2012results_2-15.jpg   TAMPA, FL (February 15, 2012) - Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC returned to victory lane at East Bay Raceway Park on Wednesday Night after an action packed 35-lap feature. The win was his first in 12 years at the track. Cook took the lead for good on lap 31 from Steve Francis of Ashland, KY to win night number three of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned DART Winternationals.

Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, GA passed Francis on the final lap to finish second. Francis ran the last several laps of the race with a flat right front tire. He barely edged out Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN for third. Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, IL rounded out the top five.

In a spirited race for the top spot, three drivers took turns at leading the event. Davenport led the first four laps until Francis took over the lead. Francis then held the “point” until Cook got by on lap 15. Cook rallied from his fourth place starting spot to hold the lead until Francis forged back ahead on lap 23. Cook kept pace with Francis, constantly applying pressure for the lead. Cook finally managed to get by Francis, after the right front tire on Francis’ car began to go flat.

"It just goes to show you that anything is possible with the Lord," said the elated Cook in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. "These MasterSbilt Race Cars have run well the first three nights down here with O'Neal winning twice and now us. This whole team has been working extremely hard to get us here tonight. I would to thank Gary Winger with Integra Shocks, American Racer Tires, and everyone that supports this team," said Cook. This was his tenth career win in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition.

Reminiscing on his first and only win at East Bay that came 12 years ago, Cook said, "We started 21st and it was a 100-lapper. Even though we started fourth tonight, it sure wasn’t any easier, given the quality of the competition down here this time. We've started off great this season and we hope to continue the momentum for the rest of the year," said the 40-year-old driver.

A+ Moving and Storage, VP Racing Fuels, Keyser Mfg., GW Performance, PRC, Hicks & Ingle Company, and Superior Cleaning sponsor Cook’s D&R Motorsports number 53.

Don O'Neal was trying to win three in a row this week. He jumped the cushion in turn two on the first lap and slipped back to fifth. Cook started behind O’Neal and took advantage of O'Neal's slip. "Any time you get a chance to get by O'Neal, you take it. He's been running so well this week."

Davenport secured a second place finish for the Clint Bowyer Motorsports, Roush-Yates Racing Engines, Barry Wright Toyota. Francis hung on to finish third in the Valvoline, Clements Racing Engines, Barry Wright Chevrolet. Bloomquist made a last lap surge to get around the fading Francis, but came up just short. He finished fourth in the Hawkeye Trucking, Roush-Yates Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford. Erb, who started 14th, finished fifth in his McBride Mack, Vic Hill Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars entry.

Completing the top ten were Eric Jacobsen of Seacliffe Beach, CA; John Blankenship of Williamson, WV; Terry Casey of New London, WI; Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH; and Randy Korte of Highland, IL.

In preliminary action Don O'Neal was the Red Buck Cigar’s Fast Qualifier amongst the 46 entrants. Heat race winners were Jonathan Davenport, Don O'Neal, Steve Francis, and Ray Cook. Duke Whiseant and Chris Brown took the B-mains. Josh McGuire won the PRC Strawberry Dash.

There will be another $7,000 to win show for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series DART Winternationals at East Bay on Thursday night, February 16th.

Don O’Neal leads Scott Bloomquist in the weeklong DART Winternationals points chase after the first three events.

For the latest breaking news 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

Race Summary

Wednesday Night, February 15, 2012

36th Annual DART Winternationals

East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL

Red Buck Cigars Fast Time:  

Jonathan Davenport/ 14.820 seconds (Group A)

Don O’Neal / 14.694 seconds (Group B and Overall)

Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (8 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jonathan Davenport, Terry Casey, Austin Hubbard, Dillan White, Bobby Pierce, Jackie Nosbisch, Jay Morris, Scott James, Danny Mitchell, Doug Blashe, Todd Frank, Justin Rattliff

U. S. Steel Second Heat (8 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Steve Francis, Eric Jacobsen, Mark Andersen, Kevin Weaver, Duke Whiseant, Chad Hollenbeck, Jared Landers, Travis Varnadore, James O'Hara, Shannon Babb, Pat Ehlert

Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (8 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Don O'Neal, Scott Bloomquist, Randy Korte, Dennis Erb, Jr., Daniel Stone, Eric Wells, Victor Lee, Tyler Reddick, Shane Cottle, Scott Creel, Tim Lance, Shelby Miles

HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (8 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Ray Cook, John Blankenship, Jason Riggs, Donnie Moran, Chris Brown, Brandon Sheppard, Morgan Bagley, Leon Henderson, Terry Naugle, Chad Stapleton, Josh McGuire

JRi Shocks First B-Main (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Duke Whiseant, Dillan White, Bobby Pierce, Jared Landers, Chad Hollenbeck, James O'Hara, Doug Blashe, Todd Frank, Scott James , Pat Ehlert, Travis Varnadore, Danny Mitchell, Shannon Babb-DNS, Jay Morris-DNS, Justin Rattliff-DNS

PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Chris Brown, Eric Wells, Daniel Stone, Tyler Reddick, Brandon Sheppard, Scott Creel, Victor Lee, Leon Henderson, Josh McGuire, Shane Cottle, Tim Lance, Chad Stapleton, Terry Naugle, Morgan Bagley, Shelby Miles

PRC Strawberry Dash Presented by DirtonDirt.com (Laps- Winner Advances): Josh McGuire, Scott Creel, Tim Lance, Travis Varnadore, Pat Ehlert, Leon Hernderson.

Feature Finish – 35 Laps:

FINISH

START

CAR #

DRIVER NAME

HOMETOWN

1

4

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

2

1

15d

Jonathan Davenport

Blairsville, GA

3

3

15

Steve Francis

Ashland, KY

4

6

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

5

14

28e

Dennis Erb, Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

6

7

5J

Eric Jacobsen

Watsonville, CA

7

8

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

8

5

42c

Terry Casey

New London, WI

9

16

99

Donnie Moran

Dresden, OH

10

10

81x

Randy Korte

Highland, IL

11

11

85

Mark Andersen

Blanchard, MI

12

23

5

Jared Landers

Batesville, AR

13

13

01

Jackie Nosbisch

Valrico, FL

14

19

54W

Dillan White

Crofton, KY

15

20

18e

Eric Wells

Hazard, KY

16

21

32

Bobby Pierce

Oakwood, IL

17

18

21CB

Chris Brown

Spring, TX

18

25

b5

Brandon Sheppard

Berlin, IL

19

2

71

Don O'Neal

Martinsville, IN

20

22

21d

Daniel Stone

Thompson, PA

21

15

B12

Kevin Weaver

Gibson City, IL

22

24

11T

Tyler Reddick

Corning, CA

23

26

41

Josh McGuire

Grayson, KY

24

17

A1

Duke Whiseant

Texarkana, AR

25

12

81JR

Jason Riggs

Harrisburg, IL

26

9

11h

Austin Hubbard

Seaford, DE

Race Statistics

Entrants: 46

Lap Leaders: Jonathan Davenport (Lap 1 – 5); Steve Francis (Laps 5 – 14); Ray Cook (Laps 15 – 22); Steve Francis (Laps 23 – 30); Ray Cook (Laps 31 – 35);

Caution Flags:  Austin Hubbard (Lap 5)

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: n/a

DirtonDirt.com Fast Time Provisional: Brandon Sheppard

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: n/a

Performance Bodies First Non-Qualifier: Scott Creel

Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jared Landers (Started 23rd; Finished 12th; Advanced 11 positions)

Allstar Performer of the Race: Steve Francis

Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Donnie Moran

ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Ray Cook

Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: n/a

COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Race Engine Design

Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: MasterSbilt Race Cars

Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: John Sexton (Ray Cook)

Time of Race: 16 minutes 47 seconds

DART Winternationals Point Standings:

POS

CAR#

DRIVER

POINTS

1

71

Don O'Neal

655

2

0

Scott Bloomquist

625

3

53

Ray Cook

590

3

15

Steve Francis

590

3

28e

Dennis Erb, Jr.

590

6

23

John Blankenship

580

7

5J

Eric Jacobsen

570

7

81x

Randy Korte

570

9

42c

Terry Casey

520

10

21d

Daniel Stone

495

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