Leslie Essary tops Merritt at Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Aug. 20) — Leslie Essary of Crane, Mo., overtook Rex Merritt of Billings, Mo., in heavy traffic on the 26th lap at Springfield Raceway for his fifth Race Brothers Show-Me Racin' Series victory in six races.
“I knew it was getting close to the end,” Essary said. “It looked like Rex kept getting a little bit tighter all the time. We finally got to some lapped cars and got a chance to get by him.”
Merritt, who led 22 laps after taking the lead, settled for second and his best series performance of the season.
“It’s just one of them deals,” said Merritt, who made an eighth-to-second run in his heat race. “I tried him on the outside, it didn’t work. I tried him on the inside and Leslie went to the outside. It’s just racing.”
Ken Essary of Cape Fair, Mo., was third despite fighting suspension problems while series points leader Justin Wells of Aurora, Mo., and Randy Zimmerman of Fort Scott, Kan., rounded out the top five.
Notes: Essary's Jimmy Greenway-owned GRT Race Car has a Mike’s Motor & Machine powerplant with sponsorship from Baillie Diesel and Mike’s Motor & Machine. ... Larry Campbell was sidelined by a flat right-front tire midway through the feature to finish 19th; before that, his worst series finish was ninth. ... Campbell entered the race just 14 points behind Justin Wells in second. ... Brandon Hunter was the highest-finishing rookie in sixth. ... Next up on the series is a Sept. 2 event at Outlaw Motor Speedway near Muskogee, Okla.
Show-Me Series @ Springfield: (1) Leslie Essary, (2) Rex Merritt, (3) Ken Essary, (4) Justin Wells, (5) Randy Zimmerman, (6) Brandon Hunter, (7) Willie Gammill, (8) Rick Lebow, (9) Jimmy Greenway, (10) Jarrod Hilton, (11) Jake Davis, (12) Chris Deaton, (13) Brandon Cheek, (14) Robert McMurtrie, (15) Ray Peacock, (16) Eric Tinderholt, (17) Kyle Ledford, (18) Rob Powell, (19) Larry Campbell, (20) Dallas Sales, (21) Chad Wheeler, (22) Chris Morelock, (23) Chris Reese. Heat race winners (among 23 cars): Wells, K. Essary, Gammill.