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Independence Motor Speedway

Clash of leaders lifts Chris Simpson at Independence

July 17, 2009, 2:06 pm
By Christine Rublack
Independence Motor Speedway

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (July 16) — Inheriting the lead after a lap-31 tangle among two frontrunning drivers, Chris Simpson of Marion, Iowa, led the final nine laps at Independence Motor Speedway for a victory on the Dart Corn Belt Clash Series. The 25-year-old Simpson earned $2,000 for the victory on the five-race Iowa miniseries.

Hometown driver Travis Smock finished second in a top five made up of Iowa drivers followed by Jason Utter of Columbus Junction, Curt Martin of Independence and Terry Neal of Ely, in the Buchanan County Fair race.

Rick Wendling and previous series winner Keith Foss started on the front row of the 40-lapper with Foss taking control early, but a flat tire knocked Foss from contention and handed the lead to Jason Rauen. Behind Rauen, Chad Simpson — brother of the race winner and winner of the previous Corn Belt Clash event — worked his way to the front, taking second from Justin Mitchell after 10 laps and setting his sites on the leader.

A caution erased a full-straightaway lead for Rauen, and on the restart, Rauen and Chad Simpson battled fiercely for the lead. On lap 31, Chad Simpson shot underneath Rauen in turn one, hitting a rut and going briefly airborne. The ensuing contact with Rauen spun his car, and both drivers were sent to the tail for the restart, handing the point to Chris Simpson.

Chris Simpson survived one more caution and held off the 10th-starting Smock for the victory.

Notes: Chris Simpson's winning car is sponsored by Five Star Shop Service, CrashedToys.com, Simpson Farms and Master Built Concrete. ... The series is presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants. ... The series makes allowances for open-competition Late Models, IMCA Late Models and WISSOTA Late Models to compete equally, and runner-up Travis Smock earned a $200 bonus as the top-finishing IMCA competitor. ... Next up for the series is a July 28 event at Fayette County Speedway in West Union, Iowa, the site of the series-opening victory for Keith Foss of Winona, Minn.

Corn Belt Clash @ Independence: (1) Chris Simpson, (2) Travis Smock, (3) Jason Utter, (4) Curt Martin, (5) Terry Neal, (6) Keith Foss, (7) Rick Wendling, (8) Justin Mitchell, (9) Kurt Kile, (10) Jerry Bloom, (11) Chad Simpson, (12) Kevin Kirkpatrick, (13) Gary Crawford, (14) Kevin Kile, (15) Curt Schroeder, (16) Randy Wheeler, (17) Bobby Hansen, (18) Chris Smyser, (19) Jason Rauen, (20) Chris Schroeder, (21) Darin Burco, (22) Rick Dralle, (23) Curt Hansen, (24) Jim Aschenbrenner.

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