ZANESVILLE, Ohio — Steve Francis took the lead on the13th lap from Donnie Moran and went on to win the Budweiser 50 Tuesday night at Muskingum County Speedway.
For Francis, it was his fourth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series triumph of the season. John Blankenship finished second. Moran was third, followed by Don O’Neal and Mike Marlar.
Moran led the first 12 circuits of the race, until giving way to Francis. Francis then battled with Blankenship for the remainder the race, which was slowed by two caution flags. Francis held off Blankenship through traffic in the final five laps of the race to score his ninth career LOLMDS victory.
“Donnie (Moran) and I started on the front row, it was reminiscent of the old days when we ran against each other all the time. It was a real good win for Barry (Wright) and the guys, we made the right tire choice tonight. My daughter was also here tonight, she doesn’t get to come very often, so it was a special night all the way around,” said Francis.
“After they watered the track during the fireworks, we kind of had in our mind what we wanted to do, similar to what Scott (Bloomquist) did here last year in winning the race. I thought O’Neal would give us a race with his tire choice, but Blankenship has been running real good here lately so I knew he would be in the hunt as well,” Francis continued.
Blankenship, who won the series’ last race at Wythe Raceway in Virginia after starting 14th, came from fourth to challenge Francis for the race win, but came up short in winning on his 31st birthday.
In preliminary action, Francis set the Red Buck Cigars Fast Time amongst the 37 entrants with a lap of 15.447 seconds.
Steve Francis, John Blankenship, Donnie Moran, Don O’Neal, Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens, Josh McGuire, Jared Landers, Zack Dohm, Eric Wells, Scott Bloomquist, Austin Hubbard, Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Reddick, Eddie Carrier Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Doug Drown, Tim Rivers, Rod Conley, Jason Montgomery, Doug Dodd, Devin Moran, John Mason, Shane McLoughlin, Steve Prince.
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