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Terry Schultz celebrates in Victory Lane during one of his victories at Lakeside Speedway. Schultz has six wins between Lakeside and Central Missouri Speedway this season. (Photo by Joshua Allee Photography/Courtesy Karen Darling, Lakeside Speedway)

Terry Schultz finding new success in first NASCAR season

Terry Schultz has been racing for 31 years, but this is the first he’s competed full-time at a NASCAR-sanctioned track.

And while he’s had a lot of success – more than 300 wins and, he estimates, about 15 championships – racing for national NASCAR points wasn’t something he and his team thought about this season. In fact, he had to be reminded just how high in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division II standings he is.

“I thought we were dead in the water in that deal,” Schultz said.

“I knew, but earlier in the year we had a rough patch, so I assumed we had fell way back. I didn’t know we were still competitive. I’m not sure we deserve to be right now, but we’ll take it.”

In 22 races this season between dirt tracks Lakeside Speedway, in Kansas City, Kansas, and Central Missouri Speedway, in Warrensburg, Missouri, Schultz has six wins and 17 top-5 finishes. He’s currently second in the NWAAS Division II points, four points out of first.

RELATED: NWAAS Division II standings | NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series news

Schultz has been racing at CMS since 1990, and at Lakeside Speedway for the last five years. Both tracks went NASCAR-sanctioned this season for the first time in decades.

He currently leads the B-Mods standings at CMS by 17 points, and is third in the B-Mods points at Lakeside, 60 points behind the leader.

When Schultz was a kid, his dad did mud racing at coliseums all around the Midwest. Even though Schultz grew up around the racing community, it was a trip to the track with a friend that really sparked the interest for him.

“A buddy of mine had a car and I went with him to the track one time and I said, ‘Well that looks like fun,'” he said. “Two weeks later I had my own car and I’ve been going after it ever since.”

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Terry Schultz drives around a competitor during a recent race at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas. Schultz is second in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division II standings. (Photo by Joshua Allee Photography/Courtesy Karen Darling, Lakeside Speedway)

The 22 NASCAR races for Schultz is about half of all the races he’s done this season. He drives for owner Bobby Russell as his primary car, and has another of his own he has for a backup.

His job – he owns his own demolition company – helps make it possible for Schultz to race more than once every weekend.

“It could have been something I went out the first time and didn’t like and moved on,” he said of racing. “I’ve been fortunate I’ve got a job that allows me to do it and family that allows me to do it. And financially it’s never been a burden, too bad of a burden anyway.”

After competing for many decades in the A-mods divisions at both Lakeside and CMS, he dropped down to racing B-mods this season, and said he’s had a lot more fun in a new class.

“We do a lot of racing,” Schultz said.

“I’m not a young fella anymore so it was getting to be a lot of work. We were spending a lot of time and spending a lot of money and going out and racing against half the cars. You’d look over and there would be 30 B-mods and we’d have 10 cars in my class. I was almost jealous of it. I thought it might be fun to try that. It seems to be working good. It fits our schedule better time-wise.

“We’ve been having a ball. It’s a lot less pressure. You don’t have to run well every time you’re out there and feel like you’ve wasted the whole week.”

Rainouts and a couple DNFs has made this an up-and-down season for Schultz and his team, adding to his surprise at how well he’s doing nationally.

The veteran diver has never gone into a season racing for a championship or points. He prefers to compete with the motto “the only important race is the next race.” The rest will take care of itself.

“We try to finish up towards the front and let the wins take care of themselves,” Schultz said. “Let the cards fall how they may.”

Schultz and his team will continue to race that way through the end of the season, although he said they might start thinking about chasing points now that they know they’re close.

For a sport Schultz said he “just kind of fell into,” the championships have all come, and they may keep coming this season.

“Some days you’re so mad at it you don’t want to go racing gain. Then the next day you’re a little less mad, and the day after that you can’t wait to go again. I don’t know what it is,” Schultz said.

“We’re just going to keep racing and doing as well as we can.”

Central Missouri Speedway will host Labor Day Weekend races on Saturday and Sunday. Night 1 will feature the track’s second annual Big Bad B-Mod Blowout, as well as A-Mods, Super Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Night 2 will feature A-Mods, B-Mods, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Lightning Sprints.

Lakeside Speedway will host racing on September 10 for the Tom Karrick Memorial, featuring A-Mods, B-Mods, Stock Cars, Pure Stocks, and Mod Lites. Racing will begin at 7:45 p.m.