BARROWS - The World Dirt Racing League Late Models made their second visit to North Central Speedway on Tuesday night.
The first race back in June was one that fans will not soon forget. On that night Chad Simpson caught up with Jimmy Mars with five laps left in the 40-lap feature event. Simpson passed Mars and narrowly escaped with a victory by .020 seconds.
Mars went on to win the next three races after the second-place finish at NCS. Simpson had a dry spell until winning two weeks ago in a 40-lap feature event at Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Coming into the second race Simpson held a 29-point lead over Al Purkey in the season points race. Denny and Dave Eckrich currently stand in third and fourth place, and Chad Mahder held down the fifth spot through nine events in the 18-event season.
Dan Ebert (60) raced his Midwest Modified Tuesday night at North Central Speedway. Ebert joined other racers in the special World Dirt Racing League event at the track. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Having had success here in the first race, Simpson was happy to be back at the track for another go at another feature victory.
"The first victory was definitely good and we were excited to get back up here. It's a nice little track," he said. "Most of the tracks we race at are a bit bigger so it's a little different for us but we are excited."
On Tuesday night the track was slick and fast, which was different for Simpson and his other drivers than in their first trip earlier this year.
"Any time you can go to a race track, the more times you can go the more experience you get the better you can get there," Simpson said.
"Between last time and this time the track is completely different so we are kind of starting all over again," he added. "Last time we had some pretty good traction and didn't have to get so tight. This time the track is kind of slick so we have to go with a little more finesse for our setup."
Simpson won his heat race, and gained a front row start with a victory in the 12-lap dash. Clint Smith earned the other front row start with a second-place finish. Bill Frye and Al Purkey started from row two.
Simpson appreciated the advantage of a front row start, but knows that it also puts him in a vulnerable position.
"Running from the front row always makes it easier when you don't have to pass anybody," he said. "On the other hand, when you are out leading, you have to set the pace and you don't know how good the guys are behind you."
With the track slick and packed down from an evening of racing, the racing promised to be fast. Simpson, Smith, and Purkey established themselves in the top three spots for the first 12 laps. Simpson was starting to reach lapped traffic before he caught a break with a caution flag being waved.
On the restart, Matt Miller took over the race. Miller moved his way into the top three on the first lap and was pressuring Simpson for the lead two laps later. The inevitable happened on lap 24 with Miller passing Simpson on turn three on the low side of the track.
After that the only obstacle for Miller was lapped traffic. He managed to stay clear of slower cars in front of him and finished first for $5,000.
WDRL Late Models
Heat 1-1-Clint Smith, 2-Matt Miller, 3-Rob Moss
Heat 2-1-Tim Isenberg, 2-Darrell Nelson, 3-Jerry Redetzke
Heat 3-1-Al Purkey, 2-Terry Casey, 3-Denny Eckrich
Heat 4-1-Chad Simpson, 2-Bill Frye, 3-Pat Doar
B Feature-1-Dave Eckrich, 2-Eric Pember, 3-Mike Johnson
Pole Dash-1-Chad Simpson, 2-Clint Smith, 3-Bill Frye
Feature-1-Matt Miller, 2-Chad Simpson, 3-Bill Frye
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