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Daily Dirt 10/02/2022 09:10:31

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July 2
Sharon Speedway,
Hartford, OH
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Steel Valley 50) - $12,000
Information provided by: Series reports (last updated July 3, 9:42 am)
Sharon gives O'Neal two in a row with Lucas Oil
Steel Valley 50
  1. Don O'Neal
  2. Mason Zeigler
  3. Josh Richards
  4. Jonathan Davenport
  5. Darrell Lanigan
  6. Bobby Pierce
  7. Earl Pearson Jr.
  8. Tim McCreadie
  9. Jimmy Owens
  10. Mike Maresca
  11. Max Blair
  12. Jackie Boggs
  13. Scott Bloomquist
  14. Gregg Satterlee
  15. Hudson O'Neal
  16. Austin Rettig
  17. Dennis Erb Jr.
  18. Jared Miley
  19. Kyle Bronson
  20. Matt Cosner
  21. Charles Powell Jr.
  22. Jason Jameson
  23. Rob Anderzack
  24. Doug Drown
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Don O'Neal celebrates his second consecutive Lucas Oil Series victory on Monday at Sharon Speedway.
What won the race: Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., reeled in Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., grabbed the lead on lap 14 and marched on to his second straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory in Monday night's Steel Valley 50 at Sharon Speedway. The 53-year-old veteran went on to beat Zeigler to the finish line by 0.722 of a second for a $12,000 payday.
Key notes: O'Neal won his 45th career series victory. ... Runner-up Mason Zeigler got his best series finish of '18 ... The checkers fell beore 8:30 p.m.
On the move: Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., started 11th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: O'Neal's Club 29 Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Crawford Supply, iRacing, Cometic Gasket, Clint Bowyer Autoplex and Penske Shocks.
Points chase: After Sharon: 1. Jonathan Davenport (4,125); 2. Scott Bloomquist (3,985); 3. Josh Richards (3,935); 4. Earl Pearson Jr. (3,830); 5. Tim McCreadie (3,735); 6. Bobby Pierce (3,730); 7. Don O'Neal (3,705); 8. Hudson O'Neal (3,675); 9. Jimmy Owens (3,535); 10. Darrell Lanigan (3,340); 11. Gregg Satterlee (3,260): 12. Dennis Erb Jr. (3,235); 13. Kyle Bronson (3,220): 14. Mason Zeigler (3,195).
Car count: 27
Fast qualifier: Mason Zeigler
Time: 16.642 seconds
Polesitter: Mason Zeigler
Heat race winners: Mason Zeigler, Earl Pearson Jr., Don O'Neal
Consolation race winners: Hudson O'Neal
Provisional starters: Austin Rettig, Rob Anderzack
Next series race: July 3, Muskingum County Speedway (Zanesville, OH) $12,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series and staff reports

HARTFORD, Ohio — Don O’Neal entered the busy stretch of Fourth of July week action mired in one of the longest losing streaks of his Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series career. Suddenly he’s the owner of back-to-back victories on the national tour for the first time in more than four years.

The 53-year-old Clint Bowyer Racing driver from Martinsville, Ind., overtook polesitter Mason Ziegler of Chalk Hill, Pa., on the 14th lap and led the rest of the Steel Valley 50 at Sharon Speedway.

The third-starting O’Neal, fresh off Sunday’s victory at Mansfield (Ohio) Motor Speedway, earned $12,000 for the second night in a row as he clicked off his 45th career victory and suddenly turned around a frustrating season.

Zeigler, who led the first 13 laps, finished seven-tenths of a second behind O’Neal at the checkers for his best ’18 series finish while reigning champion and last year’s Sharon winner Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., finished third. Series points leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., whose bid to grab the lead from Ziegler on the sixth lap allowed O’Neal to steal the second spot, finished fourth with O’Neal’s teammate Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rounding out the top five.

Davenport was able to begin rebuilding his series points lead over Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who gave up the ninth starting spot when he was late to the starting grid. He finished 13th, missing the top five for the first time on the series since May 13.

Zeigler took the lead at the outset with Pearson and O’Neal just behind on the first lap. Davenport got rolling on the high side and rolled past Pearson and O’Neal to take the second spot on the fourth lap.

When Davenport wasn’t able to quite get alongside Zeigler in the extreme high groove, he briefly moved to the inside, went back high and then tried a crossover move exiting turn four on the sixth lap.

But while Zeigler survived Davenport’s stab at the lead, Davenport got briefly sideways in turn two and allowed O’Neal to grab the second spot.

Davenport tried to get back by O’Neal — they touched on the frontstretch on the ninth lap — while O’Neal worked on chasing down Zeigler.

With Zeigler riding the high groove, O’Neal worked the middle lane and pulled alongside on the 10th lap. Zeigler then steered to a lower groove to protect his lead, but O’Neal zipped by entering turn three on the 14th lap for a lead he’d never give up.

O'Neal built leads as big as five seconds the rest of the way in the caution-free feature. Traffic slowed his progress late and Zeigler moved back into the contention. While Zeigler finished less than a second back, O'Neal still had a single-lapped car cushion at the checkers.

Notes: Sharon hosted the third of four straight Ohio tour races; Zanesville’s Muskingum County Speedway ends that stretch Tuesday evening. … O’Neal’s previous back-to-back series victories came in 2014 at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss. (June 14) and Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. (June 20). … Eighteen drivers completed 50 laps. ... Outside front-row starter Earl Pearson Jr. ended up seventh. … The checkered flag flew over O’Neal just before 8:30 p.m. … The series takes a one-day on the Fourth of July after the four-race Ohio trek, then heads to the Southeast for three straight races at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. and Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Zeigler, Pearson
Row 2: D. O'Neal, Davenport
Row 3: Richards, McCreadie
Row 4: Pierce, Owens
Row 5: Bloomquist, Boggs
Row 6: Lanigan, Blair
Row 7: Miley, Drown
Row 8: Maresca, Cosner
Row 9: Satterlee, Erb Jr.
Row 10: H. O'Neal, Bronson
Row 11: Jameson, Powell
Row 12: Rettig, Anderzack

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