MIckey Burrell stares at an ongoing race at Springfield Raceway before the start of his own race on June 21, 2015 in Springfield, Mo. Burrell is one of many amateur race drivers around the Ozarks. Drivers who spend what little extra time and money they have into racing modified cars in dirt tracks all over the region. Burrell has been racing for 10 years, without much big-time success and this season has been no different, with misfortune striking seemingly every week.
Mickey Burrell and Elston Moore take on a race after Burrell took first place in his qualifying heat earlier in the Saturday evening races at Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on July 25, 2015. Burrell, who has had a string of unsuccessful races this year, felt quite confident after his qualifying win, which would allow him to start in the first row of the feature race lineup.
Burrell spends his weekends racing his modified car and multiple weeknights fixing it. His crew chief, professional mechanic Elston Moore (not pictured), houses the 73 car in his shop and works with Burrell repairing the car week in and week out. Here, Burrell calls for Moore's help before taking the Springfield Raceway track for the qualifying heat for 'A-Mod' cars in Springfield, Mo. on June 21, 2015.
Elston Moore (left) and Mickey Burrell work on repairs for Burrell's racing car at a garage next to Moore's house in Springfield, Mo. on July 8, 2015. This was one of many repair sessions that week after a particularly bad race the previous Friday, where Burrell was part of a multiple car wreck that prevented him from finishing the race. This year has been one of disappointment for Moore and Burrell, as multiple wrecks and failures to finish have meant extensive repairs and little success to show for.
Sophie, half of Mickey Burrell's couple of basset hounds, stays cool under Burrell's "A-Mod" car in Springfield, Mo. on July 8, 2015 as he and Elston Moore work on getting the car back in shape for a race at Monett Speedway only a couple days away.
Mickey Burrell laughs as he and Elston Moore put the finishing touches on Burrell's car before heading to race at Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on July 25, 2015.
Mickey Burrell, who has been racing for 10 years, puts on his gear as he prepares to take the dirt track for a qualifying heat at the Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on June 21, 2015.
Mickey Burrell takes a moment in his car as he prepares to take the dirt track for a qualifying heat at the Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on June 21, 2015. Burrell would take first place in the qualifying heat, allowing him a start at the front of the pack during that evening's feature race.
After a successful qualifying heat earlier in the evening, Mickey Burrell (73) started the feature race at the front of the lineup, but was steadily overtaken through the race and finished at a disappointing 10th place on the Saturday night feature race at Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on July 25, 2015.
After failing to take advantage of a front position start in a feature race in which he finished 10th, Mickey Burrell had to take a couple of silent minutes in his car to shake the disappointment.
The Moore and Burrell team pack up Burrell's car after a disappointing Saturday night race at Springfield Raceway in Springfield, Mo. on July 25, 2015. Although disappointment has often visited the team this year, they show no signs of giving up. After another week of work, Burrell snagged a third-place finish in a feature race in Salina, Okla.