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I-80 Speedway

Looney captures MLRA opener to end drought

April 3, 2011, 6:59 am
From series reports
Brad Looney takes the checkers in Greenwood, Neb. (fasttrackphotos.net)
Brad Looney takes the checkers in Greenwood, Neb. (fasttrackphotos.net)

GREENWOOD, Neb. (April 2) — Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., led all 35 laps Saturday at I-80 Speedway to end a 14-year drought on the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association.

The 35-year-old driver, who finished second in MLRA points last season, earned $3,000 for his second series victory and first since a 1997 triumph at Oklahoma Sports Park in Ada, Okla. | Slideshow

Kyle Berck of Marquette, Neb., rallied from his 14th starting spot to finish second in the Spring Meltdown ahead of the Iowa brother duo of Chris and Chad Simpson. Denny Eckrich of Tiffin, Iowa, rounded out the top five finishers in MLRA's season opener.

Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., spun on the third lap but rallied back to finish ninth, while John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., had a lap-eight flat tire and returned to finish 14th.

Notes: Looney's Hatfield-powered Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by Family Pharmacy, Federal Protection Inc., and Republic Glass. ... Looney's victory gave him a guaranteed starting spot in July's $25,000-to-win Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Kevin Kile, Al Humphrey, Corey Zeitner, Delbert Smith, Jase Kaser and Shawn Harker. ... Next up for MLRA competitors is an April 8-9 weekend at Heartland Park Topeka and Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.

Spring Meltdown: (1) Brad Looney, (2) Kyle Berck, (3) Chris Simpson, (4) Chad Simpson, (5) Denny Eckrich, (6) Al Purkey, (7) Terry Phillips, (8) David Turner, (9) Jesse Stovall, (10) Alan Vaughn, (11) Travis Dickes, (12) Bill Leighton, (13) Kurt Kile, (14) John Anderson, (15) Jeremy Payne, (16) R.C. Whitwell, (17) Mike Wiarda, (18) Mike Collins, (19) Joe Kosiski, (20) Jason O'Brien, (21) Bryant Goldsmith, (22) Tony Jackson Jr., (23) Justin Asplin, (24) Jake Meier, (25) Craig Preble, (26) Dave Eckrich. Heat race winners (among 48 cars): Dickes, Turner, Meier, Anderson, Eckrich. Consolation winners: Chad Simpson, Collins. Provisional starters: Asplin, Dave Eckrich, Kosiski, Wiarda.

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