PONTOON BEACH, IL (May 4, 2012) - It took Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN just four laps to gain the lead as he went on to take the $10,000 to win Spring Classic 50. O’Neal knew he had a good race car when he won the first heat race to earn the pole for Friday Night’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Tri-City Speedway.
Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA tried to chase down O’Neal in the closing laps as he settled for his best LOLMDS finish of the year to place second. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN held off point’s leader, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN for third. Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR came home in fifth.
O’Neal came into the race tied for second in Lucas Oil Championship Points and made it to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the fifth time behind the wheel of the Tader and Keith MasterSbilt house car. “The car was awesome, we didn’t qualify like we wanted to, but winning that first heat sure made us feel like we had a great shot at winning here tonight. (Brian) Shirley fired off real good, but our car was so good on the bottom,” said O’Neal, who trailed Shirley for the first three laps of the race.
“Our last race in Pennsylvania was not good at all, I think we finished 18th. If we are going to win the championship this year, we can’t have finishes like that! This is definitely a step in the right direction. I have to thank Keith, Tader, and the crew. The car was just on a rail tonight,” said the 47-year-old. The victory marks the 24th series win of O’Neal’s career.
O’Neal’s Jay Dickens Racing Engines powered car is sponsored by Optima Batteries, Independence Lumber, Tarpy Trucking, O’Neal Mulch, Seubert Calf Ranches, Superior Cleaning Services, Jones Core, and Budda Bert Transmission.
O’Neal had very little difficulty maintaining his lead, only once in traffic was Bloomquist able to close ground on him, but after several cautions O’Neal had the dominant car for the rest of the race. Reddick was able to wrestle second away from Bloomquist with 15 laps to go.
“We had a really good car, I think if we could have won that first heat we might have been the car to beat tonight. I didn’t have anything for Don, but Scott and I had a really good race. We will take this finish, it was our best of the year and head to Paducah,” said the driver of the Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records, Bloomquist Race Cars Chevrolet.
Completing the top ten were Brad Neat of Dunnville, KY; Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, WI; Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL; John Blankenship of Williamson, WV; and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, DE.
In preliminary action Tyler Reddick was the Red Buck Cigar Fastest Qualifier among the 48 entrants. Heat races were won by Don O’Neal, Brad Neat, Brian Shirley, and Scott Bloomquist. Jimmy Owens and Jared Landers won the B-Mains.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY on Saturday Night, May 5th for a $10,000 to win event. For more information log on to www.paducahracing.com.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com and make sure to follow us at www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twitter.com/#!/lucasdirt.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Friday Night, May 4th, 2012 Tri-City Speedway – Pontoon Beach, IL
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Tyler Reddick / 14.468 seconds (Group A and Overall) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth / 14.694 seconds (Group B)
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Don O'Neal, Tyler Reddick, Shannon Babb, Jimmy Mars, Jonathan Davenport, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Jason McBride, Tim Manville, Eric Jacobsen, Jerry Lierly, Randy Korte, Rickey Frankel
U. S. Steel Second Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Brad Neat, Billy Moyer, Brandon Sheppard, Austin Hubbard, Jimmy Owens, Brady Smith, Brian Birkhofer, Klint Byars, Bobby Pierce, Chad Simpson, Tim Rivers, Craig Smith
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Brian Shirley, Dennis Erb, Jr., Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Duke Whiseant, Jared Landers, Ryan Unzicker, Mark Burgtorf, Chris Simpson, Justin Reed, Dustin Griffin, Billy Laycock, Billy Faust
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Eric Wells, Wendell Wallace, Eddie Carrier, Jr., Kevin Cole, Chad Zobrist, Earl Pearson, Jr., John Blankenship, Jason Feger, Steve Francis, Jay Johnson, Dillan White
JRi Shocks First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Brady Smith, Brian Birkhofer, Jonathan Davenport, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Jason McBride, Bobby Pierce, Klint Byars, Chad Simpson, Tim Rivers, Tim Manville, Eric Jacobsen, Jerry Lierly, Randy Korte, Rickey Frankel-DNS, Craig Smith-DNS
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Jared Landers, Earl Pearson, Jr., Kevin Cole, Jason Feger, Chad Zobrist, Chris Simpson, John Blankenship, Mark Burgtorf, Steve Francis, Dustin Griffin, Dillan White, Billy Laycock, Ryan Unzicker, Justin Reed, Jay Johnson, Billy Faust Feature Finish – 50 Laps
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||1||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|2||5||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA|
|3||4||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|4||17||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|5||12||6m||Wendell Wallace||Batesville, AR|
|6||3||41n||Brad Neat||Dunnville, KY|
|7||13||28m||Jimmy Mars||Menomonie, WI|
|8||20||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|9||26||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|10||15||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE|
|11||11||b5||Brandon Sheppard||Berlin, IL|
|12||24||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|13||6||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|14||18||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|15||23||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA|
|16||8||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|17||2||3s||Brian Shirley||Chatham, IL|
|18||10||18H||Ronny Lee Hollingsworth||Northport, AL|
|19||19||2||Brady Smith||Solon Springs, WI|
|20||14||A1||Duke Whiseant||Texarkana, AR|
|21||9||18||Shannon Babb||Mowequa, IL|
|22||16||28||Eddie Carrier, Jr.||Salt Rock, WV|
|23||25||78||Chad Zobrist||Highland, IL|
|24||22||81c||Kevin Cole||Benton, IL|
|25||21||15b||Brian Birkhofer||Muscatine, IA|
|26||7||21||Billy Moyer||Batesville, AR|
Race Statistics Entrants: 48 Lap Leaders: Brian Shirley (Laps 1 – 3); Don O’Neal (Laps 4 – 50) Caution Flags: Shannon Babb (Lap 1); Billy Moyer, Eric Wells, Austin Hubbard (Lap 1); Debris (Lap 22); Dennis Erb Jr. (Lap 24); Earl Pearson Jr., Jared Landers (Lap 28); Brian Shirley (Lap 38), Debris (Lap 41) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Jonathan Davenport, Steve Francis Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: John Blankenship Tri-City Speedway Track Provisional: Chad Zobrist Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: John Blankenship (Started 26th; Finished 9th; Advanced 17 positions) Allstar Performer of the Race: Don O’Neal Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Don O’Neal Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Austin Hubbard COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Jay Dickens Racing Engines Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: MasterSbilt Race Cars Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Clarence Reddick (Tyler Reddick) Time of Race: 43 minutes 08 seconds Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||POINTS|
|1||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||1755|
|2||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN||1620|
|3||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||1560|
|3||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||1560|
|5||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA||1520|
|6||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY||1495|
|7||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||1490|
|8||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||1465|
|9||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||1405|
|10||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV||1365|
|11||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE||1305|
|12||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY||1270|
*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*