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Rick Aukland Takes Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Opening Night Win at East Bay Winternationals


TAMPA, FL (February 5, 2007)-Rick Aukland of Zanesville, OH came from the seventh starting spot to take his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win on Monday Night at East Bay Raceway Park kicking off six straight nights of racing at the 1/3 mile track as the veteran driver earned $5,000 for his exciting win.

Aukland survived a heated battle for the lead between himself, Dan Schlieper and Earl Pearson, Jr., Aukland a member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame showed his skills in his K&E Trucking/Chase Race Decals/Sweeney Services, Inc./Malcuit Race Engines/MasterSbilt GTO.

Schlieper of Sullivan, WI finished a close second in his Miller Brothers Coal/Pro Power Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo with Pearson coming home third in the Bobby Labonte Racing/LifeLong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger. Rounding out the top five were Josh Richards of Shinnston, WV in the Seubert Calf Ranches/Cornett Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo and Donnie Moran of Dresden, Oh in the Custom Cutters/Eddie’s Sunoco/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo. A total of 87 entries were on hand for the event, which marks the third straight year the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has sanctioned the Winternationals at East Bay.

Pearson appeared to be the man to beat early on roaring to a quick seven car length lead from his pole starting position. While Pearson was sprinting away from the field a battle for second was ongoing between Schlieper and Richards with Ricky Arms and Aukland in the top five. Those five stayed in the same running order until a caution came out for a slowed Doug Horton on lap seven.

On the Delaware double file restart Pearson was on the point with Schlieper and Richards lined up side by side with Arms and Aukland doing the same behind them. On the restart Aukland stormed by on the outside to get the third spot with eight laps scored. With Pearson and Richards in front of him Aukland made his car stick in the middle as he went by Richards on the tenth circuit and then overtook Pearson for the lead a lap later.

With Aukland in front Pearson and Schlieper would dice it out for second with the two going side by side for a couple of laps until Schlieper cleared Pearson on lap 12. Approaching the halfway mark of the race Aukland was showing the way with Schlieper, Pearson, Richards and Donnie Moran in the hunt.

Aukland would hold the advantage until Pearson passed him for the point on lap 21. Pearson held the top spot for another lap until Aukland showed he was not going to be denied as he went to the lead again re- passing Pearson with seven laps remaining. Aukland then would have Schlieper breathing down his neck in the final four circuits with Schlieper trying his best to win the opening night event at East Bay for the second year in a row, but on this night it was all Aukland, who would thrill the crowd with his first win at East Bay in 12 years as he would cross the finish line first. Schlieper would out hustle Pearson for second with Richards finishing fourth in front of Moran.

In victory lane at Aukland commented that he nearly gave away the win, but “fortunately we got an open hole and got back through.” “I hadn’t tried the outside yet and on the double file restart I felt like I got a good bite and I said let’s roll with it.” “Thanks to K&E Trucking, MasterSbilt and Malcuit and everyone else for all of their help, I really appreciate it.”

Completing the Top Ten were Ricky Arms, Matt Miller, Tim Fuller, Rick Eckert and Terry Casey.

In preliminary action Shannon Babb was the LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier with a lap of 14.275, which nearly broke the track record, which is 14.151 seconds. The Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored Heat Race Winners were Ricky Arms, Dan Schlieper, Jackie Boggs, Doug Horton, Rick Aukland and Earl Pearson, Jr. The Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks sponsored B-Main victors were Shannon Babb, Damon Eller, Tim Dohm and Billy Drake. Davey Johnson took the Performance Rod and Custom Strawberry Dash, which earned him a spot in the A- Main.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns to action for Night 2 of the 2007 East Bay Winternationals on Tuesday Night, February 6th with a complete show of LifeLong Locks Time Trials, Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored Heat races, Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks sponsored B-Mains Performance Rod and Custom Strawberry Dash and the $5,000 to win A-Main.

Catch all of the action of the 31st Annual East Bay Winternationals live on the internet all week long at www.racetalklive.com.
 

 

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       
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