Tony Jackson Jr. climbed atop his car in victory lane
What won the race: Overtaking Billy Moyer on the 15th lap, Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., led the rest of Tuesday’s 35-lap Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association season opener at I-80 Speedway. Jackson pocketed $5,000 in the caution-free affair, taking the checkers 2.591 seconds ahead of runner-up Chase Junghans, who started eighth.
Quotable: “We had a real good balance and we were just trying to be real patient. I’ve let some races get away just trying too hard at the start, so I was just trying to bide my time and keep a big enough lead at the end,” Jackson said. “Any time you race with (Moyer) he kind of gauges your speed, so I knew that he had a pretty good pace going. I hope it was a good race for everybody else, because it was a fun race inside the car."
Key notes: Jackson notched his eighth career MLRA victory and first since the 2019 finale at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo. ... Runner-up Chase Junghans was competing for the first time since announcing his departure from the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series, which he'd followed most of the past eight seasons. ... Mason Oberkramer led the first lap before giving way to Moyer. ... Polesitter Jason Papich of Nipomo, Calif., dropped out of the top five by the ffith lap and never contended he finished eighth. ... I-80’s Tuesday event, the most recently added to the MLRA schedule, launched five consecutive nights of action on the Missouri-based tour. … After I-80, the series heads to Iowa for an April 14 event at Stuart Speedway, April 15 event at the Davenport Speedway quarter-mile and April 16-17 events at West Burlington’s 34 Raceway, culminating with the $10,555-to-win Slocum 50.
On the move: Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., started 12th and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Jackson’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Viper Risk Management, Willard Quarries, SRI, Fast Wing Enterprises, Merrill Bonding, Base Fuels, Darrell Lanigan Racing, Swift Springs and Modern Images.
Points chase: I-80’s event opened MLRA’s season.
Current weather: Clear, 54°F
Car count: 34
Fast qualifier: Jason Papich
Time: 16.592 seconds
Polesitter: Jason Papich
Heat race winners: Jason Papich, Billy Moyer, Mason Oberkramer, Tony Jackson Jr.
Consolation race winners: Jesse Stovall
Provisional starters: Tony Toste, Brennon Willard
Next series race: April 14, Stuart Speedway (Stuart, IA) $5,000