HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 28 2012) – Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN earned the victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 31st Annual “Conococheague 50” on Saturday Night at Hagerstown Speedway.
O’Neal withstood a furious rally by Steve Francis of Ashland, KY to take the $10,000 victory; his 10th series win of the year. Francis finished second followed by 12th starting, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN; 18th starter, Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA; and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN.
O’Neal, who’s night started off on the wrong foot as he developed water pump problems in his main ride, had to bring out his back-up car in which he qualified third fastest in group A. O’Neal then finished second in his heat, earning the inside of the third row starting position for the feature event.
Francis, the pole sitter, led the first five laps of the race until O’Neal zipped past him on lap six for the lead. O’Neal pulled away from Francis as the two drivers opened up a several car length advantage over the rest of the field. Francis started to make a late-race charge as he went to the top side of the track, chasing down O’Neal, who kept his car on the bottom side of the track.
O’Neal and Francis then put on a show over the last ten laps of the race. O’Neal and Francis exchanged the lead at least a half-dozen times with Francis officially leading 8 laps. O’Neal regained the lead for good on lap 46 and pulled away from O’Neal and went on to become the seventh different winner in the seven Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events at Hagerstown.
“I have to thank the crew, they did a tremendous job getting the back-up car ready after hot laps. I hadn’t run that car much since the Icebreaker at Brownstown back in March. We had to change a lot on the car, and it was fast all night, we took off real good and I knew when I got past Scott (Bloomquist) there early we would have a good car. I had to move up on the track there at the end, because he (Francis) was fast on the outside,” said O’Neal, who vaulted to second in the series points standings.
“I have to thank all my sponsors, Tarpy Trucking is here tonight, Optima Batteries, Independence Lumber, Seubert Calf Ranches, Superior Cleaning, Budda Bert Transmissions, Dragon Race Fuel and Ohlins.” O’Neal’s MasterSbilt House Car Chevrolet is powered by a Jay Dickens Racing Engines.
Completing the top ten were: Gary Stuhler of Greencastle, PA; Eric Wells of Hazard, KY; John Blankenship of Williamson, WV; Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, PA; and Jerry Bard of Shippensburg, PA.
In preliminary action Steve Francis, Scott Bloomquist, Steve Shaver, and John Blankenship won their respective Heat Races. Earl Pearson Jr. and Tyler Reddick won their respective B-Mains.
After taking next weekend off, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will get back in action to start the month of August off at Florence Speedway in Union, KY for the Sunoco Race Fuels North/South 100 presented by Lucas Oil Products, Inc on Friday and Saturday August 10th and 11th. For more information, log onto www.florencespeedway.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
Saturday Night, July 28th, 2012
Hagerstown Speedway – Hagerstown, MD
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time Group A: Steve Francis / 18.337 seconds
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time Group B: / seconds
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer): Steve Francis, Don O’Neal, Rick Eckert, Jamie Lathroum, Marvin Winters, Austin Hubbard, Alan Sagi, Roy Deese, Jr.
U. S. Steel Second Heat (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Eric Wells, Jared Landers, Gregg Satterlee, Earl Pearson, Jr., Nick Dickson, Brandon Sheppard, Kenny Moreland
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer): Steve Shaver, Jonathan Davenport, Daniel Stone, Ronnie DeHaven, Jr., Jerry Bard, Brian Tavenner, Rusty Sites, Pancho Lawler
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer): John Blankenship, Gary Stuhler, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Miller, Tyler Reddick, Jason Covert, Frank Plessinger
JRi Shocks First B-Main (12 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Earl Pearson Jr., Marvin Winters, Austin Hubbard, Nick Dickson, Brandon Sheppard, Alan Sagi, Roy Deese, Jr., Kenny Moreland-NR
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (12 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Tyler Reddick, Jerry Bard, Jason Covert, Brian Tavenner, Kenny Moreland, Frank Plessinger, Rusty Sites, Pancho Lawler
Feature Finish – 50 Laps
FINISH START CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN
1 5 71 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN
2 1 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY
3 12 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN
4 18 11T Tyler Reddick Corning, CA
5 3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN
6 8 23s Gary Stuhler Greencastle, PA
7 7 18e Eric Wells Hazard, KY
8 4 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV
9 15 22s Gregg Satterlee Rochester Mills, PA
10 20 26 Jerry Bard Shippensburg, PA
11 9 24 Rick Eckert York, PA
12 6 15d Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA
13 10 2d Daniel Stone Thompson, PA
14 11 5 Jared Landers Batesville, AR
15 21 25h Austin Hubbard Seaford, DE
16 17 44 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL
17 22 43a Jason Covert York Haven, PA
18 19 46 Marvin Winters McConnelleburg, PA
19 2 6s Steve Shaver Vienna, WV
20 13 6L Jamie Lathroum Mechanicsville, MD
24 24 7 Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL
22 16 1m Jeremy Miller Littlestown, PA
21 14 17d Ronnie DeHaven, Jr. Winchester, VA
23 23 81 Alan Sagi Hagerstown, MD
Lap Leaders: Steve Francis (Laps 1 – 5); Don O’Neal (Laps 4 – 42); Steve Francis (Laps 43 – 45); Don O’Neal (Laps 46 – 50)
Caution Flags: Austin Hubbard (Lap 16); Ronnie DeHaven (Lap 18); Jamie Lathroum (Lap 21)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: none
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: none
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time Provisionals: Alan Sagi, Brandon Sheppard
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Reddick (Started 18th; Finished 4th; Advanced 14 positions)
Allstar Performer of the Race: Tyler Reddick
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Don O’Neal
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Jonathan Davenport
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: Cody Mahoney (Don O’Neal)
Time of Race: 25 minutes 19 seconds
Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:
POS CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN Points
1 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 5495
2 71 Don O”Neal Martinsville, IN 5155
3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 5120
4 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY 5065
5 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV 4735
6 44 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL 4660
7 15D Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA 4560
8 11T Tyler Reddick Corning, CA 4440
9 18E Eric Wells Hazard, KY 4275
10 5 Jared Landers Batesville, AR 4275
*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*