06results_5-20.jpg

La Salle, IL (May 20, 2006)- Before a capacity crowd at La Salle Speedway Shannon Babb came out the winner of an exciting four way battle for the lead on Saturday Night taking his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series A-main event win of 2006 becoming the 10th different winner this season.  The 33 year old Moweaqua, IL driver earned $10,000 for his win in the annual "Spring Shootout" event held at La Salle.  Babb drove the Arkansas Motors/Car City/Petroff Towing/J&J Steel/Watters Auto Land/Performance Rod and Custom/Hoosier Tires/Wicks Racing Supply/Platinum Motors and RV's/G&C Enterprises/Allstar Performance/Karl Chevrolet/Outlaw Factory Pilot/RaceTek Race Engines sponsored C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo to the winner's circle after fending off Billy Drake, Chub Frank and Earl Pearson, Jr.  Drake of Bloomington, IL finished second in the Steve Drake/Steidinger Construction/Bob Pierce GTO with 16th starting Chub Frank of Bear Lake, PA in the Lester Buildings/Custom Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo taking third.  Pearson of Jacksonville, FL finished fourth in the Lucas Oil Products/Dunn-Benson Ford/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus with 20th starting Steve Francis of Ashland, KY grabbing fifth in the Moring Motorsports/MOPAR/Rocket Dodge Charger.  A total of 50 cars were on hand for the third ever visit to the Izzo family promoted facility.   The 50 lap main event would get underway with Babb taking the lead from his pole starting spot.  Earl Pearson, Jr. who started alongside Babb on the front row would go to second with Billy Drake and Brian Birkhofer trailing.  Pearson would encounter issues with a tire barrier on the inside of the race track on the second lap and he would loose several positions in the running order.  Drake would lead a line of drivers around Pearson, who scooted through the infield and got back in the mix on the main straightaway.  With Babb showing the way Drake, Birkhofer, Freddy Smith and Tony Izzo, Jr. would be the top five as the field completed lap five.   By the 11th lap Babb would start to pick up the back of the field as he would see heavy traffic right in front of him as the drivers were clicking off laps at a lightning pace.  Just as Drake and Birkhofer closed on Babb in traffic, Darren Miller would bring out the caution flag on lap 13.  On the restart with Babb on the point as Drake and Birkhofer lined up side by side behind him on the Delaware double file restart.  Birkhofer would zip past Drake to take over second on lap 14.  A lap later Birkhofer would use the top groove to fly by Babb and take over the lead.  Birkhofer would lead until the 19th circuit when Babb moved his Rayburn mount to the outside of Birkhofer off turn two.   Meanwhile Pearson, the defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion, had started his rally back forward as he moved by Izzo and Smith to take fourth place while setting his sights on the three drivers in front of him.  With Babb now back in front, Birkhofer and Drake would set a showdown for second going side by side for five consecutive laps around the track with Drake clearing Birkhofer for second on lap 24.  At the halfway mark the top four were a closely knit group as Babb, Drake, Birkhofer and now Pearson were putting on a show keeping the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats.  The second caution would come out for Freddy Smith, who's strong fifth place run would come to a halt with a flat right front tire on lap 30. With Smith relegated to the tail after the tire change, Kevin Weaver became the new fifth place car.   With a clear track in front of him on the restart, Babb would get the jump on the field when the green came out but the third caution of the race would quickly wave for Scott James on lap 31.  When the green flag reappeared on the restart Babb would again gain the advantage heading into turn number one, but with multiple racing grooves on the finely prepared surface, Drake would charge underneath Babb coming off of turn two as the duo went side by side.  They would run wheel to wheel for the lead while Birkhofer and Pearson were doing the exact same thing for third and fourth.  While Drake would never officially lead a lap at the scoring line a couple of times it was almost a too close to call scenario between the two.   Pearson would gain the third spot past Birkhofer on lap 36 while the torrid battle continued for the lead.  Babb who was using the high line changed his racing groove and went to the bottom to protect his lead in front of Drake.  Steve Francis, who had started 20th was making a late race charge as he would enter the top five on lap 37 and began to hunt down the leaders.  Another car flying through the field was 16th starter, Chub Frank.  Frank was using the top side and that would enable him to pick off several cars as he would take Francis on the outside on lap 41 for fourth.  The fourth and final caution of the race would come out for James after 41 laps were scored.   This would set up a nine lap showdown for the win.  Babb would get a good start firing into turn number one with Drake, Pearson, Frank and Francis hot on his heels.  Drake remained all over Babb in the race for the lead with Pearson now trying to hold off the high flying Frank for third.  Babb would get to a three car length lead over Drake and with that breathing room that would be good enough to take his car across the finish line first in an exciting race.  Drake would finish second with Frank getting by Pearson at the start-finish line to grab fourth.  Francis would finish fifth.   In the post race interview, Babb was just happy to get back into the winner's circle.  "I don't think we had the fastest car out there tonight, it was all about where we started, Billy (Drake) and Brian (Birkhofer) were both real good tonight."  "We just had to battle and battle with those guys and I'm sure it was great show for the fans," said Babb.  "The track prep crew here are some of the best in the business, the race track was a lot better than when we hot lapped and they just stayed at it and got it right after they worked on it and you could run anywhere out there in the feature."   Completing the top ten drivers were Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Kevin Weaver and Tony Izzo, Jr.   In preliminary action, Ryan Dauber would capture the Comp Cams Fast Time Award with a lap of 12.645 seconds among the 50 entrants.  The PBM Performance Products Heat Race Winners were Earl Pearson, Jr., Brian Birkhofer, Tim Dohm, Tony Izzo, Jr., Billy Drake and Shannon Babb.  The Mason Racin' rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main went to Tim Hamburg and the Penske Shocks Second B-Main was won by Steve Francis.    The K&N Engineering "Clean Pass of the Race" Award went to Chub Frank who thrilled the large crowd with his daring moves on the top side of the race track during the feature event in moving from 16th to third at the finish line, just barely beating out Earl Pearson, Jr.   The series will take the Memorial Day Weekend off and resume action on Saturday Night, June 3 with a visit to the King Family promoted Florence Speedway in Union, KY for the 20th Annual "Ralph Latham Memorial" paying $10,000 to win.  The cameras of SPEED will be on hand to tape the event.    Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series La Salle Speedway-La Salle, IL Saturday Night, May 20, 2006  Comp Cams Fast Time:  Ryan Dauber 12.645 seconds   PBM Performance Products First Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott James, Ryan Dauber, Jeep VanWormer, Denny Eckrich, John Provenzano, Brian Shirley, Eric Dauber, John Clemmons   PBM Performance Products Second Heat: (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Brian Birkhofer, Freddy Smith, Matt Miller, Tim Hamburg, Corey Conley, Mike Mataragas, Bart Schwartz, Dennis Erb, Jr., DNS-Jason Jaggers   PBM Performance Products Third Heat: (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Tim Dohm, Damon Eller, Jimmy Mars, Kerry Hansen, Michael Glynn, Steve Casebolt, Jim Mineo   PBM Performance Products Fourth Heat: (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Tony Izzo, Jr., Kevin Weaver, Chub Frank, Steve Francis, Rick Eckert, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Bill Weistart, Brian Claudnic   PBM Performance Products Fifth Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Billy Drake, Brady Smith, Don O'Neal, Dan Schlieper, Donnie Moran, John Mason, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Scott Schmitt   PBM Performance Products Sixth Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance):  Shannon Babb, Darren Miller, Billy Moyer, Jason Feger, Dave Eckrich, Michael England, Bill Clemmons   Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main: (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance):  Tim Hamburg, Jeep VanWormer, Kerry Hansen, Corey Conley, Dennis Erb, Jr., John Provenzano, Mike Mataragas, Brian Shirley, Eric Dauber, Jim Mineo, Bart Schwartz, Michael Glynn, John Clemmons, Steve Casebolt, Denny Eckrich   Penske Shocks Second B-Main: (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance):  Steve Francis, Dan Schlieper, Rick Eckert, Jason Feger, Donnie Moran, John Mason, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Dave Eckrich, Michael England, Brian Claudnic, Mike Provenzano, Scott Schmitt, Bill Clemmons, Bill Weistart   Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series "Spring Shootout" Feature: (50 Laps):  Shannon Babb, Billy Drake, Chub Frank, Earl Pearson, Jr., Steve Francis, Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Kevin Weaver, Tony Izzo, Jr., Dan Schlieper, Freddy Smith, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Tim Dohm, Jeep VanWormer, Brady Smith, Damon Eller, Scott James, Ryan Dauber, Tim Hamburg, Matt Miller, Billy Moyer, Jimmy MarsRace StatisticsEntries:  50 Yellow Flags:  4 Red Flags:  0 Lap Leaders:  Shannon Babb 1-14, Brian Birkhofer 15-18, Babb 19-50 Allstar Performance Performer of the Race:  Steve Francis (Started 20th and finished 5th, advanced 15 positions) K&N Engineering Clean Pass of the Race:  Chub Frank Hawk Break Tough Brake Award:  Freddy Smith Quarter Master Move of the Race:  Brian Birkhofer Weld Wheels Award:  Donnie Moran On the Edge Graphics Fastest Non-Qualifier:  Jason Feger Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Steve Casebolt Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Donnie Moran and Steve CaseboltCurrent Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After May 20)  1.  Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)-2055 2.  Don O'Neal (Martinsville, IN)-2035 3.  Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH)-1935 4.  Matt Miller (Waterville, OH)-1730 5.  Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN)-1660 6.  Tim Dohm (Cross Lanes, WV)-1590 7.  Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-1560 8.  Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN)-1395 9.  Brady Smith (Solon Springs, WI)-1370 10. Rick Eckert (York, PA)-1325 11. Dennis Erb, Jr. (Carpentersville, IL)-1315 12. Steve Francis (Ashland, KY)-1245 13. Corey Conley (Wellsburg, WV)-1215 14. Michael England (Glasgow, KY)-1210 15. Darren Miller (Chadwick, IL)-1205Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year Standings (After May 20)  1.  Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-1560 2.  Brady Smith (Solon Springs, WI)-1370 3.  Corey Conley (Wellsburg, WV)-1215 4.  Michael England (Glasgow, KY)-1210 5.  Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-1020

Live Timing

Newsletter Sign-up

* Required