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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Monett Speedway is ready to roar

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Taking it out for a spin. Colt Pruente, right, of Verona, heads down the back straight-away while Mitch Jenkins, left, of Aurora, rounds turn two during a practice session last Sunday in preparation for the 2011 dirt track season. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford]
The sound of engines screaming and the sight of cars circling the three-eighths of a mile dirt track at Monett Speedway on last Sunday's play day signaled that the 2011 racing season is almost here.

"I came from a sports family," said Speedway owner Randy Mooneyham. "I grew up listening to NASCAR races on the radio. Hearing the announcer talk about Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough, I just kind of deveopled a love for the sport."

In the late 1970s, Mooneyham began hanging around the Monett Speedway when an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself.

"I had a chance to lease the speedway and took it," explained Mooneyham. "Two years later, I bought the track. I have enjoyed it ever since."

The Speedway has a rich history in its 40-plus years of existence. NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader cut their teeth on the 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.

"We have been blessed to be in business this long," said Mooneyham. "I have watched this city grow up. I can still name all the businesses that we were here before. We have good and loyal fans."

This season, the Monett Speedway will host 24 racing events. One of the events is of particular interest to Mooneyham.

"On July 9 and 10 we are going to host the Midwest Chuckwagon Race," said Mooneyham. "I am really excited. This will be the first time the Chuckwagon Racing Society has raced on a designated racetrack. Normally, they mark off a section of a field for a track. It should be very entertaining to see them race on the Speedway."

The Speedway will also feature the Southern Missouri Truck and Tractor Pulling Association on July 30 and the 40th Annual 4-State Dirt Track Championship on Sept. 4.

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

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