Utter earns second series win with Redwood Speedway victory


by Ryan Clark

REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. (August 11, 2011) - Jason Utter led all 35 laps to earn his second career win in the Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series presented by Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants as the tour made its first-ever stop at Redwood Speedway.

Utter, who finished third in the Fast Dash, started on the pole after Chris Simpson drew the number "3" at the scales following his Dash win, to invert the top three Dash finishers. At the drop of the green, Utter assumed command with Simpson in tow. Chad Simpson, who started fifth, chased the leaders to the front of the pack as he tried to keep pace. He was running a solid third when he jumped the cushion on the 11th lap, sending his #25 into the turn one wall, ending his night and resulting in his first series finish this season outside of the top-five.

On the restart, Utter again took charge as he masterfully worked the high groove of the half-mile oval. He and Chris Simpson started to pull away from the field during the event's longest green flag run. Utter encountered lapped traffic on the 20th circuit as Simpson worked to keep the leader in his sights. He was given one last opportunity to challenge for the lead when the caution flag waved one final time with nine laps to go.

When racing resumed, Simpson powered to the low side of the speedway to challenge for the lead. He slid up in turns one and two, which allowed third-running Tim Isenberg to sneak to his inside as the pair exited turn two. Isenberg wrestled second place away as the leaders made their way down the back chute, however Utter proved to be too dominant on the top side as he drove to the convincing win. It was Utter's first win since July 1 at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb.

Andrew McKay earned Hooker Harness Hard Charger honors by finishing fourth after his seventh place start. Chris Simpson and Rick Schroeder were heat winners.

FEATURE (35 laps / with starting positions)

1. (1) 31 Jason Utter (Columbus Junction, Iowa)

2. (4) 9T Tim Isenberg (Marshfield, Wis.)

3. (3) 32 Chris Simpson (Oxford, Iowa)

4. (7) 71 Andrew McKay (Eden Prairie)

5. (6) 22 Jill George (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

6. (9) 7 Dennis Hillson (Blooming Prairie)

7. (8) 90 Rick Goth (Madison, S.D.)

8. (11) 60 Dustin Virkus (Clarkfield)

9. (10) 3 Clarence Washburn (Hector)

10. (5) 25 Chad Simpson (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)

11. (2) 7M Rick Schroeder (Montevideo)

12. (12) 19B Seth Brede (Kandiohi)

First heat (8 laps, top 3 to Fast Dash): 1. Chris Simpson; 2. Isenberg; 3. Utter; 4. McKay; 5. Hillson; 6. Goth.

Second heat: 1. Schroeder; 2. Chad Simpson; 3. George; 4. Goth; 5. Washburn; 6. Brede.

Fast Dash (6 laps): 1. Chris Simpson; 2. Schroeder; 3. Utter; 4. Isenberg; 5. Chad Simpson; 6. George.