Looney Survives Wheatland Late Model Battle

Brad Looney picked up the ULMA Late Model feature victory, headlining "Thursday Night Thunder" at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)

WHEATLAND, Mo. — What was a three-car battle for the lead saw Brad Looney emerge as the lone survivor of the trio and the ULMA Late Model feature winner at Lucas Oil Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder main event.

Other feature winners on the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series program Presented by Casey’s General Stores and KY3 included Andy Bryant (USRA B-Mods), Tyler Wolff (USRA Modifieds) and Derek Brown (Street Stocks).

A total of 117 cars, including 56 B-Mods, entered for the special program kicking off the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Looney, a long-time open late model competitor who’s in his first season in the ULMA division, picked his first feature win of the season in three attempts. He was a close second on June 6.

Dylan Hoover and fellow front-row starter Kaeden Cornell set the pace through 14 laps, with third-starting Looney following closely behind. The trio was separated by less than one second when the race took a major turn.

Coming down the front stretch to complete lap 15, Hoover’s car suddenly slowed and he pulled into the pits. Cornell inherited the lead, but it wound up being short-lived as one lap later he rolled to a stop in turn two.

That elevated Looney to the point and he didn’t give it up despite a late run by Cole Henson, who came from seventh to second.

“It was a fast track. I just tried to stay patient and maybe those guys would mess up in front of me and sneak in there and get the win,” Looney said. “It worked out for us tonight.”

It was all Looney from there as the veteran from Republic led the final nine laps. He did have to overcome a caution on lap 21, wiping out a comfortable lead, after two-time winner Dustin Walker spun in turn two.

Looney had a clean restart and wound up 1.05 seconds in front of points leader  Henson. Tucker Cox was third, advancing seven spots from the start. Matt Becker was fourth and Johnny Fennewald wound up in fifth.