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March 14, 2019

Meet The Lucas Oil Speedway Staff: Public Safety Director Harnden Enjoys Serving The Fans

Meet the Lucas Oil Speedway Staff
Public Safety Director Steve Harnden has worked at Lucas Oil Speedway since 2012, when he relocated to Missouri from California.

WHEATLAND, Missouri (March 14, 2019) - Steve Harnden wants Lucas Oil Speedway fans to know that his staff is about more than dealing with an occasional rowdy customer.

"We are there to help the public. If somebody has a question, we answer those questions," said Harnden, Lucas Oil Speedway's Public Safety Director the last several years. "We've tried to broaden it to where people aren't scared of us. We're not just security."

Steve Harnden

Steve Harnden

Harnden's team mans the front gate, pit gate, turn two entrance to the track, the backstretch connection between the grandstands and pit area and the stairs and elevator leading to the VIP suites. About a dozen-person strong for a typical race night, they also patrol the pit area and are available to help coordinate evacuation in case of severe weather.

"We would coordinate that with Safety Steve (Emergency Engineer in Charge Steve Keller) and direct people to the shelters," Harnden said. "Fortunately, we've only had to do that once."

Harnden moved to Weaubleau in 2012 after a 20-year career working for the California Department of Corrections. His wife, Anna, has family the couple live there, along with grandson Alex, who is six.

Harnden, who also oversees the go-kart track and Environmental Services Crew, said he was more of a NASCAR fan than a dirt-racing fan when he relocated. Those allegiances have flipped over the last few years and he enjoys the clientele of Lucas Oil Speedway.

"It's become more of a family atmosphere and is really family friendly," he said.

The move to Missouri also has satisfied another of Harnden's post-law-enforcement-career passions. He is co-owner of Weaubleau Creek Outfitters and enjoys guiding deer and turkey hunts, along with fishing expeditions.

"I love taking first-time people hunting," Harnden said. "I don't care if I kill anything anymore. I'd just as soon take somebody else and help them have that experience. It's a lot of fun for me."

The 2019 Lucas Oil Speedway season kicks off March 30 with an open test and tune. The Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series begins April 6 with action in all four of the weekly divisions - Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks.

To inquire about tickets, VIP suites or camping, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at


Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984