TAZEWELL, TN (July 6,2008) – Joe Armes of Petros, TN drove the race of his life as he led wire to wire in an exciting Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Sunday Night at Tazewell Speedway. Armes earned $10,000 for the win as he became the 16th different winner on the series tour in 2008. Rick Rogers of Knoxville, TN finished second, and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN who placed third. Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN who started 12th on the grid came home in fourth followed by Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL.
Before a packed house at “The Taz” Rogers and Armes would make up the front row of the75 lap main event. Armes bolted ahead of Rogers and Scott Bloomquist, who started second and third, who were threatening to make the race a runaway in the early going.
Bloomquist challenged Rogers several times as he looked for an avenue around the 4-time Tazewell Speedway Track Champion. The top three would make their way through heavy traffic as Armes held a three-car length lead with 20 laps in the books.
Brad Hall began to come to the front, as he passed fourth-place running Earl Pearson Jr. on lap 22 and started to close on the three front running cars of Armes, Rogers and Bloomquist. Rogers and Bloomquist would go back and forth a couple of times in the race for second as Bloomquist briefly held that position on laps 25 and 26.
The race would go green for the first 42 laps of the race until a caution for the stalled car of Tommy Kerr would allow everyone to catch their breaths. On the restart Armes would still show the way with Rogers and Bloomquist still playing cat and mouse for second place.
With 50 laps completed Armes held a four-car length lead over Rogers, Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens who was now in the hunt for the lead. On the 54 lap heavy traffic would once again allow the top five runners to be on the same straightaway as Rogers and Bloomquist were all over Armes for the lead.
With 15 laps to go Armes was still high tailing it around the high banks of Tazewell but a caution with nine laps remaining would be of a benefit to him as that would clear the race track in front of him. On the final restart of the race Armes had clear sailing as he opened up a three-car length lead over Rogers would was continuously seeing Bloomquist on his rear deck lid.
In the final laps Armes just had to hit his marks and the race would be his and he did just that as he went on to score the biggest win of his racing career. “The car was just superb tonight and I have to thank Dale McDowell and all my crew, the car was really hooked up all night and this is by far is the greatest win that I have ever had and it’s even better to win a Lucas Oil race with the caliber of drivers they have.”
Armes’ drives a GRT Monte Carlo with a Clements Racing Engine and his car is sponsored by Tennessee Valley Excavating, Southeastern Construction, Quality Trucking and East Tennessee Construction.
Completing the top ten were Brad Neat, Victor Lee, Terry Casey, Anthony White and Billy Drake.
In preliminary action Earl Pearson Jr. was the PRC Fast Time Qualifier for the 28 entries on hand with a lap of 11.452 seconds. The heat race winners were Joe Armes, Rick Rogers and Scott Bloomquist. The B-main was won by Dale McDowell.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back on the track next weekend with a pair of events. On Friday Night, July 11th the series visits North Alabama Speedway in Tuscumbia, AL for the “Heart of Dixie 40” paying $7,000 to win followed by a Saturday Night, July 12th stop for the “James Nickoles Memorial” at Columbus Speedway in Columbus, MS
For information on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, July 6, 2008 Tazewell Speedway, Tazewell, Tennessee
PRC Fast Time: Earl Pearson Jr. / 11.452 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Joe Armes, Earl Pearson Jr., Anthony White, Shon Flanary, Billy Ogle, Dan Schlieper, Brian Smith, Bart Hartman, Wayne Chinn, Justin Rattliff – DNS
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Rick Rogers, Terry Casey, Brad Neat, Scott James, Chad Ogle, Victor Lee, Dale McDowell, Steve Smith, Michael Smith
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 6 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Brad Hall, Tommy Kerr, Jimmy Owens, Billy Drake, Vic Hill, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Tommy Bailey
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dale McDowell, Brian Smith, Bart Hartman, Steve Casebolt, Freddy Smith, Michael Smith, Wayne Chinn, Steve Smith, Tommy Bailey – DNS, Justin Rattliff – DNS
“Toyota Knoxville 75” Feature Finish (75 Laps): Joe Armes, Rick Rogers, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Brad Neat, Victor Lee, Terry Casey, Anthony White, Billy Drake, Billy Ogle, Dan Schlieper, Bart Hartman, Wayne Chinn, Brian Smith, Shon Flanary, Steve Casebolt, Brad Hall, Tommy Kerr, Scott James, Vic Hill, Chad Ogle, Dale McDowell, Freddy Smith
Race StatisticsEntries: 28 Caution Flags: 2 Lap Leaders: 1-75 Joe ArmesLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Freddy Smith and Wayne ChinnPBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Wayne Chinn (Started 24th and finished 14th - advanced 10 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Billy Drake K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Brad Hall Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Terry Casey ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Victor Lee Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Gene Dover Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines Time of the Race: 26 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 3880
2) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 3645
3) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 3535
4) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 3400
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 3295
6) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 3255
7) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 3145
8) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 3070
9) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 2755
10) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2585
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 3070
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2585
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 745
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 4255) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 245