Virginia Motor Speedway
Bloomquist's USA 100 win gives him series lead
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
JAMAICA, Va. (Sept. 18) – Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., outdueled polesitter Steve Francis in the early going of Sunday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned USA 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway and was out front when rain forced track and series officials to cut short the 50-lapper with 31 laps complete. | Slideshow | Video
Bloomquist, the two-time defending Lucas Oil Series champion, earned $15,000 for his 13th series victory of the season, while also overtaking Jimmy Owens in the tour’s points standings.
Francis took the lead on the start and had two stints out front before Bloomquist took over for good while the two battled through slower traffic on lap 24. Francis held on to the second position as Bloomquist began to pull away before rain started to fall over the half-mile racetrack.
Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., finished third while Owens advanced from the 10th starting position to finish fourth. Jamie Lanthroum of Mechanicsville, Md., rounded out the race’s top five finishers.
Bloomquist, who also won Friday night’s Lucas Oil Series event at Winchester (Va.) Speedway, completed a sweep of the tour’s doubleheader weekend and now holds a 30-point advantage over Owens.
"It sounds good to win both of these races; we had never won at either of these tracks,” Bloomquist said. “We knew we would get one eventually, the car was good all day, it was a little hard to pass in the heat race. The tire set up we chose worked great for getting to the bottom and get something done down there.”
Francis, who has had an up-and-down season on the Lucas Oil tour, was happy with his runner-up finish, but wished he could have held on for just a few more laps.
"We had a real good car today, we went with the smaller motor thinking the track would slick up some and it did,” Francis said. “I tried to hold my line there. If we just could have kept the lead for about five more laps we would've won, but once Scott got by me, I knew I was in trouble."
Marlar was also pleased with his strong run in his new ride with the Georgia-based Bryson Motorsports, but he would’ve preferred to have ran the race’s final 19 laps.
"To finish third to these guys, it is quite an accomplishment,” Marlar said. “We'll take third and go to the next race, I was just waiting for the final 20 laps, and I felt like we had a car that could've won."
Completing the top 10 finishers were John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va.; Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va.; Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa.; and Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa.
Notes: Bloomquist's self-designed race car is powered by a Roush Yates engine with sponsorship from Base Racing Fuels, Ohlins, Miller Bros. Construction and Sweet Mfg. ... The race was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but was pushed back to Sunday due to rain. ... The event used a unique preliminary format, with two 25-lap qualifying races used instead of heat races. ... The victory gives Bloomquist a series-leading 39 victories for his career. ... The Lucas Oil Series heads to Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway Sept. 23-24 with $20,000 up for grabs in the 32nd annual Jackson 100.
USA 100: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Steve Francis, (3) Mike Marlar, (4) Jimmy Owens, (5) Jamie Lathroum, (6) John Blankenship, (7) Steve Shaver, (8) Don O’Neal, (9) Jason Covert, (10) Dan Stone, (11) Ricky Elliott, (12) Jared Landers, (13) Gary Stuhler, (14) Eric Wells, (15) Steve Casebolt, (16) Tyler Reddick, (17) Dale McDowell, (18) Kenny Moreland, (19) Brad Neat, (20) Ray Cook, (21) Mark PettyJohn, (22) Roland Mann, (23) Earl Pearson Jr., (24) Walker Arthur. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Marlar 17.363 seconds. Heat race winners: Francis, Marlar. Consolation race winners: Stuhler, Arthur. Provisional starters: Elliott, Mann.