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Friday, June 28, 2019
Will Vaught celebrates atop his Rocket XR 1 Chassis following his win in Friday nights Freedom Classic at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. Lloyd Collins--FastTrack Photos

Pryor Creek, OK (June 28, 2019) - Lucas Oil MLRA series point leader Will Vaught took advantage of his fifth Pole Award of 2019 to lead the entire distance on Friday night in picking up his first ever win in the 6th Annual ARMI "Freedom Classic" at the Salina Highbanks Speedway.

A total of twenty-nine late models checked in for night # 1 of the annual event, co-sanctioned with the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series(CCSDS), Presented by Lucas Oil. Friday nights starting grid was set via passing points which found heat race wins going to Jon Mitchell, Scott Crigler, Chad Simpson, and Vaught.

While Vaught controlled the field from the pole, Friday night's 30 lap victory would not come easy. Chad Simpson, from his third starting position, quickly jumped to the inside of outside front row starter Jon Mitchell and began his pursuit of Vaught and his fourth consecutive MLRA win in a row. Simpson was able to pull up alongside through the middle of turn one and two only to find a lack of forward drive off the exit of turn two.

The events only two cautions would wave back-to-back on laps five and six with Vaught leading Simpson and former Freedom Classic winner Jesse Stovall. The lap five caution came out for CCSDS point leader Tony Jackson, Jr. who collided in turn four with Joseph Gorby. Jackson was able to continue while Gorby's night would end on the hook.

On the ensuing restarts Vaught was able to take control leaving Simpson to battle with a determined Stovall. Stovall took advantage of his outside restart position to seize the runner-up spot from Simpson, and begin his journey toward the race lead. With lapped traffic coming into play by the middle of the $3,000 to win main event, Stovall continued to pound the top side cushion in turn one and two, utilizing the momentum to chase down Vaught.

Chad Simpson (25) battles for a podium position with Jesse Stovall (00) on night one of the Freedom Classic. Lloyd Collins--FastTrack Photos

With just seven laps to go and Vaught on the bottom contending with lapped traffic, it appeared that Stovall had the money run off the top side of turn two to take the lead, but the 1V of Vaught slowly drifted out to the outside wall and was able to stop the top side run of Stovall. That would be as close as Stovall would come to the back bumper of Vaught's Clements powered Rocket XR 1Chassis, as Vaught went on to grab his third MLRA win of the year. Stovall held on in the closing laps to grab second over Simpson, while Timothy Culp and Payton Looney rounded out the top five.

Vaught's last MLRA win came at the Beaver Dam Raceway on June 14th, just prior to Simpsons streak of three in a row. In Lucas Oil MLRA victory lane a jubilant Vaught jokingly noted, "I told him(Simpson) before the feature I've started on the pole three nights in a row and if I get beat for the third night in a row I'm going to be mad."

"Leading the race early I didn't know where to be and I saw his nose(Simpson) there a couple of times and I'm like gosh dang it. We were pretty good through the center on the bottom, it was just too black on the exit. That momentum over there (turn two) was pretty good, we were just trying to roll around there and got a little gap, so I just tried to keep my tires under me. A couple of years ago we led 39 laps and then had a flat coming to the white. That was $5,000 that year, so they at least owe me $3,000 tonight," commented Vaught.

While Stovall was just inches from passing for the lead in the closing laps, he commented on the close racing by stating, "It was one of them moves where you have to give--you either wreck or you try it, and it just wasn't worth it at that point. It's just hard not to keep your car on the bottom (turn two) no matter who you are or what you're doing there. You kind of drift and I know that too. It's better to come home and make some money than to have a bunch of piles of trash lying around."

Simpson who was looking to repeat his opening night "Freedom Classic" win from one year ago stated, "I knew it was going to be tough when a guy got out to the lead and that top got pretty fast there for a while. I felt like I was really good down in and through the middle down in one and two, but the exit of two there was just nothing there. We've got a little bit of work to do but will see what we can do to make this thing a little better for tomorrow."

Lucas Oil MLRA action will continue at the Salina Highbanks on Saturday with night # 2 of the ARMI 6th Annual Freedom Classic, Presented by Henryetta Ford. The steaks will get even higher as drivers will be chasing a $5,000 pay day, along with $500 just to make the starting grid. Gates will open at 5pm with racing action getting underway at 8pm.

Rapid Speedway Contingencies 6/21/19
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Tad Pospisil
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" -Jordan Heiman
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky "Most Laps Led" - Chad Simpson "Pole Award" - Will Vaught (4)
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Jordan Heiman
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Will Vaught
Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool "Crew Chief of the Race" - Gus Farmer
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Chad Simpson "Hard Luck Award" - Mitch McGrath
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Logan Martin

Salina Highbanks Speedway Contingencies 6/28/19
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Jesse Stovall
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" - Hunter Rasdon
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky "Most Laps Led" - Will Vaught "Pole Award" - Will Vaught
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Morgan Bagley
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Will Vaught
Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool "Crew Chief of the Race" - Eric Barnes
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Will Vaught "Hard Luck Award" - Joseph Gorby
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Logan Martin

Lucas Oil Racing TV A Feature (30 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Jesse Stovall 3.Chad Simpson 4.Timothy Culp 5.Payton Looney 6.BJ Robinson 7.Jon Mitchell 8.Scott Crigler 9.Mitch McGrath 10.Hunter Rasdon 11.Morgan Bagley 12.Raymond Merrill 13.Logan Martin 14.Gavin Landers 15.Tony Jackson Jr. 16.Charlie Cole 17.David Payne 18.Kyle Beard 19.Chad Mallett 20.Patrick Daniels 21.Terry Phillips 22.Brian Rickman 23.Joseph Gorby

Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1.Terry Phillips 2.Hunter Rasdon 3.Logan Martin 4.Gain Landers 5.Hayden Ross 6.Jason Redman 7.David Payne 8.Richard Shepler III 9.Kaeden Cornell 10.Jake Davis

Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1.Jon Mitchell 2.Payton Looney 3.Jesse Stovall 4.Daniel Patrick 5.Jason Redman 6.David Payne 7.Richard Shepler III 8.Cliff Morrow (DNS)

Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1.Will Vaught 2.Timothy Culp 3.Mitch McGrath 4.Morgan Bagley 5.Kaeden Cornell 6.Hunter Rasdon 7.Jake Davis

Sunoco Race Fuels Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1.Scott Crigler 2.Kyle Beard 3.BJ Robinson 4.Joseph Gorby 5.Terry Phillips 6.Logan Martin 7.Hayden Ross

Midwest Sheet Metal Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1.Chad Simpson 2.Raymond Merrill 3.Charlie Cole 4.Tony Jackson, Jr. 5.Chad Mallett 6.Brian Rickman 7.Gavin Landers

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Ernie Leftwich
Lucas Oil MLRA Series Director
Mobile: (417) 309-3509