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Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Young driver Tucker Cox on the rise in ULMA Late Model division

With feature finishes of fourth and fifth the last two events, Tucker Cox of Jefferson City has climbed to sixth in the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model points race at Lucas Oil Speedway. (Kenny Shaw photo)

(WHEATLAND, MO – July 24, 2019) – If you’re looking for a young, under-the-radar Late Model driver to keep an eye on for the future, Tucker Cox might be your man.

The 19-year-old from Jefferson City is only in his second season behind the wheel of a race car, of any kind. Cox didn’t follow a common template of starting in go-karts as a wee lad and advancing through the ranks of classes like Street Stocks and B-Mods before driving a Late Model.

Entering the final month of the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division at Lucas Oil Speedway, Cox is on the climb. He will be looking for a third straight top-five finish on Saturday when the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series resumes on Ozarks Food Harvest Food Drive Night at the Races.

“We’ve been a lot more consistent lately. We’re getting better,” Cox said. “We just have to keep working on things. We’re working every week a little harder and trying new things.”

Cox, a 2018 graduate of Jefferson City High School, got a relatively late start to racing but that doesn’t mean he was new to the sport. Cox’s dad, Chris Cox, was a long-time Late Model driver and Tucker grew up helping his dad work on the car.

The blue No. 1 Victory Circle is the same one that Chris drove up until turning the wheel over to Tucker before the 2018 season.

“I jumped right into the Late Model deal,” the younger Cox said. “It was tough, but I didn’t have to worry about picking up any bad habits driving any other cars, I guess. I think that part helped me, but I am definitely lacking some of the seat time that other guys have.

“I really wanted to race when I was younger, but the opportunity didn’t come about. We don’t have a ton of money. Plus it’s a lot of work, mainly just me and dad working on things. Time is a huge deal. We don’t have enough time to keep up with two cars.”

Tucker Cox said watching and helping his dad at the track was an education that would have been hard to replicate in other ways. He found out about the importance of work ethic and taking care of family owned equipment.

“If I hadn’t worked that hard with my dad while he was racing, I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity,” he said. “They (my parents) wanted to make sure that I was mature enough. It’s a lot of responsibility. That all was real important.

“It taught me self-discipline. i have to work on my own stuff and I think I finish more races because of that. A lot of guys and younger people tend to tear up a lot of stuff. Even older guys, who don’t work on their stuff, they tend to tear it up.”

Cox said he takes pride in finishing every race this season – “knock on wood,” he quickly added.

Lately, with more and more seat experience, he’s become more confident in driving aggressively in heat races and thus earning better starting positions in the feature.

“Starting closer to the front, that helps a ton,” he said.

Cox said a goal is to win his first feature. While he’s sixth in points, just 10 out of the top five, he’s trying not to worry about that.

“We’ll just try to run our best every week and see what happens,” he said.

Team sponsors include State Technical College in Linn (where Cox is studying for an HVAC degree), Prison Brews, Galen’s Auto Body, Cole County Upholstery, Mike Crump Racing and Sales, Millard Family Chapels, Extreme Brand Products, New Vision Graphics and Big Ed’s Guide Service.

This Saturday, fans bringing four non-perishable food items for the Ozarks Food Harvest will be admitted free to the grandstands. The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series event will find the O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks running a special 25-lap, $750-to-win main event. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and Ozarks Golf Cars USRA B-Mods also will be in action.

Fans also can again take advantage of the “Beat the Heat Get in a Suite” special. For $25 a ticket, they can watch the action in air-conditioned comfort (no food or drinks included in the price). There also are other suites available for rent this week.

Drivers are reminded that this is the week they will receive 50 tickets to give away for the Aug. 24 Rempfer Memorial Season Championship Night.

Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05.

Admission prices:

(FREE with 4 non-perishable food items)

Adults (16 and over) $12 – Seniors (62 and over) $9 – Youth (6-15) $5 – Kids (5 and under) FREE

Suite single seats (food and drink not included) $25

Family Pass $30

Pit pass $30

For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.

CONTACT: Danny Lorton-Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager-Office: (417) 282-5984 -DLorton@lucasoilspeedway.com

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndal Scranton (Lscranton755@gmail.com)