Payne Takes MLRA Spring Nationals Finale
WHEATLAND, Mo. – Racing from the outside pole Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway, Jeremy Payne worked underneath Tony Jackson Jr. with a lapped car between them and rolled to victory in the Lucas Oil Midwest Latemodel Racing Ass’n Fox 22 Spring Nationals Presented by RacingJunk.com.
Once out front Payne worked the top side of the speedway until a caution waved with 13 laps to go. On the final restart he moved to the bottom and ran out the balance of the feature. It was his first trip to victory lane with the MLRA since Sept. 18, 2010.
“We had a good car all night,” said Payne of his GRT Race Car following the feature. “We’ve been working on this thing and trying things. We finally got it to where we could race it. We were decent in certain situations, but not all of them. I think we got a good start on it. We needed a win like this to get our momentum built up and we’re gonna go from here.”
Chris Brown redrew the inside of the second row for the feature and slipped back a little before working back up to a second place finish. Brown was third on the final restart and Terry Phillips had the choice of restating inside or outside. Phillips chose the outside and Brown knew he had been handed a gift.
“When he took the outside on that restart I was very surprised,” said Brown. “I kind of figured we’d come off in front of him and be in second. Really, Payne had been running the top the whole time as well. I kind of thought maybe I’d have an opportunity to roll by him. I think I showed him or he saw me a little too early because he was able to get down.”
Chad Simpson finished third with another strong run. Terry Phillips and Jesse Stovall filled out the remaining spots inside of the top five.