Looney Breaks Through In MLRA

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Payton Looney in victory lane. (FastTrack photo)

PRYOR CREEK, Okla. — Payton Looney erased a long streak of Lucas Oil MLRA runner-up finishes on Friday night, grabbing his first series victory at the Salina Highbanks Speedway.

For the second consecutive night Looney grabbed the Slick Mist Fast Time Award after turning a lap of 14.198 seconds, propelling him to a heat race win an outside front row starting spot for the 30-lap main event.

Looney started alongside pole winner Chad Simpson, as the two ran side by side for the first three laps, with Looney pushing the limits on the top side of the Highbanks.

As the leaders crossed the stripe on lap number three, Looney grabbed the top spot away from Simpson and set sail before a couple of first half cautions waved over the field.

The final caution of the night dropped with 17 laps remaining setting up a restart with Simpson and Johnny Scott trailing the Capital Chassis of Looney. Scott capitalized on the restart and cleared Simpson, setting up the second battle between Looney and Scott in the last three events.

Looney previously led 38 of 40 laps on Wednesday night at the Lucas Oil Speedway only to see victory slip away to the 1st car of Scott in the closing laps. In the closing laps, Scott would again pull to within a couple of car lengths of Looney, until slightly jumping the cushion in turn one and two with a lap to go, allowing Looney to pull away for the win by .921 seconds.

Scott’s second-place finish is his third consecutive finish of second or better, while Simpson recorded his second consecutive third place finish, enough to remain atop the Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Standings.

Jeremiah Hurst grabbed his best MLRA finish to date in fourth while Logan Martin rounded out the top five.

“Man, it’s about time,” Looney said. “We have been doing this a long time and it just seems like we would always be in position and something would happen.  We have ran second a lot, just more times than I wish to admit, but everything just fell our way tonight.  I really thought I had one Wednesday night, that’s my favorite place (Lucas Oil Speedway) and to lead the whole thing and get passed coming to the white was really heart breaking, and I just didn’t want that to happen again.”

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1.Payton Looney  2.Johnny Scott  3.Chad Simpson  4.Jeremiah Hurst  5.Logan Martin  6.Tony Jackson Jr.  7.Terry Phillips  8.Mason Oberkramer  9.Jake Timm  10.Garrett Alberson  11.Jesse Stovall  12.Justin Duty  13.Jason Papich  14.Tony Toste  15.Mitch McGrath  16.Kaeden Cornelll  17.Daniel Hilsabeck  18.Jeremy Grady  19.Austin Theiss  20.Raymond Merrill  21.Joe Godsey  22.Hayden Ross  23.Jordan Yaggy  24.Brennon Willard