LAWRENCEBURG, IN (August 22, 2008) – The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made their first ever visit to Lawrenceburg Speedway; Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL passed race leader Steve Francis of Ashland, KY with ten laps to go, to win his second LOLMDS win of 2008. In a repeat of the finish two weeks ago at Florence Speedway; Miller who then beat Scott Bloomquist by a little more than a half car length, did the same to Francis, denying the “Kentucky Colonel” the win. Crossing the finish line behind Miller and Francis were Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, MI, Scott James of Lawrenceburg, IN and Josh McGuire of Grayson, KY.
Francis and VanWormer would start on the front row of the stout lineup; with 25 of the best cars in the country on the grid. Francis and VanWormer came across the scoring line dead even on the first lap with Miller advancing into the third position.
Francis cleared VanWormer and motored to a two-car length lead as the top three cars of Francis, VanWormer and Miller charged to a half-straightaway lead over McGuire and James, who were battling it out in a tight race for fourth and fifth place.
With Francis in front by three-car lengths, he started to pick up the tail end of the field by the ninth circuit. Francis was racing in close quarters around the newly reconfigured 3/8ths mile track. While Francis was negotiating his way through lapped traffic, VanWormer and Miller were catching him as they cut down his lead.
As the top three were dicing through traffic, Francis would get into Billy Drake, whom he was trying to put a lap down. Francis and Drake made contact, causing Drake to slide up the track and coming to a halt in the top of turn three, bringing out the first and only caution of the event.
On the restart, Francis was on the point with Miller and VanWormer lined up side-by-side for the Delaware double-file restart. The restart would be huge for Miller as he was able to overtake VanWormer for second only a lap into the restart.
Miller then was able to stay close to Francis in the race for the lead with VanWormer falling to third as McGuire and James continued to run a close race for fourth and fifth. With 15 laps to go, Miller was all over Francis for the lead, reminiscent of the battle at Florence two weeks ago when Bloomquist held the lead over a fast-closing Miller.
Miller would continue to hound Francis, and on lap 30 he would make the pass on Francis in traffic with ten laps remaining. Miller then had to contend with some more lapped cars as Francis tried first the low side and then the top groove as he attempted to regain the lead from Miller.
Miller quickly put two lapped cars between himself and Francis in a nice move in traffic with just a couple of laps to go, keeping Francis at bay.
Francis was not done yet; Miller would still have a worrisome last two laps, as Francis was right on his bumper when the two took the white flag. Francis was trying to get Miller boxed in again in traffic down the backstretch as the two headed to the checkers.
Francis went wide off of turn number four with the pair headed to the finish line and Miller would be right in his path and as the two cars flashed across the finish line Miller had beat Francis by the exact same margin he did Bloomquist two weeks ago at Florence.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the third time in his career, the 31-year-old racer was worn out from the exhausting heat that the competitors had to compete through. “I may just have to move down here by the Ohio River if this keeps up.” Miller told the fans afterwards. “We went a little bit harder on tires than some of the others did and after that restart we passed Jeep and I knew we had something for Francis and it all worked out well,” said Miller who earned $7,000 for the win.
“I was having a flashback there for a while it looked like the same race that we ran a couple of weeks ago, I can’t thank my crew for all of the their help and this Moyer (Victory Circle Chassis) has just been awesome here lately and we’re looking forward to the big races coming up over the next few months, thanks to the fans for coming out tonight and I’m know they same a very good race.”
Miller’s Pro Power Engines #32D is sponsored by Graphic Arts Express/NAPA/J.C. Dubil Racing Parts/Duralite Wheels/Ideal Ready Mix/McLaughlin Freight Services/Cobra Graphics/Port City Racing/Hoosier Tires and VP Racing Fuels.
Francis runnerup spot came in the Dale Beitler Racing/Cornett Engines/Rocket GTO followed by VanWormer in the Bayline Fire Protection/Cornett Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Fusion. James racing in front of his hometown fans came home fourth in the Powell Motorsports/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/Rocket GTO with McGuire claiming fifth in the Glenny Glass/GCP Racing Engines/C.J. Rayburn GTO.
Completing the top ten were Donnie Moran, Earl Pearson, Jr., Terry Casey, Brad Neat and Wayne Chinn.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will next be in action on Saturday Night, August 23rd at Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, KY for the 8th Annual “Bluegrass Classic” paying $10,000 to win. The cameras of SPEED Channel will be on hand to tape the event. For more information you can go to www.bluegrass-speedway.com.
To find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary Friday Night, August 22, 2008 Lawrenceburg Speedway – Lawrenceburg, IN
PRC Fast Time: Darren Miller/14.071 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Darren Miller, Wayne Chinn, Jerry Rice, Bart Hartman, Eric Wells, Freddy Smith, John Mason, Billy Drake
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jeep VanWormer, Scott James, Victor Lee, Dan Schlieper, Damon Eller, Steve Landrum, Joe Janowski - DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Steve Francis, Donnie Moran, Mike Marlar, Eddie Carrier Jr., Terry Casey, Justin Rattliff, Jason Jameson, Scott Brewer - DNS
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Josh McGuire, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Casebolt, Brad Neat,
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Eric Wells, Dan Schlieper, Terry Casey, Freddy Smith, Damon Eller, Justin Rattliff, Jerry Bowersock, Steve Landrum, Jesse Lay, Billy Drake, John Mason, Tim Dohm, Jason Jameson, Steve Duderstadt Jr., Joe Janowski – DNS, Scott Brewer – DNS
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Feature Finish (40 Laps): Darren Miller, Steve Francis, Jeep VanWormer, Scott James, Josh McGuire, Donnie Moran, Earl Pearson Jr., Terry Casey, Brad Neat, Wayne Chinn, Steve Casebolt, Matt Miller, Dan Schlieper, Freddy Smith, Mike Marlar, Jerry Rice, Eddie Carrier Jr., Justin Rattliff, Damon Eller, Eric Wells, Jesse Lay, John Mason, Bart Hartman, Victor Lee, Billy Drake
Entries: 32 Caution Flags: 1 Lap Leaders: Steve Francis 1-29, Darren Miller 30-40Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Billy Drake, John Mason Lawrenceburg Speedway Track Provisional: Jesse LayPBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Terry Casey (Started 19th and finished 8th —advanced 11 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Josh McGuire K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Scott James Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Terry Casey ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Earl Pearson Jr. Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Kenny Kenneda (Scott James) Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Pro Power Racing Engines Time of the Race: 15 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 5975
2) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 5435
3) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 5320
4) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 4965
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 4695
6) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4985
7) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 4650
8) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 4620
9) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 4230
10) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3955
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4985
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3955
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 1060
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 505