Hometown star Phillips rolls to win at Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (March 22) – Terry Phillips gave his hometown fans good reason to cheer Saturday night at Springfield Raceway.
Racing just miles from his home, the 47-year-old driver roared to the lead from the third starting spot and never looked back en route to winning the 40-lap MARS DIRTcar Series March Madness event at the quarter-mile oval. | RaceWire | Slideshow
Phillips mastered the track that is so familiar to him, beating Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, to the finish line for a $3,000 first-place check. It was the series-leading 83rd career victory for Phillips, who owns six career MARS championships.
Reigning MARS titlist Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., placed third and unofficially grabbed the tour’s points lead after three early-season events. Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., finished fourth and Kyle Beard of Trumann, Ark., was fifth.
Notes: Phillips steers a Rocket Chassis powered by Hatfield Racing Engine and sponsored by Andy’s Frozen Custard, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Don Babb Motorsports and New Vision Graphics. … Phillips is a six-time MARS champion; his crowns came in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010. ... In place of the redraw, the top eight drivers in heat race passing points shot baskets to determine feature starting spots. Will Vaught, a former Missouri All-State basketball player, was the first to make a shot and earned the pole. ... Nick Lyons of Centralia, Ill., took a wild ride during the B-Main, rolling his car at the top of the track while Michael Maggard of Republic, Mo., went by on the inside with flames trailing from his car. Neither driver was injured, and Maggard later started the A-Main thanks to a provisional spot. … March Madness event was the third of 31 events on the 2014 MARS schedule. ... The series will return to Springfield on May 10 and Sept. 13.
MARS DIRTcar Series March Madness: (1) Terry Phillips, (2) Ryan Gustin, (3) Tony Jackson Jr., (4) Brad Looney, (5) Kyle Beard, (6) Brandon McCormick, (7) Jacob Magee, (8) Josh Hughes, (9) Brandon Morton, (10) Justin Asplin, (11) Leroy Johnson, (12) Jesse Stovall, (13) Jason Hughes, (14) Jeff Roth, (15) Dustin Mooneyham, (16) Austin Rettig, (17) Corey Zeitner, (18) Joey Smith, (19) Jon Driskill, (20) Will Vaught, (21) Don Cloyd, (22) Michael Maggard. Heat race winners (among 25 cars): Vaught, Stovall, Phillips. Consolation winner: Zeitner. Provisional starters: Michael Maggard.