Pryor Creek, OK (June 27, 2020) - It was a near perfect weekend for Johnny Scott, as the driver of the XR1 Rocket chassis notched his second $5,000 Lucas Oil MLRA win of the weekend on Saturday night in the 7th Annual "Freedom Classic" at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. The victory backed up his first career series win on Wednesday at the Lucas Oil Speedway, followed by a pair of runner-up finishes over the past two events.
A total of 30 drivers checked into the Highbanks with Rochester, Minnesota's Jordan Yaggy setting the Lucas Slick Mist quick time with a lap of 15.162 seconds. The 40 lap feature event got off to a rough start as a nine car pile-up brought out a red flag on the opening circuit of the event. All drivers we're able to continue on, with the exception of RacingJunk.com hard luck recipient, Jeremy Grady.
With the race going green on the third attempt, it was Terry Phillips taking control from his outside front row starting position from DirtonDirt.com Pole sitter Payton Looney. Phillips, the 116 time Lucas Oil MLRA feature winner, set the pace early on with Looney in tow. As the race continued under green, Phillips began his march through lapped traffic, all the while Scott was working his way to the front from his sixth starting position.
Scott moved into the runner-up spot on lap 15, and quickly began his move towards the lead. Just two laps later, he would use the moisture on the bottom of turn four, to rocket off the corner, with Phillips getting pinned behind lapped traffic. As the pair crossed the stripe it was Scott, the driver of the Mesilla Valley Transport/Rancho Milagro/Top of the World Ranch entry taking the race lead from the veteran Phillips.
A late race caution would fly with just three laps remaining, as Jake Timm slowed down the front stretch, surrendering a top ten position. On the re-start, it was all Johnny Scott, powering away from the field, recording his second career series win by 1.38 seconds over Phillips. Tony Jackson Jr. brought home a podium finish in third, with defending Freedom Classic winner Jesse Stovall finishing fourth. Chad Simpson extended his MLRA series point lead to 20 points over Payton Looney with his fifth place run.
Scott, who struggled in qualifying action, said in Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Victory Lane, "We tried some stuff tonight which put us a little bit behind because we were too tight in time trials, but it worked out for us. I didn't know how the track was going to end up, but whatever they did watering it made it pretty racey or good enough to pass anyway for a few laps. I told my crew guy to make a few little changes there before the feature, and this thing came alive," he concluded.
The runner-up finish for Phillips marked his best of the four day MLRA southern swing. "I was really kind off set-up for the rubber, then I didn't know they did the bottom there. He just had a better car tonight, so hats off to him. We weren't too bad for having not raced a lot of late model stuff and trying to figure this new car out. I don't know if this bunch can handle too many more modified racers," Phillips joked to the crowd of the one-two run by Scott and himself.
The third place run by Jackson matched his best effort of the MLRA season and brought him closer to the MLRA points lead. "We've had a good car all weekend, we just haven't had very good luck. We would like to get better than third, but after the week we've had we will take it," noted Jackson. He continued, "We had a real good car there the first couple of laps but it kind of got one lane, so you just kind of had to go into tire conservation mode there for a while. All-in-all we have got a real good race car."
A short week lies ahead for the Lucas Oil MLRA, as action resumes this upcoming weekend with three big shows on tap. The 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA will get the Independence weekend kicked-off on Friday night July 3rd, with the 12th annual running of the "Slocum 50", featuring a $10,555 top prize.
Saturday night $5,000 will be on the line in the 1st Annual "Independence Day Shootout" presented by Discountshoptowels.com at the 300 Raceway in Farley, IA. The weekend will wrap up on Sunday night July 5th, as the series makes their inaugural stop at The Bullring at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds with the running of the "Bullring Bullseye 40".
Salina Highbanks Speedway Contingencies 6/27/20
Slick Mist "Fast Time Award" - Jordan Yaggy (15.162 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com "Pole Award" - Payton Looney
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award - Justin Duty
Casey's General Store's "Hard Charger of the Race" - Garrett Alberson
Dynamic Drivelines "Crew Chief of the Race" - Levi Demartino
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher" - Justin Duty
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" - Chad Simpson
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race" - Johnny Scott
RacingJunk.com "Hard Luck Award" - Jeremy Grady
Sunoco "Rookie of the Race" - Jeremiah Hurst
Lucas Oil Racing TV A Feature (40 Laps): 1.Johnny Scott 2.Terry Phillips 3.Tony Jackson Jr. 4.Jesse Stovall 5.Chad Simpson 6.Jeremiah Hurst 7.Garrett Alberson 8.Payton Looney 9.Mason Oberkramer 10.Jordan Yaggy 11.Justin Duty 12.Logan Martin 13.Kaeden Cornell 14.Mitch McGrath 15.Daniel Hilsabeck 16.Jason Papich 17.Preston Luckman 18.Jake Timm 19.Raymond Merrill 20.Will Vaught 21.Joseph Gorby 22.Aaron Marrant 23.Joe Godsey 24.Jeremy Grady
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks B Feature 1 (8 Laps): 1.Jason Papich 2.Preston Luckman 3.Joe Godsey 4.Hayden Ross 5.Brennon Willard 6.Cliff Morrow 7.Austin Theiss (DNS)
MAV TV Motorsports B Feature 2 (8 Laps): 1.Joseph Gorby 2.Raymond Merrill 3.Garrett Alberson 4.Kaeden Cornell 5.Jeremy Grady 6.Ryan Johnson 7.Tony Toste (DNS)
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1.Payton Looney 2.Mason Oberkramer 3.Aaron Marrant 4.Will Vaught 5.Preston Luckman 6.Joe Godsey 7.Brennon Willard 8.Austin Theiss (DNS)
Casey's General Stores Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1.Tony Jackson Jr. 2.Logan Martin 3.Jeremiah Hurst 4.Daniel Hilsabeck 5.Jason Papich 6.Hayden Ross 7.Cliff Morrow
Sunoco Race Fuels Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1.Terry Phillips 2.Johnny Scott 3.Jordan Yaggy 4.Jake Timm 5.Ryan Johnson 6.Joseph Gorby 7.Jeremy Grady 8.Tony Toste (DNS)
Midwest Sheet Metal Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1.Jesse Stovall 2.Chad Simpson 3.Mitch McGrath 4.Justin Duty 5.Raymond Merrill 6.Kaeden Cornell 7.Garrett Alberson