by Ryan Clark
LANSING, Minn. (August 12, 2011) - Chris Simpson didn't let a poor redraw following his win in the Fast Dash deter him as the Oxford, Iowa, driver was victorious in the 35-lap feature event when the Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants made its annual visit to Chateau Raceway.
Simpson, who won both his heat race qualifier and the six-lap Dash, started the main event from outside the third row, but methodically made his way to the front to earn his second series win of the season and the third of his career.
Outside front row starter Justin Mitchell rocketed to the lead at the drop of the green. Running the high side of the fast, 1/3-mile oval, Mitchell quickly pulled away from the field, leaving Brad Waits, Tim Isenberg and Jason Utter to battle for position behind him. Isenberg eventually won that battle while Mitchell maintained a five car-length advantage over his pursuers and Chris Simpson worked through traffic.
Running the low groove, Simpson spent the first few laps outside the top five before making his charge to the front. He made his way past a fading Utter before challenging Chad Simpson for fourth a handful of laps into the event. At the nine lap mark, Chris made his way beneath Chad while Waits reeled in Isenberg to battle for second. Chris Simpson joined that battle as the race approached its midway point, first slipping past Isenberg at the 14-lap mark, then making his way into second two laps later.
Out front, Mitchell still held a comfortable lead over the field, however Simpson quickly started to reel in the leader after he cleared Waits for second. Running the low side, Simpson made his bid for the lead with a dozen laps remaining, then pulled away from the field to score the victory. The win pulled Simpson to within five points of the series lead, a position held by Chad Simpson since the first race of the season.
The winner of his heat, Fast Dash and feature, Chris Simpson was also the Hooker Harness Hard Charger of the night, advancing five positions during his triumph. Chad Simpson won the other heat.
FEATURE (35 laps / with starting positions)
1. (6) 32 Chris Simpson (Oxford, Iowa)
2. (2) 28X Justin Mitchell (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
3. (3) 9T Tim Isenberg (Marshfield, Wis.)
4. (9) 98 Jason Rauen (Farley, Iowa)
5. (1) 24 Brad Waits (Rochester)
6. (4) 31 Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, Iowa)
7. (5) 25 Chad Simpson (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
8. (8) 71 Andrew McKay (Eden Prairie)
9. (10) 7E Neil Eckhart (Rochester)
10. (14) 88 Roger Torgerson (Harmony)
11. (13) 7 Dennis Hillson (Blooming Prairie)
12. (12) 33 Joe Ludemann (Grand Meadow)
13. (11) 40 Nick Kramer (Pine Island)
14. (7) 22 Jill George (Cedar Falls)
First heat (10 laps, top 3 to Fast Dash): 1. Chad Simpson; 2. Utter; 3. Waits; 4. George; 5. Rauen; 6. Kramer; 7. Hillson.
Second heat: 1. Chris Simpson; 2. Mitchell; 3. Isenberg; 4. McKay; 5. Eckhart; 6. Ludemann; 7. Torgerson.
Fast Dash (6 laps): 1. Chris Simpson; 2. Chad Simpson; 3. Utter; 4. Isenberg; 5. Mitchell; 6. Waits.