Birkhofer Best in Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway
GREENWWOD, NE (July 21, 2012) – Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA completed a perfect weekend at I-80 Speedway, taking home the Second Annual Silver Dollar Nationals on Saturday Night. He earned $26,000 for his victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil MLRA sanctioned event. Birkhofer dominated the race after taking the lead from Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR on lap 11.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN got around Steve Francis of Ashland, KY with five laps to go, to finish second. Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN came from 16th to finish fourth. Last year’s Silver Dollar Nationals winner, Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN finished fifth.
Birkhofer earned more passing points than anyone in Friday Night’s preliminary action and started on the pol, then bolted to an early lead. Moyer challenged Birkhofer for the lead, briefly taking the top spot away on lap six. Moyer and Birkhofer then exchanged the lead over the next five circuits with Birkhofer pulling ahead with 11 laps scored.
O’Neal took over the second spot from Moyer and stayed there until Francis passed him on lap 39. Francis and O’Neal then battled again for several circuits for second with Francis finally clearing O’Neal on lap 50. Birkhofer had built a huge lead over the field when a caution came out with 51 laps complete.
With 29 laps remaining, Owens was the car on the move. He made his way through the field and he climbed to third on lap 53, and then challenged Francis for several more laps all while Birkhofer powered to a straightaway lead over the field. Bloomquist, who started seventh, was then able to get by Owens with ten laps to go and he set his sights on Francis. Bloomquist tracked down Francis, taking the runner-up position on lap 75.
“Those restarts were something else, the car was either too tight or too free, depending on where I was on the track, O’Neal got a run on me down the backstretch and I didn’t see him and then we made contact. It moved me up the track and the car for whatever reason felt better, I don’t know about the lapped cars, they raced me hard the whole time, it seemed, but they are out there doing their job trying to make a dollar.”
“I can’t thank Zach and T-Ray enough; I want to thank the Kosiski’s. I think they have a jewel of a race track here, if someone doesn’t like coming here to race, they don’t know what racing is like,” said the 40-year-old driver, who earned his 15th career LOLMDS victory in his Zens Flooring, ASi Racewear, J&J Steel, Cheap Cars sponsored MB Customs Chassis with a Pro Power Racing Engine.
Birkhofer survived a scary moment in the last ten laps of the race when he made contact with the lapped car of Jonathan Davenport. “Yes I got in there a little hot and I got into him, I was worried that I might cut down a tire or something, but apparently not, that was my fault, but I was trying to protect the lead, I didn’t know how much I was out in front, it could have cost us.”
Completing the top ten were Moyer; Chris Simpson of Oxford, IA; Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA; John Blankenship of Williamson, WV; and Terry Phillips of Springfield, MO.
In preliminary action, Jimmy Owens, Eric Wells, Steve Francis, Tyler Reddick, and Brian Birkhofer won their respective heat races in the first round. Billy Moyer, Brian Birkhofer, Tyler Reddick, Chris Simpson, and Don O’Neal won their respective heat races in the second round. Earl Pearson Jr. and Will Vaught won their respective B-Mains.
Tomorrow night, July 21st, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series caps off the “2nd Annual Silver Dollar Nationals” at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE. The drivers meeting will take place at 7:00PM, Hot Laps will follow at 7:20PM, and B-Mains will begin at 8:00PM, followed by the 12-lap Al Belt Custom Homes Builders Bash for the non-qualifiers. The 80-Lap Silver Dollar Nationals main event will top off another night of action packed racing at the Joe Kosiski-promoted facility.
“2nd Annual Silver Dollar Nationals” I-80 Speedway – Greenwood, NE
Round 1 – Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (11 Laps): Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Mars, Dave Eckrich, Earl Pearson Jr., Mark Dotson, Ryan Gustin, Brian Kenkel
Round 1 – U. S. Steel Second Heat (11 Laps): Eric Wells, Terry Phillips, Denny Eckrich, Chris Simpson, Eric Turner, John Anderson, Jonathan Davenport, Rob Moss, Mike Stadel
Round 1 – Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (11 Laps): Steve Francis, Tommy Weder, Kyle Berck, Chris Spieker, Bill Koons, Scott Lewis, Junior Coover, Michael Walker, Alonzo Grosse
Round 1 – HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (11 Laps): Tyler Reddick, Don O’Neal, Bill Leighton Jr., John Blankenship, Travis Dickes, Corey Zeitner, Mike Wiarda, Mike Collins, Steve Kempt
Round 1 – Wiles Driveshafts Fifth Heat (11 Laps): Brian Birkhofer, Billy Moyer, Will Vaught, Chad Simpson, Jared Landers, Wendell Wallace, Justin Zeitner, Jason O’Brien, Kevin Sather
Round 2 – Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps): Billy Moyer, Steve Francis, Earl Pearson Jr., Rob Moss, Mike Collins, Will Vaught, Mike Stadel, Michael Walker, Ryan Gustin-DNS
Round 2 – U. S. Steel Second Heat (11 Laps): Brian Birkhofer, Scott Bloomquist, John Anderson, Travis Dickes, Eric Wells, Wendell Wallace, Mike Wiarda, Tommy Weder, Brian Krenkel
Round 2 – Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (11 Laps): Tyler Reddick, John Blankenship, Chris Spieker, Dave Eckrich, Justin Zeitner, Denny Eckrich, Jimmy Owens, Kevin Sather, Alonzo Grosse
Round 2 – HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (11 Laps): Chris Simpson, Terry Phillips, Mark Dotson, Jason O’Brien, Kyle Berck, Corey Zeitner, Junior Coover, Steve Kempt, Jared Landers
Round 2 – Wiles Driveshafts Fifth Heat (11 Laps): Don O’Neal, Chad Simpson, Tim Isenberg, Jonathan Davenport, Bill Leighton Jr., Jimmy Mars, Eric Turner, Scott Lewis, Bill Koons
JRi Shocks First B-Main (16 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Earl Pearson Jr., Jared Landers, Dave Eckrich, Mike Collins, Justin Zeitner, Mike Wiarda, Steve Kempt, Michael Walker, Travis Dickes, Kevin Sather, Rob Moss, Corey Zeitner, Alonzo Grosse, Mark Dotson
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (14 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Will Vaught, John Anderson, Tommy Weder, Jonathan Davenport, Eric Turner, Bill Koons, Brian Krenkel, Mike Stadel, Scott Lewis, Junior Coover, Wendell Wallace, Jason O’Brien
Al Belt Custom Homes Builders Non-Qualifiers Bash (12 Laps): Bill Koons, Scott Lewis, Steve Kempt, Brian Krenkel, Corey Zeitner, Junior Coover, Mike Stadel, Michael Walker
Feature Finish – 80 Laps
Earl Pearson, Jr.
Bill Leighton, Jr.
Des Moines, IA
Mt. Vernon, IA
Council Bluffs, IA
Iowa City, IA
Lap Leaders: Brian Birkhofer (Laps 1 – 5); Billy Moyer (Lap 6); Brian Birkhofer (Lap 7); Billy Moyer (Laps 8 – 10); Brian Birkhofer (Laps 11 – 80)
Caution Flags: Jared Landers, John Anderson (Lap 1); Dave Eckrich (Lap 40: Wendell Wallace (Lap 51)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Jonathan Davenport, Wendell Wallace
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: none Lucas Oil MLRA Series Provisionals: Mark Dotson, Kevin Sather
I-80 Speedway Track Provisionals: Travis Dickes, Justin Zeitner, Mike Collins, Robb Moss, Jason O’Brien, Mike Wiarda, Eric Turner
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Started 16th; Finished 4th; Advanced 12 positions)
Allstar Performer of the Race: Scott Bloomquist
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Brian Birkhofer
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Jonathan Davenport
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Pro Power Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Bloomquist Race Cars
Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Zack Frields (Brian Birkhofer) Traeger Grills Bonus (Most Points at Diamond Nationals and Silver Dollar Nationals): Jimmy Owens