64 Speedway Central Mississippi Speedway Clayhill Motorsports Park Columbus Speedway I-30 Speedway Jackson Motor Speedway Malden Speedway Milan Speedway Moulton Speedway North Alabama Speedway North Mississippi Speedway Riverside Speedway St. Francois County Speedway Volunteer Speedway Whynot Motorsports Park
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After rains claimed night one of the 5th Annual Fall Nationals on Friday night, track crews worked all day on Saturday to get the track ironed out for the 44 car field that would take to the Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday. Simpson entered the weekend holding onto a tight 24-point advantage over six-time feature winner Will Vaught of Crane, MO.
Tony Jackson, Jr. would fire from the Dirtondirt.com Pole alongside of last year's Fall Nationals winner, Jesse Stovall. Jackson paced the early laps before trouble would strike championship contender Vaught. Exiting turn two on lap four, Jackson would briefly slow and bunch up the pack resulting in contact between Vaught and Logan Martin. Both drivers would be able to continue, though re-starting from the rear.
On the ensuing restart Stovall took command, but had to endure a multitude of short run re-starts on the super-fast track. The field was finally able to put a long caution free stretch together until the yellow would fly once again on lap 28 for Rickey Frankel. During the extended caution period, the red flag was displayed to allow drivers to change helmets and tear offs. The race originally scheduled for 50 laps was also reduced to 40 before going back to the green for the final 12 circuits due to track conditions and the threat of incoming rain.
Stovall would lead back to the green, but a bobble on the following lap in turns 1-2 by the 2016 series champ would open the door for Simpson. As Stovall push up the track it allowed Simpson to make a champions move off the exit of turn two, driving past second running Sullivan and Stovall to take the lead. Simpson said of the battle for the lead, "The track was brutal and I knew it was going to be a survival type deal and I just had to wait for them guys to mess up, and then I had to take my shot."
As the Duece-Nickel # 25 of Simpson appeared headed for victory, it was the hard charging XR-1 Rocket of Logan Martin that was looking to steal the show. Coming from tail-back due to the lap four contact, Martin took advantage of a rare mistake by Simpson and drove past for the lead as the field crossed the line with only 7 laps to go.
Martin's night came to a devastating end as he went high and made contact with the turn three wall with only four laps remaining. Martin would end his bid at the win on the hook, again turning the top spot over to Simpson.
Making his final start for car owners Bud and Denise Brinkman, Simpson would send them out on top, as he would not be denied and cruised to the championship night win, capping a great championship journey on an emotional night. Sullivan would come home in second, while Raymond Merrill had his best run of the season in third.
As a light rain shower began to fall, an emotional Simpson said from Andy's Frozen Custard Victory Lane, "I'm going to be honest, I'm a little choked up right now. It didn't hit me until after we took the checkered, it's been a great ride with these guys."
Also on Saturday night, Payton Looney would wrap up the 2018 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors by virtue of his 5th place finish-his 8th MLRA top five of the season.
The 2018 Lucas Oil MLRA Championship banquet is up next, and will take place on November 17th, in Nevada, Mo. Series officials will honor the top drivers as well as hand out season long contingency awards during the annual event. Times for the event and additional details will be forthcoming along with the 2019 MLRA series schedule.
Lucas Oil Speedway Contingencies 10/13/18
MAV TV B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1.Jake Neal 2.Colton Horner 3.Kaeden Cornell 4.David Payne 5.Lane Ehlert 6.Todd Shute 7.Dylan Hoover 8.Shad Badder 9.Steve Johnson 10.Jeff Roth 11.Blonde Bomber 12.Joe Godsey
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Logan Martin 3.Mark Burgtorf 4.Jake Neal 5.Justin Reed 6.Aaron Marrant 7.Hunter Rasdon 8.David Payne 9.Robert Baker
Chix Gear Racewear Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1.Chad Simpson 2.Jack Sullivan 3.Raymond Merrill 4.Jeremy Grady 5.Shad Badder 6.Gavin Landers 7.JC Wyman 8.Joe Godsey 9.Skip Frey
Malvern Bank.com Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1.Mason Oberkramer 2.Payton Looney 3.Todd Shute 4.Colton Horner 5.BJ Robinson 6.Dylan Hoover 7.Jeff Roth 8.Josh Leonard 9.Blonde Bomber
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat 5 (10 Laps): 1.Tony Jackson, Jr. 2.Chad Mallat 3.Matt Furman 4.Rickey Frankel 5.Kaleb Stolba 6.Kaeden Cornell 7.Justin Zeitner 8.Joe Godsey
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.