Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, GA won his third career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Sunday Night at Rome Speedway. The 35-year-old second generation racer earned $10,000 for his win in the "Rome Showdown" before a huge crowd. Clanton took the lead on lap 26 from Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN and then went unchallenged the rest of the way for the win. Chris Madden of Gaffney, SC finished second followed by Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, WI; and O'Neal.
"I went with a little softer left rear tire than anybody else, O'Neal was strong early on, but once we were able to get some heat in the tire we were able to catch him and get by him," said Clanton. "I have to give a big thanks to Marshall Green for this win; he came over before the feature and changed some things on the car. He has a lot of laps here, and the changes he made are why we are here in victory lane. I want to thank Rocket Chassis, Brad Malcuit at Malcuit Race Engines, RSD Enterprises, SAE Parts, VP, and Allstar Performance for their support. It's good to get a win here in front of the homestate crowd."
O'Neal and Francis started on the front row of the 50-lap main event. O'Neal quickly jumped to the lead. O'Neal put on a dominating performance in the early stages of the race. He held a six-car length advantage over Clanton, who started fourth. Clanton slowly reeled in O'Neal as the leader slipped out of the racing groove with 20 laps complete.
Clanton and O'Neal came across the scoring line dead-even at the halfway mark. Clanton charged ahead a lap later as O'Neal fell to second. O'Neal then gave up the second position to Madden on lap 34.
Clanton had to withstand two cautions in the final 14 circuits to secure the win. He became the 13th different winner of the season on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series tour. Madden came home in second. He drives the Hamrick's of Gaffney, Cornett Racing Engines, Bloomquist Race Cars entry. Francis, in the Valvoline, Estes Racing Engines, Barry Wright Race Cars #15 came home in third. Smith in the Mid-States Equipment Hydraulics Inc. Vic Hill Racing Engines, Bloomquist Team Zero car barely nipped O'Neal at the finish line for fourth.
Completing the top ten were Josh Richards of Shinnston, WV; Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN; Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN; Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, WI; and Steve Casebolt of Richmond, IN.
In preliminary action, Don O'Neal was the overall Red Buck Cigar Fast Qualifier with a lap of 13.327 seconds among the 47 entrants. Heat race winners were O'Neal, Chris Madden, Steve Francis and Shane Clanton. The B-Mains went to Eric Wells and Ray Cook.
Bloomquist entered the event as the 2010 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Champion by virtue of his win on Saturday Night in the Lucas Oil "Dixie Shootout" at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. Bloomquist will pocket $75,000 for his second consecutive series championship. Jimmy Owens will take home second place in the final series standings for the second year in a row, followed by 4-time series winner, Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL, Don O'Neal and Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC.
Chris Wall of Springfield, LA clinched the Quarter Master "Rookie of the Year" after his performance in the Lucas Oil "Dixie Shootout". Wall will earn $10,000 for his feat. Eric Wells of Hazard, KY will finish second in the Quarter Master Rookie Chase, followed by Tim Isenberg of Marshfield, WI.
The event held at Rome Speedway concluded the 2010 racing season for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The series will hold its' annual awards banquet on Saturday Night, November 20th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.