Local Dirt Late Model Superstar Tony Jackson, Jr. to Return to Lebanon I-44 Speedway
By Dylan Bates (Lebanon, MO) -- The No. 15 Willard Quarries Pro Late Model has had its fair share of talented drivers behind the wheel over the years. From NASCAR Superstar, Jamie McMurray, all the way to last year’s Pro Late Model Champion, Kennie Dickinson. A new shoe will be stepping into this car for 2019 and it is a driver we are all very familiar with. Lebanon native, Tony Jackson Jr., will be competing in his first full season since the early 2000s at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
PHOTO: Tony Jackson Jr. behind the wheel of the No.15 Willard Quarries Pro Late Model in the 2014 JEGS CRA Masters of the Pros 144 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway--CREDIT: speed51.com
Tony Jackson Jr. currently races for a living out of the TJR Motorsports shop based in Lebanon Missouri, but Tony’s career started way back in the 90s in the Street Stock division at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Tony began to move up the ranks quickly and went on to win numerous races on the High-Banks from 1998 to 2001 including a Track Championship in the Late Model Stock Division.
In 2002, Jackson Jr. finished 2nd in the Pro Late Model Championship at I-70 Speedway and in 2003 he made a run at the Championship at Lebanon I-44 Speedway and finished 2nd points. Tony then shifted his focus to the dirt, while still running an occasional asphalt race here and there. In 2010, Jackson Jr. made 7 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the No. 07 SS Green Light Truck. He averaged finishes in the top 20 throughout these 7 races. In 2013, Jackson Jr. hit his stride on the dirt tracks winning the MLRA and MARS Series Championships in the same year. He went on to win the MARS Championship four additional times. His last start at Lebanon I-44 Speedway came in 2014 when he ran the JEGS CRA Masters of the Pros 144. He started 29th due to a car failure and passed 16 cars to finish 13th.
Tony Jackson Jr. will now be competing for the Championship in the new 5-race Pro Late Model Series in 2019. “It will be fun to race in front of the hometown crowd again and race for David Willard. A lot of great racers have raced for him and it is a privilege to have that opportunity,” added Jackson Jr. Tony has been traveling since 2006 racing Dirt Late Models and Modifieds and some Asphalt Late Models here and there. “My little girl is 5-years-old now and I’m just looking to cut down on some of the travelling,” said Tony. Although, he does plan on racing the regional and local “Crown Jewell” events like the Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway as well as the majority of the MLRA Series.
Opening night for Lebanon I-44 Speedway will be Saturday, March 30th. This event will feature the March Madness 100 which is a 100-lap Pro Lap Model race and the first race of five for the Ozark’s Asphalt Late Model Series. We hope to see you there cheering on Tony Jackson Jr. and the rest of the talented drivers. Until then, watch our website and Facebook page for track news and updates!
Submitted By: Kirk Elliott