Duck River Raceway Park
Borrowed car carries Neat to Duck River win
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
WHEEL, Tenn. (June 11) — Winning for the first time on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, polesitter Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., led all 35 laps at Duck River Speedway for a $7,000 victory at the series launched its Summer Sizzler Tour with seven races in 10 days. | Rain ruins chance for racy surface | Pearson's former car fits Neat perfectly
Neat, driving a backup car out of traveling-mate Earl Pearson Jr.'s Bobby Labonte Motorsports shop, beat fourth-starting Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., to the finish at the Middle Tennessee bullring for one of the richest victories of his career.
"I can't thank my crew enough. They worked their tails off this week getting this car ready," said the 29-year-old Neat, who wrecked his primary car in a heat race Saturday at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. "We went down to Bobby's shop on Monday. ... and we worked all week to get ready for tonight, thanks to Earl and his crew for their help. Without their assistance as well we wouldn't be standing here."
Seventh-starting Chris Wall of Holden, La., rallied to finish third with Tony Knowles of Tyrone, Ga., and outside front-row starter Anthony Burroughs of Muscle Shoals, Ala., giving Southerners a sweep of the top five positions. Series points leader Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., set fast time but slowed with mechanical problems with eight laps remaining while running third.
After waiting through two rain delays, the main event started with Neat getting the jump on Burroughs while Wallace quickly moved into the second spot. After a lap-eight caution for a spin by Jimmy Owens and a lap-nine yellow for Tommy Kerr, Neat pulled away from a Wallace-Knowles duel while Bloomquist worked into contention.
Neat stretched his lead to a comfortable margin midway through the race, but Dale McDowell's flat tire on lap 24 bunched the field with 11 laps remaining. Neat led Wallace, Bloomquist, Wall and Knowles back to the green flag, but Bloomquist's demise came three laps later when he slowed exiting turn two with smoking car.
Neat stayed comfortably ahead the rest of the way to become the 12th winner in 16 series races.
Notes: Neat's borrowed MasterSbilt Race Car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by T&T Energy, NWN Distributing, Tarter and Roberts Insurance, B&B Motorsports, Tri-County Wood, Tarter Gate and Sunoco Race Fuels. ... Neat's richest career victory came 365 days earlier with a $7,500 UMP DIRTcar Summernationals victory at Kentucky Lake Motor Speeway in Calvert City, Ky., on June 12, 2008. ... Provisional starter Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., took the PBM-Erson Cams Hard Charger honors with his 24th-to-10th run. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Todd Morrow, Dan Schlieper, David Breazeale, Brandon King and former track champion David Gentry. ... Next up on the Summer Sizzler tour for Lucas Oil Series competitors is a $10,000-to-win event on Friday night at North Georgia Speedway. Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., won last year's event at the Chatsworth, Ga., oval.
Lucas Oil @ Duck River: (1) Brad Neat, (2) Wendell Wallace, (3) Chris Wall, (4) Tony Knowles, (5) Anthony Burroughs, (6) Steve Casebolt, (7) Jay Brinkley, (8) Shane Clanton, (9) Eric Jacobsen, (10) Freddy Smith, (11) Don O'Neal, (12) Earl Pearson Jr., (14) Terry Phillips, (15) Ray Cook, (16) Josh McGuire, (17) Dale McDowell, (18) John Blankenship, (19) Jeremy Payne, (20) Brandon Kinzer, (21) Michael Walker, (22) Jeff Walker, (23) Scott Bloomquist, (24) Daniel Miller, (25) Jimmy Owens, (26) Tommy Kerr, (27) Bub McCool. Fast qualifier (among 38 cars): Bloomquist, 13.098 seconds. Heat race winners: Neat, McCool, Burroughs, Wallace. Consolation winners: O'Neal, Kerr. Provisional starters: Owens, Cook, Blankenship.