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MLRA Championship Finale Set for Tri-City Speedway


Lucas Oil MLRA

MLRA Championship Finale Set for Tri-City Speedway

Wheatland, Missouri (October 9, 2022) – For the third consecutive season the Lucas Oil MLRA's "Championship Weekend" will head to the Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Illinois this Friday and Saturday. While the season championship may be all but wrapped up for veteran Chad Simpson, it still leaves two full nights of racing action on the table and another opportunity for drivers to etch their name into the 2022 record books as MLRA feature winners.

The 3/8-mile facility located just east of St. Louis, MO will host an open practice session on Thursday night October 13th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM for teams to get dialed in for the weekend. Friday night October 14th, will find drivers battling it out in a $5,000 to win and $500 to start A-Main, before returning for the $7,000 to win and $600 to start season finale on Saturday night.

By virtue of taking the green in Friday nights feature, Mount Vernon Iowa's Chad Simpson will clinch his third career Lucas Oil MLRA Championship and the $20,000 top prize that goes along with it. While rookie Kolby Vandenbergh looks to come up one spot shy of the series top spot, he too has all but wrapped up the MLRA's coveted Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Year in a hard fought battle with Daniel Hilsabeck.


In his fifteen non co-sanctioned MLRA starts this season Chad Simpson has managed to finished in the top ten in all but one race coming into this weekend, his lowest being a 12th place finish in the third race of the season.

He snagged eleven top fives along the way along with a pair of victories, the most recent just a week ago at the Sycamore Speedway. The six time Corn Belt Clash Champion knows all too well how critical consistency is to winning championships no matter what the series is.

"That’s what it all comes down to", noted Simpson of being consistent. "Going back to our championship in 14’ we didn’t win one race all year long but still won the championship. To get a couple of wins now a days is hard enough the way it is, so to win these championships it’s all about consistency and running up front all of the time. You know there are probably some nights you feel like you want to take that chance and you want to maybe try to gain that one or two more spots or go for that win, but when your point racing you do just kind of settle in a little bit sometimes and deal with what you’ve got and what you get, and it pays off at the end of the year."

All of Simpson's MLRA championships have come with a different story line, from his first in 2014 that was filled with consistent finishes and no wins, to his emotional 2018 title where he captured the win in the finale to send out long time retiring car owners Bud and Denise Brinkman with one more championship.

Looking ahead to this weekend, and for the first time the driver of the "Deuce Nickel" is ready to flip the script and become a series champion as not only the driver, but also as the team owner. "Every one of them is special in its own way, but this one here is definitely a big accomplishment for me, my team, and my family. We are doing it on our own now. Three years ago we kind of started this venture on our own, running our own program and stuff. I feel like it took us a couple of years to get my program to the situation where we could really contend for this title deal and this year here it all fell into line."

PINK OUT WEEKEND: Join the Lucas Oil MLRA and Tri-City Speedway crews as we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by going "Pink" during MLRA Championship Weekend. Wear your favorite Pink apparel and help us show support and awareness for those affected by Breast Cancer.

FRIDAY NIGHT POST RACE: Following Friday nights racing action the fun and shenanigans will continue on the Tri-City speedway Midway with a live band and beer garden from 11:00 PM until 2:00 AM.

SATURDAY "TRUNK OR TREAK": On Saturday afternoon Tri-City Speedway will open up the pit area to the public from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM for their annual "Trunk or Treat" for the kids. Come in your favorite costume and travel the pits while meeting your favorite drivers and crew.

Tri City Speedway: Pontoon Beach, IL -- Thursday 10/13/22
Open Practice Session: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Pit Passes: $25

Tri City Speedway: Pontoon Beach, IL -- Friday 10/14/22
Gates GA: 5:30 PM
Hot Laps: 6:30 PM
Racing to Follow
Admission: GA Adults $25, Kids (12 & Under) FREE
Pit Passes $40, Kids (ages 6-12) Pit Passes $15, 5 & Under FREE
Support Classes: UPM Modifieds $2,000 to Win

Tri City Speedway: Pontoon Beach, IL -- Saturday 10/15/22
Gates GA: 4:30 PM
Hot Laps: 5:30 PM
Racing to Follow
Admission: GA Adults $30, Kids (12 & Under) FREE
Pit Passes $40, Kids (ages 6-12) Pit Passes $15, 5 & Under FREE
Support Classes: UPM Modifieds $2,000 to Win, & B-Mods $1,000 to Win

Submitted By: Billy Rock

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Lucas Oil MLRAas of 9/3/2023
  • 1.Chad Simpson 2915pts
  • 2.Chris Simpson 2645pts
  • 3.Dillon McCowan 2545pts
  • 4.Daniel Hilsabeck 2400pts
  • 5.Trevor Gundaker 2140pts
  • 6.Justin Duty 2120pts
  • 7.Jeff Herzog 2110pts
  • 8.Garrett Alberson 2000pts
  • 9.Tyler Stevens 1715pts
  • 10.Dustin Hodges 1670pts
Full Points