The Survivor: Bloomquist Fights Through All Obstacles To Win Record-Tying Fifth USA Nationals 100 At Cedar Lake Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
NEW RICHMOND, WI – Aug. 7, 2010 – Scott Bloomquist fought through all obstacles to win a record-tying fifth USA Nationals trophy on Saturday night at Cedar Lake Speedway.
Nothing could stop the superstar driver from Mooresburg, Tenn., from pocketing the $50,000 top prize in the 23rd annual event presented by the U.S. Steel Corporation. He came back from an early spin, a late-race pit stop and a penalty for moving during a red flag to outduel fellow dirt Late Model legend Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the lead on lap 96 of the 100-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main.
Bloomquist, 46, proved to be a survivor, reaching the checkered flag first in a rough-and-tumble race that saw just five cars finish on the lead lap and eight cars still running at the end. The century grind was slowed by 13 caution flags and one red flag and lasted one hour, 18 minutes.
“The track was real demanding,” Bloomquist said of the heavy, high-speed surface conditions that prevailed on the three-eighths-mile oval. “We definitely showed you have to have a strong, tough race car to make it through this thing – and we build some good cars.”
Driving his familiar Team Zero by Bloomquist No. 0, the 2004 WoO LMS champion joined Moyer as a five-time winner of the USA Nationals. He came from the 19th starting spot to score his first win of 2010 and his 19th since 2004 on the WoO LMS.
Moyer, 52, settled for a runner-up placing worth $20,000 in his Victory Circle machine after leading laps 60-95, crossing the finish line 1.377 seconds behind Bloomquist. He started last in the 26-car field after gaining entry to the USA Nationals thanks to a provisional spot for being the highest-finishing driver in Thursday night’s 40-lap DIRTcar UMP A-Main who didn’t qualify.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished third in his Rocket car after using a WoO LMS provisional to start 25th. He quietly advanced with help from the race’s heavy attrition, climbing high enough to earn a season-high paycheck of $10,000.
Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who started 16th, finished fourth in the Barry Wright house car and 20th-starter Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., placed fifth in a Warrior machine. Both young racers persevered through several pit stops to end the event as the final drivers on the lead lap.
Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., finished one lap down in sixth. He lost a circuit after pitting to replace the broken right-rear wheel that flew off his car as he ran fourth on lap 59.
The only other drivers still in action at the finish were Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, who finished seventh despite losing five laps when he pitted on lap 82 while holding third place, and Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., who returned to the track 10 laps down after running into early problems and salvaged an eighth-place finish.
Bloomquist experienced trouble of his own just five laps into the USA Nationals when contact back in the pack sent him spinning into the infield off turn four to bring out the marathon race’s first caution flag. He recovered nicely to reach third place by the 100’s three-quarter mark, but then an overheating engine prompted him to pit during a lap-75 caution period and he returned to the track just in time to avoid being lapped.
With so many competitors already retired from action, however, Bloomquist sat in eighth place when a caution flag flew on lap 78. He hustled forward to put himself in a battle for second with Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., when a red flag was necessary on lap 89 for Babb, who overran the thick cushion in turn two and barrel-rolled twice but escaped injury in the wild wreck.
Bloomquist was set to restart second behind Moyer, but WoO LMS officials penalized him for moving illegally under red-flag conditions. He was put back to the tail end of the lead-lap cars – fifth place – for the restart.
The penalty barely hampered Bloomquist, who immediately slid back to second when the green flag flew. He then spent several laps in a thrilling, side-by-side race for the lead with Moyer before surging ahead as lap 96 was scored to end the clash of dirt Late Model titans.
“Billy did a good job,” said Bloomquist, “but we just had a little bit better combination or the bottom.”
Moyer, who won a WoO LMS A-Main on Wednesday night at Shawano (Wis.) Speedway, graciously accepted the late-race loss to his longtime rival.
“At the beginning of the race I would’ve never thought it would happen that way,” said Moyer, who was shooting for his first USA Nationals victory since 1993. “At the end we just weren’t quite good enough. We almost done it I guess.”
The 48-year-old Frank, meanwhile, couldn’t keep pace with the leaders over the final 11 circuits, but a third-place finish was much more than he could have envisioned after nearly missing the starting field. He had to rely on a provisional after a bad battery ground wire prevented him from using his pole starting spot in the Last Chance Race.
“We got lucky tonight,” said Frank, who pitted during a lap-19 caution period to raise the ride height of his car. “Sometimes you just gotta use your head. I wish the car would’ve been a little bit better, but it was too tight so I just tried to stay out of trouble and finish the race.”
Many other drivers weren’t as fortunate as Frank. Among the contenders who fell by the wayside early were:
* Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who steered Larry Moring’s car into the lead on lap two and stayed there until mechanical woes forced him to retire from the race during a lap-19 caution period.
* Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who started from the pole position and led lap one and laps 20-31. He was plagued by an overheating engine, however, and on lap 75 his powerplant seized up, forcing him to stop on the homestretch while running third.
* Defending USA Nationals champion Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who roared from the eighth starting spot to the lead by lap 32 but couldn’t stay there. He suddenly headed pitside with mechanical trouble during a lap-59 caution period.
* Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who won Thursday night’s DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned feature. He started fifth and got up to second on a lap-23 restart before slipping back to fourth, where he was running when a flat right-rear tire caused him to pit during a lap-44 caution period. He was back up to fourth when an overheating powerplant forced him to the infield on lap 71.
* Defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who suffered a rare DNF when an engine problem caused him to slow while running second on lap 18.
* Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., who climbed as high as second from the seventh starting spot before an overheating motor forced him out on lap 44.
* Rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who was running second on lap 60 in his first-ever start at Cedar Lake when his Beitler Motorsports car tossed a right-rear wheel and slammed into the wall between turns three and four.
The USA Nationals served as the fourth leg of the LaCrosse Extreme Tough Challenge, a unique mini-series that awards points to the top-five fulltime WoO LMS and Sprint Car Series drivers in 16 selected events – eight Late Model and eight Sprint Car – and will earn the champion of the combined standings a $5,000 bonus from a $15,000 points fund. Frank earned five points for being the highest-finishing WoO LMS regular in the 100-lapper, with Francis (four), Lanigan (three), McCreadie (two) and Hubbard (one) also picking up points.
Saturday’s action kicked off with a pair of 15-lap B-Mains won by Matt Miller of Waterville, Ohio, and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa.
WoO LMS regular Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., captured the 12-lap Last Chance Race, which also sent runner-up Matt Lux of Franklin, Pa., to the USA Nationals.
The WoO LMS will be idle until kicking off a five-race swing through the Northeast on Aug. 18 at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. The tour also has dates on Aug. 19 at Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge, N.Y.; Aug. 20-21 at Mohawk International Raceway in Hogansburg, N.Y. (the $20,000-to-win ‘Battle at Eastern Door’); Aug. 23 at Autodrome Drummond in Drummondville, Que.; and Aug. 24 at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘USA Nationals presented by U.S. Steel Corp.’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (19) Scott Bloomquist/100 $50,075
2. (26) Billy Moyer/100 $20,000
3. (25) Chub Frank/100 $10,000
4. (16) Jonathan Davenport/100 $6,000
5. (20) Will Vaught/100 $5,000
6. (4) Steve Francis/99 $4,500
7. (15) Chris Simpson/95 $4,250
8. (13) Earl Pearson Jr./90 $4,000
9. (21) Shannon Babb/88 $3,750
10. (22) Dennis Erb Jr./84 $3,500
11. (1) Darrell Lanigan/75 $3,250
12. (5) Tim McCreadie/71 $3,000
13. (11) Austin Hubbard/60 $2,800
14. (8) Jimmy Mars/59 $2,650
15. (14) Jason Feger/54 $2,500
16. (7) Shane Clanton/43 $2,400
17. (23) Tim Fuller/38 $2,350
18. (18) Brian Birkhofer/33 $2,200
19. (17) Matt Miller/33 $2,100
20. (10) Rick Eckert/33 $2,075
21. (12) Jimmy Owens/27 $2,050
22. (3) Don O’Neal/19 $2,075
23. (2) Josh Richards/19 $2,010
24. (9) Chad Simpson/14 $2,000
25. (24) Matt Lux/14 $2,000
26. (6) Clint Smith/6 $2,025
* Earnings include cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 1 Hour, 18 Mins., 30.031 Secs.
Margin of Victory: Secs.
Yellow Flags: 13 (Laps 5, 6, 19, 19, 23, 34, 39, 44, 59, 60, 75, 78, 82)
Red Flag: 1 (Lap 89)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1); O’Neal (2-19); Lanigan (20-31); Mars (32-59); Moyer (60-95); Bloomquist (96-100)
Provisional Starters: Davenport (time trials); Fuller (WoO); Moyer (Thursday night feature)
B-Main No. 1 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Matt Miller, 2. Scott Bloomquist, 3. Shannon Babb, 4. Chub Frank, 5. Tim Fuller, 6. Pat Doar, 7. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, 8. Keith Foss, 9. Zach Johnson, 10. Kevin Sather, 11. Gregg Hill, 12. Kerry Hansen, 13. Ashley Anderson, 14. Jill George, 15. Billy Moyer, 16. Brian Shirley, 17. Brady Smith
B-Main No. 2 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Brian Birkhofer, 2. Will Vaught, 3. Dennis Erb Jr., 4. Justin Fegers, 5. Matt Lux, 6. Josh McGuire, 7. Dan Schlieper, 8. Lance Matthees, 9. Eric Pember, 10. Andrew McKay, 11. Brian Harris, 12. Even Hubert, 13. Dustin Hapka, 14. Russell King, 15. Bub McCool, 16. John Winge, 17. Darren Friedman
Last-Chance Race (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Tim Fuller, 2. Matt Lux, 3. Pat Doar, 4. Josh McGuire, 5. Keith Foss, 6. Lance Matthees, 7. Russell King, 8. Zach Johnson, 9. Andrew McKay, 10. Kevin Sather, 11. Eric Pember, 12. Kerry Hansen, 13. Justin Fegers, 14. Dan Schlieper (DNS) Chub Frank, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Brian Harris, Darren Friedman
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($50 product certificate): Scott Bloomquist/Eric Pember
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Dennis Erb Jr.
Eibach Springs (one free spring): Pat Doar/Matt Lux
MSD Ignition ($75 cash award): Scott Bloomquist
MSD Ignition ($25 cash award): Clint Smith
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash award to fastest qualifier w/decal): Don O’Neal
Pink Carburetors ($100 product certificate): Steve Francis
Pink Carburetors ($50 product certificate): Dennis Erb Jr.
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate): Jonathan Davenport
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate): Dennis Erb Jr.
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate): Shane Clanton
R2C Performance ($100 certificate): Chub Frank
STP ($50 cash award): Tim Fuller
U-Coat-It: Scott Bloomquist/Dennis Erb Jr./Pat Doar
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (54-gallon drum of fuel to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Darren Friedman
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 7 – 35 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 4654
2. Darrell Lanigan 4618 (-36)
3. Tim McCreadie 4606 (-48)
4. Steve Francis 4472 (-182)
5. Shane Clanton 4394 (-260)
6. Austin Hubbard 4342 (-312)
7. Rick Eckert 4336 (-318)
8. Tim Fuller 4300 (-354)
9. Chub Frank 4184 (-470)
10. Clint Smith 4126 (-528)
11. Russell King 3882 (-772)
12. Brent Robinson 3470 (-1184)
13. Brady Smith 2992 (-1662)
14. Jill George 2670 (-1984)
15. Brian Birkhofer 1764 (-2890)
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 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), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance and Wrisco Aluminum.