O’Neal & Marlar Lead Pittsburgher 100 Field

Don O'Neal

IMPERIAL, Pa. — Don O’Neal and Mike Marlar will make-up the front row for the 29th annual Pittsburgher 100 on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

The $20,000-to-win event will be proceeded by two 12 lap B-Mains. The other two Friday night heat race winners were Michael Norris and Josh Richards, who will start alongside each other in row number two of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.

Don O’Neal set a track record in time trials with a lap of 16.919 seconds and zoomed to the lead in heat number one. He led all 10 laps to earn the pole position for Saturday’s finale. O’Neal pilots the Clint Bowyer Dirt Motorsports, Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Club 29 and is looking for his first win in the annual event.

Steve Francis and Mason Ziegler had a spirited race for second with Francis pulling away from a side-by-side battle with Zeigler in the end. Zeigler was third, and former track champion Alex Ferree claimed the fourth and final transfer spot.

Michael Norris grabbed the top honors in heat number two. Norris earned a hard-fought win over current LOLMDS point leader, Tim McCreadie, who finished in second. Norris and McCreadie dueled the entire 10-lap distance as Norris took the win in his D&D Auto Salvage, Henry Racing Engines, Rocket. Mike Pegher Jr. and Rick Eckert earned starting spots into the Pittsburgher 100 by finishing third and fourth, respectively.

In the third heat, Mike Marlar overtook race lead Brandon Sheppard on the final lap to win in his Ronnie Delk-owned, Delk Equipment Sales, Rocket. Sheppard finished in second followed by Jason Covert and Darrell Lanigan.

The fourth and final heat saw defending Pittsburgher 100 winner Josh Richards take the win in the Best Performance Motorsports, Rocket and earns the fourth starting spot for tomorrow’s event. Hudson O’Neal; the current LOLMDS Rookie-of-the-Year point leader; held off 5-time Pittsburgher winner Scott Bloomquist at the line to take second. Bloomquist was third with Jared Miley transferring from his fourth finishing spot.