Veteran Street Stock racer Barnett ready for another Lucas Oil Speedway run in 2019
WHEATLAND, Missouri (December 20, 2018) - The thought a year ago was that 2018 would be the final season on the track for Bob Barnett, one of the veterans of the Ozarks' dirt-track scene with his familiar black-and-orange No. 27 Street Stock machine.
But after another ultra-consistent season, in which the 57-year-old rolled to third place in points at Lucas Oil Speedway, Barnett is ready to give it another whirl in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks division of the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series.
"We're knocking on the door," Barnett said of title contention. "We just can't quite close the deal and came up just a little bit short this year. Those other two guys (track champion David Hendrix and runner-up Brian Schutt) had it going on. But at least we won't have to deal with (Schutt) because he's retired now."
The Barnett team of Bob and his son/crew chief Jay Barnett are a familiar sight in the pits at Lucas Oil Speedway. They often arrive early to fire up the barbecue grill, making sure they and friends are well fed before the night of racing gets going.
Jay Barnett said the whole race-day experience is part of the fun that the duo hopes can be taken a step or two further in 2019, with goals of visiting victory lane and taking a run at the points title.
"We talked last year about taking some time off. It's not gonna happen," Jay Barnett said. "We're working to race and that's what we're gonna do. We have too much invested in it and love it too much to quit."
They've given the car a thorough going over well ahead of the usual offseason schedule and even are building a new chassis they hope will debut before midseason. Successful Street Stock racer Burl Woods, also of Republic, has been enlisted for some help on set-up.
"He's been one of the heavy hitters, but he's gonna help us and try to help steer us in the right direction after his car owner decided to sell out," said Bob Barnett.
In order to become a contender, Jay Barnett said a priority will be putting more emphasis on heat races next season.
"We need better starting position in the features," Jay Barnett said. "We had to fire away from the back quite a few times last year and that makes it tough.
"I think we're a lot more confident going into next year. We usually don't start working on the car until February or March. We're always running late or behind. This year, we took about three weeks off after the season and starting looking into stuff for the car, seeing what everybody else is doing to go faster."
Team sponsors include Conklin Excavating, DAP Backhoe & Trucking, Bair's Sports Bar and Grill, Midwest Sheet Metal, Schaeffer Racing Oil, Fujimo Chassis and Fabrication, Yeoman Race Engines, Helling Tire, Christi Bukaty with USA Mortgage, R&R Graphics and Tailpipers.
The season begins March 30 with an open test and tune. Opening night for the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series is set for April 6.
Gift cards for 2019, which can be used throughout any part of Lucas Oil Speedway, remain available for Christmas purchase and beyond the holidays. Also, season passes for the 2019 season are available and those who had them in 2018 can renew at a $25 discount through the end of the year.
Contact McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at Nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com to purchase a gift card or season pass.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984