Kansas City, Kansas (July 27, 2018) - Veteran driver and defending Lucas Oil MLRA Champion Terry Phillips, used a thrilling last lap pass over Will Vaught to capture Friday's Clyde Ellis Memorial at Lakeside Speedway. The win is the first of the year for the driver of the Don Babb Motorsports, Andy's Frozen Custard entry and his 116th all-time with the series.
Early in the evening it appeared as if Logan Martin was be set to repeat his win from a year ago with a solid qualifying effort that would set him on the DirtonDirt.com pole alongside Vaught. It would however be Vaught jumping out to the early advantage in the caution free event that ended with only five cars remaining on the lead lap.
Vaught would use the high line and set a torrid pace but was never able to completely distance himself from Martin and Phillips. Lapped traffic would come into play early and often in the 40 lapper with Vaught continuing to show the way.
With 13 laps remaining Phillips pulled alongside Vaught exiting turn four and momentarily took the top spot away as the leaders crossed the line. Vaught would use that move as a wake-up call, regaining the lead and stretching it back out to just over a second in the closing laps.
Phillips would back off and regain a rhythm that once again found him on the back bumper of Vaught as they took the white flag. This time Phillips would steal the lead in turns one and two holding on for the $3,000 win. Vaught who was seeking a 3rd MLRA win in a row, settled for 2nd with Martin rounding out the podium. Justin Zeitner ran with the leaders all night coming home 4th while Payton Looney charged from 17th to 5th.
Will Vaught leads Terry Phillips at the white, just before Phillips overpowers for the win on the final lap. Photo--Lloyd Collins, FastTrackPhotos
Phillips said after the race, "I got beside him there and about hit in lap traffic and kinda slid the tires. I started over driving and had to slow down and bye my time." A jubilant and good humored Phillips continued, "My radio quit working, I didn't know for sure if I'd won. I seen flags waving but I couldn't tell, it's been so long since I've won a dam race!"
The win was his 8th MLRA victory at Lakeside and one that came with experience. "I know you can cook your tires here if you run too hard. I had a good run on him early and I had to wait and let my tires come back to me, be patient and figure out the lines."
Vaught, who has a series leading three wins said, "We were just a tick off, I just didn't know where to be on that last lap. Hats off to Terry, 2nd place ain't too bad, were still gaining on points and will keep chugging away. If we keep the wheels straight, tie rods straight, and a driver in the seat without giving it up on the last lap we'll be alright."
Martin grabbing his 3rd top five of year said of the track, "This was awesome. They had two grooves you could race all over it, diamond, slide job, top to bottom. It was a great run for our team, I'm really happy for our guys. If we keep putting ourselves in contention for these, eventually we will have one go our way."
For the 3rd event in a row series point leader Chad Simpson found lady luck not to be on his side as he was forced to the infield and out of the event on lap five. Tony Jackson, Jr. was not able to capitalize as he too would record a DNR with a rear end failure late in the race opening up the door once again for Vaught to close the gap. With just five events remaining Vaught moves to 2nd and is now just 38 markers behind Simpson.
Next up for the Lucas MLRA will be an aggressive three-day Memorial Weekend tilt. Action gets underway on Friday August, 31st with a make-up date at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, IA. Teams will then move south to the Lucas Oil Speedway on Saturday September, 1st for the annual Larry Phillips Memorial and its coveted $5,075 pay-off. The weekend will conclude the following night at the Monett Motor Speedway in Monett, MO with the running of the 4-State Dirt Track Championships.
Lakeside Speedway Contingencies 7/27/18
Andy's Frozen Custard Victory Lane - Terry Phillips
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" - Payton Looney
DirtonDirt.com "Pole Award" - Logan Martin
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Raymond Merrill
Malvern Bank "Most Laps Led" - Will Vaught
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Chad Simpson
Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool "Crew Chief of the Race" - Jasper Sumner
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Terry Phillips
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Payton Looney
Wehrs Machine - Justin Zeitner
RacingJunk.com "Hard Luck Award" - Chad Simpson
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Logan Martin
Protect The Harvest A Feature (40 Laps): 1.Terry Phillips 2.Will Vaught 3.Logan Martin 4.Justin Zeitner 5.Payton Looney 6.JC Wyman 7.Chris Spieker 8.Mitch McGrath 9.Austin Siebert 10.Jeremy Grady 11.Raymond Merrill 12.Jeff Roth 13.Randy Roth 14.Tony Jackson, Jr. 15.Jake Neal 16.Cole Wells 17.Chad Simpson 18.Todd Shute
Swift Springs Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Justin Zeitner 3.Jeremy Grady 4.Mitch McGrath 5.Chad Simpson 6.Tony Jackson, Jr. 7.Raymond Merrill 8.Jeff Roth 9.Payton Looney 10. Joe Godsey (DNS)
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Terry Phillips 2.Logan Martin 3.Chris Spieker 4.JC Wyman 5.Austin Siebert 6.Jake Neal 7.Cole Wells 8.Randy Roth 9.Todd Schute