Lance Matthees Takes Night One at Elko Speedway
Veteran WISSOTA driver Lance Matthees held off a hard charging Jason Rauen to pick-up the $2,500 pay day during night 1 of the Dart Corn Belt Clash’s season finale weekend at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota. Matthees started on the pole by virtue of the draw and charged out to an early lead over fellow front row starter Rauen. Jason Utter and Tim Isenberg quickly dropped in behind the front row starters at the drop of the green.
Denny Eckrich began his charge from the 24th starting position, as CBC point leader Chad Simpson began his night also from deep in the field in 17th as the defending CBC champion looked to solidify his point lead heading into the season finale tomorrow night at Elko. The surface proved challenging as the front runners encountered lapped traffic early.
In heavy traffic, Rauen was able to work his way past early leader Matthees and slowly began to pull away from the second place car utilizing the middle groove. An early caution slowed the race as three cars, including the top-10 running machine of Dennis Erb, Jr. tangled with lapped cars, but after the brief caution, racing resumed it was Rauen out front followed by Matthees and Utter.
The Corn Belt Clash points battle took a twist with a dozen or so laps remaining when the Longhorn Chassis of second-place point man Chris Simpson slowed in turns one and two with mechanical issues. On the restart, Matthees pressured Rauen on the low side as the two raced door-to-door for several laps with Matthees taking the lead with a handful of laps remaining. The night’s final caution came out with just three laps remaining. Matthees pulled away on the restart but Rauen kept Matthees close pressuring him till the wave of the checkered flag where the driver of the #98 MB Customs machine came up a car length or two short to the #90 Rocket Chassis of Lance Matthees who picked-up the $2,500 pay day and became the series seventh different winner on the season. Rounding out the top-10 were Jason Utter, Tim Isenberg, Dennis Erb, Jr., Pat Doar, Chad Simpson, John Kaanta, Adam Hensel and Brent Swedberg.
Heat races were won by the Brent Swedberg, Jason Utter and Jason Rauen. Twenty-seven cars were in attendance.
By virtue of his seventh place finish and the unfortunate mechanical issues with second place point man Chris Simpson, Chad Simpson has comes one step closer to wrapping-up his second straight Dart Corn Belt Clash Series title as he now has a 27 point lead over his brother Chris, with Chris now holding a slim 1 point lead over Tim Isenberg for the runner-up position in the series.
The series concludes its 2011 season tomorrow night at Elko Speedway with a $3,000 to win show.
Kindll LLC.com Business Solutions Fast Dash: Not Awarded
Hooker Harness Hard Charger Award: Denny Eckrich
Quarter Master Hard Luck Award: Chris Simpson
Comp Cams Hard Luck Award: Justin Mitchell
Hoosier WRS D-55 Tire Draw Winner: Dave Eckrich
Corn Belt Clash Title Sponsors: Dart and Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants
Corn Belt Clash Official Sponsors: R.A.C.E, Manley, JE Pistons, Comp Cams, Hoosier Racing Tire, Isky Racing Cams, Dynamic Decals and Wix Filters
Corn Belt Clash Contingency Sponsors: Kindl LLC., Total Seal Rings, RaceTec Pistons, OutPace Racing Products, Quarter Master, Hooker Harness, Dirt Digz, ASI Sports Wear, Grove Auto, Pro Power Racing Engines, JR Motorsports, Dirt Late Model Magazine, Racing Head Service, DirtDigz, RaceFanNation.com, and Wrap’d by Dynamic Decals
For more info on the Dart Corn Belt Clash Series presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, checkout www.CornBeltClash.com. We are also on Facebook!