Donnellson, Iowa (August 31, 2018) - In a night filled with adversity at the Lee County Speedway, Will Vaught would fight back to capture his fourth win of the season, and 3rd in his last four starts. All three of the series top drivers would encounter issues during the night as both Vaught and series point leader Chad Simpson fell victim to flat tires during their respective heat races--both while leading.
Entering the night third in the series standings, Tony Jackson, Jr. would launch from the DirtonDirt.com Pole and set the early pace in the 40 lap main event. Vaught who started sixth, was able to re-start alongside second place Matt Furman following a lap 15 caution. On the ensuing green flag, Vaught would play his cards right and drive deep to the inside of turn one and grab the top spot from Jackson exiting turn two.
With Vaught now at the point and Jackson in pursuit, lady luck would strike Jackson this time as a left rear flat would send him pit side and bring out yet another caution. Jackson would return to the tail of the field, however his night would come to a sudden stop just six laps later as his Longhorn Chassis would drop a driveshaft exiting turn four.
It appeared the caution plagued event would begin to play into the hands of Payton Looney and Chad Simpson who started 9th and 11th respectively, and had now worked their way inside the top five.
The races final caution flew with 14 laps remaining, and upon the restart Vaught again began to distance himself from the field. However, with only a handful of laps left Looney was able to close to within a car length of the leader, but that would be as close as it got as Vaught would go on to collect the $3,000 pay day with Looney and Simpson rounding out the podium. Matt Furman finished a solid night in 4th while Justin Zeitner collected his second top five in a row with the Lucas Oil MLRA in fifth.
Following the win Vaught said of his up and down night, "In hot laps the motor wouldn't even run, we worked our tails off and didn't even adjust the car or put gas in it for the heat. And then we had the flat in the heat and came back through there and got second."
Vaught attribute part of his success to a last minute adjustment by his team prior to rolling out for the feature. "The boys changed gears right before the feature and I think that was a lot of it on that restart, we got up off the corner and we got a good run into one. I knew we had to make something happen because if it we had went green flag I don't know if I would have ever been able to of passed him."
Looney would come home the runner-up for the second time this season in his XR-1 Rocket Chassis, as he continues to knock at the door for his first series win. "I gave it all I could those last ten laps. I started catching him there a little bit, he hit the hole wrong a couple times through one and two and pushed real bad. I just drove it as hard as I could but it just wasn't enough. It was a good points night and a good pay day so, hopefully we can get them tomorrow."
Simpson's charge through the pack earned him the Casey's General Stores Hard Charger of the race and keeps him on top of the series standings. A relieved Simpson said of his night, "That heat race put us really behind, and to start that deep back there and come up through here-- these guys are good and this track was demanding tonight, so it was tough on us but we got all we could get."
Labor Day Weekend MLRA action will resume on Saturday night at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO with the annual running of the Larry Phillips Memorial. Saturdays event will pay $5,075 to win and $500 to start. The weekend will wrap up on Sunday at the Monett Motor Speedway in Monett, MO with another $3,000 to win event as part of the 4-State Dirt Track Championship.
Lee County Speedway Contingencies 8/31/18
Andy's Frozen Custard Victory Lane - Will Vaught
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" -Chad Simpson
DirtonDirt.com "Pole Award" - Tony Jackson, Jr.
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Mark Burgtorf
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" - Eric Barnes
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Will Vaught
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Payton Looney
Wehrs Machine - Mason Oberkramer
RacingJunk.com "Hard Luck Award" -Jeff Roth
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Chad Simpson
Lucas Oil RacingTV A Feature (40 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Payton Looney 3.Chad Simpson 4.Matt Furman 5.Justin Zeitner 6.Logan Martin 7.Mason Oberkramesr 8.J.C. Wyman 9.Jeremy Grady 10.Jake Neal 11.Mark Burgtorf 12.Tony Jackson Jr. 13.Dave Eckrich 14.Skip Frey 15.Jay Johnson 16.Jeff Roth 17.Brian Harris 18. Spencer Diercks 19.Jonathan Brauns 20. Joe Godsey
Swift Springs Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1.Tony Jackson, Jr. 2.Justin Zeitner 3.Jay Johnson 4.JC Wyman 5.Spencer Diercks
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Dave Eckrich 2.Mason Oberkramer 3.Logan Martin 4.Chad Simpson 5.Mark Burgtorf 6.Jake Neal 7.Skip Frey
Chix Gear Racewear Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1.Matt Furman 2.Will Vaught 3.Payton Looney 4.Jeremy Grady 5.Jeff Roth 6.Brian Harris
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.