Born: February 1, 1942

In 2007, in the southwest Missouri community of Wheatland, rose Lucas Oil Speedway, with a 3/8-mile, semi-banked dirt oval as the cornerstone. Even better, it looked like the new-age big-league parks, complete with a lighted-up backdrop featuring a majestic grandstand, VIP suites and press box.

“Diamond of Dirt Tracks” it was soon called. And now it sits next to an off-road racing facility, as well as a 4,000-foot-long artificial lake created for drag boat racing.

“If it were up to my wife and son, we would have a dragstrip, too,” Forrest Lucas said, and then joked, “Going fast runs in the family.”

A self-made businessman, philanthropist and creator of Lucas Oil, Lucas surged into the motorsports world over 20 years ago and has since won numerous checkered flags, to speak. It’s quite the story and why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducted Lucas with the Class of 2022.

Founded with his wife, Charlotte, in 1989, Lucas Oil’s extensive line of engine oils and fuel treatments is recognized in local auto parts stores and truck stops coast to coast. Ultimately, the trucking, car and motorsports industries benefitted as Lucas Oil’s products prolonged the life of engines.

Beginning with his first sponsorship of Ricky Logan, awarded Mr. Sprint Car in 2002, Lucas’ ongoing contributions to the automotive industry and sports world are traceable over decades. He is a longtime ally of professional and amateur motorsports, sponsoring teams, speedways and racing events at regional and national levels. That includes a production line of high-performance motor and gear oils used expressly for the extreme endurance of racing.

Annually, Lucas Oil sponsors an average of 500 grassroots and professional motorsports teams and race tracks.

Among them is Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, about an hour north of Springfield. Lucas purchased it in 2004, and it hosts 50 events annually.

Adjacent to the speedway is Lucas Lake, the first purpose-built boat drag-racing lake in the world. Nearby is a 1.3 mile-long, off-road course with large, incredible jumps. Even better, the Lucas Oil TV Helicopter provides stunning overhead footage for MAVTV.

“In the beginning, motorsports were a hybrid of marketing and passion,” Lucas said. “Now we sponsor hundreds of drivers, tracks and series across the country and some international as well. We have developed state-of-the-art lubricants for the entire racing industry and have had our products in cars that have won events at every level.”

And now look. There’s the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series, Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil National Midget League.

In 2011, Lucas Oil created MAV TV, the only television network dedicated to motorsports. It offers prestigious events such as the Chili Bowl, the AMA Motocross series, live racing events and more.

MAV TV also covers multitudes of grassroots series across the globe – drag boats, sprint boats, drag racing, pro pulling, rally racing, drifting, dirt racing, ice racing and everything in between. In 2021, it launched MAV TV Plus as its premier subscription-based, 24-hour streaming platform.

The company spring-boarded from the early 2000s, thanks to redoubled marketing efforts.

“Building a brand isn’t easy or cheap,” Lucas said, “but we knew once people tried the product and realized it works, we had a customer for life.”

Born in rural Indiana in 1942, Lucas is the eldest of four children who worked on the family farm and, at age 12, began helping his father on a cattle ranch. At age 19, after working as a salesman in order to feed his wife and young son, Lucas purchased a dump truck.

That led to a business in the trucking industry. As he gained experience as a trucker and mechanic, Lucas blended different oils in hopes of protecting engines.

In the 1980s, after he and his wife Charlotte expanded the trucking business into California, he stumbled onto a barrel of what is now called LOP89. It became the base for Lucas Oil Stabilizer and Upper Cylinder Lubricant.

Now Lucas Oil is much more, including a speedway in Wheatland.

These days, he is CEO, and credits many for the  success: his wife, his son Morgan (now President of the company), series and track directors, the marketing team, video production crew and MAV TV team, as well as partnerships.

In speaking about partnerships with NASCAR teams, Lucas could have been speaking about all those who have been on the Lucas Oil team when he said this: “My belief is that, because we work together, we also learn and grow together.”