Wheatland, MO (August 31, 2019) - In dominating fashion, Jesse Stovall proved to be the class of the field in Saturday's annual Larry Phillips Memorial Presented by Rugged Radios at the Lucas Oil Speedway. A 30 car field of the Midwest best showed up for the annual Labor Day classic, with excitement on the track that spilled over into victory lane following racing action.
Leading Sunoco Rookie Candidate Logan Martin rolled off from the DirtonDirt.com pole position for the first time in 2019, alongside Omaha, Nebraska's Jake Neal. Martin would set the early pace with Neal in tow until disaster struck Neal on lap ten when Reid Millard spun and collected the races runner-up. Following the re-start, Stovall charged deep into turn three, and powered by Martin for the lead on lap 12 and quickly distanced himself from the field.
With Stovall out in front in a feature that was slowed by eight total cautions, the excitement appeared to be for positions two through five for the majority of the event. Series point leader Will Vaught, en-countered electrical issues during heat race action and was forced to run the "B" feature, and eventually elected to start via a series provisional in the twentieth position. Vaught methodically charged through the field and into the top five by lap 19.
Multiple drivers took their turn at trying to dethrone Stovall during the caution filled event, most of which came from starting spots deep in the field. Mason Oberkramer found the rear bumper of Stovall's 00 midway through the race after starting 16th, but his night would end late in the going after his front nose folded under and sent him into the back stretch wall.
Jesse Stovall (00) powers from the top side to hold off defending Larry Phillips Memorial winner Will Vaught (1V). Lloyd Collins--FastTrack Photos
With Vaught trying to turn what appeared to be a nightmarish night into a positive, he moved into second with 18 laps remaining and began his pursuit of the Scott Bailey powered Black Diamond of Stovall. The races final caution waved with just five laps remaining, setting up a single file restart. Like he had done all night, Stovall was able to power off the exit of turn two and distanced himself from the field, collecting his first ever win in the Larry Phillips Memorial and its $5,075 pay day.
Jason Papich finish third, just ahead of pole sitter Martin. Fellow MLRA rookie driver Joseph Gorby has his best night of the season, running in the top five all night long and coming home a season best 5th place.
Emotions overflowed in victory lane between Stovall and Vaught following the race. "I'm a little frustrated right now and sorry to the fans for what happened there but I'm done with it, I'm not dealing with it no more," commented Stovall.
The win marks the 25 all time for Stovall with the MLRA at a track he is very familiar with. "The track was fast and you had to get there in a hurry. This track puts on for some wide open racing when it's like this and we showed them what we had."
Stovall concluded about the win by saying, "Its huge. I've been trying to win it and we've had it won two or three times and it just slips out of our pockets. All these guys are good racers, and I'm not gonna take that away from them but I'm done getting hit after the race and playing these games."
Vaught's charge from 20th to 2nd netted him the Casey's General Stores Hard Charger of the race. "It was awesome," stated Vaught. "We chased electrical problems all night long and came out in the B-Main there and was very happy to find the problem. We threw everything at it, everything we had in the trailer."
"I had a chance, I just had to start too far back and my old tires were slick. I just wish I could have started beside him and we might have had a hell of a show. I wish we would have put another tire on the left rear, but we had to get there. Once we got there we just didn't have enough for him," concluded the series leader.
Jason Papich who was making just his second MLRA start of the season rallied from 15th to as high as second before settling for the third position. "We just got this thing built down there at Stucky's Black Diamond. Tim, the guy that is staying out here working on my stuff made some changes and we're just doing some testing, but I think we found something," said the driver from Arroyo Grande, CA. "The guys in this series are all good. I had a fast hot rod, and found a good line up top before they did."
MLRA action will resume tomorrow night, September 1st from the 1/4 mile Quincy Raceways in Quincy, IL. This will mark the series' second trip of the season to the "Broadway Bullring" where Bobby Pierce collected the checkers back in early May. The weekend finale will feature time trial qualifying, setting the stage for the nights big $5,000 to win "Scottie 45", which will also pay $500 to start the main event.
Lucas Oil Speedway Speedway Contingencies 8/31/19
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Will Vaught
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" - Will Vaught
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky "Most Laps Led" - Jesse Stovall
DirtonDirt.com "Pole Award" - Logan Martin
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Kaeden Cornell
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Will Vaught
Mittler Brothers Machine and Tool "Crew Chief of the Race" - Tommy Rogers
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Jesse Stovall
RacingJunk.com "Hard Luck Award" - Jake Neal
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Logan Martin
Lucas Oil Racing TV A Feature (50 Laps): 1.Jesse Stovall 2.Will Vaught 3.Jason Papich 4.Logan Martin 5.Joseph Gorby 6.Mitch McGrath 7.Hayden Ross 8.Rusty Griffaw 9.Reid Millard 10.JC Wyman 11.Kaeden Cornell 12.Mason Oberkramer 13.Jeremy Grady 14.Dave Eckrich 15.Mark Burgtorf 16.Jon Binning 17.Ryan Johnson 18.Chad Simpson 19.Jake Neal 20.Joe Godsey 21.Todd McCoin 22.Steve Johnson 23.Skip Frey 24.Rickey Frankel
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1.Mitch McGrath 2.Jason Papich 3.Mason Oberkramer 4.Rusty Griffaw 5.Steve Johnson 6.Hayden Ross 7.Reid Millard 8.Jason Sivils 9.Jake Davis 10.Austin Siebert 11.John Willard 12.Will Vaught 13.Jeff Roth 14.Dylan Hoover
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1.Logan Martin 2.Chad Simpson 3.Jon Binning 4.Steve Johnson 5.Dave Eckrich 6.Jason Sivils 7.Reid Millard 8.Hayden Ross
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Jeremy Grady 2.Rickey Frankel 3.Skip Frey 4.Joe Godsey 5.Austin Siebert 6.Jake Davis 7.John Willard 8.Dylan Hoover
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1.Jake Neal 2.Jesse Stovall 3.Kaeden Cornell 4.Rusty Griffaw 5.Mitch McGrath 6.Todd McCoin 7.Will Vaught
Midwest Sheet Metal Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1.J.C. Wyman 2.Mark Burgtorf 3.Joseph Gorby 4.Mason Oberkramer 5.Jason Papich 6.Jeff Roth 7.Ryan Johnson