Tyler County Speedway
Rain postpones Hillbilly with Cook leading lap 39
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.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.
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:
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.
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,ï¿½ Nick Corbitt, Tyler Carpenter, Doug Drown.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
- Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 13.015
- Bart Hartman (75), Zanesville, Ohio, 13.123
- Rick Williams (12w), Beckley, W.Va., 13.261
- Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 13.264
- Dale McDowell (17m), Rossville, Ga., 13.315
- Terry Casey (42), New London, Wis., 13.414
- Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., 13.487
- Doug Horton (46), Bruceton Mills, W.Va., 13.490
- Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 13.494
- Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 13.499
- Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky., 13.614
- Butch McGill (1mc), West Union, W.Va., 13.682
- Eric Jacobsen (5), Seacliff Beach, Calif., , 13.690
- Steve Wilmoth (13), Clarksburg, W.Va., 13.705
- Andy Bond (01), Coolville, Ohio, 13.754
- Tim Dohm (17T), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 13.763
- Roy Roush (r2), Guysville, Ohio, 13.783
- Jason Dupont (no7), Cyclone, Pa., 13.790
- Jared Miley (H1), South Park, Pa., 13.830
- Richard Frazier (0f), Mount Clair, W.Va., 13.834
- Donnie Dotson (15), West Union, W.Va., 13.838
- Tyler Carpenter (28t), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.910
- Billy Holbert (7H), Fairmont, W.Va., 13.916
- B.J. Morris (45), Mayking, Ky., 14.057
- Marshall Wiblin (64), Charleston, W.Va., 14.064
- Gary Knollinger (38k), Triadelphia, W.Va., 14.104
- Mike Eaton (40), St. Clairsville, Ohio, 14.112
- Nick Corbitt (45), Waverly, W.Va., 14.221
- Jimmy McCloud (5m), Elkins, W.Va., 14.229
- Brad Hutson (32H), Lost Creek, W.Va., 14.234
- Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 14.234
- Josh Coffman (01), Grafton, W.Va., 14.248
- Delbert Crum Jr. (1c), Cutler, Ohio, 14.308
- Randy Meador (19), Charleston, W.Va., 14.317
- K.C. Burdette (kc44), Parkersburg, W.Va., 14.499
- Tracie Sampson (12s), Lumberport, W.Va., 14.541
- Joel Prosser (77p), New Martinsville, W.Va., 14.575
- Nelson Freshour (7f), Kenna, W.Va., 14.678
- Ronald Clevenger (2p), Clarksburg, W.Va, 14.803
- Kris Southern (k2), Jane Lew, W.Va., 15.000
- Derek Stefanick (44s), Oakdale, Pa., 15.873
- Justin Powell (J30), Bartlett, Ohio, no time
- Josh McGuire (41), Grayson, Ky., 13.289
- Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 13.345
- Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 13.346
- Freddy Smith (00), Seymour, Tenn., 13.385
- Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 13.387
- John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 13.411
- Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., 13.479
- Gary Dalton (14), Morgantown, W.Va., 13.503
- Corey Conley (14), Wellsburg, W.Va., 13.506
- Zack Dohm (25), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 13.534
- Dan Schlieper (9), Sullivan, Wis., 13.544
- Steve Shaver (30), Vienna, W.Va., 13.618
- Chuck Harper (00H), Beverly, W.Va., 13.633
- Greg Baumberger (32), Jacobsburg, Ohio, 13.649
- Jared Hawkins (37), Fairmont, W.Va., 13.651
- Chris Carpenter (18), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.708
- Charlie George Jr. (98), Elkins, W.Va., 13.807
- Ricky Arms (4), Moss, Tenn., 13.845
- Anthony Huber (y4), Vienna, W.Va, 13.874
- Larry Bond (6.7), Coolville, Ohio, 13.895
- Robbie Scott (0z), Shinnston, W.Va., 13.918
- Dan Shrigley (43D), Pataskala, Ohio, 13.924
- Freddie Carpenter (c4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 13.927
- Michael Walker (64), Franklin, Tenn., 13.933
- C.A. Wentz (9ca), Plum Creek, W.Va., 13.99
- Dan Morrison (7m), Newport, Ohio, 13.991
- Dallas Carpenter (2x), Charleston, W.Va., 14.054
- Tony Musolino (21m), Pittsburgh, Pa., 14.085
- Danny Pugh (43), Morgantown, W.Va., 14.107
- Sonny Conley (1x1), New Martinsville, W.Va., 14.314
- Rick Conley (18), Wellsburg, W.Va., 14.352
- Kevin Keene (56), Belington, Ohio, 14.637
- Lynn Chapman (2), Drummond, W.Va., 14.639
- Dave Hackathorn (pj15), St. Mary’s, Ohio, 14.678
- Danny Mitchell (18d), Clarksburg, Pa., 14.684
- Dannie Ruza (9r), Moundsville, W.Va., 14.704
- Chris Reed (51x), Sissonville, W.Va., 14.711
- Kurt Stacy (11s), Stewart, Ohio, 14.820
- Denver Gibson (B83), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.201
- Mike Sturm (3s), Elkins, W.Va., 19.072
- Robbie Bostic (24r), Ripley, W.Va., no time