North Georgia Speedway
Schlieper finally shows up, takes North Georgia
From correspondent reports
CHATSWORTH, Ga. (June 13) — Dan Schlieper missed the opener of a three-race weekend when his hauler broke down heading for Duck River Speedway. The Sullivan, Wis., driver should be able to pay for the repairs following his victory at North Georgia Speedway in the second of three weekend events on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. | Slideshow
Starting outside the front row, Schlieper got the jump on polesitter Billy Drake and stuck mostly with the outside groove in racing to a flag-to-flag victory worth $10,000 in the Chevrolet 50, his second career triumph on the Lucas Oil circuit.
"Man, I can't believe we were that good," Schlieper said in victory lane. "The car was just fantastic. After all we've been through to come here and win just makes it all worth it.
"There was an electronic shifter on top of the transmission in the truck that went bad and we were stranded in Mount Vernon, Ill., yesterday and they had to overnight the part from Memphis, so we couldn't race last night, but this Wild Chassis was quick from the time we unloaded it tonight. ... Hopefully there's a lot more to come the rest of the year."
Only five yellow flags kept the field in touch with Schlieper, who raced out front while a flurry of cars battled for the top five spots. Two Georgians finished second and third — sixth-starting Clint Smith of Senoia and fifth-starting Shane Clanton of Locust Grove — at the third-mile oval while third-starting Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., and fourth-starting Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., rounded out the top five.
Drake, of Bloomington, Ill., ended up seventh, one spot behind 12th-starting Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who ran as high as fourth. Schlieper crossed the finish line a straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers.
Notes: Schlieper's Wild Chassis has a Pro Power-built Ford engine with sponsorship from Miller Bros. Coal, Hawkeye Trucking, VP Racing Fuels, Uncle Buck, Integra Shocks, and Five Star Race Car Bodies. ... Jason Palubicki of the winning team was the Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race. ... Lucas Oil Series points leader Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., finished 11th, one spot better than three-time series champion Earl Pearson Jr., Casebolt's closest pursuer in the points chase. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Eric Jacobsen, Terry Casey, Ronnie Johnson, Mike Head, Randy Weaver, Wayne Chinn, John Gill, Neil Baggett and John Mason. ... Provisional starter Justin Rattliff was the PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger for his 23rd-to-ninth run. ... The series opener the weekend with Shane Clanton's Thursday night victory at Duck River Speedway in Wheel, Tenn. The weekend wraps up Saturday at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Ala.
Lucas Oil @ North Georgia: (1) Dan Schlieper, (2) Clint Smith, (3) Shane Clanton, (4) Scott Bloomquist, (5) Ray Cook, (6) Jimmy Owens, (7) Billy Drake, (8) Joe Armes, (9) Justin Rattliff, (10) Freddy Smith, (11) Steve Casebolt, (12) Earl Pearson Jr., (13) Bart Hartman, (14) Rick Rogers, (15) Brandon Kinzer, (16) Gary McPherson, (17) Scott James, (18) Tommy Kerr, (19) Vic Hill, (20) Skip Arp, (21) Randy Burrows, (22) Chris Madden, (23) Jake Knowles, (24) Billy Ogle Jr. Fast qualifier (among 53 cars): Clanton, 12.896 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, Cook, Drake, Schlieper. Consolation winners: Rogers, Hill. Provisional starters: Rattliff, Hartman.