Monett, Missouri – In dramatic dirt track fashion at the Monett Motor Speedway, Sunday nights 48th Annual 4-State Dirt Track Championship would come down to the final turn before Will Vaught could breathe ease in Andy’s Frozen Custard Victory Lane. Vaught took home the $3,000 pay day, and also for the first time in his career, has now won three consecutive Lucas Oil MLRA feature events.
Vaught captured the DirtonDirt.com Pole through qualifying action for the 4th time this season and jumped to the early lead. Vaught’s lead would be short lived, as outside front row starter Jesse Stovall, swept around Vaught on lap four to take over the top spot. Vaught would settle into second with JC Wyman solidly in third.
Lap traffic would quickly come into play on the 3/8 mile speedway, as Stovall who was setting a blistering pace rolled upon the tail of the field. Just as Stovall crossed the start finish line on lap ten, he would have to make a quick decision with lap traffic entering turn one. The Billings, MO driver and 2016 MLRA champ, would split the middle between a pair of cars, and as he pointed the nose to the bottom he would make hard contact with the inside berm of the speedway sending the race leader around and out of the race.
Vaught would inherit the lead on the restart with twenty laps to go, now with Wyman and series point leader Chad Simpson directly behind him. Vaught would dominate the restart and take to the top side to stretch out the advantage over the remainder of the race which would go caution free. However, with just a handful of circuits remaining Simpson would use lapped traffic to again chase down the 1v of Vaught.
Simpson would make multiple attempts to grab the lead on the bottom of the speedway. Taking the white flag, the duo exited turn two side by side with Simpson on the bottom and Vaught on the top. The two leaders would come together and both go sideways in the center of the back straight-a-way. Fortunately for both, they would return to the throttle and battle off turn number four with Vaught holding onto the top spot for his sixth MLRA win of the season. Simpson finished second, marking his third consecutive top three while JC Wyman duplicated his best finish of the season in third. Tony Jackson, Jr. came home in fourth as Logan Martin would come homr in 5th.
Vaught who was tangled up in heat race action, said of his race car, “The car wasn’t right in the feature, we barely got to the line-up in time and still something was broke on the right front. We’ll get that thing fixed and get a little faster, we’re just doing what we have to do right now.”
Simpson who was making his first ever start at Monett explained following the race, “Will is on fire, he’s got a good race car right now. We are inching and getting closer and closer. I tried to squeeze him a little bit there at the end and gave him just enough room. It was good hard racing, that was fun,” exclaimed Simpson who now maintains a 24-point advantage over Vaught in the championship battle.
For JC Wyman, his third place run was ever so close to his second career MLRA win. With a clear view of the last lap contact between the leaders he commented, “When they got together I seen smoke and two cars going sideways, and I thought oh boy here we go, sometimes it pays to be in the right place but I’ll take a third-it’s like a win the way this year has been going.”
Coming up next for the MLRA will be their season finale at the Lucas Oil Speedway. The “Diamond of Dirt Tracks” in Wheatland, MO will host the 5th Annual Fall Nationals on Friday and Saturday, October 12th and 13th. Friday nights action will pay $3,000 to win, while Saturday’s season finale will pay out $5,000.