Chris Simpson captures first MLRA win, $5,000
By Dan RobinsonO'Reilly MLRA
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 3) — Grabbing his first career series victory, Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, outdueled teammates Terry Phillips and Jeremy Payne in the closing laps at Lakeside Speedway for a $5,000 payday in the Clyde Ellis Showdown. Simpson led the final five laps at the half-mile oval in O'Reilly Midwest LateModel Racing Association action for his biggest career victory. | Video | Slideshow
Phillips, who won Friday's preliminary feature, settled for second while fellow Springfield, Mo., driver Payne was placed last in the 24-car field after crossing the line third but weighing in too light. That moved Brandon McCormick of Lebanon, Mo., up a spot with Eric Turner of Springfield and series points leader Al Purkey of Coffeyville, Kan., rounding out the top five. John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., lost more ground to Purkey in the points chase with a ninth-place finish after an early flat tire.
Polesitter David Turner of Creighton, Mo., led the first lap but Payne quickly took control while Simpson, Phillips, McCormick and Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., battled behind him.
Phillips moved past Payne after a lap-11 restart as McDowell picked up speed, taking second on the 14th lap. But McDowell soon was forced to pit to change a flat tire, leaving Phillips, McCormick and Payne in the top three spots.
But Simpson stayed with the frontrunners and took the lead on lap 27, beginning a lead-swapping duel with Payne with Phillips right in the mix. Simpson took control for good on the 35th lap and went on to victory.
Notes: Simpson's MasterSbilt Race Car has a Pro Power Engine and sponsorship from Five Star Shop Service, crashedtoys.com, Genius Tools, Gearwrench, Simpson Farms and Masterbuilt Concrete. ... Simpson's only other special event victory this season came July 16 at Independence (Iowa) Motor Speedway in a Corn Belt Clash event. ... He's the first new MLRA winner since Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Ill., won Aug. 23, 2008, in Wheatland, Mo. ... A lap-11 caution appeared when Mike Wiarda and Denny Woodworth got together in turn four; both cars went off on a hook. ... Consolation race winner Alan Vaughn exited on the 19th lap with left-rear suspension failure. ... Provisional starter Jason Bodenhamer started in the No. 7w of brother-in-law Brett Wood after his regular ride was damaged in a turn-three accident during a heat race. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Delbert Smith, Skip Frey, Brantlee Gotschall, Steve Kempt and Joe Kosiski. ... MLRA wraps up the season Oct. 17 at Nevada (Mo.) Speedway.
Clyde Ellis Showdown: (1) Chris Simpson, (2) Terry Phillips, (3) Brandon McCormick, (4) Eric Turner, (5) Al Purkey, (6) Bryant Goldsmith, (7) Dale McDowell, (8) Keith Foss, (9) John Anderson, (10) Jason Bodenhamer, (11) Kyle Berck, (12) David Turner, (13) Andrew McKay, (14) Rylan Long, (15) Jimmy Segraves, (16) Matt Johnson, (17) Alan Vaughn, (18) Al Humphrey, (19) Denny Woodworth, (20) Mike Wiarda, (21) Ronnie Wallace, (22) Mike Collins, (23) Craig Preble, Disqualified: Jeremy Payne. Heat race winners (among 43 cars): M. Johnson, Payne, Phillips, Anderson, D. Turner. Consolation winners: Purkey, Vaughn. Provisional starter: Bodenhamer, Long.