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Don O’Neal Wins Terrific Battle at the Beach at Tri-City Speedway Friday Night

Don O’Neal Wins Terrific Battle at the Beach at Tri-City Speedway Friday Night

GRANITE CITY, IL (July 11, 2014) – A day after celebrating his birthday, current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader, Don O’Neal gave himself quite a present by winning the Battle at the Beach 50 on Friday Night at Tri-City Speedway. O’Neal took the lead from his teammate Steve Francis on lap 26 and withstood challenges from Jimmy Owens and Scott Bloomquist for the win.

In a battle amongst the top three in LOLMDS points standings, O’Neal held on for his fifth series win of the season. Bloomquist snuck by Owens at the end to finish second. Owens came home third, followed by 12th starting, Brian Birkhofer, and Francis rounded out the top five.

“What a win for this Clint Bowyer Race Team tonight! I saw Jimmy pull alongside a few times and I thought I had better get going. That top line was going away. The car handled really well whether we ran low, in the middle, or the top. It got pretty loose there at the end. I kept my pace pretty good, there were a few lapped cars that actually helped up keep the lead. The track was in excellent shape tonight, and I hope the fans got their money’s worth,” said the winner.

“Steve [Francis] got off to a good start. He had a really good car. I just kept digging and digging, and was finally able to get by him. I want to thank my crew chief Jeremy Justice, Tony, Trent, Barry and Lance Wright. Lance couldn’t be here tonight. He is with his daughter who just had surgery. Thanks to Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Crawford Supply, Traeger Grills, Cometic Gasket, Ohlins, Georgia Boot, Toyota, and Clements Race Engines.”

Bloomquist was able to overcome a few early setbacks; falling to fifth at one point; to collect the second place money. “We had a really good car; the track was just spectacular all night. I had a run there a few times, and I thought I was going to get both Don and Jimmy for the lead. Another second place finish for us tonight. It feels good knowing we have a car capable of winning every time out. I have to thank Ole Smoky Moonshine, Penske Shocks, Base, Andy Durham Engines and Randy Sweet. We will head to Wheatland tomorrow night and hopefully come home with a victory.”

Owens was in the hunt trying to make it back-to-back wins after a stunning run from 17th place to win at 201 last Saturday. “Wow what a race, at one point there was five of us racing for the lead. I tried a few times to slide up there in front of him [O'Neal], but I was going to race him clean. Then I got into the wall and that ended any chance I had of passing him for the win. Then here comes Scott and he got underneath me for second. We had a good point’s night and we’ll head down to Wheatland tomorrow and try to get us another win there. Thanks my Mike Reece, Reece Monument Company, Sunoco, FORD, and everybody else on this car.”

Completing the top ten were Jared Landers, Ryan Gustin, Chad Simpson, Billy Moyer Jr., and Terry Phillips.

In preliminary action, Jim Shereck set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) amongst the 37 entrants, with a lap of 14.733 seconds. Steve Francis set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 15.066 seconds. Billy Moyer Jr., won their respective heat races. Jimmy Owens and Shannon Thornsberry won their respective B-Mains.

For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com and follow the series on www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twitter.com/lucasdirt.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Race Summary
Friday Night, July 11, 2014
“Battle at the Beach 50″
Tri-City Speedway – Granite City, IL

Miller Welders Fast Time Group A: Tim Dohm / 13.780 seconds

Miller Welders Fast Time Group B: Earl Pearson Jr. / 13.995 seconds

Fast Shafts Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Billy Moyer, Jr., Jimmy Owens, Jim Shereck, Earl Pearson, Jr., Brandon Overton, Jeremy Payne, Scott Weber, Kolby Vandenbergh, Bob Martintoni, Paul Schrempf

Eibach Springs Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Ryan Gustin, Jason Hughes, Dennis Erb, Jr., Travis Dickes, Tim Manville, Chris Fetter, Scott Lewis, Derek Fetter

Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Steve Francis, Eddie Carrier, Jr., Randy Korte, Chad Simpson, Jack Sullivan, Tony Jackson, Jr., Jason Papich, Craig Vosbergen, Gavin Landers

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Don O’Neal, John Blankenship, Brian Birkhofer, Terry Phillips, Jared Landers, Billy Laycock, Michael Kloos, Steven Karnes, Paul Bailey

JRi Shocks B-Main #1 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer) Finish: Brandon Overton, Tim Manville, Travis Dickes, Jeremy Payne, Scott Weber, Chris Fetter, Scott Lewis, Bob Martintoni, Derek Fetter, Paul Schrempf, Kolby Vandenbergh

CV Products B-Main #2 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer) Finish: Jared Landers, Jack Sullivan, Tony Jackson, Jr., Jason Papich, Michael Kloos, Billy Laycock, Gavin Landers, Steven Karnes

Feature Finish (50 Laps):

FINISH START CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN

1 4 5 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN
2 3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN
3 5 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN
4 12 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA
5 2 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY
6 18 777 Jared Landers Batesville, AR
7 7 19R Ryan Gustin Marshalltown, IA
8 14 25c Chad Simpson Mt. Vernon, IA
9 1 21jr Billy Moyer, Jr. Batesville, AR
10 16 75 Terry Phillips Springfield, MO
11 9 17 Jim Shereck St. Charles, MO
12 17 5e Brandon Overton Appling, GA
13 19 33T Tim Manville Highland, IL
14 13 44 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL
15 15 28e Dennis Erb, Jr. Carpentersville, IL
16 20 18x Jack Sullivan Greenbrier, AR
17 22 56 Tony Jackson, Jr. Lebanon, MO
18 23 91p Jason Papich Nipomo, CA
19 11 12 Jason Hughes Watts, OK
20 28 5A Paul Schrempf St. Louis, MO
21 27 6k Michael Kloos Trenton, IL
22 6 28 Eddie Carrier, Jr. Salt Rock, WV
23 8 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV
24 21 6T Travis Dickes Madison, NE
25 10 00 Randy Korte Highland, IL
26 25 186 Jeremy Payne Springfield, MO
27 24 92w Scott Weber Festus, MO
28 26 99L Scott Lewis Henderson, CO

Race Statistics

Entrants: 37

Lap Leaders: Steve Francis (Laps 1 – 26); Don O’Neal (Laps 27 – 50)

Cautions: Eddie Carrier Jr., John Blankenship (Lap 29); Earl Pearson Jr. (Lap 30)

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Jason Papich

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

Miller Welders Fast Time Provisionals: Scott Weber

Lucas Oil Midwest Latemodel Racing Association Provisionals: Jeremy Payne, Scott Lewis

Wrisco Feature Winner: Don O’Neal

Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jared Landers (Started: 18th; Finished: 6th; Advanced 12 Positions)

Keyser Mfg Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Don O’Neal

Allstar Performer of the Race: Don O’Neal

Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Don O’Neal

Dunn Benson Ford Rookie of the Race: Jason Papich

Midwest Sheet Metal Highest Finishing Rookie: Jason Papich

COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race Engines

Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Barry Wright Race Cars

Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Jeremy Justice (Don O’Neal)

HAWK Performance Fastest Lap of the Race: Steve Francis (Lap #1 – 15.982 seconds)

Time of Race: 28 minutes 20 seconds

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:

POS CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN POINTS

1 5 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN 4625
2 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 4585
3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 4205
4 44 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL 4100
5 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY 4060
6 28 Eddie Carrier, Jr. Salt Rock, WV 4000
7 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV 3670
8 777 Jared Landers Batesville, AR 3635
9 28e Dennis Erb, Jr. Carpentersville, IL 3380
10 12 Jason Hughes Watts, OK 3180
11 91p Jason Papich Nipomo, CA 3075

*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*

About Mike Neff

Mike Neff
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Sprint Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Thursday with Tech Talk. Mike works as track announcer for Millbridge Speedway and East Lincoln Speedway, local bullrings based outside of Charlotte, and pops up everywhere from Athlon Sports to SIRIUS XM Radio.