Race Results - July 30, 2006PONTOON BEACH, Pontoon Beach, IL--The "Moweaqua Missile" Shannon Babb from Moweaqua, IL proved once again why he is one of the best dirt late model drivers in the nation as he captured the "Miller-Lite 50" Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Sunday Night at the Gundaker family promoted Tri-City Speedway. The 32 year old racer dominated from lap six until a pair of late cautions allowed Chub Frank to pass him with two laps to go. Babb valiantly fought back and grabbed the lead down the backstretch and brought home the $10,000 victory in front of a jubilant crowd.
Babb piloting the Arkansas Motors/Car City/Petroff Towing/J&J Steel/Waters Auto Land/Performance Rod and Custom/Wicks Racing Products/Hoosier Tires by Smash/Platinum Enterprises/G&C Enterprises/Allstar Performance/Karl Chevrolet/Outlaw Factory Pilot/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo earned his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2006 beating Frank to the line. Frank of Bear Lake, PA was second in his Lester Buildings/Custom Race Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo with Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in the Lucas Oil Products/Dunn-Benson Ford/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus just nipping out Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN at the wire to grab third. O'Neal in the Randall Eller Motorsports/Independence Lumber/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo was fourth and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN was fifth in the Miller Brothers Coal/Vic Hill Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Chevrolet.
Chub Frank and Earl Pearson, Jr. would make up the front row for the 50 lap feature with Pearson who won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Tri-City Speedway in 2005 taking the point at the drop of the green flag with Frank and fifth place starting Shannon Babb in hot pursuit. Babb would pass Frank for second on the third circuit with Randy Korte the winningest dirt late model driver in the nation so far in '06 with 23 feature wins taking the third spot from Frank a lap later.
The first caution of the race came out for 2005 Tri-City Speedway track champion Steve Sheppard in turn number three. On the restart Babb would get the advantage on Pearson and take the lead with six laps scored. Pearson was second with a high flying Darren Miller now up to third. Babb would immediately start to pull away from the field opening up a six car length advantage within a few laps.
With ten laps in the books Babb was still performing a commanding performance with Miller running second after he had passed Pearson three circuits earlier. Pearson was third with Scott James up from his eighth starting slot to run fourth just ahead of Frank. Babb then would see his lead up to eight seconds ahead of Miller as trafic would be just in front of him as the cars completed 15 laps.
The top five remained the same until the 21st lap when 11th starting Don O'Neal cracked the top five passing both Frank and James. O'Neal then was in a bigger hurry as he raced past the series points leader Pearson on lap 23 for third. At the halfway mark it was all Babb with Miller in second followed by O'Neal, Pearson and Frank. Babb would be in top form around the half mile oval putting almost a half a track on Miller as they would fight through traffic.
On lap 35 the third caution of the race came out for debris on the racing surface. With Babb's huge lead wiped out it looked like an opportunity for Miller, O'Neal, Pearson and Frank to see what they had for the former NARA DirtCar Series Champion. But on the restart after the debris caution Babb again would put the hammer down and build a six car length lead up. Caution number four of the race for Freddy Smith on lap 40 would set up a potential ten lap dash to the finish.
With ten laps remaining Babb would still be in total control of the race with Miller in second. On the restart Frank would get back in the thick of the battle coming up to third after O'Neal brushed the guardrail in turn two. With the five to go signal given Babb would see Miller and Frank stay with him this time around and both drivers were taking their best shot. The fifth and sixth cautions would come out back to back with 47 laps in the books. Right before the caution Miller's nice run would end as he pulled his car into the pit area ending his charge.
Coming to complete lap 48 Babb slipped up high in turn four and Frank would come to the line as the new leader of the race. As the cars exited off of turn number two Babb would take the high side and rocket back around Frank to regain the lead. Babb would then see the white flag first and he would lead the final circuit bringing home the win. Frank would take a close second followed by Pearson, who got by O'Neal at the flag stand for third, with Bloomquist who had to take a series provisional and starting 23rd, finishing in fifth.
On the victory podium a relieved Babb was glad the race was over. "The car started to push and I had all kinds of trouble there in turn four a couple of times," said the winner. "I want to say thanks to Chub (Frank) for racing me clean coming off of turn two, he gave me plenty of room and I appreciate that." "During the middle part of the race the car was flawless, I mean I could drive it anywhere and it would work great, but there after those last two restarts we were fighting it a little bit and that kept those other guys on me."
Completing the top ten were Matt Miller, Randy Korte, Ken Schrader, Chris Smyser and Billy Laycock.
In preliminary action Donnie Moran was the Comp Cams Fast Qualifier with a lap of 20.523 seconds. The PBM Performance Products Heat Races went to Earl Pearson, Jr., Michael England and Chub Frank. The Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno B-Main was taken by Mark Voigt. The K&N Engineering "Clean Pass of the Race" went to none other than Shannon Babb for his move to retake the lead with two laps to go from Chub Frank. The K&N Engineering "Clean Pass of the Race" is awarded at each Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event and can take place during a heat, consy or feature event.
The next Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event will take place on Thursday Night, August 3 at the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, WI. The event will be the completion of the 8th Annual "Masters" race that was postponed from June 16. There are two B-mains to be run yet and the feature event will then commence with a $10,000 winners purse on the line. The series will then race on Tuesday Night, August 8 at the Dubuque Speedway in Dubuque, IA for a $10,000 to win payoff. For more information you can log onto to the series website at www.lucasdirt.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Sunday Night, July 30
Tri-City Speedway-Pontoon Beach, IL
Comp Cams Fast Time: Donnie Moran 20.523 seconds
PBM Performance Products First Heat: (10 Laps-Top 5 Advance): Earl Pearson, Jr., Randy Korte, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Steve Sheppard, Jayme Zidar, Billy Laycock, Kyle Steffens, Reid Millard, Brian Shirley
PBM Performance Products Second Heat: (10 Laps-Top 5 Advance): Michael England, Shannon Babb, Scott James, Don O'Neal, Matt Miller, Craig Smith, Bryan Collins, Butch Kruckeberg
PBM Performance Products Third Heat: (10 Laps-Top 5 Advance): Chub Frank, Darren Miller, Michael Kloos, John Mason, Freddy Smith, Chris Smyser, Mark Voigt, Mike Hammerle, Ken Schrader
Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno B-Main: Mark Voigt, Jayme Zidar, Chris Smyser, Billy Laycock, Ken Schrader, Bryan Collins, Brian Shirley, Kyle Steffens, Reid Millard, Butch Kruckeberg, Mike Hammerle, Craig Smith, Scott Bloomquist
"Miller-Lite 50" A-Main: Shannon Babb, Chub Frank, Earl Pearson, Jr., Don O'Neal, Scott Bloomquist, Matt Miller, Randy Korte, Ken Schrader, Chris Smyser, Billy Laycock, Freddy Smith, Bryan Collins, John Mason, Mark Voigt, Reid Millard, Donnie Moran, Darren Miller, Scott James, Michael Kloos, Jayme Zidar, Michael England, Steve Casebolt, Brian Shirley, Steve Sheppard, Craig Smith
Yellow Flags: 6
Red Flags: 0
Lap Leaders: Earl Pearson, Jr. 1-5, Shannon Babb 6-47, Chub Frank 48, Babb 49-50
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Scott Bloomquist (Started 23rd and finished 5th, advanced 18 positions)
K&N Engineering Clean Pass of the Race: Shannon Babb
Hawk Brake Tough Break Award: Darren Miller
Quarter Master Move of the Race: Chub Frank
On the Edge Graphics Fastest Non-Qualifier: Kyle Steffens
Weld Wheels Award: Matt Miller
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race: Michael England
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Scott Bloomquist and Reid Millard
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