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Drag boat racing is coming to Wheatland MO next summer

October 27, 2010|by Jay Scherder, KY3 News | jscherder@ky3.com

WHEATLAND, Mo. -- In this small community, racing is big business. Lucas Oil Speedway is well known for its dirt track events.  By a year from now, it'll be known for water sports as well.

Drag boat racing is intense.  It's 250 miles per hour of pure adrenaline

"They shoot rooster tails 100 feet long.  They're crazy to see," said Dan Robinson with Lucas Oil Speedway.

In Missouri, there isn't really a true place to watch drag boat racing. Lucas Oil Speedway is fixing that problem.

"The population is 378," Robinson said. "We plan to bring 10,000 to 15,000 people here for a weekend."

Thanks to Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland will become the Midwest mecca of racing.

"It really puts it on the map," Robinson said. "It helps the community. It brings a lot of tourism dollars."

What used to be a bean field will soon be a 4,000-foot-long, 400-feet-wide drag boat racing track.  It'll be more than eight feet deep.

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"This is the only one-purpose, built-just-for-drag boat racing track," Robinson said. "It's the only one of its kind."

The owner of Lucas Oil knows the potential of the sport.

"He's just wanted to grow the sport, give them a place to race."

The owner brought all the boat drag racing series together under one umbrella. Construction on the track began in February and should be finished by July, just in time for a four-day event that will get national coverage.

"We have seven events this year on Speed, Versus, and Mav tv already, so this will be our first time on network TV," said Robinson.

For a place known for the oval track, it's the boat track that will make some waves.

That's not the only addition for Lucas Oil Speedway. They are building a drag racing strip as well. It should be finished in 2012 along with spots for several RVs looking over the track and a new bar and restaurant. 

Lucas Oil is building the tracks with all-local labor that is employed by the company.  It is one of the biggest employers in Hickory County.

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