Sunday, June 4, 2017

Phillips Scores at Moberly

Saturday was the final night of the MLRA swing through the Tri State area, with the Randolph County Raceway 4/10 mile high banks near Moberly,Mo. hosting the high powered late models. B mods, street stocks, and 4 cylinder cars were also on the card. RCR is running on a part time schedule in 2017, but still managed to draw a decent car count in two if the three support classes, with 17 B mods, 13 4 cylinders and six street stocks joining the 18 touring late models. Group qualifying for the late models saw Tony Jackson Jr. with the fastest lap overall, turning the oval in 17.188 seconds. JC Wyman was the only car not timing in, but he was able to tag the tail in his heat race. One of two drivers making his first stop on the weekend swing, Tim Manville, could not get his # 33 to fire for heat one, but he would later start from the back of the 40 lap feature. In that first of two heats, Rodney Sanders and Brantlee Gotschall got together in turn two, with Gotschall making contact with the outside concrete wall that goes all the way around the track. Back to racing, Jackson and Jesse Stovall battled for the lead before Sanders joined in. Contact between Sanders and Stovall sent Sanders to the pits, and he quickly instructed his crew to pull out his backuo car and get it ready for the feature. Stovall took the heat win over Jackson Jr., Brent Larson, and Matt Furman. The second heat saw the caution flag fly on lap four when Justin Duty rolled to a stop after contact with the backstretch wall. Under green, Chad Simpson and Terry Phillips battled for the top spot. Phillips tried a slide job coming to the white flag, but Simpson held him off. One lap later, however, the slider worked, and Phillips was first by a nose at the line. Following intermission, the street stock 15 lap finale was first up. Following a caution on lap one, a two car duel developed between Ricky Girard and Kyle Morton before Morton spun in turns three and four on lap ten. Following the restart, Girard pulled away, taking the win ahead of Ted Welchmeyer and Morton. The B mods were up next for 15 laps, with Jace Gay and Brandon Lennox starting up front. Following a yellow flag on the first lap, Tyler Lewis shot to the lead. After two more early cautions, Lewis and Lennox began to distance themselves from the field. A caution on lap twelve for third running Cody Agee, who was attempting to run down the leaders set off a flurry of late stoppages, with the now third running Gay out with a flat with only two laps to go. Lewis held serve through it all to pick up the win ahead of Lennox, Dalton McKinney, a resurgent Agee and Tim Dawson. It was now the 4 cylinders for 15 laps. Street tock winner Girard sat on the pole, but pulled to the infield pit area on the parade lap. A scary moment occurred mid race when two cars got together on the backstretch, with both tumbling over several times. Neither driver was injured, although clean up took a while. Robert Winfrey meanwhile, led flag to flag for the win ahead of Devin Still. The MLRA headliner was last on the card. Simpson and Stovall lined up in row one, but it was Phillips joining Stovall up front as the green flag waved. By lap six the front pair had put distance on the pack, but a caution fo0r Sanders on lap ten bunched the field. Lap 14 saw Jackson Jr slow, bringing out the yellow and ending his run. It was now a three car battle with Stovall running the top line, Phillips in the middle and Simpson down low. Phillips seemed to have the faster car, and he put a slide job on Stovall in turn four of lap 21 to take the lead. He quickly pulled away, but the caution came out again on lap 23. Back to racing, Simpson took second before another yellow for Gotschall. Phillips opened a straightaway lead before another caution period on lap 34 for Wyman. As racing resumed, Stovall tagged the turn two wall, dropping back several positions. At the same time, Manville, who started in row nine, was up to eighth, having been as high as seventh, but his run ended with mechanical issues. Another pair of yellows came quickly, one for Furman, and one ending the night for Rickey Frankel, who was running a strong third before he contacted the turn two wall. The final laps went clean and green, with Phillips taking the win after a pair of frustrating performances on the mini tour, with Simpson collected his second runner up finish in his two nights on the swing. Larson collected his second top five and third top ten of the weekend in third, Randy Timms had his first top five in fourth, while Gotschall had a tour best fifth. Stovall hung around in sixth ahead of Dave Eckrich, first timer Bryon Allison, and Furman. Frankel was credited with tenth. After victories the first two nights, Chris Simpson headed home to get ready for the $100,000 to win 100 lap late model Dream this coming weekend at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg,Ohio. Meanwhile, this old man will try to make it four nights in a row tonight with my regular stop at Quincy Raceways for UMP Pro late models, UMP modifieds, IMCA sport mods, IMCA sport compacts, and a visit by the 305 sprint cars. Promoter Ken Dobson on Saturday announced a special pricing discount, so come on out!

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