HARTFORD, MI (May 11, 2012) – Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN won his sixth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event of the season on Friday Night at Hartford Motor Speedway. O’Neal grabbed the lead at the start and was unchallenged almost the entire distance until Tyler Reddick closed in on him with two laps to go. Reddick met misfortune as he cut down a tire while trying to get around a lapped car. O’Neal went on to score the win in the MasterSbilt house-car.
O’Neal earned $10,000 for winning the Lane Automotive 48 Presented by Allstar Performance. It was also the first race in the state of Michigan for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. O’Neal marked his 25th career win in LOLMDS competition. The victory vaulted him back into second place in Lucas Oil Championship Points.
Eric Wells of Hazard, KY recorded his best career LOLMDS finish by taking home second. Austin Hubbard of Seaford, DE finished third, followed by Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL, and Jared Landers of Batesville, AR.
O’Neal has now won twice in the last three LOLMDS events. His appearance in Lucas Oil Victory Lane at Hartford completed the night’s sweep as he set fast time and won his heat race. “The car was perfect all night long,” said the 47-year old driver. “I have to thank Tader Masters, Cody Mahoney, and the whole crew. After wrecking at Paducah last week, they worked hard to get the car ready for tonight. “They (the crew) make my job look easy, this is a big race track, they made us second-guess on tires after they watered the track, but we decided to stay with what we were originally thinking and it paid off.”
“I have to thank all my sponsors, Optima Batteries, Independence Lumber, Tarpy Trucking, Seubert Calf Ranches, Superior Cleaning Services, Jones Core, Budda Bert Transmissions, Dragon Race Fuels, and Ohlins Shocks.”
O’Neal went almost the entire distance unchallenged until Reddick closed on him in traffic with two laps to go. O’Neal went to the outside of Curt Spalding and slid up in turn two while Reddick tried to go to the bottom and pass Spalding. He made contact with the back of Spalding’s car, which cut down the right front tire on Reddick’s car. Reddick started 11th on the grid slowed and stopped. This brought out the final caution of the race. The racing behind O’Neal was extraordinary all race long as Wells fought back to get second. Hubbard recorded his best series finish since a second at East Bay in February with his third place run.
Completing the top ten were Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN; Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, GA; Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN; and John Blankenship of Williamson, WV.
In preliminary action, O’Neal was the Red Buck Cigars Fast Qualifier among the 37 entrants. Heat races were won by O’Neal, Wells, Landers, and Hubbard. Mike Spatola and Curt Spalding took the B-Mains.
Coming up on Saturday Night, May 12th the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back in action at La Salle Speedway in La Salle, IL for the “Spring Shootout” paying $10,000 to win. For more information visit www.lasallespeedway.com.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com and be sure to follow the series at www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twitter.com/#!/lucasdirt.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Friday Night, May 11th, 2012 Lane Automotive 48 Presented by Allstar Performance Hartford Motor Speedway – Hartford, MI
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Don O’Neal / 18.982 seconds (Group A and Overall) Jared Landers / 19.467 seconds (Group B)
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Don O'Neal, Jonathan Davenport, John Blankenship, Scott Bloomquist, JR Hotovy, Mike Spatola, Brian Ruhlman, Steve Ausra, Dennis Erb, Jr., Brady Smith-DNS
U. S. Steel Second Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Steve Francis, Eric Wells, Tyler Reddick, Jimmy Owens, Jeep VanWormer, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Doug Ausra, Skid Moudy, Chad White
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jared Landers, Earl Pearson, Jr., Alan Vochaska, Phil Ausra, Curt Spalding, Zack Olger, Mark Pifer, Jeremy Ferguson, Josh McGuire-DNS
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Austin Hubbard, Terry Casey, Shannon Babb, Matt Miller, Tim Rivers, Guy Volk, Pat Harding, Chris Nash, Ryan VanderVeen
JRi Shocks First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Mike Spatola, Jeep VanWormer, Brian Ruhlman, JR Hotovy, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Chad White, Steve Ausra, Doug Ausra, Skid Moudy, Dennis Erb Jr.-DNS, Brady Smith-DNS
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Curt Spalding, Ryan VanderVeen, Guy Volk, Mark Pifer, Pat Harding, Zack Olger, Chris Nash, Tim Rivers, Jeremy Ferguson, Josh McGuire-DNS Feature Finish – 48 Laps
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||1||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|2||3||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|3||4||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE|
|4||6||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|5||2||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|6||7||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|7||15||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|8||5||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA|
|9||13||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|10||9||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|11||19||55||Jeep VanWormer||Pinconning, MI|
|12||10||34||Alan Vochaska||South Haven, MI|
|13||17||89||Mike Spatola||Manhatten, IL|
|14||8||42c||Terry Casey||New London, WI|
|15||11||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA|
|16||23||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|17||21||49||Brian Ruhlman||Clarklake, MI|
|18||14||15A||Phil Ausra||Dowagiac, MI|
|19||18||111||Curt Spalding||Hartford, MI|
|20||24||13||JR Hotovy||Hartford, MI|
|21||20||23v||Ryan VanderVeen||Six Lakes, MI|
|22||12||18||Shannon Babb||Mowequa, IL|
|23||16||3||Matt Miller||Waterville, OH|
|24||22||v77||Guy Volk||Valparaiso, IN|
Race Statistics Entrants: 37 Lap Leaders: Don O’Neal (Laps 1 – 48) Caution Flags: Guy Volk (Lap 13); Debris (Lap 34); Tyler Reddick (Lap 46) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Dennis Erb Jr. Red Buck Cigars Fast Time Provisional: JR Hotovy Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: n/a Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Started 15th; Finished 7th; Advanced 8 positions) Allstar Performer of the Race: Austin Hubbard Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Austin Hubbard ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Don O’Neal Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Austin Hubbard COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Jay Dickens Race Engines Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: MasterSbilt Race Cars Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Steven Kenneda (Eric Wells) Time of Race: 27 minutes 08 seconds Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||POINTS|
|1||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||2180|
|2||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN||2005|
|3||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||1975|
|4||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||1965|
|5||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY||1905|
|6||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||1880|
|7||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA||1825|
|8||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||1815|
|9||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||1780|
|10||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV||1730|
|11||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY||1690|
|12||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE||1680|
*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*