Robert Sell photo
Lucas Oil Series: O'Neal
Takes Ownership at Lawrenceburg
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – Aug. 26. Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. charged to the lead on lap 32,
passing Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa before winning Friday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at
Lawrenceburg Speedway. O’Neal earned $10,000 for his second series win of the season.
Birkhofer won the LOLMDS event at the track back in 2009. He sprinted to the lead at the start of
the 50-lap main event in front of a packed front stretch grandstand. Birkhofer, Scott Bloomquist, and O’Neal ran
three-wide for the lead for several laps before the caution appeared on lap six.
Eventual winner Don O'Neal races #0 Scott Bloomquist at Lawrenceburg.
Bloomquist came away with third. (Robert Sell)
Birkhofer held his lead through several cautions. O’Neal started fourth and made a run for second on
Bloomquist, passing the Hall of Famer on lap eight. With 15 laps complete, it was Birkhofer, O’Neal, Shane Clanton,
Bloomquist and Earl Pearson Jr. out front.
Birkhofer managed to keep his lead for most of the race, but O’Neal started to put the pressure on
him for the lead about halfway through the race. O’Neal slipped up, and Bloomquist got by him for second on lap 25
as a three-car chase for the lead was continuing. O’Neal drove around Bloomquist to regain second on lap 30 and two
laps later took over the top spot from Birkhofer before a thunderous home-state crowd.
With his second place showing at Lawrenceburg, Brian Birkhofer continues
to raise the stakes in the late season. (Brandon
O’Neal began to pull away from Birkhofer and Bloomquist, increasing his margin until he claimed the
victory. “Birkhofer had a really great race car at the start. I drove ours (the car) for all it was worth, the
cushion was rugged up there in two, I was just hanging on there at the end, I hope the fans enjoyed that one,” said
the 47-year-old who collected his 16th career series victory.“I kept trying that top
groove and it finally paid off. We had to battle those lapped cars there at the end, it was really hard racing
between the three of us for the lead. I was clean racing and I can’t thank Tader Masters enough, Cody Mahoney, and
everybody else on the crew, it’s nice to win here in Indiana,” said the winner.
O’Neal’s MasterSbilt Chevrolet is sponsored by Magnaflow Exhaust, Superior Cleaning, Jones Core,
Independence Lumber, Second Chance Livestock, Janowski Insurance and VP Racing Fuels. His car is powered by Jay
Dickens Racing Engines.
Birkhofer finished second in the J&J Steel, Pro Power Engines, MB Customs. He said, “O’Neal had
the better car. Don drove the wheels of it, he passed me clean, that was a great race for the lead, I was hoping to
hang in there, but he found that top groove and drove right by me.”
Shane Clanton and #0 Scott Bloomquist duke it out at Lawrenceburg as the
pair drives by #2 Dan Stone. (Robert Sell)
Bloomquist in his Hawkeye Trucking, Roush-Yates, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford beat Landers to the line
by a half a car length for third. “The track was racy all night, you could run high, low, in the middle, we all
three had different tires on. That was an exciting race for the fans, we all raced each other hard and clean, we’ll
take third and head to Bluegrass tomorrow night.”
Jared Landers, who still leads the Quarter Master
Rookie of the Year standings, came home fourth ahead of Tyler Reddick.
Area ace Kent Robinson (7) tries to take it four-wide with #41 Brad Neat,
#5 Mike Marlar, and #15 Steve Francis at Lawrenceburg Speedway. (Robert
Lucas Oil Series at Lawrenceburg
1) Don O'Neal,
2) Brian Birkhofer, 3) Scott Bloomquist, 4) Jared Landers, 5) Tyler
Reddick, 6) Jimmy Owens, 7) Shane Clanton, 8) Steve Casebolt, 9) Steve Francis (prov.), 10) Eric
Wells, 11) Frank Heckenast, Jr., 12) Brad Neat, 13) Ray Cook (prov.), 14) Mike Marlar, 15) Dustin
Neat, 16) Earl Pearson, Jr., 17) Kent Robinson, 18) Daniel Stone, 19) Justin Rattliff, 20) Jason
Jameson (prov.), 21) Eric Jacobsen, 22) John Blankenship, 23) Dale McDowell, 24) Greg Johnson, 25)
Fast Time (31 entries): Bloomquist (14.149); Heat winners: Bloomquist,
Landers, Birkhofer, O’Neal; B-main winners: McDowell, Blankenship.
Robert Sell photo