West Virginia Motor Speedway
Blog-style reports of 42nd annual Hillbilly 100
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com chief writer
MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. (Sept. 5) — Blog-style reports of the 42nd annual Hillbilly 100 at West Virginia Motor Speedway, a $42,000-to-win event on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series:
12:27 a.m.: Bloomquist takes checkers
Scott Bloomquist wins his first Hillbilly 100, taking the checkers a half-straightaway ahead of Jonathan Davenport.
12:23 a.m.: Lap-90 rundown
Scott Bloomquist has a halt-straight lead on Jonathan Davenport with Steve Shaver another half-straight back. Of note: Shaver is the only among the three who have pitted for fuel.
12:17 a.m.: O'Neal has flat right rear
Don O'Neal, who has led since lap 29, lost the lead to Scott Bloomquist on the lap-81 restart and lost a few more spots before pulling up lame on lap 83 with a flat right rear tire. Bloomquist leads Jonathan Davenport, Steve Shaver, Eddie Carrier Jr., and Zack Dohm. O'Neal will rejoin the field in sixth.
12:11 a.m.: Lap-81 yellow for Madden
Chris Madden stopped between turns three and four to draw a yellow. Don O'Neal leads Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenort, Steve Shaver, Eddie Carrier Jr., and Zack Dohm, the last car on the lead lap. Madden's car is being towed away and the red flag is out, likely in interest if fuel conservation. Donnie Moran is back on the track but he's several laps down. Cars at least one lap down still on the track: John Blankenship, Jimmy Owens, Tim Isenberg, Kennie Compton Jr., Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Ray Cook and Chris Wall. Wall and Cook are no doubt returning in pursuit of points.
12:09 a.m.: Lap-80 rundown
Don O'Neal leads Scott Bloomquist by 10 lengths. Further back is Jonathan Davenport and Steve Shaver in a battle for third. Eddie Carrier is nearly another straightaway back in fifth.
12:02 a.m.: Moran out of contention
Donnie Moran won't get his second big victory in a row. He slowed while running third and pulled his smoking car to the pits on lap 68. The crew is checking it out. After 72 laps, Don O'Neal has a near half-straight lead on Scott Bloomquist. Another full straightaway behind Bloomquist is third-running Jonathan Davenport. A yellow is out on lap 73. Moran climbed out of the car, then climbed back in with thoughts of getting the car back out, but the green flew before he could rejoin the race.
11:56 p.m.: Yellow back out
Neat's wreck has been cleaned up and the field is rolling again. Steve Shaver pitted under red and must go to the tail of the lead lap. Don O'Neal still leads Scott Bloomquist, Donnie Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Eddie Carrier Jr., Zack Dohm and Shaver. Everyone else is a lap down. There are 13 cars on the track but another few will likely come out of the pits before green.
11:47 p.m.: Neat's hard wreck
Brad Neat slammed the turn-one wall on lap 62 to draw a yellow. It was a tough lick, but Neat placed his helmet on the car's roof before track personnel arrive, and he's walking around and appears to be OK. Chris Fox, crew chief for Jimmy Owens, rushed down the hot pit to alert Neat's crew that Neat appeared to hit the wall virtually head-on at nearly full speed. They rushed down to the scene. The red flag is out.
11:43 p.m.: Quick caution for Cook
Ray Cook got into the walls in turns three and four shortly after the lap-57 restart. "The pedal went to the floor," Cook said. "That ain't a good feeling here." The brake problems have knocked him out of the race. He had pitted early for fuel, hoping to hit it right if others ran out. After 61 laps, Don O'Neal is out front with Scott Bloomquist in second.
11:36 p.m.: Lap-57 caution
Stephen Evans slowed to draw a lap-57 yellow. McDowell is among lead-lap cars pitted. Don O'Neal still leads, but Bloomquist was putting on pressure before the caution, with Steve Shaver just behind them. Earl Pearson Jr. was pulling to the infield before the caution waved, so he may return to the track, but he's a lap down and the crew is still working on his damaged nosepiece. Eddie Carrier Jr. pitted and got fuel borrowed from Vic Coffey's team; Coffey was an early dropout.
11:32 p.m.: O'Neal leads at halfway
At lap 50, Don O'Neal is out front. Scott Bloomquist is second followed by Steve Shaver and Bart Hartman, all on the same straightaway. Jonathan Davenport is a fading fifth. Earl Pearson Jr. just went a lap down; his car has pieces missing from the right side of the nosepiece and his handling is certainly suffering. Duct tape wouldn't do the trick during the last caution.
11:25 p.m.: Fuel an issue?
There's worry in the hot pits that if there are too many cautions fuel will be an issue — cars might run out. "We're staying out there," said Kevin Rumley, co-owner of Steve Shaver's car. Before the lap-38 restart, Don O'Neal leads Bloomquist, Shaver, Davenport, Hartman, Cook, Neat, Carrier, Z. Dohm, Moran and Pearson. Apparently everyone else is a lap down.
11:20 p.m.: Shaver charging
Steve Shaver, who started 14th, is up to third after a solid lap-31 restart. But he's not keeping up with leader Don O'Neal and second-running Scott Bloomquist. A lap-38 yellow is out and Donnie Moran apparently had a flat tire.
11:13 p.m.: Wall around on lap 31
Another yellow appeared on lap 31 for Chris Wall, whose No. 71 went around in turn four. Don O'Neal leads and Dale McDowell dropped Scott Bloomquist to third on the restart. Jonathan Davenport is fourth and Steve Shaver is into the top five, displacing Bart Hartman. Only 15 of 27 starters are still on the track. (But a few more rejoined the field before green).
11:08 p.m.: Lap-30 caution for Cook
Ray Cook, who had just been lapped, slowed to draw the first caution on lap 30. The hood is off and the crew is adding fuel. Don O'Neal took the lead from Bloomquist a lap before the yellow. Third is Dale McDowell followed by Bart Hartman, Jonathan Davenport, Donnie Moran, Steve Shaver and Earl Pearson Jr. It's hard to imagine anyone further back than that will contend for the victory, unless fuel becomes a serious issue. O'Neal is keeping the pace under caution quite slow.
11:04 p.m.: O'Neal challenges
When Vic Coffey slowed to pull to the infield on lap 22, he was just in front of leader Scott Bloomquist, breaking his momentum. Don O'Neal breifly got ahead, but Bloomquist fended him off and never officially lost the lead. After 27 laps: Bloomquist, O'Neal, McDowell, Hartman, Davenport. With no cautions, many, many drivers are down a lap.
10:57 p.m.: Green flag
Scott Bloomquist took the lead from outside the front row at the outset of the main event. After five laps, Boomquist leads Dale McDowell, Don O'Neal and Jonathan Davenport. Bloomquist has a half-straight lead.
Outside front-row starter Brad Neat led polesitter John Blankenship all the wal to win in the second consy. Neat led a three-car breakaway of Blankenship and Ray Cook, the three drivers transferring to the 100-lap feature. Chuck Harper was a half-straight back in fourth.
Finish: Brad Neat, John Blankenship, Ray Cook, Chuck Harper, Donald Bradsher, Jamie Lathroum, Tyler Reddick, Devin Friese, Jacob Hawkins, Tim Dohm, Chris Wilson, Keith Tish.
Freddy Smith led all the way to transfer to the main event along with Stephen Evans and Mark Banal. Gary Stuhler was an early retiree after ripping of his car's nosepiece in a frontstretch accident that took several minutes to clean up. Several drivers scratched or dropped out in the early laps with just six cars on the track at the finish from a scheduled 17 starters.
Finish: Freddy Smith, Stephen Evans, Mark Banal, Lewis Hudson, Dan Schlieper, Ty Myers.
Row 1: Freddy Smith, Bub McCool
Row 2: Anthony Huber, Stephen Evans
Row 3: Gary Stuhler, Mark Banal
Row 4: Lewis Hudson, Mick Sansom
Row 5: Ty Myers, Marshall Wiblin
Row 6: Jimmy Owens, Jimmy Mars
Row 7: Dan Schlieper, Chris Carpenter
Row 8: Freddie Carpenter, Darryl Hills
Row 9: Bryan Lillibridge
Row 1: John Blankenship, Brad Neat
Row 2: Donald Bradsher, Ray Cook
Row 3: Booper Bare, Chuck Harper
Row 4: Tyler Reddick, Jamie Lathroum
Row 5: Chris Wilson, Devin Friese
Row 6: Jacob Hawkins, Tim Dohm
Row 7: Steve Casebolt, Keith Tish
Row 8: Eric Wells, Brian Birkhofer
Don O'Neal got the jump from outside the front row, beating polesitter Chris Wall through turns one and two on the first lap and cruising to victory in the caution-free heat. O'Neal won by more than a full-straightaway margin. Wall ran alone in second most of the way while Earl Pearson Jr. was third after taking the spot from Eddie Carrier Jr. midway through the race. Carrier nearly fell behind Pearson's teammate Brad Neat on the sixth lap but held onto the final transfer spot. Brian Birkhofer slowed on the backstretch and pulled to the infield on the third lap.
Finish: Don O'Neal, Chris Wall, Earl Pearson Jr., Eddie Carrier Jr., Brad Neat, Ray Cook, Chuck Harper, Jamie Lathroum, Devin Friese, Tim Dohm, Keith Tish, Brian Birkhofer.
Scott Bloomquist repelled challenges from polesitter Davey Johnson in the first half of the race and took the victory by 20 lengths in the third heat. Johnson, who tried repeatedly to get under Bloomquist, slipped high in turn two midway through the race and had to scramble to fight off Donnie Moran, who was third. Overall fast qualifier Steve Shaver got the fourth and final transfer spot in the caution-free prelim. Sixth-starting Eric Wells slowed and pulled into the infield midway through the 10-lapper.
Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Davey Johnson, Donnie Moran, Steve Shaver, John Blankenship, Donald Bradsher, Booper Bare, Tyler Reddick, Chris Wilson, Jacob Hawkins, Steve Casebolt, Eric Wells.
Bart Hartman overtook race-long leader Vic Coffey on the last lap and grabbed a victory in a race where transfer spots changed over the final two laps. Coffey shredded a tire and limped to the finish third while Tim Isenberg, who was fifth with two laps remaining, moved up to second. Kennie Compton Jr. got the fourth and final transfer spot with Bub McCool in fifth. Jimmy Mars held fourth most of the way but blew a tire just before the white flag and slowed the final lap. Two cautions slowed the action. Darryl Hills brought out an early caution and retired with a flat right-rear tire while Mick Sansom spun exiting turn two on the eighth lap.
Finish: Bart Hartman, Tim Isenberg, Vic Coffey, Kennie Compton Jr., Bub McCool, Stephen Evans, Mark Banal, Mick Sansom, Marshall Wiblin, Jimmy Mars, Chris Carpenter, Darryl Hills.
Outside front-row starter Dale McDowell survived a few tense moments amid lapped traffic late in the first 10-lapper to hold off Jonathan Davenport. Davenport finished second ahead of polesitter Zack Dohm while Chris Madden got the final transfer spot. Third-starting Jimmy Owens spun between turns one and two on the last lap, costing him a shot at a transfer spot; he pulled off the track. Gary Stuhler was in transfer-spot contention in the one-lap shootout to the checkers, but appeared to shred a tire on the backstretch.
Finish: Dale McDowell, Jonathan Davenport, Zack Dohm, Chris Madden, Freddy Smith, Anthony Huber, Gary Stuhler, Lewis Hudson, Ty Myers, Jimmy Owens, Dan Schlieper, Freddie Carpenter, Bryan Lillibridge.
Steve Shaver of nearby Vienna, W.Va., gunning for his fourth straight victory at West Virginia Motor Speedway, topped 49 qualifiers Sunday for the 42nd annual Hillbilly 100. The night's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event pays $42,000 to the winner at the mammoth 5/8-mile oval.
Shaver credited father-and-son car owners Lee Roy and Kevin Rumley for providing a Rocket Chassis that has carried him to three victories worth $23,000 this season at WVMS.
"My job is pretty easy," Shaver said. "I just sit in there and hang on to the steering wheel."
Shaver spun a four on the heat-race inversion wheel, meaning he'll start outside the second row in the first heat race. Unofficially heat race polesitters are Zack Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va.; Bart Hartman of Zanesville, Ohio; Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa.; and Chris Wall of Springfield, La.
Heat race lineups
Row 6: Devin Friese, Keith Tish