Wheatland, Missouri (April 16, 2019) - Mother Nature may have taken down the opening weekend for the Lucas Oil MLRA last week, but in doing so it has now set up one of the biggest double header weekends of the year to kick start the 2019 campaign. This weekend's Eastern Iowa swing will offer up a pair of complete shows with a potential two-day winners take at an impressive $15,555 should a driver sweep both nights.
Friday night action will take to the historic ½ mile, semi-banked Davenport Speedway for a $5,000 to win main event, while Saturday will have teams taking on 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa for a chance at the $10,555 top prize in the 11th Annual "Slocum 50" Presented by Frank Millard & Company.
One year ago a solid 35 cars checked in for battle at the Davenport Speedway and fans were treated to a great battle which saw Oxford, Iowa's Chris Simpson taking a thrilling win over Brian Shirley. On the opposite end of the spectrum on that night was eventual 2018 MLRA Champion Chad Simpson, who recorded a rare DNF. While battling with the leaders on a late race re-start Simpson jumped the cushion making contact with the turn 1 & 2 wall, ending his night with a 16th place finish.
Following a rough night in Davenport, Chad Simpson would rebound over the next six MLRA events never finishing lower than 5th, securing two victories, and a pair of runner-up finishes. The Mount Vernon, Iowa driver also has a strong resume of success at the ½ mile Davenport facility that he will carry with him into the MLRA opener. That resume includes a $10,000 win one year ago with the World of Outlaws in addition to multiple wins under the Corn Belt Clash Series banner in years prior.
With the retirement of long time car owners Bud & Denise Brinkman last fall, Simpson has spent the past few months assembling a new team and marketing partners, and will now look to run a select number of MLRA events with his own team. Eager to get out of the shop and onto the track Simpson said, "We are excited being a new team, and it's kind of like starting over again. We are just looking to have a good start with everything we have put together."
The off season was not like any other for Simpson who plans to compete this weekend in the same Black Diamond race car that he drove to the title a year ago. "I normally start working on things as soon as the race season gets over and I kind of let everything set idle for about 3 months. It kind of got me behind on getting things ready the way I like to get things ready, it doesn't mean we didn't get everything ready, we just spent some longer hours and longer days in the last couple weeks getting things finished up the way we want it," commented Simpson.
"I told my wife I'm ready for everything to be ready and put into place and to get into our summer rhythm," noted Chad Simpson. "It's definitely time to get out there and have a little bit of that play time to make up for all of the hard work."
The opening weekend will wrap up in a big way at the 34 Raceway, as for the 2nd year in a row the MLRA banner fill fly high over the "Slocum 50" and it's impressive $10,555 top prize & $750 to start purse. The event which is dedicated to honoring the memory of Late Model driver Brent Slocum, who was tragically killed at 34 Raceway in 2005, is now in its 11th year and quickly turning into one of the top regional late model events in the country attracting many top regional and national drivers. (www.Slocum50.com)
Shannon Babb stole the show in 2018 leading, Chris and Chad Simpson respectively to the checkers. Last year's podium finishers along with the only multiple winner in the history of the "Slocum 50" Bobby Pierce, are all expected to contend once again this weekend.
The "Slocum 50" is one of the few MLRA events that will incorporate a time trail qualifying format, something that Chad Simpson is excited about. "I love the time trial format. I don't look at it as a disadvantage to anybody, it lets you go out and if you lay down a good lap you start towards the front, and then you get to do what you need to do. It doesn't penalize you for going out and being fast," commented Simpson.
MLRA officials are expecting to once again see strong car counts for both nights, something that is echoed by Simpson. "Anytime you go to any of these MLRA events anymore there are more and more quality cars and the more these guys push on these purses and get them up to $5,000 and $10,000 where they need to be, it's definitely going to draw more of the bigger name guys and help put more people in the stands."
Chad Simpson Racing Marketing Partners: Liebe Trucking, CR Feeds & Fibers, IDEAL Ready Mix, Allgaier Motorsports, Triple M Customs, Michelle Ruefer Chiropractic, Drive4Etch.com, & Graves Oil
Davenport Speedway: Davenport, IA Race Day Info-- Friday 4/19/19
Gates: 5:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps - 6:15 PM, Races 6:45 PM
Admission: Adult $20, Teens/Sr. $18, 12/Under Free.
Support Classes: Open Street Stocks, Modifieds, Sport Mods (Mods/SM-IMCA Rules, No Sanction)
34 Raceway "Slocum 50": W. Burlington, IA Race Day Info-- Saturday 4/20/19
Gates: 4:00 PM
Racing: Hot Laps 6:15 PM, Time Trials at 6:30pm, Races to follow
Admission: Adult GS $20, Student/Sr. & Military: $12, Kids 10 & under FREE,
Support Classes: 305 Sprints-winged, & Stock Cars
For all of the latest news and information fans are encouraged to visit the series website at www.MLRARacing.com
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509