Erb splits Dream prelim wins with red-hot Miller
By Joshua Joiner and Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com
ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 7) — Action is under way Friday for the second of three nights of action at Eldora Speedway's Dream XIX; the program includes twin $5,000-to-win features after the odd and even qualifiers were split from an 84-car field (finishes unofficial):
Dennis Erb Jr. came out on top of a close three-car battle late in Friday’s second Dream XIX preliminary feature at Eldora Speedway and earned $5,000 for a 25-lap UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned victory. | Complete Dream XIX coverage
The seventh-starting Erb ran down Chris Madden as the leaders reach heavy traffic late in the race and pulled ahead of Madden at the line to complete lap 20, while Billy Moyer lurked just behind in third.
Erb led again led by a nose on lap 21, but Madden pulled back ahead with a turn-three slidejob on lap 22. But Erb’s car was much better at negotiating the slower cars, and he pulled back ahead for good on lap 23.
Madden held off Moyer in a close finish for second with Don O’Neal just behind in fourth. Doug Drown was well behind the top four in rounding out the top five finishers.
The polesitting Moyer took the lead on the race’s initial start, but fired too early on a restart with one lap complete. Moyer was penalized a row, moving the fourth-running Madden to the outside of the front row.
Mason Ziegler’s solid night came to an abrupt end when he got into the turn-two wall and spun at the top of the racetrack. Ziegler, who started alongside Moyer on the front row, pulled to the pits and called it a night.
Even feature finish: (1) Dennis Erb Jr., (2) Chris Madden, (3) Billy Moyer, (4) Don O’Neal, (5) Doug Drown, (6) Jacob Hawkins, (7) Dale McDowell, (8) Randy Weaver, (9) Brandon Sheppard, (10) Donnie Moran, (11) Shannon Babb, (12) Bub McCool, (13) Shane Clanton, (14) Steve Shaver, (15) Billy Moyer Jr., (16) Greg Johnson, (17) Jeremey Payne, (18) Brandon Thirlby, (19) Dustin Neat, (20) Bobby Pierce, (21) Justin Chance, (22) Mason Ziegler, (23) Tim Fuller, (24) Darrell Lanigan. Heat race winners: Moyer, Ziegler, Drown, Neat. Consolation winners: Hawkins, McCool.
Matt Miller continued his dream weekend at Eldora Speedway’s Dream XIX with another preliminary feature victory Friday night at the half-mile oval. Miller, who kicked off the weekend with a $2,500 victory Thursday night at Eldora, earned $5,000 in claiming the first of Friday’s two 25-lap features.
Miller took advantage of Eldora’s straight-up doublefile restarts to overtake Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., on a lap-three restart and never looked back. He outdueled Casebolt on the second and final restart on lap seven and successfully negotiated lapped traffic in building a comfortable lead through the second half of the race.
Jimmy Owens of Newpot, Tenn., finished second to Miller for the second straight night. He overtook Casebolt for second on lap 20 but couldn’t close the gap on Miller. Casebolt was third at the finish, making it an all-former-Dream-winner top three. Polesitter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., was fourth with Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, rounding out the top five.
Casebolt got the jump on the start of the race, while second-row starters Miller and Reddick split Richards to make it three-wide for second in the first corner. Miller pulled ahead for the spot and quickly set his sights on Casebolt.
A lap three caution put Miller alongside Casebolt for the restart and contact between the two drivers slowed Casebolt enough to allow Miller to race ahead in turn one. Casebolt used a slidejob to pull ahead of Miller on a lap-seven restart, but Miller pulled back ahead down the back straightaway.
The race was slowed by two cautions. The first came with three laps complete when Jared Landers and Dusty Moore got together in the middle of turns three and four. A lap-seven caution was for debris.
Odd feature finish: (1) Matt Miller, (2) Jimmy Owens, (3) Steve Casebolt, (4) Josh Richards, (5) Brian Birkhofer, (6) Scott James, (7) Jeep Van Wormer, (8) Jonathan Davenport, (9) Tim McCreadie, (10) Jimmy Mars, (11) Andrew Reaume, (12) Steve Francis, (13) Brian Shirley, (14) Duane Chamberlain, (15) Gregg Satterlee, (16) Tim Rivers, (17) Dusty Moore, (18) Wayne Chinn, (19) Jeff Provinzino, (20) Tyler Reddick, (21) Scott Bloomquist, (22) Chris Simpson, (23) Chad Simpson, (24) Jared Landers. Heat race winners: Richards, Casebolt, Miller, Reddick. Consolation winners: Francis, Landers.
(top four transfer)
First odd consolation: Steve Francis, Jeff Provinzino, Tim Rivers, Chris Simpson, John Mason, Mike Spatola, Tyler Erb, Danny Mitchell, Chad Smith, Don Gordon.
Second odd consolation: Jared Landers, Jimmy Mars, Andrew Reaume, Dusty Moore, Tim Lance, Ryan Sutter, Jon Henry.
First even consolation: Jacob Hawkins, Justin Chance, Steve Shaver, Brandon Thirlby, Terry Phillips, Devin Moran, Shannon Thornsberry, Justin Coulter, Jason Montgomery, Ernie Cordier, R.J. Conley.
Second even consolation: Bub McCool, Darrell Lanigan, Bobby Pierce, Greg Johnson, Frank Heckenast Jr., Michael Asberry, Jeff Babcock, Austin Hubbard, Nick Latham, Morgan Bagley, Ross Nicastri.
Fourth even heat
The night's final heat race finally produced a winner from somewhere other than the outside front-row starting spot, with polesitter Dustin Neat getting the jump on Shannon Babb and holding Babb at bay for the entire caution-free eight laps. Babb stayed close the Neat for most of the way but settled for second ahead of Billy Moyer Jr. and Randy Weaver.
Finish: Dustin Neat, Shannon Babb, Billy Moyer Jr., Randy Weaver, Bub McCool, Darrell Lanigan, Frank Heckenast Jr., Austin Hubbard, Michael Asberry.
Fourth odd heat
Second-starting Tyler Reddick pulled ahead of polesitter Gregg Satterlee on the open lap and turned back repeated challenges from third-starting Brian Birkhofer for the victory. Birkhofer got by Satterlee early and quickly close the gap to Reddick. He made multiple attempts to drive under the high-running Reddick but never had a run strong enough to complete the pass. He settled for second with while Satterlee slid back to third. Chad Simpson was fourth to also make the main event.
Finish: Tyler Reddick, Brian Birkhofer, Gregg Satterlee, Chad Simpson, Andrew Reaume, Ryan Sutter, Tim Lance,
Third even heat
Second-starting Doug Drown pulled away from polesitter Tim Fuller on the start and led every lap of the caution-free eight-lapper. Dennis Erb Jr. used a mid-race slidejob to get by Fuller for second but couldn't catch Drown in the closing laps. Erb settled for second with Fuller third and Jeremey Payne in the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish: Doug Drown, Dennis Erb Jr., Tim Fuller, Jeremey Payne, Bobby Pierce, Ross Nicastri, Greg Johnson, Nick Latham, Morgan Bagley.
Third odd heat
Continuing his solid weekend at Eldora, outside polesitter Matt Miller twice pulled away from the field in leading every lap of the third even heat. Jimmy Owens, who finished second to Miller in Thursday's second 25-lap prelim feature, turned back multiple charges from Scott Bloomquist to finish second, while sixth-starting Jeep Van Wormer overtook Jared Landers on the final lap to claim the race's final feature transfer spot. Polesitter Jimmy Mars was never a factor in fading to sixth. Chad Stapleton and James Rice tangled to bring out a lap-three caution with Stapleton's car receiving heavy damage after hard contact with the outside wall. Stapleton was OK, but the race was briefly red-flagged for cleanup.
Finish: Matt Miller, Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Jeep Van Wormer, Jared Landers, Jimmy Mars, Dusty Moore, Chad Stapleton, James Rice.
Second even heat
Second-starting Mason Ziegler outdueled fellow front-row starter Chris Madden on the opening lap and later turned Madden away again on a lap-five restart in leading every lap. Madden settled for second, while Donnie Moran came out on top of a mid-race four-wide battle to finish third with Shane Clanton grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot. Shane Unger found the wall in turns three and four to bring out a lap-five caution.
Finish: Mason Ziegler, Chris Madden, Donnie Moran, Shane Clanton, Jacob Hawkins, Justin Chance, Brandon Thirlby, Terry Phillips, Shannon Thornsberry, Justin Coulter, Shane Unger.
Second odd heat
Continuing the trend of winners front the outside front row, Steve Casebolt got the jump on polesitter Scott James and led all the way in the caution-free eight-lapper. James stayed within striking distance of Casebolt for much of the distance but faded slightly in the closing laps in settling for second. Tim McCreadie and Brian Shirley finished third and fourth to also earn feature starting spots. John Blankenship, Eddie Carrier Jr. and Earl Peason Jr. all scratched.
Finish: Steve Casebolt, Scott James, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Tim Rivers, Steve Francis, Mike Spatola, Don Gordon. Scratched: John Blankenship, Eddie Carrier Jr., Earl Pearson Jr.
First even heat
Billy Moyer cruised from his outside front-row starting spot in leading every lap of the first eight-lap heat for the even group, taking the victory by nearly a straightaway. While Moyer cruised out front, polesitter Dale McDowell and third-starting Don O'Neal swapped the second spot back and forth in a heated mid-race battle with O'Neal pulling ahead at the finish. McDowell settled for third with Brandon Sheppard taking the fourth and final transfer spot. R.J. Conley spun in the middle of turns one and two to bring out a lap-two caution.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Don O'Neal, Dale McDowell, Brandon Sheppard, Devin Moran, Steve Shaver, Jason Montgomery, Ernie Cordier, R.J. Conley. Scratched: Brad Neat.
First odd heat
Getting the jump on the initial start, outside polesitter Josh Richards led every lap of the caution-free first heat in topping fast qualifier Jonathan Davenport in the eight-lap prelim. Davenport used a lap-two slidejob to get by polesitter Duane Chamberlain, but he couldn't close the gap to Richards. Davenport settled for second with Chamberlain third and Wayne Chinn also transferring into the night's odd feature.
Finish: Josh Richards, Jonathan Davenport, Duane Chamberlain, Wayne Chinn, Chris Simpson, Tyler Erb, Jeff Provinzino, Danny Mitchell, John Mason, Chad Smith.
Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., topped 83 qualifiers Friday at Eldora Speedway on the second night of action at the newly expanded $100,000-to-win Dream XIX presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers.
Davenport posted a lap of 15.386 seconds to not only top Friday’s time trials, but to also just beat Shane Clanton’s lap of 15.387 seconds from Thursday’s first round of Dream qualifying for fast time overall on the weekend.
Davenport spun a three on the inversion wheel for Friday’s event meaning he'll start inside the second row in his heat race later tonight at Eldora’s half-mile oval.
The rest of the top five qualifiers for Friday’s heat races: Don O’Neal (15.513) of Martinsville, Ind.; John Blankenship (15.527) of Williamson, W.Va.; Chris Madden (15. 544) of Gray Court, S.C.; and Jimmy Owens (15.549) of Newport, Tenn.
Friday’s action will see entries split in half after time trials followed by twin racing programs of heats, consolations and 25-lap features paying $5,000-to-win.
A number of drivers had trouble on their respective qualifying runs. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., were among the notable drivers to make significant contact with the wall on their runs, while Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., took the hardest hit when he slammed the wall at the entrance of turn one on his first lap. Robinson was OK, but he limped his car to the pits with heavy damage.
A complete list of unofficial times is posted below, while unofficial overall times are available here.
The dreaded Eldora “Wheel of Misfortune” might need a little attention before this evening’s spin that will set the inversion for Saturday’s heat lineups. When Jonathan Davenport spun the wheel for a “3” for Friday’s inversion, it didn’t appear it was ever going to stop. “It wasn’t even clicking on half of 'em.” Davenport said with a laugh.
Friday's heat race lineups
ODD HEAT RACES
(Eight laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Duane Chamberlain, Josh Richards
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Wayne Chinn
Row 3: Chad Smith, Tyler Erb
Row 4: Chris Simpson, John Mason
Row 5: Jeff Provinzino, Danny Mitchell
Row 6: Jerry Bowersock
Row 1: Scott James, Steve Casebolt
Row 2: John Blankenship, Tim McCreadie
Row 3: Steve Francis, Brian Shirley
Row 4: Eddie Carrier Jr., Mike Spatola
Row 5: Tim Rivers, Don Gordon
Row 6: Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 1: Jimmy Mars, Matt Miller
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Jared Landers
Row 3: Scott Bloomquist, Jeep Van Wormer
Row 4: Dusty Moore, Chad Stapleton
Row 5: James Rice, Eric Wells
Row 1: Gregg Satterlee, Tyler Reddick
Row 2: Brian Birkhofer, Tim Lance
Row 3: Chad Simpson, Jay Johnson
Row 4: Jon Henry, Ryan Sutter
Row 5: Andrew Reaume, Jason Smith
EVEN HEAT RACES
(Eight laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Dale McDowell, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Don O’Neal, Brad Neat
Row 3: Devin Moran, Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Steve Shaver, R.J. Conley
Row 5: Ernie Cordier, Kent Robinson
Row 1: Mason Ziegler, Shannon Thornsberry
Row 2: Chris Madden, Terry Phillips
Row 3: Justin Coulter, Jacob Hawkins
Row 4: Donnie Moran, Shane Clanton
Row 5: Brandon Thirlby, Shane Unger
Row 6: Justin Chance
Row 1: Tim Fuller, Doug Drown
Row 2: Morgan Bagley, Jeremey Payne
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Greg Johnson
Row 4: Ross Nicastri, Bobby Pierce
Row 5: Nick Latham, Jeff Babcock
Row 1: Dustin Neat, Shannon Babb
Row 2:Frank Heckenast Jr., Randy Weaver
Row 3: Billy Moyer Jr., Bub McCool
Row 4: Michael Asberry, Darrell Lanigan
Row 5: Austin Hubbard, Craig Smith
Jeff Babcock, scheduled to be Friday’s first qualifier, missed the spot when he ran into engine problems in hot laps. “It was bad,” Babcock said, saying it the powerplant was missing. When they got it back into the pits, it wouldn’t turn over and they were trying to diagnose the problem. ... Jerry Bowersock of Wapakoneta, Ohio, is skipping Friday’s Eldora action because he’s in the points chase for Limaland (Ohio) Motorsport Park’s $8,000 modified championship. “He said, 'I can’t miss that,' ” said Bill Dues, co-owner of the St. Henry Nite Club Late Model that Bowersock drives. Bowersock, 12th in his Thursday feature and 30th best qualifier Friday, will be back at Eldora on Saturday. ... Kent Robinson ran into radiator trouble in Friday hot laps; he and crew chief Richard Davis swapped radiator before time trials.
Following time trials — with three cars on the clock at a time — entries will be split into odd and even groups, with odd-numbered qualifiers (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) in the first group and even-numbered qualifier (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) in the second group.
Each group will run a complete racing program with the top four finishers in each of four eight-lap heat races transferring to the each feature (there will be a heat race inversion). The top four finishers in each of two consolation races also transfer to each feature.
Friday’s action is identical to Thursday’s program while Saturday’s racing will follow the traditional Dream program before the $100,000-to-win grand finale. Saturday’s heat races will be lined up according to a driver’s best time trial from Thursday or Friday’s program.
Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Matt Miller of Whitehouse, Ohio, each claimed $2,500 victories in Thursday’s action. ... Defending Dream winner Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., was fastest in Thursday’s time trials with a lap of 15.387 seconds. Clanton and second-fast qualifier Jon Henry of Ada, Ohio, were among drivers who skipped Thursday’s event after qualifying. ... John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va. and Craig Smith of Godfrey, Ill., have switched to backup cars after accidents Thursday night. Blankenship's backup car is the car he used to win two of the past three Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events. ... Both drivers’ Thursday qualifying times are still eligible. Officials changed the rule that disallowed qualifying times if drivers had to switch to a backup car after time trials. ... Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., and his crew have made repairs from a heat race accident Thursday. ... Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., finished ninth in his 25-lap feature Thursday, but his powerplant dropped a valve. Down to a single 410 c.i. engine, and with seven World of Outlaws Late Model Series series events coming up, they’ve scratched for the Dream weekend. Wells is leading the World of Outlaws rookie chase. ... Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was running fourth on the last lap of his Thursday heat race, but a skipping carburetor forced him out; the team is changing carburetors for tonight’s action. ... Jacob Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., slowed with an overheating car in his Thursday feature; the team hopes the engine is OK and has swapped radiators to improve the cooling.
Friday's race schedule (starting at 8 p.m.)
First odd heat
First even heat
Second odd heat
Second even heat
Third odd heat
Third even heat
Fourth odd heat
Fourth even heat
First odd consolation
First event consolation
Second odd consolation
Second event consolation
25-lap odd feature
25-lap event feature
Friday’s time trials (unofficial)
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga. 15.386
Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind. 15.513
John Blankenship (23), Wiliamson, W.Va. 15.527
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C. 15.544
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn. 15.549
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas 15.615
Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa 15.615
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill. 15.681
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va. 15.681
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark. 15.683
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind. 15.705
Shannon Thornsberry (17), Martin, Ky. 15.717
Matt Miller (3), Whitehouse, Ohio 15.721
Doug Drown (63), Wooster, Ohio 15.722
Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif. 15.801
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill. 15.808
Duane Chamberlain (20c), Richmond, Ind. 15.825
Dale McDowell (17m), Chicamauga, Ga. 15.842
Scott James (1G), Lawrenceburg, Ind. 15.847
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa. 15.857
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis. 15.867
Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y. 15.887
Gregg Satterlee (22), Rochester Mills, Pa. 15.893
Dustin Neat (6), Dunnville, Ky. 15.91
Wayne Chinn (1), Bradford, Ohio 15.931
Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky. 15.956
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y. 15.963
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo. 15.967
Jared Landers (5), Batesville, Ark. 15.972
Jeremy Payne (20r), Springfield, Mo. 15.978
Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill. 16.01
Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn. 16.018
Chad Smith (19), Centerville, Ohio, 16.03
Devin Moran (99m), Dresden, Ohio 16.039
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky. 16.051
Jason Smith (25s), Seymour, Ind. 16.061
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn. 16.069
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill. 16.081
Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa 16.084
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark. 16.127
Tyler Erb (16), Magnolia, Texas 16.137
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill. 16.142
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill. 16.145
Jacob Hawkins (20h), Fairmont, W.Va. 16.154
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich. 16.167
Greg Johnson (15), Bedford, Ind. 16.169
Jay Johnson (93), West Burlington, Iowa 16.227
Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss. 16.231
Chris Simpson (32), Mount Vernon, Iowa 16.234
Steve Shaver (6), Vienna, W.Va. 16.254
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va. 16.288
Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio 16.307
Dusty Moore (75), Swanton, Ohio 16.311
Ross Nicastri (3), Goulburn, Australia 16.318
Jon Henry (15), Ada, Ohio 16.37
Michael Asberry (360), Crossville, Tenn. 16.377
John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio 16.388
Jason Montgomery (21), Jackson, Ohio 16.426
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill. 16.454
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga. 16.465
Chad Stapleton (32), Edinburgh, Ind. 16.476
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill. 16.478
Ryan Sutter (11), Coldwater, Ohio 16.483
Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky. 16.544
Jeff Provinzino (28), Hibbing, Minn. 16.654
R.J. Conley (71c), Wheelersburg, Ohio 16.692
Tim Rivers (46), Salem, Ind. 16.712
Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich. 16.784
James Rice (11r), Verona, Ky. 16.784
Nick Latham (31), Winchester, Ohio 16.889
Andrew Reaume (88), Blenheim, Ontario 17.326
Austin Hubbard (11), Seaford, Del. 17.796
Danny Mitchell (18), Clarksburg, W.Va. 17.925
Ernie Cordier (4c), Brodhead, Ky. 17.984
Don Gordon (33), Chatham, Ontario 18.144
Shane Unger (79), Versailles, Ohio 18.537
Jeff Babcock (1), Wayne, Ohio no time
Craig Smith (8), Godfrey, Ill. no time
Jerry Bowersock (20), Wapakoneta, Ohio no time
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind. no time
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky. no time
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla. no time
Justin Chance (2), Mansfield, Ohio no time