Lucas Oil Speedway
Looney grabs MLRA victory in Capital debut
WHEATLAND, Mo. (Aug. 31) — Brad Looney’s switch to a different chassis was a Capital improvement. Literally.
The 38-year-old driver from Republic, Mo., debuted his Capital Race Car on Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway for a $3,000 victory on the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association. Looney notched just his second victory of the season, leading all the way from outside the front row. | Slideshow
“When you get a new car out here, you don’t know what to expect,” said Looney, who connected with Marshall Green of Woodstock, Ga.-based Capital to switch chassis. “It just seemed like tonight everything fell together and went my way and I’m just real tickled.”
Looney, the 2011 MARS DIRTcar Series champion whose last feature victory came in April, hoped he could repeat the performance as the season winds to a close.
“As long as we stay focused and keep working hard and stay dedicated to going out there for first, I think we can,” Looney said. “You’ve got good quality racers out there tonight — Terry Phillips won the Topless 100, Tony Jackson, all the races he’s been winning and been able to drive up through there and pass — to keep them behind you, I mean it puts a lot of confidence in yourself to go out and win again.”
The fifth-starting Phillips of Springfield, Mo., finished a straightaway behind in second in the 40-lap feature while MLRA points leader Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., challenged Looney early before settling for third. Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., charged from his 15th starting spot to finish fourth and polesitter Matt Johnson of Archie, Mo., rounded out the top five.
Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, started seventh and worked his way into the second spot, but he pulled his smoking No. 25 to the infield with five laps remaining.
Three cautions appeared for separate single-car incidents slowdowns involving Jesse Stovall, Jason Russell and Robert Baker. Stovall clipped the wall to draw a first-lap yellow but rallied back to finish sixth.
Notes: Looney’s Capital Race Car has a Hatfield Racing Engine and sponsorship from Client One Securities, Looney Underground, Federal Protection, Family Pharmacy, A&E Kitchen Service, JJ Propane and Midwest Sheet Metal. ... Will Vaught’s 15th-to-fourth run gave him Casey's General Stores Hard Charger honors. ... Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., who recently split with the GRT Race Cars team, fielded a Rocket Chassis for Oklahoma-based Pannell Motorsports and finished eighth; Pannell’s regular driver Eric Turner was 10th. ... Among drivers failing to make the main event lineup: David Turner, Justin Wells, Brantlee Gotschall, Larry Jones, Brandon McCormick, Dave Eckrich, Jason Bodenhamer, Justin Asplin, Cole Wells, Reid Millard and Patrick Johnson. ... The 3/8-mile Wheatland oval hosted the tour for the fifth and final time in 2013. ... The series concludes the season Oct. 4-5 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
MLRA @ Lucas Oil Speedway: (1) Brad Looney, (2) Terry Phillips, (3) Tony Jackson Jr., (4) Will Vaught, (5) Matt Johnson, (6) Jesse Stovall, (7) John Anderson, (8) Jack Sullivan, (9) Mark Burgtorf, (10) Eric Turner, (11) Wendell Wallace, (12) Chase Junghans, (13) Justin Asplin, (14) Spencer Diercks, (15) Dustin Walker, (16) Chad Simpson, (17) J.D. Hubert, (18) Robert Baker, (19) Chris Smyser, (20) Jason Russell, (21) Travis Dickes, (22) Leslie Essary, (23) Jason Bodenhamer, (24) Ethan Young. Heat race winners (among 39 cars): Johnson, Phillips, Looney, Wallace. Consolation winners: Anderson, Junghans. Provisional starters: Young, Hubert.