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September 30, 2020

With Lucas Cattle Company ULMA championship within reach, Henson looks to close out 2020 double

Cole Henson (31) has a 32-point lead over Larry Ferris (51) heading into this weekend's Lucas Oil Cattle Company ULMA Late Model finale at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)
WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 30, 2020) - When the 2020 Lucas Oil Speedway season began back in May, Cole Henson had the goal of winning either the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA track championship or the Lucas Cattle Company ULMA season championship.
 
This weekend, as the ULMA season concludes with two nights of racing as part of Lucas Oil Speedway’s Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt, the 24-year-old Henson has a chance to do both.
 
“We’ve accomplished the Lucas track championship, which was amazing,” Henson said. “That was hard to do. There’s some tough competition each and every week. It would be amazing to be able to go out this weekend and have some good runs, go battle for a win but also bring the car home in one piece … and hopefully secure this ULMA championship.”
 
Henson, from Russellville in central Missouri, has a 32-point lead over Nevada’s Larry Ferris and is 46 in front of Jefferson City’s Tucker Cox entering the weekend. The ULMA Late Models have full programs, with $1,000-to-win features, both Friday and Saturday nights.
 
Henson said it’s a delicate balance of racing for wins while also protecting his points lead. He was able to walk that line perfectly during the 2020 Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series, holding off Johnny Fennewald for the track championship despite never winning a feature.
 
Consistency was the name of Henson’s game. He never finished outside the top 10 in 12 features and had 10 top-five finishes, including three second-place finishes. His runner-up to Fennewald on the final night of the weekly season was just enough to prevail in points.
 
“I’m more focused on running top five. I’m not gonna go out and try to beat the wall down,” Henson said of this weekend’s approach. “I’m gonna use my head and drive smart. Just like my last night at Lucas (during the regular season). I had to do my job. I knew what I had to do.
 
“I know Larry’s right there behind me. I have to drive smart and do my job every time on the track not to tear it up and bring it home in one piece.”
 
Ferris said he’s had a sub-par season, never finding the necessary speed he needed to contend for wins. Yet his also has been consistent enough to at least have a shot at overtaking Henson in the ULMA chase.
 
“It’s probably gonna take him having trouble and I don’t want him to have trouble or anything,” Ferris said of his chances to overtake Henson. “But it would be nice if we could have some luck for a change. We sure haven’t had any this year.
 
“We just never could get it going, ever could find any speed. It’s just been one of them years. I don’t really know how to explain it, it’s just been a bad year for us.
 
“Hopefully we can give Cole a run for his money. He’s a good kid. We get along real well. If anybody is gonna win it, I’d like for him to, if I can’t.”
 
Henson said he’s thankful for the support from car owner Rob Schlup and advice from veteran racer Tony Jackson Jr., plus all his sponsors, to put him in position to close out a spectacular points season.
 
One year ago, Henson picked up his first feature victory at Lucas Oil Speedway on Big Buck 50 weekend. Perhaps more memories await this time.
 
“We’ve checked over the car from front to back, every nut and bolt, like we do every week,” Henson said. “Hopefully we’ll go out there and everything will go great. Winning the ULMA championship would be awesome.”
 
For more information on the Lucas Cattle Company ULMA, including point standings, schedule and archived stories go to ULMAracing.com.
 
The 7th annual Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt begins with practice and qualifying on Thursday night and begins the path to Saturday night’s 50-lap Street Stocks main event, in which the winner will take home $10,000 and a free entry, valued at more than $3,000, into the prestigious Whitetail Trophy Hunt in mid-Missouri this November.
 
Practice is set for Thursday night for both Street Stocks and ULMA Late Models from 5-8 p.m., plus time trials for the Street Stocks from 8-9 p.m. Grandstand admission is free with pit passes $25. A beer trailer will set up in the pits next to the tech building, with sales opening after qualifying and the band Comancheros will play in the pits following the time trials.
 
Once again this year, TJR Motorsports will provide $500 for the Fast Time Bonus to the driver quickest in time trials.
 
Qualifying heat races are set for Friday, along with dashes for the top two finishers in each heat to set the field for the first 16 position of Saturday’s feature. Alphabet mains on Saturday will finalize the field for the main event.
 
Two Lucas Oil Speedway provisional starters will be added to the field, based on final 2020 track points.
 
Thursday's schedule
3 p.m. - Gates open
5-8 p.m. - Open practice
8-9 p.m. - Street Stocks qualifying
 
Friday's schedule
4 p.m. - Gates open
6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
7:05 p.m. - Racing begins
 
Saturday's schedule
3 p.m. - Gates open
5:30 p.m. - Hot laps
6:05 - Racing begins
 
Thursday's admission:
Grandstands free
Pit passes $25
 
Friday's admission:
Adults (16 and over) $15
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $12
Youth (ages 6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Pit pass $35
 
Saturday's admission:
Adults (16 and over) $20
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $17
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Pit pass $40
 
For ticket questions or information for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information.
 
CONTACT:
Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984