Maple Park, IL (September 30th, 2022) – The opening night of the “Harvest Hustle” at the Sycamore Speedway proved to be all Chad Simpson, as the current Lucas Oil MLRA point leader dominated all forty laps from the drop of the green flag to the checkered.
Mike Mitaragas scored the DirtonDirt.com Fast Time Award with a lap of 14.148 seconds while heat victories went to Mike Spatola, Brian Shirley, and Simpson.
Spatola and Simpson led the field to the green for the 40 lap main event, with Simpson utilizing the high side momentum exiting turn two to grab the lead on lap number one. The first of six cautions slowed the race following the conclusion of lap one for a spin exciting turn four. Simpson returned to the point and maintained the advantage over the field through heavy lapped traffic and another pair of first half cautions.
By Lap 25 eleventh starting Jason Feger made his presence felt by charging to the outside of runner-up Brian Shirley on a restart to snag the second position. A trio of back-to-back-to-back cautions slowed the pace and continued to allow Shirley and Feger to apply pressure to Simpson for the race lead.
With the final 13 laps going green, Simpson pulled away from the field until catching lapped traffic with just two laps to go. Simpson refused to give up the low line which allowed Shirley to close the gap, but at the drop of the checkered it was Simpson scoring his second MLRA win of the year and 16th all-time by a margin of 2.001 seconds. Shirley held off Feger in a great side-by-side battle for second and third, while Frank Heckenast Jr., and Dennis Erb Jr. rounded out the top five.
The $5,000 win put Simpson one step closer to clinching his third career MLRA Championship and he said of his Black Diamond Chassis, “This thing was a rocketship right around that bottom. I could get around one and two on the top there but as soon as I felt that bottom I knew this thing was going to be a rocketship around the bottom.”
Simpson maintained his composure throughout the restarts and commented on the battle in stating, “you’ve got the best of Illinois right here, so to outrun these guys over here on their turf, and for this being our second time here. Hats off to my crew, my guys, the last couple weeks and month have been pretty rough for us and I think we finally hit on something here that we can hopefully move forward with from here.”
Shirley came home one spot shy of his fourth career MLRA win and said, “It was definitely a positive, I just didn’t feel that comfortable, the track felt like I was really on top of it and I didn’t feel as comfortable as I needed to be to run up there with Chad. And then obviously Jason was comfortable, I could see him on the top side and that outside was really treacherous so I wasn’t willing to go up there and give it all that tonight, but it was nice to come home second.”
“That top was pretty brutal up there tonight,” commented Feger. “It took me a while to get it figured out but once we did we were pretty decent. I probably should have just got down in front of Brian once I got in front of him but it was a pretty good race, I didn’t care if I was second or third I was trying to do what I could do to battle Chad for the lead but it didn’t work out tonight. Tomorrow we’ve just got to qualify better and put on a better effort in the heat race so we can start towards the front and have a little more.”
Sycamore Speedway Contingencies 9/30/22
Lap Leaders – Chad Simpson (1 – 40)
Cautions – 6
DirtonDirt.com “Overall Fast Time Award” –Mike Mataragas (14.184 sec.)
Lucas Oil Slick Mist “Pole Award” – Mike Spatola
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Waylon Schultz
Hooker Harness “11th Place Finisher” – Taylor Scheffler
Performance Bodies “Performer of the Race” – Chad Simpson
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” –Kolby Vandenbergh
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Jason Feger
Midwest Sheet Metal “Points Leader Spoiler Challenge” – Chad Simpson
A Feature Cedar Creek Jerky 40 Laps | 00:11:05.916
- 25-Chad Simpson; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley; 3. 25F-Jason Feger; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 5. 28JR-Dennis Erb Jr; 6. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 7. 1M-Mike Mataragas; 8. 99-Jeff Larson; 9. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 10. 91S-Rusty Schlenk; 11. 10S-Taylor Scheffler; 12. 44W-David Webster; 13. 3M-Dale Markham; 14. 22M-Charlie McKenna; 15. 47-Dan Kuhn; 16. (DNF) M27-Mike Provenzano; 17. (DNF) 89-Mike Spatola; 18. (DNF) 76-Titus Sneed; 19. (DNF) 44-Wayne Freimund; 20. (DNF) 10P-Paul Parker; 21. (DNF) 9-Lyle Zanker; 22. (DNF) 15-Justin Duty; 23. (DNF) 22-Daniel Hilsabeck
Heat 1 Midwest Sheet Metal 8 Laps
- 89-Mike Spatola; 2. 1M-Mike Mataragas; 3. 15-Justin Duty; 4. 9-Lyle Zanker; 5. 3M-Dale Markham; 6. M27-Mike Provenzano; 7. 44W-David Webster; 8. 44-Wayne Freimund
Heat 2 Hooker Harness 8 Laps | 00:04:16.615
- 25-Chad Simpson; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 3. 28JR-Dennis Erb Jr; 4. 25F-Jason Feger; 5. 99-Jeff Larson; 6. 10S-Taylor Scheffler; 7. 76-Titus Sneed; 8. (DNS) 22-Daniel Hilsabeck
Heat 3 My Race Pass 8 Laps
- 3S-Brian Shirley; 2. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 3. 50-Kaeden Cornell; 4. 91S-Rusty Schlenk; 5. 22M-Charlie McKenna; 6. 10P-Paul Parker; 7. 47-Dan Kuhn
Group A Dirt on Dirt | 00:07:48.793
1. 1M-Mike Mataragas, 00:14.148; 2. 25-Chad Simpson, 00:14.153; 3. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh, 00:14.208; 4. 9-Lyle Zanker, 00:14.314; 5. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr, 00:14.342; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley, 00:14.378; 7. 89-Mike Spatola, 00:14.395; 8. 28JR-Dennis Erb Jr, 00:14.475; 9. 50-Kaeden Cornell, 00:14.494; 10. M27-Mike Provenzano, 00:14.507; 11. 99-Jeff Larson, 00:14.535; 12. 91S-Rusty Schlenk, 00:14.571; 13. 15-Justin Duty, 00:14.607; 14. 25F-Jason Feger, 00:14.617; 15. 22M-Charlie McKenna, 00:14.649; 16. 3M-Dale Markham, 00:14.705; 17. 10S-Taylor Scheffler, 00:14.878; 18. 10P-Paul Parker, 00:14.998; 19. 44W-David Webster, 00:15.183; 20. 76-Titus Sneed, 00:15.299; 21. 47-Dan Kuhn, 00:16.048; 22. 44-Wayne Freimund, 00:16.693; 23. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck, 00:59.999