Monett Speedway is ready to roar

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Roaring with action Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford The Monett Speedway was roaring with action Sunday night as the track hosted a play date for its drivers. One of the most exciting and unique attractions in Monett, the speedway is set to open its 42nd season this Sunday with its first of 23 feature events at the track. Above, Patrick Johnson, at left, of Ash Grove, holds off Jeff Roth, of Bentonville, Ark.

The sound of engines screaming and the sight of cars circling the three-eighths of a mile dirt track at Monett Speedway during last Sunday's play day signaled that the 2012 racing season is almost here.

"Racing fans, more specifically dirt track fans, love to see the cars sliding around corners at 100 miles per hour," said owner Randy Mooneyham. "I think the most skilled (race car) drivers are the guys on dirt."

The speedway will open its 42nd year in Monett this Sunday, and Mooneyham has slated 23 feature events this season.

"I think we have a lot of quality racing scheduled this year," said Mooneyham. "The USMTS Modified Series makes two trips to the track, and NASCAR driver Kenny Schrader will race at the speedway on April 29."

This season will also see the return of the popular chuckwagon races on July 6 and 7, plus the 12th annual Tony Roper Memorial and the 42nd annual Four State Dirt Track championship on Sept. 3.

"Money has been tight for a lot of folks and racing is an expensive hobby," said Mooneyham. "The economy kept a lot of drivers away last season. However, this year I have talked to a lot of drivers who are excited and will be at the track."

The speedway has a rich history in its 40-plus years of existence. NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Schrader cut their teeth on Monett's red clay dirt.

Local racing legends Ken Essary, Daryl Mooneyham, Terry Phillips and the late Larry Phillips all have graced the winners circle at Monett.

This season, the track has been resurfaced with new dirt.

"It took me a long time to find dirt suitable enough to race on," said Mooneyham. "We finally tracked some down in Wentworth. I believe we have the best racing surface around."

The track is in action this Sunday with seven feature racing classes (late models, modified, sport mod, midwest mod, factory stock, pure stock and pro-4) in action. Gates open at 5 p.m. Hotlaps begin at 7 p.m. with feature races starting at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the Monett Speedway, visit www.monettspeedway.

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