Birkhofer Banks $25,000 At I-80
GREENWWOD, Neb. — Brian Birkhofer completed a perfect weekend at I-80 Speedway, taking home the second annual Silver Dollar Nationals Saturday night.
He earned $26,000 for his victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil MLRA sanctioned event.
Birkhofer dominated the race after taking the lead from Billy Moyer on lap 11.
Scott Bloomquist got around Steve Francis with five laps to go, to finish second. Jimmy Owens came from 16th to finish fourth. Last year’s Silver Dollar Nationals winner, Don O’Neal, finished fifth.
Birkhofer earned more passing points than anyone in Friday night’s preliminary action and started on the pol, then bolted to an early lead. Moyer challenged Birkhofer for the lead, briefly taking the top spot away on lap six. Moyer and Birkhofer then exchanged the lead over the next five circuits with Birkhofer pulling ahead with 11 laps scored.
O’Neal took over the second spot from Moyer and stayed there until Francis passed him on lap 39. Francis and O’Neal then battled again for several circuits for second with Francis finally clearing O’Neal on lap 50. Birkhofer had built a huge lead over the field when a caution came out with 51 laps complete.
With 29 laps remaining, Owens was the car on the move. He made his way through the field and he climbed to third on lap 53, and then challenged Francis for several more laps all while Birkhofer powered to a straightaway lead over the field. Bloomquist, who started seventh, was then able to get by Owens with ten laps to go and he set his sights on Francis. Bloomquist tracked down Francis, taking the runner-up position on lap 75.
“Those restarts were something else, the car was either too tight or too free, depending on where I was on the track, O’Neal got a run on me down the backstretch and I didn’t see him and then we made contact,” said Birkhofer. “It moved me up the track and the car for whatever reason felt better, I don’t know about the lapped cars, they raced me hard the whole time, it seemed, but they are out there doing their job trying to make a dollar.”
Birkhofer survived a scary moment in the last 10 laps of the race when he made contact with the lapped car of Jonathan Davenport.
“Yes I got in there a little hot and I got into him,” he explained. “I was worried that I might cut down a tire or something, but apparently not, that was my fault, but I was trying to protect the lead, I didn’t know how much I was out in front, it could have cost us.”
Brian Birkhofer, Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis, Jimmy Owens, Don O’Neal, Billy Moyer, Chris Simpson, Tyler Reddick, John Blankenship, Terry Phillips, Eric Wells, Tim Isenberg, Jimmy Mars, Will Vaught, Kyle Berck, Earl Pearson Jr., John Anderson, Tommy Weder, Jonathan Davenport, Jason O’Brien, Bill Leighton Jr., Mark Dotson, Jared Landers, Travis Dickes, Denny Eckrich, Wendell Wallace, Chris Spieker, Kevin Sather, Justin Zeitner, Chad Simpson, Dave Eckrich, Mike Collins, Eric Turner, Mike Wiarda, Rob Moss.
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