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Keeping Pace

Morton caps season with race win and championship at Montana Raceway Park

MRP logo. (courtesy of Montana Raceway Park)
MRP logo. (courtesy of Montana Raceway Park)

Bodie Morton claimed his second career victory on the Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series at Montana Raceway Park and in doing so captured the 2010 championship. Wrango West came home second with Cory Wolfe rounding out the top-3 Spokane native David Garber finished fourth with Mark Owens fifth.

Courtesy: MRP Media Relations

KALISPELL, Mont. (September 11, 2010)-With Alex Lessor bringing in a slim five-point lead to the season championship race on the Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series at Montana Raceway Park all his closest pursuer Bodie Morton could do is out qualify and finish in front of Lessor in each contested event on Saturday night.

With a top-5 run in time trials Morton closed the gap to a mere three points. The Kalispell native then won his heat race matching Lessor's heat race win that narrowed the lead to one marker heading into the Miller Lite/Town Pump Last Stand 125 main event.

As the green flag came out Lessor, Morton, Wrango West, David Garber and Mark Owens had mathematically chances to claim the 2010 Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series title.

Billy Salmonsen led the 16-car field to the green flag and kept his Bob Herron Insurance Chevrolet in the front through the event's first 20 laps. Morton drove his Carlson Law Office Chevrolet to second place by lap 30 and chased down the lead by lap 35. With Salmonsen and Morton breaking away to a five-car length lead Garber chased the duo through the race's midway point but could not closed the gap without the aid of yellow-flag restarts in double-file formation.

Salmonsen started to fade back to Garber Pend Oreille Mechanical Pontiac who cleared for second place by lap 100 and hunted Morton's lead in every corner. Lessor, who had fallen as low as 12th place at lap 85, began his march to the front and found himself in sixth place with 25 laps to go.

On a restart, Lessor dove low to clear West but made contact that sent him spinning into the low side of turn No. 2 and collecting Ryan Wells, Bill Royce and Giles Thornton. Damage forced Wells and Lessor to the pits for the remainder of the night while Royce and Thornton round out top-12 finishes.

With 23 laps to go Morton used a strong restart to clear Garber who relinquished his second place spot to Wrango West and then had Cory Wolfe nip him and the checkered flag for third place. Mark Owens brought home fifth place with Agni Howell, Salmonsen, Troy Schweigert, Thornton and Bob Delorme completing the top-10.

"I worked all day to get my car to qualify well," Morton said in victory lane. "Once we got some points on Alex for beating him there we just went after getting a heat race win. Our goal was to be within one point of Lessor when the main event and we had that. Our car was awesome once the main event got going and I just knew we had a shot at it if we could stay in front. Wrango was coming on hard there at the end and I'm just glad we could pull this out. I didn't want another second place finish in points to get this championship is really special."

West has had a tough season in the Lucas Oil Super Late Model ranks but found some satisfaction in a runner-up finish and a third place overall run in the chase for the 2010 season championship.

"Our car was junk through the first part of the race and then it just came around for me in the end. I don't know if we had anything for Bodie there at the end but we sure tried to give him a run," West said.

Wolfe recovered from two spins through the grass to drive back up to his third place finished and like West was happy to finally close out a main event in one piece with a solid run.

"We don't like to have to come back through there like that but we'll take it," he said. "I have to thank my crew and the track for giving us a place to race. The fans are great to have behind me when we run and I'm glad we could give them a good show tonight."

Championships were also handed out in the MRP Bandoleros, Hobby Stocks and Thunder Roadster divisions.

Ed Lynn brought home another checkered flag in the MRP Hobby Stock division as he bested Brandon Martel and Dustin Martel at the stripe. Mike Rowe and Jerry Schmuck closed out the final two positions of the top-5.

Scott Lee earned the 2010 MRP Thunder Roadster championship with his runner-up finish to Zach Havens while Dave Daughtry rode a third place finish in the race and the championship standings. John Logan and Josh Levitt rounded out the top-5 running order in the 25-lap main event.

Dalton Halden picked up the 2010 Bandolero championship with her main event victory over Brock Denney, Tristan Corpron and Todd Holleman.

In their only appearance of 2010 the Canadian SuperTruck Series gave fans plenty of close quarters action with Larry Cramer capturing the 100-lap victory over Jaime McClennon and Grant Mills.

Racing resumes Saturday, Sept. 18 as Full Throttle Energy Drinks, Vitamin Water and TTC Thornton sponsor championship racing in the Westward Bound Construction/Keller Williams Realty Legend Series, Flathead Beacon Crusin' Compacts, MRP Hornets, MRP Super Stocks and the Flathead Beacon Bombers. Grandstand admission is free for the finale of the 2010 racing season at Montana Raceway Park. To learn more call (406) 257- RACE (7223), log onto or text MTRACE to 91011.

Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series Main Event Results
Bodie Morton
Wrango West
Cory Wolfe
David Garber
Mark Owens
Agni Howell
Billy Salmonsen
Troy Schweigert
Giles Thornton
Bob Delorme
Bill Royce
Bill Shingar
Alex Lessor
Ryan Wells
Chad Clampitt
Clint Habart

Canadian SuperTruck Series
Larry Cramer
Jamie McClennon
Grant Mills
Terry Kovacs
Neil Fitzgerald
Dean Cunningham
Ron Elder Jr.
Gary Sarnecki
Doug Fisher
Stan Skinner
Dean Graham

MRP Thunder Roadsters
Zach Havens
Scott Lee
Dave Daughtry
John Logan
Josh Levitt

MRP Bandoleros
Dalton Halden
Brock Denney
Tristan Corpron
Todd Holleman

MRP Hobby Stocks
Ed Lynn
Brandon Martel
Dustin Martel
Mike Rowe
Jerry Schmuck
Scott Seltzer
Mike Burke
Dave Crosby
Josh Davis
Mike Maechtly

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.