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May 16, 2019

Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: Cole Henson on the fast track to success in ULMA Late Model division

Cole Henson has two third-place finishes and a fourth in three Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model features this season at Lucas Oil Speedway. (Kenny Shaw photo)
WHEATLAND, Missouri (May 16, 2019) - With only a handful of Late Model attempts under his belt, Cole Henson admits it's an ongoing education each time he climbs behind the wheel of his No. 31.

"They set me up with a great car every week," Henson said of car owner Rob Schlup and veteran racer Tony Jackson Jr., who offers advice on the Longhorn chassis that Henson drives in the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model division at Lucas Oil Speedway.

"It's a matter of me getting more seat time and learning more about these Late Models," Henson said. "Seat time is a big key for me right now."

Henson, 23, is proving a quick study in his first full season in the division. He already has three top-five feature finishes in three starts at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2019, plus a feature victory at Lake Ozark Speedway.

"It's been going really well for us, so far. Hopefully we'll keep it up," said Henson, the Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight Driver of the Week. The Late Models will be featured on Saturday with a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main event courtesy of HICKAMO Country Store as Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company along with OnMedia/DISH/DirecTV present Round 5 of the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series.

Henson, from Russellville in central Missouri, is part of a racing family. His older brother Derek races Street Stocks and their dad, Stanley Henson Jr. raced until about 2006 after his father drove on central Missouri ovals many years ago.

"Mom and Dad started me and my brother out in four-wheelers when we were really young, then we moved up to go-karts for a while," Cole Henson said. "My Dad quit racing in about 2006 and he passed it on to my brother. It then got passed on to me and I started in Street Stocks for four years, then teamed up with Rob Schlup, Jeff Schlup and Jason Porter.

"They helped me get involved in Late Models at Capital Speedway. Moving up to them, driving style is a big thing. You drive them so different and there's so much on these Late Models to learn with set-ups. At the track and the shop, I really pay attention and try to learn as much as I can."

Henson said he competed twice in a Late Model late last season at Lucas Oil Speedway, but a hard wreck knocked him out of action. He returned with the Longhorn this season, a car formerly owned by Jackson who continues to offer helpful helpful advice.

"Tony and Rob talk a lot and Tony helps me with driving, tells me how to drive it," Henson said. "He and Rob talk set-ups and how to get the car better every week."

Henson said he's looking to continue his string of top-five finishes at Lucas Oil Speedway, knowing that if he keeps running near the front he eventually is going to break through and get a win. The division has been dominated by two-time defending champion Johnny Fennewald, Aaron Marrant and Kaeden Cornell over the last couple of years.

"Those guys are super fast," Henson said. "I jumped out to the lead two weeks ago at Lucas, running the low side and thought we had a great car. Kaeden got me on the top side and then on a restart, Fennewald got me and we settled for third.

"The best thing I can do is follow those guys and learn from them. They've been driving Late Models longer than I have. I can learn a lot from them by just following them."

Henson's sponsors include Superior Power Custom Homes, Windy Ridge Landscaping, Cedar Ridge Taxidermy, Scott Farms and Heidbrener Foundation Service.

"And Tony (Jackson is not a sponsor, but he does help us with TJR Motorsports," Henson said. "Plus my parents and grandparents help us a ton, too. They are there every week and our biggest supporters."
Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05. Kicking off the action will be the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature that was postponed due to rain at the conclusion of last week's program. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds and O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks also are on the program.
Show-Me 100 nearing: The 27th annual Show-Me 100 Presented by is just one week away. Now is the time to inquire about any remaining three-day reserved seats or to find out about camp sites. The event, featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt/MLRA Late Model Series is set for May 23-25.
To inquire about tickets, VIP suites or camping for any event in 2019, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at


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