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LASALLE, IL (July 30, 2005)-The official score sheets from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Saturday Night at the LaSalle Speedway shows seven lead changes in the race, of course that is at the start-finish line but there were at least twice that many lead exchanges in the thrilling 50 lap $10,000 to win "Illinois Valley Challenge" that saw Muscatine, IA driver Brian Birkhofer park his car in victory circle for the second time this season in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition. 

Birkhofer led the last 16 laps of the race as he piloted his Daufeldt Transport/TB & Company/Simon Trucking/J&J Steel/McFarland Pain Clinic/Pratt Motorsports/Community Bank of Muscatine/S&S Concrete/Eastern Iowa Landscape/Executive Finish/Reed's Lawn Service/Bryant Roofing/Precision Machine/Pro Power Race Engines sponsored MasterSbilt Monte Carlo to the win in front of a packed house.   Trailing Birkhofer across the finish line was Earl Pearson, Jr of Jacksonville, FL, who came back from a flat tire to take second in the Lucas Oil Products/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus.  Dennis Erb, Jr. of Carpentersville, IL was third in the Petroff Towing/Malcuit Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo with fourth going to Matt Miller of Waterville, OH in the Doug Herbert Performance Parts/Russell Baker Racing Engines/Rocket Grand Prix.  Rounding out the top five was hard charger of the race, Billy Drake of Bloomington, IL in the Steidinger Construction/Mullvain Motors/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo who came from the 19th starting spot.

Earl Pearson, Jr. and 18 year old high school junior, Travis Rokey would make up the front starting row for the 50 lap main event.  The race would go green for one lap until an accident in turn two slowed the action.  Pearson had grabbed the point from the get go with Brady Smith sliding into second followed by Don O'Neal.  Pearson would lead another circuit after the restart, but Smith would get a run on Pearson down the backstraight to take the lead.  O'Neal would then go to second by Pearson as Pearson fell to third place.  Brian Birkhofer was headed towards the front as he started in fifth and roared past O'Neal and Pearson to take second on lap five.  The tremendous racing up front continued with Darren Miller pounding the cushion and going from 10th to third in only six laps.  On lap 6 the caution would fly for flat tires for Donnie Moran and Pearson.  Both pitted and returned to racing action.  The top five now would consist of Smith in front followed by Birkhofer, Miller, O'Neal and Dennis Erb, Jr.  Erb would get by O'Neal on lap for fourth.  The race for the lead had the capacity crowd cheering loudly as Smith and Birkhofer then would get toe to toe for the lead.  Smith and Birkhofer would race side by side down the straightways with Smith holding the advantage at the scoring line.  On lap 16 Smith would get too high in turn four and Birkhofer would slip by him to take the lead for the first time in the race.

Smith would then pull even with Birkhofer again and the two went side by side for two laps until Smith was out in front again on lap 18.  But a lap later Birkhofer retook the lead as the cars were really pouding the cushion that had built up in turns three and four.  Miller was a solid third with Erb and O'Neal still in the top five. O'Neal then would pass both Miller and Erb to take over third on lap 21.  With the halfway signal given it was still Birkhofer barely in front followed by Smith, O'Neal, Erb and now Matt Miller.  Scott James would slow and bring out a caution on lap 26.  On the restart O'Neal would blast by Smith and a lap later Birkhofer to take over the lead.  At the 30 lap mark it was now O'Neal showing the way and threatening to pull away from the field.  Birkhofer was second trailed by Smith, Erb and Matt Miller.  Jason Feger started to get it cranked up as the youngest entered the top five on lap 31 by Matt Miller.  A caution on lap 33 would halt the exciting action temporarily.  At this time Darren Miller who had been really strong left the race and did not return.  On the restart O'Neal bolted out to a three car length lead over Birkhofer, but Birkhofer would catch up and slide by O'Neal coming off of turn number four on lap 35.  Smith who was fourth in the running order would catch the burm in turn four and see Feger and Steve Casebolt, Jr. who was on the move from his 15th starting spot collide with him with all three cars retired for the night.

After that there would be no more cautions as the race would go green the rest of the way.  Birkhofer would be the lead with Pearson who had pitted earlier to change a flat tire now up to second in an incredible comeback.  Pearson had passed O'Neal for second on lap 35 as the two went door to door.  Pearson then set his sights on Birkhofer in the final 10 laps of the race, but Birkhofer would not make any mistakes and smoothly drive the track taking his car all the way to the checkers for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of '05.  Pearson's comeback netted him a second place finish for the fifth time in series competition as Erb would take third.  Fourth place was Matt Miller with Billy Drake charging up from his 19th starting position to take fifth place as he was right on Miller's heels at the finish.

In victory circle Birkhofer thanked previous LaSalle winner, Jimmy Mars for some expert advice.  "I want to thank Jimmy Mars for telling me what to do here tonight, he won here in May coming from 14th and I trusted his advice since he couldn't be here tonight I talked to him on the phone earlier,"  "That was a really exciting race and I want to thank the fans for coming out tonight and they surely got their money's worth watching that race."

Completing the top ten were Don O'Neal, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Michael Glynn and Freddy Smith.

In preliminary events Earl Pearson, Jr. was the Fast Qualifier for the 28 car field at 12.685 seconds.  The Heat Race winners were Pearson, Brady Smith and Travis Rokey.  The B-Main was won by Billy Drake.

Race Summary 

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Saturday Night, July 30, 2005 

LaSalle Speedway-LaSalle, Illinois

Fast Time:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 12.685 seconds

Heat #1:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Dennis Erb, Jr., Jason Feger, Darren Miller, Kevin Weaver, Jay Fiene, John Provenzano, Denny Eckrich, Frank Reaber, Edward Williams

Heat #2:  Brady Smith, Brian Birkhofer, Matt Miller, Scott James, Michael Glynn, Freddy Smith, Billy Drake, Tom Markham, Whitney McQueary

Heat #3:  Travis Rokey, Don O'Neal, Rick Aukland, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Bart Schwartz, Tim Dohm, Tony Izzo, Jr., Brian Shirley

B-Main:  Billy Drake, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Denny Eckrich, Whitney McQueary, Tom Markham, Frank Reaber, Tim Dohm, Edward Williams

"Illinois Valley Challenge" 50 Lap Feature:  Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dennis Erb, Jr., Matt MIller, Billy Drake, Don O'Neal, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Michael Glynn, Freddy Smith, Tim Dohm, Frank Reaber, Whitney McQueary, Donnie Moran, Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Darren Miller, Scott James, Jay Fiene, Travis Rokey, Kevin Weaver, Bart Schwartz, Rick Aukland

Race Statistics

Entries:  28

Cautions:  6

Red Flags: 0

Lap Leaders:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 1-2, Brady Smith 2-16, Brian Birkhofer 16-17, Smith 18,  Birkhofer 19-27, Don O'Neal 28-34, Birkhofer 35-50

Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Billy Drake (started 19th and finished 5th) advanced 14 positions

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Tim Dohm

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Tim Dohm and Whitney McQueary

Track Provisional:  Frank Reaber

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WEST LIBERTY, IA (July 28, 2005)-Matt Miller of Waterville, OH led all 50 laps while outdueling Donnie Moran to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Thursday Night at the West Liberty Raceway in West Liberty, Iowa.  The 34 year old 2005 $100,000 Dream Winner rolled to the lead at the start of the 50 lap main event on his way to the $10,000 payday for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of '05.  Miller drove the Scott Smith crew chiefed, Dirt Shop, Inc/McCullough Industries/Performance Rod and Custom/Doug Herbert Performance Circle Track Parts/Lo-Temp Brazing/Banshee Graphics/Hoosier Tires/Whaley and Son Collision/McDonald Refrigeration/Russell Baker Racing Engines/Rocket Pontiac Grand Prix #7 to victory circle over Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the PBM Performance Products/SMS Race Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Third place went to Andy Eckrich of Iowa City, IA in his first career start with the series as he was driving the Precision Performance/GroveAutomotive/Barry Wright Grand Prix with fourth place going to Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA in the Daufeldt Transport/Pro Power Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo with Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in the Lucas Oil/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus. Andy Eckrich and Matt Miller would make the front row with 50 laps of racing in front of them it would be very important as to who would get the lead in this race at the start with the stout field on hand.  Miller would be the man to do that as he outpowered the younger Eckrich on the start and blasted into the lead heading into turn number one.  Eckrich would fall in behind Miller for second with Donnie Moran, Brian Birkhofer and Steve Boley making up the top five after one lap was scored. The race would go green until a three car accident in turn two slowed the action.  Once the race resumed Miller was still holding the point and building his lead to six and seven car lengths lap after lap over Eckrich.  Eckrich was receiving heavy pressure from Moran at this point and on lap 10 Moran would scoot by Eckrich to take over second place. Moran would now have Miller in his sights, but it would take a tremendous effort now to track down Miller has he had built a sizable lead.  A caution on lap 16 for a slowed Steve Casebolt Jr would close the field up behind Miller.  The race would then see five more laps of green flag racing with Moran all over Miller for the lead, but Denny Eckrich blew a tire on lap 21 necessitating another caution flag period. Scott James would stop with a flat on lap 24 for another caution as tire wear was becoming a factor among some of the top ten drivers. With the halfway mark given it was still Miller showing the way with Moran in second and a good battle for third between Andy Eckrich and Birkhofer was also taking place.  On the restarts Miller would open up a five car length lead over Moran and it would take Moran several laps to catch back up to Miller.  With 15 laps to go Moran was right on Miller's rear bumper and would close significantly in the corners as Miller would pull away down the straightaways.  A caution for debris on lap 39 would slow the field one more time and set up an 11 lap shootout to the finish line. Miller would again restart with force and get away from Moran as Andy Eckrich was fighting off all challenges from Birkhofer.  With five laps remaining Moran was again right on Miller, but it was going to take a mistake by Miller for Moran to pass him.  Miller would hold his line lap after lap in the closing segment of the race as he would power to win over Moran. Andy Eckrich the current point's leader at West Liberty Raceway would do a nice job all race long in securing the third spot at the pay window. Birkhofer would wind up fourth with Earl Pearson, Jr. coming on strong from his 12th starting spot to pass two cars in the waning laps to finish fifth. "It is real good win for the team," said Miller in victory lane afterwards. "I knew I had to get the jump on the 56 car heading into turn one, because I felt like once we had the lead it would be hard for anyone to pass us out here tonight," said the former Eldora Speedway track champion.  "I knew Donnie would be tough, he always is in the thick of things and I knew he was going to give me a strong effort to try and pass me, but I knew if I held my line it would be tough for him to beat me and on the restarts the car was exceptional and I want to give credit to Scott Smith and everybody with team for giving me such a great race car tonight and thanks to the fans for coming out tonight was well." Completing the top ten were Gary Webb, Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Chad Simpson and Chris Simpson. In preliminary events for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Don O'Neal was the top qualifier in the Time Trials with a lap of 20.545 seconds among the 30 entrants on hand.  The Heat Race Winners were Matt Miller, Donnie Moran and Andy Eckrich.  The B-Main was taken by Chad Holladay.Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Thursday Night, July 28, 2005 West Liberty Raceway-West Liberty, IowaFast Qualifier:  Don O'Neal   20.545 seconds Heat #1:  Matt Miller, Darren Miller, Steve Boley, Don O'Neal, Thomas Christenson, Rob Moss, Chad Holladay, Rick Aukland, Chad Simpson, Boone McLaughlin Heat #2:  Donnie Moran, Brian Birkhofer, Brady Smith, Scott James, Tommy Elston, Chris Simpson, Tim Dohm, Chuck Mayerhofer, Whitney McQueary, Todd Davis Heat #3:  Andy Eckrich, Gary Webb, Denny Eckrich, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dave Eckrich, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Freddy Smith, Jay Johnson, Johnny Johnson B-Main:  Chad Holloday, Tim Dohm, Chuck Mayerhofer, Chad Simpson, Rick Aukland, Johnny Johnson, Whitney McQueary, Boone McLaughlin, Freddy Smith, Todd Davis Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series A-Main:  (50 Laps):  Matt Miller, Donnie Moran, Andy Eckrich, Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson, Jr., Gary Webb, Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Chad Simpson, Chris Simpson, Brady Smith, Tim Dohm, Chad Holloday, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Steve Boley, Dave Eckrich, Chuck Mayerhofer, Scott James, Denny Eckrich, Todd Davis, Rick Aukland, Rob Moss, Thomas Christenson, Tommy ElstonRace Statistics:Entries: 30 Cautions:  5 Red Flags: 0 Lap Leaders:  Matt Miller 1-50 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Brady Smith Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Chad Simpson (started 22nd and finished in 9th) advanced 15 positions Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Freddy Smith and Rick Aukland Track Provisionals:  Todd Davis

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MIDDLEBOURNE, WV (July 23, 2005)-Twenty-nine year old Robbie Scott of Shinnston, WV scored the biggest of his racing career on Saturday night by winning the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned Earl Hill Memorial at Tyler County Speedway. The payday was worth $7,000 for the Tyler County Speedway regular and came aboard the Bob Scott owned Banshee Graphics/Rocket Chassis sponsored #18 Rocket Chassis, Gary Stanton Race Engines powered entry. 

Scott would take the initial lead at the start of the race, with Freddy Smith giving chase, followed by Scott James, Steve Casebolt, Jr., and Chuck Harper. Steve Shaver would work his way into the top five with a pass of Harper in the early going, while Scott motored away from the field after a lap 3 caution that would see Donnie Moran, Matt Miller, and Paul Wilmoth tangle, with all three going pitside for repairs, with Moran and Miller returning to action. 

This event would see second place not be the place to be as Freddy Smith would have a flat tire while running second on lap 7 and draw the caution flag and pit for fresh rubber.  Scott James would then assume the runner-up slot behind Scott and would pass Robbie Scott for the race lead on lap 17, only to have the pass voided for a stalled Steve Casebolt, Jr. in turn four. Back under green, Scott would have James all over him again, only to see the night go sour for James when a busted oil cooler ended his night one lap after the restart. This would put Tim Dohm into the runner-up slot as this point, while Steve Shaver would go third, with 16th starting and defending Earl Hill Memorial winner Mike Benedum now fourth and Earl Pearson, Jr. fifth.   

Scott and Dohm race for lead for several laps, as Don O’Neal would bring the heat to Pearson, Jr. for the fifth spot with 15 circuits remaining.  Dohm’s run in the second spot would also end around lap 30 when he pulled his mount to the infield with a blown engine.  A final caution flag appeared on lap 38, bunching the bunch back together one final time to give everyone one last shot at the top spot.  Benedum would deal Shaver a slider to take the runner-up slot, with Keith Barbara driving by O’Neal and Harper to break into the top five.

Scott would drive away over the final dozen laps to score the win with defending event winner Benedum finishing second in the Hayhurst Equipment/Benedum and Sons, Inc. Right of Way Cleaning#25 Rocket Chassis, Butch Hixson Race Engines powered entry.  Shaver would finish third in the Bill Bland Motorsports owned Richard Construction/Bland’s Towing #0 Rocket Chassis, Draime Race Engines mount.  Pearson, Jr. would finish fourth in the Lucas Oil Products/Dunn Benson Ford #1 MasterSbilt Race Cars, Larry Wallace Race Engine powered, Carlton Lamb owned entry. Barbara’s Triangle Benefit Services/S and S Auto Repair #17 Rocket Chassis, Rhodes Performance Engines unit would complete the top five.  The remainder of the top ten would be Chuck Harper, Don O’Neal, Matt Miller, Freddy Smith, and Bobby Hill.

Thirty-six entries signed in for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event, with Rob Blair establishing a new track record during time trials with a 12.430 second lap. heat wins went to Smith, Scott, Casebolt, Jr., and James. The 1st B-Main was won by Blair, with Matt Miller winning the 2nd B-Main.  Series provisional starting spots were taken by Rick Aukland and Corey Conley, with track provisionals going to Bobby Hill and Greg Baumberger. 

Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Saturday July 23, 2005 Tyler County Speedway – Middlebourne, WV 

Fast Time- Rob Blair - 12.430 (New Track Record)

Heat #1- Freddy Smith, Chuck Harper, Earl Pearson, Jr., Donnie Moran, Rob Blair, Steve Wilmoth, Sonny Conley, Steve Lucas, Mitch Gillian

Heat #2- Robbie Scott, Steve Shaver, Tim Dohm, Mark Banal, Steve Weigle, Rick Aukland, M.T. Hall, Gary Knollinger, Doug Eaton

Heat #3- Steve Casebolt, Jr., Don O’Neal, Mike Balzano, Keith Barbara, Jared Hawkins, Matt Miller, Mike Eaton, D.J. Pellen, Nick Corbitt

Heat #4- Scott James, Tim Hitt, Paul Wilmoth, Mike Benedum, Charlie Maloney, Bobby Hill, Corey Conley, Greg Baumberger, Dave Gorrell

B-Main #1- Rob Blair, Steve Weigle, Rick Aukland, Steve Lucas, M.T. Hall, Mitch Gillian, Gary Knollinger, Sonny Conley, Doug Eaton, Steve Wilmoth

B-Main #2- Matt Miller, Jared Hawkins, Greg Baumberger, Bobby Hill, Dave Gorrell, Mike Eaton, D.J. Pellen, Charlie Maloney, Corey Conley, Nick Corbitt

Lucas Oil A-Main Earl Hill Memorial- Robbie Scott, Mike Benedum, Steve Shaver, Earl Pearson, Jr., Keith Barbara, Chuck Harper, Don O’Neal, Matt Miller, Freddy Smith, Bobby Hill, Steve Weigle, Greg Baumberger, Mike Balzano, Donnie Moran, Tim Dohm, Scott James, Tim Hitt, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Corey Conley, Rick Aukland, Mark Banal, Robbie Blair, Jared Hawkins, Paul Wilmoth  

Race Statistics Total Entries- 36 Race Leaders- 1 (Scott; Lap 1-50) Cautions- 6 Red Flags- None Weld Racing Hard Charger- Mike Benedum (16th to 2nd-advanced 14 positions) Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race- Tim Dohm Series Lucas Oil Late Model Series Provisionals- Rick Aukland, Corey Conley Track Provisionals- Bobby Hill, Greg Baumberger

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ELKINS, WV (July 22, 2005)-Steve Casebolt, Jr. scored the biggest win of his racing career by winning the R.H. Armstrong Memorial for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Elkins Speedway on Friday night.  The win was also Casebolt, Jr. first ever win with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.  Casebolt, Jr. drove his Seubert Calf Ranches/Arizona Sport Shirts #c9 Rocket Chassis, Dargie Race Engines powered mount to victory. 

Casebolt took the lead at the drop of the green flag and would have Mike Benedum breathing down his neck, with Booper Bare pressuring Benedum from his third spot.  This trio would quietly sneak away from the pack, while Donnie Moran and Rob Blair would battle for fourth.  Benedum would really turn the wick up on Casebolt, Jr. around the lap 15 mark and would pull along side of the leader exiting turn two on lap 17, but Casebolt, Jr. would use slower traffic to keep Benedum at bay.  Bare would finally get by Benedum for second around the midpoint of the 50 Lucas Oil A-Main, while Moran would get by Benedum for third.   

The only caution flag of the race waved on lap 33 when Tim Senic rolled to a stop just over the banking in turn two.  The Delaware double file restart would see Casebolt, Jr. continue his pace at the point, while Moran would move to second past Bare.  Fourteenth starter Matt Miller would begin to flex his muscles at this point and make his way into the top five and begin to battle with Blair for the fourth position.   

The final ten laps would Casebolt, Jr. drive away from the field and work slower traffic to his advantage and drive on the biggest win of his career.  Donnie Moran would take runner-up honors in his PBM Performance Products/Eddie’s Sunoco #99 MasterSbilt Race Car, SMS Race Engines entry.  Bare would drive home in third place in the Cecil B. Arthur General Contractors/ Poske Performance Parts #00 Rocket Chassis, Malcuit Race Engines powered entry.  Miller would drive by Blair on the final lap to take fourth in Dirt Shop, Inc. McCullough Industries/Performance Rod and Custom #7 Rocket Chassis, Russell Baker Race Engines mount, while Rob Blair would round out the top five in his Specialty Products/Bossards’s Used Auto Parts #won11 Rocket Chassis, Draime Race Engines entry.  Completing the top ten were Benedum, Steve Shaver, Paul Wilmoth, 22nd starting Earl Pearson, Jr., and Steve Wilmoth. 

Thirty eight entries representing six states were signed in, with Denny Chamberlain earning the fast time with a 15.520 second lap.  The heat race wins went to Benedum, Bare, Casebolt, Jr., and Moran.  The 1st B-Main was scored by Freddy Smith, with the 2nd B-Main was taken by Scott Rhodes.  Don O’Neal and Earl Pearson, Jr. were Lucas Oil Late Model Series provisionals, with track provisionals going to Shawn Poling and Tim Dohm.  

Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Friday July 23, 2005 Elkins Speedway-Elkins, West Virginia 

Fast Time- Denny Chamberlain 15.520

Heat #1- Mike Benedum, Steve Wilmoth, Chamberlain, Tim Senic

Heat #2- Booper Bare, Rob Blair, Scott James, Matt Miller

Heat #3- Steve Casebolt, Jr., Steve Shaver, Mike Balzano, Chuck Harper

Heat #4- Donnie Moran, Jared Hawkins, Paul Wilmoth, Gary Dalton

B-Main #1- Scott Rhodes, Rick Aukland, Robbie Scott, Billy Holbert, Tim Hitt

B-Main #2- Freddy Smith, Bobby Hill, D.J. Cline, Butch McGill, Don O’Neal

Lucas Oil A-Main- Casebolt, Jr., Moran, Bare, Miller, Blair, Benedum, Shaver, Paul Wilmoth, Pearson, Jr., Steve Wilmoth, Balzano, James, Aukland, Hawkins, O’Neal, Smith, Harper, Dohm, Dalton, Chamberlain, Senic, Rhodes, Poling, Hill 

Race Statistics Entries- 38 Lap Leaders-1 (Casebolt, Jr. 1-50) Cautions-1 (Lap 33) Red Flags-None Weld Racing Hard Charger- Pearson, Jr. (22nd to 9th; advances 13 positions) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year- Scott James Lucas Oil Late Model Series Provisionals- O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr. Track Provisionals- Shawn Poling, Tim Dohm

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SALUDA, VA (July 16, 2005)-Rick Eckert of York, PA made his first start with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series since February at East Bay and Saturday Night at Bill Sawyer's Virginia Motor Speedway and came home the winner passing Davey Johnson with just three laps to go to take the $10,000 to win "Dixie Chopper Showdown Presented by Thurston Spring Service"   The 39 year old defending Dirt Track World Champion and former Dream Winner came from the fifth starting spot to take his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win as he became the 12th different winner in 20 events this season.  Eckert was behind the wheel of the Raye Vest owned/Raye Vest Excavating/J&J Steel/Hoosier Tires/Cornett Racing Engines/Rocket Ford Taurus.  Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH finished second after an eventful night.  Moran set fast time for the night then went to a backup car for the main event and started 22nd.  He worked his way through the field to finish second right on Eckert at the checkers.  Moran was driving his PBM Performance Products/SMS/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Third went to Davey Johnson of Greensburg, PA in the Dale Beitler Racing/Reliable Painting/Rocket Grand Prix.  Fourth place was Matt Miller of Waterville, OH in the Dirt Shop, Inc/McCullough Industries/Rocket Grand Prix and Ricky Elliott of Seaford, DE was fifth in the BSW Construction/Pro Power/Rocket Grand Prix.  The event was taped for broadcast on ESPN2 and will shown on Sunday, July 31st at 1 p.m. eastern time. 

Ricky Elliott grabbed the point at the start of the 50 lap main event with Davey Johnson and Matt Miller trailing.  This was the second time the race was started because a multi car pileup in turn two on the start brought out the red flag to clear the track.  Earl Pearson, Jr. would get by Miller to take third a lap later.  Elliott would quickly start to pull away from Johnson as the cars were running a rapid pace around the 1/2 mile dirt track.  With five laps in the books Elliott was showing the way with Johnson holding second followed by Pearson, Miller and fifth place starter, Rick Eckert.  Don O'Neal would suffer a flat tire and bring out the caution with five laps scored.  O'Neal who went to a back up car and started in 23rd restarted on the tail.  When the race resumed it would continue to be all Elliott as the first year dirt late model driver was a rocketship pounding the cushion in the corners and again building his lead over Johnson to four car lengths.  A caution on lap 14 for a stalled Terry Harris would close the field up on the restart.  Elliott would maintain his lead with a change for position in the top five as Eckert and Booper Bare would go by Miller after Miller jumped the cushion in turn two.  Then Elliott would suffer the same fate as he would jump the fourth turn cushion allowing both Johnson and Pearson the get by.  Pearson then started to challenge Johnson for the lead with Elliott close by.  Eckert and Bare were quietly making their way to the front as well. 

With Johnson and Pearson battling for the lead, Eckert would pass Elliott for third on lap 24.  At the halfway mark it was Johnson showing the way with Pearson all over him for the lead with Eckert, Elliott and Bare in the top five.  A lap past the halfway mark Eckert would zoom by Pearson to take the runner-up slot.  Eckert then would dive into the turns pulling alongside Johnson in the race for the lead.  The race for the lead would be slowed on lap 33 when a caution for debris would come out on the track.  On the restart with 16 laps remaining a multi car wreck would take place in turn two bringing out another yellow.  The race would go green for three circuits until Freddy Smith slowed with a flat tire.  With 11 laps to go Johnson was still hanging on to the lead with Eckert in second and Elliott now back into third as he was by Pearson for that spot.  On lap 41 Bare would spin in turn four bringing out the caution flag and Scott James who was running in seventh made slight contact with Bare which broke something in the left front suspension of his race car putting him out of the race. 

That would be the final caution of the race and set up a mad dash to the finish between Johnson and Eckert.  With five laps left Eckert was all over Johnson as the two ran side by side down the straight-aways.  But soon the duo would have company up front as Donnie Moran, who started 22nd after having to go to a backup car after his heat race was flying through the field and just has he has done several times on the ESPN2 programs he was a threat at the end to take the win.  With the five to go signal given Johnson, Eckert and Moran were right together and with the fans on their feet for the final five circuits coming off of turn number four on lap 47 Eckert would get real close to Johnson as the two would drift up against the wall with Eckert squeezing by Johnson to take the lead.  Moran then saw and opportunity as he was hounding Johnson for second he would fly by him as the cars took the white flag.  Moran then tried to drive harder into turn three than Ecker, but Eckert was up to the challenge and would lead Moran to the finish line winning by just one car length for his first ever Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.  Johnson would finish third followed by Miller and Elliott. 

"The track was real good tonight," said the winner afterwards.  "This is just an awesome facility and hope the fans enjoyed that race."  "You could pass tonight and I just held my own there in the top five for while until I decided to get going after some of the double file restarts, I just want to thank my car owner, Raye Vest and the entire crew for their great help." 

Completing the top ten were Jim Bernheisel, Don O’Neal, Steve Casebolt, Earl Pearson, Jr. and Booper Bare. 

In preliminary events Donnie Moran was the Fast Qualifier for the 23 entrants on hand with a lap of 17:884 seconds.  The Heat Races were won by Ricky Elliott, Matt Miller and Davey Johnson. 

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back in action this Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23 in the Mountaineer State of West Virginia.  On Friday Night the series will appear for the first time at the Elkins Speedway in Elkins, WV for a $7,000 to win show and then on Saturday Night the series will race at the Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, WV for another $7,000 to win race. 

Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series  Saturday Night, July 16, 2005  Bill Sawyer's Virginia Motor Speedway-Saluda, VA 

Fast Time:  Donnie Moran – 17:884 

Heat #1:  Ricky Elliott, Earl Pearson, Jr., Booper Bare, Donnie Moran, Don O'Neal, Mark Pettyjohn, Matt Hubbard, Terry Harris 

Heat #2:  Matt Miller, Rick Eckert, Jim Bernheisel, John Mason, Freddy Smith, Timmy Booth, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Louie Littlepage 

Heat #3:  Davey Johnson, Randle Chupp, Sean Cosgrove, Darryl Hills, Jeremy Miller, Brent Robinson, Scott James 

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series "Dixie Chopper Showdown" (50 Laps):  Rick Eckert, Donnie Moran, Davey Johnson, Matt Miller, Ricky Elliott, Jim Bernheisel, Don O’Neal, Steve Casebolt, Earl Pearson, Jr., Booper Bare, John Mason, Sean Cosgrove, Darryl Hills, Terry Harris, Scott James, Freddy Smith, Randle Chupp, Jeremy Miller, Mark Pettyjohn, Brent Robinson, Matt Hubbard  

Race Statistics:  Entries:  23 Cautions:  7 Red Flags:  1 Lap Leaders:  Ricky Elliott 1-14, Davey Johnson 15-46, Rick Eckert 47-50 Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Donnie Moran (Started 22nd and finished 2nd) advanced 20 positions Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Ricky Elliott Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  None used

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Live Timing

Television Schedule

All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Sunday, November 25
6:00 PM
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Portsmouth, OH
Thursday, December 13
6:00 PM
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Portsmouth, OH
Sunday, January 27
8:00 PM
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Wheatland, MO
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2018 Championship Standings

 

lmd dlUpdated: 10/22/18 - FINAL After Portsmouth

POS CAR# DRIVER POINTS
1 49 Jonathan Davenport 8480
2 1R Josh Richards 8195
3 0 Scott Bloomquist 7885
4 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. 7850
5 20 Jimmy Owens 7720
6 39 Tim McCreadie 7645
7 32 Bobby Pierce 7640
8 5 Don O'Neal 7520
9 14 Darrell Lanigan 6980
10 22 Gregg Satterlee 6890
11 28 Dennis Erb, Jr. ...

Sunoco Race for Gas Points

sunoco-standingsUpdated: 10/22/18 - FINAL After Portsmouth

...
POS CAR# DRIVER POINTS
1 49 Jonathan Davenport 8405
2 1R Josh Richards 8130
3 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. 7890
4 32 Bobby Pierce 7670