Lucas Oil MLRA
Chris Simpson Tops Night # 1 at Ozarks "Battle At The Beach"
Eldon, MO (April 28, 2023) – Chris Simpson almost watched his 16th Lucas Oil MLRA victory slip away on Friday at the Lake Ozark Speedway, but stayed consistent to his game plan to retake the lead late in the going to capture the opening night of the 3rd Annual “Battle at the Beach”.
Simpson made his first ever visit to the 1/3-mile facility outside of Eldon, MO on Friday night and grabbed the win in his respective heat race to earn the 3rd starting spot on the grid for the 30 lapper. At the drop of the green Tony Jackson Jr. darted from his pole position into an immediate front row battle with current series point leader Chad Simpson. With Chad Simpson and Jackson racing hard for the lead, Chris Simpson played it cool on the low line and topped both front row starters to lead the first two laps.
Jackson quickly regrouped and shot to the top side of the track and regained the lead on lap three, just before the caution waved for Aaron Marrant who came to a stop at the top of turn one. Jackson quickly jumped back to the point running the extreme top side of the track while Chris Simpson remained committed to the low line. The leaders would become engulfed in lapped traffic during the mid-point of the feature event, with Jackson having just enough to hold Simpson at bay.
Exiting turn four just past halfway, Simpson made contact with Johnathan Huston as he was pulling of the track, nearly bringing an early end to his night. Simpson’s cautious maneuvering of the Huston car earned him the Swift Springs “Move of the Race”.
Just prior to the nights next caution on lap 21, Simpson slipped past Jackson to regain the lead by a slim margin of just .015 seconds. A lap 23 caution quickly followed, all the while Simpson continued to pilot the low line with Jackson living on the edge at the top of the speedway. On lap 25 Jackson caught the wall and ended up retiring, and was relegated to a 16th place finish.
The victory didn’t come easy for Simpson as he had to survive a green white checkered finish to collet the $5,000 pay day. Simpson got the best in the family battle on Friday night as brother Chad came home in second to retain the Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler. Sunoco Race Fuel Rookie of the year contender Tyler Stevens came from twelfth and grabbed his first podium finish of the year with a third-place finish. Daniel Hilsabeck and Logan Martin rounded out the top five.
“I was good down on that bottom, but they kept pushing the tires out during the caution,” noted Chris Simpson. “One time they would and one lap they wouldn’t. I just kind of had to get up top in three and four and let it eat. He moved me down at the end, but I didn’t want to leave that top, I was getting a hell of a run off of there.”
“I thought it was over when that lapped car pulled in and I got into the back of him and messed that fender up. One and two I felt good all night, three and four just kept getting slicker and slicker and slicker. I’ve never been here before so hats off to those guys, it probably the raciest track we’ve been on this year.”
Chad Simpson captured his third podium finish of the year and noted of his run, “the car just didn’t fire off real well for me, we just weren’t that good out of the box but it kind of came to us late in the race. Hats off to Chris, he had a great car and was definitely the car to beat tonight.”
Steven’s 3rd place run was good for his 3rd Sunoco Race Fuel Rookie of the Race Award. “Man, we’ve had good speed, we’ve just had bad luck,” said Stevens. “We’re finally getting dialed in here and having fun running with you guys (MLRA) and looking forward to tomorrow night for sure. We went a little conservative on tire on how we cut it and we were good on the long run, but when we had that late race caution, I knew we’d be in trouble taking off. All-in-all our car was good, and nothings tore up so we will regroup and try again tomorrow.”
Lucas Oil MLRA action continues on Saturday night April 29th, with the final night of the 3rd Annual “Battle at the Beach” at the Lake Ozark Speedway. The stakes on the weekend finale will jump to $7,000 to win and pay $700 to start the feature event.
Lake Ozark Speedway Contingencies 4/28/23
Lap Leaders – (1 -2 Chris Simpson), (3 - 20 Tony Jackson Jr.), (21 - 30 Chris Simpson)
?Cautions – 5
MyRacePass “Overall Fast Time Award" – Tony Jackson Jr. (13.798 sec.)
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" – Chris Simpson
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Chad Simondsen
MD3 "Hard Charger of the Race" – Dustin Hodges (+14)
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Chris Simpson
Sunoco Race Fuel “Rookie of the Race” – Tyler Stevens
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" – Cole Hensen
PEM Racing "4th Place Finisher" – Daniel Hilsabeck
Sunoco "Engine Builders Challenge" – Durham
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Chad Simpson
MSD Performance Holley: “1st B-Main NON-Qualifier” – Dustin Hodges
A Feature Cedar Creek Beef Jky 50 Laps | 00:44:25.377
- 32S-Chris Simpson; 2. 25-Chad Simpson; 3. 2-Tyler Stevens; 4. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 5. 36-Logan Martin; 6. 15-Justin Duty; 7. 45-Cole Wells; 8. 11H-Jeff Herzog; 9. 7D-Dusty Leonard; 10. 22H-Dustin Hodges; 11. 31H-Cole Henson; 12. 14G-Trevor Gundaker; 13. 96-Dalton Imhoff; 14. (DNF) 58-Garrett Alberson; 15. (DNF) 8-Dillon McCowan; 16. (DNF) 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 17. (DNF) 93-Mason Oberkramer; 18. (DNF) 29D-Spencer Diercks; 19. (DNF) 50-Kayden Clatt; 20. (DNF) 15L-Payton Looney; 21. (DNF) 42-Johnathan Huston; 22. (DNF) 1ST-Justin Reed; 23. (DNF) 3W-Brennon Willard; 24. (DNF) 49T-Jake Timm; 25. (DNF) 1X-Aaron Marrant; 26. (DNF) 78S-Steve Stultz
B Feature 1 FOX Shocks 10 Laps | 00:06:35.207
- 14G-Trevor Gundaker; 2. 45-Cole Wells; 3. 7D-Dusty Leonard; 4. 22H-Dustin Hodges; 5. 3W-Brennon Willard; 6. 14W-Dustin Walker; 7. 51-Larry Ferris; 8. 14M-Reid Millard; 9. (DNF) 16-Rusty Griffaw
B Feature 2 Sunoco 10 Laps | 00:03:47.421
- 31H-Cole Henson; 2. 42-Johnathan Huston; 3. 96-Dalton Imhoff; 4. 50-Kayden Clatt; 5. 78S-Steve Stultz; 6. 42L-Lane Ehlert; 7. 23-Chad Walter; 8. 3K-Richard Kimberling; 9. (DNS) 65-Jon Binning
Heat 1 Xceldyne 8 Laps | 00:02:54.872
- 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 2. 29D-Spencer Diercks; 3. 49T-Jake Timm; 4. 11H-Jeff Herzog; 5. 14G-Trevor Gundaker; 6. 45-Cole Wells; 7. 51-Larry Ferris; 8. 14M-Reid Millard; 9. 14W-Dustin Walker
Heat 2 Swift Springs 8 Laps | 00:03:10.467
- 32S-Chris Simpson; 2. 15L-Payton Looney; 3. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 4. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 5. 7D-Dusty Leonard; 6. 22H-Dustin Hodges; 7. 3W-Brennon Willard; 8. 16-Rusty Griffaw
Heat 3 PEM 8 Laps | 00:02:59.704
- 25-Chad Simpson; 2. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 3. 1ST-Justin Reed; 4. 36-Logan Martin; 5. 31H-Cole Henson; 6. 50-Kayden Clatt; 7. 3K-Richard Kimberling; 8. 65-Jon Binning; 9. (DNS) 78S-Steve Stultz
Heat 4 MD3 8 Laps | 00:05:25.450
- 58-Garrett Alberson; 2. 8-Dillon McCowan; 3. 2-Tyler Stevens; 4. 15-Justin Duty; 5. 96-Dalton Imhoff; 6. 42-Johnathan Huston; 7. 42L-Lane Ehlert; 8. 23-Chad Walter
Article Credit: Billy Rock
Submitted By: Billy Rock