Lake Cumberland Speedway
Moon survives battles for Lake Cumberland victory
BURNSIDE, Ky. (May 27) — Rohn Moon of Greenwood, Ind., won a pair of tight battles with front-row starters Friday at Lake Cumberland Speedway for a $3,000 victory on the STARS Midwest Dirt Racing League.
Moon first dispatched of early leader Justin Ratliff of Campbellsville, Ky., who briefly climbed the backstretch wall during their battle before the halfway point of the 40-lapper, then fought off Michael Chilton of Harrodsburg, Ky., in a battle that included contact among the frontrunners. | Video
Rough track conditions and several cautions made the accomplishment all the tougher for Moon, who glanced at the scoreboard before the halfway point and wasn't sure he could finish.
"I said, 'Man, this is going to be a long race.' I hoped I could just keep my nose clean and keep it on the bottom, that's where we were strong at, and it seemed to all work out," Moon said. "The car had tremendous forward traction. If I could ever get it rotated and get it pointed, it was just unbelievable. And that's what won us the race."
Chris Combs of Whitesburg, Ky., finished second in the 40-lapper with Dustin Linville of Bryantsville, Ky., in third. Chilton, who finished the race without a nosepiece, was fourth and Wesley Brummett of Harrodsburg rounded out the top five. Raftliff ended up 11th in the 17-car field in an event that served as a makeup for a Saturday night rainout.
Chilton and Rattliff led the field to green with the high-running Rattliff taking control early in the race. Moon, who started fifth, worked his way into second and moved up to challenge after a restart, actually taking the lead but falling back to second when a caution erased the move.
Rattliff was able to keep Moon in check until the frontrunners reached lapped traffic. When Rattliff gave up his high groove to duck under a lapped car, he lost momentum and allowed Moon to take command.
Rattliff quickly went back to the high groove and went back ahead exiting turn two, but he drifted into the backstretch wall and the right side of his car briefly bounded in the air. The damage knocked him out of the race.
Moon was out front, but he had his hands full after a lap-24 restart with Chilton, who duplicated Rattliff's high groove that was treacherous on a choppy surface.
Chilton was able to pull alongside Moon a few times over the next few laps, but the challenge ended when Moon's car slid into the high groove in turn three. Chilton had nowhere to go and his car's nosepiece was ripped off as he got into the rear of Moon's machine.
"My nose went to the wall and I had to chock the car out to get it turned back toward the bottom," Moon said, "and he was right there trying to get a run from the outside. I hate that."
Chilton was able to restart second, but his car's handling suffered the rest of the way as Moon cruised to victory. Combs gained two spots late in the race to get the runner-up spot, but he was too far back to challenge Moon.
Notes: Moon's Rayburn Race Car is sponsored by Computer East and Courtesy of Salisbury. ... Moon has long driven C.J. Rayburn-built cars. "I'm glad I could win one for him," the former go-kart racer said. ... Greg Johnson scratched from the night's action with a broken oil pump. ... Dark on Saturday, Lake Cumberland has added an unsanctioned $2,000-to-win event for Sunday evening. ... MDRL competitors return to Lake Cumberland for a $3,000-to-win event on June 25.
MDRL @ Lake Cumberland: (1) Rohn Moon, (2) Chris Combs, (3) Dustin Linville, (4) Michael Chilton, (5) Wesley Brummett, (6) Terry Tomlinson, (7) Steve Stollings, (8) Mick Sansom, (9) Greg Hansford, (10) Jeff Rawlings, (11) Justin Rattliff, (12) Liz Patterson, (13) Skylar Marlar, (14) Victor Lee, (15) Todd Coffman, (16) Shelby Johnson, (17) J.J. Patterson. Scratched: Greg Johnson. Fast group qualifiers (among 18 cars): Marlar, Johnson, Lee. Heat race winners: Rattliff, Chilton, Lee.