West Liberty, Iowa- Chris Simpson was dominant in his heat race early Tuesday night at West Liberty Raceway in West Liberty, Iowa. The same good fortune carried over to the feature, and he led the entire way in the Coors Ligh tMLRA Shootout. Simpson’s Tuesday night effort was worth $10,000.
The win is Simpson’s second in two days, fourth of the year and eighth total with the Lucas Oil MLRA.
“It’s a hell of a week, I wish every Monday and Tuesday would start out like this,” commented and excited Simpson. “I just got to thank my crew and fans that stuck behind me. The hours I’ve put on on the car in the last week, with my crew guy being gone, I think have really helped. It made me get under the car and work on it and not just rely on them.”
Tuesday was a homecoming of sorts for Simpson at West Liberty. He and his brother grew up racing at the track. Judging by the size of the Andy’s Frozen Custard Victory Lane celebration, Simpson still has a lot of fans at West Liberty.
Terry Phillips started seventh and did his work early to get through the field. His final spot came on a restart. He closed in on Simpson on a few restarts, but ultimately came home the runner up.
“50 laps is a long race,” said Phillips. “Guys were running over each other. I was just trying to be patient. I could run real hard there and kind of keep up with Chris, but my motor started getting hot. I’d get close to him and (I would get an) air push and jump over the cushion. I finally just slowed down. I didn’t want to burn my motor up. It was a good night for us.”
Jesse Stovall certainly made his third place finish interesting. On a mid-race restart he wound up facing the wrong direction in turn two. At the back of the pack for the restart, Stovall worked through the filed, passing Denny Eckrich late to secure third.
“At the end of the night I knew I probably didn’t have enough car to outrun Simpson,” stated Stovall. “All and all it was a good night. We made it through, so we’ll pack up and head to Minnesota.” Denny Eckrich put on an awesome show of his own, wheeling from the 17th place starting spot to third, before slipping back one position to fourth. His effort was enough to earn the Casey’s General Stores Hard Charger of the night award. Eckrich was followed to the finish by his brother Dave, who completed the top five.
Wednesday the series heads north to Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota for the first time. The show will pay $5,000 to win.
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