Portsmouth Raceway Park
Rebounding Bloomquist dominates at Portsmouth
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (July 2) — Shaking off a month of frustrating finishes and accidents, two-time series champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., got back on track Saturday at Portsmouth Raceway Park. The Hall of Famer dominated every lap of the Independence 50 for his series-leading 32nd career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.
A late caution set up a four-lap dash to the finish with series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., hot on his heels, but Bloomquist stayed in front of his fellow front-row starter for a victory in front of a record-setting crowd at the third-mile oval just north of the Ohio River.
"It sure feels good to get back to victory lane," said the 47-year-old polesitter, whose sixth victory of the season was his first since a four-in-a-row streak ended April 30. "We have torn up more stuff in the last month than I think I have in the last five years
"I saw Jimmy's number on the scoreboard running in second before that last restart, I knew I had a better car than him tonight. He's been pretty strong here lately, but our car was solid here tonight."
Eighth-starting Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was third followed Tim Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va. John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., improved five positions to finish fifth and Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., ran as high as fourth before settling for eighth.
Bloomquist grabbed the lead from the drop of the green and built a sizable lead up until the first caution of the race on lap 10. On the restart, Bloomquist led Pearson and Owens as Pearson stayed close to Bloomquist for a couple of circuits until the leader pulled away.
Bloomquist was in control of the race until a caution with four laps to go allowed Owens and Pearson to take their last cracks at him. Owens had regained the second spot from Pearson a lap before the caution flag, but he couldn't overtake Bloomquist in the race's final moments.
Notes: Bloomquist's self-designed Chassis has a Roush Yates Racing Engine and sponsorship from Base Racing Fuels, Ohlins Shocks and Miller Bros. Construction. ... Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., was the PBM Erson Cams Hard Charger with his 24th-to-10th run. ... The race was slowed by four cautions in all: Tyler Reddick (lap 10), debris (lap 16), Josh McGuire (lap 17) and Eric Wells (lap 46). ... Among drivers failing to make the main event: Mark Frazier, Greg Johnson, Paul Harris, Delmas Conley, Harold Redman Jr., Ben Adkins, Paul Davis, Devin Moran and Craig Vosbergen. ... Lucas Oil competitors head north for Sunday's $10,000-to-win event at Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio.
Independence 50: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Jimmy Owens, (3) Earl Pearson Jr., (4) Tim Dohm, (5) John Blankenship, (6) Bub McCool, (7) Steve Shaver, (8) Don O'Neal, (9) Dale McDowell, (10) Brad Neat, (11) Jared Landers, (12) Mike Marlar, (13) Eddie Carrier Jr., (14) Steve Francis, (15) Tyler Reddick, (16) Jason Montgomery, (17) Ray Cook, (18) Chris Wilson, (19) Frank Heckenast Jr., (20) Donnie Moran, (21) Chris Wall, (22) R.J. Conley, (23) Chad Smith, (24) Eric Wells, (25) Steve Casebolt, (26) Josh McGuire, (27) Doug Drown. Fast qualifier (among 49 cars): Bloomquist, 15.454 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, Montgomery, Shaver, Owens. Consolation winners: Marlar, Drown. Provisional starters: Francis, Neat, Wells, Reddick, R.J. Conley.