Magnolia Motor Speedway
Breazeale, O'Neal share front row at Magnolia
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
COLUMBUS, Miss. (June 14) — Defending Clash at the Mag winner Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., picked up right where he left off last year at Magnolia Motor Speedway, posting fast time and winning his heat race during Friday’s preliminary action for the $20,000-to-win Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.
O’Neal, who topped 46 entries with a lap of 14.077 seconds during Friday’s time trials and later led every lap of the first heat race, will start from the outside of the front row in Saturday’s 100-lap main event at the 3/8-mile oval. | Slideshow | Video
David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., who won Friday’s second heat, will join O’Neal on the front row after a redraw among the night’s four heat race winners. John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., and Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., also won heat races to earn second-row starting spots. Marlar, who debuted a Bloomquist Race Car at the event, will start to the inside with Blankenship on the outside.
O’Neal, looking for his first victory since Speedweeks, took the lead on the start of the first heat and fought off an early race challenge from Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark. O'Neal’s Optima batteries-sponsored MasterSbilt Race Cars house car pulled away from Landers in the last half of the 10-lap prelim to take the win.
Landers was second followed by Billy Moyer, Jr. of Batesville, Ark., and hometown Brian Rickman in a race that transferred the top four finishers to Saturday’s main event.
The second heat race was featured a familiar battle with regional standouts Breazeale and Chris Wall of Holden, La., racing hard for the top spot throughout the 10-lap race. The two drivers ran door to door with Wall pulling even with Breazeale several times. Wall made one final bid to overtake Breazeale exiting turn four on the final lap but fell just short of the win.
Driving the L&D Trucking MasterSbilt for Henderson Motorsports, Breazeale was followed at the finish by Wall, Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark.
Blankenship, who entered the event having won two out of the last three Lucas Oil Series events, kept Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., at bay the entire 10 laps of heat three. Francis stayed close to Blankenship’s Coal World's Energy Rocket Chassis for most of the race but couldn’t find a way around.
Former series champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., came home third followed by Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., finished fourth in driving a Henderson Motorsports car as a teammate to Breazeale.
Marlar took the lead on the start of the fourth heat and cruised in winning the race going away. It was the first race for Marlar in a Bloomquist car that was just recently purchased from John Blankenship. Multi-time series champion Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was second followed by two-time reigning series champion and current points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., in third. Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., finished fourth in his first-ever appearance at Magnolia.
The Clash at the Mag concludes Saturday with a pair of 12-lap consolation races that each transfer the top three finishers into the 100-lap main event.
Notes: The Clash at the Mag is the second of nine points races in the ASi Racewear Crown Jewel Cup presented by DirtonDirt.com; the Crown Jewel Cup winner earns a $10,000 bonus at the series' year-end banquet. ... Rick Rickman was running in the fourth in the first heat when he lost an engine near the end of the race. ... Bloomquist entered Magnolia fresh off a $100,000 Dream XIX victory. ... Reigning NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series champion Chase Washington topped 35 entrants for a victory in the Crate Late Model feature. ... Washington visited victory lane in his first start since Speedweeks after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; he had been sidelined while undergoing chemotherapy and Scott Dedwylder filled in behind the wheel of his No. 38 Crate ride. Dedwylder was originally scheduled to pull double duty in both Late Model classes this weekend, but after Washington felt well enough shaking the car down in Friday's hot laps, he elected to race himself.
Heat race results
Top four transfer to feature
First heat: (1) Don O'Neal, (2) Jared Landers, (3) Billy Moyer Jr., (4) Brian Rickman, (5) Jimmy Cliburn, (6) Chad Thrash, (7) Stacy Taylor, (8) Brian Reese, (9) Jerry Lierly, (10) Leon Henderson, (11) Dwayne Britton, (12) Rick Rickman.
Second heat: (1) David Breazeale, (2) Chris Wall, (3) Billy Moyer, (4) Jack Sullivan, (5) Randy Weaver, (6) Chris Brown, (7) B.J. Robinson, (8) Chris Smith, (9) Robbie Starnes, (10) Jamie Tollison, (11) Randy Boyd Thompson.
Third heat: (1) John Blankenship, (2) Steve Francis, (3) Scott Bloomquist, (4) Bub McCool, (5) Dennis Erb Jr., (6) Dillon Wood, (7) Justin McRee, (8) Scott Dedwylder, (9) Neil Baggett, (10) Henry Cooper, (11) Patrick Michel, (12) Clint Smith.
Fourth heat: (1) Mike Marlar, (2) Earl Pearson Jr., (3) Jimmy Owens, (4) Eddie Carrier Jr., (5) Eric Cooley, (6) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (7) Ray Moore, (8) Wendell Wallace, (9) Jason Cliburn, (10) Dane Dacus, (11) Robbie Stuart.
Row 1: David Breazeale, Don O'Neal
Row 2: Mike Marlar, John Blankenship
Row 3: Jared Landers, Steve Francis
Row 4: Chris Wall, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 5: Billy Moyer Jr., Scott Bloomquist
Row 7: Billy Moyer, Jimmy Owens
Row 8: Brian Rickman, Bub McCool
Row 9: Jack Sullivan, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 10: Consolation transfers
Row 11: Consolation transfers
Row 12: Consolation transfers
Row 13: Provisional starters
Consolation race lineups
12 laps; top three transfer to main event
Row 1: Jimmy Cliburn, Randy Weaver
Row 2: Chad Thrash, Chris Brown
Row 3: Stacy Taylor, B.J. Robinson
Row 4: Jerry Lierly, Chris Smith
Row 5: Brian Reese, Robbie Starnes
Row 6: Leon Henderson, Jamie Tollison
Row 7: Dwayne Britton, Randy Boyd Thompson
Row 8: Rick Rickman
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Eric Cooley
Row 2: Dillon Wood, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth
Row 3: Justin McRee, Ray Moore
Row 4: Scott Dedwylder, Wendell Wallace
Row 5: Neil Baggett, Jason Cliburn,
Row 6: Henry Cooper, Dane Dacus
Row 7: Patrick Michel, Robbie Stuart
Row 8: Clint Smith