- July 1 - I-80 Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Jason Utter VL1 at I-80 Speedway

An ecstatic Jason Utter celebrates his win on three different tours at I-80 Speedway. (Lloyd Collins)

Cornbelt Clash/NCRA/MLRA: Utter Makes Last Lap Move in Traffic to Steal Trifecta Win From Simpson

Ashley Berry and David Smith, Jr.

GREENWOOD, Neb. - July 1. Jason Utter of Columbus Junction, Ia. passed Chris Simpson at the checkers to win the Midwest Tri-Fecta at I-80 Speedway at Nebraska Raceway Park on Friday night. The event was sanctioned by the MLRA, the NCRA, and the Cornbelt Clash.

In many forms of motorsports, lapped traffic often plays a pivotal role in the outcome of an event. Such was the case on Friday night as Utter took advantage of race long leader Simpson’s problems with slower traffic to take

Chris Simpson at I-80 Speedway

For the second time in the last few weeks Iowan Chris Simpson saw victory snatched away in the closing laps. Simpson gave up the lead and the win to Jason Utter in heavy last lap traffic at I-80 Speedway. (Mike Ruefer)

the lead coming down the front stretch to win his first career National Championship Racing Association (NCRA) late model feature. The victory was Utter's first career for both the Cornbelt Clash and the MLRA as well.

Utter went from ninth to first in his heat race to pick up the pole for the feature event, but it was fifth starting Chris Simpson who would take the lead as the green flag fell. Simpson led nearly the entire 30-lap feature, however, heavy lapped traffic would prove to be his undoing the final ten laps as Utter began to slowly close in on the leader.

As the white flag dropped, Utter powered his way closer to the front and, entering turns three and four around the top side of the track, got a run

John Anderson and Kyle Berck at I-80 Speedway

Eleventh starting Kyle Berck stalks #2 John Anderson at I-80 Speedway before making the pass for fifth place. (Mike Ruefer) 

coming out of turn four and would edge Chris Simpson by just a nose in front of Simpson. Chad Simpson finished a solid third, while Travis Dickes came home fourth ahead of Kyle Berck, who brought his familiar #14 Strobel Construction sponsored Swartz chassis from his 11th starting position to a fifth place finish. 

Joe Kosiski at I-80 Speedway

It was "Smokin' Joe" Kosiski during prelimiary action for the Greenwood event, but the popular Nebraska veteran managed to make the necessary adjustments and come up with a 16th place finish in the main event. (Mike Ruefer)

Jason Utter at I-80 Speedway

Jason Utter in the Winner''s Circle at I-80 Speedway. (Mike Ruefer)

NCRA/Cornbelt Clash/MLRA - I-80 Speedway
1. Jason Utter, 2. Chris Simpson, 3. Chad Simpson, 4. Travis Dickes, 5) Kyle Berck, 6. John Anderson, 7. Al Purkey, 8. Denny Eckrich, 9. Bryant Goldsmith, 10. Tim Isenberg, 11. Jason Rauen, 12. Andrew McKay, 13. Chris Spieker, 14. Dave Eckrich, 15. Al Humphrey, 16. Joe Kosiski, 17. Leon Zeitner, 18. Mike Wiarda, 19. Jake Meier, 20. Steve Kempt, 21. Kurt Kile, 22. Dean Moore, 23. Jill George, 24. Robbie Andersen, 25. Jason O'Brien, 26. Jase Kaser, 27. Billy Koons, Jr., 28. Shawn Harker, 29. Bill Koons, Scott Koskovich.
Heat winners (48 entries): Spieker, Purkey, Anderson, Dickes, Utter. B Feature winners: Humphrey, Kurt Kile.

Mike Ruefer photo 


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