The first big dirt late model race of the 2015 season in the Midwest will take place tonight at Brownstown Speedway.
The event, sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, will pay $10,000 to win. Also on the race program will be UMP Modifieds paying $1,000 to win and the Indiana Pro Late Models also paying $1,000 to win.
Defending series champion and former Brownstown track champ Don O’Neal of Martinsville will lead the series into Brownstown after having been off since February. O’Neal, who drives for NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer captured his first career Lucas Oil title last year after having been runner-up three times in his career.
Joining O’Neal, who is the defending Indiana Icebreaker winner at Brownstown will be Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist, three-time series champion Jimmy Owens, four-time champion Earl Pearson Jr., along with series regulars Jonathan Davenport, Eddie Carrier Jr., Steve Francis, Brandon Sheppard, Jared Landers, Billy Moyer Jr. and Dennis Erb Jr.
So far this season, there have nine Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events contested, with six different winners. Hall of Famer Billy Moyer leads the way with three wins.
The only other multiple winner is Carrier with two. Other drivers who have been to Lucas Oil Victory Lane this year are Pearson, Davenport, Erb and Josh Richards.
Jeremy Hines of Seymour will be on hand to begin his defense of his 2014 Late Model Championship at Brownstown. Hines beat out Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh for last year’s title.
Hines also won the championship in 2012. Veteran Steve Barnett of Franklin, who is tied with Jim Curry for the most Late Model titles (four) was third in last years points, followed by Marty O’Neal of Spencer and Justin Shaw of Greenwood.
Brad Barrow of Bloomington will be looking to make it two straight in the Indiana Pro Late Model division. Barrow, who drives for Roe Dale Burton of Edinburgh was the 2014 track champion in that class. Cody Mahoney of Madison was second to Barrow in last year’s final standings. Completing the top five last year in points were Steven Godsey of Bedford, Mark Barber of North Vernon and Mason Covey of Seymour.
Also expected in the field Saturday at Brownstown will be Joe Godsey of Edinburgh. Godsey, a Lawrence County native, captured his first Brownstown track title last year in the UMP Modified Division. Godsey won out over Rick Gumm of Crothersville, Jared Bailey of Bedford, Dennis Boknecht of Seymour and Chad Combs of Bloomington.
Gates will open at noon today at Brownstown. There will be a driver’s autograph session starting at 3:15 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.
For more information, contact the track at 812-358-5332 or brownstownspeedway.com.
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings: 1. Earl Pearson Jr. 825; 2. Jonathan Davenport 820; 3. Jared Landers 800; 4. Jimmy Owens 770; 5. Eddie Carrier Jr 755; 6. Don O’Neal 725; 7. Brandon Sheppard 725; 8. Stormy Scott 715; 9. Devin Moran 710; 10. Steve Francis 695.