Looney Prevails Late at MLRA "Battle at the Beach"
By Billy Rock (Eldon, MO) -- Payton Looney used persistence and a low line around the 1/3-mile Lake Ozark Speedway on Saturday night, capturing the inaugural win in the “Battle at the Beach” at the Lake Ozark, Speedway. Looney rebounded strong after having electrical issues during hot laps to score the $7,000 win late in the 40 lap main event.
Series point leader Tony Jackson Jr. started the night strong in capturing the Illini Racing & Supply Fast Time Award along with winning his respective heat race. The strong start to the night put Jackson on the DirtonDirt.com Pole position alongside of veteran Billy Moyer Sr. At the drop of the green, Moyer wasted no time in locking down the top side of the Speedway and assuming control of the 40 lap main event.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lloyd Collins/Fast Track Photos
The nights first of five StopTech Brakes Cautions waved on lap five when Dylan Hoover made contact with the turn one wall and came to a stop on the speedway. Moyer would again jump to the point with Jackson and Chad Simpson in tow as the trio quickly found themselves working heavy lapped traffic. The nights second slow down came on lap 17 when Justin Duty slowed down the back stretch, surrendering a strong top ten run.
Looney who started in seventh, was steadily climbing his way to the top and restarted in fourth. Looney would have a tight battle with Simpson for the runner-up position and moved into the second position just prior to the races next caution on lap 31. Looney took advantage of restarting on the low line and set his sights on race leader Moyer with just nine laps to go, pulling alongside in turns one and two before Moyer again powered by on the top line.
The night’s final caution came on lap 35, giving Looney one more opportunity at Moyer in a 1-2 Capital Chassis battle. On the races 36th circuit, Looney would find the momentum he needed off the exit of turn two and raced his way to the point as the duo passed the start finish line. Looney, in just his first MLRA start since the Show-Me 100 in late May would go on to win his first MLRA event of the season and fifth of his career by 2.255 seconds over Moyer.
Moyer held on for the runner-up spot while Simpson recorded his first podium finish of the year coming home in third. Garrett Alberson remains second in the MLRA championship battle finishing fourth, while current point leader Tony Jackson Jr. rounded out the top five.
PODIUM FINISHERS: Payton Looney 1st (Center), Billy Moyer Sr. 2nd (Right), Chad Simpson 3rd(Left). Photo Credit: Lloyd Collins FastTrack Photos
"Kudos to the track crew, the track was awesome and you could race all over it," commented Looney. "I was a little bit nervous after that B-Feature but they left it alone and the cushion died down. I just tried to stay patient, and I rolled that bottom pretty much the entire race and never really strayed from it and fortunately it just all worked out."
"Those last few yellows were what I needed. Down there on the bottom, I don’t know if some other cars were running too low but it was throwing some water down there and it was real slimy so I needed some green flag laps to kind of blow that off. Once I could get in and kind of get the right rear set I could come off the corner really great." I’m semi-retired but it feels nice to come back and get a win like this," concluded Looney on his fifth career MLRA win.
Moyer who saw his second MLRA win of the season slip away late in the going said, "We were just a little bit off and he(Looney) did what he needed to do. We were just getting way worse at the end so we need to do a little homework. I couldn’t run the bottom like he did, it just felt way greasy the few laps I tried down there. Overall congratulations to him he did a good job and we’ll keep working on it."
For two time series champion Simpson, the podium run was a bit of a momentum win for the team heading into the stretch run of the season. "The restarts were just no good for me. Billy did a good job early and I just couldn’t get rotated and up and off the corner well enough. All-in-all this was a big win for us, we have been struggling a little bit this year so it’s a good finish and it’s in one piece."
Just six dates remain on the championship trail for the Lucas Oil MLRA in 2021. The series next returns to the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS on Friday September, 3rd for the annual $3,000 to win Clyde Elllis Memorial. The Labor Day Weekend will finish up at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO the following with drivers competing for the $6,000 top prize in the Ron Jenkins Memorial.
Lake Ozark Speedway Contingencies 8/14/21
Lap Leaders— Billy Moyer Sr. (1 - 36), Payton Looney (37 - 40)
Stop Tech Brakes Cautions— 5 (Laps 5, 17, 31, 34, 35)
Illini Racing & Supply "Fast Time" -- Tony Jackson Jr. (13.657 sec)
Casey’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Dustin Atkinson (+10)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Tony Jackson Jr.
Dynamic Drivelines Crew Chief of the Race – Jeremy Atnip
Gorsuch Performance Solutions “10th Place Finisher” – Cole Henson
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher"— Dustin Atkinson
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Tony Jackson Jr.
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race"-- Payton Looney
Racing Junk “Hard Luck Award” – Justin Duty
StopTech Brakes “6th Place Finisher”- Jeremiah Hurst
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” – Mason Oberkramer
Swift Springs “Move of the Race”— Payton Looney
Wrisco Feature Winner-- Payton Looney
A Feature-Lucas Oil Products 40 Laps | 00:33:43.618 | Lucas Oil Products
- 15L-Payton Looney; 2. 21M-Billy Moyer Sr; 3. 25-Chad Simpson; 4. 59-Garrett Alberson; 5. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 6. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 7. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 8. 91P-Jason Papich; 9. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 10. 21S-Cole Henson; 11. 4A-Dustin Atkinson; 12. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 13. 3W-Brennon Willard; 14. 45-Kylan Garner; 15. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 16. 14M-Randy Martin; 17. (DNF) 53K-Andrew Kosiski; 18. (DNF) 00-Jesse Stovall; 19. (DNF) 1X-Aaron Marrant; 20. (DNF) 12C-Scott Crigler; 21. (DNF) 15-Justin Duty; 22. (DNF) 16-Ashlee Lancaster; 23. (DNF) 99-Dylan Hoover; 24. (DNF) 65B-Jon Binning
B Feature- Sunoco Race Fuels 10 Laps | 00:14:05.666 | Sunoco
- 91P-Jason Papich; 2. 00-Jesse Stovall; 3. 21S-Cole Henson; 4. 53K-Andrew Kosiski; 5. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 6. 99-Dylan Hoover; 7. 45-Kylan Garner; 8. 65B-Jon Binning; 9. 4A-Dustin Atkinson; 10. 3W-Brennon Willard; 11. 14M-Randy Martin; 12. 16-Ashlee Lancaster; 13. H20-Scott Halley; 14. (DNF) 50C-Kayden Clatt
Heat 1-Dynamic Drivelines 8 Laps | 00:03:21.335 | Dynamic Drivelines
- 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 2. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 3. 15L-Payton Looney; 4. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 5. 91P-Jason Papich; 6. 53K-Andrew Kosiski; 7. 45-Kylan Garner; 8. 16-Ashlee Lancaster; 9. 50C-Kayden Clatt
Heat 2-Midwest Sheet Metal 8 Laps | 00:04:00.587 | Midwest Sheet Metal
- 21M-Billy Moyer Sr; 2. 15-Justin Duty; 3. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 5. 00-Jesse Stovall; 6. 21S-Cole Henson; 7. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 8. 4A-Dustin Atkinson; 9. H20-Scott Halley
Heat 3- Caseys 8 Laps | 00:03:30.917 | Casey's
- 25-Chad Simpson; 2. 59-Garrett Alberson; 3. 12C-Scott Crigler; 4. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 5. 3W-Brennon Willard; 6. 65B-Jon Binning; 7. 99-Dylan Hoover; 8. 14M-Randy Martin
Submitted By: Kirk Elliott