Camdenton’s Shore and Lebanon’s Christian racing to raise money for football programs at I-44 Speedway

Camdenton football coach Jeff Shore has never been behind the wheel of a race car.

That will change on Saturday, July 22 when he takes on Lebanon’s Will Christian at the I-44 Speedway in Lebanon for the first ever Coaches Challenge as a way for both football programs to raise money. The race will be part of the intermission entertainment as the venue gets ready for the second half of the NASCAR short-track season.

“I am both nervous and excited. It sounds fun and it something that I will probably never do again so it sounds like a good thing to do one time,” Shore said.

“They are giving me a helmet and a fire suit, which is nice of them. I’m hoping that if something happens and I wreck in Laclede County, that they don’t take their time getting there to help me,” the coach added with a smile.

According to Shore, the race is slated to be seven or eight laps and he will get a chance to test out his car provided by the speedway on Saturday morning. His main goal will be survival.

“I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t have a strategy other than to survive it and hopefully get some people to come watch it. Obviously I’m going to try to win it, but I think the main thing is survival,” he said laughingly.

Camdenton fans who are interested in attending can get a purple voucher for the price of admission and provide it at the gate to help raise money for the program. For every voucher received, 50 percent of that admission money will go towards the football program. Vouchers can be obtained at the high school office or by contacting Debbie at the I-44 Office by calling 417-532-2060. Shore said vouchers can also be accessed via the purple Laker bus, which will be located by admission. The gates open at 6 p.m., and the racing starts at 7:30 p.m.

“This was I-44’s idea and it is pretty generous of an offer from them to give up half the gate of our people that come in,” Shore noted. “That is a great deal for our program for really little effort other than me getting in a race car and hopefully surviving that.”

Whatever happens in this next chapter of the Highway 5 rivalry, Shore is hoping to see plenty of purple and gold in the stands.

“It makes it fun and exciting. Hopefully it will carry over into the season and create another exciting game for our kids,” Shore said of the rivalry.

“Hopefully the word is out there and if you are bored and want to see some excitement, maybe a crash or two, then you might want to come out. Either way, even if there is 50 people there or 10, it will still be a good deal.”