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Volusia Speedway Park

Bloomquist earns WoO sweep in Volusia finale

February 19, 2011, 5:12 pm
From series and staff reports
Scott Bloomquist celebrates Saturday's victory in the Volusia finale. (thesportswire.net)
Scott Bloomquist celebrates Saturday's victory in the Volusia finale. (thesportswire.net)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 19) — Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., completed an unprecedented sweep of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series events during the 40th DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, holding off Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., to capture Saturday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Volusia Speedway Park.

Duplicating his triumphant performance in the national tour’s season opener on Thursday night, Bloomquist advanced from the fourth starting spot to pass Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the lead on lap 31 and was never headed. He spent the final 15 circuits repelling intense pressure from Smith to become the first driver to win both WoO features that are annually part of the mid-winter racing extravaganza at the half-mile oval outside Daytona Beach. | Complete Speedweeks coverage

“This is a tough field,” Bloomquist said after pocketing $10,000 for his 21st WoO victory since 2004. “This is a tough place this week — very demanding on the car, drivers, engines. It feels good to do what we’ve done this week.”

Smith, 33, settled for his second consecutive runner-up WoO finish to the builder of his Team Zero by Bloomquist car. The winner of last year’s World of Outlaws finale during the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH was just 0.637 of a second behind Bloomquist at the checkered, nearly two seconds closer than he was at the end of Thursday night’s 50-lapper.

The 53-year-old Moyer slipped to third in the final rundown after surging forward from the third starting spot to lead laps 1-30. Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., who started 13th, scored a Volusia-best placing of fourth, WoO regular Rick Eckert of York, Pa., was fifth after starting seventh and 11th-starting Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., finished sixth.

Of the top six finishers, only Moyer was not behind the wheel of a Team Zero chassis constructed by Bloomquist. That fact added even more significance to Bloomquist’s victory.

“It makes me feel good,” said Bloomquist, who owns four career WoO victories at Volusia. “I think it pretty much takes any doubt away from anyone’s mind about the level that I try to help the guys who get our cars. I try to give as much advice and do as much as I can for them.

“If I would’ve gotten beat by one of my own cars, hey, so be it. I really like the group of guys that I’ve got and enjoy working with them, and I enjoy the respect that they give me back. I think when you see Team Zero you can see that it means something.”

Bloomquist, 47, had to withstand an especially strong assault from Smith, one of his customers. Smith, who started sixth, overtook Moyer for second on lap 33 and two circuits later began bidding for the lead.

Smith made repeated attempts to pass Bloomquist over the late stages of a race that ran caution-free from lap seven to the finish. He drew to the outside of Bloomquist at least twice and even got close enough to bump the rear bumper of the 2004 WoO champion’s car rounding turn four on lap 37, but Bloomquist stuck to the inside groove and didn’t make a mistake.

“I think I was faster on that end (turns three and four) but on this end (one and two) he was a little bit better than I was,” said Smith. “I could get in and to the middle better than him, but just coming off the corner, if you were up the racetrack, there was nothing there compared to what the bottom was. When you were on the bottom you could just mash the gas coming off the corner. The bottom had more traction than the middle or the top.

“I drove as hard as I could, that’s how I race,” he added. “But he’s Scott Bloomquist. There’s a reason he’s the best. He’s not gonna be easy to pass. I felt like we had a car that could do it, but at the same time I feel like I did everything I could do so maybe we were the second-place car.”

Bloomquist enjoyed engaging in a tight, down-to-the-wire battle with one of his boys.

“I think they all will race me as hard as I’ll race them,” said Bloomquist, whose car was powered by a Roush-Yates Ford engine. “None of us are gonna give anybody nothing, and that’s what I like. But we’re also not gonna take somebody out or race in a fashion that we consider wrong. I feel comfortable when I’ve got one of my guys behind me, but I also know I better not make a mistake either.”

Four caution flags and one red flag slowed the race — all during by lap seven.

The most significant crash was a multi-car incident on lap seven in which Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., rolled once in turn four but wasn’t injured. WoO regular Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., tour Rookie of the Year contender Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., and Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., were also involved in the tangle.

Finishing in positions 7-10 was Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who started 18th; two-time defending WoO champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who climbed as high as third from the eighth starting spot before getting shuffled backward on a lap-seven restart; 2010 WoO Rookie of the Year Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del.; and Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., who was the last driver on the lead lap at the checkered flag.

Finish: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Brady Smith, (3) Billy Moyer, (4) Dan Schlieper, (5) Rick Eckert, (6) Chris Madden, (7) Don O’Neal, (8) Josh Richards, (9) Austin Hubbard, (10) Brent Robinson, (11) Eddie Carrier Jr., (12) Clint Smith, (13) Dennis Erb Jr., (14) Jonathan Davenport, (15) Darrell Lanigan, (16) Tim McCreadie, (17) Tyler Reddick, (18) Tim Fuller, (19) Steve Francis, (20) Jason Feger, (21) Brandon Sheppard, (22) Chub Frank, (23) Shane Clanton, (24) Ricky Weiss, (25) Dan Stone, (26) Jack Sullivan, (27) Mike Marlar, (28) Pat Doar, (29) Jimmy Mars, (30) Ryan Unzicker. Fast qualifier (among 60 cars): Marlar, 16.142. Heat winners: Feger, Bloomquist, Sheppard, Moyer, Carrier, B. Smith. Consolation race winners: C. Smith, Lanigan, Marlar. Provisonal starters: Francis, Sullivan, Mars, Clanton, Fuller, Frank.

Blog-style reports of Saturday's preliminaries:

Mid-event notes

Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., was pretty happy following his heat race victory, especially after all the bad luck he’s had this week at Volusia. “We’ve had a pretty rough week over here,” Carrier said. “We’ve had a good car, just some bad luck. Hopefully we’ll turn that around tonight. If we just come out of here with a top five I’ll be happy, but maybe we can take that eagle (trophy) home tonight.”... Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., finally has his car dialed in at Volusia after enlisting the help of fellow Illinois driver Jason Feger. “We’ve been working on this thing the past few nights and we really figured some stuff out last night,” Sheppard said after winning the third heat race. “Jason Feger’s been helping me out. I think we’re gonna have a pretty good car tonight.” ... After missing the week’s first five races, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., advanced from fourth to second in his heat race, but a dead battery on the final lap left him coasting to a fourth-place finish. He battled side-by-side with Jonathan Davenport to win the second consolation race. ... Jimmy Mars was running in a transfer position in the same heat as Lanigan, but his engine blew on the final lap. He’ll use a UMP provisional and run Pat Doar’s backup car in the feature. ... Track crews reworked the racetrack after the Late Model consolation races.

Consolation races

Mike Marlar led every lap of the first consolation race, while Austin Hubbard held off Vic Coffey for second to transfer to the feature. Darrell Lanigan and Jonathan Davenport battled side-by-side for nearly the entire second consy, with Lanigan taking the victroy. Davenport finished second to also transfer. Clint Smith won the third consy while Dennis Erb Jr. finished second to also make the feature.

First consy: Mike Marlar, Austin Hubbard, Vic Coffey, Tyler Bruening, Jared Landers, Tim Fuller, Steve Francis, Dillan White, Brian Reese, John Mason, John Lobb, Ron Davies, Jack Sullivan, Jon Henry.
Second consy: Darrell Lanigan, Jonathan Davenport, Will Vaught, Chub Frank, Shane Clanton, Mason Zeigler, Larry Wight, Kent Robinson, Jill George, Jason McBride, Chad Hollenbeck, Russ King, John Garvin.
Third consy: Clint Smith, Dennis Erb Jr., Dale McDowell, John Blankenship, Eric Wells, Tyler Ivey, Boom Briggs, John Henderson, Brandon Thirlby, Mike Hammerle, Jerry Perine.

Sixth heat

Brady Smith took the lead on the start of the sixth heat race and led every lap for the victory. Fifth-starting Brent Robinson charged through the field early and moved by Don O'Neal for the second position midway through the race. He briefly closed the gap on Smith, but faded late and settled for second. The pole-starting O'Neal finished third.

Finish: Brady Smith, Brent Robinson, Don O'Neal, Dennis Erb Jr., John Blankenship, Dale McDowell, Tyler Ivey, John Henderson, Jerry Perine. Scratched: Casey Roberts.

Fifth heat

Eddie Carrier Jr. and Chris Madden spit polesitter Clint Smith on the first lap of the fifth heat race and battled side-by-side for the first two laps. Carrier took the position and held off repeated challenges from Madden the entire distance to take the win. Madden settled for second with fifth-starting Ryan Unzicker taking the third and final transfer position. Smith finished fourth.

Finish: Eddie Carrier Jr., Chris Madden, Ryan Unzicker, Clint Smith, Eric Wells, Earl Pearson Jr., Justin Rattliff, Brandon Thirlby, Boom Briggs, Mike Hammerle.

Fourth heat

Billy Moyer took the lead on the start of the fourth heat race and held off an early challenge from Tim McCreadie for the victory. McCreadie finished second while Pat Doar received an early Christmas gift in the form of a third place finish and a feature transfer. Darrell Lanigan moved by McCreadie for second with two laps remaining, but slowed exiting turn two on the final lap. Fourth-running Jimmy Mars assumed the third position, but his car slowed and came to a stop in turn four. That gave third to Doar while Lanigan coasted to a fourth-place finish.

Finish: Billy Moyer, Tim McCreadie, Pat Doar Darrell Lanigan, Will Vaught, Mason Zeigler, Larry Wight, John Garvin Jr., Chad Hollenbeck, Jimmy Mars.

Third heat

Brandon Sheppard moved to the lead on the start of the third heat and led every lap for the victory in the caution-free race. Fourth-starting Ricky Weiss moved by Jonathan Davenport midway through the race to take third and ran down Dan Stone for to claim the runner-up finish. Stone settled for third to also transfer to the feature.

Finish: Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Weiss, Dan Stone, Jonathan Davenport, Shane Clanton, Chub Frank, Kent Robinson, Russ King, Jill George, Jason McBride.

Second heat

Scott Bloomquist started from the pole and led every lap to win the second heat race. Tyler Reddick and Josh Richards battled hard for the second position with Richards taking the position at the finish. Reddick finished third to also transfer to the feature. Jared Landers got the jump from the outside pole on the first attempt to start the race, but the start was waved off and Landers was penelized for jumping the start and moved back a row. He finished sixth. The race's first caution appeared on lap five when Steve Francis and Ron Davies got together in turn two. John Lobb brought the caution out one lap later when he spun in turn four.

Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Josh Richards, Tyler Reddick, Austin Hubbard, Vic Coffey, Jared Landers, Steve Francis, Jack Sullivan, John Lobb, Ron Davies.

First heat

Jason Feger moved to the lead on the start of the first heat race and led every lap for his fourth heat race victory of the week. Rick Eckert chased Feger the entire distance and finished second. Dan Schliper finished in the third and final transfer position in the caution-free race. Mike Marlar started from the pole, but quickly faded out of the top three. He finished fourth.

Finish: Jason Feger, Rick Eckert, Dan Schlieper, Mike Marlar, Tim Fuller, Dillan White, Tyler Bruening, Jon Henry, John Mason, Brian Reese.

Qualifying

Mike Marlar of Winfield Tenn., was the fastest of 60 qualifiers during time trials for Saturday night’s DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH event at Volusia Speedway Park.

Marlar posted a lap of 16.142 seconds at the half-mile racetrack and will start from the pole of one of six heat races coming up. Unofficially the other heat race polesitters are: Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn.; Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill.; Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.; and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.

The top three finishers from each heat race will transfer to the 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature that pays $10,000 to the winner. Two drivers from each of three consolation races also transfer to the main event.

Moyer won Friday night’s $10,000-to-win UMP-sanctioned feature to become the first driver to win two features at Volusia this week. He also earned $7,000 for his victory Monday night. Bloomquist won Thursday’s $10,000-to-win World of Outlaws season opener. O’Neal and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., each won UMP-sanctioned events that paid $7,000 earlier in the week.

Heat race lineups

First heat
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Jason Feger
Row 2: Rick Eckert, Dan Schlieper
Row 3: Tim Fuller, Dillan White
Row 4: Brian Reese, Tyler Bruening
Row 5: John Henry, John Mason
Second heat
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Jared Landers
Row 2: Steve Francis, Tyler Reddick
Row 3: Josh Richards, Austin Hubbard
Row 4: Ron Davies, Vic Coffey
Row 5: John Lobb, Jack Sulllivan
Third heat
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Dan Stone
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Ricky Weiss
Row 3: Russ King, Shane Clanton
Row 4: Chub Frank, Kent Robinson
Row 5: Jason McBride, Jill George
Fourth heat
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Mars
Row 3: Will Vaught, Pat Doar
Row 4: Larry Wight, Mason Zeigler
Row 5: John Garvin, Chad Hollenbeck
Fifth heat
Row 1: Clint Smith, Chris Madden
Row 2: Eddie Carrier Jr., Earl Pearson Jr.,
Row 3: Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Thirlby
Row 4: Eric Wells, Justin Rattliff
Row 5: Boom Briggs, Mike Hammerle
Sixth heat
Row 1: Don O'Neal, Brady Smith
Row 2: John Henderson, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Brent Robinson, John Blankenship
Row 4: Casey Roberts, Dale McDowell
Row 5: Tyler Ivey, Jerry Perine

Pre-race notes

Former World of Outlaws champion Darrell Lanigan will compete at Volusia Saturday night after missing the week’s first five race’s due to illness. The Union, Ky., driver finished second to Josh Richards in the 2010 World of Outlaws standings. His bid to overtake Richards for the title in 2011 took a huge hit by missing Thursday night’s season opener. He did receive 60 hardship points for the missed event. ... Jason Feger’s crew swapped rear-ends in his Pierce Race Car and replaced right-side sheet metal after the Bloomington, Ill., driver broke an axel and got into the wall while leading Friday night’s feature. ... Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., and Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., both took Friday night off and are back in action Saturday. ... Rick Eckert’s crew swapped engines in his Bloomquist Race Car for Saturday night’s race after the York, Pa., driver’s engine didn’t run up to par during his second-place effort Friday night. ... Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., had mechanical issues during his heat race Friday night. He hopes repairs made by his crew have the problems solved. ... After Friday night’s racing produced a locked-down racing surface, World of Outlaws officials have added track maintenance breaks to Saturday night’s schedule. If necessary, the breaks will take place after Late Model heat races and consolation races.

Time trials (unofficial)

  1. Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn., 16.142
  2. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.175
  3. Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.195
  4. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.206
  5. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 16.26
  6. Don O'Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 16.265
  7. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 16.268
  8. Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 16.327
  9. Dan Stone (21d), Thompson, Pa., 16.33
  10. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.338
  11. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 16.342
  12. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 16.347
  13. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 16.397
  14. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 16.398
  15. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.42
  16. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 16.42
  17. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 16.428
  18. John Hendersin (2x), Aiken, S.C., 16.437
  19. Dan Schlieper (s9), Oak Creek, Wis., 16.438
  20. Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 16.441
  21. Ricky Weiss (7), St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba, 16.472
  22. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.512
  23. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.522
  24. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.522
  25. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 16.524
  26. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.526
  27. Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio, 16.529
  28. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 16.529
  29. Brent Robinson (3), Smithfield, Va., 16.531
  30. Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 16.531
  31. Dillan White (54), Crofton, Ky., 16.536
  32. Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del., 16.544
  33. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 16.551
  34. Pat Doar (11D), New Richmond, Wis., 16.568
  35. Brandon Thirlby (m14), Traverse City, Mich., 16.571
  36. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 16.589
  37. Brian Reese (33), Sharpsburg, Ga., 16.624
  38. Ron Davies (71D), Warren, Pa., 16.664
  39. Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.675
  40. Larry Wight (99L), Phoenix, N.Y., 16.681
  41. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 16.693
  42. Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 16.706
  43. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.716
  44. Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 16.749
  45. Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ill., 16.755
  46. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalkhill, Pa., 16.759
  47. Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 16.76
  48. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 16.775
  49. Jon Henry (15h), Ada, Ohio, 16.792
  50. John Lobb (1), Frewsburg, N.Y., 16.823
  51. Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 16.892
  52. John Garvin Jr. (4), Sarver, Pa., 16.929
  53. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 17.029
  54. Tyler Ivey (47), Tallahassee, Fla., 17.034
  55. John Mason (72), Millersburg, Ohio, 17.096
  56. Jack Sullivan (1s), Greenbrier, Ark., 17.143
  57. Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 17.195
  58. Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 17.444
  59. Mike Hammerle (16), St Charles, Mo., 18.111
  60. Jerry Perine (911), Lowell, Ohio, 19.449

Feature lineup

Row 1: Sheppard, Carrier
Row 2: Moyer, Bloomquist
Row 3: Feger, Smith
Row 4: Eckert, Richards
Row 5: Weiss, McCreadie
Row 6: Madden, Robinson
Row 7: Schlieper, Reddick
Row 8: Stone, Doar
Row 9: Unzicker, O'Neal
Row 10: Marlar, Lanigan
Row 11: Smith, Hubbard
Row 12: Davenport, Erb
Row 13: Francis, Clanton
Row 14: Mars, Sullivan
Row 15: Fuller, Frank

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