Simpson sweeps, closes three-day run with CJ win


by Ryan Clark

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (July 28, 2011) - Although the path he took to get there was a little different than the previous two days, the end result was the same as Chad Simpson drove to his third Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series win in as many days when the tour made a stop at CJ Speedway. After strong runs in his qualifiers the previous two nights that led to a win and second place finish in the Fast Dashes, Simpson turned a fifth place heat race effort into a $3,000 payday on Thursday.

First heat and Fast Dash winner Kurt Kile, who drew the #1 pill for the Fast Dash invert, took charge at the drop of the green from his pole position start in the 30-lap feature. Fellow front row starter Kevin Kile fell into the second spot while Jason Utter moved into contention after charging from a fourth row start. Utter made his way past Jeremiah Hurst and Kevin Kile for second just before the race's first stoppage on lap four.

When racing resumed, Kurt Kile again paced the field with Utter pursuing as Simpson made his way into third. Simpson pulled to the outside of Utter as the pair ran side-by-side into turn one. Utter clipped a tractor tire on the inside of the corner, causing enough damage to end his night early. The incident, which brought out the second caution, put Simpson on Kile's rear bumper for the lap six restart.

Kile again held serve when the green flag waved as Simpson went to work on the leader. As the leaders completed the ninth circuit, Kile drifted high entering turn one and slipped off the top of the speedway. Although Kile collected his #77, Simpson slipped past for the lead before Kile re-entered the track in second. Simpson survived another pair of stoppages to score the win, his fourth straight in the series and sixth of the season. Chris Simpson made a good run from his fifth row start to finish second, nearly a straightaway behind Chad. Kevin Kile ran third ahead of Tim Isenberg and Jeremiah Hurst.

FEATURE (30 laps, with starting positions)

1. (9) 25 Chad Simpson (Mt. Vernon)

2. (10) 32 Chris Simpson (Oxford)

3. (2) 88 Kevin Kile (West Liberty)

4. (5) 9T Tim Isenberg (Marshfield, WI)

5. (3) 15H Jeremiah Hurst (Dubuque)

6. (13) 28X Justin Mitchell (Cedar Rapids)

7. (4) 3 Kevin Sather (Ankeny)

8. (12) 50 Denny Eckrich (Tiffin)

9. (16) 1M Rob Moss (Iowa City)

10. (1) 77 Kurt Kile (Nichols)

11. (11) 58 Dave Eckrich (Cosgrove)

12. (15) 45H Todd Hansen (Muscatine)

13. (14) 15K Justin Kay (Wheatland)

14. (7) 31 Jason Utter (Columbus Junction)

15. (8) 33 Nick Marolf (Moscow)

16. (6/DNS) 20 Jake Meier (Tipton)

17. (17/DNS) 3X Skip Frey (Ely)

First heat (10 laps, top 3 to Fast Dash): 1. Kurt Kile; 2. Meier; 3. Hurst; 4. Utter; 5. Chad Simpson; 6. Dave Eckrich; 7. Mitchell; 8. Hansen; 9. Frey.

Second heat: 1. Isenberg; 2. Kevin Kile; 3. Sather; 4. Marolf; 5. Chris Simpson; 6. Denny Eckrich; 7. Kay; 8. Moss.

Fast Dash: (6 laps): 1. Kurt Kile; 2. Kevin Kile; 3. Hurst; 4. Sather; 5. Isenberg; 6. Meier.