Bloomquist Masters Friday Afternoon UMP Late Model Action During 41st UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 24, 2012 – Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., mastered Friday’s daytime track conditions at Volusia Speedway Park, dominating the postponed 25-lap DIRTcar UMP Late Model A-Main during the 41st UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
In an event pushed to Friday afternoon following a rainout on Wednesday night, Bloomquist took advantage of starting from the pole position to lead the entire feature distance. He was never seriously challenged en route to a $7,000 triumph.
The 48-year-old dirt Late Model legend scored a runner-up finish in Thursday evening’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series 50-lapper that was contested on a heavy, physical track surface, but on Friday a surface baked hard by the Florida sun allowed him to cruise to the checkered flag.
“Talk about night and day – that’s what this was,” said Bloomquist, comparing the Thursday night and Friday afternoon programs. “We really didn’t have to change much on the race car though, just a couple small things. The (Team Zero by Bloomquist) car is very versatile, and the (Roush-Yates) engine is just awesome.”
Bloomquist owed much of his winning effort to his qualifying performance. With the four fastest drivers in each of six group qualifying sessions inverted for heat-race action, Bloomquist turned in a lap that was placed him on the pole for his preliminary. He won the heat with ease and then picked the number one starting slot for the feature, propelling him to Victory Lane.
“It’s tough to come from behind, especially in a day race like this,” said Bloomquist, who recorded his fifth win since 2003 at Volusia but just his second in UMP-sanctioned competition (his most recent wins – one in ’04 and two in ’11 – came under the WoO LMS banner). “So definitely, starting from the pole was important.
“This is the first time (he ran an afternoon event at Volusia), so we really weren’t sure what to expect,” he added. “I tried to take it easy on the tires. It looks like we used ’em up pretty good, but didn’t blister them. The car was good neutral.”
Bloomquist drove away from the pack after the race’s two caution flags, on the opening lap for a multi-car tangle in turn one that eliminated Thursday-night WoO LMS winner Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., and on lap 10 for the stopped car driven by Tuesday-night UMP Late Model victor Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.
Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., finished a distant second, 5.960 seconds behind Bloomquist in the AES Racing Barry Wright car. The veteran racer, who started third, passed outside-polesitter Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., for second on lap one and maintained the spot to register a career-best outing at Volusia.
Smith settled for third place, followed by fifth-starter Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and seventh-starter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.
Rounding out the top 10 was Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas; Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who fought forward from the 10th starting spot; DIRTcar Big-Block standout Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., who slipped to eighth after taking the green flag from the fourth spot; Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; and Jim Yoder of Selinsgrove, Pa.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., recorded the fastest overall lap during the group qualifying sessions, circling the half-mile layout in 16.435 seconds, Other group fast-timers were Erb (17.722), Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis. (17.473), Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. (16.898), Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill. (17.042) and Dillon Wood of Daytona Beach, Fla. (16.850).
Heat winners were Bloomquist, Moran, Bagley, Decker, Clint Smith and Franklin. The B-Mains were captured by Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., and Eckert.
The UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit continue on Friday night with the second half of the day/night doubleheader. A 40-lap UMP Late Model feature paying $10,000 to win tops a program that also includes the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds.
For more information on the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, log on to www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
DIRTcar UMP Late Model 25-Lap A-Main Finish (Finish Pos.//Driver):
1. Scott Bloomquist
2. Dennis Franklin
3. Clint Smith
4. Donnie Moran
5. Josh Richards
6. Morgan Bagley
7. Jonathan Davenport
8. Billy Decker
9. Don O’Neal
10. Jim Yoder
11. Michael Norris
12. Dan Stone
13. Frankie Heckenast Jr.
14. Billy Ogle Jr.
15. Bobby Pierce
16. John Blankenship
17. Mason Zeigler
18. Billy Moyer
19. Rick Eckert
20. Brian Shirley
21. Brady Smith
22. Lance Matthees
23. Jason Feger
24. Austin Hubbard
25. Dennis Erb Jr.
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Dennis Erb Jr., 4. John Blankenship, 5. Greg Johnson, 6. Chub Frank, 7. Eric Wells, 8. Mike Hammerle, 9. Don Gordon, 10. Billy Moyer Jr. (DNS) Kent Robinson
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Donnie Moran, 2. Jim Yoder, 3. Dan Stone, 4. Mason Zeigler, 5. Aaron Ridley, 6. Donald Beyers, 7. Jimmy Mars, 8. Charlie Sandercock, 9. Tim McCreadie (DNS) Tim Fuller
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Morgan Bagley, 2. Don O’Neal, 3. Billy Moyer, 4. Billy Ogle Jr., 5. Stacy Boles, 6. Michael Norris, 7. Brian Shirley, 8. Freddie Carpenter, 9. Pat Doar, 10. Jimmy Owens
Heat No. 4 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Billy Decker, 2. Jonathan Davenport, 3. Lance Matthees, 4. J.R. Hotovy, 5. Brandon Sheppard, 6. Tyler Bruening, 7. Todd Frank, 8. Eric Jacobsen, 9. Steve Isenberg (DNS) Hunter Peacock
Heat No. 5 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Clint Smith, 2. Austin Hubbard, 3. Brady Smith, 4. Rick Eckert, 5. Frankie Heckenast Jr., 6. Tim Lance, 7. Jill George, 8. Jared Hawkins (DNS) Jack Sullivan, John Lobb
Heat No. 6 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Dennis Franklin, 2. Jason Feger, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. Dillon Wood, 5. Gregg Satterlee, 6. Jason McBride, 7. Duane Harbaugh, 8. Phil Ausra, 9. Jared Landers (DNS) Terry Casey
B-Main No. 1 (8 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Mason Zeigler, 2. John Blankenship, 3. Greg Johnson, 4. Charlie Sandercock, 5. Donald Beyers, 6. Mike Hammerle, 7. Don Gordon, 8. Billy Moyer Jr. (DNS) Aaron Ridley, Chub Frank, Eric Wells, Jimmy Mars, Tim Fuller, Tim McCreadie, Kent Robinson
B-Main No. 2 (8 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Billy Ogle Jr., 2. Michael Norris, 3. Freddie Carpenter, 4. Tyler Bruening, 5. Brandon Sheppard, 6. Todd Frank, 7. J.R. Hotovy (DNS) Stacy Boles, Brian Shirley, Eric Jacobsen, Pat Doar, Steve Isenberg, Jimmy Owens, Hunter Peacock
B-Main No. 3 (8 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Frankie Heckenast Jr., 3. Tim Lance, 4. Gregg Satterlee, 5. Jason McBride, 6. Jill George, 7. Phil Ausra, 8. Duane Harbaugh, 9. Dillon Wood (DNS) Jared Hawkins, Jack Sullivan, Jared Landers, John Lobb, Terry Casey