Rain-shortened Yankee Classic goes to Simpson
By Clete CampbellDirtonDirt.com correspondent
FARLEY, Iowa (Sept. 18) — The only force that could slow down Chad Simpson Saturday night was Mother Nature. The 33rd annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic was the Chad Simpson Speed Show at Farley Speedway. Then the rain came.
The Mount Vernon, Iowa, driver started on the pole and led until a steady rain forced track officials to call the race on lap 78. After a two-minute delay, word came from the scorer’s tower. For the third time overall and second year in a row, Chad Simpson was the Yankee champion. | Prelims
Simpson averaged 20-second laps en route to defeating former Yankee champ Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa. Simpson won $15,000 while taking the checkered flag.
“This is one fast race car,” Simpson said. “I knew 10 laps in, when the track was starting to black up, the car was driving better and better. It dang near drove itself.”
Track officials called the race at 11:11 p.m. after six caution stops and 78 dominating laps driven by Simpson. The steady rain began eating away at the half-mile oval, making the track undriveable.
Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., finished third followed by Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Brian Harris of Davenport, Iowa.
Simpson caught some breaks Saturday, but he was so fast, he didn’t need to cash in on any of them. Four-time Yankee champion Denny Eckrich — who was chasing Steve Kosiski’s record of five Yankee titles — retired on lap 26. Jeremiah Hurst, the 2008 Yankee champion, ran into mechanical trouble and finished 19th.
This rainy night and this Yankee belonged to Chad Simpson.
Notes: Chad Simpson's MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by Liebe Trucking, GATR Volvo-GMC, Farm Bureau Financial Services and Five Star Shop Service. ... Brad Dierks won the modified feature. ...ï¿½ The Yankee Stock Car championship was rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday to precede the Diehard 200 Enduro.
Yankee Dirt Track Classic: (1) Chad Simpson, (2) Brian Birkhofer, (3) Will Vaught, (4) Dennis Erb Jr), (5) Brian Harris, (6) Chris Simpson, (7) John Anderson, (8) Jason Rauen, (9) Curt Martin, (10) Keith Foss, (11) Mike Fryer, (12) Steve Ihm, (13) Jake Meier, (14) Ron Klein, (15) Rick Wendling, (16) Kurt Kile, (17) Justin Mitchell, (18) Dan Shelliam, (19) Jeremiah Hurst, (20) Skip Frey, (21) Kerry Hansen, (22) Denny Eckrich, (23) Jeff Larson, (24) Rob Moss. Heat race winners: Shelliam, Kile, Vaught, Erb, Martin. Consolation winners: Harris, Anderson, Frey.