CONCORD, NC – Nov. 6, 2009 – Scott Bloomquist has the Friday-night portion of the World of Outlaws World Finals down pat.
The 2004 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion opened the tour’s season-ending doubleheader at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway with a victory for the third consecutive year, capturing Friday’s 50-lap A-Main in front of a packed grandstand.
Bloomquist, 45, of Mooresburg, Tenn., proved to be a survivor on a fast, challenging track surface. While contenders Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., and Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., were struck by misfortune just as they appeared to be in position to win, Bloomquist stayed steady and smooth to score his first WoO LMS triumph since last year’s World Finals.
“It really is a fine art figuring out if you want to push it and risk tearing something up,” said Bloomquist, who recorded his 19th career WoO LMS triumph and pushed his alltime-best dirt Late Model win total at The Dirt Track to six. “The cushion in (turns) one and two was really tricky to mess with, but the car was really great and it allowed us to move all over on the racetrack.”
Pearson did take the lead on lap 23 after Bloomquist had raced off the outside pole to set the pace from the start, but the 2009 Circle K Colossal 100 winner’s stint in front was short-lived. Terminal engine trouble sidelined Pearson on lap 28, handing the lead back to Bloomquist for good.
Feger, who clinched his first career UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model national title one month ago, reached Bloomquist’s rear bumper on lap 40 after electrifying the huge crowd with an outside charge from the 19th starting spot to second in his Pierce car. But moments later a flat left-rear tire forced Feger to slow and bring out a caution flag, leaving Bloomquist home free for the remainder of the distance.
“Earl got us in traffic there (for the lead), but I was pretty confident that we had plenty left,” said Bloomquist, whose victory was worth $10,200. “There were too many laps left for me to get too excited.
“If Jason was closing, I’m sure he was just wide open on the top,” he added when asked about Feger’s challenge. “I don’t think he cut a tire; I think he jerked it off the wheel. That’s the kind of chances you take (running the cushion).”
Chris Madden of Gaffney, S.C., who runs a Team Zero by Bloomquist car and is second on The Dirt Track’s career win list with four victories, inherited second place from Feger and stayed there to the finish. He advanced from the 11th starting spot but never made a serious bid for the win, ending the race a distant 2.834 seconds behind Bloomquist.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., hustled forward from the 18th starting spot to finish third, securing a sweep of the top-three positions for Team Zero by Bloomquist cars. Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who started 13th, and seventh-starter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in Rocket machines.
Feger, meanwhile, came back from a pit stop to finish sixth. The 31-year-old talent impressed observers with his performance just two days after laying eyes on the four-tenths-mile oval for the first time, but an untimely flat tire robbed him of a shot at a popular upset victory.
“I was trying to be smooth – as smooth as you could be in that cushion,” said Feger, who won a B-Main after losing a transfer spot in a heat late in the distance. “But when it’s choppy like that, it’s hard for these tires to stay under you.
“We got right to (Bloomquist’s) back bumper there in (turns) three and four (on lap 40), and then the next lap is when the tire just disintegrated. It just wasn’t our night, but me and the guys are happy that we’re up to speed. I think we showed what we have.”
Richards, 21, made a stirring late-race rally to salvage a top-five finish after slowing with a flat right-rear tire on lap 43 while in contention for third place. The save allowed Richards to turn a four-point deficit in the WoO LMS points standings into a four-point lead over Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who ran as high as third before power-steering problems that developed just before the halfway mark caused him to fade to ninth at the finish.
Richards and Francis will bring their dramatic battle for the $100,000 WoO LMS points title to an end in Saturday night’s 50-lap World Finals A-Main, which will be part of a live broadcast on the SPEED cable network from 8-11 p.m. ET.
Bloomquist is hoping that he can repeat his success in front of the SPEED cameras and, in the process, become the first driver to sweep the two A-Mains that make up the three-year-old World Finals. But he’s already quite satisfied with a visit to The Dirt Track that includes his World Finals victory, a second-place finish in Thursday night’s postponed 50-lap Hungry Man Showdown – and, more generally, his role in helping create more dirt Late Model fans.
“One thing that’s kind of nice about this (World Finals) deal is that every year we’ve had so many comments from people about how we kinda converted some Sprint Car fans (to dirt Late Model racing),” said Bloomquist. “Our racing is, I think, a little more competitive and a little bit better racing than these people who were Sprint fans realize.
“I think a lot of people saw enough of the Late Models the last couple years that they knew (Friday’s A-Main) was gonna be a good show, and it obviously turned out to be one.”
Five caution flags slowed the event, but only one was for an accident. Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., were involved in a backstretch tangle on lap 30.
The race’s first caution flag flew on lap 25 for 12th-starter Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who ran as high as fourth before slowing with a flat left-rear tire. He did not return.
Finishing in positions 7-10 were Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich.; Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., who earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a tour A-Main and isn’t in the top 12 of the points standings; Francis; and Austin Dillon of Welcome, N.C., who is the 19-year-old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.
Winners of Friday night’s heat race, which were aligned by the results of the first-round time trials on Thursday, were Francis, Bloomquist, Dillon, Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., Pearson and Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., who fell from fourth place to 11th on the final lap of the A-Main due to a broken axle. The B-Mains were captured by Feger, Booper Bare of Rockbridge Baths, Va., and Brady Smith.
Qualifying was marred by a wild crash involving Jerry Rice of Verona, Ky., whose car bicycled into a series of snap rolls between turns three and four on lap one of the fourth heat. The 42-year-old Rice climbed out of the destroyed machine under his own power, but he was later transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
The World Finals continue on Saturday (Nov. 7) with the second and final night of WoO Late Model and Sprint Car activity. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. with racing getting the green flag at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com or www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series World Finals Night 1 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Scott Bloomquist/50 $10,200
2. (11) Chris Madden/50 $5,000
3. (18) Rick Eckert/50 $3,500
4. (13) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,150
5. (7) Josh Richards/50 $2,500
6. (19) Jason Feger/50 $1,700
7. (15) Jeep VanWormer/50 $1,400
8. (10) Eric Jacobsen/50 $1,800
9. (4) Steve Francis/50 $1,800
10. (6) Austin Dillon/50 $1,200
11. (1) Shane Clanton/50 $1,550
12. (5) Ricky Weeks/49 $1,000
13. (25) Clint Smith/49 $1,450
14. (8) Gregg Satterlee/49 $900
15. (23) Brad Neat/48 $850
16. (14) Adam Hensel/42 $800
17. (22) Tim Fuller/34 $1,270
18. (26) Russell King/34 $1,500
19. (9) Dan Schlieper/30 $730
20. (21) Brady Smith/30 $1,200
21. (3) Earl Pearson Jr./28 $700
22. (16) Tim Dohm/28 $700
23. (24) Vic Coffey/27 $700
24. (12) Dale McDowell/25 $700
25. (28) Ken Schrader/15 $700
26. (20) Booper Bare/13 $700
27. (17) Tim McCreadie/11 $800
28. (27) Eric Wells/9 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 30 Mins., 10.282 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.834 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 5 (Laps 25, 28, 30, 40, 43)
Lap Leaders: Bloomquist (1-22); Pearson (23-28); Bloomquist (29-50)
Provisional Starters: C. Smith, King (WoO); Wells, Schrader (track)
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Jacobsen ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Tommy Hicks (Bloomquist)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Steve Francis, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. Tim Fuller, 6. Ricky Elliott, 7. Randle Chupp, 8. Donnie Moran, 9. Ken Schrader, 10. Justin Labonte, 11. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 12. John Winge, 13. Brian Birkhofer (DNS) Chad Ruhlman
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Gregg Satterlee, 3. Adam Hensel, 4. Jason Feger, 5. Jordan Bland, 6. Mike Knight, 7. Chuck Harper, 8. Johnny Pursley, 9. Ben Faircloth, 10. Cruz Pedregon, 11. Tommy Kerr, 12. Russell King, 13. Dan Stone (DNS) Dustin Hapka
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Austin Dillon, 2. Dan Schlieper, 3. Jeep VanWormer, 4. Randy Korte, 5. John Blankenship, 6. Clint Smith, 7. Jared Landers, 8. Mike Gault, 9. Jeff Rine, 10. Tyler Reddick, 11. Larry Blankenship, 12. Bob Gordon, 13. D.J. Wells
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Ricky Weeks, 2. Eric Jacobsen, 3. Tim Dohm, 4. Booper Bare, 5. Brad Neat, 6. Eric Wells, 7. Shannon Babb, 8. Bo Feathers, 9. Jeremy Faircloth, 10. Spencer Liggon, 11. Dustin Mitchell, 12. Jimmy Owens, 13. Jerry Rice
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Earl Pearson Jr., 2. Chris Madden, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Dennis Franklin, 5. Steve Shaver, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Ray Cook, 8. Matt Lux, 9. Brian Ruhlman, 10. Jim Yoder, 11. Doug Horton, 12. Devin Friese (DNS) Chad Hollenbeck
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Dale McDowell, 3. Rick Eckert, 4. Brady Smith, 5. Vic Coffey, 6. Eddie Carrier Jr., 7. Chris Ferguson, 8. Brent Robinson, 9. Will Vaught, 10. Walker Arthur, 11. Petey Ivey, 12. Trey Martin, 13. Al Shawver Jr.
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Jason Feger, 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Jordan Bland, 4. Mike Knight, 5. Ricky Elliott, 6. Chuck Harper, 7. Donnie Moran, 8. Ben Faircloth, 9. Johnny Pursley, 10. Tommy Kerr, 11. Dan Stone, 12. Ken Schrader, 13. Cruz Pedregon, 14. Justin Labonte, 15. Randle Chupp, 16. Russell King, 17. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 18. John Winge, 19. Jeremy Miller (DNS) Brian Birkhofer, Chad Ruhlman, Dustin Hapka
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Booper Bare, 2. Brad Neat, 3. Randy Korte, 4. Jared Landers, 5. John Blankenship, 6. Jeff Rine, 7. Bo Feathers, 8. Tyler Reddick, 9. Shannon Babb, 10. Bob Gordon, 11. Spencer Liggon, 12. Eric Wells, 13. Mike Gault, 14. Larry Blankenship, 15. Clint Smith, 16. D.J. Wells (DNS) Jeremy Faircloth, Dustin Mitchell, Jimmy Owens, Jerry Rice
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brady Smith, 2. Vic Coffey, 3. Austin Hubbard, 4. Eddie Carrier Jr., 5. Dennis Franklin, 6. Ray Cook, 7. Matt Lux, 8. Will Vaught, 9. Brian Ruhlman, 10. Doug Horton, 11. Jim Yoder, 12. Al Shawver Jr., 13. Walker Arthur, 14. Steve Shaver, 15. Petey Ivey, 16. Brent Robinson, 17. Trey Martin, 18. Chris Ferguson (DNS) Devin Friese
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Ricky Elliott, John Blankenship, Dennis Franklin
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Eric Jacobsen
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Austin Dillon
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Austin Dillon
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Jason Feger, Booper Bare, Brady Smith
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Josh Richards
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Brad Neat
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Scott Bloomquist
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Jimmy Owens
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Nov. 6 – 39 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 5284 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 5280 (-4)
3. Darrell Lanigan 5198 (-86)
4. Tim Fuller 5116 (-168)
5. Rick Eckert 5086 (-198)
6. Shane Clanton 5038 (-246)
7. Chub Frank 4943 (-341)
8. Brady Smith 4859 (-425)
9. Clint Smith 4780 (-504)
10. Russell King 4318 (-966)
11. Jordan Bland 4131 (-1153)
12. Brent Robinson 3907 (-1377)
13. Dustin Hapka 3572 (-1712)
14. Tyler Reddick 3392 (-1892)
15. Vic Coffey 3271 (-2013)
16. Austin Hubbard 3023 (-2261)
17. Gregg Satterlee 1903 (-3381)
18. Matt Lux 1892 (-3392)
19. Dan Stone 1676 (-3608)
20. Tim McCreadie 1642 (-3642)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]
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), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.