Denny Eckrich and #32 Chris Simpson duel for second
midway through the Cedar County event. (Mike Ruefer)
Cornbelt Clash: Chris
Simpson Betters Bro at Cedar County
Eric Huenefeld and Larry Bontz
TIPTON, Ia. - June 1. Wednesday's Dart Corn Belt Clash race at the Cedar County Raceway seemed like a flashback
to a year ago for most of it's 35 laps. Chris Simpson overtook brother Chad Simpson with a late pass and raced
to his first win of the season in the 35-lap main event.
Through a majority of the race, defending race winner and series champion Chad Simpson would lead the field and
comfortably control the tempo.
But a funny thing happened on the way to another checkered flag for the Mt. Vernon, Iowa driver. And a foe
he knows better than anyone would steal the check he was banking on and take it for his own.
That foe was Chad's brother Chris, who swooped in for a last lap pass and a $2000 payday at the Eastern
Iowa bullring. A win for Chris that was just what the doctor ordered after a rough Memorial Day weekend.
Chris Simpson won the dash over his brother Chad, the reigning and defending two time champion of the series,
but drew a two pill, which inverted the two to start the feature. Chad Simpson was like a rocket ship, with
brother Chris in tow, followed by Denny Eckrich, Jake Meier, and Jason Rauen. The second place tussle between
Chris Simpson and Eckrich would be one of the better battles on the track until a Lap 14 yellow for central
Illinois driver Jason Jaggers slowed the pace for the first time.
Andy Eckrich and #20 Jake Meier battle for the seventh spot in the Cornbelt
Clash stop at Cedar County. (Mike Ruefer)
As the battle for second heated up again, lap15 saw Denny Eckrich move his machine to second, and four laps
later, his brother Dave cracked the top five, replacing Jason Rauen for fifth. In a matter of seven laps,
Eckrich cut the lead from nearly a straightaway to a side-by-side battle. Chad Simpson and Eckrich work side by
side for six laps until they encountered lap traffic on lap 28. It was there that both leaders got crossed up
with a lapped car. Eckrich almost spun, losing ground as Chris Simpson got by for second.
Chris found the middle groove to his liking and moved his hot rod even up with Chad, using the high side of the
speedway, as for the first time all race, Chad chose the bottom side. As the white flag flew, Chris made the
winning move, stealing the lead and holding on by a car length as the duo hit the line.
Chris Simpson stalks brother Chris before taking a
late pass to the win in the Cornbelt Clash event at Cedar County Speedway on Wednesday.
Kurt Kile races under #20 Jake Meier on his way to fifth place at Cedar
County. (Mike Ruefer)
The win, Simpson's first of the season, was certainly sweet for the Oxford Iowa driver. Not only was he
able to top his brother, but also was able to steal a win after a win was stolen from him earlier in the week.
Leading the "Alphabet Soup" race in Greenwood, Neb. earlier in the week, the engine let go late in his car #32,
handing that win to his brother, who this time had to settle for second ahead of Denny Eckrich, Rauen, and Dave
June 1 - Cornbelt Clash - Cedar Co. Raceway
1) Chris Simpson, 2) Chad Simpson, 3) Denny Eckrich, 4) Jason
Raun, 5) Dave Eckrich, 6) Kurt Kile, 7) Andy Eckrich, 8) Jake Meier, 9) Justin Mitchell, 10) Jason
Utter, 11) Brian Harris, 12) Terry Neal, 13) Nick Marolf, 14) Tim Isenberg, 15) Rob Moss, 16)
Andrew Mckay, 17) Kevin Sather, 18) Jeremiah Hurst, 19) Mike Fryer, 20) Jon Rogers, 21) Jill George
(prov.), 22) Justin Jaggers, 23) Justin Kay, 24) Kevin Kile, 25) Skip Frey
(31 entries): Chris Simpson, Meier, Chad Simpson, Denny Eckrich; B-Main winners: Kay, Moss.