Phillips hits milestone with 100th MLRA victory
GREENWOOD, Neb. (Sept. 3) — Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., reached the 100-victory milestone on the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association on Friday at I-80 Speedway. Phillips overtook outside front-row starter Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., on the 17th lap and never looked back in capturing his fourth victory of the season and series-leading 100th of his career. | Slideshow
Phillips, a two-time MLRA champion, becomes just the second driver in Dirt Late Model history with 100 victories on a single touring series. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., won his 100th event on the now-defunct Hav-A-Tampa/UDTRA tour on Oct. 4, 2003.
John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., dropped Looney to third late in the 30-lap feature while Travis Dickes of Madison, Neb., and Jeremy Payne of Springfield rounded out the top five finishers in a race co-sanctioned by the O'Reilly National Championship Racing Association. Polesitter and NCRA points leader Kelly Boen of Henderson, Colo., spun at the outset, rallied back to the top 10 but eventually retired with engine problems.
A tight MLRA points chase got tighter with seventh-place finisher Al Purkey of Coffeyville, Kan., trimming Dave Eckrich's points lead to two. Looney, who struggled with rear-end problems in his car, is just six points back with nine races remaining.
Notes: Phillips drives a Don Babb Motorsports GRT Race Car powered by a Hatfield Racing Engine and sponsored by Andy's Frozen Custard, New Vision Graphics, Integra Racing Shocks and Port City Racing. ... Phillips captured his first career victory on the 22-year-old MLRA tour just over 20 years ago on Aug. 31, 1990, at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Scott Koskovich, Alan Vaughn, Bill Koons and Mike Wiarda. ... MLRA competitors wrap up their holiday weekend with a Saturday event at Heartland Park Topeka while NCRA competitors race Sunday at the Belleville (Kan.) High Banks.
MLRA-NCRA @ I-80: (1) Terry Phillips, (2) John Anderson, (3) Brad Looney, (4) Travis Dickes, (5) Jeremy Payne, (6) Kyle Berck, (7) Al Purkey, (8) Dave Eckrich, (9) Joe Kosiski, (10) Jason O'Brien, (11) Leon Zeitner, (12) Corey Zeitner, (13) Delbert Smith, (14) Bryant Goldsmith, (15) Billy Koons Jr., (16) Dean Moore, (17) Al Humphrey, (18) Jase Kaser, (19) Robbie Andersen, (20) Shawn Harker, (21) Kelly Boen, (22) R.C. Whitwell, (23) Evan Hubert, (24) Jerry Warner, (25) Justin Asplin, (26) Chris Spieker. Heat race winners (among 33 cars): Looney, Boen, O'Brien, Phillips. Consolation winners: Eckrich, C. Zeitner.
Correction: Fixes that Al Humphrey wasn't among drivers failing to make feature.