Scott Bloomquist believed he had a winning car after capturing a World of Outlaws Late Model Series heat race on Thursday night during the 42nd UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway.
The Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer from Mooresburg, Tenn., then proved it in the 50-lap A-Main, charging by race-long pacesetter Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., for the lead on lap 37 and pulling away to win the first WoO LMS event of the mid-winter motorsports extravaganza outside Daytona Beach.
Bloomquist, 49, raced unchallenged once in front, crossing the finish line 3.260 seconds ahead of York, Pa.’s Rick Eckert. Eckert slid by Wells for the runner-up spot on lap 48, and moments later Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., passed Wells to secure a third-place finish.
The 24-year-old Wells, who is chasing the 2013 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year award, settled for a career-best tour finish of fourth after starting from the outside pole and leading laps 1-36. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., completed the top five, salvaging a fifth-place finish after starting 22nd, climbing as high as fourth and then restarting at the rear after his involvement in a multi-car tangle on lap 31 forced him to pit.
Bloomquist’s $10,200 triumph was the ninth of his career during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit, moving him into sole possession of second place on the event’s alltime win list behind Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., an 18-time DNC winner who started third in Thursday’s A-Main but retired after one lap due to a broken right-front tie-rod. He has won at least once during the DCN in each of the last three years.
“I felt pretty confident we had something for ‘em,” Bloomquist said of his mindset entering the evening’s headliner. “The car was just awesome. (It) was wrecked really bad last night on both ends, but we worked all night, fixed this thing and got it right.”
Bloomquist, who started seventh in his self-built Roush Yates-powered car, navigated forward to second place by lap 10. He lost the spot to Eckert on a lap-30 restart, but another caution flag one circuit later – and a subsequent open red-flag situation called by WoO LMS officials that lap to allow crews to replenish their drivers’ helmet tear-offs and scrape mud off their cars – played a pivotal role in propelling Bloomquist to victory.
“There’s so much to having clean air here, and (after falling to third) I had Eric (Wells) and (Eckert) in front of me and my car felt different,” said Bloomquist. “So we got another caution, and (Eckert) chose the bottom (for the restart) and I had the opportunity to blow the top off to get a good restart.
“I knew it was just now-or-never and just went for it. I just committed to going to the outside and just going for broke. The car was awesome and it stuck.”
Bloomquist blasted off the outside of turn four to vault past Wells, who runs a car built by Bloomquist, for the lead on lap 37. After completing his march to victory shortly thereafter, he couldn’t help smiling about his 26th career WoO LMS win.
“Actually,” said Bloomquist, “that’s about the most fun I’ve had racing in years.”
Bloomquist also hailed the performance of his young customer Wells, who made a strong bid for his first-ever WoO LMS victory.
“He went a little softer on tires than Rick and I did and I think they may have given up a little bit right there at the end,” Bloomquist said of Wells. “But he had a heck of a run going. I was impressed. He’s running for Rookie of the Year with the World of Outlaws this year and I think he’s gonna have a good showing.”
Wells showed some disappointment after falling short, but he took a big step in his development.
“It’s hard to beat the teacher,” Wells said of Bloomquist. “We keep trying. Maybe one day we’ll get him.
“I think the red flag hurt me,” he added. “My tires were kind of glazed over, and I think that gave them (Bloomquist, Eckert and Clanton) time to cool their stuff down. I might have got out of rhythm too – I don’t know. We ended up fourth, that’s all I know. That’s just how it ended.”
The 47-year-old Eckert, meanwhile, acknowledged that Bloomquist’s tactical moves helped him win the race.
“A couple times on restarts I snuck back by him, but he was just smart enough after that red flag to go up where that loose stuff was laying and run through it,” said Eckert, who campaigns car built by Bloomquist. “He just moved up in the middle, and it got to where that lane I was in (on the inside) was so polished up that it bled back and got greasy. I was down there messing around too long in that grease – and then I think Eric moved down there and that didn’t help him either.”
Eckert was highly motivated to reach Victory Lane. He was hoping to dedicate a win to his ailing mother, who was unable to make her annual trip to Volusia because health concerns would not allow it.
“I wanted to win that race bad for her,” said Eckert. “We might’ve had a shot if that red didn’t come out, but it’s over and we’ll try to get her one tomorrow.”
The race was slowed by five caution flags plus the open red-flag condition, which came shortly after the only major incident of the event. On lap 31 Richards slid sideways in turn three while battling Clanton for fourth, settling off a wild melee. Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., clipped Richards’s car and veered to the outside wall, where his machine was slammed by Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., whose car bounced in the air and nearly flipped. Other drivers involved were Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., Scott James of Bright, Ind., and Tyler Reddick of DuQuoin, Ill.
While Richards was able to return to the A-Main after pitting for some repairs, the others weren’t as fortunate. Owens likely got the worst of the crash – his car was towed off dangling between two wreckers – while Lanigan was forced to retire with heavy right-side damage.
Caution flags were also brought out by Moyer, who stopped on the track on lap one because he couldn’t cleanly steer his handicapped car into the infield; Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., who slowed with engine problems on lap 10 after running as high as second; Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas (lap 26); and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. (lap 30).
Finishing in positions 6-10 were Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., who started from the pole position; Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.; 20 th-starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who was marginally involved in the lap-31 tangle but was able to continue; Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., who started 28th after using a WoO LMS emergency provisional; and 16-year-old Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill.
Fifty-three cars were entered in the evening’s action, which kicked off three straight nights of WoO LMS programs during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for starting positions in heats one and two and the second half racing against the clock to align heats three and four. Bloomquist’s lap of 15.997 seconds in Group B was the fastest overall time of the night.
Heat winners were Wells, Erb, Bloomquist and Moyer. The B-Mains were captured by Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., and McDowell, and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., earned $500 for winning the ‘Pick 6’ dash that pitted drivers who earned berths in the race thanks to an off-season on-line fan vote.
The UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit continue on Friday (Feb. 22) and Saturday (Feb. 23) with WoO LMS programs headlined by 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Mains. The Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds will also be part of both shows. Race time is 7:30 both evenings.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘42nd UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment’ Night 1 at Volusia Speedway Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (7) Scott Bloomquist/50 $10,200
2. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $5,150
3. (6) Shane Clanton/50 $3,050
4. (2) Eric Wells/50 $3,050
5. (22) Josh Richards/50 $2,200
6. (1) Dennis Erb Jr./50 $1,700
7. (12) Jimmy Mars/50 $1,450
8. (20) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,500
9. (28) Bub McCool/50 $550
10. (8) Bobby Pierce/50 $1,150
11. (17) Brady Smith/50 $1,050
12. (27) Clint Smith/50 $350
13. (14) Pat Doar/49 $1,000
14. (26) Chub Frank/49 $1,050
15. (9) Eddie Carrier Jr./49 $850
16. (16) Tim Fuller/49 $850
17. (18) Dale McDowell/31 $820
18. (10) Jimmy Owens/31 $750
19. (19) Darrell Lanigan/31 $880
20. (25) Scott James/31 $700
21. (24) Mason Zeigler/31 $700
22. (10) Billy Ogle Jr./25 $700
23. (21) Morgan Bagley/25 $700
24. (15) Tyler Reddick/21 $700
25. (13) Shannon Babb/11 $700
26. (4) Vic Coffey/9 $725
27. (23) Kenny Pettyjohn/8 $700
28. (3) Billy Moyer/1 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 36 Mins., 11.555 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 3.260 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 6 (laps 1, 10, 16, 26, 30, 31); 1 red (lap 31)
Lap Leaders: Wells (1-36); Bloomquist (37-50)
Provisional Starters: James, C. Frank (WoO points); C. Smith, McCool (WoO emergency
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Wells ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/
1. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 16.204
2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 16.214
3. 28c-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 16.307
4. 32-Bobby Pierce/Oakwood, IL 16.319
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 16.330
6. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 16.341
7. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 16.354
8. 201-Billy Ogle Jr./Knoxville, TN 16.391
9. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 16.393
10. 2s-Stormy Scott/Las Cruces, NM 16.458
11. 18b-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 16.485
12. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 16.522
13. 5L-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 16.546
14. 1d-Don O’Neal/Martinsville, IN 16.567
15. 44P-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 16.626
16. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 16.699
17. b5-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 16.700
18. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 16.724
19. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 16.737
20. 25b-Mike Benedum/Salem, WV 16.763
21. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.815
22. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 16.874
23. 7W-Ricky Weiss/Winnipeg, MAN 16.928
24. 77-Jason McBride/Carbondale, IL 17.307
25. 72-Michael Norris/Sarver, PA 17.309
26. 21F-Todd Frank/Ashland, WI 17.511
27. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA N/T
1. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 15.997
2. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 16.397
3. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 16.399
4. 21M-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 16.437
5. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 16.446
6. 1R-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 16.459
7. 1W-Dillon Wood/New Smyrna Beach, FL 16.460
8. 101-Casey Roberts/Toccoa, GA 16.468
9. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 16.545
10. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 16.564
11. 25z-Mason Zeigler/Chalk Hill, PA 16.566
12. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 16.578
13. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 16.589
14. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 16.598
15. 11R-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 16.656
16. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 16.679
17. 21Jr-Billy Moyer Jr./Batesville, AR 16.741
18. 7L-Jerry Lierly/Quincy, IL 16.763
19. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 16.766
20. 16-Justin Rattliff/Campbellsville, KY 16.798
21. 1G-Scott James/Bright, IN 16.865
22. 5J-Eric Jacobsen/Sea Cliff Beach, CA 16.984
23. 20R-Bryan Rowland/Woodward, OK 17.188
24. 4ds-Chad Hollenbeck/Kingsley, PA 17.896
25. 57-Chuck Julien/Apopka, FL 17.915
26. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Wells, Eckert, Carrier, Babb, Pettyjohn, Lanigan, Landers, Sheppard, Weiss, Norris, Robinson, C. Smith, Stone, T. Frank, Pearson
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Erb, Pierce, Ogle, Doar, B. Smith, Bagley, Benedum, Moran, McCool, O’Neal, McBride, Scott
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bloomquist, Coffey, Owens, Reddick, McDowell, Francis, James, Zeigler, Moyer Jr., Satterlee, Julien, Wood
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Moyer, Clanton, Mars, Fuller, Roberts, McCreadie, Richards, C. Frank, Jacobsen, Rattliff, Hollenbeck (DNS) Lierly, Davies
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Lanigan, Bagley, Pettyjohn, Landers, McCool, Moran, O’Neal, Benedum, Sheppard, Robinson, Scott, C. Smith, Weiss, Stone, T. Frank, Norris, McBride (DNS) Pearson
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McDowell, McCreadie, Richards, Zeigler, Francis, C. Frank, Satterlee, Moyer Jr., Julien, Roberts, James, Wood (DNS) Jacobsen, Rattliff, Hollenbeck, Lierly, Rowland, Davies
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Scott Bloomquist
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Bub McCool/Billy Moyer Jr.
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Gregg Satterlee
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Shane Clanton
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Shane Clanton
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner, $50 certificate to 5th-place finish): Scott Bloomquist/Eddie Carrier Jr.
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Scott Bloomquist
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Jimmy Mars
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Tim Fuller
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Dale McDowell
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Billy Moyer
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Morgan Bagley
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Billy Moyer
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Vic Coffey
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Scott Bloomquist
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Eric Wells
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Feb. 21 – 6 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 872
2. Shane Clanton 854 (-18)
3. (tie) Darrell Lanigan 808 (-64)
3. (tie) Rick Eckert 808 (-64)
5. Tim McCreadie 772 (-100)
6. (tie) Scott James 758 (-114)
6. (tie) Eric Wells 758 (-114)
8. (tie) Tim Fuller754 (-118)
8. (tie) Chub Frank 754 (-118)
10. Morgan Bagley 746 (-126)
11. Bub McCool 728 (-144)
12. Clint Smith 718 (-154)
13. Pat Doar 710 (-162)
14. Dillon Wood 666 (-206)
15. Brandon Sheppard 632 (-240)
16. Kent Robinson 622 (-250)
17. Gregg Satterlee 622 (-250)
18. Casey Roberts 612 (-260)
19. Mike Marlar 598 (-274)
20. Ron Davies 532 (-340)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
by Kevin Kovac