Wheatland, Missouri – Friday’s Lucas Oil MLRA season opener at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, was a good one. Will Vaught benefited from a restart mishap by Tony Jackson Jr. and took the lead for the final five laps, securing the win in his first start of the season.
“It’s an old race car,” commented Vaught of his Rocket he drove to Andy’s Frozen Custard Victory Lane. “Gary Winger got us on some good Integra Shocks. Eric has worked his butt off this winter. I ain’t got to help him a whole lot. He put a new deck and body on this thing. It’s a lot on his shoulders this time.”
Vaught admitted Jackson likely had the best car and didn’t anticipate taking the lead on the restart.
“This new right rear deal, changes the race cars quite a bit. I was hoping mine would fire before his, of that restart. He got a good restart. I thought the only really chance I had, was to maybe slide him on this first corner, and I got a horrible start off four.”
(Photo – Todd Boyd)
There was no question Jackson felt he let one slip away following the race. He ultimately finished the night in third.
“We got a new tire rule,” said Jackson, speculating about the restart. “I don’t know if I didn’t keep it hot enough under yellow. I got down there and couldn’t steer into one. Cautions are part of it.”
It was not all doom and gloom for the 56 camp however. He started sixth and immediately drove to the top in his new MB Customs Race Car. He took the lead on lap five and was the car to beat until the yellow.
Terry Phillips was on the move in the main event. He secured the Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger of the Race, moving up ten spots to finish second.
“I needed to be in that cushion, but coming off, the cushion ended, and I didn’t want to mess up and jump it,” stated Phillips. “The car actually rolled through the middle on a longer run, then the right rear tire started sealing up and it got a little looser. We’ve got something to work with. To drive up through there with these good cars, I’ll take it every day.”
Rodney Sanders and Jesse Stovall completed the balance of the top five finishers.
Saturday night hot laps are scheduled for 7 PM, with racing at 7:35 PM. $3,000 is up for grabs in the finale of the 4th Annual Spring Nationals Presented by RacinJunk.com.
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