Spring Valley, MN (June 5, 2021) – Chris Simpson rolled to his fifteenth career Lucas Oil MLRA feature victory on Saturday night at the Deer Creek Speedway. Simpson rolled out a new MB Custom Chassis that his team had just finished assembling the day prior and gave the new ride a perfect and undefeated record with the $5,000 victory.
Saturday nights feature marked the second visit for the MLRA series to the Creek and first since 2016. Jason Papich got off to a strong start by scoring his third Illini Fast Time Award of the season with a lap of 15.031 seconds. Blair Nothdurft would start the forty lap main event from the DirtonDirt.com Pole for the first time in his MLRA career alongside of Chris Simpson.
At the drop of the green flag Simpson jumped out in front leading the first circuit, before Nothdurft shot by for the top spot on the second lap of the main event. Nothdurft’s time at the point was short lived, as Simpson would drive back to the top spot just one lap later. With the Oxford, Iowa driver out in front the pressure quickly mounted on his back bumper in the likes of Garrett Alberson and Jordan Yaggy.
While Simpson was cruising on the bottom, Alberson was letting the sparks fly off the right rear quarter panel of his Black Diamond along the outside line edging close to the top spot in search of his first MLRA victory. The nights first of three StopTech Brakes cautions would slow the pace on lap twenty-five when Aaron Marrant slowed on the speedway. Yaggy would restart in second after moving past Alberson just prior to the caution.
The yellow would again fly just one lap later when Mason Oberkarmer spun on the front stretch. Simpson would show the way on the restart, stretching out the advantage over Yaggy, who would start to chase down the race leader until the caution again slowed his charge with just eight laps remaining. On the nights final restart, it was Simpson jumping to the point and driving to his fifteenth career Lucas Oil MLRA victory. Yaggy held off a hard charging Earl Pearson Jr. at the line for second, while Garrett Alberson and Chad Maeder rounded out the top five finishers.
Following the victory Simpson said of the win, "I know the track rubbered up a little, but I felt like we really had a good car all night. We could move around and we did what we had to do in the heat to win. I knew the top was crumby and I knew if I could get the lead and get down, and them my crew guy was telling me to go to the top, so I knew it must have rubbered."
Simpson had to defend the top spot in the closing laps and continued, "I think the biggest deal was I was just driving too high into one and I just needed to move down. I didn’t realize it was rubbered so far down. I knew I was leaving that open, so I was just trying to make it as round of a corner as possible and that’s how you save tires on these things."
Yaggy came home one spot short of his first MLRA victory after having recorded numerous top five finishes. "It seems like at these shows we have run every place there is in the top five, so hopefully that win is coming. It seemed like if we could go four or five laps green, my car would really pick up. There was about four to go there and I tried to make a run at him and seemed like we sucked up to him a little bit and then my right rear tire started shuddering on me and I thought I better behave and be happy with what I’ve got. It was a great night for our team."
Pearson's rally from eigtht on the grid to third at the line was a good finish to the three day MLRA swing. "We started off and kind of struggled there at the beginning and it started rubbering up and we started getting better and better as it went on. We got to third there and that was about all we were going to do. Chris was pretty good and the 77 car (Yaggy) they didn’t make no mistakes. All in all It was a good night for us," he concluded.
Up Next: The Lucas Oil MLRA will take next weekend off before heading to the Salina Highbanks Speedway located just outside of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma on June 18th & 19th. The annual “Freedom Classic” takes center stage with complete shows both nights, Friday night paying $3,000 to win followed by a $5,000 to win main event on Saturday night.
Deer Creek Speedway Contingencies 6/5/21
Lap Leaders— (Chris Simpson--Lap 1), (Blair Nothdurft--Lap 2), (Chris Simpson--Lap 3-40)
Stop Tech Brakes Cautions— Marrant, (lap 25), Oberkramer (lap 26), McGrath ( lap 32)
Casey’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Jason Papich (+14)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Blair Nothdurft
Dynamic Drivelines Crew Chief of the Race – Chad Simondsen
Gorsuch Performance Solutions “10th Place Finisher” – Tony Jackson Jr.
Hooker Harness "11th Place Finisher"—Luke Merfeld
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Tony Jackson Jr.
Performance Bodies "Performer of the Race"-- Chris Simpson
Racing Junk “Hard Luck Award” – Mason Oberkramer
StopTech Brakes “6th Place Finisher”- Jeremiah Hurst
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” – Jake Timm
Swift Springs “Move of the Race”— Jordan Yaggy
Wrisco Feature Winner-- Chris Simpson
Deer Creek Speedway A Main 40 Laps | 00:26:24.906 | Lucas Oil Products
1. 32S-Chris Simpson; 2. 77Y-Jordan Yaggy; 3. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr; 4. 59-Garrett Alberson; 5. 55C-Chad Mahder; 6. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 7. 76-Blair Nothdurft; 8. 15-Justin Duty; 9. 25-Chad Simpson; 10. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 11. 21M-Luke Merfeld; 12. 91P-Jason Papich; 13. 49T-Jake Timm; 14. 98-Jason Rauen; 15. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 16. 10P-Paul Parker; 17. 3W-Brennon Willard; 18. F15-Jeremy Conaway; 19. 74-Mitch McGrath; 20. 24W-Brad Waits; 21. 51F-Matt Furman; 22. 10S-Taylor Scheffler; 23. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 24. 17-Tim Simpson; 25. LXV-Lucas Peterson; 26. 90-Lance Matthees
Heat 1 10 Laps | 00:04:02.000 | Hoosier
1. 76-Blair Nothdurft; 2. 59-Garrett Alberson; 3. 21M-Luke Merfeld; 4. 41-Jeremiah Hurst; 5. 17-Tim Simpson; 6. 98-Jason Rauen; 7. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 8. (DNF) 91P-Jason Papich; 9. (DNF) 51F-Matt Furman
Heat 2 10 Laps | 00:05:27.000 | Midwest Sheet Metal
1. 32S-Chris Simpson; 2. 15-Justin Duty; 3. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr; 4. 25-Chad Simpson; 5. 24W-Brad Waits; 6. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr; 7. 3W-Brennon Willard; 8. F15-Jeremy Conaway; 9. LXV-Lucas Peterson
Heat 3 10 Laps | 00:03:06.000 | Casey's General Stores
1. 77Y-Jordan Yaggy; 2. 74-Mitch McGrath; 3. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 4. 55C-Chad Mahder; 5. 90-Lance Matthees; 6. 10P-Paul Parker; 7. 49T-Jake Timm; 8. 10S-Taylor Scheffler