latemodelamerica.com - Apr. 2 - I-80 Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Brad Looney VL I-80

Brad Looney turned his fortunes around with an opening night with the MLRA at I-80 Speedway. (Lloyd Collins)

MLRA: Looney Ends Drought, Wins Season Opener

Ashley Berry

 

GREENWOOD, Neb.. - April 2. Brad Looney held a strong and fast line around I-80 Speedway in the Lucas Oil MLRA season opener Saturday to top a field of 48 Late Model entries. Looney, of Republic, Missouri, finished second in the Lucas Oil MLRA points in 2010 without winning a feature event.

 

However, 2011 started off with a bang at the "Spring Meltdown" for Looney, with his second career MLRA win. Looney drives the Federal Protection, Victory Circle by Moyer #14 with a Hatfield Racing Engine. His win Saturday also locks him into the "Silver Dollar Nationals" at I-80 Speedway in July. 

 

Chris Simpson - Kyle Berck - I-80 Speedway MLRA

Kyle Berck (#14) put in a strong performance from 14th place to finally catch #32 Chris Simpson and capture second behind Looney. (Lloyd Collins) 

 

Alan Vaughn I-80

Missouri veteran Alan Vaughn moves into a four-wide configuration on the very wide race track at I-80 Speedway. (Lloyd Collins)

 

A stacked field made for plenty of racing action all evening long, but finally 26 drivers took the green flag for a 35-lap main event. A caution on lap three sent the #00 of Jesse Stovall to the back of the pack, but Stovall would work his way back to a ninth place finish. Another yellow flag on lap eight gave John Anderson's Shop Quik team enough time to change a flat tire and tag the back of the field before the restart.

 

Jesse Stovall - John Anderson - I-80 Speedway

Having each been credited with a caution flag, #00 Jesse Stocall and #2 John Anderson were both sent to the rear. Stovall, a Friday night winner on the MARS tour, was able to return to ninth place at the wire. (Lloyd Collins)

 

A battle ensued as Kyle Berck charged from the 14th place starting position to third place in less than ten laps. Berck would continue to run side by side with Chris Simpson for the rest of the feature before overtaking Simpson just before the checkers flew. Simpson and Berck's race kept them just behind Looney, who led the feature from start to finish.  

   Al Humphrey - Delbert Smith - I-80 Speedway

The day ended early in heat race #1 for veteran Delbet Smith (#92) and #6 Al Humphrey. (Lloyd Collins)

 

 

MLRA - I-80 Speedway
1) Brad Looney, 2) Kyle Berck, 3) Chris Simpson, 4) Chad Simpson, 5) Denny Eckrich, 6) Al Purkey, 7) Terry Phillips, 8) David Turner, 9) Jesse Stovall, 10) Alan Vaughn, 11) Travis Dickes, 12) Bill Leighton, 13) Kurt Kile, 14) John Anderson, 15) Jeremy Payne, 16) R.C. Whitwell, 17) Mike Wiarda (prov.), 18) Mike Collins, 19) Joe Kosiski (prov.), 20) Jason O'Brien, 21) Bryant Goldsmith, 22) Tony Jackson, Jr. 23) Justin Asplin (prov.), 24) Jake Meier, 25) Craig Preble, 26) Dave Eckrich (prov.)
Heat winners (48 entries): Dickes, Turner, Meier, Anderson, Eckrich; B-Feature winners: Chad Simpson, Collins

Ron Mitchell photo 

 

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