Terry Phillips for years has said the Batesville Motor Speedway, located at Locust Grove, Ark., is one of his favorite tracks.
You can be sure the 3⁄8-mile dirt oval didn’t slip on the Springfield driver’s list on Sunday.
Phillips, earning $40,000, won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned 21st annual COMP Cams Topless 100 presented by Crop Production Services.
It was Phillips’ top check for a late model victory and was second to a $100,000 modified triumph at Batesville Motor Speedway in 2005.
Phillips, who started seventh in the field of 26 race cars, took the lead for good on lap 79 from series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. Phillips wound up beating Owens by a car length.
“It was kind of emotional,” Phillips, 47, said on Monday of the win. “This was winning one of the crown jewels of dirt racing. It was exciting,
“There wasn’t any crying (tears of joy by Phillips or pit crew),” Phillips said with a laugh. “My wife, Lisa, did. Again, it was exciting.”
Said Phillips on Sunday in victory lane: “Before today, I’ve led this race with two laps to go and not won. That time probably was the biggest heartbreak of my career. But to win this today was the biggest win of my career. I want to say thank you to all my fans and sponsors that were today. I just love this place.”
The matinee performance resulted from heavy rains on Friday night. Track officials couldn’t get the track dry enough to race on Saturday.
Completing the top five in the main event were Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, Ga.), Chris Madden (Gaffney, S.C.) and Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Bobby Pearish, of Oronogo, and John Yeoman III, of Joplin, finished 1-2 in the modified A feature on Saturday night.
Springfield’s J.C. Morton bested Willard’s Sean Williams in the B modified main event. The Webb City Drakes, dad Scott and son Trevor, were third and fifth.
Miami’s Brett Testerman won the pure stock main event.
Completing the A feature winners at the quarter-mile dirt track were Springfield’s Ryan Gillmore (Midwest Modz) and Springfield’s Shawn Schmidt (street stock).