Muskingum County Speedway
Back in gear, Bloomquist completes sweep of Ohio
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (July 3) — Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., completed his dominating sweep of Ohio on Sunday night at Muskingum County Speedway, holding off Jimmy Owens and Earl Pearson Jr. for the second straight night on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. | Video
Bloomquist led all but the first three laps into racing to his series-leading eighth victory of the season and a $10,000 payday, following up a similar victory a night earlier at Portsmouth Raceway Park.
"The car was really great again tonight, it's great to come to tracks like this that is raceable and you can pass on," said Bloomquist, who continued a rebound from a patch of bad accidents and subpar finishes. "There was plenty of passing all night long here, the track was smooth and we could race anywhere on it.
"I never saw Jimmy's nose there at the end, so I knew I had it. The traffic was pretty hairy out there, but everyone raced each other clean and I hope the fans enjoyed the show. After the month we have had, to win two of these Lucas Oil races in a row against tough competition, I may give the crew a few days off before we head to Columbus next weekend."
Bloomquist will head to Magnolia Motor Speedway with a series-leading 33 career victories and 510 overall for his career.
The top three finishers duplicated Portsmouth's top three with Owens, of Newport, Tenn., in second to hold onto his series points lead. Pearson, of Jacksonville, Fla., was third while Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and 16th-starting Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., rounded out the top five finishers of the Budweiser 50. Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., led the first three laps but faded to seventh in a race held before the track's biggest-ever crowd.
Landers paced the field three circuits before Bloomquist took command, building a comfortable lead over Landers while Owens and Pearson battled for the third spot. Owens got the best of Pearson, then took the second spot from Landers on lap 13.
Bloomquist never let Owens draw close through most of the race, but with 10 laps remaining Owens drew within a car length on two occasions as the leader battled slower traffic. But Bloomquist kept Owens in check on his way to the checkered flag.
Notes: Bloomquist's self-designed chassis has a Roush Yates-built Ford powerplant with sponsorship from Base Racing Fuels, Miller Bros. Coal, Ohlins, Hoosier Tires, Lane Automotive and Arizona Sports Shirts. ... Bloomquist duplicated Earl Pearson Jr.'s Portsmouth-Muskingum sweep from a year ago. ... Pearson went on to win at Magnolia amid a four-race win streak. ... Among drivers failing to make the main event: John Mason, Mark Banal, Rick Bond, Jason Montgomery, Rod Conley, Brad Malcuit, Devin Moran, George Lee, Lance Elson and Rick Aukland. ... Next up for Lucas Oil competitors is a $20,000-to-win event at Magnolia Motor Speedway near Columbus, Miss., on July 8-9.
Budweiser 50: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Jimmy Owens, (3) Earl Pearson Jr., (4) Mike Marlar, (5) Steve Shaver, (6) Don O'Neal, (7) Jared Landers, (8) Donnie Moran, (9) Eddie Carrier Jr., (10) John Blankenship, (11) Josh McGuire, (12) Ray Cook, (13) Zack Dohm, (14) Dale McDowell, (15) Tim Dohm, (16) Steve Francis, (17) Bub McCool, (18) Brad Neat, (19) Jared Hawkins, (20) Tyler Reddick, (21) Devin Moran, (22) Frank Heckenast Jr., (23) Cody Parker, (24) Eric Wells, (25) Steve Casebolt, (26) Todd Brennan, (27) Doug Dodd. Fast qualifier (among 52 cars): Francis, 15.826 seconds. Heat race winners: Owens, Marlar, Landers, Bloomquist. Consolation winners: Parker, Casebolt.