By Phillip Prichard:
On Friday, 9 August, Sixty-seven (67) Late Models arrived at Florence Speedway to compete for the $50,000 purse in the crown jewel event sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in the Sunoco North/South 100 at Florence Speedway on Saturday. The first North/South 100 was run in 1983.
R.J. Conley of Wheelersburg, Ohio was the fastest qualifier on Friday, with a blazing lap of 17.033 seconds at the half-mile, clay oval located in Union, Kentucky. Also, on Friday night, a six-lap RED BUCK Fast Dash race was won by Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tennessee. The Fast Dash race was for the fastest qualifiers the fastest qualifiers in Group A and Group B of the qualifying. Dale McDowell finished second, followed by R.J. Conley, Dustin Linville, Greg Johnson and Steve Casebolt.
Saturday night, belonged to Don O’Neal, who led the main event from flag to flag to win the $50,000 purse. O’Neal became the third driver in history to win the Sunoco North/South 100 twice, he also won last year’s event.
Six (6) Heat Races were run prior to two (2) B-Main Races.
Wiles Drive Shafts Heat Race #1 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): John Blankenship, Tim McCreadie, Greg Johnson, Michael Chilton, Dennis Erb Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Tyler Reddick, Kent Robinson, Wayne Chinn, Kyle Bronson, Tommy Weder
Eibach Springs Heat Race #2 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Eric Wells, Brad Neat, Gregg Satterlee, Steve Casebolt , Davey Johnson, Chad Stapleton, James Rice, Jeff Babcock, Jeremy Hines, Jeff Raisor, Brett Wyatt
Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Darrell Lanigan, Randy Weaver, Walker Arthur, Mike Jewell, Bill Blair, Jr., Scott James, Justin Rattliff, Dylan Ames, Jimmy Owens ,Tim Prince, D.J. Wells-DNS
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #4 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Don O’Neal, Duane Chamberlain, RJ Conley, Jared Landers, Brady Smith, Jimmy Mars, Chad Smith, John Gill, Dennis Roberson, Brian Gray, Tommy Bailey, Michael Asberry
ASi Racewear Heat Race #5 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Eddie Carrier Jr., Steve Shaver, Dale McDowell, Billy Moyer Jr., Stephen Breeding, Skylar Marlar, Jesse Lay, Victor Lee, Josh Williams, Mason Zeigler, Steve Landrum
DirtOnDirt.com Heat Race #6 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Steve Francis, Mike Marlar, Dustin Linville, Scott Bloomquist, Cody Mahoney, Dustin Neat, Chris Combs, Robby Hensley, Nick Latham, Mick Sansom, Chris Stotts-DNS
CV Products B-Main #1 (15 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): Steve Casebolt, Earl Pearson Jr., Tyler Reddick, Kent Robinson, Dennis Erb Jr., Chad Stapleton, Tommy Weder, Justin Rattliff, Jeff Babcock, Bill Blair, Jr., Wayne Chinn, Michael Chilton, Scott James , Kyle Bronson, Jeff Raisor, Jimmy Owens, James Rice, Mike Jewell, Jeremy Hines
Wrisco Aluminum B-Main #2 (15 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): Jared Landers, Scott Bloomquist, Brady Smith, Billy Moyer Jr., Dustin Neat, Jimmy Mars, Stephen Breeding, Skylar Marlar, Chad Smith, John Gill, Robby Hensley, Dennis Roberson, Brian Gray, Jesse Lay, Josh Williams, Steve Landrum, Cody Mahoney
After the Heat Races, B-Mains and a Modified Race, the track was prepped. The A Main got under way around midnight. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, the race was dominated by Don O’Neal who earlier in the day was presented the Sportsman Award by the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.
O’Neal held off challenges from John Blankenship and Steve Francis in the early stages of the race. O’Neal ran the fastest lap of the race on Lap #1 with a 16.548 second lap. Tim McCradie tried run down O’Neal in the latter part of the A-Main. O”Neal led the race from flag to flag. The top five finishers were: Tim McCreadie, Dale McDowell, Darrel Lanigan and Jimmy Owens. This was Don O’Neal’s 32nd Career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.
Feature Finish (100 Laps):
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||2||71||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|2||7||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY|
|3||16||41||Dale McDowell||Chickamauga, GA|
|4||5||29||Darrell Lanigan||Union, KY|
|5||23||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|6||6||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|7||4||28||Eddie Carrier Jr.||Salt Rock, WV|
|8||11||116||Randy Weaver||Crossville, TN|
|9||20||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|10||8||20c||Duane Chamberlain||Richmond, IN|
|11||24||28e||Dennis Erb Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|12||22||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|13||14||71c||RJ Conley||Wheelersburg, OH|
|14||1||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|15||13||15J||Greg Johnson||Bedford, IN|
|16||10||6s||Steve Shaver||Vienna, WV|
|17||21||44||Earl Pearson Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|18||3||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|19||18||D8||Dustin Linville||Lancaster, KY|
|20||25||P1||Tim Prince||Heltonville, IN|
|21||17||87||Walker Arthur||Forest, VA|
|22||9||11||Brad Neat||Dunnville, KY|
|23||15||22s||Gregg Satterlee||Rochester Mills, PA|
|24||12||5b||Mike Marlar||Winfield, TN|
|25||19||c9||Steve Casebolt||Richmond, IN|
|26||26||21JR||Billy Moyer Jr.||Batesville, AR|