Caney, KS (April 27, 2019) - Saturday night's long awaited return of the Lucas Oil MLRA to the Caney Valley Speedway proved to be well worth the 23 year wait. For 2018 MLRA series runner-up Will Vaught, it marked his first ever visit to the ¼ mile speedway as he cashed in on the $3,000 pay day, collecting his first series win of the season.
A solid field of 24 late models checked in to do battle with Jeremy Grady, Gary Gorby, and Payton Looney collecting wins in heat race action. However, it would be the veteran and seven time MLRA series champion Al Purkey rolling from the DirtonDirt.com pole and jumping to the lap one lead. A caution at the conclusion of lap one set up a critical restart that would prove to be the difference in determining the outcome of the race.
Billy Moyer Jr. took full advantage of the re-start opportunity and cleared Purkey exiting turn two only to set up a door to door battle with Vaught entering turn three. Vaught would charge deep into the turn as he and Moyer Jr. made contact battling for the race lead. Off the exit of four it would be Vaught jumping to the point and taking control of the field. Mitch McGrath who started in the ninth position quickly took advantage of the contact between the leaders and found himself locked to the rear bumper of Vaught's XR1 Rocket in the runner up position.
With Vaught caught up in heavy lapped traffic, a multitude of cautions would fly over the course of the 40 lap main event, each time giving way to opportunities for the likes of McGrath, Purkey, and Moyer Jr. to capitalize. With 19 laps remaining, Moyer Jr. was able to clear McGrath finding himself within striking distance of the 1V of Vaught.
Although Moyer Jr. had a couple of late race opportunities to challenge for the lead by virtue of cautions, it would be Vaught picking up his first win of the season. Moyer Jr. would claim runner-up honors, followed by McGrath, Payton Looney, and Logan Martin rounding out the top five.
An exhausted Vaught comment in MLRA victory lane, "This is our fourth race of the year and I had never seen Caney, Kansas before, but I love it now. My car didn't feel good all night, and I kind of just had to man handle it there. We've got a lot of work to do to this thing, but we still won the race and we will go into next week with a lot of momentum now."
Knowing how challenging and critical each re-start would play in determining the win, Vaught was quick to give thanks to his Mittler Brothers Machine Crew Chief of the Race, Eric Barnes. "Eric does a good job giving me signals and my gap where I can roll them in the middle. The car didn't feel too bad in the middle, but the straight-a-ways just had so much traction on the bottom." Vaught's win, moves him into the MLRA point lead which will now have him sporting the series Midwest Sheet Metal spoiler representative of the series top driver when action resumes next weekend.
A short turn around now awaits the Lucas Oil MLRA as Thursday night May 2nd will find teams back in action at the Stuart International Speedway in Stuart, Iowa for the first of four consecutive nights of action. Friday night action will move to the ¼ mile Davenport Speedway where Chad Simpson will look to defend his victory from a year ago.
The four-day swing will then return to West Liberty Raceway, in West Liberty, IA on Saturday night for the first time since 2016, before wrapping up the weekend with another first time trip to the ¼ mile Quincy Raceways on Sunday night.
Caney Valley Speedway Contingencies 4/27/19
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Billy Moyer Jr.
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" - Gene Hogan
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky "Most Laps Led" - Will Vaught
DirtonDirt.com "Pole Award" - Al Purkey
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Clyde Ward
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Will Vaught
Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool "Crew Chief of the Race" - Eric Barnes
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Will Vaught
RacingJunk.com "Hard Luck Award" - Jeremy Grady
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Joseph Gorby
Lucas Oil Racing TV A Feature (40 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Billy Moyer Jr. 3.Mitch McGrath 4.Payton Looney 5.Logan Martin 6.Joseph Gorby 7.Jake Neal 8.Gary Gorby 9.Jacob Magee 10.Mark Daye 11.Clyde Ward 12.David Young 13.Marvin Jones 14.Jason Anderson 15.Gene Hogan 16.Dustin Bolster 17.Cory Green 18.Shannon Phillips 19.Richard Shepler III 20.Al Purkey 21.Curt Acker 22.Jeremy Grady 23.Jesse Stovall 24.Blair Dothdurft (DNS)
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1.Jeremy Grady 2.Billy Moyer Jr. 3.Will Vaught 4.Logan Martin 5.Joseph Gorby 6.Clyde Ward 7.Cory Green 8.Richard Shepler III
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Gary Gorby 2.Jacob Magee 3.Mitch McGrath 4.Jake Neal 5.Curt Acker 6.Shannon Phillips 7.Marvin Jones 8.Blair Nothdurft (DNS)
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1.Payton Looney 2.Al Purkey 3.Jesse Stovall 4.Mark Daye 5.Dustin Bolster 6.David Young 7.Jason Anderson 8.Gene Hogan
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com.
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509