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Tyler County Speedway

Rain postpones Hillbilly with Cook leading lap 39

September 6, 2009, 8:35 pm
By Todd Turner
DirtonDirt.com chief writer

MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. (Sept. 6) — Rain hit Tyler County Speedway during a lap-39 caution Sunday night, forcing a postponement of the 41st annual Hillbilly 100 with Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., out front in the $41,000-to-win Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.

The event is scheduled to resume on Monday with gates opening at 10 a.m. and practice beginning at noon, weather permitting. The feature will resume with a lap-39 restart. | Video | Slideshow

Officials held out hope they could get the quarter-mile dirt oval back in shape to complete the 100-lapper, but rain continued until midnight with more on the way, forcing the postponement.

Before the rain hit, fans saw a flurry of action. Cook, who started seventh in his debut at Tyler County, made his way to the front in the low groove, but he jumped to the high side on a lap-32 restart and went around Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., to take the lead. Cook and Pearson put a half-straightaway on third-running polesitter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., before Freddy Smith slowed just off the backstretch to draw the race's second caution.

During the yellow-flag period, light rain picked up and eventually slickened the track, forcing officials to send the drivers to the pits while fans in the jam-packed grandstands headed for cover.

At the outset of the race, outside front-row starter Josh McGuire of Grayson, Ky., jumped into the lead over Bloomquist with Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., hot on their heels. The low-running Pearson, who started 10th, came alive in the low groove and took third from Owens on the 16th lap, then moved under Bloomquist and McGuire to take command on the 20th lap.

As Pearson pulled away to lead by a half-straightaway, four drivers — McGuire, Bloomquist, Cook and Owens — waged a wild battle for second with the low-running Cook picking his way forward. By the time Cook got up to second on lap 28, Pearson had a full straightaway lead, but that was erased when Don O'Neal stopped on the backstretch infield with a broke driveshaft. Cook made his move to the front on the restart.

Notes: Because of the threat of rain, the track went into hurry-up mode after heat races, running consolation races straight through despite off-and-on rain and straight into the feature. ... Every driver with perfect attendance on the Lucas Oil Series made the feature lineup. ... Seventeen drivers are on the lead lap; Dale McDowell lost several positions because he returned to his pit area instead of stopping on the hot pit. ... Three drivers are out of the race: Don O'Neal (31 laps), Zack Dohm (13 laps) and Michael Walker (10 laps.).

Hillbilly 100 (after 39 laps; race scheduled to resume Monday): (1) Ray Cook, (2) Earl Pearson Jr., (3) Scott Bloomquist, (4) Steve Shaver, (5) Josh McGuire, (6) Jimmy Owens, (7) Steve Casebolt, (8) Terry Casey, (9) Doug Horton, (10) Bart Hartman, (11) Rick Williams, (12) Brad Neat, (13) Eddie Carrier Jr., (14) John Blankenship, (15) Dan Schlieper, (16) Donnie Moran, (17) Dale McDowell, (18) Freddie Carpenter, (19) Eric Jacobsen, (20) Corey Conley, (21) Butch McGill, (22) Chris Carpenter, (23) Freddy Smith, (24) Don O'Neal, (25) Zack Dohm, (26) Michael Walker. Fast qualifier (among 83 cars): Bloomquist, 13.015 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, Hartman, Casey, McGuire, Owens, Shaver. Consolation winners: McGill, Neat, C. Conley, C. Carpenter. Provisional starters: Jacobsen, Walker, F. Carpenter, Z. Dohm.

A recap of Sunday's preliminaries:

Consolation races

First consolation: Butch McGill, Tim Dohm, Steve Wilmoth, Donnie Dotson, Josh Coffman, Jimmy McCloud, B.J. Morris, Randy Meadow, Mason Ziegler, Derek Stefanick, Kris Southern, Nick Corbitt.

Second consolation: Brad Neat, Jared Miley, Andy Bond, Gary Knollinger, Richard Frazier, Eric Jacobsen, Mike Eaton, Joel Proser, Nelson Freshour, Delbert Crum Jr., K.C. Burdette.

Third consolation: Corey Conley, Zack Dohm, Chuck Harper, Ricky Arms, Tony Musolino, Dave Hackathorn, Danny Pugh, Dannie Ruza, C.A. Wentz.

Fourth consolation: Chris Carpenter, Gary Dalton, Jared Hawkins, Greg Baumberger, Dan Morrison, Rick Conley, Kevin Keene, Danny Mitchell, Lynn Chapman, Anthony Huber, Freddie Carpenter, Dallas Carpenter, Charlie George, Michael Walker.

First heat

Hanging on despite smoke trailing his car the second half of the 15-lapper, Scott Bloomquist led all the way to win the first heat and earn the pole position for the 100-lapper. It wasn't immediately clear what was causing the smoke. Third-starting Ray Cook took second on the second lap and held that position the rest of the way while polesitter Donnie Moran got the third and final transfer spot. Tim Dohm ran a close fourth throughout the race, slowed by several cautions. Fourth-starting Doug Drown, flirted with the second spot on the first lap but got into the guardrail between turns one and two on successive laps and pulled off under caution. Nick Corbitt spun into the backstretch infield on the fifth lap, drawing a caution, then spun into the infield again off turn four on the 12th lap. Kris Southern spun out of turn four on the 13th lap. Mason Eric Jacobsen finished a lap down after pitting on the lap-12 caution and Mason Ziegler's race ended early when he lost a left-rear wheel that bounded over the turn-one guardrail. Rain briefly dotted the track under caution but ended nearly as quick as it began.

Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Ray Cook, Donnie Moran, Tim Dohm, Jared Miley, Randy Meador, Joel Prosser, Kris Southern, Eric Jacobsen, Mason Ziegler, Marshall Wiblin,� Nick Corbitt, Tyler Carpenter, Doug Drown.

Second heat

Outside front-row starter Bart Hartman cruised most of the caution-free prelim, only having trouble with a couple of slower cars while making his way around the quarter-mile oval. The top three broke away from the field with polesitter Dale McDowell second and Doug Horton in third. Brad Neat finished a distance fourth. K.C. Burdette slid to the infield with a flat right-rear tire midway through the race.

Finish: Bart Hartman, Dale McDowell, Doug Horton, Brad Neat, Steve Wilmoth, Richard Frazier, Jimmy McCloud, Gary Knollinger, Josh Coffman, Nelson Freshour, Derek Stefanick, K.C. Burdette, Roy Roush.

Third heat

Polesitter Terry Casey led all the way, surviving a mid-race scrap with a lapped car while staying ahead of the pack. Outside front-row starter Rick Williams stayed with Casey but never made a serious bid for the lead while Don O'Neal got the third and final transfer spot. Butch McGill was fourth but couldn't keep up with the top three. The initial start was called back when Jason Dupont got into the turn-two guardrail and Ronald Clevenger got caught up in the aftermath. Tracie Sampson spun on the second lap in turn one, collecting Clevenger for another yellow. Sampson got into the turn-one guardrail again on the ensuing restart and his car was towed away. Clevenger's race ended just past the halfway point when he made hard contact with the guardrail at the turn-one entrance; his car was pushed away but he wasn't injured.

Finish: Terry Casey, Rick Williams, Don O'Neal, Butch McGill, Andy Bond, Donnie Dotson, Mike Eaton, B.J. Morris, Delbert Crum Jr., Ronald Clevenger, Tracie Sampson, Jason Dupont. Scratched: Justin Powell.

Fourth heat

Josh McGuire started outside the front row and led all the way, beating the frontrunners through a crowd of slower traffic midway through the race. McGuire took the checkered flag a half-straightaway ahead of Freddy Smith in the caution-free affair. Steve Casebolt ran third virtually all the way, but he nearly lost the spot to Zack Dohm when the slower car of Danny Pugh pinched him low in turn three with a few laps remaining. Dohm settled for fourth.

Finish: Josh McGuire, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Zack Dohm, Chris Carpenter, Chuck Harper, Anthony Huber, C.A. Wentz, Rick Conley, Chris Reed, Lynn Chapman, Danny Pugh, Dan Shrigley. Scratched: Mike Sturm.

Fifth heat

Clearing heavy lapped traffic halfway through the race, last year's Hillbilly 100 winner Jimmy Owens cruised with clear track the rest of the way. Earl Pearson Jr. was close behind in second, but he survived a last-lap scare when slower cars were pulling off on the backstretch on the final lap. The battle for third was the best of the night for a transfer spot as second-row starters Gary Dalton and Dan Schlieper duked it out. Dalton held the spot most of the way, but Schlieper turned up the heat in the final laps amid traffic, getting past Dalton. Dalton at one point regained the spot, but Schlieper slid up in front of him for good exiting turn four on the final lap in the caution-free event. Dalton settled for fourth while fifth-finishing Larry Bond was further back.

Finish: Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Dan Schlieper, Gary Dalton, Larry Bond, Greg Baumberger, Tony Musolino, Dan Morrison, Dave Hackathorn, Danny Mitchell, Kurt Stacy, Charlie George, Robbie Bostic, Freddie Carpenter.

Sixth heat

Using a lower line than anyone else, two-time race winner Steve Shaver went from third-to-first from laps 6-12, outdueling front-row starters John Blankenship first and then Eddie Carrier Jr. to take command. Shaver, running door-to-door with Carrier nearly two laps, led the final three laps in a race slowed by a a single caution. Corey Conley was fourth, missing a transfer spot. Kevin Keene got crossed up exiting turn four to draw a lap-six caution.

Finish: Steve Shaver, Eddie Carrier Jr., John Blankenship, Corey Conley, Jared Hawkins, Ricky Arms, Michael Walker, Sonny Conley, Dallas Carpenter, Dannie Ruza, Kevin Keene. Scratched: Denver Gibson.

Qualifying

Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., topped 83 qualifiers as the fastest driver overall at Tyler County's quarter-mile oval with a lap of 13.015 seconds. Bloomquist topped qualifying in Group A while Josh McGuire of Grayson, Ky. (13.289) was the fastest qualifier in Group B. Bloomquist spun a 2 on the inversion wheel, putting the six fastest qualifiers on the outside of the front row of each heat race.

Pre-race notes

The series used its two-group qualifying method with cars transferring from the first three heats making up the inside lane of the first nine rows and the cars transferring from heats 4-6 making up the outside lane of the first nine rows. ... Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., and Eric Jacobsen of Seacliff Beach, Calif., were among series regulars making their debut at Tyler County. ... For the second year in a row, the track — expecting the biggest crowd in track history — had three flatbed trailers in the infield as auxiliary grandstands. The only catch? Once fans went to the infield, they had to stay put. ... Robbie Scott of Shinnston, W.Va., was making his debut in the Fred Ziegler-owned No. 0z Rocket Chassis. ... Terry Casey was piloting a Rocket Chassis formerly driven by Earl Pearson Jr. ... Tim Dohm was back in action Labor Day weekend after undergoing eye surgery for a detached retina that kept him out of the driver's seat for a few weeks. ... Many of the 83 drivers competing in the Hillbilly 100 were piloting steel-block engine Late Models (or crate engine Late Models) and competed in Saturday's Hillbilly 50 for steel blocks, won by Freddie Carpenter of Parkersburg, W.Va. ... Carpenter is guaranteed a provisional starting spot in the Hillbilly 100. ... Four consolation races are scheduled to send one driver apiece to the feature.

Time trials (unofficial)

Group A
  1. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 13.015
  2. Bart Hartman (75), Zanesville, Ohio, 13.123
  3. Rick Williams (12w), Beckley, W.Va., 13.261
  4. Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 13.264
  5. Dale McDowell (17m), Rossville, Ga., 13.315
  6. Terry Casey (42), New London, Wis., 13.414
  7. Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 13.487
  8. Doug Horton (46), Bruceton Mills, W.Va., 13.490
  9. Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 13.494
  10. Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 13.499
  11. Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky., 13.614
  12. Butch McGill (1mc), West Union, W.Va., 13.682
  13. Eric Jacobsen (5), Seacliff Beach, Calif., , 13.690
  14. Steve Wilmoth (13), Clarksburg, W.Va., 13.705
  15. Andy Bond (01), Coolville, Ohio, 13.754
  16. Tim Dohm (17T), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 13.763
  17. Roy Roush (r2), Guysville, Ohio, 13.783
  18. Jason Dupont (no7), Cyclone, Pa., 13.790
  19. Jared Miley (H1), South Park, Pa., 13.830
  20. Richard Frazier (0f), Mount Clair, W.Va., 13.834
  21. Donnie Dotson (15), West Union, W.Va., 13.838
  22. Tyler Carpenter (28t), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.910
  23. Billy Holbert (7H), Fairmont, W.Va., 13.916
  24. B.J. Morris (45), Mayking, Ky., 14.057
  25. Marshall Wiblin (64), Charleston, W.Va., 14.064
  26. Gary Knollinger (38k), Triadelphia, W.Va., 14.104
  27. Mike Eaton (40), St. Clairsville, Ohio, 14.112
  28. Nick Corbitt (45), Waverly, W.Va., 14.221
  29. Jimmy McCloud (5m), Elkins, W.Va., 14.229
  30. Brad Hutson (32H), Lost Creek, W.Va., 14.234
  31. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 14.234
  32. Josh Coffman (01), Grafton, W.Va., 14.248
  33. Delbert Crum Jr. (1c), Cutler, Ohio, 14.308
  34. Randy Meador (19), Charleston, W.Va., 14.317
  35. K.C. Burdette (kc44), Parkersburg, W.Va., 14.499
  36. Tracie Sampson (12s), Lumberport, W.Va., 14.541
  37. Joel Prosser (77p), New Martinsville, W.Va., 14.575
  38. Nelson Freshour (7f), Kenna, W.Va., 14.678
  39. Ronald Clevenger (2p), Clarksburg, W.Va, 14.803
  40. Kris Southern (k2), Jane Lew, W.Va., 15.000
  41. Derek Stefanick (44s), Oakdale, Pa., 15.873
  42. Justin Powell (J30), Bartlett, Ohio, no time
Group B
  1. Josh McGuire (41), Grayson, Ky., 13.289
  2. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 13.345
  3. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 13.346
  4. Freddy Smith (00), Seymour, Tenn., 13.385
  5. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 13.387
  6. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 13.411
  7. Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., 13.479
  8. Gary Dalton (14), Morgantown, W.Va., 13.503
  9. Corey Conley (14), Wellsburg, W.Va., 13.506
  10. Zack Dohm (25), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 13.534
  11. Dan Schlieper (9), Sullivan, Wis., 13.544
  12. Steve Shaver (30), Vienna, W.Va., 13.618
  13. Chuck Harper (00H), Beverly, W.Va., 13.633
  14. Greg Baumberger (32), Jacobsburg, Ohio, 13.649
  15. Jared Hawkins (37), Fairmont, W.Va., 13.651
  16. Chris Carpenter (18), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.708
  17. Charlie George Jr. (98), Elkins, W.Va., 13.807
  18. Ricky Arms (4), Moss, Tenn., 13.845
  19. Anthony Huber (y4), Vienna, W.Va, 13.874
  20. Larry Bond (6.7), Coolville, Ohio, 13.895
  21. Robbie Scott (0z), Shinnston, W.Va., 13.918
  22. Dan Shrigley (43D), Pataskala, Ohio, 13.924
  23. Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.927
  24. Michael Walker (64), Franklin, Tenn., 13.933
  25. C.A. Wentz (9ca), Plum Creek, W.Va., 13.99
  26. Dan Morrison (7m), Newport, Ohio, 13.991
  27. Dallas Carpenter (2x), Charleston, W.Va., 14.054
  28. Tony Musolino (21m), Pittsburgh, Pa., 14.085
  29. Danny Pugh (43), Morgantown, W.Va., 14.107
  30. Sonny Conley (1x1), New Martinsville, W.Va., 14.314
  31. Rick Conley (18), Wellsburg, W.Va., 14.352
  32. Kevin Keene (56), Belington, Ohio, 14.637
  33. Lynn Chapman (2), Drummond, W.Va., 14.639
  34. Dave Hackathorn (pj15), St. Mary’s, Ohio, 14.678
  35. Danny Mitchell (18d), Clarksburg, Pa., 14.684
  36. Dannie Ruza (9r), Moundsville, W.Va., 14.704
  37. Chris Reed (51x), Sissonville, W.Va., 14.711
  38. Kurt Stacy (11s), Stewart, Ohio, 14.820
  39. Denver Gibson (B83), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.201
  40. Mike Sturm (3s), Elkins, W.Va., 19.072
  41. Robbie Bostic (24r), Ripley, W.Va., no time

Hillbilly 100 main event lineup

Row 1: Bloomquist, McGuire
Row 2: Hartman, Owens
Row 3: Casey, Shaver
Row 4: Cook, F. Smith
Row 5: McDowell, Pearson
Row 6: R. Williams, Carrier
Row 7: Moran, Casebolt
Row 8: Horton, Schlieper
Row 9: O'Neal, Blankenship

Row 10: McGill, Neat
Row 11: C. Conley, C. Carpenter
Row 12: Jacobsen, Walker
Row 13: F. Carpenter, Z. Dohm

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