Birky, Reddick up front at Silver Dollar Nationals
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
GREENWOOD, Neb. (July 20) — Double-heat winners Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, and Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., will start on the front row for Saturday’ second annual Second Annual Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.
The pair were the only two drivers to score a pair of preliminary victories in the two rounds of heat races for the $25,000-to-win event co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association. | Slideshow | Notebook | Video
The top 18 drivers in passing points following Friday's preliminaries earned spots in the first nine rows of the 80-lap main event as a big crowd watched 10 heat races at the 4/10-mile oval.
Reddick came from the farthest back to win his heat race, starting eighth and capturing a victory in the opening round heats. Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who won his heat after starting in sixth, will start third in Saturday’s main event alongside Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.
Last year’s Silver Dollar Nationals winner Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., will start fifth in the MasterSbilt Race Cars house car with veteran Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., lined up next to him.
O'Neal, second in Lucas Oil Series points, leads the series with nine victories in 2012 and won the only other Lucas Oil Series event held in Nebraska at Junction Motor Speedway in 2005.
Current Lucas Oil Series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., will start 16th right in front of current MLRA points leader John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., who fires off 18th on the grid.
In the first round of heat races, Owens, Eric Wells, Francis, Reddick and Birkhofer took checkered flags. In the second round of heats, Moyer, Birkhofer, Reddick, Chris Simpson and O’Neal won.
Saturday’s activities begin at 7 p.m. with a drivers’ meeting followed by hot laps at 7:20 p.m. and consolation races about 8 p.m. The 12-lap Al Belt Custom Homes Builders Bash for the non-qualifiers will proceed the 80-lap Silver Dollar Nationals main event at the Joe Kosiski-promoted facility.
Heat race results
Fifth heat: Don O'Neal, Chad Simpson, Tim Isenberg, Jonathan Davenport, Bill Leighton Jr., Jimmy Mars, Eric Turner, Scott Lewis, Bill Koons.
Silver Dollar nationals lineup
Row 12: Provisional starters