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TAZEWELL, TN (September 4, 2005)-Before one of the largest crowds in the 40 year history of Tazewell Speedway, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN led all 75 laps in claiming the "Citizens Bank 75" for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on Sunday Night.  Owens earned $10,000 for the win as he became the 17th different winner in 27 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events in 2005.  Owens was behind the wheel of the Mach 2 Motorsports entry #20 sponsored by Ultra Pro Machining, PPM Racing Products, Carolina Finishing, VP Racing Fuels, Red Line Oil, West Haven Speed Equipment, Cornett Racing Engines, C.J. Rayburn Ford Taurus.  Vic Hill of Morristown, TN was second in the Landair Transport Inc./Vic Hill Racing Engines/GRT Grand Prix with Anthony White of Clinton, TN a close third in the DWB Motorsports/Freddy White Masonry/DWB Race Cars Grand Prix.  Taking the fourth spot at the finish was Brett Miller of Asheville, NC in the Donna Laws/Perg Leg Motorsports/GRT Monte and 24th starting, Tom Dohm of Cross Lanes, WV rounded out the top five in the Dohm Cycle Sales/Custom Race Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo.  A total of 39 cars were on hand for the series' first ever visit to the Tennessee speedplant.

Jimmy Owens and Earl Pearson, Jr. would make up a strong starting contingent for the race as they would start from the front row.  When chief starter Noel Hargis let fly with the green flag to start the race Owens immediately took charge taking the lead from Pearson heading off of turn two down the back straight.  Local favorite Scott Sexton would take second from Pearson on the second lap with Pearson falling to third in front of Anthony White and Billy Ogle, Jr.  Freddy Smith would be the first car out of the race heading pitside on lap three.  Owens had set sail and was dominating the race as he was already picking up the tail end of the 24 car starting field by lap seven.  A torrid battle for second was going on with Sexton and Pearson going at it side by side on several occasions on the super fast track.  By lap 10 there were three cars out of the event with Rex Richey and Tommy Kerr joining Smith in the infield.  Owens was setting a blistering pace working through traffic diving in and out all over the race track in lapping cars.  By the 15th circuit Owens had cleared some heavy traffic and had plenty of free space in front of him on the race track.  The Sexton and Pearson duel would see Pearson get back by Sexton on lap 15 to regain second place, but that race was not over yet as Sexton would mount another charge taking Pearson on the outside two laps later to go back into second.  With Owens in complete control of the race by lap 20 the showdown for second was really exciting as Pearson would fight back and go by Sexton yet again on lap 20.   

With 20 laps in the books it was still Owens showing the way followed by Pearson, Sexton, 8th place starter Mike Marlar and White in the top five.  Owens was starting to pick up the back end of the field again by lap 22 and Pearson and Sexton would start to chop his lead down considerably.  Lucas Oil late Model Dirt Series points leader, Don O'Neal was on the move.  O'Neal had pulled out his backup car after a heat race incident and from the 21st starting spot without the aid of any cautions up until this point he was up to sixth place.  The first caution of the race would wave on lap 22 when Frank Merritt slowed on the main straightaway.  At this same point after the yellow came out Marlar who had just passed Sexton for third saw the coil quit in his car killing his motor which forced White and O'Neal to take evasive action as both cars had to stop to avoid Marlar.  There was contact between the cars with O'Neal suffering some right side body damage on his mount. 

Both O'Neal and White would continue in the race, but Marlar's night was done after making a strong charge to the front.  With the field at caution, it was Owens, Pearson, Sexton, O'Neal and Vic Hill running in the top five order.  On the restart it would be Owens again on a rail sprinting away from the field as the race for second place would keep the interest as Sexton and Pearson would race side by side again with Sexton moving into second once again on lap 25.  O'Neal then would break into the top three on lap 26 getting by Pearson.  O'Neal and Pearson, who are the top two in the series points standings would go neck and neck for several circuits with O'Neal holding the lead at the score line.  With 32 laps in the books Owens was on a mission as he continued to dominate the event building a sizable lead with Sexton, O'Neal, Pearson and new fifth place runner, Scott James trying to catch him. 

A caution on lap 33 for a slowed Brian Smith would be fateful for Sexton as he pulled his overheated machine to the infield pit and retired from the race.  That would move O'Neal into second place on the restart with Pearson, James and Hill.  Owens went to a straightaway advantage over O'Neal and the rest of the pack by lap 42.  White would slow on lap 47 for a flat tire bringing out another yellow flag.  The race would go green for five laps when O'Neal slowed and pitted after climbing to second place.  With 54 laps scored it was Owens, Pearson, James, Hill and White in the top five running order.  A caution for debris on lap 60 would only slow Owens momentarily.  Pearson was a solid second and James had pulled away from Hill and White and was looking for a solid finish, but that would come to an end on lap 67 as he slowed on the race track causing a caution as he dived into the pit area with an overheating car.  James would not return to the race.  Pearson would also have problems and go pitside after a false restart as his night ended as well. 

With eight laps to go and several of his main competitors out of the race Owens was hoping for no more cautions as he rode his mount around the top of the race track with eight perfect laps which took him to the checkered flag for his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win in front of the appreciative crowd.  "The track was great tonight", said the winner on the victory podium.  "We had the car freed up and it performed tremendous, it was little hairy there in traffic for a few laps, but we managed to get through that and really had no problems for the entire race."  Hill the famed engine builder would come home in second followed by White, who despite two pit stops was third followed by Brett Miller and the hard charger of the race, Tim Dohm, who started in the 24th and last starting spot was fifth at the end. 

Completing the top ten were Bobby Giffin, Ricky Arms, David Payne, Michael Smith and Pearson. 

After Tazewell O'Neal holds a 110 point advantage over Pearson in the race for the championship with Donnie Moran, Matt Miller and Scott James rounding out the top five drivers. 

The next Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Pittsburgh, PA for the running of the 17th Annual Pittsburgher 100" paying $22,000 to win. 

Race Summary

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Tazewell Speedway-Tazewell, TN 

Sunday Night, September 4, 2005

Fast Qualifier: Jeff Wolfenbarger 11.358 seconds

Heat #1:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Brett Miller, Bobby Giffin, Frank Merritt, Ricky Arms, Don O'Neal, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Tim Dohm, David Payne, Joey McCoy,  

Heat #2:  Billy Ogle, Jr., Anthony White, Donnie Moran, Brian Smith, Ruben Mayfield, Freddy Smith, Jason Trammell, Chris Chandler, Matt Henderson-DNS, Brad Hall-DNS 

Heat #3:  Scott Sexton, Vic Hill, Jeff Neubert, Rex Richey, Marty Calloway, Michael Smith, Steve Carr, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Casey Roberts, Steve Smith-DNS 

Heat #4:  Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar, Scott James, Terry Wolfenbarger, Tommy Kerr, David McCoy, Jason McCall, Doug Smith, Brandon Williams 

1st B-Main:  Ricky Arms, David Payne, Don O'Neal, Tim Dohm, Ruben Mayfield, Jason Trammell, Joey McCoy, Freddy Smith 

2nd  B-Main:  Tommy Kerr, Michael Smith, Steve Casebolt, Jr., David McCoy, Steve Carr, Jason McCall, Doug Smith, Marty Calloway 

"Citizens Bank 75" Main Event:  Jimmy Owens, Vic Hill, Anthony White, Brett Miller, Tim Dohm, Bobby Giffin, Ricky Arms, David Payne, Michael Smith, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott James, Terry Wolfenbarger, Don O'Neal, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Scott Sexton, Brian Smith, Mike Marlar, Billy Ogle, Jr., Frank Merritt, Tommy Kerr, Jeff Neubert, Rex Richey, Freddy Smith  

Race Statistics: 

Entries:  39

Cautions:  6

Red Flags: 0

Lap Leader:  Jimmy Owens 1-75Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race: Tim Dohm (Started 24th and finished 5th) advanced 19 positions

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Tim Dohm

Series Provisionals:  Freddy Smith and Tim Dohm


BARDSTOWN, KY (August 27, 2005)-Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Racer Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN roared from his 15th starting position taking the lead from Donnie Moran and led the final 22 laps of the 5th Annual Bluegrass Classic for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on Saturday Night at the Bluegrass Speedway.  The 41 year old Bloomquist became the 16th different event winner in '05 on the series tour as he pocketed $10,000 for his victory.  Bloomquist was behind the wheel of his own Bloomquist Race Cars designed chassis which is sponsored by Miller Brothers Coal, Hawkeye Trucking and All Star Performance.  John Gill of Mitchell, IN had a strong finish coming from the 10th starting spot to take second in the Harrod Farms/Central Painting/Rocket Grand Prix.  Third place was 16th starter Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in the Lucas Oil Products/Dunn Benson Ford/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus.  Completing the top five was polesitter Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA in the Daufeldt Transport/Pro Power Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo and current series points leader Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN in the A1 Auto Salvage/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  A total of 53 cars were on hand for the event which was also a tribute to the late David Speer a longtime racer from the state of Kentucky who passed away last November.  Scott Bloomquist gave his winning trophy to Brenda Speer, Mr. Speer's widow.

When the green flag waved for the 60 lap main event which saw Brian Birkhofer and Donnie Moran start on the front row but it was first time Arkansas visitor, Jeff Taylor grabbing the headlines as he raced from his fourth starting spot and made his presence known early in the race that he would be a force to be reckoned with.  Taylor would get by both Birkhofer and Moran on the opening lap taking the lead on a track he had never seen before.  Taylor would pull away from Moran who was running in second and third place competitor, Birkhofer.  A forced spin by Matt Miller on lap two would bring out the first caution of the race.  With the races lined back up the Delaware double file restart would be in order with Taylor out in front and Moran and Birkhofer lined up side by side.  Taylor would sprint away from those two drivers again as he quickly made his way around the well prepared 1/2 mile oval opening up a sizable lead.  By the 10th circuit Taylor would be seven car lengths ahead of the field in a dominating performance so far.  Birkhofer who had gotten by Moran on lap three was running in second followed now by Darren Miller, who was on the move. 

With 15 laps scored it was Taylor on the point with now a ten car length advantage over Birkhofer.  D. Miller was still in third with Moran and Steve Francis in the top five.  At this point in the race Taylor would start to encounter some heavy traffic as he had picked up the back of the field.  Taylor's sizable lead was big enough that Birkhofer even in traffic could not catch up to him.  Taylor would slice through traffic making daring moves and coming out unscathed until a fateful lap 27 would lead to his undoing.  With a large lead Taylor would enter turn four with Jimmy Owens sitting in the groove he was running, Taylor tried to avoid the stopped Owens but he clipped Owens with the right front of his race car causing a flat tire and other damage.  Taylor would go pitside in the infield and his crew changed the tire, but enough damage was done to where Taylor did not like how his car would handle and he came back in calling it a night after such a superb run. 

Birkhofer then would inherit the lead with Miller, Moran and Francis behind him on the double file restart.  When the green came out to restart the race D. Miller would see a right front tire go down and he would be passed by several cars as he eventually would stop on the track bringing out another caution flag.  On the restart Birkhofer would still be on the point with Moran now in second followed by 15th starting, Scott Bloomquist who had quietly made his way to the front.  Don O'Neal was running fourth with Francis in fifth.  When the green flew again Moran would go side by side with Birkhofer for two circuits before finally clearing him and taking over the lead on lap 30.  Bloomquist would then pick up the pace again getting by Birkhofer for second as the trio of Moran, Bloomquist and Birkhofer were now putting on quite a show for the large crowd in attendance racing with inches of each other. Bloomquist would pull alongside Moran and for the next six laps those two would fight tooth and nail for the lead.  With seven World 100 wins between them those two know when the pressure is on and they performed flawlessly battling it out lap after lap for the lead.

 Bloomquist was able to clear Moran and take over the lead on lap 39 after the breathtaking duel with Moran.  Birkhofer would get back into the thick of things as he would get by Moran for second on lap 41.   With 15 to go Bloomquist was holding the advantage with Birkhofer, Moran, 10th starting, John Gill and O'Neal trying to track him down.  An incredible battle for third would see Moran, Gill and O'Neal go three wide on several occasions with Gill getting the spot on lap 48.   As the laps were winding down Bloomquist was strong holding a four car length advantage over the pack of hot pursuers.  Moran who started to slip back because he had a tire going down would slow to a stop in turn three on lap 53.  With seven to go the stage was now set for the finish.  Bloomquist would be in front on the double file restart with Birkhofer, Gill, Earl Pearson, Jr. up from 16th and O'Neal all trying to steal away a win from him.  When chief starter Brian Axsom dropped the green a seven lap shootout would take place, not for the lead but for second place.  Bloomquist would continue to be firmly in control of the race but action for second through fifth would be amazing.  Birkhofer, Gill, Pearson and O'Neal would go at like they were racing for the lead.  Gill would race to second with three laps to go as he Birkhofer, Pearson and O'Neal would slug it out until the checkers fell.  Pearson was trying very hard up against the retaining wall to gain some spots and on the final lap he was able to pass Birkhofer on the outside for third place.   Birkhofer would finish fourth followed closely by O'Neal. 

In victory circle, Bloomquist was happy over his win.  "The track tonight was great, you could pass on it and we all had a great battle out there, this is a nice facility and the way the track was prepared tonight that's the way it should be everywhere, I think we put on a great show for the fans tonight."  "We have fought some engine issues this year, but I believe we are on the right track to finish strong the rest of the season and we look forward to the challenge."

Completing the top ten were Francis, Darren Miller, Matt Miller, Greg Johnson and Mike Marlar. 

Pre race festivities for the 5th Annual Bluegrass Classic included a Special Guest appearance by Morgan Lucas, driver of the Joe Amato-owned Lucas Oil Products NHRA Top Fuel Dragster. Lucas was on hand to sign autographs and greet race fans. 

The next Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event will be on Sunday Night, September 4th at the Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, TN paying $10,000 to win.  

Race Summary

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Saturday Night, August 27, 2005]

Bluegrass Speedway-Bardstown, KY 

Fast Qualifier:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 15.828 seconds 

Heat #1:  Steve Francis, Darren Miller, Matt Miller, Earl Pearson, Jr., Steve Casebolt, Jr., Eddie Carrier, Jr., David Powers, Justin Rattliff, Mike Jewell, Bryant Woodcock, Mike Hawley

Heat #2:  Johnny Wheeler, Brad Neat, Dustin Neat, Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Bryan Barber, Chris Combs, Anthony Rushing, Michael England, Joey Daniel, Tim Prince 

Heat #3:  Jeff Taylor, Don O'Neal, Mike Marlar, Michael Chilton, Jason Keltner, Tim Tungate, Freddy Smith, Gary Yeager, Aaron Hatton, Shannon Babb, C.J. Rayburn 

Heat #4:  Brian Birkhofer, Scott James, Greg Johnson, Lee DeVasier, Whitney McQueary, Jeff Watson, Brandon Kinzer, Tim Dohm, Jesse James Lay, Cody Mahoney

Heat #5:  Donnie Moran, John Gill, Scott Bloomquist, Darrell Lanigan, Timmy Yeager, Jordan Bland, Scotty Earl, Rick Corbin, Dan Deaton, Doug Smith 

1st B-Main:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Darrell Lanigan, Michael Chilton, Josh Richards, Jordan Bland,Eddie Carrier, Jr., Brandon Kinzer, Shannon Babb, Rick Corbin, Justin Rattliff, Chris Combs, Michael England, Gary Yeager, Bryant Woodcock, Tim Tungate, Doug Smith 

2nd B-Main:  Bryan Barber, Jimmy Owens, David Powers, Jeff Watson, Tim Dohm, Timmy Yeager, Mike Jewell, Freddy Smith, Scotty Earl, Anthony Rushing, Cody Mahoney, Joey Daniel, Dan Deaton, Steve Casebolt, Jr. 

5th Annual Bluegrass Classic Main Event: (60 Laps):  Scott Bloomquist, John Gill, Earl Pearson, Jr., Brian Birkhofer, Don O'Neal, Steve Francis, Darren Miller, Matt Miller, Greg Johnson, Mike Marlar, Dustin Neat, Brad Neat, Bryan Barber, Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan, Scott James, Donnie Moran, Johnny Wheeler, Michael Chilton, Tim Dohm, Joey Daniel, Jeff Taylor, Timmy Yeager, Freddy Smith, David Powers  

Race Statistics: 

Entries:  53

Cautions:  4

Red Flags: 0

Lap Leaders:  Jeff Taylor 1-27, Brian Birkhofer 28-29, Donnie Moran 30-38, Scott Bloomquist 39-60Weld Racing Hard Charger of the Race:  Scott Bloomquist (started 15th and finished in 1st) advanced 14 positions

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Scott James

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Freddy Smith and Tim Dohm

Track Provisionals:  Joey Daniel and Timmy Yeager


PONTOON BEACH, IL (July 31, 2005)-After recording five second place finishes this season for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL finally broke through with his first win of '05 on Sunday Night, July 31 at the Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL as the 33 year old racer took the "Miller Lite-Wallace Brother Homecoming" 50 lap $10,000 to win main event to become the 15th different winner in 25 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events this season. 

Pearson who started fifth on the grid inherited the lead on the 23rd lap after race leader Don O'Neal went pitside.  Pearson was driving the Carlton and Kemp Lamm owned/Lucas Oil Products/Dunn-Benson Ford/K&N Engineering Inc./All Star Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels/Larry Wallace Racing Engines powered MasterSbilt Ford Taurus.  Finishing second and hounding Pearson until the finish was Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the PBM Performance Products/SMS Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Third was Matt Miller of Waterville, OH in the Dirt Shop, Inc/Lo Temp Brazing/Rocket Grand Prix with fourth place to Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA in the Daufeldt Transport/Pro Power Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo and completing the top five was  Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL in the Seubert Calf Ranches/Pro Power Engines/Rocket Ford Taurus. Shannon Babb and Don O'Neal would make up a stout front row starting line up and just as he had done in his heat race win Babb would show his strength early on grabbing the point from the start and immediately opening up a lead over O'Neal.  Babb would quickly start to pick up the tail end of the field as the cars were flying around the 1/2 mile dirt track.  O'Neal was trying to keep Babb with in eyesight as Babb started to lap cars by the 10th circuit.  Pearson, who started fifth was running third a this point with Moran and Darren Miller holding down fourth and fifth places.  As Babb and O'Neal were working their way through traffic O'Neal started to close down the lead on Babb closing to within two car lengths by lap 20.  Just when O'Neal looked like he had something for Babb a caution flew for a slowed Scott James on lap 21 for the only caution of the race.  During the caution Babb developed a flat tire and went pitside to change a tire giving up his lead to O'Neal.  When the race resumed O'Neal would sprint to the lead with Pearson in second followed by Moran, Matt Miller and Darren Miller. But O'Neal would last one lap in front until motor woes sidelined as he pulled his car to the infield and out of the race. Pearson would then pick up the point with Moran all over him.  Pearson would go to five car lengths out in front until Moran would chop that down to two car lengths at times.  By the 32nd lap traffic started to be in Pearson's future as Moran was right on him now.  As the duo would race through traffic Pearson would still hold the advantage.  Matt Miller and Brian Birkhofer were duking it out for third in a tight battle for that spot, but they were several car lengths behind the front two at this point.  With ten laps to go Moran was all over Pearson looking for a way to get past him with five laps to go Pearson would be four lengths ahead but Moran again would stage one last ditch effort in the closing laps and tried to drive his car harder into the turns to catch Pearson, but it was not to be as Pearson would handle the pressure of Moran and take his car to victory lane for the first time in 2005.  Moran was second with Matt Miller, Brian Birkhofer and Darren Miller completing the top five. "It feels good to finally get a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win" said Pearson on the victory podium where he was surrounded by his crew and Forrest Lucas, who was attending the event. "I'm glad we got one here in front of Forrest, this one is for him for sticking with me and believing in me even through the tough times earlier this year."  Just three weeks ago Pearson and the Dunn-Benson crew made the switch to a MasterSbilt Chassis. "This series has become the toughest to win on and this MasterSbilt car was great tonight I want to thank Keith and Tader Masters for their help along with some of the other guys running their equipment they have been helpful in giving me advice on the car." Rounding out the top ten were Shannon Babb, who re-entered the race after the flat tire, Freddy Smith, Brian Shirley, Steve Casebolt, Jr. and Brady Smith. The next Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event will be on Saturday Night, August 27 at the Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, KY paying $10,000 to win.Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Sunday Night, July 31, 2005 Tri-City Speedway-Pontoon Beach, IL Fast Qualifier:  Darren Miller  21.200 Heat #1:  Freddy Smith, Donnie Moran, Darren Miller, Randy Korte, Steve Sheppard, Jr., Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace, Mark Oller, Reid Mallard Heat #2:  Don O'Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott James, Brian Birkhofer, Tim Dohm, Jason Frankel, Jayme Zidar, Bert Cheatham, Mike Hammerle, Mike Wallace Heat #3:  Shannon Babb, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Matt Miller, Brian Shirley, Brady Smith, Whitney McQueary, Bryan Collins, Kyle Steffens, Ron McQuerry, Billy Laycock B-Main:  Kenny Wallace, Bryan Collins, Mark Oller, Kyle Steffens, Ron McQuerry, Bert Cheatham, Reid Mallard, Mike Wallace, Jayme Zidar, Billy Laycock, Mike Hammerle Miller-Lite Wallace Brothers Homecoming 50 Lap Main Event:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Donnie Moran, Matt Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Darren Miller, Shannon Babb, Freddy Smith, Brian Shirley, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Brady Smith, Randy Korte, Ken Schrader, Steve Sheppard, Jr., Whitney McQueary, Mike Wallace, Kyle Steffens, Bryan Collins, Kenny Wallace, Jason Frankel, Tim Dohm, Jayme Zidar, Don O'Neal, Scott James, Mark Oller, Mike HammerleRace Statistics: Entries:  30 Cautions: 1 Red Flags:  0 Lap Leaders:  Shannon Babb 1-21, Don O'Neal 22, Earl Pearson, Jr. 23-50 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Brady Smith Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Brian Birkhofer (started 11th and finished 4th) advanced 7 positions Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Jayme Zidar and Mike Hammerle Track Provisional:  Mike Wallace


LASALLE, IL (July 30, 2005)-The official score sheets from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Saturday Night at the LaSalle Speedway shows seven lead changes in the race, of course that is at the start-finish line but there were at least twice that many lead exchanges in the thrilling 50 lap $10,000 to win "Illinois Valley Challenge" that saw Muscatine, IA driver Brian Birkhofer park his car in victory circle for the second time this season in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition. 

Birkhofer led the last 16 laps of the race as he piloted his Daufeldt Transport/TB & Company/Simon Trucking/J&J Steel/McFarland Pain Clinic/Pratt Motorsports/Community Bank of Muscatine/S&S Concrete/Eastern Iowa Landscape/Executive Finish/Reed's Lawn Service/Bryant Roofing/Precision Machine/Pro Power Race Engines sponsored MasterSbilt Monte Carlo to the win in front of a packed house.   Trailing Birkhofer across the finish line was Earl Pearson, Jr of Jacksonville, FL, who came back from a flat tire to take second in the Lucas Oil Products/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus.  Dennis Erb, Jr. of Carpentersville, IL was third in the Petroff Towing/Malcuit Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo with fourth going to Matt Miller of Waterville, OH in the Doug Herbert Performance Parts/Russell Baker Racing Engines/Rocket Grand Prix.  Rounding out the top five was hard charger of the race, Billy Drake of Bloomington, IL in the Steidinger Construction/Mullvain Motors/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo who came from the 19th starting spot.

Earl Pearson, Jr. and 18 year old high school junior, Travis Rokey would make up the front starting row for the 50 lap main event.  The race would go green for one lap until an accident in turn two slowed the action.  Pearson had grabbed the point from the get go with Brady Smith sliding into second followed by Don O'Neal.  Pearson would lead another circuit after the restart, but Smith would get a run on Pearson down the backstraight to take the lead.  O'Neal would then go to second by Pearson as Pearson fell to third place.  Brian Birkhofer was headed towards the front as he started in fifth and roared past O'Neal and Pearson to take second on lap five.  The tremendous racing up front continued with Darren Miller pounding the cushion and going from 10th to third in only six laps.  On lap 6 the caution would fly for flat tires for Donnie Moran and Pearson.  Both pitted and returned to racing action.  The top five now would consist of Smith in front followed by Birkhofer, Miller, O'Neal and Dennis Erb, Jr.  Erb would get by O'Neal on lap for fourth.  The race for the lead had the capacity crowd cheering loudly as Smith and Birkhofer then would get toe to toe for the lead.  Smith and Birkhofer would race side by side down the straightways with Smith holding the advantage at the scoring line.  On lap 16 Smith would get too high in turn four and Birkhofer would slip by him to take the lead for the first time in the race.

Smith would then pull even with Birkhofer again and the two went side by side for two laps until Smith was out in front again on lap 18.  But a lap later Birkhofer retook the lead as the cars were really pouding the cushion that had built up in turns three and four.  Miller was a solid third with Erb and O'Neal still in the top five. O'Neal then would pass both Miller and Erb to take over third on lap 21.  With the halfway signal given it was still Birkhofer barely in front followed by Smith, O'Neal, Erb and now Matt Miller.  Scott James would slow and bring out a caution on lap 26.  On the restart O'Neal would blast by Smith and a lap later Birkhofer to take over the lead.  At the 30 lap mark it was now O'Neal showing the way and threatening to pull away from the field.  Birkhofer was second trailed by Smith, Erb and Matt Miller.  Jason Feger started to get it cranked up as the youngest entered the top five on lap 31 by Matt Miller.  A caution on lap 33 would halt the exciting action temporarily.  At this time Darren Miller who had been really strong left the race and did not return.  On the restart O'Neal bolted out to a three car length lead over Birkhofer, but Birkhofer would catch up and slide by O'Neal coming off of turn number four on lap 35.  Smith who was fourth in the running order would catch the burm in turn four and see Feger and Steve Casebolt, Jr. who was on the move from his 15th starting spot collide with him with all three cars retired for the night.

After that there would be no more cautions as the race would go green the rest of the way.  Birkhofer would be the lead with Pearson who had pitted earlier to change a flat tire now up to second in an incredible comeback.  Pearson had passed O'Neal for second on lap 35 as the two went door to door.  Pearson then set his sights on Birkhofer in the final 10 laps of the race, but Birkhofer would not make any mistakes and smoothly drive the track taking his car all the way to the checkers for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of '05.  Pearson's comeback netted him a second place finish for the fifth time in series competition as Erb would take third.  Fourth place was Matt Miller with Billy Drake charging up from his 19th starting position to take fifth place as he was right on Miller's heels at the finish.

In victory circle Birkhofer thanked previous LaSalle winner, Jimmy Mars for some expert advice.  "I want to thank Jimmy Mars for telling me what to do here tonight, he won here in May coming from 14th and I trusted his advice since he couldn't be here tonight I talked to him on the phone earlier,"  "That was a really exciting race and I want to thank the fans for coming out tonight and they surely got their money's worth watching that race."

Completing the top ten were Don O'Neal, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Michael Glynn and Freddy Smith.

In preliminary events Earl Pearson, Jr. was the Fast Qualifier for the 28 car field at 12.685 seconds.  The Heat Race winners were Pearson, Brady Smith and Travis Rokey.  The B-Main was won by Billy Drake.

Race Summary 

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Saturday Night, July 30, 2005 

LaSalle Speedway-LaSalle, Illinois

Fast Time:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 12.685 seconds

Heat #1:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Dennis Erb, Jr., Jason Feger, Darren Miller, Kevin Weaver, Jay Fiene, John Provenzano, Denny Eckrich, Frank Reaber, Edward Williams

Heat #2:  Brady Smith, Brian Birkhofer, Matt Miller, Scott James, Michael Glynn, Freddy Smith, Billy Drake, Tom Markham, Whitney McQueary

Heat #3:  Travis Rokey, Don O'Neal, Rick Aukland, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Bart Schwartz, Tim Dohm, Tony Izzo, Jr., Brian Shirley

B-Main:  Billy Drake, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Denny Eckrich, Whitney McQueary, Tom Markham, Frank Reaber, Tim Dohm, Edward Williams

"Illinois Valley Challenge" 50 Lap Feature:  Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dennis Erb, Jr., Matt MIller, Billy Drake, Don O'Neal, Brian Shirley, John Provenzano, Michael Glynn, Freddy Smith, Tim Dohm, Frank Reaber, Whitney McQueary, Donnie Moran, Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Darren Miller, Scott James, Jay Fiene, Travis Rokey, Kevin Weaver, Bart Schwartz, Rick Aukland

Race Statistics

Entries:  28

Cautions:  6

Red Flags: 0

Lap Leaders:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 1-2, Brady Smith 2-16, Brian Birkhofer 16-17, Smith 18,  Birkhofer 19-27, Don O'Neal 28-34, Birkhofer 35-50

Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Billy Drake (started 19th and finished 5th) advanced 14 positions

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Tim Dohm

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Tim Dohm and Whitney McQueary

Track Provisional:  Frank Reaber


WEST LIBERTY, IA (July 28, 2005)-Matt Miller of Waterville, OH led all 50 laps while outdueling Donnie Moran to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Thursday Night at the West Liberty Raceway in West Liberty, Iowa.  The 34 year old 2005 $100,000 Dream Winner rolled to the lead at the start of the 50 lap main event on his way to the $10,000 payday for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of '05.  Miller drove the Scott Smith crew chiefed, Dirt Shop, Inc/McCullough Industries/Performance Rod and Custom/Doug Herbert Performance Circle Track Parts/Lo-Temp Brazing/Banshee Graphics/Hoosier Tires/Whaley and Son Collision/McDonald Refrigeration/Russell Baker Racing Engines/Rocket Pontiac Grand Prix #7 to victory circle over Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the PBM Performance Products/SMS Race Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Third place went to Andy Eckrich of Iowa City, IA in his first career start with the series as he was driving the Precision Performance/GroveAutomotive/Barry Wright Grand Prix with fourth place going to Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA in the Daufeldt Transport/Pro Power Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo with Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in the Lucas Oil/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus. Andy Eckrich and Matt Miller would make the front row with 50 laps of racing in front of them it would be very important as to who would get the lead in this race at the start with the stout field on hand.  Miller would be the man to do that as he outpowered the younger Eckrich on the start and blasted into the lead heading into turn number one.  Eckrich would fall in behind Miller for second with Donnie Moran, Brian Birkhofer and Steve Boley making up the top five after one lap was scored. The race would go green until a three car accident in turn two slowed the action.  Once the race resumed Miller was still holding the point and building his lead to six and seven car lengths lap after lap over Eckrich.  Eckrich was receiving heavy pressure from Moran at this point and on lap 10 Moran would scoot by Eckrich to take over second place. Moran would now have Miller in his sights, but it would take a tremendous effort now to track down Miller has he had built a sizable lead.  A caution on lap 16 for a slowed Steve Casebolt Jr would close the field up behind Miller.  The race would then see five more laps of green flag racing with Moran all over Miller for the lead, but Denny Eckrich blew a tire on lap 21 necessitating another caution flag period. Scott James would stop with a flat on lap 24 for another caution as tire wear was becoming a factor among some of the top ten drivers. With the halfway mark given it was still Miller showing the way with Moran in second and a good battle for third between Andy Eckrich and Birkhofer was also taking place.  On the restarts Miller would open up a five car length lead over Moran and it would take Moran several laps to catch back up to Miller.  With 15 laps to go Moran was right on Miller's rear bumper and would close significantly in the corners as Miller would pull away down the straightaways.  A caution for debris on lap 39 would slow the field one more time and set up an 11 lap shootout to the finish line. Miller would again restart with force and get away from Moran as Andy Eckrich was fighting off all challenges from Birkhofer.  With five laps remaining Moran was again right on Miller, but it was going to take a mistake by Miller for Moran to pass him.  Miller would hold his line lap after lap in the closing segment of the race as he would power to win over Moran. Andy Eckrich the current point's leader at West Liberty Raceway would do a nice job all race long in securing the third spot at the pay window. Birkhofer would wind up fourth with Earl Pearson, Jr. coming on strong from his 12th starting spot to pass two cars in the waning laps to finish fifth. "It is real good win for the team," said Miller in victory lane afterwards. "I knew I had to get the jump on the 56 car heading into turn one, because I felt like once we had the lead it would be hard for anyone to pass us out here tonight," said the former Eldora Speedway track champion.  "I knew Donnie would be tough, he always is in the thick of things and I knew he was going to give me a strong effort to try and pass me, but I knew if I held my line it would be tough for him to beat me and on the restarts the car was exceptional and I want to give credit to Scott Smith and everybody with team for giving me such a great race car tonight and thanks to the fans for coming out tonight was well." Completing the top ten were Gary Webb, Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Chad Simpson and Chris Simpson. In preliminary events for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Don O'Neal was the top qualifier in the Time Trials with a lap of 20.545 seconds among the 30 entrants on hand.  The Heat Race Winners were Matt Miller, Donnie Moran and Andy Eckrich.  The B-Main was taken by Chad Holladay.Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Thursday Night, July 28, 2005 West Liberty Raceway-West Liberty, IowaFast Qualifier:  Don O'Neal   20.545 seconds Heat #1:  Matt Miller, Darren Miller, Steve Boley, Don O'Neal, Thomas Christenson, Rob Moss, Chad Holladay, Rick Aukland, Chad Simpson, Boone McLaughlin Heat #2:  Donnie Moran, Brian Birkhofer, Brady Smith, Scott James, Tommy Elston, Chris Simpson, Tim Dohm, Chuck Mayerhofer, Whitney McQueary, Todd Davis Heat #3:  Andy Eckrich, Gary Webb, Denny Eckrich, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dave Eckrich, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Freddy Smith, Jay Johnson, Johnny Johnson B-Main:  Chad Holloday, Tim Dohm, Chuck Mayerhofer, Chad Simpson, Rick Aukland, Johnny Johnson, Whitney McQueary, Boone McLaughlin, Freddy Smith, Todd Davis Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series A-Main:  (50 Laps):  Matt Miller, Donnie Moran, Andy Eckrich, Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson, Jr., Gary Webb, Don O'Neal, Darren Miller, Chad Simpson, Chris Simpson, Brady Smith, Tim Dohm, Chad Holloday, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Steve Boley, Dave Eckrich, Chuck Mayerhofer, Scott James, Denny Eckrich, Todd Davis, Rick Aukland, Rob Moss, Thomas Christenson, Tommy ElstonRace Statistics:Entries: 30 Cautions:  5 Red Flags: 0 Lap Leaders:  Matt Miller 1-50 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Brady Smith Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Chad Simpson (started 22nd and finished in 9th) advanced 15 positions Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Freddy Smith and Rick Aukland Track Provisionals:  Todd Davis

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2021 Championship Points

Points as of 9/4/2021
Pos Competitor Points
1stTim McCreadie (#39)5445
2ndJonathan Davenport (#49)5175
3rdHudson O'Neal (#71)5170
4thKyle Bronson (#40B)4920
5thJimmy Owens (#20)4865
6thTyler Erb (#1T)4795
7thRicky Thornton (#20RT)4770
8thShane Clanton (#25)4600
9thJosh Richards (#14)4580
10thMike Marlar (#157)4310

Live Timing

Television Schedule

All times are Eastern. Subject to change.
Thursday, September 23
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Brownstown, IN
Thursday, September 23
9:00 PM
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Greenwood, NE
Friday, September 24
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
- Brownstown, IN
Click here for full TV schedule.