Personally, I would go another route if you are going to Springfield, Mo. 71 hwy will put you quite a ways west of Springfield. We have property on Pomme terre Lake which is about 1 hr north of Springfield off of 65 hwy. The route I would recommend is as follows if you haven't passed KC:
1. I35 S then exit to I435 S. Take I435 S and take the 63rd St/350/50 hwy exit which goes throught Raytown, Mo and Lees Summit. Continue east on 350 which turns into 50 hwy (divided 4 lane) and after 1 to 1 1/2 hrs you will reach Sedalia, Mo. Take 65 hwy south from Sedalia about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs and you are will be on the east side of Springfield. It isn't any longer this way and the drive is a lot nicer. Let me know if you need any further info. Bottomline is 71 hwy kinda sucks in MHO. Here is a link to a Missouri map that shows what I'm talking about.