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Daily Dirt 04/24/2024 07:35:39

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May 2
Paducah International Raceway,
Paducah, KY
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Spring Showdown) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series and staff reports (last updated May 3, 3:01 pm)
Paducah fertile again for Feger: 'I love this place'
Spring Showdown
  1. Jason Feger
  2. Don O'Neal
  3. Jimmy Owens
  4. Bobby Pierce
  5. Scott Bloomquist
  6. Earl Pearson Jr.
  7. Billy Moyer
  8. Jimmy Mars
  9. Dennis Erb Jr.
  10. Tanner English
  11. Chris Brown
  12. Jonathan Davenport
  13. Jared Landers
  14. Devin Moran
  15. Jason Riggs
  16. Matt Westfall
  17. Brandon Sheppard
  18. Eddie Carrier Jr.
  19. Shannon Babb
  20. Jeremy Sneed
  21. Chris Simpson
  22. Steve Francis
  23. Terry English
  24. Mike Benedum
presented by
Heath Lawson
Jason Feger celebrates another Lucas Oil victory in Paducah.
What won the race: Polesitter Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., outdueled defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., for a $10,000 series victory at Paducah International Raceway.
Quotable: "I thought a few times we were going to wreck," Feger said of his intense battle for the lead with O’Neal. "I was sideways down the frontstretch at one time, but we both were racing hard and things like that will happen."
On the move: Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., rallied from the 21st starting position to finish eighth.
Winner's sponsors: Feger's Rhyne-powered Hustler Chassis carries sponsorship from Allstar Performance, Cheap Cars, Griffin Sign Shop, Floyd's Waste Disposal, Pro Tire, Mulligan's, Renegade Fuels, Titan Steel and Wehrs Machine and Racing Products.
Points chase: Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., maintained his points lead, leaving Paducah on top of the standings by 30 points (2,050-2,020) over both Jonathan Davenport and Jimmy Owens.
Car count: 30
Fast qualifier: Jonathan Davenport
Time: 15.349 seconds
Polesitter: Jason Feger
Heat race winners: Jason Feger, Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, Billy Moyer
Consolation race winners: Chris Simpson, Chris Brown
Next series race: May 15, Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway (Oshkosh, WI) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

PADUCAH, KY (May 2, 2015) – Jason Feger had one simple comment to make about Paducah International Raceway after his victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Spring Showdown.

“I love this place,” asserted the 36-year-old from Bloomington, Ill.

Indeed, the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval continued to treat Feger well. After inheriting the lead on lap 18 when race-long pacesetter Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., slowed with a flat right-rear tire, Feger turned back challenges from defending Lucas Oil Series champion Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., to capture the national tour’s Paducah stop for the second consecutive year and tally his fifth overall special-event triumph at the track since 2008.

“We can have one of these every weekend,” said a smiling Feger, who earned $10,000 for his first victory of 2015 and his third career score on the Lucas Oil Series.

With his right wrist “still not 100 percent” after he needed reconstructive surgery on it in January due to a fall on icy ground, Feger manhandled his Hustler Race Car to a winning margin of 0.801 of a second over the 50-year-old O’Neal.

Three-time Lucas Oil Series champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., ran the inside groove to a third-place finish after starting fifth, while 18-year-old Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., charged forward from the 13th starting spot to place fourth and third-starter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who won the previous night’s tour feature at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., completed the top five.

Though Feger, who started from the pole position, was outgunned for the lead at the initial green flag by his front-row mate Davenport, he still had a good feeling about his chances.

“I knew Davenport couldn’t keep up that pace without something happening — and it did,” Feger said of the flat tire that doomed Davenport, who finished 12th after returning from his lap-18 pit stop. “This place is tough to run the top for 50 laps like that. He was up there a little harder than I was, and I was just trying to be patient and save my tires because I’ve been leading plenty here and had flats.”

Once in command Feger faced heavy pressure from O’Neal, who started sixth and finally secured second place just before Davenport’s misfortune. The most memorable moment of the Feger-O’Neal showdown up front came following a lap-21 caution flag for Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, when O’Neal’s bid to grab the lead was short-circuited by contact between him and Feger.

After O’Neal pulled a slider through turns one and two to momentarily forge ahead of Feger off the corner, Feger dove to the bottom and the two drivers banged together in the middle of the backstretch. They continued racing side-by-side through turns three and four and made more contact on the homestretch, with Feger surviving to remain the leader.

O’Neal stayed within striking distance of Feger for the remainder of the distance but never mounted as serious a threat as he did on the lap-21 restart. The veteran spent most of his time fighting a torrid three-way battle for second with Owens and Pierce a few car lengths behind Feger, who held on to add another Paducah flourish to his resume.

“I looked down and seen them guys,” said Feger, whose Paducah successes also include two MARS DIRTcar Series victories (2012 and ’13) and a Northern All-Stars score in 2008. “It’s a tough place, and I just tried not to worry about them and run my own line, keep the tires under the car and not get too sideways and get that good run off the corners. That makes it awfully hard for a guy to pass coming off the bottom.”

Fever felt fortunate to survive his mid-race scrape with O’Neal.

“Me and O’Neal tangled it up a little on the backstretch,” Feger said. “He slid me a little bit and we bumped down the backstretch, but this place is really hard to go straight down the straightaways especially when you got a car next to you taking some side air. The cars really want to sit down and drive you down the track … and obviously he’s racing for points, so I’m sure it’s just hard racing at a tough track.”

O’Neal didn’t appear to be too accepting of the contact with Feger when he was interviewed by Lucas Oil Series announcer James Essex in victory lane following the race.

“Especially that first one down the backstraight,” O’Neal said, not cracking a smile as he recalled the lap-21 paint-trading with Feger. “He sort of roughed me up there a little bit. I gave him plenty of room on the outside … aw, well, it’s part of it.”

While O’Neal fell short of his second Lucas Oil Series victory of 2015, he did register his second consecutive top-five finish and ended the weekend fourth in the points standings, just 50 markers behind leader Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., who finished sixth.

The Lucas Oil Series returns to action on May 15-16 with a Midwestern doubleheader at Oshkosh (Wis.) Speedzone Raceway and La Salle (Ill.) Speedway.

Lucas Oil points

(Through May 2)
1. Earl Pearson Jr. - 2050
2. Jimmy Owens - 2,020
(tie) Jonathan Davenport - 2,020
4. Don O’Neal - 2,000
5. Devin Moran 1,840
6. Scott Bloomquist - 1,795
7. Brandon Sheppard - 1,770
(tie) Eddie Carrier Jr. - 1,770
9. Steve Francis - 1,765
10. Dennis Erb Jr. - 1,720
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