CHATSWORTH, GA (June 13, 2008) – Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, WI was one of the last cars to arrive at North Georgia Speedway for the Harris-Sutton Chevrolet 50 on Friday Night for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, but at the end of the night, the “Wisconsin Wildman” was standing in victory lane, capturing his second career LOLMDS win. Schlieper arrived late after breaking down while on his way to the LOLMDS event at Duck River Speedway; his rig broke down in Mt. Vernon, IL and he had to miss the event, but Schlieper and his crew chief Jason Palubicki persevered as they had a perfect race car on Friday Night in winning his first series race since February of 2006 at East Bay Raceway Park.
Schlieper earned $10,000 for the win, also grabbing the biggest win so far for the Russ Scheffler-built Wild, Inc. Chassis based out of Wisconsin. Clint Smith of Senoia, GA out-dueled Thursday Night’s winner at Duck River Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, GA to finish second. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN placed fourth followed by Brasstown, NC’s Ray Cook who wound up fifth.
Schlieper drew the number two starting spot for the A-main as he and Billy Drake started on the front row of the 50 lapper. Schlieper immediately worked his way into the lead over Drake, Bloomquist, Cook and Smith in the opening stages of the race. Schlieper had already opened up a straightaway lead over Drake with six circuits in the record books. With Schlieper in total command and threatening to make the race a runaway, the first caution for Billy Ogle Jr. would come out on lap 12.
On the restart Schlieper would bolt away from the field, as the race for second was heating up as Bloomquist and Smith went around Drake to move into second and third spots. Smith would then pull even with Bloomquist, and the pair raced side-by-side for that spot for three consecutive laps.
With the race for second being so competitive, Schlieper continued to increase his margin over everyone as he began to come up on the tail end of the field one lap shy of the halfway mark. The car on the move was 12th place starter Jimmy Owens, who was now involved in his own battle with Drake in the race for fourth place.
With 25 laps scored, it was all Schlieper with Bloomquist, Smith, Owens and Drake waiting for another caution flag to see if that would slow down the “Wisconsin Wildman,” who was setting a blistering pace. Finally, the second caution for debris on the track with 34 laps in the books would set up another Delaware double file restart as Bloomquist and Smith would be right on Schlieper’s decklid for the restart, but again, neither had enough to keep up with Schlieper who quickly distanced himself from the field.
With ten laps remaining in the race, Schlieper had to fight off some stiff competition on the restart of yet another caution. On the restart Bloomquist and Smith tried their best to stay with the high flying former World 100 champion, but it was to no avail as he put several car lengths on them with six laps to go.
Clanton began to pick up the pace, overtaking both Bloomquist and Smith moving into the second spot with five to go. As the laps quickly wound down, Schlieper managed to hold a straightaway advantage over the rest of the field as he cruised on for the win which allowed him to become the 14th different winner in 19 LOLMDS events in 2008.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane, Schlieper and Palubicki were certainly glad their fortunes had changed for the better with a convincing win, after the long road just to get to the race track at North Georgia. “Man I can’t believe we were that good, the car was just fantastic, after all we’ve been through to come here and win just makes it all worth it,” said the driver, who has been a regular on the series tour the last two years. “There was an electronic shifter on top of the transmission in the truck that went bad and we were stranded in Mt. Vernon, Illinois yesterday and they had to overnight the part from Memphis so we couldn’t race last night, but this Wild Chassis was quick from the time we unloaded it tonight and it feels good to finally get back in the winner’s circle in a Lucas Oil race, hopefully there’s a lot more to come the rest of the year.”
Schlieper who has driven three different chassis makes this year, finally found the winning combination with the Wild, Inc. Ford Fusion and his trusty Pro Power Engine to get back into victory lane. His car is sponsored by Miller Brothers Coal/Hawkeye Trucking/VP Racing Fuels/Uncle Buck/Integra Shocks and Five Star Race Car Bodies.
Smith managed to get around Clanton for his best LOLMDS finish in his Cliburn Tank Lines/RaceTek Race Engines GRT GTO with Clanton’s Ronnie Dobbins/SAE Parts Inc/Rocket GTO coming home in third. Bloomquist in his Miller Brothers Coal/Vic Hill Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo recorded his second straight top four finishes with Cook in his Youngblood Concrete/Grover Engine/MasterSbilt Ford coming home in fifth.
Completing the top ten were Jimmy Owens, Billy Drake, Joe Armes, Justin Rattliff and Freddy Smith.
The preliminary results saw Shane Clanton capture the PRC Fast Time, with a lap of 12.869 seconds among the 53 entries. Scott Bloomquist, Ray Cook, Billy Drake and Dan Schlieper were the heat race winners with Rick Rogers and Vic Hill taking B-main wins.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back in action on Saturday Night, June 14 at the Talladega Short Track for the “Talladega Short Track Nationals” paying $10,000 to win. The cameras of SPEED Channel will be on hand to tape the event. For event information, log onto www.talladegashorttrack.com and www.lucasdirt.com.
You can find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by logging on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, June 13, 2008 North Georgia Speedway—Chatsworth, GA
PRC Fast Time: Shane Clanton/12.869 seconds Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Shane Clanton, Brandon Kinzer, Gary McPherson, Tommy Kerr, Terry Casey, Wayne Chinn, Randy Weaver, Eric Jacobsen, Shon Flanary, Robert Gant, Preston Graves, Jamie Perry
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Ray Cook, Clint Smith, Freddy Smith, Chris Madden, Rick Rogers, Earl Pearson Jr., Ronnie Johnson, Mike Head, Justin McRee, Jason Fitzgerald, Ricky Williams, Tony Knowles, Don Jenkins -- DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Billy Drake, Randy Burrows, Skip Arp, Joe Armes, Jake Knowles, John Gill, Scott James, Anthony Hill, Shawn Chastain, Neil Baggett, Lee Sutton, Anthony Burroughs, David Payne
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Steve Casebolt, Jimmy Owens, Billy Ogle Jr., Vic Hill, Justin Rattliff, Bart Hartman, Brian Hickman, Todd Morrow, John Mason, Jeff Smith, Brad Coffey, Sam Ruff – DNS
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Rick Rogers, Earl Pearson Jr., Tommy Kerr, Eric Jacobsen, Terry Casey, Ronnie Johnson, Mike Head, Justin McRee, Shon Flanary, Ricky Williams, Randy Weaver, Wayne Chinn, Jason Fitzgerald – DNS, Aaron Ridley – DNS, Robert Gant – DNS, Tony Knowles – DNS, Preston Graves – DNS, Jamie Perry – DNS, Don Jenkins – DNS
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Vic Hill, Jake Knowles, Scott James, John Gill, Justin Rattliff, Shawn Chastain, Anthony Hill, Brian Hickman, Bart Hartman, Neil Baggett, John Mason, Jeff Smith, Lee Sutton – DNS, Anthony Burroughs – DNS, Brad Coffey – DNS, David Payne – DNS, Sam Ruff – DNS
Harris Sutton Chevrolet 50 Feature Finish (50 Laps): Dan Schlieper, Clint Smith, Shane Clanton, Scott Bloomquist, Ray Cook, Jimmy Owens, Billy Drake, Joe Armes, Justin Rattliff, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Earl Pearson Jr., Bart Hartman, Rick Rogers, Brandon Kinzer, Gary McPherson, Scott James, Tommy Kerr, Vic Hill, Skip Arp, Randy Burrows, Chris Madden, Jake Knowles, Billy Ogle Jr.
Race Statistics Entries: 53 Caution Flags: 5 Lap Leaders: Schlieper 1-50Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Justin Rattliff, Bart HartmanPBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Justin Rattliff (Started 23rd and finished 9th-advanced 14 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Dan Schlieper K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Clint Smith Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: none ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Billy Drake Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Jason Palubicki (Dan Schlieper) Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Pro Power Racing Engines Time of the Race: 35 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 2820
2) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 2765
3) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 2610
4) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 2590
5) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 2430
6) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 2375
7) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 2350
8) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 2200
9) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2050
10) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 2020
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 2200
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 2050
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 745
4) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 245
5) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 235