It’s March, which means the dust is in the air.
The thunderous roar of racecars, a welcoming sound, echoed across Brownstown throughout Saturday evening and well into the night.
More than 100 drivers, traveling from as far as Jacksonville, Florida, made their yearly trek to Brownstown Speedway for the 18th annual Indiana Icebreaker.
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Fans and racers alike itched to return to the track after the opening-night race March 14 was canceled because of rain.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people attended the event, which turned into a standing-room-only race, featuring the top-billed Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
“The atmosphere was really electric, the stands were packed, and racing in front of a crowd that size is really exhilarating,” Seymour driver Adam Bowman said. “You want to put on the best show possible so you can get your name out there, and that big of a crowd, people will talk.”
In the Lucas Oil event, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida, claimed his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Indiana Icebreaker.
Pearson took the lead from Devin Moran on the second lap and led the rest of the way for his second series victory of the young season in the Carlton and Kemp Lamm, Dunn-Benson Ford, Lucas Oil Products-sponsored Black Diamond Chassis.
With plenty of firm competition, Pearson’s win didn’t come easy in the 50-lap race.
Scott Bloomquist, hailing from Mooresburg, Tennessee, moved past Moran on Lap 31 and chased down Pearson. Bloomquist, however, never found enough room to overtake him.
Moran finished third, followed by Jimmy Owens and the defending race winner, Don O’Neal.
“I wanted to get the jump on Moran quickly,” Pearson said. “The car felt good all night. The heat race we ran was a good one, and winning that sure helped us tonight because we were able to start on the front row.”
In preliminary action, Jimmy Owens set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) among the 41 entrants with a lap of 14.108 seconds.
For the Indiana Pro Late Model Series race, Bloomington’s Shelby Miles claimed the top spot. Bowman claimed sixth in the feature of that series.
The top 19 of 20 racers in the finals hailed from Indiana in the end.
“To get on the track and race is awesome. Over the winter, all you’re thinking is how much longer until race season starts. To get on the track and race is relaxing,” Bowman said.
“My team plans on racing at Brownstown Speedway about seven to 10 more times,” he added. “We will be traveling a lot around a regional area. When other tracks cancel, we will always be looking at Brownstown’s schedule to race there if possible.”
Saturday’s conditions — in the high 60s and sunny — were near perfect for racing. Ideal considering it’s March in Indiana.
“The race conditions at the start of the season always throw you a curveball,” Bowman said. “They are either rough and hard on equipment or slick and dusty, which is what we had Saturday. I would say the track was favorable just because it wasn’t hard on our racecar. As far as racing goes, it’s hard to put on a show because it’s tough to pass when the track is slick.”
Columbus’ Devin Gilpin, who has owned the last three United Midwestern Promoters Modified Division championships, claimed first in in the UMP race.
Gilpin had little trouble beating the 52 UMP Modifieds on hand for the evening, claiming his first Brownstown win for 2015. He also claimed second place in the IPLMS.
Following Gilpin at the line in the UMP were Ryan Thomas, Jamie Lomax, Joe Godsey and Derek Groomer.
North Vernon’s Jeremy Owens claimed a 15th spot in the modifieds.
“Brownstown is one of my favorites, and it’s mostly because I grew up watching there every weekend and saw some good races over the years,” Owens said. “I have been racing now for a little over eight years and raced there around 155 times.”
With the speedway’s storied past, any victory means a lot to racers.
“There’s a lot of history there, and to have wins and track championships means a lot to a lot of people that grew up around here and went to the races as young kids,” Owens said. “Competition was tough at Brownstown in every division last weekend. A lot of good cars from around the surrounding states.”
On Saturday, Brownstown Speedway will host the seventh annual No Way Out 40.
(50 laps, 41 entrants)
1-Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, FL
2-Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN
3-Devin Moran, Dresden, OH
4-Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN
5-Don O’Neal, Martinsville, IN
6-Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA
7-Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL
8-Eddie Carrier Jr., Salt Rock, WV
9- Steve Casebolt, Richmond, IN
10-Steve Francis, Ashland, KY
11-Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN
12-Jonathan Davenport, Mount Airy NC
13-Josh Richards, Shinston, WV
14-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY
15-Matt Westfall, Pleasant Hill, OH
16-Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville , IL
17-Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, AR
18- Dustin Linville, Bryantsville, KY
19- Duane Chamberlain, Richmond , IN
20-Jared Landers, Batesville , AK
21- Mike Benedum, Salem, WV
22- Chris Brown, Spring, TX
23-Austin Rettig, Sikeston, MO
24- Kent Robinson, Bloomington, IN
25- Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL
26- Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, PA
27- Jeremy Hines, Seymour, IN
(33 total entries)
1-Shelby Miles, Blooomington, IN
2-Devin Gilpin, Columbus, IN
3-Brad Cummings, Bedford, IN
4-Brad Barrow, Bloomington, IN
5-Steve Barnett, Franklin, IN
6-Adam Bowman, Seymour, IN
7-Steve Godsey, Bedford, IN
8-Marty O’Neal, Spencer, IN
9-Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, IN
10-Alan Magner, North Vernon, IN
11-Troy Worrick, Marion, IN
12-Skyller Lewis, Brownstown, IN
13-Dustin Shoulders, Danville, IN
14-Logan Mounce, Mitchell, IN
15-Geraid Gault, Morgantown, IN
16-Edgar Godsey, Bedford, IN
17-Remington Gill, Mitchell, IN
18-Jason Smith, Seymour, IN
19-Britan Godsey, Mitchell, IN
20-Elliott Despain, Campbellsville, KY
1-Devin Gilpin, Columbus, IN
2-Ryan Thomas, Gosport, IN
3-Jamie Lomax, Lake Village, IN
4-Joe Godsey, Edinburgh, IN
5-Derek Groomer, Bloomington, IN
6-Jeff Erickson Jr., Muskegon, MI
7-David Mielke, Gladwin, MI
8-Nick Allen, Wheatfield, IN
9-Michael England, Glasgow, KY
10-Dennis Boknecht, Seymour, IN
11-Tony Anderson, Lima, OH
12-Jared Bailey, Bedford, IN
13-Zeke McKenzie, Claypool, IN
14-Bradley Sterrett, Bloomington, IN
15-Jeremy Owens, North Vernon, IN
16-Brad Barrow, Bloomington, IN
17-Lance Dehm, Chatsworth, IL
18-Tyler Loughmiller, Brazil, IN
19-Jacoby Hines, Nineveh, IN
20-Trent Green, Milton, KY
Looking back at 2014 point standings
Super Late Models
1-Jeremy Hines #5H
2-Chad Stapleton #32
3-Steve Barnett #89
4-Marty O’Neal #19
5-Justin Shaw #2
1-Tyler Cain #5C
2-Aaron Fields #25
3-Matt Boknecht #22
4-Jamey Wilson #45
5-David Brewer #31
1-Joe Godsey #14
2-Rick Gumm #113
3-Jared Bailey #24
4-Dennis Boknecht #22D
5-Chad Combs #09
Pro Late Models
1-Brad Barrow #3B
2-Cody Mahoney #7B
3-Steve Godesy #14
4-Mark Barber #00
5-Mason Covey #44
1-Jim Ruddick #7M
2-Chris Workman #46
3-Roger Absher #2
4-Dusten Carr #36
5-Jason Basham #86
1-Greg Garrison #2G
2-Jacob Owens #20
3-John Mayer Jr. #1
4-Austin Burton #10B
5-Keegan Cox #23
Gates (normally) open at 3 p.m. with drivers meeting at 5:30 p.m. The draw ends at 5:30 p.m., and hot laps commence at 6 p.m. prior to the races.
March 28: Seventh annual No Way Out 40
April 4: Pro LM Opening Points Night
April 11: LM Opening Points
April 18: Fan Appreciation Night
April 25: Modified Special
May 2: Super Stock Special Scott Patman Memorial
May 16: Grad Night
June 10: 31st annual Hoosier Dirt Classic/Summer National Hell Tour
June 13: Senior Night
June 20: Kids Night
June 21: Kenny Wallace Driving Experience
June 27: Pure Stock Special
July 4: Inaugural Born Free 40
July 11: Schaefer’s Photos and Custom Tees Night
July 18: Kids Night
July 30: Jackson County Fair Thursday Thunder
Aug. 1: Jackson County Fair Paul Crockett Memorial
Aug. 15: Hall of Fame Classic
Aug. 22: MSCS Sprint Series
Aug. 29: Hornet Special
Sept. 5: Jackson Tune-up
Sept. 18: Third annual Bowman 50
Sept. 19: 36th annual Jackson 100
Sept. 20: Kenny Wallace Driving Experience
Sept. 26: TBA
Oct. 3: Season Championship
Oct 8-11: 20th annual Funfest