Norfolk, NE (June 24th, 2022) – For the longest time it looked like Friday nights first ever stop for the Lucas Oil MLRA at the Off Road Speedway was going to produce a first time winner. That would end up being an after thought however once series point leader Johnny Scott moved to the point and distanced himself from the field to score his fourth series win of the season.
Justin Zeitner looked to be unstoppable early in the evening as it appeared he was on the way to a perfect evening at the 1/3 mile facility in Norfolk, NE. The third generation driver scored the Dirt On Dirt Quick Time Award with a lap of 13.757 seconds, before winning his respective heat race that would put him on the Illini Racing Supply Pole Position for the 30 lap main event.
Zeitner and outside front row starter Aaron Marrant led the field to the green until a couple of early cautions slowed the pace on laps three and seven. With Zeitner showing the way Scott would restart on the inside line with Chad Simpson trying to use the high side momentum to his advantage.
As the field approached the half way point Scott was able to get a strong run down the backstretch and made it pay off with the Swift Springs Move of the Race by diving deep into three and sliding Zeitner for the race lead on lap 13. That lead however almost vanished as Scott got caught up and made contact with lapped traffic on the front stretch on the 15th circuit allowing Zeitner to drive back by for the lead. However, the contact led to a pair of cars sitting on the race track that would bring the caution back out before a lap could be scored with Zeitner at the point.
Scott led the field back to the green with 15 to go, leaving Zeitner and Simpson to battle for runner up honors. The nights fourth and final caution would wave on lap 18, and from there Scott slowly pulled away from the field to score his fourth MLRA victory of the season by 1.326 seconds over Zeitner. Chad Simpson moved into second in the series standings with his fifth consecutive top five run finishing in third. Sunoco Race Fuels Rookie of the year leader Kolby Vandenbergh captured a career best fourth place finish while hometown driver Tad Pospisil round out the top five.
The win by Scott allowed him to stretch out his point lead to 85 over Simpson commenting “Our year has been going good, so we’re just going to keep at it.” In speaking of the winning move he noted, “I just got a good run off of two there and I knew that was going to be my only opportunity to get by him (Zeitner), so I threw that slider on him and I thought I cleared him pretty good. He kinda crossed me up off of four and hit me in the ass, but we were just racing hard so it is what it is. It was definitely on the wheel tonight.”
For Zeitner the runner-up finish was oh so close to scoring his first breakthrough MLRA win. “Normally I’m sitting on my couch watching that guy (Johnny Scott) race on TV, so I’m not too upset about it but at that same time I didn’t need that caution. I got back by him, and I think we could have had a heck of a race. He might have gotten back by me he might not of—woulda shoulda coulda, I should have never let him got by me the first time,” he concluded.
“He really didn’t pull away from me when he got the lead and there was times I would close and there were times he’d leave me,” continued Zeitner. “I’ve got to eliminate my mistakes, I just don’t run this high horsepower enough and I make too many mistakes.”
Simpson had made his way around Scott early in the race but gave way to the eventual winner. “The middle of the track was just too slick and I didn’t have enough forward drive,” noted Simpson. “It seems like once I can get rolling up on the top I’m pretty good. The restarts were good and they were bad, I got Johnny on that one restart and I thought we were going to be alright. Those guys just got a little bit better traction than I do yet, so we’ve got a little work to do to try and figure out where that’s at.”
Lucas Oil MLRA action continues on Saturday night at the Off Road Speedway as the weekend culminates with the running of the “Renegade 50”. The winner of the weekend finale will drive off with a $5,000 pay day with $600 going to all “A” main starters.
Off Road Speedway Contingencies 6/24/22
Lap Leaders – J. Zeitner (1 – 13), J. Scott (14 – 30)
Cautions – 4
DirtonDirt.com “Overall Fast Time Award” – Justin Zeitner (13.757sec.)
Illini Racing & Supply “Pole Award” – Justin Zeitner
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Levi Demartino
Hooker Harness “11th Place Finisher” – Chad Walter
Performance Bodies “Performer of the Race” – Johnny Scott
Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” – Kolby Vandenbergh
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Johnny Scott
Midwest Sheet Metal “Points Leader Spoiler Challenge” – Johnny Scott
A Feature Lucas Oil 30 Laps | 00:27:19.291 | Lucas Oil
1. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 2. 62-Justin Zeitner; 3. 25-Chad Simpson; 4. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 5. 04-Tad Pospisil; 6. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 7. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 8. 6C-Cale Osborn; 9. 98-Ben Schaller; 10. 78S-Steve Stultz; 11. 14M-Chad Walter; 12. 9-Eric Vanosdall; 13. 10C-Junior Coover; 14. 21X-Jared Hoerle; 15. 6-Al Humphrey; 16. 07-Ben Sukup; 17. 21T-Travis Dickes; 18. 9A-Andy Eickhoff; 19. 50C-Kayden Clatt; 20. 36X-Chris Johnson; 21. 3AM-Cole Wayman; 22. (DNS) 50-Kaeden Cornell
Heat 1 My Race Pass 8 Laps | 00:02:55.200 | My Race Pass
1. 62-Justin Zeitner; 2. 04-Tad Pospisil; 3. 98-Ben Schaller; 4. 3AM-Cole Wayman; 5. 9-Eric Vanosdall; 6. 9A-Andy Eickhoff; 7. 21X-Jared Hoerle; 8. 50-Kaeden Cornell
Heat 2 Hooker Harness 8 Laps | 00:02:51.870 | Hooker Harness
1. 1X-Aaron Marrant; 2. 25-Chad Simpson; 3. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 4. 21T-Travis Dickes; 5. 50C-Kayden Clatt; 6. 6-Al Humphrey; 7. 78S-Steve Stultz
Heat 3 Midwest Sheet Metal 8 Laps | 00:02:53.489 | Midwest Sheet Metal
1. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 2. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 3. 6C-Cale Osborn; 4. 07-Ben Sukup; 5. 10C-Junior Coover; 6. 36X-Chris Johnson; 7. 14M-Chad Walter