FARLEY, Iowa — Just eight days removed from his first Lucas Oil MLRA feature win, Payton Looney backed it up on Saturday night by winning the Independence Day Shootout at 300 Raceway.
Looney topped the star-studded field to snag the $5,000 win, and now moves to the top of the Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge for the first time this season.
The driver of the Atnip Enterprises No. 15 jumped to the early race lead from the pole, but the event was quick to slow on lap two for debris on the front stretch that would bring Chris Simpson’s night to an early ending.
Garrett Alberson made contact with the turn one and two wall just five laps later ending his shot at a top five run. A pair of back-to-back cautions would wave on lap 18 changing the complexion of the 40 lapper and the MLRA championship chase.
On the initial restart, the field would bunch up exciting turn four as MLRA point leader Chad Simpson dropped a drive shaft down the front stretch while running inside the top five. The incident would also collect Tony Jackson, Jr along with a handful of other drivers.
As action resumed, Looney jumped back to the point with Brian Shirley and Bobby Pierce in pursuit of the race leader. With nine laps to go Pierce was able to clear Shirley and set his sights on the back bumper of Looney’s Capital Chassis. Pierce got to within striking distance as the race went under five to go showing his nose at the entry of turn three.
That look was as close as Pierce would get, as Looney went on for the win by a margin of .927 seconds.
Pierce collected the runner-up spot while Jeremiah Hurst collected his best career MLRA finish in third despite having a broken shock. Shirley came home in fourth while Spencer Diercks notch a strong finish in fifth.
“I just had to figure out how to win these big races,” Looney said. “The 40-lap, 50-lap type thing, I just had to learn myself how to win races. I knew we had the speed and the ability, and fortunately were able to show it now and its pretty awesome.”
Feature (40 Laps): 1.Payton Looney 2.Bobby Pierce 3.Jeremiah Hurst 4.Brian Shirley 5.Spencer Diercks 6.Dave Eckrich 7.Matt Furman 8.Tony Toste 9.Brennon Willard 10.Daniel Hilsabeck 11.Jeremy Conaway 12.Justin Duty 13.Chad Simpson 14.Tony Jackson Jr. 15.Jason Rauen 16.Justin Kay 17.Aaron Marrant 18.Mason Oberkramer 19.Garrett Alberson 20.Jason Papich 21.Skip Frey 22.Chris Simpson