O’Neal Stops Owens In Show-Me 100
WHEATLAND, Mo. — Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point leader Don O’Neal captured his first Lucas Oil Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com on Saturday might at Lucas Oil Speedway.
O’Neal fought off some stiff competition, including Jimmy Owens, who was trying to win the event for the fourth consecutive year.
After the final caution on lap 57, O’Neal found himself battling Owens who made his way around O’Neal to take over the lead. O’Neal over took Owens for the final time on lap 64, then pulled away from Owens and never relinquished the lead again. O’Neal earned $30,000 for the win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest Latemodel Racing Ass’n co-sanctioned event.
Earl Pearson Jr. held the fans attention for most of the race as he came from the 24th starting spot to finish second. Bobby Pierce made his way to third in his second ever Show-Me 100 after starting 12th. Scott Bloomquist made his way around Owens in the final laps to grab fourth spot. Owens faded to finish fifth in the final run-down.
“I finally did it,” shouted O”Neal, who started the event for the 16th time in his career. “The car was great from the start of the race and we took our time getting to the front. I was hoping to save on tire wear for all 100 laps by running in the bottom. When Jimmy got around me on that last restart I said ‘oh no, here we go again.’ That guy is pretty much unbeatable at this race track.”
In a race that saw five different leaders and six lead changes, O’Neal first took the lead from Tony Jackson Jr. on lap five, but the two exchanged the top spot a few more times until O’Neal forged ahead.
“We have been trying to win this race for so long, and we finally got it done tonight. I have to thank my car owner, Clint Bowyer, my crew chief, Jeremy Justice, Lance and Barry Wright, and the entire team; they did a great job all weekend,” O’Neal said.
Pearson made an amazing charge from the 24th starting spot and finally got around Owens for second with 23 laps remaining in the race.
“Hats off to Don O’Neal, he drove a great race. Our car was just excellent, we were able to roll through the corners fine and our straightaway speed was really good. I thought I was sitting in a pretty good spot on that last restart, and then here comes Jimmy. We have seen it so many times here before. Once he is in front, he usually wins. We had to race some lapped traffic there, but overall I hope the fans enjoyed that race,” Pearson said.
Pierce made a solid run tonight in the main event.
“We battled carburetor problems all night,” Pierce explained. “I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end. I probably could have used a caution there towards the end, but we had pretty good momentum there when we went by Bloomquist and Owens for third. Overall, it is a great honor to race with these guys, this just a fabulous facility, the race track was well-prepared and we look forward to coming back here next year for this race.”
Completing the top 10 were Mike Marlar, Jesse Stovall, Steve Francis, Shannon Babb, and Ryan Gustin.
In preliminary action, Ryan Gustin set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) amongst the 65 entrants, with a lap of 15.144 seconds.
Don O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Bobby Pierce, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar, Jesse Stovall, Steve Francis, Shannon Babb, Ryan Gustin, John Blankenship, Eddie Carrier Jr., Garrett Alberson, Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley, Jared Landers, Jason Papich, Rodney Sanders, Robert Baker, Chris Brown, Will Vaught, Chad Simpson, Terry Phillips, Jason Bodenhamer, Billy Moyer Jr., Tony Jackson Jr., Matt Furman, Jason Feger, Billy Moyer, Tommy Weder, Wendell Wallace, Travis Dickes.