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Stovall wins a wild opener in Lucas MLRA Fall Nationals

Jesse Stovall - Lloyd Collins photo

Jesse Stovall – Lloyd Collins photo

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By Lyndal Scranton – Wheatland, Missouri (October 8, 2016) – Jesse Stovall captured the 3rd annual Lucas Oil MLRA Fall Nationals opener in a thriller Friday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.

The victory – as he held off young phenom Bobby Pierce and Hall of Fame veteran Billy Moyer – all but clinched Stovall’s first MLRA championship heading into Saturday night’s season finale.

“If it is, great. We’ll celebrate that at a later date,” Stovall said of the points chase after collecting the $3,000 victory on a chilly evening. “We’re out here to win races. That’s what wins championships.”

Meanwhile, night one of the Big Buck 50 Street Stock Special Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt saw the first 16 starters in Saturday night’s feature determined following eight heat races and qualifying.

Street Stock drivers will go after a $5,000-to-win prize in the 50-lap feature and the MLRA Late Models also take aim on a $5,000 prize.

The first half of the two-night show saw an impressive car count of 93 Street Stocks and 53 Late Models. The Comp Camps Super Dirt Series Presented by Lucas Oil joined the MLRA Late Models.

Stovall, of Billings, began the night 72 points ahead of reigning MLRA champ Terry Phillips. It appeared a trip to victory lane was a longshot at best with the way things were going.

Stovall struggled in his heat race and had to win one of three B-Mains to earn his way into the feature, starting 19th. He then was caught up in a first-lap pileup in which 13 cars were involved with his car sitting atop a big tire that guards the infield in the middle of turn three.

“Everybody’s nerves are kind of wild and crazy,” Stovall said of the start of the race. He also noted that once his car checked out OK, he wanted to be smooth and work his way gradually through the field.

Sure enough, he was in the top five by lap seven and firmly in contention. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Jake O’Neil took advantage when Moyer slid high into turn-two cushion and went past the veteran to grab the lead on lap 13.

But during a lap 19 caution, O’Neil pulled off the track with a mechanical issue giving the lead back to Moyer with Terry Phillips in second and Stovall third. Lurking in sixth was Pierce, the 19-year-old World 100 champ who started the feature 16th.

Things really heated up from there. Stovall took the lead from Moyer in a front-straightaway pass to complete lap 35. Moyer went back in front on lap 36 and Stovall returned the favored the next time around.

Pierce passed Moyer just before the fifth caution of the race waved on lap 38 when Stovall and the lapped car of Brantlee Gotschall got together in turn two. Stovall’s momentum was not affected and, despite damage to the right-rear quarter panel, remained in front with Pierce scored in second and Moyer third.

Stovall bolted away on the restart and held with Pierce finishing second, Moyer third, Brian Shirley fourth and Phillips fifth.

In victory lane, Stovall said apologized to Gotschall saying that he was just racing hard.

“Bobby and Billy were right there. You have to go, go, go,” Stovall said.

As for Saturday, with the MLRA championship apparently in hand, Stovall said: “Hopefully we can kind of calm down a little bit and we can just go out and race.”

Pierce, from Oakwood, Ill., came up just shy of his 23rd feature win of a breakout season.

“This was a lot of fun,” Pierce said. “The track was very raceable at the top. I like coming here. I’m glad with the run we had starting back. Maybe tomorrow we’ll be even better.”

The 59-year-old Moyer, meanwhile, hedged on whether this weekend is his last visit to Lucas Oil Speedway. Moyer, of Batesville, Ark., has called himself semi-retired this year and has not committed to racing again in 2017.

“We’ll see,” Moyer said. He won the first half of the MLRA Spring Nationals at the speedway back in April for one of 10 wins this season and 815 in his career.

Big Buck 50: Dale Nelson of Milan, Tenn., earned a $500 bonus from Tony Jackson Racing for setting fast qualifying time in the Street Stocks. Nelson toured the track in 17.684 seconds.

“I’m excited,” Nelson said. “We were planning on coming to this last year and didn’t make it. We made it a priority to come and make this race (this year). We wanted to come and see this great facility that y’all got.”

Defending Big Buck 50 champ Jeremy Russell of Jonesboro, Ark., won his heat race to lock himself into the feature. Other heat race winners were 2016 Lucas Oil Speedway Street Stocks champ Derek Brown, Burl Woods, Jarad Hays, Richie Tosh, Brian Webster, Timothy Brown and Tony Anglin.

Four B-Mains will be contested Saturday night to finalize the field for the Big Buck 50.

Gates will open an hour earlier, at 4 p.m. with hot laps at 6 and racing at 6:30. Admission prices:

Adults (16 and up) $20
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $17
Youth (6-15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $40
Pit Pass $35

LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY RESULTS
Friday, October 7, 2016
Lucas Oil MLRA 3rd annual Fall Nationals
Lucas Oil Racing.TV A Feature (40 laps): 1. Jesse Stovall 2. Bobby Pierce 3. Billy Moyer 4. Brian Shirley 5. Terry Phillips 6. RC Whitwell 7. Jack Sullivan 8. Jason Papich 9. Tony Jackson Jr 10. Rodney Sanders 11. Tyler Erb 12. Tim Manville 13. Randy Timms 14. JC Wyman 15. Dave Eckrich. 16. Brantlee Gotschall 17. Tad Pospisil 18. Jake O’Neil 19. Matt Furman 20. Joseph Gorby 21. Jeff Floyd 22. JacobMagee 23. Hunter Rasdon 24. Larry Jones 25. Chris Simpson 26. Kyle Beard

Bilstein Shocks first heat – 1, Jake O’Neil. 2, Larry Jones. 3, Joseph Gorby. 4, Bobby Pierce. 5, Hunter Rasdon. 6, Will Vaught. 7, Brantlee Gotschall. 8, Mark Burftorf. 9, Charlie McKenna.

Casey’s General Store decond heat – 1, Matt Furman. 2, Chris Simpson. 3, Dave Eckrich. 4, Jesse Stovall. 5, Tad Pospisil. 6, Garrrett Albertson. 7, Jon Binning. 8, Austin Theiss. 9, Chris Cox.

Chix Gear third heat – 1, R.C. Whitwell. 2, Billy Moyer. 3, Rodney Sanders. 4, Dustin Walker. 5, Austin Siebert. 6, Brent Larson. 7, John Driskell. 8, Chad Richwine. 9, Rob Hail.

Malvern Bank fourth heat – 1, Terry Phillips. 2, Jack Sullivan. 3, Josh Poe. 4, Tyler Erb. 5, Chris Brown. 6, Logan Martin. 7, Al Humphrey. 8, Jon Mitchell. 9, Jeff Roth.

Sunoco Race Fuels fifth heat – 1, Tim Manville. 2, Jason Papich. 3, Jonathan Rowan. 4, Gavin Landers. 5, J.C. Wyman. 6, Wendell Wallace. 7, Johnny Fennewald. 8, Kyle Beard. 9, Robby Moore.

Bilstein Shocks sixth heat – 1, Brian Shirley. 2, Jacob Magee. 3, Tony Jackson Jr. 4, Randy Timms. 5, Jeff Floyd. 6, Phil Edmondson. 7, Mason Oberkramer. 8, Brandon Wilson.

Hoosier Tires B Feature 1 (12 laps): 1. Tyler Erb 2. Rodney Sanders 3. Will Vaught 4. Chris Brown 5. JC Wyman 6. Brent Larson 7. Al Humphrey 8. John Driskell 9. Dustin Walker 10. Mark Burgtorf 11. Robby Moore 12. Kyle Beard 13. Chris Cox

Impact Signs, Awnings, Wraps B Feature 2 (12 laps): 1. Tad Pospisil 2. Jeff Floyd 3. Josh Poe 4. Gavin Landers 5. Hunter Rasdon 6. Mason Oberkramer 7. Austin Theiss 8. Johnny Fennewald 9. Brandon Wilson 10. Phil Edmonson 11. Rob Hall 12. Logan Martin.

HotRodProcessing.com B Feature 3 (12 laps): 1. Jesse Stovall 2. Randy Timms 3. Brantlee Gotschall 4. Wendell Wallace 5. Jon Mitchell 6. Jeff Roth 7. Charlie McKenna 8. Austin Siebert 9. Garrett Alberson. 10. Jonathan Rowan 11. Chad Richwine 12. Jon Binning.

Street Stocks
Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt
Heat 1: 1. Jared Hays (Jonesboro, Ar), 2. Cole Farmer (Glenwood, Ar), 3. Whitney Nunalls (Black Rock, Ar), 4. Dale Nelson (Milan, Tn), 5. Bobby Barnett (Republic, MO), 6. Cody Vail (Louisburg, KS), 7. Jedediah Rogers (Lebanon, MO), 8. Edwin Wells (Morrilton, AR), 9. Hayden Chavers (Jonesboro, Ar), 10. Derek Henson (Russellville, MO), 11. MIchael Muskrat (Stilwell, OK), 12. Steve Dieckmann (Centralia, Mo),

Heat 2: 1. Richie Tosh (Salado, AR), 2. Bobby Bryant (West Plains, Mo), 3. David Hendrix (Buckhorn, MO), 4. Jay Rierson (Booneville, Ar), 5. Harlan Dowell (Tipton, Mo), 6. Shane Bias (Everton, MO), 7. Brian Eckhoff (Higginsville, MO), 8. Charles Brown (Hume, MO), 9. Jimmy Myers (Laddonia, MO), 10. Johnny Coats (Joplin, MO), 11. Josh Franklin (Macks Creek, MO), 12. Heath Philpot (Greenwood, Ar),

Heat 3: 1. Burl Woods (Republic, MO), 2. Kenny Carroll (Camdenton, MO), 3. Darren Turner (Hartsburg, Mo), 4. Brett Wood (Warrensburg, Mo), 5. Kreg Dobson (Hulbert, OK), 6. Andrew Roark (Henley, Mo), 7. Robert Maggard (Springfield, MO), 8. James Ngo (Independence , Mo), 9. Andrew Altenburg (Truman, Mn), 10. Scott Chism (Bolivar, MO), 11. Brandon Hays (California, Mo), 12. Heath Teel (Walnut Ridge, Ar),

Heat 4: 1. Derek Brown (Stoutland, MO), 2. Robby Arnold (Marmaduke, Ar), 3. Brian Schutt (Lebanon, MO), 4. Jim Philpot (Greenwood, Ar), 5. Craig Danuser (Montreal, MO), 6. Devin Irvin (Cleveland, MO), 7. Terry Blackwell (Mexico, Mo), 8. Mitchell Mourot (Morrilton, AR), 9. Patrick Kay (Chanute, KS), 10. James McMillin (Warrensburg, Mo), 11. Cole Henson (Russellville, Mo),

Heat 5: 1. Brian Webster (Oak Grove, MO), 2. Aaron Carr (Judsonia, Ar), 3. Jeffery Metcalf (Siloam, Ar), 4. Kyle Slader (Muskogee, Ok), 5. Bobby Ruff (Belton, Mo), 6. Terry Muskrat (Stilwell, OK), 7. Jay Lammons (Savonbur, Ks), 8. Brandon Dunham (California, MO), 9. Mark Mullins (Ada, OK), 10. Sundance Keepper (South Greenfield, MO), 11. Steve Scott (Pittsburg, Mo), 12. James Flood (Crane, Mo),

Heat 6: 1. Jeremy Russell (Jonesboro, AR), 2. Darrin Crisler (Clever, MO), 3. Dale Eaton (St Joseph, MO), 4. Chad Rockefeller (Monee, Il.), 5. Shawn Whitman (Fair Grove, MO), 6. Marc Carter (Warrensburg, MO), 7. Chip Shaddox (Wheatland, MO), 8. Scott Johnson (Nevada , MO), 9. Dayne Davis (Walnut Ridge, Ar), 10. Josh Halbrook (Springfield, Mo), 11. Kendall Prince (Corning, Ar), 12. Joshua Cowden (Elkland, Mo),

Heat 7: 1. Timothy Brown (Stoutland, MO), 2. Peyton Taylor (Batesville, Ar), 3. Clayton Campbell (Otterville, MO), 4. Dennis Schoenfeld (Van Buren, AR), 5. Larry Ferris (Kansas City, KS), 6. Justin Jarrett (Maynard, Ar), 7. Bobby Brown (Hume, MO), 8. Chris Kircher (Kansas City, KS), 9. Tim Petty (Niangua, MO), 10. Nicholas Gibson (Garden City, MO), 11. Ray Phipps (Pocola, Ok),

Heat 8: 1. Tony Anglin (Walnut Ridge, AR), 2. Brandon Henry (Ozark, Ar), 3. Steve Beach (Eldon, MO), 4. Toby Ott (Wheatland, MO), 5. Ted Welschmeyer (Tebbetts, MO), 6. Robert Southerland (Sallisaw, Ok), 7. Brian Worley (St. Mary, Mo), 8. David Davis (Walnut Ridge, Ar), 9. Rodger Detherage (Calhoun, MO), 10. Carmon Vincent (Moody, Mo), 11. Kevin York (El Dorado Springs, MO).

For complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket info and schedule information for the season, visit lucasoilspeedway.com.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it’s entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.

Click www.LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway.

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