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Shep Lucas, from McKenzie, races a bus at the Flomaton Speedway. (April Richey/The Standard)

Heat races were under way and the crowd just kept growing at this year’s Memorial Day Shootout at the Flomaton Speedway. People from all over filled the stands to cheer on their favorite drivers. With large amounts of money to be won, there was no shortage of race cars to fill the line ups. Tuners, Slingshots, Pure Stock, Street Stock, Late Models and even School Buses all filled the pits awaiting their turn on the track.  When heat races finished, the lights went out.

Memorial weekend is all about remembering the proud men and women of our armed forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and rights.  Flomaton Speedway took time out to honor those fallen soldiers with a beautiful display of fireworks during the intermission break before the feature races. The National Anthem played in the back ground over the loud speakers while the fireworks lit up the night sky. It was a beautiful sight.

Also on hand were the Abba Shriners of Mobile. The transportation department of the Shriners were there raising money to help cover the cost to transport children to and from different hospitals. They are an amazing group of people, and can definitely use all the help they can get. 50/50 tickets were being sold during the heat races for a chance to win half of the amount raised. The winning ticket was drawn while waiting for the lights to come back on. The winner of the 50/50 won over $927.

Cars lined up to begin the feature races.  Top winners of the night were: Timothy Witherington, Tuners; Levi Nelson, Slingshot; Michael Emmons, Pure Stock and Calvin Cook, Street Stock.

Big winners in the Late Model division with a purse of $2000 were: Shep Lucas of McKenzie, Kyle Bryant of Navarre Fla. and Kenny Cartwright of Greenville.

Other locals in the late model division were Brandon Hood and Andrew Adams both of Fort Deposit finishing in the 7th and 11th positions. There was no shortage of excitement as these drivers raced their way to the checkered flag. Yet there was still more racing to come.

Eight school buses lined up in front of the flag stand, and eight brave drivers stepped out to greet the crowd. Kids of all ages were allowed to go onto the track and take a ride in the buses before the race. This of course would be the last time these buses would have children as its passengers. The drivers joined the fans in the stands one last time to help raise money for the Abba Shriners.

‘Fill the helmets’ raised over $1250 in addition to the money raised from the 50/50.

I personally call this group of guys the “Crazy 8”. If you would have seen this race, you would know why this name is a perfect fit for Shep Lucas #57, Adam Purvis #14, Justin Raybon #5, Alan Bell #2, Kevin Jeffers #1, Todd Smith #4, Josh Huss #7 and Micha McMall 3.

This was no ordinary race to say the least. The excitement rate was through the roof, with near roll overs and tires being destroyed. With debris cluttering the track, the buses pushed through to continue what could be compared to a demo derby race.

A few drivers even began to take a little short cut across the center of the track to gain positions. If you ever hear Shep say he can drive the wheels off anything, believe him! He finished the race on rims. This was a great show for everyone.

Flomaton Speedway is located on Hwy 113 in Flomaton. You can find their racing schedule online at or find them on Facebook.


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