Steve Francis Tops Silver Dollar Nationals Preliminaries
Story By: Jeremy Shields/LOLMDS
Photos By: Heath Lawson/LOLMDS & Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
GREENWOOD, NE (July 21, 2017) – A total of 51 entrants were on hand for Friday night’s qualifying program for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Lucas Oil MLRA co-sanctioned, 7th Annual Silver Dollar nationals at I-80 Speedway. Two rounds of passing point heat races highlighted the racing action; with ten different drivers taking the checkered flag.
In the first heat of round one, Chad Simpson took the lead at the start of the race. Simpson led the entire distance for the victory in the Brinkman Motorsports, Liebe Trucking, Black Diamond entry. The current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader, Josh Richards – in only his second-ever appearance at I-80 Speedway – finished a close second. Earl Pearson Jr. was the big mover in this heat, as he came from ninth to finish in third.
In heat number two, the inaugural Silver Dollar Nationals winner, Don O’Neal took the lead at the start of the 12-lap race and went on unchallenged for the win in the Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Club 29 entry for Clint Bowyer Dirt Motorsports. Shannon Babb came from the sixth starting spot to take second behind O’Neal. Brian Shirley roared from ninth to finish third.
The third heat of round one would go to veteran driver, Steve Francis, who started in third. Francis’ Rhino Ag, Josh Roberts Trucking, Capital Race Cars entry became the first driver from outside of the front row to win a heat race. Terry Phillips finished in second with 16-year-old, Hudson O’Neal coming home in third after starting in fifth.
Darrell Lanigan shot from his fifth starting spot to take the early lead in heat number four. Lanigan’s Clint Bowyer Dirt Motorsports, I-Racing.com, Club 29 Race Car pulled away from the field for a convincing win. Tony Jackson Jr. finished in second with seventh starting Jason Krohn gaining the third spot on the final lap.
The fifth and final heat race of round one saw Dennis Erb Jr. lead all 12 laps for the win. Erb’s Vomac Truck Sales, McBride Mack, Black Diamond Chassis won over Chase Junghans and ninth-place starter, Scott Bloomquist.
Brian Shirley claimed the victory in heat number one of round two in his Bob Cullen, Thomason Express, Rocket Chassis. Steve Francis came from eighth to conclude a solid night, with Jason Krohn finishing in third.
The second heat of round two belonged to Tim McCreadie as he stormed on for an impressive win in the Sweeteners Plus, Pro Power Racing Engines, Longhorn Chassis. Kyle Berck, the winner on Thursday Night at I-80 Speedway in the Malvern Bank Super Late Model Series, narrowly held off Timothy Culp for second. Culp in his first-ever appearance at I-80 Speedway came from seventh to finish in third.
Scott Bloomquist took the lead at the start of heat number three and ran away with the win in the Crop Production Services, Reece Monument Company, Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car. Bloomquist, the only 2-time winner of the Silver Dollar Nationals, won his heat over Earl Pearson Jr. and Billy Moyer.
Rodney Sanders, who is leading the Lucas Oil MLRA Rookie of the Year chase, led all the way to capture heat four in the Swan Energy, MB Customs entry. Don O’Neal charged from the tenth starting spot to finish in second. Tad Pospisil was third.
The fifth and final heat of the night went to Brandon Sheppard in the Seubert Calf Ranches, Valvoline, Rocket House Car after overcoming problems in round one. Kyle Bronson in his first-ever I-80 Speedway appearance was second with Corey Zeitner taking third.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday, July 21st, 2017
Silver Dollar Nationals
I-80 Speedway – Greenwood, NE
Eibach Springs Heat Race #1 – ROUND ONE Finish: Chad Simpson, Josh Richards, Earl Pearson, Jr., Mike Marlar, Chris Simpson, Randy Timms, Timothy Culp, Boom Briggs, Bob King, Allan Hopp, Kyle Berck
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 – ROUND ONE Finish: Don O’Neal, Shannon Babb, Brian Shirley, Mason Zeigler, Justin Duty, Joey Moriarty, Brantlee Gotschall, Mike Stadel, JC Wyman, Brandon Sheppard
Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 – ROUND ONE Finish: Steve Francis, Terry Phillips, Hudson O’Neal, Billy Moyer, Clay Daly, Ben Schaller, Jimmy Mars, Tad Pospisil, Matt Buller, Al Humphrey
QA1 Heat Race #4 – ROUND ONE Finish: Darrell Lanigan, Tony Jackson, Jr., Jason Krohn, Jesse Stovall, Rodney Sanders, Kyle Bronson, Austin Siebert, Dave Eckrich, John Duty, Bill Leighton, Jr.
ASi Racewear Heat #5 – ROUND ONE Finish: Dennis Erb, Jr., Chase Junghans, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Gregg Satterlee, Tim McCreadie, Corey Zeitner, Jake O’Neil, Jeremy Grady, Brian Kosiski
Eibach Springs Heat Race #1 – ROUND TWO Finish: Brian Shirley, Steve Francis, Jason Krohn, Chase Junghans, Jimmy Mars, Mike Marlar, Joey Moriarty, Jeremy Grady, Randy Timms, Austin Siebert, Boom Briggs
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 – ROUND TWO Finish: Tim McCreadie, Kyle Berck, Timothy Culp, Jake O’Neil, Clay Daly, Tony Jackson, Jr., Terry Phillips, JC Wyman, John Duty, Brantlee Gotschall
Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 – ROUND TWO Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Earl Pearson, Jr., Billy Moyer, Darrell Lanigan, Mason Zeigler, Al Humphrey, Dave Eckrich, Allan Hopp, Jimmy Owens, Justin Duty
QA1 Heat Race #4 – ROUND TWO Finish: Rodney Sanders, Don O’Neal, Tad Pospisil, Hudson O’Neal, Gregg Satterlee, Chris Simpson, Josh Richards, Brian Kosiski, Mike Stadel, Bill Leighton, Jr.
ASi Racewear Heat #5 – ROUND TWO Finish: Brandon Sheppard, Kyle Bronson, Corey Zeitner, Shannon Babb, Chad Simpson, Dennis Erb, Jr., Ben Schaller, Bob King, Matt Buller, Jesse Stovall
Penske Racing Shocks B-Main #1 Line Up (Top 3 Transfer):
Bill Leighton Jr.
Fast Shafts B-Main #2 Line Up (Top 3 Transfer):
Feature Line Up (80 Laps):
Earl Pearson Jr.
Dennis Erb Jr.
Tony Jackson Jr.
B-Main 1 – 1st Place
B-Main 2 – 1st Place
B-Main 1 – 2nd Place
B-Main 2 – 2nd Place
B-Main 1 – 3rd Place
B-Main 2 – 3rd Place
I-80 Provisional – 1
I-80 Provisional – 2
Belt Bash – 1st Place
Belt Bash – 2nd Place
Belt Bash – 3rd Place