Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Street Stocks Driver Welschmeyer Takes Pride In Military Service
Wheatland, Missouri (July 20, 2017) - Military and Veterans Appreciation Night at the Races earlier this month had special significance for Lucas Oil Speedway Big O Tires Street Stocks driver Ted Welschmeyer.
The long-time racer from the mid-Missouri town of Tebbetts, just outside of Jefferson City, spent seven years in the United States Army on active duty and 18 more in the Army Reserves. He earned two bronze stars and several other awards before retiring in 2014.
"It means all the world to us," Welschmeyer said of recognition for him and others who served in the Armed Forces. "We just think of it as a job, but when people recognize us for what we did ... it's not something we look for, but it's something that is greatly appreciated."
Welschmeyer, the Tailgate Guys Radio Spotlight Driver of the Week for Lucas Oil Speedway's Big RV Adventure Weekly Racing Series, is putting together a consistent season. He's seventh in the Street Stocks points chase and feels that he's trending upward.
After early season motor issues and running a borrowed engine in recent weeks, he gets his primary power plant back in the car for Saturday's races.
"It's been a struggle, but it's getting better," Welschmeyer said of his season. "We're trying to get this car to work a little better. We got it to work a little better the last two weeks with some help from (fellow racer) Brian Schutt and now we're going to get my bigger motor back and we're going to be a little more competitive."
Welschmeyer said he's always raced in the Street Stock division because he enjoys taking a street-legal vehicle and turning it into a race car.
"I build all my cars," said Welschmeyer, whose No. 21W car is a 1980s Olds Cutlass body style. "When I go out and do good, it's what I did and not because of what I bought from somebody else."
Welschmeyer has three track championships to his credit (two at LA Raceway in LaMonte, Mo., and one at Callaway Raceway). He said racing was a popular subject of conversation during separate, year-long deployments in Iraq and Kuwait where he was a commander of the 428th Transportation Company.
"All my guys knew I raced," Welschmeyer said, adding that he missed racing while overseas.
"But we were pretty busy over there and you don't have time to really miss it," he added. "You stay pretty focused on what you have to do while you're over there. But I was always looking forward to coming back and (racing) again."
Welschmeyer said a military career might not be for everyone, but it suited him from an early age.
"As a kid, I always wanted to do the Army thing," he said. "I won't say it was always great, but overall it was a great experience for me. I got to travel the world for free. It was something that I always wanted to do. When I got deployed, I felt that I had done my part. I enjoyed it for a lot of years."
Welschmeyer now puts his professional expertise to use in private business. He owns and operates Bronze Star Truck and Trailer in Jefferson City and said he approaches business with the same pride he viewed his military service.
"I think I provide more than just repair. I like to think that I provide a service," Welschmeyer said.
Welschmeyer self-sponsors his race car and thanked his wife, Victoria, for supporting his racing endeavors. He said his goals for the rest of the season are simple.
"We just want to get back to where we're competitive," he said. "Over the last two or three years, we haven't been as competitive as we were in the past I think we're on the right track back to that. I just want to have fun and be competitive."
This Saturday night's Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series is part of a big weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway. The new off road track debuts with the GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire during the day time Saturday and Sunday. Fans purchasing off racing tickets Saturday or a weekend pass are admitted to the dirt track free Saturday night.
The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series this week is presented by The National Wild Turkey Federation. The program will feature the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, running a special 25-lap feature for $1,000 to win. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Big O Tires Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods also will be in action.
Hot laps are set for 7 p.m. with racing at 7:35.
Adults (16 and up) $12
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $9
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family pass $25
For ticket information either the Off Road track or dirt track program, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Here's a rundown of the GEICO Off Road Shootout Presented by General Tire, for the practice day on Friday and races on Saturday and Sunday:
Noon - Spectator gates open.
1:30 p.m. - Session 1 practice (3 laps for each class); a 30-minute break before session 2 practice.
4:30 p.m. - Session 3 practice.
Tickets: $10 general admission/pit pass combo (ages 6 and up), FREE (ages 5-and-under). 3-day pass, GA/pit pass combo ($60 day of event, $50 in advance online at www.showclix.com/events/8559). Seniors (62 and up) 3-day pass $54 day of event and $44 in advance online. Youth (ages 6-15) 3-day pass $20 (day of event and online). All tickets include access to the pit area.
Saturday and Sunday
9 a.m. - Spectator gates open.
9:30 a.m. - Mod Kart qualifying, followed by Pro 4, Pro Lite, Pro Buggy and Pro 2 qualifying.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Break for lunch/vendor exhibit visits.
1 p.m. - Mod Kart exhibition race, UTV race.
2:30 p.m. - Opening ceremonies followed by Pro 4, Pro Lite, Pro Buggy and Pro 2 races.
Tickets: $30 general admission/pit pass combo (ages 16 and up) day of event and $25 in advance online; seniors (62 and up) 3-day pass $27 day of event and $22 in advance online. Youth (ages 6-15) 3-day pass $10 (day of event and online). All tickets include access to the pit area. FREE ages 5-and-under. Family Pass GA/Pit Pass Combo $60 Includes Admission for 2 Adults and Up to 3 Kids Ages (6-15) can only be purchased day of event at the gate; Adult Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo-$60 (Day of Event) and $50 in advance online; Seniors (62 and up)/Military Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo-$54 (day of event) and $44 in advance online. Youth Ages (6-15) Weekend (3-Day) GA/Pit Pass Combo-$20 (day of event and online).
For complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket info and schedules, visit www.LucasOilSpeedway.com.
To get ticket information on any event this season at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com for further information.
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.