Clash: Simpson outduels Rauen for Fayette County
WEST UNION, Ia. - July 26. While it first appeared that lapped traffic was going to doom
Chad Simpson, it eventually redeemed him as he beat Jason Rauen to the checkers in Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model
Series action at Fayette County Speedway.
Simpson, who led throughout much of the event, was slowed by backmarkers late in the
35-lapper, which allowed Rauen to sneak by for the lead. Rauen's own trouble with the lapped cars provided Simpson
the opportunity to make his way back to the front in the waning moments to score the thrilling win.
Pole-sitter Chris Simpson took the early lead in the event, which was slowed by a pair of
early cautions. During a lap two stoppage, Simpson unexpectedly went to the pits to change a flat tire, leaving him
at the back of the 22-car starting field for the ensuing restart. Jason Utter inherited the pole for the two-wide
restart, with Justin Mitchell to his outside.
When the green flag waved, the leaders tussled as Chad Simpson, who restarted fourth,
quickly went to work on the low groove. He pulled into second a short time later, chasing Utter for the lead.
Simpson swept beneath the leader a couple of laps later and quickly pulled away from the field.
As Simpson extended his advantage to a straightaway margin, Rauen made his way into
contention, running the high groove of the speedway. After restarting the event in seventh, Rauen quickly made his
way into the top five, then spent a few laps working the outside of Curt Martin and Justin Mitchell as he advanced
through the field.
Just past the midway point, Rauen made his way past Utter for second as Simpson
encountered heavy lapped traffic. Like Simpson, the lapped cars were running the low groove, which allowed Rauen to
close quickly on the leader. With a handful of laps remaining, Rauen pulled even with Simpson and flew past the
leader when Simpson was mired in traffic. Simpson kept Rauen within his sights as he made his way beneath the
slower cars. Simpson's attempt to reel in Rauen was assisted when Rauen also encountered backmarkers. Simpson
slipped beneath Rauen and held on for the exciting win. Utter held on for third ahead of Martin and Mitchell.
Chad Simpson also won the nine-car fast dash, however he pulled the #6 pill on the invert
draw. That awarded Chris Simpson the pole for the feature.
Cornbelt Clash at Fayette Co.
1) Chad Simpson, 2) Jason Rauen,
3) Jason Utter, 4) Curt Martin, 5) Justin Mitchell, 6) Kurt Kile, 7) Jeremiah Hurst, 8) Denny Eckrich,
9) Chris Simpson, 10) Rob Moss, 11) Jake Meier, 12) Rick Wendling, 13) Mike Freyer, 14) Kevin Sather,
15) Tim Isenberg, 16) Dave Eckrich, 17) Curt Schroeder, 18) Todd Hansen, 19) Jill George, 20) Joe
Ludemann, 21) Kevin Kile, 22) Justin Kay
Heat winners (22 entries): Kay, Chad Simpson,
Sather; Dash Winner: Chad Simpson
Jeff Bylsma photo