It'll be a busy place," Palmer said, "but it's great to race at our hometown boat track. Topeka was kind of a hometown deal with the car, with lots of friends and family there. This will be the same way."

The Lucas Oil Speedway Drag Boat Lake - approximately 4,000 feet long and 400 feet wide - is the world's only purpose-built drag boat lake and located just south of the dirt track.

The event honors the memory of John Haas, the four-time World Champion in Top Fuel Hydro who lost his life in a 2010 qualifying accident in Oklahoma.

Ticket prices for the drag boats are: Saturday, June 11

  • Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) $25
  • Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) $22
  • Youth age 6-15 GA/Pit Pass Combo $10
  • Kids age 5 and under GA/Pit Pass Combo FREE
  • Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo $50 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15)
  • Adult 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$50
  • Seniors (62 and up)/Military 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$44
  • Youth Ages (6-15) 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$20
  • All tickets include access to Drag Boat pit area.
  • (All Saturday and 3-Day tickets include entry to the Dirt Track Event on Saturday night)

Sunday, June 12

  • Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) $25
  • Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) $22
  • Youth ages 6-15 GA/Pit Pass Combo $10
  • Kids ages 11 and under GA/Pit Pass Combo FREE
  • Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo $50 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15)
  • Adult 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$50
  • Seniors (62 and Up)/Military 3-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$44
  • Youth Ages (6-15) 2-Day GA/Pit Pass Combo-$20
  • All tickets include access to Drag Boat pit area.

On the dirt track: The Budweiser Weekly Championship Series returns to action on Saturday night on the Lucas Oil Speedway dirt. Hunting for Heroes Night at the Races Presented by KMIZ ABC 17 will find the Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds the featured division, running a $1,000-to-win feature Courtesy of Rains Ice.

Ozark Golf Cars B-Mods, ALPS Food Stores ULMA Late Models and Carson's Corner NAPA Street Stocks also are on the program.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30.

Admission to the dirt-track program is free to those purchasing Drag Boat tickets for Saturday or a three-day pass. Otherwise, ticket prices for the dirt-track program:

  • Adults (16 and up) $12
  • Seniors (62 and up)/Military $9
  • Youth (6-15) $5
  • Kids (5 and under) FREE
  • Family Pass $25 (Click Here for more information)
  • Pit Pass $25

For complete event information, archived stories, ticket info and schedule information for the season, visit lucasoilspeedway.com.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it's entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.

Click lucasoilspeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway.

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