Simpson scores third straight, wins at Highway 3 Raceway




by Ryan Clark

ALLISON, Iowa (July 27) - Chad Simpson broke free from a tussle with Dave Eckrich late to score the victory in the 25-lap Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants feature at Highway 3 Raceway.

Pole-sitter Eckrich took command at the drop of the green while fellow front row starter Rob Moss settled into second. Simpson, who started outside the third row, worked around Tim Isenberg and Chris Simpson before dropping to the low side to challenge Moss and Justin Mitchell. He made his bid for second by the third lap, then set his sights on Eckrich, who built a sizable lead.

Simpson wasted little time running down the leader as he pulled even with Eckrich just a couple circuits later. The lead pair ran in side-by-side formation for a number of laps with Simpson working the low groove and Eckrich one lane higher. Eckrich and Simpson swapped the top spot midway through the event, however Eckrich appeared to be running the preferred lane as he fought off Simpson's persistent challenges.

As the leaders navigated turns one and two on lap 18, Simpson powered beneath Eckrich and was able to take over the lead as they exited turn two. He then pulled away from the field to score his third straight series win and fifth of the season. Chris Simpson worked past Eckrich with a handful of laps to go to finish second. Eckrich ran third ahead of Tim Isenberg and Jason Utter.

Jason Rauen won the fast dash, then drew the #7, inverting the top seven finishers for the feature lineup. Heat winners were Rauen and Chad Simpson.

FEATURE (25 laps, with starting positions)

1. (6) 25 Chad Simpson (Mt. Vernon)

2. (5) 32 Chris Simpson (Oxford)

3. (1) 58 Dave Eckrich (Cosgrove)

4. (3) 9T Tim Isenberg (Marshfield, WI)

5. (10) 31 Jason Utter (Columbus Junction)

6. (4) 28X Justin Mitchell (Cedar Rapids)

7. (8) 33 Nick Marolf (Moscow)

8. (16) 50 Denny Eckrich (Tiffin)

9. (15) 88 Kevin Kile (West Liberty)

10. (2) 1M Rob Moss (Iowa City)

11. (14) 77 Kurt Kile (Nichols)

12. (11) 20 Jake Meier (Tipton)

13. (20) 3X Skip Frey (Ely)

14. (13) 15H Jeremiah Hurst (Dubuque)

15. (18) 3 Kevin Sather (Ankeny)

16. (19) 45H Todd Hansen (Muscatine)

17. (17) 15C Curt Schroeder (Ames)

18. (7) 98 Jason Rauen (Farley)

19. (9/DNS) 5M Mike Fryer (Freeport, IL)

20. (12/DNS) 22 Jill George (Cedar Falls)

First heat (10 laps, top 4 to Fast Dash): 1. Chad Simpson; 2. Mitchell; 3. Moss; 4. Dave Eckrich; 5. Fryer; 6. Meier; 7. Hurst; 8. Kevin Kile; 9. Schroeder; 10. Hansen.

Second heat: 1. Rauen; 2. Chris Simpson; 3. Isenberg; 4. Marolf; 5. Utter; 6. George; 7. Kurt Kile; 8. Denny Eckrich; 9. Sather; 10. Frey.

Fast Dash (8 laps): 1. Rauen; 2. Chad Simpson; 3. Chris Simpson; 4. Mitchell; 5. Isenberg; 6. Moss; 7. Dave Eckrich; 8. Marolf.