Davey Johnson Wins Thriller at East Bay Raceway Park

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TAMPA, FL (February 15, 2014) – Davey Johnson returned to East Bay Raceway Park’s victory lane tonight, for the first time since the 2001.  The veteran driver took the lead on lap 12 and held off a hard charging Earl Pearson Jr. in the closing laps for his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win. Trailing Johnson and Pearson to the finish line in the 38th Winternationals finale was Don O’Neal, Eddie Carrier Jr., and Jimmy Owens.

“We had to work on the car most of the night to get it ready for today.  I want to thank Austin Hargrove, we brought him in during the off-season and he has made a big difference in our race team. Our business slowed down a little last year, and we were able to travel more and run some bigger shows.  I think we are ready for a really good season,” said Johnson.

“We have always liked coming down here to East Bay.  The last time we won here was in the Rocket House Car in 2001.  The track was really racy tonight! Our car worked better on the bottom, and then we moved up the track late in the race, and it was still fast.  Man, it feels good to win here again.”

Jimmy Owens led the first eleven laps of the race until Johnson took over the point.  Johnson held a steady pace as Scott Bloomquist started to apply some pressure. Johnson and Bloomquist ran one-two until a caution on lap 49.

On the restart Pearson soared past Bloomquist on the outside to take over second.  In the final 11 laps Pearson tried hard to run-down Johnson, but Johnson was able to withstand Pearson’s challenges and take his car to Lucas Oil Victory Lane.  “I have to thank my sponsors, Imperial Towing, Reliable Painting, Johnson Boat Brokers, Craiger Racing Engines and Rocket Chassis for all of their support,” said the 50-year-old Johnson.

“That was a heck of a race,” said Pearson afterwards.  “I don’t know if that caution hurt or helped us. We got around Scott, and I then thought I had enough laps to catch Davey, but we didn’t.  This Bobby Labonte Racing Team and everyone at Longhorn Chassis should be proud of what we have done so far this season.”  Pearson retains the point lead heading into the series next event at Brownstown (IN) Speedway on March 22nd.

O’Neal started tenth, and made a late-race charge to claim third.  “I saw Earl get up against the cushion, so I decided I was going to try it as well.  The bottom was working well for us, but the top got faster, we were in the right spot at the right time.  It was another good point night for the Clint Bowyer, Peak Oil Team, and we will be ready for Brownstown next month.”

Completing the top ten were Steve Francis, Gregg Satterlee, Bobby Pierce, Scott Bloomquist, and Ray Cook.

In preliminary action, Billy Moyer set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the ­40 entrants, with a lap of 14.362 seconds. Dennis Erb Jr. set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 14.648 seconds. Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Davey Johnson, and Scott Bloomquist won their respective heat races. Jason Hughes and Randy Weaver won their respective B-Mains.

For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com and follow the series on www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twitter.com/lucasdirt.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Saturday Night, February 15th, 2014
38th Annual East Bay Winternationals
East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL

Miller Welders Fast Time Group A: Dennis Erb Jr.  / 14.648 seconds
Miller Welders Fast Time Group B: Billy Moyer  / 14.362 seconds

Fast Shafts Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Jimmy Owens, Dennis Erb Jr., Ray Cook, Steve Francis, Bobby Pierce, Eric Jacobsen, Ricky Weiss, Joe Denby, Justin Rattliff, Vic Coffey-DNS

Eibach Springs Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): John Blankenship, Brian Shirley, Dennis Franklin, Devin Moran, Jason Hughes, Jared Landers, Dan Stone, Leon Henderson, Bob Geiger, Chad White-DNS

Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Davey Johnson, Earl Pearson Jr., Don O’Neal, Gregg Satterlee, Randy Weaver, Mike Benedum, Kenny PettyJohn, Jason Papich, Nick Davis, Billy Moyer

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Eddie Carrier Jr., John Mollick, Kevin Weaver, Jason Riggs, Booper Bare, Jay Morris, Chad Hollenbeck, Billy Moyer Jr., James O’Hara

JRi Shocks B-Main #1 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Jason Hughes, Bobby Pierce, Jared Landers, Eric Jacobsen, Ricky Weiss, Joe Denby, Leon Henderson, Bob Geiger, Dan Stone, Justin Rattliff

CV Products B-Main #2 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Randy Weaver, Booper Bare, Mike Benedum, Jason Riggs, Jay Morris, Kenny PettyJohn, Nick Davis, Jason Papich

Feature Finish (50 Laps):

FINISH

START

CAR #

DRIVER NAME

HOMETOWN

1

2

1J

Davey Johnson

Greensburg, PA

2

6

44

Earl Pearson Jr.

Jacksonville, FL

3

10

5

Don O’Neal

Martinsville, IN

4

8

28

Eddie Carrier Jr.

Salt Rock, WV

5

1

20

Jimmy Owens

Newport, TN

6

13

15

Steve Francis

Ashland, KY

7

14

22s

Gregg Satterlee

Rochester Mills, PA

8

19

32

Bobby Pierce

Oakwood, IL

9

4

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

10

9

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

11

3

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

12

21

777

Jared Landers

Batesville, AR

13

26

21d

Dan Stone

Thompson, PA

14

18

116

Randy Weaver

Crossville, TN

15

7

81

Brian Shirley

Chatham, IL

16

23

81JR

Jason Riggs

Harrisburg, IL

17

22

25x

Mike Benedum

Salem, WV

18

5

28e

Dennis Erb Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

19

20

89

Booper Bare

Rockbridge Baths, VA

20

15

99m

Devin Moran

Dresden, OH

21

24

4-Ds

Chad Hollenbeck

Montrose, PA

22

11

2F

Dennis Franklin

Gaffney, SC

23

12

4J

John Mollick

Toronto, OH

24

17

12

Jason Hughes

Watts, OK

25

16

B12

Kevin Weaver

Gibson City, IL

26

25

91P

Jason Papich

Nipomo, CA

 

Race Statistics
Entrants: 35
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens (Laps 1 – 11); Davey Johnson (Laps 12 – 60)
Caution Flags: Kevin Weaver (Lap 3); Gregg Satterlee (Lap 5); Randy Weaver (Lap 11); Gregg Satterlee, Randy Weaver (Lap 12); Jason Hughes (Lap 14); Jay Mollick (Lap 18); Chad Hollenbeck (Lap 29); Randy Weaver (Lap 40); Dennis Erb Jr. (Lap 49)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: N/A
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisionals: N/A
Lucas Oil Fast Time Provisionals: Jason Riggs; Chad Hollenbeck
Hedman Hedders Fast Time Provisional: Jason Papich
DirtOnDirt.com Strawberry Dash Winner: Dan Stone ***Drawn at Random***
Wrisco Feature Winner: Davey Johnson
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Dan Stone (Started: 26th; Finished: 13th; Advanced:   13positions)
Keyser Mfg Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: N/A
Allstar Performer of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr.
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Earl Pearson
Dunn Benson Ford Rookie of the Race: Will begin after RoY registration deadline.
Midwest Sheet Metal Highest Finishing Rookie: Will begin after RoY registration deadline.
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Craiger Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Austin Hargrove (Davey Johnson)
HAWK Performance Fastest Lap of the Race: Scott Bloomquist – Lap 22 – 15.096 seconds
Time of Race: 44 minutes 56 seconds

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:

POS

CAR #

DRIVER NAME

HOMETOWN

POINTS

1

44

Earl Pearson Jr.

Jacksonville, FL

880

2

5

Don O’Neal

Martinsville, IN

845

2

15

Steve Francis

Ashland, KY

845

4

28

Eddie Carrier Jr.

Salt Rock, WV

815

5

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

780

6

20

Jimmy Owens

Newport, TN

755

7

22s

Gregg Satterlee

Rochester Mills, PA

730

8

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

715

9

777

Jared Landers

Batesville, AR

650

10

81

Brian Shirley

Chatham, IL

640

11

28e

Dennis Erb Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

635

12

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

615

13

116

Randy Weaver

Crossville, TN

590

Filed Under: 2014 NewsFeatured News