Johnny Scott Tops MLRA Late Models

Johnny Scott (1) makes the pass of Payton Looney on lap 39 of Wednesday night's Lucas Oil MLRA Midweek Madness at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Lucas Oil Speedway’s inaugural Mid-Week Mayhem lived up to the billing, as Johnny Scott captured his first Lucas Oil MLRA late model feature on Wednesday night.

Scott became the fourth different series winner in as many events this year.

Payton Looney seized control of the feature from outside the front row with Jesse Stovall in tow.

The duo paced the front of the pack for the first dozen laps before a rash of cautions began to slow the pace. The first caution waved as defending series champion Will Vaught came to a stop at the top of turn two, ending his night.

On the ensuing restart, Mitch McGrath gave up the fourth spot when he spun in front of the field in the middle of turns one and two.  Just one lap later, Jake Timm spun in the same spot as McGrath, bring his bid for a top five to an end.

Problems again struck the top five in a big way just three laps later, when contact between Jeremiah Hurst and Justin Duty sent Duty tangled, collecting Mason Oberkramer and Terry Phillips.

Back under green, it appeared as if Looney was on his way to his first MLRA win, pulling away from the field by close to 1.5 seconds. However, on the final long run of the event, it was eighth starting Johnny Scott that found the rhythm and slowly started to real in the top two.

Scott moved to the bottom side of turn four and was able to get his car to pin to the bottom side of the track, overtaking Stovall for second with just five laps remaining.

With lapped traffic in the cross hairs of the leaders, Scott powered to the inside of Looney as the duo took the white flag and held on to score his first Lucas Oil MLRA victory.

Looney claimed his second consecutive runner-up finish at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks dating back to his performance in the MLRA finale last October.

Stovall netted a third-place finish ahead of Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the Race Garrett Alberson, and a hard-charging Jeremy Grady.

“I just had to bide my time. My car wasn’t really good in the middle or the top, so I just stayed consistent on the bottom,” Scott said. “The longer runs helped me, the short runs it would kill me. I was too loose to run the middle, but the bottom I could rotate right around there and before I knew it, I had reeled in Stovall and Payton Looney and got by them at the end.”

Looney finished second.

“I ran a 1350 there and went soft, me and Jesse both, and I was just a sitting duck those last 10 laps and I knew it,” Looney said. “I was just trying to hang on and make the car as wide as I could and Lake (Mooneyham) was doing his best out there trying to help me hang onto the lead. I guess I’m just cursed here, but we’ll keep trying.”

Dewayne Hobbs won the Midwest modified feature.

The finish:

Feature (40 Laps): 1.Johnny Scott 2.Payton Looney 3.Jesse Stovall 4.Garrett Alberson 5.Jeremy Grady 6.Tony Toste 7.Jeremiah Hurst 8.Chad Simpson 9.Tony Jackson Jr. 10.Mitch McGrath 11.Kaeden Cornell 12.Logan Martin 13.Jeremy Conaway 14.Brennon Willard 15.Daniel Hilsabeck 16.Justin Duty 17.Terry Phillips 18.Jason Papich 19.Mason Oberkramer 20.Joseph Gorby 21.Jake Timm 22.Will Vaught 23.Jordan Yaggy 24.Cole Henson