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Dillon McCowan Scores Exciting First Career MLRA Win at Callaway Raceway


Lucas Oil MLRA

Dillon McCowan Scores Exciting First Career MLRA Win at Callaway Raceway

Fulton, MO (June 7, 2024) – Dillon McCowan used some late race heroics and trackside experience, to overtake Earl Pearson Jr. late in the going to capture his first career Lucas Oil MLRA win on Friday at the Callaway Raceway in Fulton, MO.

A total of 32 drivers checked in for the MLRA’s first ever stop at Callaway, and they left fans with a great first showing from start to finish. Derrick Stewart started off the night by grabbing his first career My Race Pass “Fast Time Award” with a Group “B” lap time of 14.522. Heat race victories were recorded by Chris Simpson, Earl Pearson Jr., Stewart, and Kyle Beard. Qualifying issues left Pearson starting in the 8th and final position on the grid, but the Jacksonville, FL driver raced his way all the way to the win, capturing the nights Swift Springs “Move of the Race” in the process.

The 30-lap feature would find Chris Simpson starting on the pole alongside of fellow Iowan Derrick Stewart. Simpson would take control from the drop of the green, until lap nine when Pearson used a consistent low line to take the lead away from Simpson as the duo worked off the exit of turn two.

Pearson quickly found the backside of the 24-car field and had to navigate lapped traffic during the balance of the feature, all the while trying to keep Simpson and sixth starting Dillon McCowan in his rearview mirror. As the laps began to count down, McCowan continued to apply pressure on the top line of the speedway, pulling up alongside of the Lucas # 46 of Pearson multiple times in three and four before having his run brought to a halt by lapped traffic multiple times.

The top two of Pearson and McCowan finally found clean race track with just under five laps to go, and with just three laps to go McCowan took advantage of a clean race track to drive by Pearson exiting turn four to grab the lead for the first time. McCowan would lead the final three circuits and go on to capture the $5,000 to win main event. The victory marks the first career Lucas Oil MLRA win for the series defending Sunoco Race Fuel Rookie of the Year winner.

Pearson held on for his second MLRA runner-up finish of the year while Chris Simpson completed the podium trio. Gordy Gundaker would grab his second top five of the year in fourth while Stewart hung on for a fifth-place run, his best to date under the MLRA banner. Current point leader Chad Simpson finished in eighth, which allowed the points chase to tighten. Chris Simpson returns to second, only 15 points out of the Championship lead while Gundaker is now just 20 back of the four-time series champion Chad Simpson.

McCowan commented on the battle with Pearson in saying, “It was definitely a hard-fought battle. That lapped traffic played a big big factor in it. It was breaking his run, but it was also breaking my run at the same time. I don’t know if I call it a quick feature because it felt like an eternity in there the way we was running around there.” The caution free 30 lapper went at a lightening pace, taking only 8:03 to run start to finish.

“I was getting a run on the top there and I knew he was going to be glued to the bottom because it was definitely the fast way around the track,” continued McCowan. “I would just get a good run and I’d hook it good through one and two and we would catch him down the back stretch and then I would have to whoa it up. Once we finally got clear of them (lapped traffic) I was like it's either going to be wreckers or checkers now, I didn’t lift.”

Lucas Oil MLRA action continues on Saturday night June 8th at the Springfield Raceway in Springfield, MO with another $5,000 to win showdown. This will mark the MLRA’s first trip to the ¼ mile facility since 2012 and just the 8th time in the series 36-year history.

Callaway Raceway Contingencies 6/7/24

Lap Leaders – Chris Simpson (1 - 8), Earl Pearson Jr. (9 - 26), Dillon McCowan (27 - 30)
?Cautions – 0

MyRacePass “Overall Fast Time Award" – Derrick Stewart (14.522 sec.)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Tony Rogers
MD3 "Most Laps Led" – Earl Pearson Jr. (17)
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Earl Pearson Jr.
Sunoco Race Fuel “Rookie of the Race” – Aaron Marrant
PEM Racing "4th Place Finisher" – Derrick Stewart
Fluidyne: "5th Place Finisher: – Gordy Gundaker
Sunoco "Engine Builders Challenge" – Scott Bailey
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Chad Simpson
MSD Performance Holley: “1st B-Main NON-Qualifier” – Reid Millard
MD3 Final Finisher: – Rickey Frankel

Callaway A Main Event 30 Laps

  1. 8-Dillon McCowan[6]; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[3]; 3. 32-Chris Simpson[1]; 4. 43-Derrick Stewart[2]; 5. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[5]; 6. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[10]; 7. 15S-Clayton Stuckey[7]; 8. 25-Chad Simpson[14]; 9. 86B-Kyle Beard[4]; 10. 22H-Dustin Hodges[11]; 11. 78S-Steve Stultz[9]; 12. 29S-Tyler Stevens[15]; 13. 25J-Tony Jackson Jr[13]; 14. 11-Jeff Herzog[12]; 15. 14W-Dustin Walker[19]; 16. 93-Mason Oberkramer[17]; 17. 50C-Kayden Clatt[18]; 18. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[20]; 19. 88M-Chance Mann[21]; 20. 3W-Brennon Willard[23]; 21. 17A-Austin Howes[16]; 22. 26G-Glen Powell[24]; 23. 00B-Matt Becker[8]; 24. 33F-Rickey Frankel[22]

B1- FAST Shafts 12 Laps

  1. 93-Mason Oberkramer[3]; 2. 50C-Kayden Clatt[8]; 3. 14W-Dustin Walker[9]; 4. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[1]; 5. 88M-Chance Mann[7]; 6. 33F-Rickey Frankel[2]; 7. 26G-Glen Powell[11]; 8. 58-Reid Millard[14]; 9. (DNF) 3W-Brennon Willard[5]; 10. (DNF) 3S-Joey Smith[10]; 11. (DNF) 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[4]; 12. (DNF) 85S-Tyler Shaw[13]; 13. (DNF) 29-Matt Menzie[12]; 14. (DNF) 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[15]; 15. (DNF) 31C-Cole Henson[6]

H1-Flo Sports 8 Laps

  1. 32-Chris Simpson[2]; 2. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[1]; 3. 78S-Steve Stultz[5]; 4. 25J-Tony Jackson Jr[3]; 5. 1XM-Aaron Marrant[4]; 6. 3W-Brennon Willard[8]; 7. 14W-Dustin Walker[6]; 8. 85S-Tyler Shaw[7]

H2-Simpson Race Products 8 Laps

  1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[8]; 2. 15S-Clayton Stuckey[2]; 3. 22H-Dustin Hodges[1]; 4. 29S-Tyler Stevens[3]; 5. 93-Mason Oberkramer[4]; 6. 88M-Chance Mann[5]; 7. 26G-Glen Powell[7]; 8. 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[6]

H3-Earnhardt Technologies 8 Laps

  1. 43-Derrick Stewart[1]; 2. 8-Dillon McCowan[3]; 3. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[2]; 4. 25-Chad Simpson[4]; 5. 33F-Rickey Frankel[5]; 6. 31C-Cole Henson[6]; 7. 3S-Joey Smith[7]; 8. 58-Reid Millard[8]

H4- Lucas Oil 8 Laps

  1. 86B-Kyle Beard[1]; 2. 00B-Matt Becker[3]; 3. 11-Jeff Herzog[2]; 4. 17A-Austin Howes[6]; 5. 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[5]; 6. 50C-Kayden Clatt[4]; 7. 29-Matt Menzie[7]; 8. (DNS) 1XK-Richard Kimberling

Article Credit: Billy Rock

Submitted By: Billy Rock

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Lucas Oil MLRAas of 6/7/2024
  • 1.Chad Simpson 955pts
  • 2.Chris Simpson 940pts
  • 3.Gordy Gundaker 935pts
  • 4.Trevor Gundaker 865pts
  • 5.Dillon McCowan 860pts
  • 6.Tony Jackson Jr830pts
  • 7.Earl Pearson Jr805pts
  • 8.Jeff Herzog 740pts
  • 9.Clayton Stuckey 685pts
  • 10.Aaron Marrant 665pts
Full Points