Granite City, IL (October 16, 2020) – For the second time in his career, Mason Oberkramer topped the Lucas Oil MLRA field on Friday night, cashing in on $5,000 in night number one at the Tri-City Speedway. The 28 year-old made the clean sweep, after setting the fast time in Lucas Slick Mist qualifying followed by a win in his qualifying heat race.
A total of 47 late models checked in for the first night of the MLRA’s Championship weekend swing, with Oberkramer and Tim Manville leading the field to the green for the 30 lapper. Oberkramer rolled the bottom of the speedway in the opening circuits in a great side-by-side battle with Manville. Manville used the momentum of the high line to steel the race lead away on lap number four.
Oberkramer continued to hammer away on the low line and by the races seventh lap, powered back to the lead, leaving Manville to battle with Oxford, Iowa’s Chris Simpson. The first twenty-five laps would go caution free, with Oberkramer finding himself buried deep in lapped traffic shortly past the half-way point of the main event. Simpson took advantage and closed within a car length on multiple occasions only to see Oberkramer stretch back out the advantage at the point.
The races only caution flew on lap twenty-five when MLRA point leader Jeremiah Hurst slowed down the back stretch. Hurst attempted to exit off the back stretch, but was unable to make the hard right hand turn and came to a stop after making direct contact with the water barriers in front of the wall. Hurst was able to continue on, and came home in twentieth position.
With lapped traffic out of the equation for the final five laps, Chris Simpson made one last charge to the top on the restart but had the door shut once again by Oberkramer off the exit of turn two. Oberkramer would go on to record his second $5,000 win of the season by .919 seconds over Simpson and Manville. Shannon Babb finished the night in fourth while Bobby Pierce rounded out the top five.
Oberkramer was beyond excited in Cedar Creek Beef Jerky Victory Lane, in a race he didn’t plan on running until mid-week. “This is the way we wanted to end our year,” said the Brosley, Missouri driver. “We didn’t plan on coming, we didn’t have any tires and Todd Hall stepped up and said your too fast, you’ve got to get your butt to the track. So he came up and gave us some tire money and here we are.”
Commenting on battling back to regain the lead he said, “He (Manville) got by me and I figured he was going to run the top there until it ran out. Much respect for Tim. He has never run me dirty and dad (Dino Oberkramer) was telling me Chris was there the whole time too, so props to him for running a clean race. Hats off to Tony Jackson, my Mom, my Dad, my girlfriend Aliece, my daughter, Barry Wright, just everybody that makes this thing go around. It just wouldn’t be possible without them it’s much appreciated and I’m very blessed.”
Simpson who came home one spot shy of his second MLRA win of the year commented, “I feel like we were just as good around that bottom, you were just kind of stuck down there. You know lapped traffic was going to get interesting there if Jeremiah didn’t do what he did. They were slowing down quite a bit on the bottom and then Erb jumped up to the middle and I told my guy on the restart I’m going to give it hell one time up there, but it was just too dirty.”
“I knew it was going to be tough with the bottom having a little bit of traction down there”, said Manville. There wasn’t enough, there was a little bit up there to get ahold of, but it want quite enough. I gave it a shot and once we got into lapped traffic I was kind of hoping we could clear (Dennis) Erb and them guys and I was going to go up there and try it again, but there just wasn’t much up there, it was a good run though.”
The MLRA title battle continues on into Saturday night at Tri-City, with Payton Looney retaking the top spot by 15 points over Jeremiah Hurst. Chad Simpson clings to third now 50 points back while Tony Jackson Jr. closes his gap to just 70 points.
Tri City Speedway Contingencies 10/16/20
Slick Mist “Fast Time Award” -Mason Oberkramer (15.106 Sec.)
DirtonDirt.com “Pole Award” – Mason Oberkamer
Allgaier Motorsports Racing Shocks Award – Chris Simpson
Casey’s General Store’s “Hard Charger of the Race” – Payton Looney
Dynamic Drivelines “Crew Chief of the Race” – Dino Oberkramer
Hooker Harness “11th Place Finisher” – Gordy Gundaker
Midwest Sheet Metal “Points Leader Spoiler Challenge” – Payton Looney
Performance Bodies “Performer of the Race” – Mason Oberkramer