WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 27) — Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., was as despondent as a race car driver can be after spinning out of contention early in Thursday night’s Cowboy Classic A-Main at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Twenty-four hours later, however, the 34-year-old driver was on top of the world after rebounding with a $6,000 victory in Friday evening’s 40-lap Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson event, which served as the second preliminary program of the 24th annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com weekend.
Landers, who led the first lap of Thursday’s feature before ceding the point to eventual winner Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., and then losing control of his car in turn two on the second lap, shot forward from the third starting spot to grab the lead on the opening circuit of Friday’s headliner. He swapped the lead four times with polesitter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., before gaining control for good on lap 10.
But while Landers never relinquished the lead over the remaining distance, his run to his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2016 and the fifth of his career was certainly not without its stressful moments. He found himself in a three-car battle for the top spot with McCreadie and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., just before the race’s lone caution flag flew on lap 22 and then spent the late stages fighting his way through heavy lapped traffic with Bloomquist — his mentor and and chassis builder — lurking dangerously close behind him.
What’s more, Landers’s car lurched out of shape off the final corner when he hit a rough spot on the 3/8-mile oval, but he maintained control to beat Bloomquist to the finish line by several car lengths. Both drivers steered Sweet-Bloomquist Race Cars.
“Too bad it wasn’t the big night, but we all need to start somewhere,” said Landers, who has been knocking on the door to victory lane all season as he’s gotten off to the best start of his career to rank third in the Lucas Oil Series points standings. “The team needed it. We’ve been due for one. We’ve been there, but I lose my head at times … maybe we’ll just start keeping it all together and this will be the start of a good run.”
McCreadie, who led laps 5-7 and 9, settled for a distant third-place finish. Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., advanced from the 10th starting spot to finish fourth — his second straight top-five finish, which secured him the pole position for Saturday night’s $30,000-to-win Show-Me 100 finale — and 15th-starter Steve Francis of Bowling Green, Ky., made a late-race charge to finish fifth and earn just his second top-five run of the 2016 Lucas Oil Series.
Landers, whose Thursday-night spin was followed by a busted radiator and engine trouble that forced him to retire, contemplated sitting out Friday evening’s action to regroup. A team meeting led by Landers father and car owner, Lance, on Friday afternoon prompted him to pull out his second car and go racing.
He was sure glad he did.
“We wasn’t really gonna race today,” Landers said. “We got to talking and kind of got back on the same page, the whole team, and obviously that’s what we needed. I really appreciate my dad putting this together and letting us race tonight, and my whole team understanding and talking through and getting back on the same page.”
Landers moved out to a straightway advantage after finally shaking free of McCreadie. But as he weaved into lapped traffic, McCreadie and Bloomquist began to close in. The trio was racing under a blanket on lap 22 when they had to take evasive measures because Brantlee Gotschall of Nevada, Mo., suddenly slowed in front of them between turns one and two, bringing out the race’s only caution flag.
Landers roared away on the restart and opened up a cushion over the 52-year-old Bloomquist, but the pair caught lapped cars again with five laps to go. Landers made the right moves in traffic, however, to hang on for the victory in a race named in honor of the Gibsons, former owners of West Plains Motor Speedway where the Show-Me 100 originated.
Beating Bloomquist, who has taken Landers under his Hall of Fame wing since the rising driver began running Sweet-Bloomquist cars last year, was especially sweet for the victor.
“I’m glad to be able to outrun him once,” said Landers, whose last Lucas Oil Series triumph came in last September’s Late Model Knoxville Nationals.
Bloomquist, whose hopes of contending in Thursday night’s feature were dashed when his car limped into the infield with drivetrain problems during the race’s pace laps, was happy for Landers.
“It's nice to see Jared win,” said Bloomquist, who started sixth. “The whole (Landers) family and crew, they all work hard. They had some problems last night just like we did and we both rebounded. My hat’s off to Jared. He did a great job, and hopefully we’ll be able to race him tomorrow for the win.”
Bloomquist, who will start eighth in the Show-Me 100, would liked to have seen the race stay green.
“I thought we might have had it (before the lap-22 caution flag),” Bloomquist said. “We had some good heat in the tires and felt like we were coming to him … kind of had a smile on my face a little bit.
“But he fired up good off that caution. We probably just needed more green laps I guess. Hopefully that’ll be a good sign for tomorrow.”
McCreadie, 42, continued his recent strength on the Lucas Oil Series, recording his fifth top-five finish in his last seven tour starts.
“I was pretty happy for about the first three-quarters of the show,” said McCreadie, who will start seventh in the Show-Me 100. “When the track got real choppy I just struggled a little bit. We’re a lot closer than we were a month ago, though.”
Notes: Jonathan Davenport saw his four-race win streak at Wheatland come to an end with a 10th-place finish. He started fourth but was never a contender for the lead after being involved in two early scrapes with Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.; power steering and brake problems hampered him throughout the distance. His combined points total in the preliminary programs earned him the outside pole for the Show-Me 100, however. … Lanigan, who started on the outside pole, was still running fifth at the lap-22 caution flag but battled a broken panhard bar and faded to 13th in the final rundown. … Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., who wrecked in time trials on Thursday and did not race the rest of the night, returned to the track after making repairs at his shop and advanced from the 20th starting spot to a seventh-place finish. It was his first feature start in a Dirt Late Model in nearly one year.
Show-Me 100 lineup
(top 18 from preliminary points locked in)
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Chad Simpson, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Jared Landers, Steve Francis
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Scott Bloomquist
Row 5: Brandon Sheppard, Darrell Lanigan
Row 6: Chris Brown, Don O’Neal
Row 7: Garrett Alberson, Shannon Babb
Row 8: Tony Jackson Jr., Ryan Gustin
Row 9: Billy Moyer, Jason Rauen
Row 10: B-Main transfers
Row 11: B-Main transfers
Row 12: B-Main transfers
Row 13: Lucas Oil provisionals
Row 14: MLRA provisionals
Row 15: Lucas Oil emergency provisionals
Row 16: LC Race winner, past Show-Me winner
Show-Me 100 B-Main lineups
(15 laps; top 2 transfer)
Row 1: Jake O’Neil, Jack Sullivan
Row 2: Justin Kay, Robert Baker
Row 3: Jason Papich, Wendell Wallace
Row 4: Tommy Weder Jr., Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 5: Colton Flinner, R.C. Whitwell
Row 6: Mason Oberkramer, Brian Birkhofer
Row 7: Hunter Radon
Row 1: Terry Phillips, Bobby Pierce
Row 2: J.C. Wyman, Chris Simpson
Row 3: Tyler Reddick, Matt Furman
Row 4: Kyle Beard, Austin Siebert
Row 5: Joe Poe, Bryon Allison
Row 6: Jacob Magee, Jeremy Payne
Row 7: Payton Looney
Row 1: Will Vaught, Brantlee Gotschall
Row 2: Tanner Kellick, Jesse Stovall
Row 3: Tad Pospisil, Gavin Landers
Row 4: Scott Lewis, Timothy Culp
Row 5: Dave Eckrich, Chris Spieker
Row 6: Rick Kimberling, Reid Millard
Row 7: Brad Looney
Preliminary results and notes:
First B-Main finish (top 2 transfer): Jesse Stovall, Jack Sullivan, Bobby Pierce, Tommy Weder Jr., Gavin Landers, Matt Furman, Colton Flinner, Kyle Beard, Jacob Magee, Rick Kimberling (DNS) Chris Simpson, Payton Looney, Hunter Rasdon.
Second B-Main finish (top 2 transfer): Will Vaught, Jason Rauen, Jason Papich, Josh Poe, Austin Siebert, Josh Wyman, Tad Pospisi, Earl Pearson Jr., Tanner Kellick, Mason Oberkramer, Brian Birkhofer (DNS) R.C. Whitwell, Jeremy Payne.
Third B-Main finish (top 2 transfer): Chris Brown, Brantlee Gotschall, Tyler Reddick, Scott Lewis, Ryan Gustin, Shannon Babb, Wendell Wallace, Bryon Allison, Dave Eckrich, Justin Kay, Timothy Culp (DNS) Reid Millard.
(15 laps; top 2 transfer)
Row 1: Jesse Stovall, Jack Sullivan
Row 2: Tommy Weder Jr., Matt Furman
Row 3: Colton Flinner, Bobby Pierce
Row 4: Gavin Landers, Chris Simpson
Row 5: Kyle Beard, Hunter Rasdon
Row 6: Jacob Magee, Payton Looney
Row 7: Rick Kimberling
Row 1: Mason Oberkramer, Will Vaught
Row 2: Josh Poe, Jason Rauen
Row 3: Austin Siebert, Jason Papich
Row 4: Brian Birkhofer, J.C. Wyman
Row 5: Earl Pearson Jr., Tad Pospisil
Row 6: Jeremy Payne, Tanner Kellick
Row 7: R.C. Whitwell
Row 1: Chris Brown, Tyler Reddick
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Brantlee Gotschall
Row 3: Scott Lewis, Bryon Allison
Row 4: Wendell Wallace, Dave Eckrich
Row 5: Ryan Gustin, Reid Millard
Row 6: Timothy Culp, Justin Kay
Scott Bloomquist cruised to the checkered flag, leading the entire distance and defeating Chad Simpson by a straightaway. Terry Phillips claimed the final transfer spot. Brantlee Gotschall brought out a caution flag on lap one when his car shot across the track in turn two straight toward the exit hole in the wall; he got the car stopped before hitting the concrete and continued. A second caution flew on lap four when Reid Millard slid sideways in turn four and collected Gotschall and Justin Kay.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Chad Simpson, Terry Phillips, Tyler Reddick, Brantlee Gotschall, Bryon Allison, Dave Eckrich, Reid Millard, Justin Kay.
Jonathan continued to flex his muscle at Wheatland, blasting away for a convincing flag-to-flag victory by more than a straightaway over Jimmy Owens. Robert Baker slid up to third just before the race's halfway point and stayed there to the finish.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Robert Baker, Chris Brown, Shannon Babb, Scott Lewis, Wendell Wallace, Ryan Gustin, Timothy Culp.
Darrell Lanigan was victorious over his Clint Bowyer Racing teammate Don O'Neal, who tossed his car around the high side in an unsuccessful bid to overtake the winner. Jake O'Neil was the top two from several car lengths back and finished third.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Darrell Lanigan, Don O'Neal, Jake O'Neil, Will Vaught, Jason Raune, Jason Papich, J.C. Wyman, Tad Pospisil, Tanner Kellick.
Billy Moyer wrestled the lead from Dennis Erb Jr. on lap two and marched on to the checkered flag. Erb held on to finish second and Chris Spieker placed a strong third.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Billy Moyer, Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Spieker, Mason Oberkramer, Josh Poe, Austin Siebert, Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson Jr., Jeremy Payne.
Jared Landers overtook Chris Simpson for the lead on lap five and controlled the remainder of the distance. Garrett Alberson was a distant second and Steve Francis wrestled a third-place finish from Matt Furman. A caution flag flew on lap six for Simpson, whose car bicycled onto its right-side wheels rounding turns three and four and landed hard back on the track; he spun to a stop and was towed off the track by two wreckers. Simpson, who is racing with a left hand injury he suffered when he bounced on a rough spot in turns three and four in Thursday night's feature, emerged from his car without apparent further injury. Payton Looney challenged for a transfer spot early in the prelim but broke off turn two on lap three, forcing him to the infield.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Jared Landers, Garrett Alberson, Steve Francis, Matt Furman, Jack Sullivan, Gavin Landers, Chris Simpson, Hunter Rasdon, Payton Looney.
Tim McCreadie slid ahead of Brandon Sheppard on the opening lap and pulled away to take the victory. Sheppard settled for second — a half-straightaway behind — while Tony Jackson Jr. placed third.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard, Tony Jackson Jr., Jesse Stovall, Tommy Weder Jr., Colton Flinner, Bobby Pierce, Kyle Beard, Jacob Magee, Rick Kimberling.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., rebounded well from an accident that dulled his run in Thursday night's feature, turning a lap of 14.927 seconds in the first round of Friday's qualifying session to emerge as the evening's quickest overall qualifier.
Jason Rauen of Farley, Iowa, was fastest in the second group with a lap of 15.015 seconds, putting him on the pole of the evening's fourth heat race.
Other heat-race polesitters are Chris Simpson, Billy Moyer, Jonathan Davenport and Scott Bloomquist.
R.C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz., who smacked the turn-four wall running fifth on lap 38 of Thursday night's feature, did not report to the track for his turn in the qualifying line due to mechanical trouble.
Rain is threatening the evening’s action for the second consecutive night, but light precipitation that began about 4 p.m. CT and ceased after about two hours and clearing skies appeared to be approaching the speedway as the 6:30 p.m. drivers’ meeting approached. The racing surface wasn’t soaked especially hard by the rain; just after 6 p.m. the track-prep crew was actually circling the oval with a water truck and laying down some moisture, giving hope that the night’s action might not be much off schedule. … A 56-car field is set to compete; the only driver from Thursday’s action not returning is Brad Looney of Republic, Mo. … Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, will continue racing despite suffering an injury to his left hand/thumb when he got it caught in his steering wheel midway through Thursday night’s feature. “I think it’s broken,” said Simpson, who suffered a nearly identical injury in the same spot eight years ago. “I pull (while steering) with left hand so it makes it a little tough, but I’ll be alright.” … Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., has returned to the track after he left the speedway during heat races on Thursday night to head back to his shop and repair significant body damage his machine sustained when he slapped the turn-four wall during his qualifying laps. … Jesse Stovall of Billings, Mo., has his machine’s front suspension and bodywork repaired after a B-Main scrape with Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., ended his Thursday competition. … McCreadie fixed the damage to his Sweeteners Plus mount with some assistance from fellow driver Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark. “Cadillac Jack jumped right in there and helped,” McCreadie said. ... Thursday night's Group 1 fast-timer, Reid Millard of Jefferson City, Mo., didn't race in his scheduled first heat because officials found that he had an unapproved tire for Lucas Oil competition on his car as he waited in the staging area. He said the incorrect tire was bolted on his car by mistake.
The 24th annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Lucas Oil Speedway continues Friday night with the Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson (founders of the Show-Me 100 in 1993 at West Plains Motor Speedway), a full racing program co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association. It marks the first time that a second complete preliminary show will be run during the Show-Me 100 weekend, which traditionally has seen a qualifying night of time trials and heat races contested on Friday.
With the expansion of the weekend to include Friday evening’s $6,000-to-win 40-lap feature, drivers earn points for the A-Main and B-Main finishes (and qualifying group fast-timers will earn 10 bonus points) in the two preliminary shows. The top 18 in the combined points after the two prelim programs will lock into Saturday night’s $30,000-to-win Show-Me 100 headliner while the remainder will move to three B-Mains on Saturday.
Defending Show-Me 100 champion Jonathan Davenport was victorious in Thursday night’s 45-lap Cowboy Classic, giving him four straight wins at Wheatland. He won all three of his starts at the 3/8-mile oval last year.
The Friday program follows the same format as regular Lucas Oil Series events. Drivers will be split into two groups for time trials with the results from the first lining up Heats 1-3 and those from the second aligning Heats 4-6. The top three finishers from each heat will transfer to the feature.
Tonight’s drivers’ meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. Hot laps are scheduled for 7 p.m. with time trials kicking off the competitive portion of the show immediately after.
(10 laps; top 3 transfer)
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Jesse Stovall, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Jacob Magee, Colton Flinner
Row 4: Tommy Weder Jr., Bobby Pierce
Row 5: Kyle Beard, Rick Kimberling
Row 1: Chris Simpson, Jared Landers
Row 2: Garrett Alberson, Matt Furman
Row 3: Payton Looney, Jack Sullivan
Row 4: Steve Francis, Gavin Landers
Row 5: Hunter Rasdon
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 2: Joe Poe, Mason Oberkramer
Row 3: Jeremy Payne, Brian Birkhofer
Row 4: Chris Spieker, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 5: Austin Siebert
Row 1: Jason Rauen, Darrell Lanigan
Row 2: Jason Papich, Don O’Neal
Row 3: Jake O’Neil, Will Vaught
Row 4: Tad Pospisil, J.C. Wyman
Row 5: Tanner Kellick, R.C. Whitwell
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Scott Lewis
Row 3: Chris Brown, Robert Baker
Row 4: Wendell Wallace, Ryan Gustin
Row 5: Timothy Culp
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Brantlee Gotschall
Row 2: Dave Eckrich, Chad Simpson
Row 3: Tyler Reddick, Reid Millard
Row 4: Terry Phillips, Justin Kay
Row 5: Bryon Allison
Time trials results
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.927
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 14.937
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.999
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 15.03
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 15.128
Dennis Erb Jr. (28e), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.214
Jesse Stovall (00), Billings, Mo., 15.28
Garrett Alberson (F5), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.284
Josh Poe (4), Drexel, Mo., 15.346
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 15.353
Matt Furman (51), Portland, Ore., 15.355
Mason Oberkramer (93), Brosley, Mo., 15.382
Jacob Magee (10), Caney, Kan., 15.405
Payton Looney (15A), Republic, Mo., 15.45
Jeremy Payne (186), Springfield, Mo., 15.47
Colton Flinner (75), Allison Park, Pa., 15.491
Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark., 15.498
Brian Birkhofer (15b), Muscatine, Iowa, 15.52
Tommy Weder Jr. (02), Woodward, Okla., 15.527
Steve Francis (15), Bowling Green, Ky., 15.542
Chris Spieker (56), Massena, Iowa, 15.551
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.586
Gavin Landers (77), Batesville, Ark., 15.638
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.807
Kyle Beard (86), Truman, Ark., 16.022
Hunter Rasdon (5), Jonesboro, Ark., 16.024
Austin Siebert (16), Grandview, Mo., 16.039
Rick Kimberling (1K), Slater, Mo., 17.259
Jason Rauen (98), Farley, Iowa, 15.015
Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., 15.048
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.112
Darrell Lanigan (15L), Union, Ky., 15.182
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.2
Brantlee Gotschall (4), Nevada, Mo., 15.259
Jason Papich (91P), Nipomo, Calif., 15.343
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 15.362
Dave Eckrich (58), Oxford, Iowa, 15.479
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.483
Scott Lewis (99), Henderson, Colo., 15.541
Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 15.553
Jake O'Neil (0), Tucson, Ariz., 15.646
Chris Brown (21), Spring, Texas, 15.675
Tyler Reddick (R5), Corning, Calif., 15.744
Will Vaught (1V), Crane, Mo., 15.773
Robert Baker (17M), Bryant, Ark., 15.784
Reid Millard (14), Jefferson City, Mo., 15.788
Tad Pospisil (04), Norfolk, Neb., 15.92
Wendell Wallace (6), Batesville, Ark., 16.049
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 16.071
J.C. Wyman (4), Griswold, Iowa, 16.142
Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.224
Justin Kay (15K), Wheatland, Iowa, 16.243
Tanner Kellick (3K), Me-Rouge, La., 16.322
Timothy Culp (c8), Prattsville, Ark., 16.362
Bryan Allison (1A), Marshall, Mo., 16.607
R.C. Whitwell (96F), Tucson, Ariz., N/T