East Bay Winter Nationals Late Models

Don O'Neal Takes Opening Night of the Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series at East Bay
Don O'Neal Takes Opening Night of the Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series at East Bay

GIBSONTON, FL--Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN won his first career Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series main event as the series opened it's 2005 racing season kicking off with the 29th Annual Winternationals from East Bay Raceway Park. O'Neal led every lap of the 30 lap main event earning $5000 for his 10th career win at East Bay. The 40 year old driver did not win without any threats as Steve Francis gave him all he wanted for several laps during the race. O'Neal drove his C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo sponsored by Jay Dickens Racing Engines, A-1 Auto Salvage, Living Room Center, O'Neal Wood Products, All-Star Performance, Hoosier Racing Tires and Fast Graphix. Francis of Ashland, KY, who started 12th in the main event charged through the field and was up to second place by lap five finished second in the Valvoline/Rocket Dodge Intrepid. Third place at the finish line was Terry English of Benton, KY driving the Arizona Sport Shirts/C.J. Rayburn Race Cars entry. Taking fourth was Steve Shaver of Vienna, WV piloting the Bill Bland owned/Richard Construction/Rocket Monte Carlo and rounding out the top five was Rick Eckert of York, Pa behind the wheel of the Raye Vest Excavating/Rocket Ford Taurus. The first night of the Dirt Late Models Winternationals at East Bay set a new record car count as 116 drivers from 23 states ventured to the 1/3 mile track located near Tampa, FL.

O’Neal, who set the Oval Craft Racing Products Fast Time of 14.850 seconds started fourth in his heat race, won that race and drew the number one starting spot for the nine heat race winners as he would start from the pole position for the 30 lap main event. O'Neal took the lead at the start of the race with Rick Eckert charging to second followed by Steve Shaver, Jason Montgomery and Terry English. Steve Francis was the car on the move early in the race rocketing from 12th to the top five within a matter of two laps. Francis picked off cars lap after lap going past English, then Eckert and eventually Shaver by the fifth circuit as he was now up to second place behind the leader, O'Neal. O'Neal was setting a quick pace around a race track that two and three wide racing all night long. O'Neal would see his lead shrink over the lead as Francis came after him in a hurry. By the seventh lap the leaders had picke dup the tail end of field with Francis right on O'Neal's heels in the race for the lead. The first caution of the race would fly for Jackie Boggs on lap eight, the after two more restarts the field eventually got things together with O'Neal almost losing his lead to Francis before another caution would come out. With the reprieve O'Neal kept his lead over Francis with English now up to third, Shaver fourth and Eckert running in fifth by the halfway mar of the race.

Things again heated up with O'Neal and Francis as Francis would pressure O'Neal looking for every angle around the racy track to pass him. Francis took several shots at O'Neal, but every time O'Neal would fight him off. Traffic again played a part in the race as by the 19th circuit O'Neal and Francis were right on the tail end of the back of the pack again. With O’Neal and Francis still fighting tooth and nail the final caution of the race came out with six laps remaining in the race. With a six lap to go restart O'Neal would again hold the advantage over Francis as the two raced to the checkered flag with O'Neal winning by two car lengths over Francis. English drove a strong race to corral third at the pay window with Shaver and Eckert completing the top five finishers.

Rounding out the top ten were Jimmy Mars, Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb, Jr, Scott James and Billy Moyer.

In preliminary action the VP Racing Fuels heat race winners were O'Neal, Tim McCreadie, Jackie Boggs, English, Shane Clanton, Jason Montgomery, Shaver and Davey Johnson. The first Rebel Shock Dyno B-Main was won by Earl Pearson, Jr with the Real Wheels 2nd B-Main going to Shannon Babb. The other B-Mains went to Anthony Rushing and Shane Tankersley. NARA Provisionals were R.J. Conley and John Gill and the R.A.C.E. Point Fund and Contingency Provisionals were Billy Moyer and Dan Schlieper.

Action continues at East Bay on Tuesday Night, February 8 with night two of the Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series with a full race program and a $5000 to win main event to top off the evening. For more information please log on to and

Race Summary

East Bay Raceway Park

Gibsonton, FL

Monday Night, February 7, 2005

Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series

Oval Craft Racing Products Fast Time: Don O'Neal 14.850 seconds

VP Racing Fuels First Heat: 1) Don O'Neal 2) Brady Smith 3) Scott Pounds 4) Garrett Durrett 5) Darren Miller 6) Rick Aukland 7) Greg Johnson 8) Ken Schaltenbrand 9) Dave Hess 10) Zach Carney 11) Gerald Davis 12) Jeff Gress 13) Skip Arp

VP Racing Fuels Second Heat: 1) Tim McCreadie 2) Dennis Erb, Jr 3) Shannon Babb 4) Earl Pearson, Jr. 5) Michael Chilton 6) Brad Neat 7) Russ Scheffler 8) Greggie Oliver 9) Freddie Carpenter 10) Brent Robinson 11) Bill Cunningham 12) Russ Frohnapfel 13) Joe Morris

VP Racing Fuels Third Heat: 1) Jackie Boggs 2) Steve Francis 3) Brian Birkhofer 4) Ken Schrader 5) Billy Drake 6) Michael England 7) Victor Lee 8) Trent Follmer 9) Jeff Choquette 10) Jason Flory 11) Anthony White 12) Marshall Austin 13) Rick Sowders

VP Racing Fuels Fourth Heat: 1) Terry English 2) Steve Hillard 4) Billy Moyer 5) Darin Meierotto 6) John Kuchar 7) Johnny Chastain 8) Barry Bragdon 9) Clint Coffman 10) Tim Prince 11) Jeff Matejka 12) Mike Hammerle 13) Marshall Green

VP Racing Fuels Fifth Heat: 1) Shane Clanton 2) Scott James 3) R.J. Conley 4) Tim Dohm 5) Bo Feathers 6) John Mason 7) Keith Nosbisch 8) Jason Smith 9) Brian Shirley 10) Ronnie DeHaven, Jr. 11) Freddy Smith 12) Jon Krogstad 13) Mike Collins

VP Racing Fuels Sixth Heat: 1) Rick Eckert 2) Rod Conley 3) Donnie Moran 4) Jayme Zidar 5) Mike Marlar 6) Wes Steidinger 7) Eddie Carrier, Jr. 8) Dan Stone 9) Joe Ramey 10) Patrick Sheltra 11) Kenny Pettyjohn 12) David Roberts 13) Scott Riggs

VP Racing Fuels Seventh Heat: 1) Jason Montgomery 2) Matt Miller 3) Roy Deese, Jr. 4) Mark Voigt 5) Ray Cook 6) Robbie Blair 7) Shane Tankersley 8) Dan Schlieper 9) Caley Emerson 10) Tom Turner 11) Ronnie Smith 12) Kristin Flory 13) Donald Fannin

VP Racing Fuels Eighth Heat: 1) Steve Shaver 2) Jimmy Mars 3) Anthony Rushing 4) Eric Jacobsen 5) Butch McGill 6) Mike Benedum 7) Pat Doar 8) Sonny Conley 9) Rick Combs 10) Corey Conley 11) Wayne Johnson 12) Matt Hubbard 13) Terry Casey

VP Racing Fuels Ninth Heat: 1) Davey Johnson 2) Darrell Lanigan 3) Rohn Moon 4) John Gill 5) Ricky Elliott 6) John VanDenBerg 7) Mark Banal 8) Mike Mataragas 9) Mark Banal 10) Dennis Little 11) Jerry Fifield 12) Chris Conley

Rebel Dyno Shock First B-Main: 1) Earl Pearson, Jr 2) R.J. Conley 3) Scott Pounds 4) Darren Miller 5) Brian Birkhofer 6) Billy Drake 7) Greg Johnson 8) Bo feathers 9) Brad Neat 10) Victor Lee 11) John Kuchar 12) Barry Bragdon 13) Tim Prince 14) Mike Hammerle 15) Clint Coffman 16) Brent Robinson 17) Freddie Carpenter 18) Skip Arp 19) Steve Lucas

Real Wheels Second B-Main: 1) Shannon Babb 2) Billy Moyer 3) Ken Schrader 4) Johnny Chastain 5) Russ Scheffler 6) Zach Carney 7) Darin Meierotto 8) Trent Follmer 9) Dave Hess 10) Jason Flory 11) Tim Dohm 12) Marshall Austin 13) Ken Schaltenbrand 14) Gerald Davis 15) Jeff Gress 16) Garrett Durrett 17) Jeff Choquette 18) Anthony White 19) Michael England 20) Rick Aukland 21) John Mason

Third B-Main: 1) Anthony Rushing 2) Donnie Moran 3) Eric Jacobsen 4) Wes Steidinger 5) Eddie Carrer, Jr. 6) Dan Schlieper 7) Jayme Zidar 8) Bucth McGill 9) Jason Smith 10) Wayne Johnson 11) Mike Benedum 12) Dennis Little 13) Mike Mataragas 14) Joe Ramey 15) Ronnie DeHaven, Jr. 16) Mike Marlar 17) Terry Casey 18) Jon Krogstad 19) Tom Turner 20) Kenny Pettyjohn

Fourth B-Main: 1) Shane Tankersley 2) John Gill 3) Ricky Elliott 4) ray Cook 5) Corey Conley 6) Matt Hubbard 7) Mike Collins 8) Freddy Smith 9) Caley Emerson 10) Rohn Moon 11) Donald Fannin 12) Roy Deese, Jr. 13) Robbie Blair 14) Mark Voigt 15) John VanDenBerg 16) Sonny Conley 17) Mark Banal 18) Brian Shirley 19) Dan Stone 20) Ronnie Smith 21) Jerry Fifield

Gulf Coast Produce Strawberry Dash: 1) Mike Benedum 2) Matt Hubbard 3) Victor Lee 4) Scott Pounds 5) Darren Miller 6) Darin Meierotto 7) Mike Collins 8) Wayne Johnson 9) Mike Marlar

Lucas Oil NARA DirtCar Series Main Event: (30 Laps) 1) Don O'Neal 2) Steve Francis 3) Terry English 4) Steve Shaver 5) Rick Eckert 6) Jimmy Mars 7) Darrell Lanigan 8) Dennis Erb, Jr. 9) Scott James 10) Billy Moyer 11) Shannon Babb 12) Rod Conley 13) Brady Smith 14) Matt Miller 15) Anthony Rushing 16) John Gill 17) Earl Pearson, Jr. 18) Shane Tankersley 19) R.J. Conley 20) Shane Clanton 21) Tim McCreadie 22) Davey Johnson 23) Steve Hillard 24) Jackie Boggs 25) Jason Montgomery 26) Dan Schlieper

PPM Racing Products Hard Charger – Steve Francis



 East Bay Winter Nationals Late Models


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