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Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Recaps 37th Annual DART Winternationals

Monday February 25, 2013


The Real Deal Don O’Neal in Victory Lane at East Bay Raceway Park.
Photo Courtesy of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series completed another successful Dart Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Florida last week. There were 46 different drivers that entered the week-long events. Race fans were entertained with some of the most exciting racing action including five (5) different winners out of the six (6) race events during the week. Don O’Neal won the Dart Winternationals points title and the $5,000 bonus with an outstanding week of consistency. O’Neal earned podium finishes in five (5) out of the six (6) events including one win, two 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes and a 8th place finish to beat out 2012 Dart Winternationals Champion Dennis Erb who was the only repeat winner during the Dart Winternationals.

O’Neal driving the Optima Batteries Mastersbilt house car powered by a Jay Dickens Engine earned an impressive victory on Friday night winning the 50-lap main event paying $10,000 to win. O’Neal would battle several competitors during the event racing sometimes three and four wide with Doug Drown, Dennis Erb and 16-year old sensation Bobby Pierce. O’Neal would take over the top spot on lap 39 and held off the late charges of Drown and Pierce to earn the exciting win. “That was a thrilling race, the fans could not have asked for a better feature! We changed so many things on this car, and it was perfect in the end,” said the winner, O’Neal. “I got up to second and we (Drown) raced hard for the lead, I would get by him, then he would come back around me”, stated O’Neal in victory lane.

Dennis Erb has proved again that East Bay Raceway Park is one of his favorite tracks as he battled O’Neal all week but came up just short of claiming his 4th Dart Winternationals title. Erb had two wins, one 4th place finish, a 5th place finish, a 19th place finish and a 9th place finish on the final night to finish 2nd in the Dart Winternationals points.

Other winners during the week includes back to back LOLMDS champion Jimmy Owens, two-time LOLMDS champion Scott Bloomquist and four-time series champion Earl Pearson Jr. who claimed the final night feature event of the Dart Winternationals and the $10,000 first place prize. Pearson won in dramatic fashion pitting on lap 37 with a flat tire and charging from the rear of the field passing O’Neal for the lead with 8-laps to go to claim his 3rd career win at East Bay Raceway Park. Pearson’s win ended a two year winless streak for the four-time series champion giving his Bobby Labonte owned racing team a great start in 2013. Pearson was relieved and excited about his new revamped team after the win, “It’s been a long-time, no doubt. Our deal with Kevin Rumley came together just a few months ago and we have come out of the box running much better! I have to thank Steve Shaver, he was my crew chief this week, and everybody at Lucas Oil and MAVTV American Real for their support! It feels great to be back in victory lane!”

The Dart Winternationals also gave race fans an opportunity to watch some of the sports young up and coming stars battle with the many veterans and stars of the dirt late model industry at East Bay Raceway Park. Teenage sensations Bobby Pierce, Tyler Reddick, Devin Moran and 14-year old Braden Mitchell all made at least one feature event during the week. For the first time in the history of the sport three teenage drivers finished in the top ten of a major national touring feature event with Pierce 5th, Reddick 6th and Devine Moran finishing 8th on the first night of the Dart Winternationals sanctioned by the LOLMDS.

Other young up and coming stars of the sport that competed during the Dart Winternationals that could elect to compete for the JRi Shocks Rookie of the Year presented by Dunn-Benson Ford include Billy Moyer Jr., Doug Drown and Vic Coffey. The rookie crop is shaping up to be full of talent as the series heads into the 2013 season

Don O’Neal leads the 2013 LOLMDS national points standings after two series points events at East Bay Raceway Park followed by Earl Pearson Jr., Bobby Pierce, Steve Francis and Dennis Erb. Sixth through tenth in the national points standings include: Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Doug Drown, Jared Landers and Scott Bloomquist.

The final Dart Winternationals Points standings include Don O’Neal taking home the $5,000 bonus followed by Dennis Erb, Steve Francis, Tyler Reddick, Jimmy Owens, Vic Coffey, Bobby Pierce, John Blankenship, Eric Jacobsen and Donnie Moran.

The LOLMDS will head to Brownstown, Indiana for the next sanctioned event on March 23rd for the “16th Annual Indiana Icebreaker”. The one-day show will pay $10,000 to the winner and is expected to draw a large field of racers from all over the country. Don O’Neal is the defending Indiana Icebreaker Champion.

For more information about the event, log onto the track’s official website, www.brownstownspeedway.com.

About Dart Machinery- Dart Machinery’s Technology Center in Troy, MI now houses the company’s administrative offices, the R&D headquarters, inspection, machining, and warehouse operations. A separate production facility in nearby Melvindale, MI houses the thundering CNC machining centers that produce heads and blocks from raw castings. Twenty five years ago, it all began with a desk, a telephone and a dream. Today Dart is the acknowledged leader in aftermarket components for racing engines. For more information on Dart, visit their website at www.dartheads.com.

For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, visit the series’ website at www.lucasdirt.com.

Follow the series on the social media outlets at www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twtitter.com/#!/lucasdirt.

DART Winternationals Point Standings:


1 71 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN 1360
2 28e Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL 1265
3 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY 1160
4 11T Tyler Reddick Corning, CA 1130
5 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 1125
6 32 Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL 1090
6 32c Vic Coffey Caledonia, NY 1090
8 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV 1075
9 5J Eric Jacobsen Watsonville, CA 1060
10 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 1030

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:


1 71 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN 480
2 44 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL 460
3 32 Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL 400
4 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY 395
5 28e Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL 390
6 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 385
7 23 John Blankenship Williamson, WV 380
7 63 Doug Drown Wooster, OH 380
9 5 Jared Landers Batesville, AR 365
10 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 360
11 32c Vic Coffey Caledonia, NY 350
12 11T Tyler Reddick Corning, CA 345
13 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 320
14 21JR Billy Moyer Jr. Batesville, AR 305
15 28 Eddie Carrier Jr. Salt Rock, WV 300
16 54 David Breazeale Philadelphia, MS 295
16 7L Jerry Lierly Camp Point, IL 295
18 7w Ricky Weiss Headingley, MB 290
18 11h Austin Hubbard Seaford, DE 290
18 81JR Jason Riggs Harrisburg, IL 290
21 4-Ds Chad Hollenbeck Montrose, PA 275
22 99m Devin Moran Dresden, OH 265
23 32s Chad Stapleton Edinburgh, IN 255
24 77 Jason McBride Carbondale, IL 250
24 5J Eric Jacobsen Watsonville, CA 250
24 16 Justin Rattliff Campbellsville, KY 250

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.


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