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September 26, 2019

Reigning champ Anglin takes aim at another Big Buck 50 title, Whitetail Trophy Hunt opportunity

Tony Anglin of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, is the only driver to finish in the top six of all previous editions of the Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt. (Kenny Shaw photo)
WHEATLAND, Missouri (September 26, 2019) - Tony Anglin already has a hunting trip scheduled for later this fall in Colorado, but would love the opportunity to cancel it.

That's because the driver winning the 6th annual Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt, Oct. 3-5 at Lucas Oil Speedway, not only earns $10,000 but a free entry in mid-Missouri Whitetail Trophy Hunt this November.

Anglin won the 2017 Big Buck 50 and would like another opportunity to participate in the prestigious Whitetail Hunt, perhaps with a different strategy this time.

"I'd take that hunt over Colorado any time," Anglin said of the potential conflict. "It pretty awesome how they do that Whitetail deal.

"I got a little greedy and should have shot the first buck I saw," he added of the 2017 hunt. "But I saw those dollar signs, thinking maybe there's be a bigger one come out. I never did get another opportunity."

Anglin, of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and a field of O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stock drivers expected to number near 100, get that opportunity starting Oct. 3 with practice and time trials. Qualifying heat races, along with a full Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model program is set for Oct. 4 and Street Stock last-chance qualifiers before the 50-lap main event, plus a full ULMA Late Model program, wraps things on Oct. 5.

Anglin remains the reigning Big Buck 50 champion as last year's event was cancelled due to poor weather. He is the only driver to finish in the top six of all previous editions of the race with a second in 2014, sixth in 2015 and fifth in 2016 before breaking through with the win - despite having to come through the B Feature.

"It was a crazy weekend," he recalled of his path to the 2017 Big Buck 50 win. "We didn't qualify good, then ran terrible Friday night. Saturday, I worked all day on the car and changed a bunch of stuff. We started in the back of the B and won it, then started in the back of the A and ended up winning it.

"Coming home on Sunday, I thought, 'Wow, how could that ever happen for an Arkansas guy, to start that far back and win against that kind of competition?' It was a big deal. I had led a big race at Batesville two weeks prior to that and broke with four (laps) to go. I went to the Big Buck with the intention that I was going to win, no matter what."

Anglin said his dad, Wiley Anglin, said he needs to make things easier by qualifying better next week.

"But it seems like I'm always behind the 8-ball starting out. He says I drive better when I get mad," Anglin added, with a laugh.

Preparation for next week's race has been business as usual in the shop as Tony and Wiley Anglin prepare the same car that won the race two years ago.

"We put in about 30 hours a week working on it," Tony Anglin said. "My dad is the tire man and he helps me work on the car every night. He's 77 years old and he's out here until I go home. It don't matter if it's 10 o'clock or midnight, he's helping me."

Along with his past success in the Big Buck 50, Anglin almost always contends at Lucas Oil Speedway when he shows up there. He made the long haul once this season, placing second in a mid-July feature.

"Man, I just like the whole facility itself," Anglin said. "The racing surface is smooth, the hospitality when you're there, they treat you the same no matter who you are. I just wish it was closer. We'd be there every week if it was closer. But the hospitality is unreal, how every guy and every lady there is really nice to you."

The self-described avid hunter would love nothing better than to take another Big Buck 50 trophy back to Arkansas - and then get another shot at the Whitetail Trophy Hunt and maybe test out a different strategy.

"If I had to do it over, if that deer stepped out there ... I think it was about 7:15 in the morning (two years ago) ... I'd pull the trigger then. I was thinking that big buck can get you another 15 grand (for the biggest buck). But you're better off taking what you can, I guess.

"They always say 'go big or go home.' I went home after that deal."

The top 20 finishers in this year's hunt, in addition to receiving prize money for their corresponding finish (ranging from $15,000 for first to $1,500 for 10th) will receive a spot in next year's hunt (another $3,000 value). Those 20 also will be eligible for the Show-Me Showdown in 2020, joining the top 20 from the previous four hunts from 2015-18.

Those 100 not only will compete for the regular purse in next year's Whitetail Trophy Hunt, they will be eligible for an additional $55,000 in prize money. Tim Brown of Stoutland won the 2016 Big Buck 50 and went on to finish ninth in the Whitetail Hunt, thus making his eligible for the Show-Me Showdown next year.

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Whitetail Trophy Hunt at Lake of the Ozarks in mid-Missouri with over $4.5 million awarded over the last 30 years. The hunt, set for Nov. 16-18, brings in participants from all over the United States and abroad. Entries are received on a first come, first served basis and limited to a maximum of 230 hunters and this year's event has been sold out since last December.

Visit for more info.
Drivers are reminded that entry fee for the Big Buck 50 is $100 if received before October 1 and $125 after. The entry form also includes a complete run down of the rules.


Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt
Weekend Event Schedule
Thursday, October 3
4 p.m. - Gates open
6-9 p.m. - Open practice for Street Stocks and ULMA Late Models
9 p.m. - Street Stocks qualifying time trials
10 p.m.-1 a.m. - "Party in the Pits" in the tech building. The Detour Dance Band will play.


Thursday Admission
Grandstands - FREE
Pit Pass - $25
Friday, October 4
4 p.m. - Gates open
6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
7:05 p.m. - Racing begins. 10-lap heat races for Street Stocks, plus a full program for Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models.


Friday admission
Adults (16 and over) $15
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $12
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Pit Pass $35
Saturday, October 5
4 p.m. - Gates open
6:30 - Hot laps
7:05 - Racing begins. Last-chance races for Street Stocks before the 50-Lap, $10,000 to win main event. Warsaw Auto, Marine & RV ULMA Late Models with a full show with $2,000 going to the feature winner.
Saturday admission
Adults (16 and over) $20
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $17
Youth (6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Pit Pass $40
For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at


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