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Daily Dirt 02/22/2024 01:04:13

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September 8
Eldora Speedway,
Rossburg, OH
Sanction: DIRTcar Supers (51st World 100 Group A prelim) - $10,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated September 9, 8:07 am)
Johnny Scott wins $10,000 World 100 prelim
51st World 100 Group A prelim
  1. Johnny Scott
  2. Nick Hoffman
  3. Brandon Sheppard
  4. Bobby Pierce
  5. Jonathan Davenport
  6. Brandon Overton
  7. Chris Madden
  8. Chris Ferguson
  9. Ryan Gustin
  10. Kyle Bronson
  11. Tyler Erb
  12. Kyle Larson
  13. Zack Dohm
  14. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  15. Dennis Erb Jr.
  16. Scott Bloomquist
  17. Mason Zeigler
  18. Stormy Scott
  19. Joseph Joiner
  20. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  21. Jimmy Mars
  22. Josh Richards
  23. Kyle Strickler
  24. Robby Hensley
presented by
Zach Yost
Johnny Scott wins his lone Late Model feature of 2021.
What won the race: Johnny Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., led all 25 laps Wednesday at Eldora Speedway for a $10,000 victory in the opening preliminary feature for the 51st annual World 100.
Key notes: The season's most prestigious Dirt Late Model weekend is live at FloRacing. ... With the cancellation of the 2020 World 100 because of pandemic restrictions, Eldora will host two World 100s this week, two separate two-day events programs with prelims and a $54,000-to-win, 100-lap feature (51st World 100) set for Wednesday-Thursday followed by a new show including prelims and a $53,000-to-win (50th World 100) feature on Friday-Saturday. … World 100 entries are split into Groups A and B at the conclusion of the draw on Wednesday with two complete race programs. ... Points accrued during Wednesday’s time trials, heats and the $10,000-to-win prelim feature set heat race lineups ahead of Thursday’s $54,000-to-win main event.
On the move: Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., saw his four-race winning streak at Eldora end but started 12th and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Scott’s Rancho Milagro Racing Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Mesilla Valley Transportation, Top of the World Ranch, Bilstein VP Racing Fuels, Eagle Moon Hemp and KBC Graphix.
Points chase: Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., leads DIRTcar weekly points.
Current weather: Few Clouds, 68°F
Car count: 80
Fast qualifier: Kyle Strickler
Time: 15.426 seconds
Polesitter: Nick Hoffman
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Nick Hoffman, Jonathan Davenport
Consolation race winners: Stormy Scott
Next series race: September 9, Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH) $54,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

ROSSBURG, Ohio — Without a top-10 finish in his Late Model since February and struggling during August, Johnny Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., was about ready to call it a season. It's a good thing he didn't.

Starting outside the front row Wednesday at Eldora Speedway, the 31-year-old driver led all 25 laps of a caution-free event in racing to the biggest win of his career with a $10,000 victory in a preliminary feature for the 51st annual World 100.

"This is crazy. It definitely exceeded my expectations for sure. Last time we came (to) them double Dreams we didn't make either big race," Scott said, recounting his summer difficulties and crediting his crew during his season of part-time Late Model action. "It's been a long road, man. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to go back home. I was over it. These guys talked me into staying out and keep doing it."

Starting outside the front row, Scott kept pole-starting Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., in check throughout the eight-minute affair and edged away to win by 2.075 seconds at the checkers. Hoffman, competing as a teammate to Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist, settled for second with Rocket Chassis house car driver Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., in third. Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., improved four sports for fourth and three-time World 100 winner Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., rounded out the top five.

Finishing sixth was Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., who was unbeaten in four nights of double Dream action at Eldora in June. Overton gained six positions in the 25-lapper in seeing his incredible Big E winning streak come to an end.

Scott, a former United States Modified Touring Series champion who notched his third career Late Model victory, already made his weekend in the first of four nights of double-World 100 action at the Tony Stewart-owned oval.

"This is huge. If we don't qualify for another race the rest of the weekend, I'm totally content with this win," said Scott, whose twin brother Stormy Scott finished 18th.

Traffic posed a few problems for the winner, but he kept plugging away in the final laps.

"I knew when I got to them lapped cars, I slowed down a lot. The dirty air here, you just can't get to them guys, so I just tried to keep running my same line and hit my marks. I didn't really have nobody signaling, so I didn't know where to go really. I just stayed in the middle and just held on and it worked out for us, thank God," Scott said. "This is huge. If you ask anybody here in the pits, when you come here to Eldora, it a whole another animal. Honestly, I didn't think I was ever going to win here. So this is unreal. I'm really at a loss for words."

Hoffman, whose teammate Bloomquist was 16th, couldn't track down Scott late in the race.

"Scott's stuff rolls around here pretty nice and we knew that coming into this weekend," said Hoffman, a champion modified racer like Scott. "I just had to put together all my laps there. With four (laps) to go there, I felt like I kind of gave it up and got a little tight. One thing was catching him, another thing was trying to pass him. But it felt like I had a really good car (and) going into tomorrow I'm pretty pumped up.

"We'll have a whole different track surface here tomorrow, I'm sure, and we'll just have to tune to it."

Sheppard was looking at the big picture after landing on the podium in the opening night of action, calling the performance "very promising" for his World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series-leading team.

"I was just talking to (car owner) Mark (Richards) and I think that's the first prelim that we've really felt good about in a while," Sheppard said. "Usually it takes us until Saturday to get decent. Man, our car's been really good the past month or two (and) Mark and the guys have been working their tails off trying to get it there. They've just been putting in the hours and putting in the work and we've been working on our program and we've got it really good right now.

"I feel really good. For as slick as the track was, we were down racing in the middle-bottom and, you know, a lot of times we're married to the cushion here. So I feel like our car's really good (and) the motor ran flawless."

Preliminary notes and results:

Feature lineup

Row 1: Nick Hoffman, Johnny Scott
Row 2: Chris Madden, Ryan Gustin
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Jonathan Davenport
Row 4: Kyle Bronson, Bobby Pierce
Row 5: Chris Ferguson, Kyle Strickler
Row 6: Jimmy Mars, Brandon Overton
Row 7: Ricky Thornton Jr., Kyle Larson
Row 8: Scott Bloomquist, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 9: Tyler Erb, Joseph Joiner
Row 10: Robby Hensley, Zack Dohm
Row 11: Stormy Scott, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 12: Josh Richards, Mason Zeigler

Pre-feature notes

Jonathan Davenport, the winner of the last World 100 in 2019 (as well as a preliminary feature victor that year), starts sixth in the feature after winning the fourth heat. … Brandon Sheppard sensed the Eldora track surface was already changing as he drove to victory in the first heat. “It’s definitely gonna get slick quick here,” he said, “and it’s gonna make it tricky to race on.” … Bobby Pierce shot his Scooby Doo-themed car from third to first on the opening lap en route to capturing the second heat. “It looked like (polesitter) Joseph (Joinier) spun the tires down there coming to green and I was down there in the moisture (to surge ahead),” Pierce commented. … Joiner went on to finish fifth, transferring to the feature in his first-ever Eldora start. … Nick Hoffman might have driven his Scott Bloomquist Racing Team Zero car to victory in the third heat, but he wasn’t pleased with his performance. “I didn’t feel very good,” said Hoffman, who starts the feature from the pole position. “We’ve got to go to work and get better for the feature.” … Tyler Erb crossed the finish line third in the first prelim, but officials set him back to fifth in the finishing for moving out of line through turns three and four heading to the green flag. … Brandon Overton recovered from a poor qualifying run (24th fastest) to place third in Heat 4, but he was the slowest of the four third-place finishers and thus didn’t make the top-10 inversion for the feature. He will start 12th. … Scott James thought he might be done for the week after failing to log a qualifying lap because he broke a valve spring and push rod in his car’s engine, but his buddy Robby Hensley made sure he wouldn’t be a spectator. “He said, ‘You’re not sitting all weekend,’” James said of Hensley, who is parked next to James in the pit area and offered the Indiana driver his 454 Pro Power engine to bolt in his car for the rest of the weekend. James scratched from Wednesday’s action but plans to be back on Thursday.

B-main results

(12 laps, top four transfer)

Finish: Stormy Scott, Frank Heckenast Jr., Josh Richards, Mason Zeigler, Chris Simpson, Jerry Bowersock, Austin Kirkpatrik, Travis Stemler, Max Blair, Jason Feger, Tim Lance, Garrett Smith, Caleb Burgess, Gordy Gundaker. Scratched: Cory Hedgecock, Jason Riggs, Jeff Curl, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Michael Page, Scott James.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top five transfer)

First heat: Brandon Sheppard, Johnny Scott, Kyle Strickler, Ricky Thornton Jr., Tyler Erb-x, Frank Heckenast Jr., Chris Simpson, Gordy Gundaker, Tim Lance, Caleb Burgess.
x-docked two positions for falling out of line on a restart

Second heat: Bobby Pierce, Ryan Gustin, Jimmy Mars, Kyle Larson, Joseph Joiner, Stormy Scott, Cory Hedgecock, Garrett Smith, Jason Riggs. Scratched: Jimmy Sharpe Jr.

Third heat: Nick Hoffman Chris Madden, Kyle Bronson, Scott Bloomquist, Robby Hensley, Mason Zeigler, Max Blair, Austin Kirkpatrick, Jason Feger. Scratched: Michael Page.

Fourth heat: Jonathan Davenport, Chris Ferguson, Brandon Overton, Dennis Erb Jr., Zack Dohm, Josh Richards, Travis Stemler, Jerry Bowersock, Jeff Curl. Scratched: Scott James.

Correction: Fixes third-place finisher in third heat.

Pre-race notes

Who’s driving the unfamiliar No. 66 car on the Eldora entry list? That would Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., who is deviating from his usual No. 40b to run a throwback scheme honoring veteran car owner Jack Nowling of Riverview, Fla. The hood of Bronson’s XR1 Rocket features the star-studded list of 37 drivers who drove a sprint car for Nowling over the years — a list that includes Bronson’s uncle and team owner Wayne Hammond, who three decades ago won a Thursday Night Thunder asphalt sprint car race on ESPN in Nowling’s mount. … Zack Dohm is debuting a new Longhorn Chassis. The second generation racer from Cross Lanes, W.Va., hasn’t raced many Super Late Models events since logging finishes of eighth and 23rd in June’s two Dream features because his family-owned team was down to one engine while waiting for two other powerplants to be refreshed by engine builder Vic Hill. The new car is carrying the first of the two engines to come back from Hill; it’s a standard-bore engine that Dohm expects to be underpowered for qualifying but should be more competitive as the track slicks off throughout each night. … Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn. — sporting those colorful pants he wore in his Road to Eldora interviews on FloRacing and DirtonDirt.com — is making his first start since July 24 at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., where a loss of feeling in his right leg and foot prompted him to take a break from competition and install Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., as his fill-in. Hoffman is running as Bloomquist’s teammate this week. … NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., is among a handful of teams parked in Eldora’s upper pit area. He is only racing on Wednesday and Thursday due to his NASCAR commitments this weekend at Richmond, Va. … Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., has a special World 100 wrap featuring characters from the Scooby Doo cartoons. … There’s already something different from June for Dreams dominator Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga. — he’s parked in a different spot. Overton’s crew member, Kent Fegter, said they had hoped to put their hauler in the same spot on the inside of turn four where the spent June’s Dreams, but they weren’t in line early enough so they’re parked on the back row of the infield toward turn two instead. … Austin Kirkpatrick of Ocala, Fla., is anxious to return to action with a brand-new homebuilt AK Race Car that he constructed after destroying his previous machine in a wreck during June’s Dreams. He hasn’t raced since then as he’s put all his focus on preparing his mount for Eldora. … Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., is making his second start in a new Longhorn Race Car that he debuted in Sunday’s Baltes Classic. … Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., smacked the outside wall during hot laps, damaging the right-front corner of his XR1 Rocket.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)

  1. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 15.426
  2. Kyle Larson (6), Elk Grove, Calif., 15.507
  3. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.519
  4. Chris Ferguson (22F), Mount Holly, N.C., 15.633
  5. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 15.730
  6. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.804
  7. Kyle Bronson (66), Brandon, Fla., 15.826
  8. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.836
  9. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 15.889
  10. Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 15.908
  11. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.954
  12. Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 15.974
  13. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.987
  14. Joseph Joiner (10), Milton, Fla., 16.022
  15. Nick Hoffman (ONH), Mooresville, N.C., 16.053
  16. Zack Dohm (17), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 16.067
  17. Tyler Erb (1T), New Waverly, Texas, 16.118
  18. Jimmy Mars (28M), Menomonie, Wis., 16.136
  19. Austin Kirkpatrick (11K), Ocala, Fla., 16.195
  20. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.229
  21. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.301
  22. Garrett Smith (10s), Eatonton, Ga., 16.315
  23. Max Blair (111), Centerville, Pa., 16.335
  24. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 16.341
  25. Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 16.383
  26. Jason Riggs (81), Harrisburg, Ill., 16.433
  27. Robby Hensley (21), Walton, Ky., 16.469
  28. Jerry Bowersock (95), Wapakoneta, Ohio, 16.475
  29. Chris Simpson (32S), Oxford, Iowa, 16.484
  30. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.527
  31. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.631
  32. Travis Stemler (4), Ionia, Mich., 16.707
  33. Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 16.728
  34. Cory Hedgecock (23H), Loudon, Tenn., 16.831
  35. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 17.152
  36. Jeff Curl (12), Fairbury, Ill., 17.656
  37. Caleb Burgess (29B), Batavia, Ohio, 18.097
  38. Jimmy Sharpe Jr. (26jr), Vidalia, Ga., no time
  39. Michael Page (18x), Douglasville, Ga., no time
  40. Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., no time

Wednesday's schedule

11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Technical inspection for Late Models
Noon: All admission gates/suites/concessions open
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps
- Time trials
8 p.m.: Racing begins
- Heats
- Consolation races
- Two $10,000-to-win 25-lap features

Feature lineup

Row 1: Hoffman, J. Scott
Row 2: Madden, Gustin
Row 3: Sheppard, Davenport
Row 4: Bronson, Pierce
Row 5: Ferguson, Strickler
Row 6: Mars, Overton
Row 7: Thornton Jr., Larson
Row 8: Bloomquist, D. Erb Jr.
Row 9: T. Erb, Joiner
Row 10: Hensley, Dohm
Row 11: S. Scott, Heckenast Jr.
Row 12: Richards, Zeigler

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