PONTOON BEACH, Ill. — For the second time in his career, Mason Oberkramer topped the Lucas Oil MLRA field on Friday night, cashing in on $5,000 in night one at Tri-City Speedway.
The 28-year-old made the clean sweep, after setting the fast time in Lucas Slick Mist qualifying followed by a win in his qualifying heat race.
Forty-seven late models checked in for the first night of the MLRA’s Championship weekend swing, with Oberkramer and Tim Manville leading the field to the green for the 20-lapper. Oberkramer rolled the bottom of the speedway in the opening circuits in a great side-by-side battle with Manville. Manville used the momentum of the high line to steel the race lead away on lap number four.
Oberkramer continued to hammer away on the low line and by the races seventh lap, powered back to the lead, leaving Manville to battle with Chris Simpson. The first 25 laps would go caution free, with Oberkramer finding himself buried deep in lapped traffic shortly past the half-way point of the main event. Simpson took advantage and closed within a car length on multiple occasions only to see Oberkramer stretch back out the advantage at the point.
The races only caution flew on lap 25 when MLRA point leader Jeremiah Hurst slowed down the back stretch. Hurst attempted to exit off the backstretch, but was unable to make the hard right hand turn and came to a stop after making direct contact with the water barriers in front of the wall.
With lapped traffic out of the equation for the final five laps, Chris Simpson made one last charge to the top on the restart but had the door shut once again by Oberkramer off the exit of turn two. Oberkramer would go on to record his second $5,000 win of the season by .919 seconds over Simpson and Manville.
Shannon Babb finished the night in fourth while Bobby Pierce rounded out the top five.
“This is the way we wanted to end our year,” said Oberkramer. “We didn’t plan on coming, we didn’t have any tires and Todd Hall stepped up and said your too fast, you’ve got to get your butt to the track. So he came up and gave us some tire money and here we are.”
Simpson who came home one spot shy of his second MLRA win of the year commented, “I feel like we were just as good around that bottom, you were just kind of stuck down there. You know lapped traffic was going to get interesting there if Jeremiah didn’t do what he did. They were slowing down quite a bit on the bottom and then Erb jumped up to the middle and I told my guy on the restart I’m going to give it hell one time up there, but it was just too dirty.”
- 93-Mason Oberkramer; 2. 32S-Chris Simpson; 3. 33-Tim Manville; 4. 18B-Shannon Babb; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce; 6. 21MBilly Moyer Sr; 7. 91P-Jason Papich; 8. 99-Frank Heckenast Jr; 9. 21-Tony Jackson Jr; 10. 91S-Rusty Schlenk; 11. 11- Gordy Gundaker; 12. 6K-Michael Kloos; 13. 0E-Rick Eckert; 14. 59-Garrett Alberson; 15. 15L-Payton Looney; 16. 91T-Tony Toste; 17. 2M-Allen Murray; 18. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 19. 52B-Matt Bailey; 20. 58-Jeremiah Hurst; 21. 19-Ryan Gustin; 22. 25-Chad Simpson; 23. 15-Justin Duty; 24. 11T-Trevor Gundaker; 25. 56W-Brennon Willard