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Schmidt TeamDave Schmidt (left) began racing drag boats nearly 40 years ago. Now he cheers on son David and grandsons Justin and Jeremy on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series.

Wheatland, Missouri (September 1, 2017) - They're one of the first families of drag boat racing, three generations strong spanning nearly 40 years in the sport.

"Dave Schmidt, the patriarch, spent Friday morning proudly watching son David and grandsons Jeremy and Justin making qualifying runs on Lake Lucas as the 7th annual Diamond Drag Boat Nationals got underway.

"Racing is in our blood, I guess you could say," said Dave Schmidt, himself a former boat racer. "Now the boys are taking it to the next level. We're passing the torch."

The Smithton, Illinois racers will have a large contingent of family and friends cheering them on this weekend. David Schmidt has the Division III Pro Eliminator points lead in his "Just Another Quickie" boat. Jeremy Schmidt is third in Top Eliminator in "Bad Influence" with Justin Schmidt sixth in Top Eliminator driving "Game Changer."

It all began when Dave Schmidt began racing boats with buddies on southern Illinois lakes in about 1980.

"I called it lake racing," the elder Schmidt said. "It was where you had a fast boat and a bunch of us would get together and race. Then we realized that we needed some safety built into it. That's how the drag boat clubs came into being. The put on races with timers and safety requirements."

David Schmidt said he and his father began racing together in about 1987. While Dave stepped out of the flat-bottom Top Eliminator boats he raced in about 2000, he remains involved by attending most events and offering helpful hints.

Having a vault of knowledge like his father and grandfather is invaluable, said Justin Schmidt who turns 21 on Saturday.

"It's great. A lot of times you come back and you might lose a round, just from a lack of seat time," Justin Schmidt said. "Just anything you have a question about, they're there to give you knowledge. I think that does help a lot to be competitive, as quick as we have, versus just coming into it blind."

Jeremy Schmidt, 18, said boat racing has been a way of life and "a fun thing to be a part of. It's a good, family sport.

"There's no doubt that every lap you take is another learning curve. It is nice to have Dad's and Grandpa's experience to call upon. They have a lot of knowledge to teach us about tuning the boats and driving these things."

The brothers have yet to line up head-to-head during an elimination battle, but both say their competitive spirit would come out. Each would dearly like to beat the other.

Meanwhile, as David Schmidt chases a championship in the Pro Eliminator division, he said there's a reason why he's having more fun and success than ever. Having his boys alongside not only is priceless, but a performance booster.

"It kind of rejuvenated some of my passion and some of that desire to work on the boat all week so you can go racing on the weekend and see them have some fun," David Schmidt said of having Jeremy and Justin involved. "We're all having a lot of fun with it."

Nitrochondriac goes 270: A highlight of Friday's opening day of qualifying was Bryan Sanders, driving Top Fuel Hydro points leader Nitrochondriac, going 270.002 miles per hour with an ET of 3.45 seconds.

Qualifying runs continue on Saturday to set the brackets for eliminations which begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Daily schedule and ticket info:
(Saturday schedule)
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Round 1 qualifying, sportsman session
10:30 a.m. - Round 1 qualifying, pro session
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 qualifying, sportsman session
2 p.m. - Round 2 qualifying, pro session

(Saturday tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) - $22
Youth GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 6 to 15) - $10
Kids GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo - $50 Includes admission for two adults and up to three 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

(Sunday schedule)
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Round 1 Eliminations (PM, PO)
9:30 a.m. - Round 1 Eliminations (TFH, TAH, TAF)
10:30 a.m. - Round 1 Eliminations (QE, PE, TE, ME, SE, RR, PWC, JR)
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 Eliminations (PM, PO)
1 p.m. - Round 2 Eliminations (TFH, TAH, TAF)
1:30 p.m. - Round 2 Eliminations (QE, PE, TE, ME, SE, RR, PWC, JR)
2:30 p.m. - Round 3 Eliminations (PM, PO)
2:45 p.m. - Round 3 Eliminations (JR, PWC, RR, SE, ME, TE, PE, QE)
3 p.m. - Final Round Eliminations (All Classes)

(Sunday tickets)
Adults GA/Pit Pass Combo (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military GA/Pit Pass Combo (62 and up) - $22
Youth GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 6 to 15) - $10
Kids GA/Pit Pass Combo (age 5 and under) - 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

For information on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, including archived stories, past results, point standings and the schedule log onto lucasoildragboats.com.

Larry Phillips Memorial: Meanwhile, on the dirt track Saturday night it's the Larry Phillips Memorial. The Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models race for a $5,075-to-win feature and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods go after $1,075 in a 30-lap main event.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. Saturday evening on the dirt track with hot laps at 7 and racing at 7:30. Fans who purchase a boat-race ticket Saturday or a three-day Diamond Drag Boat Nationals pass admitted to the dirt track free.

(Larry Phillips Memorial admission)
Adults (16 and up) $20
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $17
Youth (6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $40
Pit Pass $40

For ticket information for all Lucas Oil Speedway events, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@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 its 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 www.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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