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    Home Dirt Late Model News Don O'Neal Takes $40,000 Victory in Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals

    Don O’Neal Takes $40,000 Victory in Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals

    Lucas Oil Late Model SeriesKNOXVILLE, IA (October 1, 2011) – Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN took over the lead from a faltering Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN on lap 96 as he went on to capture the $40,000 to win 8th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals Presented by Casey’s General Stores on Saturday Night at Knoxville Raceway. O’Neal took the win over Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA; Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA; and Owens, who slipped to fifth at the finish.

    Austin Hubbard started off the first of the 100 laps of racing by leading the first 23 circuits. O’Neal then charged from his eighth starting spot to grab the lead on the 24th lap. O’Neal and Hubbard ran first and second until lap 56 when Owens made his presence known and moved into second around Hubbard.

    Owens shot by O’Neal for the lead on the 60th lap as O’Neal dropped to second followed by Hubbard, Jimmy Mars, and Birkhofer. Owens built a huge lead over the field as he began lapping cars at a rapid pace. One of the cars that Owens lapped was Scott Bloomquist, who had pitted.

    With 25 laps to go, it was all Owens leading O’Neal, Mars, Hubbard, and Birkhofer. Hubbard then caught up to O’Neal and passed him for second on lap 79. O’Neal charged back by Hubbard to regain the position with 15 laps remaining.

    Mars then came to a halt in turn number two with 88 laps complete. The restart turned out to be wild and crazy with Owens holding the lead with pressure from O’Neal. O’Neal made the move into turn number three to take the lead, but the caution came out for a metal wheel cover that was stuck in the track in turn number two.

    The final restart of race proved to be exciting as Owens once again shut the door on O’Neal down the front stretch. But O’Neal was not done yet. Owens started to slow as he hooked the berm, which affected the handling on his car. O’Neal then took the lead off of turn number four passing Owens, who had lost his momentum.

    O’Neal powered away from the field to score the victory in his first visit to Knoxville in seven years. The cars of Francis, Birkhofer and Reddick all got by Owens in the final laps. “That cushion bit me a couple of times,” said the 47-year-old in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the fourth time in 2011. “I was lucky to hang on for second as long as I did. There at the end, it finally got him (Owens), he raced me clean on those restarts, I would have done the same thing to him, and it was a great race.”

    “I have to thank Magnaflow Exhaust for being on the car and MasterSbilt Race Cars, Larry Moring and Ronnie Stuckey for all of their help. Also, thanks to my regular car owner, Tader Masters and everybody else. We’ve had a good year in this car as well as our regular ride. It feels great to come back here and win after what happened to us the last time here when I got hurt,” said O’Neal.

    The MasterSbilt Chevrolet is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Freeport Recycling Center, MDI Environmental Systems, Graphic Arts Express, Hoosier Tires, and Ohlins.

    Francis charged from his 12th starting spot to finish second at the line. “We had a real good car, after the year we have had it feels good to be here on the podium with these guys. We had a pretty wild finish there, Jimmy had a great car, he was long gone it looked like it. I don’t know if he hit the cushion or what, but we will definitely take this second place and go from here,” said the driver of the Valvoline, Roush-Yates, MasterSbilt Ford. Birkhofer, who won on Friday Night placed third in the J&J Steel, Pro Power Racing Engines, MB Customs entry. Reddick in his best ever run at Knoxville came home fourth in the Broken Bow Records, Gaerte Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars Chevrolet. Owens limped across the finish line for fifth in the Reece Monument Company, Cornett Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford.

    The remainder of the top ten were Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR; Austin Hubbard of Seaford, DE; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, WI; Bub McCool of Vicksburg, MS; and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN.

    The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be in action next weekend with events on Saturday Night, October 8th at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA and Sunday Night, October 9th at Rome Speedway in Rome, GA. Both events will pay $10,000 to win.

    For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com or call the series’ office at (951) 532-2503.
    Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
    Race Summary
    Saturday Night, October 1st, 2011
    8th Annual Lucas Oil Knoxville Nationals
    Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA

    Wrisco Aluminum C-Main (15 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Kevin Sather, Matt Furman, Tim Lance, Jay Johnson, Tyler Bruening, Chris Spieker, Darrell DeFrance, Jill George, Al Humphrey, Mike Wallace, Scott Lewis, Curt Schroeder, Chad Chenoweth, Alonzo Grosse, Paul Glendenning, Junior Coover, Steve Casebolt-DNS, Jeremiah Hurst-DNS, Jason Utter-DNS

    JRi Shocks B-Main (20 Laps- Top 6 Advance): John Blankenship, Brady Smith, Eric Wells, Brian Harris, Denny Eckrich, Frank Heckenast Jr., Kent Robinson, Ray Cook, Kevin Sather, Rich Bell, Matt Furman, Mike Fryer, Kerry Hansen, Billy Moyer Jr., Jay Johnson, Brad Neat, Nick Marolf, Jack Sullivan, John Duty, Charlie McKenna, Tim Lance, Earl Pearson Jr., Dave Eckrich, Dan Schlieper

    Feature Finish – 100 Laps

    FINISH START CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN
    1 8 71 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN
    2 12 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY
    3 1 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA
    4 16 11t Tyler Reddick Corning, CA
    5 5 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN
    6 14 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR
    7 2 19 Austin Hubbard Seaford, DE
    8 26 2 Brady Smith Solon Springs, WI
    9 23 57J Bub McCool Vicksburg, MS
    10 3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN
    11 21 3s Brian Shirley Chatham, IL
    12 15 777 Jared Landers Batesville, AR
    13 10 5b Mike Marlar Winfield, TN
    14 17 25f Jason Feger Bloomington, IL
    15 33 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC
    16 25 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV
    17 28 27h Brian Harris Davenport, IA
    18 30 99jr Frank Heckenast, Jr. Frankfort, IL
    19 22 28m Jimmy Mars Menomonie, WI
    20 27 18e Eric Wells Hazard, KY
    21 29 50 Denny Eckrich Tiffan, IA
    22 4 1 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY
    23 6 1v Will Vaught Crane, MO
    24 31 44 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL
    25 18 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY
    26 7 18 Shannon Babb Mowequa, IL
    27 11 98 Jason Rauen Farley, IA
    28 9 81 Scott James Lawrenceburg, IN
    29 13 25c Chad Simpson Mt. Vernon, IA
    30 19 32x Chris Simpson Oxford, IA
    31 32 41N Brad Neat Dunnville, KY
    32 24 56 Andy Eckrich Iowa City, IA
    33 20 1m Rob Moss Iowa City, IA
    DNS DNS 17m Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA

    Race Statistics
    Entrants: 62
    Lap Leaders: Austin Hubbard (Laps 1 – 23); Don O’Neal (Laps 24 – 59); Jimmy Owens (Laps 60 – 95); Don O’Neal (Laps 96 – 100)
    Caution Flags: Chris Simpson (Lap 24); Chad Simpson (Lap 29); Scott James (Lap 31); Brian Shirley (Lap 35); Darrell Lanigan (Lap 36); Mike Marlar (Lap 41); Scott Bloomquist (Lap 45); Jimmy Mars (Lap 88); Brian Harris (Lap 91); Debris (Lap 93)
    Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Brad Neat
    Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: Ray Cook
    Red Buck Cigars Fast Time Provisionals: none
    PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Reddick (Started 16th; Finished 4th; Advanced 12 positions)
    Allstar Performer of the Race: Don O’Neal
    K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Steve Francis
    Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Tyler Reddick
    COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
    Janowski Insurance Feature Winner: Don O’Neal
    Outerwears Challenger of the Race: Brady Smith
    Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award: Jimmy Owens
    DirtonDirt.com Crew Chief of the Race: Mike Price (Steve Francis)
    Time of Race: 1 minutes 35 seconds

    Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:

    POS CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN POINTS
    1 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 6540
    2 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 6515
    3 71 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN 5945
    4 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY 5585
    5 777 Jared Landers Batesville, AR 5240
    6 44 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL 5090
    7 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV 5060
    8 41n Brad Neat Dunnville, KY 5050
    9 11t Tyler Reddick Corning, CA 4890
    10 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC 4870
    11 17m Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA 4715
    12 18e Eric Wells Hazard, KY 4385
    13 57J Bub McCool Vicksburg, MS 4175
    14 99jr Frank Heckenast, Jr. Frankfort, IL 3765
    15 c9 Steve Casebolt Richmond, IN 3625

    NETWORK AIR DATE AIR TIME VENUE EVENT NAME LOCATION EVENT DATE

    SPEED 10/2/11 1:00 PM Portsmouth Raceway Park River Days Rumble Portsmouth, OH 9/3/11
    SPEED 10/9/11 1:00 PM Virginia Motor Speedway ASi Racewear USA 100 Saluda, VA 9/17/11
    SPEED 10/23/11 6:00 PM Brownstown Speedway 32nd Annual Jackson 100 Brownstown, IN 9/24/11
    SPEED 10/30/11 3:00 PM Dixie Speedway Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout Woodstock, GA 10/8/11
    VERSUS 12/18/11 6:00 PM Florence Speedway 29th Annual Sunoco Race Fuels North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil Florence, KY 8/13/11
    MavTV 12/29/11 9:00PM Florence Speedway 29th Annual Sunoco Race Fuels North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil Florence, KY 8/13/11
    SPEED TBA TBA Knoxville Raceway 8th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals Knoxville, IA 10/1/11
    MavTV TBA TBA Dixie Speedway Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout Woodstock, GA 10/8/11
    VERSUS TBA TBA Dixie Speedway Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout Woodstock, GA 10/8/11

    2011 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Sponsors

    ASI Racewear – “The Official Merchandise Vendor” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Canidae Pet Foods – “The Official Pet Foods” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    DART Machinery – “The Official Engine Components” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    E3 Spark Plugs – “The Official Spark Plug” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Geico Power Sports – “The Official Insurance” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    General Tire – “The Official Tire” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Hoosier Tire – “The Official Race Tire” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    K&N Filters – “The Official Filter” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Lucas Oil Products – “The Official Oil” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
    Magnaflow Exhaust – “The Official Exhaust” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    MavTV – “The Official Men’s Network” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    R&L Carrier – “The Official Carrier” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Rockstar Energy Drink – “The Official Drink” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Speedco – “The Official Truck Lube and Tire Center” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    Sunoco Race Fuels – “The Official Fuel” of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

    2011 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Supporters Include:

    Allstar Performance, American Racer, Banshee Graphics, Bloomquist Race Cars, COMP Cams, Cornett Racing Engines, Cruise with the Champions, CV Products, DirtonDirt.com, Dominator Race Products, Dyers Top Rods, ECR Race Engines, Eibach Springs, Fast Shafts, Gaerte Engines, GRT Race Cars, Hawk Performance, Hypercoil, Janowski Insurance, Jay Dickens Racing Engines, JE Pistons, JRi Shocks, Keyser MFG, Longhorn Chassis, MasterSbilt Chassis, Öhlins, Outerwears, PBM/Erson Cams, Performance Bodies, Pierce Racecars, Pro Power Racing, Quarter Master, Race Engine Design, Red Buck Cigars, Rhyne Race Engines, Rick Schwallie Photography, Ringers Gloves, Rocket Chassis, Roush Yates Engines, Roush Yates Performance, Safety Solutions, Sweet Manufactuing, Vic Hill Race Engines, Warrior Race Cars, Weld Racing Wheels, Wiles Drive Shafts, Wrisco, 5150 Race Trailers.

    James Essex, Public Relations Coordinator, jessex@lucasdirt.com

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