BROWNSTOWN, Ind. — Don O’Neal picked up his fourth career Jackson 100 victory at the historic Jackson County Fairgrounds bullring.
O’Neal took the lead from defending race winner Jimmy Owens after a lap-68 restart and pulled away from the field for the $15,000 victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event. The 34th annual Jackson 100 at Brownstown Speedway was also part of the ASi Crown Jewel Cup Presented by DirtonDirt.com.
Dustin Linville charged from his ninth starting spot to finish second. John Blankenship came home third, followed by Owens and 23rd starting, Steve Francis rounding out the top five.
“I can’t believe it,” said O’Neal, who had missed almost a month of the LOLMDS season after suffering a back injury in August. “This is my home track; it’s great to win here in front of these fans. The track was a little rough with the rain, but it was extremely racy. After that last caution, I don’t know what happened to the 20-car, but once we were out front, it was smooth sailing.”
It was O’Neal’s 33rd career LOLMDS triumph.
O’Neal tied Scott Bloomquist as the only four-time winner of the track’s most prestigious race. The win also marked O’Neal’s 53rd career win at Brownstown, trailing only Jim Curry and John Gill on the track’s all-time win list.
Owens grabbed the lead at the start of the 100-lap main event and held the point until he and O’Neal swapped the lead during laps 16-19. Once out in front, Owens looked to be on his way to back-to-back Jackson 100 wins until a fateful caution on lap 68. Owens lost several spots on the restart, dropping back to fifth at one point. Owens rebounded to finish fourth, just ahead of Francis at the finish line.
Linville had his best ever LOLMDS finish and was extremely pleased with his effort.
“I have to thank Audie Swartz from Swartz Race Cars, Bullock Engines and everybody else for all of their help,” Linville said. “To run with Don and to pass the World 100 winner (Blankenship) is just unbelievable. I just love to come up here and race. The track crew did a great job with all the rain they have had in the last couple of days.”
Francis amazed the capacity-crowd with a top-five finish, after his car nearly flipped during his heat race. He was taken to the hospital for tests and was then cleared to race. He took a provisional and started 23rd and came home in fifth.
In preliminary action, John Blankenship set the overall RED BUCK fast time (Group A) among the 46 entrants, with a lap of 14.506 seconds.
Don O’Neal, Dustin Linville, John Blankenship, Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Greg Johnson, Scott Bloomquist, Steve Shaver, Dennis Erb Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Wayne Chinn, Billy Moyer Jr., Eddie Carrier Jr., Chad Stapleton, Michael Chilton, Jared Landers, Dale McDowell, Victor Lee, Duane Chamberlain, Billy Moyer, Josh McGuire, Tim Rivers, James Rice, Kent Robinson, Mike Marlar.