BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Friday was a night of firsts for the Lucas Oil MLRA, as it marked their inaugural visit to Belle-Clair Speedway, which would result in Michael Kloos coming away with his first win of the season and first with the Lucas Oil MLRA.
Kloos managed a third place finish in his heat race that had him rolling off seventh for the 40-lapper, but it was Myles Moos grabbing the pole with MLRA regular Mitch McGrath starting alongside on the front row. With 20 cars taking the green on the tight fifth-mile bullring, Moos and McGrath gave fans a show in the opening laps with a great side by side battle that had Moos running the low line and McGrath carrying the momentum off of the top side.
McGrath, who came into the night second in the series standings, would use his top side mojo to lead the first two circuits before Moos No. 84 went to the point momentarily on lap three.
One lap later McGrath took the top spot back by inches at the line and would hold onto the lead as the field continued under green. Not to be outdone, Moos shot back to the lead just four laps later and was able to enjoy a great side by side battle in his rear view between McGrath and Will Vaught until the first caution flew on lap 11.
As the field began to reach lapped traffic it would again bunch up the leaders with the top five all within striking distance of Moos. Kloos had patiently been working his way through the pack using the bottom side of the speedway, and with 14 laps to go he drove to the inside and took the top spot away from Moos.
With Kloos now showing the way, lightning would strike Moos on the following lap when contact between he and third running Chad Zobrist would send Moos around in turn one and two, forcing him to restart at the rear.
On the ensuing restart it was MLRA rookie Logan Martin giving up his fifth position in nearly the same spot in turn one and two when he was sent spinning, resulting in a four car pile-up. All drivers involved were able to continue, with Martin forced to the to the tail.
The final caution would wave with seven laps to go, but Kloos’ Jansen Chevrolet sponsored Capital Chassis proved to be the dominant car once again, cruising to a 1.608 second win and $3,000 payday over Zobrist.
“Hats off to my crew it’s been a rough year, we’ve tore some stuff up and they just keep digging. I wouldn’t be here without them and Gerstner and Sons Motorsports for letting me drive their car,” Kloos said.
McGrath rebounded after dropping to seventh on the grid with 13 laps to go to net his second third-place run of the year. Will Vaught came home fourth, while Greg Kimmons rounded out the top-five.
Michael Kloos, Chad Zobrist, Mitch McGrath, Will Vaught, Greg Kimmons, Logan Martin, Matt Bailey, Joe Gorby, Charlie Cole, Myles Moos, Mike Hammerle, Jake Neal, Brent McKinnon, Darren Kline, Dewayne Kieffer, Mark Voigt, Paul Roider, Rusty Griffaw, Payton Looney, Jeremy Grady.