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Eldora Speedway

Blow-by-blow action Saturday at Dream XV

June 6, 2009, 5:27 pm
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com chief writer

ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 6) — Heat races are scheduled to launch Saturday's action for the $100,000-to-win Dream XV at Eldora Speedway. Heats (15 laps) will transfer three drivers apiece into the main event with a C-Main, B-Main and 100-lap feature also part of Saturday's program at the historic half-mile oval. All results are unofficial:

11:24 p.m.: Owens wins from 19th

In a stunning rally from the 10th row, Jimmy Owens took command on the 72nd lap with a third-to-first move over Scott Bloomquist and polesitter Tony Stewart and pulled away for a victory. The winning car showed smoke in the corners most of the way. He won by a straightaway with Bloomquist second, Darrell Lanigan third, Jimmy Mars fourth and Brian Birkhofer fifth. The results are unofficial.

11:16 p.m.: Smoking Owens pulling away

With smoke still pouring out the rear of his car, Jimmy Owens is pouring it on. The 19th-starting provisional driver has nearly a straightaway on Scott Bloomquist while Darrell Lanigan has dropped Tony Stewart to fourth. Jimmy Mars is a steady fifth, but he's a quarter-lap behind Owens.

11:14 p.m.: Owens leads lap 72

Bloomquist's No. 0 shed its air filter on the 67th lap, and suddenly Jimmy Owens is right on the leaders. He went from third to first on one lap to take command on lap 72, going between Tony Stewart and Bloomquist into turn three. Owens is still smoking significantly, but it's obviously not slowing the car as he's passed 18 cars en route to the lead.

11:12 p.m.: Tight up front

Tony Stewart leads Scott Bloomquist by a few lengths on lap 65 as Jimmy Owens creeps closer, despite his car showing continuous smoke in the corners. Darrell Lanigan is up to fourth (from 15th) and he's catching the leaders, too. Jimmy Mars and Brian Birkhofer are fifth and sixth.

11:10 p.m.: Stewart back out front on lap 61

On the lap-51 restart, Stewart is staying with Bloomquist, who is running mostly low in the corners while Smoke is up high. Jimmy Owens, who started 19th with a provisional, is catching the lead duo in what appears to be shaping up for a three-way battle for the lead. Owens is about a half-straight behind on lap 61, as Stewart took the lead.

11:06 p.m.: Richards draws lap-51 caution

Josh Richards slowed, apparently after hitting the wall and shredding a right rear tire (the tire might have caused him to hit the wall, Richards said) He's done. That erased a straightaway lead for Scott Bloomquist over Tony Stewart. The rundown from third on back is Jimmy Mars, Don O'Neal, Brian Birkhofer and Jimmy Owens, who is soldiering on despite showing smoke.

11:03 p.m.: Miller a threat?

Scott Bloomquist looks strong out front after 43 laps, more than a half-straightaway ahead of Tony Stewart. Jimmy Mars is third, just ahead of Don O'Neal while 12th-starting Matt Miller is running fifth, battling with 14th-starting Brian Birkhofer.

11:01 p.m.: Bloomquist leads lap 37

Fifth-starting Scott Bloomquist nosed Tony Stewart at the line to take the lead on the 37th lap, and he's already pulled away while running the low groove. Stewart is still up high but already a half-straightaway back after 39 laps.

11 p.m.: Potential Bloomquist-Stewart battle brewing?

Scott Bloomquist took third from Jimmy Mars on the 30th lap, and he's within a half-straight of leader Tony Stewart with second-running Don O'Neal in between. Jimmy Owens is up from 19th to 10th, but his car is smoking. Dale McDowell pulled off on the 34th lap.

10:58 p.m.: Lap-25 rundown

Tony Stewart, Don O'Neal, Jimmy Mars, Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer and Matt Miller, who just overtook Jason Feger. Stewart is about a a half-lap ahead of eighth-running Steve Francis.

10:57 p.m.: Stewart edges away

Leading Tony Stewart has a half-straightaway on Don O'Neal while Jimmy Mars and Scott Bloomquist are another half-straightaway back after 21 laps. Stewart is lapping Randy Korte on lap 23, and Korte pulled out shortly thereafter.

10:55 p.m.: Lap-15 rundown

Tony Stewart, Don O'Neal, Jimmy Mars, Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, Jason Feger, Matt Miller, Chub Frank, Brian Birkhofer, Steve Francis and Jeep Van Wormer. Chris Madden has faded and is chasing Van Wormer.

10:53 p.m.: Stewart takes over on lap 11

Polesitter Tony Stewart's outside pass of Don O'Neal gave him the lead on the 11th lap as the frontrunners pull within a straightaway of slower cars, starting with Jonathan Davenport.

10:52 p.m.: O'Neal leads after 10 laps

With the first six starters holding the first six spots, outside front-row starter Don O'Neal is in control early, leading by one length after 10 laps. Tony Stewart is followed by Jimmy Mars, Billy Moyer, Jason Feger and Scott Bloomquist with most of them running the higher groove (O'Neal and Bloomquist are a touch lower). Seventh is Matt Miller, but he's losing touch with the front pack.

10:48 p.m.: O'Neal jumps first start

The first start was called back when Don O'Neal jumped the start — big time — on polesitter Tony Stewart. The second start was more successfull with O'Neal still beating Stewart into turn one and leading early.

10:40 p.m.: Driver intros complete

Drivers are buckling into their cars following driver introductions. Dream XV is about ready to begin. The cars began rolling about 10:45 p.m.

10:28 p.m.: Feature cars rolling onto track

Crew members are driving the feature cars onto the frontstretch as Eldora officials prepare for driver introductions. Chris Mars drove Jimmy Mars' No. 28, Matt Barnes drove Josh Richards' No. 1, Joe Drake drove Jeep Van Wormer's No. 55, Jay Hunt drove Shannon Babb's No. 18, but Scott Bloomquist piloted his own car and then walked back toward the meeting before driver intros.

10:22 p.m.: First-time starters

The first-time starters in the Dream field are Jason Feger, Jonathan Davenport and track owner Tony Stewart, who is competing in the event for the first time.

10:18 p.m.: Rockets lead field

The 24-car field has 11 Rocket Chassis and six other chassis makes. Next is Bloomquist Race Cars (four) and MasterSbilt (three). There are two Warrior Race Cars and two M-B Customs Chassis, the only two in existence (driven by Jimmy Mars and Brian Birkhofer, who designed the car with Jimmy's brother and crew chief Chris). There's one Pierce Race Car and one Victory Circle Chassis. The field is represented by 15 states among the 24 starters.

10:13 p.m.: Birkhofer headed for grid

Brian Birkhofer is the first driver heading through pre-feature tech en route to the lineup grid, followed Jimmy Owens and Don O'Neal. Birkhofer is scheduled to start 14th in the main event. No doubt teams are choosing the hardest legal tire compound, Hoosier LM40s, on a smooth, black-slick surface. Most heat winners used the high groove but there's the barest of cushions up top. Officials use durometers to check the rear tires in the pre-feature tech.

10:11 p.m.: 15-minute call for feature

Teams must have their cars on the grid by 10:26 p.m., track officials announced.

10 p.m.: McDowell wins B-Main

Polesitter Dale McDowell led all the way in the 20-lap B-Main to transfer to the main event. Randy Korte closed the gap on McDowell late to finish second while Jonathan Davenport was third despite an early brush with the wall that damaged his spoiler. Dennis Erb Jr. held fourth most of the way, but Earl Pearson Jr. made an outside pass exiting turn two on the final lap to get the fourth and final transfer spot. Erb was fifth followed by Tim Fuller, Delmas Conley and John Blankenship.

B-Main finish: Dale McDowell, Randy Korte, Jonathan Davenport, Earl Pearson Jr., Dennis Erb Jr., Tim Fuller, Delmas Conley, John Blankenship, Brian Ruhlman, Chris Wall, Mike Marlar, Bart Hartman, Dan Schlieper, R.J. Conley, Wayne Chinn, Aaron Scott, Jerry Bowersock, Clint Smith, Jay Johnson, Donnie Moran, John Mason, Chris Ferguson, Steve Casebolt, Wendell Wallace

9:45 p.m.: Cleanup on frontstretch

Track workers are cleaning up what appears to be a glass shield that covers one of the lights on the =main light standard next to the flagstand. Six workers are kneeling to clean up the glass as the B-Main drivers line up.

9:40 p.m.: B-Main lineup (top four advance)

Row 1: Dale McDowell, Chris Ferguson
Row 2: Randy Korte, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Delmas Conley, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: John Blankenship, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 5: Brian Ruhlman, R.J. Conley
Row 6: Dan Schlieper, Wayne Chinn
Row 7: Steve Casebolt, Wendell Wallace
Row 8: John Mason, Mike Marlar
Row 9: Jerry Bowersock, Chris Wall
Row 10: Bart Hartman, Tim Fuller
Row 11: Clint Smith, Jay Johnson
Row 12: Donnie Moran, Aaron Scott

9:38 p.m.: Feger's team thrashing

Jason Feger is in good shape after winning the third heat, but his team isn't relaxing before the main event. After taking the checkered flag, Feger got into the wall and tore up "everything on the right side" of the car, he said. The team has been thrashing since the heat to prepare the Peirce Race Car No. 25.

9:30 p.m.: Hartman takes C-Main

Polesitter Bart Hartman led flag-to-flag for a victory in the C-Main, leading a parade of nine drivers going to the final six rows of the B-Main. Hartman heads for the B-Main along with Tim Fuller, Clint Smith, Jay Johnson, Donnie Moran and Aaron Scott. Eric Wells and Brady Smith finished seventh and eighth, just behind Scott. Hartman is taking tires and fuel, staying in the car, as they prepare to go to the B-Main.

C-Main finish: Bart Hartman, Tim Fuller, Clint Smith, Jay Johnson, Donnie Moran, Aaron Scott, Eric Wells, Brady Smith, Vic Hill, Brian Shirley, Chris Simpson, Chad Mahder, Tommy Kerr, Chad Ruhlman, Doug Drown, Justin McNeill, David Gentry, Casey Noonan, D.J. Wells, Curt Spalding, Rusty Schlenk, Eddie Carrier Jr., Shawn Toczek, Curtis Deisenroth.

9 p.m.: C-Main is up next

There's a break in the action as officials set the C-Main, which includes drivers who finished 7-10 in heat races. The 10th-row provisional starting spots in the feature, which goes to the two fastest cars via qualifying who didn't transfer through the heats, go to Jimmy Owens and Jared Landers. C-Main lineup (the top six finishers advance to the tail fo the B-Main):

C-Main lineup
Row 1: Bart Hartman, Clint Smith
Row 2: Tim Fuller, Eric Wells
Row 3: Jay Johnson, Donnie Moran
Row 4: Aaron Scott, Rusty Schlenk
Row 5: Tommy Kerr, Curt Spalding
Row 6: Chad Mahder, Vic Hill
Row 7: Chris Simpson, Doug Drown
Row 8: Eddie Carrier Jr., David Gentry
Row 9: Justin McNeill, Chad Ruhlman
Row 10: Shawn Toczek, Casey Noonan
Row 11: Curtis Deisenroth, D.J. Wells
Row 12: Brian Shirley, Brady Smith

8:52 p.m.: Sixth-heat win puts Stewart on pole

Polesitter Tony Stewart cruised to victory in the sixth heat to earn the pole position for the main event. Matt Miller was a straightaway behind in second with Steve Francis rallying from eighth for the third and final transfer spot. Dennis Erb Jr. ran third much of the race but settled for fourth. "I just wanted to make the show tonight," Stewart told pit announcer Bret Emrick. "It's been a rough morning and we're making up for it this evening." Stewart wrecked his primary car this morning in NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Sixth heat: Tony Stewart, Matt Miller, Steve Francis, Dennis Erb Jr., Wayne Chinn, Chris Wall, Donnie Moran, Vic Hill, Chad Ruhlman, Brady Smith, Tim Manville, Matt Lux, Kevin Cole, Brett Wyatt, Lee Davasier, Brandon Thirlby, Davey Johnson, Brandon Perkins. Scratched: Steve Shaver.

8:48 p.m.: Brady Smith spins

Brady Smith spun exiting turn four on the lap-seven restart, knocking him out of the fifth position. Tony Stewart still leads the heat race over Matt Miller, Dennis Erb Jr., Steve Francis and Wayne Chinn. Francis took the third spot on the ensuing restart with a low-side move in turn four.

8:43 p.m.: Stewart ruling sixth heat

At a lap-seven caution, polesitter and track owner Tony Stewart is dominating the sixth heat over second-running Matt Miller, who triggered the caution when he got into the lapped car of Brandon Perkins exiting turn four. Perkins, obviously angry when he climbed from the car, kept his helmet in his right hand for more than a minute, eventually heaving it toward Miller's car as the No. 7 rolled by under caution on the frontstretch. The helmet missed badly and rolled down the track toward turn four. Stewart leads Miller and Dennis Erb Jr., while eighth-starting Steve Francis has put pressure on Erb from his fourth position. Brady Smith, who started outside the front row, is fifth with eight laps remaining.

8:38 p.m.: O'Neal survives, wins fifth heat

Outside front-row starter Don O'Neal made it to victory lane despite damage to the front of his No. 71 suffered in a mid-race skirmish. Shannon Babb finished second with Rick Eckert getting the third and final transfer spot. Babb stayed closed to O'Neal the second half of the race, and the winner knew he would. "I knew the 18 car would be back there," O'Neal said. "He never gives up."

Fifth heat: Don O'Neal, Shannon Babb, Rick Eckert, Delmas Conley, Dan Schlieper, Jerry Bowersock, Jay Johnson, Chad Mahder, Justin McNeil, Brian Shirley, Jason Riggs, Robby Hensley, Bill Williams, Jason Keltner, Shane Clanton, Ben Adkins, Shawn Negangard, Dustin Neat, Justin Labonte.

8:30 p.m.: Clanton's out of heat five

Third-starting Shane Clanton is out after getting into the turn-four wall in a fifth-heat spin. The fourth-running Clanton wrecked after contact from 67-year-old Delmas Conley, who he'd been battling with occasional contact earlier in the race. Clanton climbed from his car, walked down the track and raised his arms in disgust as Conley pulled by under caution. Don O'Neal leads Shannon Babb and Rick Eckert back to green, but another caution soon appeared for Jason Keltner, who slowed on the frontstretch on the 12th lap.

8:28 p.m.: O'Neal hanging on in fifth heat

Don O'Neal, running with damage to the front of his No. 71, leads at a lap-11 yellow in the fifth heat. The caution appeared for fourth-starting Ben Adkins, who slowed with apparent engine problems. O'Neal led huge early but second-running Shannon Babb is staying closer in the last few laps after the caution for Robby Hensley that O'Neal got a piece of. Rick Eckert is third followed by Shane Clanton, Delmas Conley, Dan Schlieper and Jason Keltner.

8:24 p.m.: Near-disaster for O'Neal in Heat 5

Robby Hensley got into the turn-two wall in front of leader Don O'Neal, who braked but made contact with Hensley's car. O'Neal had a huge lead halfway through the 15-lapper when the yellow appeared. O'Neal never stopped although he got sideways while pulling away from Hensley's wrecked machine. The contact bashed a hole in O'Neal's hood, but there's no apparent spillage from O'Neal's radiator. Under caution, O'Neal pulled up next to Shannon Babb, gesturing to Babb to give him a report on the damage. Babb is running second followed by Rick Eckert, Ben Adkins, Shane Clanton and Delmas Conley.

8:14 p.m.: Pileup in heat five

On the second lap of the fifth heat, Brian Shirley got sideways between turn one and two with Dustin Neat and triggered a slowly developing pileup that also involved Bill Williams, Robby Hensley, Justin Labonte and possible Shawn Negangard. Williams' No. B17 backed onto top of Shirley's car, requiring track workers to pull the cars apart. No one was injured. Labonte's car suffered the most damage; Williams pulled away and it appears he'll be able to restart. There's one lap complete with Don O'Neal leading Shannon Babb and Delmas Conley, who went from sixth to third on the first lap. A red flag is out for the cleanup. Hensley pulled to the upper pits for repairs and returned to the track.

8:10: p.m.: Moyer in caution-free fourth heat

After many cautions in the first three heats, Billy Moyer won the caution-free fourth heat, but he had to survive a last-lap slide job from Chub Frank for the victory. Moyer told pit announcer Bret Emrick that he misunderstood pit signals about the size of his lead as he allowed Frank to close down a half-straightaway lead in the final laps. Duane Chamberlain got the third and final transfer spot, a straightaway behind the leaders. Jonathan Davenport challenged Chamberlain but ended up fourth.

Fourth heat: Billy Moyer, Chub Frank, Duane Chamberlain, Jonathan Davenport, R.J. Conley, Jared Landers, Mike Marlar, Eric Wells, Curt Spalding, David Gentry, D.J. Wells, Mike Mataragas, Curtis Roberts, Jill George, Mark Douglas. Scratched: Jackie Boggs, Chris Ross, Jason Jameson, Bobby Carnes.

8:02 p.m.: Feger in a blowout in third heat

After three bad starts forced a single-file restart, Jason Feger led all the way for a 15-lap victory, winning by a quarter-lap margin over Jeep Van Wormer. Feger and Van Wormer both survived various scrapes with the wall while Darrell Lanigan was in the third and final transfer spot. Jimmy Owens was fourth.

Third heat: Jason Feger, Jeep VanWormer, Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Owens, Randy Korte, Brian Ruhlman, John Mason, Tim Fuller, Tommy Kerr, Eddie Carrier Jr., Curtis Deisenroth, Tyler Ivey, Bill Lewis, Gregg Satterlee, Randle Chupp, Jon Henry, Shanon Buckingham, Rod Conley. Scratched: Ryan Vanderveen.

7:53 p.m.: And another bad start. ...

For the third time, a yellow appeared on the first lap of the third heat. This time, Shanon Buckingham was on the inside of a four-wide battle down the backstretch and ended up into the inside backstretch wall; he spun near the crossover entering turn three. It appears they'll start single file. Frequent cautions are pushing the heat races later into the evening than normal.

7:49 p.m.: Ivey loses left-front wheel

At the outset of the third heat, Eldora rookie Tyler Ivey lost his left-front wheel. It's a complete restart. On the next attempted start, Eddie Carrier Jr. spuns off turn four after contact with Gregg Satterlee. Carrier held on while most of the field went by, but Rod Conley clipped the front of Carrier's car, damaging Conley's car and forcing him pitside. It'll be another complete restart. Jeep Van Wormer has taken command both of the previous start attempts.

7:47 p.m.: Third heat on the track

Jason Feger and the third heat entrants are packing the high groove before going green. In the pits, Brad Neat said he's too disgusted to even look at his car following the accident that knocked him out of the second heat.

7:46 p.m.: Bloomquist cars 1-2 in second heat

Scott Bloomquist completed a victory in the caution-plagued second heat, topping fellow Bloomquist Race Cars driver Chris Madden. Seventh-starting Brian Birkhofer was the third and final transferring driver with Eldora rookie Chris Ferguson running fourth. "The car feels really good," Bloomquist told pit reporter Bret Emrickl. "It's the first race on the car, and we're really pretty tickled with it."

Second heat: Scott Bloomquist, Chris Madden, Brian Birkhofer, Chris Ferguson, Earl Pearson Jr., Wendell Wallace, Clint Smith, Rusty Schlenk, Doug Drown, Casey Noonan, Scott James, Brad Neat, Will Vaught, Jeff Beyers, Jerry Rice, Andrew Reaume, April Farmer, Andrew McKay, Jordan Bland. Scratched: Terry Casey.

7:37 p.m.: Neat's race ends

Brad Neat, running second throughout the second heat, piled hard into the wall between turns three and four just after a restart on lap nine. Neat got into the wall just after Chris Madden's slide job moved him into the second spot; there didn't appear to be any contact between the two, but as Neat tried to hold Madden off, he pounded the wall. "Just racing," Neat told pit reporter Bret Emrick. Neat lost the brakes in the impact and when his car slid down the track, Jeff Beyers also hit Neat. Neither driver was injured. Scott Bloomquist still leads with Madden and seventh-starting Brian Birkhofer holding the top three spots with six laps remaining. The cars of Neat and Beyers were towed off the track and track workers cleaned up some liquids deposited in turn four.

7:33 p.m.: Vaught gets into turn-two wall

Will Vaught, who started ninth and was up to fifth in the second heat, got into the turn-two wall for a lap-nine caution in the 15-lap prelim. Scott Bloomquist is in firm control of the event followed by Brad Neat, Chris Madde and Brian Birkhofer, who looks strong after advancing from his seventh position. Chris Ferguson is fifth followed by Earl Pearson Jr., Wendell Wallace, Clint Smith, Scott James, Rusty Schlenk, Doug Drown, Jeff Beyers and Casey Noonan.

7:30 p.m.: Here comes Birky

Another yellow appeared in the second heat for Andrew Reaume, who got into the backstretch wall on the fifth lap. Scott Bloomquist is still leading Brad Neat and Chris Madden, but seventh-starting Brian Birkhofer is coming alive. Just before the caution, fourth-running Chris Ferguson got too high in turn four, brushing the wall while fifth-running Will Vaught held the low line. Birkhofer took advantage of Ferguson's miscue to sneak into fourth. Bloomquist, Neat, Madden, Birkhofer and Vaught hold the top five spots. Sixth is Ferguson followed by Earl Pearson Jr. and Wendell Wallace.

7:27 p.m.: Bloomquist leads after four laps

With Scott Bloomquist leading the second heat after four laps, another caution appeared to the slowing cars of April Farmer and Andrew McKay, who retired. Bloomquist leads Brad Neat, Chris Madden and first-time Eldora visitor Chris Ferguson. Will Vaught and Brian Birkhofer are just behind the top four.

7:22 p.m.: Early caution in second heat

Casey Noonan slowed in turn one to draw a second-lap caution in the second heat. Polesitting Scott Bloomquist was pulling away when the yellow flew. He's leading Brad Neat, Rusty Schlenk, Chris Madden, Will Vaught, Chris Ferguson, Earl Pearson Jr. and Brian Birkhofer. On the restart, Schlenk got too high exiting turn two and slapped the wall, damaging his car's rear spoiler. A caution appeared for debris, apparently from Jordan Bland's tail-running machine. Bland is driving the No. 20 that was scheduled to be driven Joey Logano in the rained-out Prelude to the Dream.

7:20 p.m.: Rice tries harder tire

Every car in the first two heats has used the softest legal Hoosier compound (LM20s), but Jerry Rice stepped up to the harder LM30. Rice is starting 12th in the second heat, which is going green momentarily. Terry Casey has scratched from the second heat.

7:18 p.m.: Mars wins two-car breakaway

Jimmy Mars outran Josh Richards in a two-car breakaway in the first heat while Ray Cook got the third and final transfer spot. Dale McDowell rallied from ninth to finish fourth, but instead of challenging Cook in the race's final stages, he had his hands full with John Blankenship.

First heat: Jimmy Mars, Josh Richards, Ray Cook, Dale McDowell, John Blankenship, Steve Casebolt, Bart Hartman, Aaron Scott, Chris Simpson, Shawn Toczek, Ricky Arms, Shannon Thornsberry, Chuck Roelle, Casey Roberts, Tim Dohm, Tim Isenberg, Brent Kreke, Scott Orr, Wayne Maffett Jr., Pat Ferguson.

7:11 p.m.: Caution in turn four

With Jimmy Mars leading the first lap after eight laps complete, Shawn Toczek got out of shape in turn four and triggered an accident that included Ricky Arms and Tim Isenberg. With seven laps remaining, Mars leads Josh Richards, Ray Cook, Dale McDowell, John Blankenship and Tim Dohm, whose Tracy Seymour-owned No. 17T is showing smoke.

7:04 p.m.: Mars-Richards duel halted

With the first heat under way, Jimmy Mars and Josh Richards pulled away from the field after five laps to build a big lead on third-running Ray Cook. A lap-five caution appeared when Brent Kreke spun in turn two, collecting Scott Orr and then a late-arriving Wayne Maffett Jr. Mars leads Richards, Cook, ninth-starting Dale McDowell, John Blankenship, Tim Dohm and Steve Casebolt. It appears all three drivers involved (Kreke, Orr and Maffett) are retiring. After a brief red-flag cleanup, the race will go back to green about 7:10, it appears.

6:58 p.m.: First heat rolls

The first heat is on the track with 20 cars rolling. The green flag is coming up.

6:50 p.m.: A little anxiety in the lineup chute

It's not the World 100, but there's still a few cases of the nerves, a little tension and some anxiousness among the drivers in the lineup chute with less than 15 minutes before heat races begin. "I just wanna race," said Steve Casebolt, who starts outside the fifth row in the first heat. The pack trucks are off the track and the first two heats are staged on concrete pad in the infield.

6:44 p.m.: 'Little guy' is ready

Brent Kreke of Lebanon, Ill., the surprise seventh-best qualifier among 116 drivers, starts inside the third row of the first heat. Is he nervous? "I'm not nervous because I'm the little guy," said Kreke, a regular at southern Illinois and Missouri tracks. "Nobody's expecting me to do anything anyway." Qualifying is one thing, and racing is another, Kreke said. "Now's when the real work starts. We've got a lot of good cars around us."

6:36 p.m.: Another Dream for Mars?

Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., is scheduled to start on the pole position for the first heat race as he aims to win the Dream for the first time since his 1997 triumph. He's going to give it his best shot in the first prelim. "We've got good competitioin on the outside of us and behind us, so we'll just give it what we've got and see what happens," Mars told pit reporter Bret Emrick.

6:30 p.m.: First heat lineup forms

With a half-hour before the green flag is scheduled to fall on the first heat race, most of the field has made it to the concrete pad in the infield along the frontstretch. Jimmy Mars and Ray Cook are scheduled to start on the front row. Complete heat race lineups.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Stewart, O'Neal
Row 2: Moyer, Feger
Row 3: Bloomquist, Mars
Row 4: Richards, Madden
Row 5: Van Wormer, Frank
Row 6: Babb, Miller
Row 7: Cook, Birkhofer
Row 8: Lanigan, Chamberlain
Row 9: Eckert, Francis
Row 10: Owens, Landers
Row 11: McDowell, Korte
Row 12: Davenport, Pearson

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