After terrific season, Kris Jackson looks to regain Lucas Oil Speedway B-Mod championship in 2018
Wheatland, Missouri (December 7, 2017) - Three months have passed, but Kris Jackson vividly recalls the magical September week that was a highlight not only of his season but of a two-decade racing career.
"In eight days, I won $12,075," Jackson said of the sweep of a USRA B-Modified feature at West Plains' Legit Motor Speedway, the Larry Phillips Memorial B-Mod feature at Lucas Oil Speedway and the biggie, the $10,000-to-win Modified Madness Nationals at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Wisconsin.
"That's by far the neatest thing I've ever done," Jackson said of the capper up north. "I was beside myself when I was lucky enough to start on the pole and win that race."
What a year it was for Jackson, a 33-year-old from Lebanon, Missouri. He won 17 USRA-sanctioned features overall, including four at Lucas Oil Speedway where he finished runner-up to Andy Bryant in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod points chase despite missing a couple of races.
As he enjoys the offseason, Jackson said he's planning a run at another Lucas Oil Speedway championship in 2018. He was track champion there three straight years, from 2012-14, but hasn't committed to weekly points racing the last couple of years.
Jackson is hungry to do it again, while still being able to enter some select, big-paying B-Mod races around the country.
"The competition at Wheatland is unreal," Jackson said. "I feel if you can go there and win and win consistently, you can do it anywhere. For several years, I didn't want to get back into points racing, but I think I want to next year.
"Whenever you have to race against people like Andy Bryant, JC Morton, Mike Striegel, Ryan Gillmore and all of those others who are so fast around here ... if you can win around here you can go anywhere and win."
Gillmore was USRA B-Mod National Champion in 2017 with Bryant the runner-up. Morton, the national champ and Lucas Oil Speedway champ in 2016, has indicated he's returning to Lucas as a full-time competitor next year as well.
Jackson, who wound up fifth in national points this year, will be in a new car. The Shaw/TJR Motorsports chassis that was so good to him has been sold and Jackson will be in an Elite chassis in 2018.
"My cousin, Tony (Jackson), owns my chassis and gets me what he thinks is good," Kris Jackson said. "A lot of it has to do with how much time he has to put into it. I know he's real busy right now. We just got a car that's pretty well all but turn-key. I can pretty well just put the motor in and race it.
"I really liked (the old) car. It was probably my favorite race car I ever had."
Asked if it was hard to let it go, Jackson said you can't become too sentimental in the racing business.
"They're just race cars. They get bent up and get used up," Jackson said. "And whenever you have somebody willing to pay for one, it's time to let it go."
For Jackson, who began racing go-karts at the age of 14 and advanced through the ranks to become one of the region's top B-Mod drivers, one of the most fun things about 2017 was watching his 6-year-old son, Karter, enjoy his racing success and trips to victory lane.
"He's probably ruined. He probably will have to have (a race car) before too long," Jackson said with a laugh. "He's definitely gonna race something. He already has a (go-kart) he drives around the shop and at home, but it's not a racing one."
Jackson also was often joined in victory lane by wife, Krystle, and crew members Jared and Jordan Medley. During the Modified Madness race weekend in Wisconsin, Jordan Medley made the trip and was particularly key as he and Kris worked to install a new engine after mechanical issues in practice the night before qualifying.
"Jordan and I were the only people in the pits grinding our tires with no motor in the car," Jackson said. "Jim Ruble had a motor at his shop that he rebuilt overnight and brought it to us. We fired it up and raced it on Thursday and qualified for the pole."
Ruble Racing Engines is a long-time sponsor, along with Joe's Pharmacy, TJR Motorsports, Vans Motor Sales, Show-Me Dents, Starnes Excavating and East 32 Meat Processing.
Kris Jackson made four trips to victory lane at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2017 with family and friends often joining the celebration. (Kenny Shaw photo)
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 LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.