Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Chris Simpson Logs Home State MLRA Win

Chris Simpson comes to the checkers on Friday night with the Lucas Oil MLRA. Lloyd Collins FastTrackPhotos.Net

Chris Simpson comes to the checkers on Friday night with the Lucas Oil MLRA. Lloyd Collins FastTrackPhotos.Net

Davenport, IA (May 10, 2014) – A strong field of 45 Lucas Oil MLRA competitors jammed the pits at Davenport Speedway Friday night, culminating in a race for the ages among three Iowa natives and one Missourian gunning for a $3,000 victory on a crisp and cool early May night . It was MLRA’s first visit to the speedway in its 26-year history.

Earlier in the week, Chris Simpson, driver of the Rocket Chassis, Pro Power #32, stated he was “Looking forward to racing a little closer to home than normal and that a victory on Hawkeye State soil would mean a great deal to his race team and sponsors.”

Starting on the pole of the 40-lap Lucas Cattle Company main event, alongside Late Model rising star Ryan Gustin, Simpson did all he could to keep ‘The Reaper’ from leading the opening laps, but Gustin’s #19r quickly darted out to the lead, leaving Simpson to battle with fellow Iowan Brian Birkhofer in the early stages of the race.

With such an intense battle taking shape at the front of the field, it proved hard for onlookers to turn their attention away from the leaders but the battles from fifth on back were just as impressive with the likes of Chad Simpson, Brandon Sheppard, and Billy Drake doing all they could to advance towards the front.

For a while, it appeared Gustin was on his way to dominating and picking up yet another early season win in the process until Birkhofer made his way to the front in front of the enthusiastic crowd, relegating Gustin to second and Simpson third, while current MLRA point’s leader Terry Phillips charged his way into the mix from his fifth-starting position.

Two-thirds of the way through the race Iowa drivers held down the top three positions as Birkhofer led Simpson and Gustin through heavy lapped traffic, which proved crucial in the closing laps when Phillips turned up the wick in the final stages of the race.

With just five laps remaining, it was anyone’s win for the taking as race leaders mastered lapped traffic and the racy track surface. The event unfolded at a blistering pace, leaving race officials scrambling to catch their breath as the white flag briefly flew just in time for the checkered flag to wave over the nail-biting finish.

In the end, Chris Simpson came away as the winner ahead of fifth-starting Terry Phillips in second. After his home-state victory, Simpson said, “It was a good track, I fell back a little bit at the start there, I think we put a little bit too much fuel in it, she wouldn’t fire up right away but the longer that race went the better this thing got. I just gotta thank Birkhofer for everything he does for me, to be able to run with him, I thought he was gone when he got around me. Lapped traffic helped me tonight and I had a helluva car. This is close to home and it means a lot for me to win here.”

Birkhofer edged Gustin for third leaving ‘The Reaper’ in fourth, one spot ahead of seventh-starting Chad Simpson. Brady Smith advanced from his b-main transfer and 19th starting position to claim sixth, Rich Bell, Jeremy Payne, Dave Eckrich, and Billy Drake rounded out the top ten. Sheppard experienced troubles on the final lap and fell to 18th at the finish.

Phillips maintained his lead atop the point standings but he was unsure at the conclusion of the night where his next night of racing would unfold due to another event scheduled in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri on Saturday night.

Heat race winners included Brandon Sheppard, Rich Bell, Chris Simpson, Terry Phillips, and Jason O’Brien, while Jeremy Payne and Jason Jaggers drove to victory in the b-mains.

Lucas Oil MLRA competitors make the short jaunt to Jackson County Speedway in Maquoketa, Iowa on Saturday, May 10 for the second night of the weekend double-hitter. Jackson County Speedway is a 3/8 mile semi -banked oval located just East of Maquoketa, for more information visit their website at DarkSidePromo.com.

Davenport Speedway Contingency Awards 5/9/14

AR Bodies $50 Certificate for non qualifier – Jason Utter
Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger – Brady Smith (19th to 6th)
Chix Gear $25 Certificate for 7th Place Finisher – Rich Bell
DirtOnDirt.com Pole Award – Chris Simpson
GRT Heat Race Winners, Brandon Sheppard, Rich Bell, Jason O’Brien, Chris Simpson, and Terry Phillips
Hooker Harness Gift Certificate for 11th Place Finish – Scott Lewis
Landrum Springs Product Certificate – Chris Simpson
Out Pace Certificate – J.C. Wyman
Peformance Bodies Certificate – Chris Simpson
RacingJunk.com Hard Luck Award – Curt Martin

Lucas Cattle Company A Feature (40 Laps): 1. Chris Simpson (Oxford, IA), 2. Terry Phillips (Springfield, MO), 3. Brian Birkhofer (Muscatine, IA), 4. Ryan Gustin (Marshalltown, IA), 5. Chad Simpson (Mt Vernon, IA), 6. Brady Smith (, WI), 7. Rich Bell (Sheffield, IL), 8. Jeremy Payne (Springfield, MO), 9. Dave Eckrich (Oxford, IA), 10. Billy Drake (Bloomington , IL), 11. Scott Lewis (Henderson, Co), 12. Brian Harris (Davenport, IA), 13. Jason O’Brien (Atlantic, IA), 14. Denny Eckrich (Tiffin, IA), 15. Travis Dickes (Madison, NE), 16. Brad Looney (Republic, MO), 17. Matt Furman (Columbus, OH), 18. Brandon Sheppard (New Berlin, IL), 19. Ray Guss Jr. (Milan, IL), 20. John Anderson (Omaha, NE), 21. Justin Kay (Wheatland, IA), 22. Mike Collins (Council Bluffs, IA), 23. Jason Bodenhamer (Centerview, MO), 24. Jason Jaggers (Wynet, IL), 25. J.C. Wyman (Griswold, IA), 26. Justin Reed (Camp Point, IL), 27. Bill Koons (Omaha, NE), 28. Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, IA)

Sunoco Race Fuels B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. Jeremy Payne (Springfield, MO), 2. Brady Smith (, WI), 3. Justin Kay (Wheatland, IA), 4. Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, IA), 5. Scott Schmitt (Tonica, IL), 6. Jesse Stovall (Billings, MO), 7. Brad Looney (Republic, MO), 8. Andy Eckrich (Oxford, IA), 9. Steve Lach (Brownstown, IL), 10. Robert Cullen (Chilton, WI), 11. Mike Collins (Council Bluffs, IA), 12. Dustin Walker (Peculiar, MO), 13. Jake Meier (Tipton, IA), 14. Rick Wendling (Hazelton, IA), 15. Curt Martin (Independence, IA)

Hoosier Racing Tires B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. Jason Jaggers (Wynet, IL), 2. Justin Reed (Camp Point, IL), 3. John Anderson (Omaha, NE), 4. Jason Bodenhamer (Centerview, MO), 5. Jason Rauen (Farlex, IA), 6. Jordan Yaggy (Rochester, MN), 7. Spencer Diercks (Davenport, IA), 8. Mark Voigt (Marine, IL), 9. Mike Fryer (Freeport, IL), 10. Jay Johnson (Burlington, IA), 11. Greg Wagner (Polo, IL), 12. Bill Koons (Omaha, NE), 13. Mark Dotson (Cameron, MO), 14. Matt Furman (Columbus, OH)

Lucas Oil Products Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Brandon Sheppard (New Berlin, IL), 2. Ray Guss Jr. (Milan, IL), 3. Brian Birkhofer (Muscatine, IA), 4. Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, IA), 5. Justin Kay (Wheatland, IA), 6. Jesse Stovall (Billings, MO), 7. Mark Dotson (Cameron, MO), 8. Jordan Yaggy (Rochester, MN), 9. Robert Cullen (Chilton, WI)

MAV TV American Real Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Rich Bell (Sheffield, IL), 2. Ryan Gustin (Marshalltown, IA), 3. Chad Simpson (Mt Vernon, IA), 4. Jason Rauen (Farlex, IA), 5. Jeremy Payne (Springfield, MO), 6. Jason Bodenhamer (Centerview, MO), 7. Dustin Walker (Peculiar, MO), 8. Curt Martin (Independence, IA), 9. Rick Wendling (Hazelton, IA)

ProtectTheHarvest.com Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. Chris Simpson (Oxford, IA), 2. Denny Eckrich (Tiffin, IA), 3. Brian Harris (Davenport, IA), 4. Jason Jaggers (Wynet, IL), 5. Mike Fryer (Freeport, IL), 6. John Anderson (Omaha, NE), 7. Mark Voigt (Marine, IL), 8. Spencer Diercks (Davenport, IA), 9. Bill Koons (Omaha, NE)

Casey’s General Stores Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. Terry Phillips (Springfield, MO), 2. Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL), 3. Brady Smith (, WI), 4. Dave Eckrich (Oxford, IA), 5. Scott Schmitt (Tonica, IL), 6. Matt Furman (Columbus, OH), 7. Brad Looney (Republic, MO), 8. Andy Eckrich (Oxford, IA), 9. Steve Lach (Brownstown, IL)

RacingJunk.com Heat 5 (10 Laps): 1. Jason O’Brien (Atlantic, IA), 2. Scott Lewis (Henderson, Co), 3. J.C. Wyman (Griswold, IA), 4. Travis Dickes (Madison, NE), 5. Justin Reed (Camp Point, IL), 6. Jake Meier (Tipton, IA), 7. Mike Collins (Council Bluffs, IA), 8. Greg Wagner (Polo, IL), 9. Jay Johnson (Burlington, IA)

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