Bloomquist Outduels Marlar For Victory On Opening Night Of Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com Weekend
Former World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champ Bags Preliminary Night Triumph For Second Consecutive Year At Lernerville
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SARVER, PA – June 28, 2012 – Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., kicked off the sixth annual Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com weekend in dramatic fashion, outdueling Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., to capture Thursday night’s 30-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series preliminary A-Main at Lernerville Speedway.
Mastering a slick, multi-groove track on a scorching summer evening, Bloomquist, 48, ran down Marlar and swapped the lead once with his fellow Volunteer State resident before securing the top spot for good on lap 27. The former WoO LMS champion pulled away over the final circuits to defeat Marlar by 1.357 seconds.
Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., finished third after running behind Marlar in the second spot throughout the race’s first half. The hottest drivers on the WoO LMS entering the weekend, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., were contenders but settled for finishes of fourth and fifth, respectively.
Bloomquist’s $6,150 victory was his 23rd on the WoO LMS since 2004 but first since he was triumphant in the second preliminary feature of last year’s Firecracker 100 spectacular. With the win, the national tour’s 2004 champion assured himself a pole position starting spot in a heat race on Saturday night (June 30) when he will attempt to pocket the Firecracker 100’s $30,000 top prize for the second time his career.
“The car was really good all over the racetrack,” said Bloomquist, who won the inaugural Firecracker 100 in 2007. “It seemed like it was a little bit off initially, but generally our car (a Team Zero by Bloomquist chassis) gets better with time, and the longer I run it usually just gets better. That makes me feel pretty good about what’s coming in the hundred-lapper on Saturday.”
Bloomquist started eighth in his Roush-Yates-powered machine but was up to fifth on lap five when the race’s only caution flag flew, for a turn-one spin by polesitter Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., who lost control while battling for third place with Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. He surged to third on the restart and chased Clanton until his inside thrusts moved him to second on lap 17.
Bloomquist quickly caught Marlar’s Bryson Motorsports Rocket car and nosed ahead to lead lap 23, but Marlar fought back on the outside and regained command the following circuit. Marlar vaulted off the top of turn four to lead laps 25 and 26 by inches over Bloomquist, but a turn-two scrape with the lapped car driven by Coleby Frye of Dover, Pa., slowed Marlar ever-so-slightly and allowed Bloomquist to slide ahead to stay.
“I got in (lapped) traffic and those guys were all racing hard and I was trying to get by them,” said Marlar, who grabbed the lead at the start of the A-Main from the outside pole. “One of the lapped cars got under me a little bit and had my wheels off the ground after I passed him (Frye clipped Marlar’s left-rear quarter-panel when he slid back onto the track after jumping the berm in turn two), and Scott just cleared me then.
“It’s just one of them things. Scott was good; he obviously passed some cars to get up through there. I think he was better than me, but I also think that maybe I could’ve got through traffic a little better if those guys would’ve cut me some slack and then I probably could’ve held him off for a couple more laps.
“I think I had the preferred line,” he added, “so if I could’ve cleared that last guy there I think we probably would’ve been O.K. But congrats to Scott. We wanted to win, but we still had a good finish.”
The runner-up finish was a career-best on the WoO LMS for the 34-year-old Marlar, who made his first start on the tour since dropping off as a regular following the second of three Memorial Day weekend events.
The race ended up materializing much the way Bloomquist had envisioned it would.
“I didn’t have to depend on the cushion coming off of (turn) four like the rest of them kind of had to,” said Bloomquist. “I knew if we could come off right in the middle and run with them, the longer the race went on, I knew we’d be pretty good.
“I was just hoping lapped traffic kind of played out for me. I got in behind one guy that went to the bottom and got way sideways (on lap 25), and I thought that was gonna be the one that killed me for the night because I thought the race was close to over. I guess there were a few more laps left than I thought. We just got by (Marlar) and got back down.”
Clanton, meanwhile, skipped from the fourth starting spot to second on lap two and drew within striking distance of Marlar but couldn’t muster a serious bid for the lead. He ultimately lost second to Bloomquist on lap 17 and finished three seconds behind the winner.
“I thought I had something for Mike after that caution (on lap five),” said Clanton, who drove the Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car to his sixth WoO LMS top-five finish of the season. “He got out there and I started running him down, but then we caught lapped traffic and I couldn’t steer no more. We got third, though, and that’s a good starting spot for a heat race on Saturday so we’re pumped.”
Defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., finished sixth using an engine borrowed from California racer Eric Jacobsen. Two-time and defending Firecracker 100 winner Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., hustled forward from the 14th starting spot to place seventh; 12th-starter Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., was eighth; Frank faded to ninth after running as high as third early in the distance; and teenager Tyler Reddick of DuQuoin, Ill., rounded out the top 10.
Jamie Lathroum of Mechanicsville, Md., topped the 56-car field in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, turning a lap of 16.010 seconds in his second career Firecracker 100 weekend appearance. His second career WoO LMS fast-time came less than one month after his first, on May 31 at Delaware International Speedway.
Heat winners were Lathroum, Frank, Davies, Marlar, Clanton and McCreadie. The B-Mains were captured by Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., Frye and Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y.
The Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com continues on Fri., June 29, with another WoO LMS program topped by a 30-lap A-Main paying $6,000 to win. Drivers will use their best finish from the Thursday and Friday competition to align themselves in Saturday night’s Firecracker 100 heat races.
Details and ticket information on the Firecracker 100 can be obtained by logging on to www.lernerville.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com Preliminary A-Main No. 1 at Lernerville Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (8) Scott Bloomquist/30 $6,150
2. (2) Mike Marlar/30 $3,500
3. (4) Shane Clanton/30 $2,050
4. (6) Tim McCreadie/30 $1,900
5. (9) Darrell Lanigan/30 $1,650
6. (7) Rick Eckert/30 $1,400
7. (14) Jimmy Mars/30 $1,150
8. (12) Brady Smith/30 $1,100
9. (5) Chub Frank/30 $1,200
10. (16) Tyler Reddick/30 $1,050
11. (10) Clint Smith/30 $950
12. (11) Bub McCool/30 $875
13. (3) Jamie Lathroum/30 $750
14. (21) Vic Coffey/30 $775
15. (17) Tim Fuller/30 $750
16. (15) Eddie Carrier Jr./30 $680
17. (19) Dave Hess Jr./30 $670
18. (1) Ron Davies/30 $660
19. (25) Pat Doar/30 $740
20. (13) Dan Stone/30 $620
21. (22) John Garvin Jr./29 $600
22. (24) Jared Hawkins/29 $600
23. (20) Coleby Frye/29 $600
24. (23) Dan Swartzlander/29 $625
25. (26) Kent Robinson/29 $650
26. (18) Matt Lux/29 $600
* Earnings include cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 12 Mins., 7.299 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.357 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 1 (Lap 5)
Lap Leaders: Marlar (1-22); Bloomquist (23); Marlar (24-26); Bloomquist (27-30)
Provisional Starters: Doar, Robinson
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Marlar ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 6-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 16.010
2. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 16.092
3. 14-Corey Conley/Wellsburg, WV 16.096
4. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.114
5. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 16.131
6. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 16.198
7. 2-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 16.212
8. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 16.217
9. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 16.219
10. 11R-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 16.250
11. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 16.303
12. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 16.325
13. J4-John Garvin Jr./Sarver, PA 16.351
14. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 16.355
15. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 16.359
16. 2J-Mike Johnson/Imperial, PA 16.387
17. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 16.409
18. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 16.463
19. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 16.469
20. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 16.481
21. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 16.481
22. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 16.486
23. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 16.521
24. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 16.522
25. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 16.522
26. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 16.528
27. 3-Dan Swartzlander/Freeport, PA 16.537
28. 72-Michael Norris/Sarver, PA 16.549
29. 37-Jared Hawkins/Fairmont, WV 16.552
30. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 16.557
31. B22-Bump Hedman/Sugar Grove, PA 16.563
32. 76-Jason Rider/Clinton, PA 16.585
33. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 16.594
34. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 16.615
35. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 16.619
36. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 16.620
37. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 16.645
38. 88-Chuck Sarver/W. Sunbury, PA 16.646
39. F1-Coleby Frye/Dover, PA 16.654
40. 31-Bryan Force/Indian, PA 16.659
41. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 16.663
42. 29K-Garrett Krummert/New Castle, PA 16.683
43. 1C-Mike Pegher Jr./Woxford, PA 16.695
44. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 16.719
45. 72M-John Mason/Millersburg, OH 16.789
46. 27-Jeff Jones/Zelionople, PA 16.950
47. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 16.999
48. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 17.041
49. 21M-Tony Mussolino/Scott Twp., PA 17.072
50. 41-Derrick Casner/Mifflintown, PA 17.153
51. 26-Shawn Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 17.267
52. 7x-Herman Bertolini/Creighton, PA 17.631
53. 29s-Ken Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 17.824
54. 44s-Derek Stefanick/Oakdale, PA 19.029
55. 23T-Tony Burke/Sarver, PA N/T
56. C33-Chris Casner/Mifflintown, PA N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lathroum, Eckert, Stone, Satterlee, Hess, Pegher, Garvin, Hedman, Mussolino, Burke
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Bloomquist, Mars, Hubbard, King, Sullivan, Rider, Sarver, D. Casner (DNS) C. Casner
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Davies, Lanigan, Carrier, Frye, Mason, D. Swartzlander, S. Schaltenbrand, D. Johnson, C. Conley
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Marlar, C. Smith, Reddick, McDowell, Norris, M. Johnson, Force, Bertolini, Jones
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Clanton, McCool, Fuller, Hawkins, Coffey, Doar, Lobb, K. Schaltenbrand, George
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McCreadie, B. Smith, Lux, Briggs, Robinson, Miley, Krummert, Bagley, Stefanick
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Hess, Garvin, Satterlee, Sarver, Pegher, Rider, Burke, Mussolino, Hubbard, Sullivan, King, Hedman (DNS) D. Casner, C. Casner
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Frye, D. Swartzlander, McDowell, Conley, Norris, M. Johnson, Bertolini, Force, S. Schaltenbrand (DNS) Mason, D. Johnson, Jones
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Coffey, Hawkins, Briggs, Doar, Lobb, Krummert, Bagley, George, Miley, Robinson, Stefanick, K. Schaltenbrand
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher I n A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tyler Reddick
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dave Hess Jr./Coleby Frye/Jared Hawkins
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Bub McCool
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): John Garvin Jr.
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Pat Doar
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dan Swartzlander
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ron Davies
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Kent Robinson
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Mike Marlar
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal – $30 value): Mike Johnson
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Shane Clanton
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Scott Bloomquist
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 28 – 20 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2876
2. Rick Eckert 2724 (-152)
3. Tim McCreadie 2660 (-216)
4. Chub Frank 2642 (-234)
5. Shane Clanton 2582 (-294)
6. Clint Smith 2490 (-386)
7. Bub McCool 2472 (-404)
8. Vic Coffey 2456 (-420)
9. Pat Doar 2338 (-538)
10. Tim Fuller 2298 (-578)
11. Kent Robinson 2252 (-624)
12. Jack Sullivan 2148 (-728)
13. John Lobb 2140 (-736)
14. Mike Marlar 1644 (-1232)
15. Greg Johnson 1390 (-1486)
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 Gaskets, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
LIVE UPDATES 6/28: World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com’ Night 1 at Lernerville Speedway
SARVER, PA – June 28, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series has set up camp for the next three days at Lernerville Speedway, kicking off the sixth annual Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com weekend tonight with the first of two preliminary programs.
A full card of WoO LMS competition — Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, heats and B-Mains leading to a 30-lap A-Main paying $6,000 to win — will be presented tonight and again tomorrow evening. Both programs will offer full points toward the national tour’s championship — as will Saturday night’s Firecracker 100, which will have its heat races aligned using each driver’s best finish from the two preliminary shows.
For live updates of all the news, pit notes and results from tonight’s action, click the ‘Full Story’ link below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to see the latest information.
10:55 p.m. – Scott Bloomquist just finished his post-race press conference in the pit-area media center after capturing tonight’s 30-lap A-Main. The inaugural Firecracker 100 winner dueled with race-long pacesetter Mike Marlar before finally gaining control of the race for good on lap 27.
Bloomquist’s 23rd career WoO LMS victory since 2004 was his first since he was triumphant in last year’s second Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main.
A-Main Finish (30 laps): 1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Mike Marlar, 3. Shane Clanton, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Darrell Lanigan, 6. Rick Eckert, 7. Jimmy Mars, 8. Brady Smith, 9. Chub Frank, 10. Tyler Reddick, 11. Clint Smith, 12. Bub McCool, 13. Jamie Lathroum, 14. Vic Coffey, 15. Tim Fuller, 16. Eddie Carrier Jr., 17. Dave Hess Jr., 18. Ron Davies, 19. Pat Doar, 20. Dan Stone, 21. John Garvin Jr., 22. Jared Hawkins, 23. Coleby Frye, 24. Dan Swartzlander, 25. Kent Robinson, 26. Matt Lux
9:55 p.m. – After Dave Hess Jr., Coleby Frye and Vic Coffey emerged victorious in the three B-Mains, the eight-minute horn to line up the A-Main has been blown. A $6,000 top prize will be on the line.
Row 1: Ron Davies/Mike Marlar
Row 2: Jamie Lathroum/Shane Clanton
Row 3: Chub Frank/Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Rick Eckert/Scott Bloomquist
Row 5: Darrell Lanigan/Clint Smith
Row 6: Bub McCool/Brady Smith
Row 7: Dan Stone/Jimmy Mars
Row 8: Eddie Carrier Jr./Tyler Reddick
Row 9: Tim Fuller/Matt Lux
Row 10: Dave Hess Jr./Coleby Frye
Row 11: Vic Coffey/John Garvin Jr.
Row 12: Dan Swartzlander/Jared Hawkins
Row 13: Pat Doar/Kent Robinson
Doar and Robinson received the WoO LMS points provisional starting spots. Robinson was involved in a restart tangle during the third B-Main and is scrambling to patch up his car, but it appears the rookie contender will be able to make the call.
Chubzilla thrills crowd
9:20 p.m. – The biggest roar of the night so far was elicited by western Pennsylvania favorite Chub Frank, who passed Jimmy Mars and then Scott Bloomquist to take the lead en route to winning the second heat. The fans saluted Frank again when he stood in front of them for the A-Main position draw, which saw him nab the fifth starting spot. He’s hoping to snap a 101-race winless streak on the WoO LMS.
Other heat winners were Jamie Lathroum; Ron Davies, who beat Darrell Lanigan to the finish line by just 0.085 of a second; Mike Marlar, who exploded forward from the sixth starting spot to take the victory in his first WoO LMS start since dropping off the tour as a regular on Memorial Day weekend; Shane Clanton, whose 2.819-second margin of victory over Bub McCool was the largest of the heats; and Tim McCreadie, who won a Firecracker 100 preliminary night A-Main in 2010.
Davies will start the A-Main from the pole with Marlar alongside. Lathroum and Clanton will share the second row and Frank and McCreadie will start in Row 3.
Full heat-race results are here.
The first of three 12-lap B-Mains (transferring two from each) is now on the racetrack.
What a coincidence
8:15 p.m. – Guess who just took the green flag in the second heat side-by-side on the front row? Yep, you guessed — Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Mars, the principles in last year’s post-Firecracker 100 tire controversy.
Jamie Lathroum, by the way, was victorious in the first heat, beating Rick Eckert to the finish line by 0.655 of a second.
Off to a good start
8:10 p.m. – Jamie Lathroum — the only driver from Maryland in the Firecracker 100 field — pulled off a big surprise in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, topping the 56-car field with his lap of 16.010 seconds.
Lathroum, who is making his second career appearance in the Firecracker 100, has a 2009 WoO LMS A-Main at Delaware International Speedway to his credit. He also registered his first career fast-time honor on the circuit less than a month ago, on May 31, also at Delaware International.
Lathroum nipped 2007 Firecracker 100 winner Scott Bloomquist (16.092 seconds) on the speed charts, putting him on the pole position for the first of six 10-lap heats that just went on the racetrack. The top-three finishers in each heat will transfer, and the winners will redraw for A-Mains starting spots.
Full time trials results can be found here.
7:20 p.m. – Before setting off on his four-wheeler to round up cars for time trials, WoO LMS pit steward Tyler Bachman (at right in photo below) was handed a Twizzler in celebration of his birthday by series announcer Rick Eshelman.
Bachman, who turns 22 today, is enjoying a big weekend at his home track. A resident of nearby Cabot, Pa., he’s done various jobs at Lernerville for the past seven years and this season joined the WoO LMS to tour the country in the pit steward’s role. He’s been at every Lernerville event this season that didn’t conflict with a WoO LMS show, but working as a WoO LMS official this weekend in front of his family and friends will certainly be special.
And of course, being close to home should also mean Bachman’s mom will keep him — and the WoO LMS trailer — well stocked with cookies and other treats.
7:10 p.m. – A total of 56 cars have been signed in for tonight’s action, which is being run on a clear but very warm summer evening.
Hot laps were just completed with 2010 Firecracker 100 winner Shane Clanton topping that charts at 16.059 seconds. He was followed by Mike Marlar, Brady Smith, Vic Coffey and Pat Doar.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials are beginning at this moment….
6:20 p.m. – Dave Hess Jr., who just walked up outside the WoO LMS trailer for tonight’s Drivers’ Meeting, was unable to shoot for a third consecutive Lernerville DIRTcar UMP Late Model title this year because an early-April operation on his back sidelined him until mid-May, but he can definitely chase the $30,000 top prize in the Firecracker 100.
And make no mistake: Hess has never felt better about his chances in his home track’s — and home state’s — biggest dirt Late Model event. He is entering the weekend’s action in a two-race-old Rocket car, which he debuted last Friday night at Lernerville (finishing fourth) and then drove to a victory on Sunday evening at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa.
“This is the freshest car and motor we’ve ever had for the Firecracker,” said Hess. “We’ve got good equipment and I’m feeling good, so hopefully it’ll be a good weekend for us.”
Some help from a friend
6:00 p.m. – Defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert is on hand and ready to race, but he’s still without his familiar orange hauler. His rig remains at a Freightliner dealer in Syracuse, N.Y., where he took it for transmission repairs on Monday while en route to Tuesday’s WoO LMS event at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Speedway.
The new computer that was needed to fix the problem in Eckert’s truck didn’t arrive yesterday, so he made other arrangements to get his trailer and racing equipment here to Lernerville. After using a three-axle semi-truck borrowed from Tracey Road Equipment to transport his hauler to Canandaigua from the dealership and then back, Eckert called on his father, former dirt Late Model racer Junior Eckert, for assistance. Junior drove his own Renegade toter home north to pick up his son’s racing trailer, arriving about 10:30 last night. The Eckerts hooked the toter to the trailer using a hitch provided by Chuck Hebing’s Cobra Motorhomes & Trailers in Ontario, N.Y., and drove straight to Lernerville, pulling into the pit area about 5:30 this morning. They were met at the track this afternoon by Eckert’s chief mechanic Bob Miller, whose wife drove up to Canandaigua on Tuesday to get Bob, who headed back to Eckert’s shop in York, Pa., to toss DIRTcar UMP Hoosier tires in a pickup truck and transport them to Lernerville for Eckert’s use this weekend.
Of course, Eckert wouldn’t have made this effort to get to get to Lernerville if not for the help of his friend, California racer Eric Jacobsen. The engine that Eckert hurt at the start of Tuesday’s heat race at Canandaigua was a piece he borrowed from Jacobsen, so, after he broke a valve spring in his own powerplant that was in the backup car he drove to a ninth-place finish in Canandaigua’s A-Main, he found himself out of useable motors. He told Jacobsen that in a phone conversation on Wednesday — and then Jacobsen shocked Eckert with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“I called Eric to tell him I hurt his motor and that I’d take care of it,” said Eckert. “Then he said, ‘So what do you have for motors now?’ I told him, ‘Nothing,’ and he said, ‘I have two motors at my shop (in Tennessee).’ I told him, ‘I don’t think you’re understanding this conversation — I can’t afford to fix the motors I hurt now, so I sure can’t borrow anymore and risk having to pay to fix more of them.’ Then he said, “I have two motors here that are paid for and I’m sending them up to you (at Lernerville).’ He told me that he just wants me to use them to keep racing, so I can’t thank him enough.”
Eckert’s car builder, Scott Bloomquist, brought one of Jacobsen’s motors to Lernerville and Tyler Reddick’s team, which was working at Bloomquist’s shop in Tennessee, transported the other powerplant. Eckert installed the motors in his cars this afternoon and was warming them up in the pit area a short time ago.
And Eckert also just received good news about his hauler: the dealership called and said the transmission woes have been fixed after the new part arrived. He plans to hitch a ride to Syracuse with someone from central New York (Tim McCreadie? Tim Fuller?) after Saturday night’s Firecracker 100 to pick up his hauler; if it is indeed running normally again, his hopes of running the July 6-14 WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ will remain alive.
Pit area filling up
4:05 p.m. – Lernerville Speedway’s camping area was jammed with RVs and tents hours ago and now the pit area is catching up. Over 40 haulers have already parked, with more waiting to enter the pit gates.
In addition to the WoO LMS regulars, the field here so far includes such luminaries as two-time Firecracker winner Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, Dale McDowell, Dan Stone, Mike Marlar, Ron Davies, Jamie Lathroum, Austin Hubbard, Tyler Reddick, Morgan Bagley, Gregg Satterlee, Eddie Carrier Jr., Russell King and Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs.
Lernerville regulars unloaded include Dave Hess Jr., John Garvin Jr., Herman Bertolini, Garrett Krummert, Mike Norris, Chuck Sarver, Chris and Derrick Casner and Mike Pegher Jr., who will drive multi-time track champ Lynn Geisler’s machine this weekend.