Mike Looney looks out at the crowd after being part of one of the best shows in Motor Mile Speedway history and coming home with the win. Jaden Austin photo.

Mike Looney has been on a rail at Motor Mile Speedway this season and on Saturday night he came from the rear of the field after having to pit for damage during the second 50-lap Late Model Stock Car race for his fourth win of the season.

Looney started off the day capturing the pole for the first 50-lap race of the night but he wouldn’t get to start there as the right rear tire was going flat on his Billy Martin Racing entry. Looney would get another tire but he’d be relegated to the rear of the field.  That left second-place qualifier Philip Morris starting seventh after the redraw and in a better position than Looney to get to the front and get away.

Ryan Wilson’s engine expires while leading the first of twin races at Motor Mile Speedway on July 6, 2019 as the rest of the field tries to avoid potential carnage. Branden Horton photo.

In the first race, Morris did just that. He got to the front and without a caution late Looney could only rally to second from his 17th place starting position. Early in the race, Ryan Wilson wheeling a new car led and fended off challenges from Kres VanDyke with Morris all over the back of them both. Wilson’s engine would expire on lap 12 and end his night giving VanDyke the lead and Morris second position.

Philip Morris celebrates in victory lane after winning the first of twins at Motor Mile Speedway on July 6, 2019. Jaden Austin photo.

Morris wasted no time getting around VanDyke and set sail out front. The final caution of the night would come on lap 21 as Bobby Gillespie spun in turn four. Looney got by VanDyke with about ten laps to go to move into second but Morris was gone and he couldn’t get there with a caution. With that Morris would secure his third win of the season at Motor Mile and his seventh overall.

VanDyke, Jacob Heafner and Kyle Dudley completed the top five with CE Falk, Will Burns, Derrick Lancaster, Bryan Reedy, and Wayne Hale completed the top ten finishers. Race number two would invert the top eight finishers putting Lancaster on the pole flanked by Burns. Morris would start eighth with Looney seventh but it’d be the tale of two races in this one as both would endure challenges.

Contact between Derrick Lancaster (25) and CE Falk (02) triggers a pileup just after an early restart in the second of twins at Motor Mile Speedway on July 6, 2019. Branden Horton photo.

The carnage was in full swing early as Lancaster fell to second behind Burns and Falk made contact with him after a lap six restart. The contact sent Lancaster spinning and Falk was caught up in it as well as many of the expected race winning contenders including Morris and Looney. Dudley was also involved. Heafner escaped without damage and he would be the next challenger for the lead against Burns.

READ MORE: Lancaster Promises Retaliation After Wreck with Falk

A lap nine restart would end Hale’s night and be the bearer of more bad news for Morris as his front end gets more damage in the restart stack up when Burns car doesn’t go. After nearly missing the restart Morris is on the charge for position and is quickly making his way to the front. He gets to Reedy, who’s finally having a good night and the two make contact. Reedy spins to bring out the caution on lap 21 leaving just 29 laps remaining.

Under this caution, Looney who wasn’t going anywhere after the earlier damage comes to pit road. Just after the next restart, VanDyke parked it for the race after engine troubles and Heafner moved to the point ahead of Burns who fell off the pace with a right front shock broke. Two top contenders out of the race as Heafner and Dudley ascended to the lead. Morris is up to third but soon he’s shuffled back to fourth as Falk gets by him.

Morris gets back by Falk and brings Looney with him this time. These two are looking to run down the leaders and after Heafner makes a run on Dudley, they get side by side and the race is on for the win. Heafner and Dudley trade paint and race hard as Morris and Looney close in on them. The final ten laps has Dudley desperately trying to maintain the lead and Heafner throwing everything he has at getting by him while the two top finishers from race one close in.

Kyle Dudley (4) works to hold off Jacob Heafner (95) for the lead while Philip Morris (01) closes in on the duo in the late laps. Not pictured is eventual winner Mike Looney closing in on the leaders as well. Jaden Austin photo.

The final laps were full of positions swapping as the four leaders raced door to door for two rows. It was an incredible race to the finish but as Dudley’s car began to give up Heafner looked like he might get by but just as quick Heafner is shuffled back as Morris and Looney get by him. With four to go Looney gets under and by Morris and the next lap he’s under Dudley and would take the lead as Dudley gets shuffled back to fourth.

Morris makes a run at Looney but he’s too late and Looney takes home the victory. Morris finishes second with Heafner getting third and Dudley falling back to fourth at the line. Falk would finish fifth with Gillespie, Zach Bruenger, Reedy, Kyle Barnes and Amber Slagle completing the top ten.

For Looney, it was sweet to get another win after such an incredible run to the finish.

“That was unbelievable man,” Looney told RACE22. “If the fans didn’t enjoy that one they must be dead or something. I don’t think my heart could stand another one.”

Looney compared the early laps of this race to Shark Week.

“With those early cautions, it was like shark week out there,” Looney joked. “Every man for himself as fenders were flying. We were trying to go easy but just kept getting a piece of every wreck but thank God we were blessed to keep the wheels straight. We tore the body all to crap but all four tires were pointed in the right direction.”

With the white flag in the air Mike Looney (87) leads Philip Morris en route to his fourth win of the season at Motor Mile Speedway after an incredible race with Morris, Jacob Heafner and Kyle Dudley in the closing laps. Branden Horton photo.

Morris said he just started too far back and got involved in too much early.

“It was pretty exciting, that second race I guess we just started too far back I guess,” Morris told RACE22. “They just kept wrecking in front of us. Brand new car first race out and I like that win in the first one. This is big biscuits right here, it’s got big ones. I thought we had a pretty good shot at it there but just didn’t have any grip in the center with no downforce and they would eat me up right there.”

Heafner was just excited to get the good run at a place he didn’t feel very fond of most of the day.

“That was by far the most fun I’ve had in a race car in a long time,” Heafner told RACE22. “I knew I didn’t have the car like Philip and the 87 had, they were just in their own zip code out here. It was just fun racing that aggressive right there with 10 to go it felt like just real short track racing there. Up until the end of the race, I wasn’t liking (Motor Mile) too much but it’s growing on me.”

Dudley said he lost his spotter late and just couldn’t hold off Heafner, Morris, and Looney at the end.

“I was holding on for all I had there,” Dudley told RACE22. “That was a fun race there, I hate we came up short there. We kinda set sail there for a few laps but then it just got loose on me. Lost my spotter on that last caution so I was just kinda trying to use my mirrors and hold on the best I could. It’s sour to get that close and not pull it off but then again we’re up there banging on the door.”

It was one for the ages with four drivers beating and banging for the final ten laps and Looney found a way to come from behind to win another one. Seems to be a familiar story at Motor Mile Speedway this season as the temperatures keep heating up so does the racing. The action continues next Saturday, July 13th at 7:00pm.

Cover photo by Jaden Austin.