Wheatland, Missouri (March 24, 2020) - When the final checkered flag waved on the 2018 season Chad Simpson stood all smiles in Lucas Oil MLRA victory lane at the Lucas Oil Speedway, celebrating his second series title with family and crew. However, with longtime car owner Bud Brinkman retiring at the conclusion of the season it left many including Simpson wondering what direction the future would hold for his racing team.
The 2019 season found the Mount Vernon, Iowa driver concentrating his efforts in events primarily closer to home, leading a new venture as an owner driver. Fast forward to present, and with a year under his belt Simpson and team are back and ready to contend for his third career Midwest Late Model Racing Association (MLRA) championship.
"Last year kept us a little closer to home," said Simpson. "Having all the races in Iowa sure helps out, and were pretty excited about it. I talked to Gus (Farmer) and Waylon (Schultz) about it a couple months ago and asked them guys what they thought about going out and running the whole series again. We are going to start the year off with a plan to do that and see how things go."
|Chad Simpson--Fast Track Photos|
The "Deuce Nickel" racing team is no stranger to chasing championships, having notched six career Corn Belt Clash Series titles to go along with his 2014 and 2018 MLRA crowns. "We have won multiple championships over the years but it just seems like every one gets that much better," commented Simpson. "If our team doesn't unload every week to try and win that championship than we're not doing our job. Everybody is excited about it and we are looking forward to it and seeing what happens."
The 2020 Lucas Oil MLRA schedule is slated for 23 events, nineteen stand-alone races, along with four co-sanctioned events with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. With only nineteen points events to gain separation from the competition, Simpson notes how critical those events have become. "If you have one bad wreck or one DNF for something like that, it can definitely take you right out of the picture. That championship stuff is all about running consistent and going and trying to win races. If you can go out there and do that and be competitive, you will put yourself in line for what you need in the end."
"Anytime you can get one (championship) it's a huge accomplishment no matter if your young or old," continued Simpson. "This will be our first year going after a championship with me as the car owner, so it would be pretty cool and memorable to go after that championship and see what we can do."
|Chad Simpson #25 leads the field on the way to victory at the Cresco Speedway. The MLRA returns to the 4/10th mile oval on July 2nd. Lloyd Collins--FastTrack Photos.
In addition to his busy MLRA agenda, Simpson will continue in his second year running for Moring Motorsports in select premier events including the World 100, Late Model Dream, Silver Dollar Nationals, and the Knoxville Late Model Nationals.
This past off season has been full of change once again for the 41-year old, recently opening his own sign and graphics business, TWENTY 5 Design. Specializing in vinyl graphic design, vehicle & race wraps, signs, and Heat Press printing for all types of apparel, Simpson says he is hopeful the new venture will allow him more flexibility to travel and commit to following a series. "It's been a little bit of a chore, but hopefully it won't interfere with the racing season this year," commented Simpson. "It's definitely going to give me a little chance to have a few more vacation days I guess as long as I can make sure I keep paying the bills."
Simpson will again pilot his familiar Black Diamond Chassis powered by Jay Dickens Racing Engines in his upcoming MLRA title quest. "If we can get a good start to the season we would like to get another motor. Right now we are down to just one motor and the one car, so we're going to go with that and see what we can get going. Hopefully we can keep the decal business going good and keep on the road racing."
One season ago Simpson made a total of 14 MLRA starts, culminating in an impressive mid-season three race win streak to go along with ten top five finishes. Echoing the sentiments of his fellow MLRA competitors Simpson is anxious to see how drivers and teams will adjust to the series' new tire rules for 2020, allowing teams more compound options.
"It is going to be a little different this year with us being on a different tire rule. It's a tire rule we haven't been on for a little while, so it will be entertaining to see what happens and go from there. I'm hoping we can grasp onto the 1350 pretty quick and we can come out of the box swinging," concluded Simpson.
With the postponement of the MLRA Spring Nationals due to CDC recommendations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the MLRA season opener now looks forward to a double header weekend slated for April 17th & 18th. Friday nights action will take to the 1/2 mile Davenport Speedway while Saturday will see high stakes at the 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA in the 12th Annual "Slocum 50".
Team "Deuce Nickle":
Crew Chief: Gus Farmer,
Pit Crew: Waylon Schultz, Marcus Orr, Duane Orr, Cory Kessler, & Bud Brinkman.
Chad Simpson Racing Marketing Partners: IDEAL Ready Mix, Allgaier Performance Parts, Michelle Ruefer Chiropractic, Simpson Farms, Graves Oil, Wehrs Machine, TWENTY 5 Design, Performance Bodies, Burich Trucking, Five Star Shop Service, Midwest Frame and Axle, Hoosier By Zoo, Allgaier Racing Shocks, Midwest Sheetmetal, Liebe Trucking, Grasshopper Lawncare, Marty and Cherry Getting, Race Buds, VP Heartland, Jay Dickens Racing Engines, Stuckey Enterprises and Black Diamond Chassis, Allstar Performance, Swift Springs, Stealth Carburetors, Fast Shafts, Arizona Sports Shirts, Speedwerx Headers, Hooker Harness, Petersen Fluid, Wilwood Brakes, Quartermaster, Scorz Bar and Grill, Dyers Rods, Mike Ruefer Photography.