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Daily Dirt 01/27/2021 03:46:00

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October 9
Lucas Oil Speedway,
Wheatland, MO
Sanction: Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association (Fall Nationals) - $3,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated October 10, 12:41 pm)
Gustin scores $3,000 MLRA win at Wheatland
Fall Nationals
  1. Ryan Gustin
  2. Billy Moyer
  3. Mason Oberkramer
  4. Kyle Beard
  5. Tony Jackson Jr.
  6. Jason Papich
  7. Chad Simpson
  8. Jeremiah Hurst
  9. Justin Zeitner
  10. Garrett Alberson
  11. Justin Duty
  12. Tony Toste
  13. Dalton Imhoff
  14. Jeremy Conaway
  15. Payton Looney
  16. Billy Moyer Jr.
  17. Aaron Marrant
  18. Nick Whitehead
  19. Jake Timm
  20. Jeremy Grady
  21. Larry Clawson
  22. Scott Crigler
  23. Jake Neal
  24. Joey Smith
presented by
Lloyd Collins/FastTrackPhotos
Ryan Gustin earned $3,000 at Lucas Oil Speedway.
What won the race: Slipping past race-long pacesetter Billy Moyer on lap 35, fourth-starting Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, led the remaining distance of Friday's 40-lap Fall Nationals feature to score a $3,000 victory during the opening night of Lucas Oil Speedway's weekend doubleheader. Gustin finished 2.002 seconds ahead of Moyer for his 10th career Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association win.
Key notes: Lucas Oil Speedway hosts the seventh annual Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals, featuring a $3,000-to-win main event on Friday and a $5,000-to-win main event on Saturday night. … Friday was the fifth time the tour has visited Lucas Oil Speedway this season.
On the move: Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., started 13th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Gustin’s Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Tri Star Engines and Transmissions, AFCO Racing Products, Fast Shafts, FK Rod Ends, JRI Shocks, Maxima Racing Oils, McCartney Welding, Murty Farms, Wichita Tire & Alignment, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products and VP Racing Fuels.
Points chase: Heading into the weekend, Payton Looney (2,202 points) of Republic, Mo., led Chad Simpson (2,145), Jeremiah Hurst (2,125), Tony Jackson Jr. (2,040) and Justin Duty (1,875).
Current weather: Clear, 66°F
Car count: 33
Fast qualifier: Garrett Alberson
Time: 14.568 seconds
Polesitter: Garrett Alberson
Heat race winners: Garrett Alberson, Mason Oberkramer, Billy Moyer, Ryan Gustin
Consolation race winners: Billy Moyer Jr.
Next series race: October 10, Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Lyndal Scraton
Lucas Oil Speedway P.R.

WHEATLAND, Mo. (Oct. 9) — With laps dwindling, Ryan Gustin said it was go time with just five to go Friday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Gustin threw a slider on Billy Moyer going into turn one and made it stick. The daring move propelled the Marshalltown, Iowa, driver to a $3,000 victory on Night One of the MLRA Fall Nationals Presented by Lucas Oil. He also won opening night of the Fall Nationals in 2019.

Gustin, 29, said it was a thrill to outduel Moyer, a 62-year-old Hall of Famer.

“Any time you can chase that 21 car (of Moyer) you’re doing something right, for sure,” Gustin said. “To pass him to get a win is pretty cool.”

Gustin slid underneath Moyer in turn one on lap 35 and went on to his second straight MLRA victory. He pulled away over the final five laps to prevail by two seconds and deny the veteran from Batesville, Arkansas, a 44th career MLRA win.

Mason Oberkramer finished third with Kyle Beard fourth and Tony Jackson Jr. fifth.

Through 35 laps, Moyer had led all but one lap — when Gustin passed him at the start-finish line on lap 20. That lead lasted only two turns before Moyer wrestled it back.

As the final laps neared, Gustin said he kept looking at the jumbotron in turn three and knew time was running out to make one, decisive attempt.

“I think he was on a little bit softer tire than we were, so I knew the longer the greens were the better we were going to get,” Gustin said. “But a veteran like that, he can deal with a softer tire.

“I kept looking at the board and I was like, ‘I gotta run here, I gotta do something.’ You never know if you’re gonna get that run again. So that’s what we did and it worked out.”

Garrett Alberson was the overall fast qualifier with a time of 14.568. Alberson went on to win his heat race to earn the pole position for the feature.

But it was Moyer, starting to Alberson’s outside, getting the jump at the start and setting the early pace ahead of Oberkramer and Gustin. Alberson, meanwhile, backtracked to seventh by lap four when the first caution flew.

Moyer was leading by one second over Gustin when Justin Duty spun in turn two to bring out a caution. Jason Papich and Chad Simpson made contact while battling for third at the same time, on the opposite end of the track. Papich had to pit with a flat tire as Simpson continued with some bent sheet metal.

Moyer and Gustin broke away by about three seconds over Simpson with Gustin briefly grabbing the lead, at the start-finish line, on lap 20. But Moyer regained it by turn two and was back in front as the duo dueled side by side.

Working the inside, Gustin appeared to re-take the lead on lap 24. But the race’s third caution before that lap was complete sent the restart order back to the previous lap, putting Moyer back to the front with 17 laps remaining.

The race remained green the remaining 15 laps and it came down to a battle between Gustin and Moyer with the Iowan prevailing.

“He ran a little harder tire than we did, but the car needs to be a little bit better,” Moyer said. “We just need to keep working a little bit on it.”

Oberkramer, of Broseley, Mo., backed up his winning performance at Lucas Oil Speedway over Labor Day Weekend in the MLRA Ron Jenkins Memorial with a solid third.

“I’ll stand behind these two guys every night of the week if you want me to,” Oberkramer said of his podium finish, alongside Gustin and Moyer. “Everybody wants to win, but when you get beat by these two guys ... they’ve won lots and lots of features. We’re proud to be here.”

The MLRA championship battle took a turn on lap 25 as points leader Payton Looney, who had advanced from 12th to seventh, suddenly slowed going down the backstretch and exited the track. Looney began the night 57 points in front of Simpson, the 2018 MLRA champion.

Simpson finished seventh as Looney wound up 15th after his second straight series DNF. Looney’s lead is now just 17 points over Simpson with four MLRA events remaining.

The Lucas Oil MLRA has a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win feature on Saturday at Wheatland to conclude the doubleheader.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Alberson, Oberkramer
Row 2: Moyer Sr., Gustin
Row 3: Simpson, Hurst
Row 4: Papich, J. Zeitner
Row 5: Beard, Duty
Row 6: Marrant, Looney
Row 7: Jackson Jr., Crigler
Row 8: Neal, Whitehead
Row 9: Moyer Jr., Toste
Row 10: Conaway, Clawson
Row 11: Grady, Timm
Row 12: Imhoff, Smith
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