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Virginia Motor Speedway

Shaver, Owens to share Commonwealth front row

April 13, 2012, 5:56 pm
By Joshua Joiner
DirtonDirt.com staff writer
Steve Shaver (above) will start from the pole of the Commonwealth 100 feature. (DirtonDirt.com)
Steve Shaver (above) will start from the pole of the Commonwealth 100 feature. (DirtonDirt.com)

JAMAICA, Va. (April 13) — Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., moved a step closer to completing his quest for a second consecutive victory in Virginia Motor Speedway's Commonwealth 100 with a dominating heat race performance during Friday's prelims for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event. | Notebook | Slideshow

Shaver, who led 97 laps on his way to winning last year's Commonwealth 100 feature, will look to make it two in a row when he starts from the pole at the high-speed half-mile oval. He'll be joined up front by reigning Lucas Oil Series champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who turned in a dominating performance of his own to win the night's third heat race.

Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., will share the second row after also winning heat races Friday night.

With the first eight rows of the feature lineup set, two consolation race's Saturday evening will each transfer three more drivers to the 100-lap feature, while provisional starters will fill the remainder of the field.

Commonwealth 100 feature lineup

Row 1: Steve Shaver, Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Rick Eckert, Jared Landers
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Birkhofer
Row 4: Stevie Long, Dan Stone
Row 5: Casey Roberts, Ricky Elliot
Row 6: Shane Clanton, Kenny Moreland
Row 7: David Williams, Tyler Reddick
Row 8: Don O'Neal, John Blankenship
Row 9: Consolation race transfers
Row 10: Consolation race transfers
Row 11: Consolation race transfers
Row 12: Provisional starters
Row 13: Provisional starters

Consolation race lineups

First consolation race
Row 1: Austin Hubbard, Jared Hawkins
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Steve Francis
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Jason Covert
Row 4: Gregg Satterlee, Dean Bowen
Row 5: Walker Arthur, David Zona
Row 6: Brandon Overton, Eric Wells
Second consolation race
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Jamie Lathroum
Row 2: John Lobb, Darryl Hills
Row 3: Dennis Franklin, Ronnie DeHaven Jr.
Row 4: Kyle Lear, Jonathan Davenport
Row 5: Chris Madden, Andrew Mullins
Row 6: Mike Marlar, Tim Shelton

Fourth heat

Benefitting from Dan Stone's final-lap mechanical woes, polesitter Jared Landers retook the lead exiting turn four and claimed the victory. Stone survived a tangle with Jonathan Davenport on the second lap, then overtook Landers on lap three. He pulled away through the remaining distance, but he coasted across the finish line in second after his car lost power on the final lap. Kenny Moreland finished third, while John Blankenship held off a hard charge from Jamie Lathroum to claim the fourth and final transfer position. Davenport started second, but finished eighth after contact from Stone sent him spinning on lap two.

Finish: Jared Landers, Dan Stone, Kenny Moreland, John Blankenship, Jamie Lathroum, Darryl Hills, Ronnie DeHaven Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Andrew Mullins, Tim Shelton.

Third heat

Outside polesitter Jimmy Owens cleared Brian Birkhofer in turn two on the first lap and led the entire distance for a convincing victory. After falling nearly a straightaway behind during a green-flag run for the race's first nine laps, Birkhofer was again no match for Owens in the six-lap run to the finish. He settled for second with Ricky Elliot and Tyler Reddick also qualifying for Saturday's feature with third- and fourth-place finishes. The race's only caution appeared with nine laps complete when Dennis Franklin spun in turn two while battling with Reddick and Elliot for the third position. Scott Bloomquist was never a factor in finishing fifth. After blowing an engine in his primary car during hot laps, former race winner Chris Madden started from the tail of the third heat, but never made up an ground.

Finish: Jimmy Owens, Brian Birkhofer, Ricky Elliot, Tyler Reddick, Scott Bloomquist, John Lobb, Dennis Franklin, Kyle Lear, Chris Madden.

Second heat

Surviving a number of challenges from polesitter Stevie Long, second-starting Rick Eckert took the lead on the opening lap led the entire distance. Long, who's making his first Super Late Model start this weekend, moved to challenge Eckert throughout the event, including a close call for Eckert when he approached the lapped car of Eric Wells midway through the race. Long also challenged Eckert on the final lap of the caution-free race, but Eckert turned back the challenge. Long settled for second with Shane Clanton third. Don O'Neal outdueled Jared Hawkins in a side-by-side battle on the final lap to take the fourth and final transfer postion. Steve Francis and Wells tangled in turn one on the first lap, causing Wells to tag the wall with the right-rear corner of his race car. Both cars continued on without a caution, but Wells was well off the pace with half his spoiler hanging off the car.

Finish: Rick Eckert, Stevie Long, Shane Clanton, Don O'Neal, Jared Hawkins, Steve Francis, Jason Covert, Dean Bowen, David Zona.

First heat

Third-starting Steve Shaver stalked race-long leader Casey Roberts from the start of the 15-lap prelim and took the lead when the high-running Roberts faltered in turn two on lap five. Shaver pulled away on his way to winning the caution-free race while fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. also moved by Roberts to finish second. Roberts settled for third with David Williams claiming the fourth and final transfer position. Tim McCreadie started on the pole after a two-car invert, but was never a factor in fading to a sixth-place finish.

Finish: Steve Shaver, Dennis Erb Jr., Casey Roberts, David Williams, Austin Hubbard, Tim McCreadie, Earl Pearson Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Walker Arthur, Brandon Overton.

Qualifying results (unofficial)

First group

  1. Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 17.058
  2. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 17.135
  3. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 17.179
  4. Stevie Long (44), Mechanicsville, Md., 17.181
  5. Steve Shaver (6), Vienna, W.Va., 17.19
  6. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 17.219
  7. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 17.237
  8. Don O'Neal (71), Martinsville, Va., 17.246
  9. David Williams (72), Chuptics, Md., 17.289
  10. Jared Hawkins (37) Fairmont, W.Va., 17.307
  11. Austin Hubbard (11), Seaford, Del., 17.315
  12. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 17.336
  13. Gregg Satterlee (22), Rochester Mills, Pa., 17.366
  14. Dean Bowen (5n), Whiteville, N.C., 17.432
  15. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 17.451
  16. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 17.48
  17. Brandon Overton (76), Augusta, Ga., 17.582
  18. Jason Covert (43), York Haven, Pa., 17.613
  19. Walker Arthur (87), Forrest, Va., 17.675
  20. David Zona (99z), Potomac, Md., 17.719

Second group

  1. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 17.071
  2. Jonathan Davenport (15), Blairsville, Ga., 17.368
  3. Brian Birkhofer (15b), Muscatine, Iowa, 17.453
  4. Jared Landers (5), Batesville, Ark., 17.457
  5. Ricky Elliot (88), hometown unavailable, 17.484
  6. Darryl Hills (7h), Great Mills, Md., 17.503
  7. Dennis Franklin (37), Gaffney, S.C., 17.509
  8. Dan Stone (21d), Warren, Pa., 17.525
  9. Tyler Reddick (11) Corning, Calif., 17.56
  10. Ronnie DeHaven Jr. (17d), hometown unavailable, 17.617
  11. Kyle Lear (7), hometown unavailable, 17.637
  12. Jamie Lathroum (6L), hometown unavailable, 17.639
  13. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 17.755
  14. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 17.802
  15. Mike Marlar (5b), Winfield, Tenn., 18.003
  16. Kenny Moreland (24), Waldorf, Md., 18.025
  17. Andrew Mullins (51) , hometown unavailable, 18.134
  18. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C. , 18.323
  19. John Lobb (28), Frewsburg, N.Y., 18.808
  20. Tim Shelton (55), Fredericksburg, Va., 19.179
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