IMPERIAL, Pa. (Aug. 28) — Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was perfect on Friday night at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, setting fast time and winning a heat race to earn the pole position for Saturday night's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Pittsburgher 100.
A four-time winner of the Pittsburgher 100, Bloomquist beat a fast-closing Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., to the finish line in the first of four 10-lap heat races to secure the right to lead the field to the green flag in the 100-lap feature. He will gun for his second Pittsburgher victory in the last three years.
Also capturing heats were Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Lucas Oil Series points leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who made the biggest charge of the prelims in vaulting from the third starting spot to the lead at the initial green flag. The trio will start second, third and fourth,, respectively, in the $20,000-to-win A-Main.
“Tomorrow will be a good race,” said Bloomquist, who enters the event hot off a Lucas Oil Series victory on Aug. 22 at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway. “It looks like Jonathan’s running pretty good, Jimmy’s running good — right now the three of us are all gonna make a good race of this.”
The 51-year-old Bloomquist foresees an interesting century grind thanks to the Lucas Oil Series regulations mandating the use of softer tires on all corners of the car except the right-rear.
“The tire rule we’ve gotta run under throws a little curve to it,” said Bloomquist, who prior to capturing the Pittsburgher 100 for the fourth time in 2013 previously topped the race in 1989, ’93 and ’95. “You’re gonna have to be pretty easy on some stuff. Normally I think for this race you’d run all hard tires, but we can’t run but one, on the right-rear, so that’s definitely gonna change the race a little bit.
“A lot of races this year it’s been that problem for us — because we run on the right-front so much and run a lot straighter than most guys, to have to sit and crutch a soft right-front tire we have to start playing with our setups. But right now, the car’s good, the engine’s running good … hopefully we’ll be there at the end tomorrow.”
There were no incidents during the heat races, which saw Owens easily outdistance Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.; Richards top Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., by several car lengths; and Davenport storm to the checkered flag over Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.
Saturday’s racing program is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Two B-Mains are slated to precede the Pittsburgher 100.
(12 laps; top 3 transfer)
Row 1: Gregg Satterlee, Don O’Neal
Row 2: Tommy Beck, Alex Ferree
Row 3: Dan Angelicchio, Steve Baker
Row 4: Tony Mussolini, John Flinner
Row 5: Keith Barbara, Derek Stefanick
Row 1: Kent Robinson, Jared Miley
Row 2: Devin Moran, Mason Zeigler
Row 3: Colton Flinner, Austin Hubbard
Row 4: Michael Davis, Tim Shaffer
Row 5: Jon Hodgkiss, Mike Pegher Jr.
Heat race results
First heat finish (top 4 transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis, Mike Marlar, Brandon Burgoon, Gregg Satterlee, Tommy Beck, Dan Angelicchio, Tony Mussolini.
Second heat finish (top 4 transfer): Jimmy Owens, Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Russ King, Don O’Neal, Alex Ferree, Steve Baker, John Flinner, Derek Stefanick.
Third heat finish (top 4 transfer): Josh Richards, Jared Landers, Chris Brown, Eddie Carrier Jr., Kent Robinson, Devin Moran, Michael Davis, Colton Flinner, Jon Hodgkiss.
Fourth heat finish (top 4 transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Earl Pearson Jr., Davey Johnson, Jackie Boggs, Jared Miley, Mason Zeigler, Austin Hubbard, Tim Shaffer, Mike Pegher Jr.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top 4 transfer)
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Brandon Burgoon, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Steve Francis, Keith Barbara
Row 4: Tony Mussolini, Tommy Beck
Row 5: Dan Angelicchio
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Dennis Erb jr., Alex Ferree
Row 3: Steve Baker, Don O’Neal
Row 4: Russ King, John Flinner
Row 5: Derek Stefanick
Row 1: Josh Richards, Jared Landers
Row 2: Chris Brown, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 3: Kent Robinson, Devin Moran
Row 4: Michael Davis, Colton Flinner
Row 5: Jon Hodgkiss
Row 1: Earl Pearson Jr., Tim Shaffer
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Davey Johnson
Row 3: Jackie Boggs, Mason Zeigler
Row 4: Jared Miley, Mike Pegher Jr.
Row 5: Austin Hubbard
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 18.376
Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 18.442
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 18.525
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 18.559
Brandon Burgoon (02), McDonald, Pa., 18.58
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 18.712
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 18.733
Alex Ferree (10), Saxonburg, Pa., 18.801
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 18.966
Steve Baker (0), Fairmont, W.Va., 18.977
Keith Barbara (17b), South Park, Pa., 18.994
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 19.017
Tony Musolino (36), Scott Township, Pa., 19.118
Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio, 19.511
Tommy Beck (91), Jeannette, Pa., 19.535
John Flinner Jr. (48), Zelionople, Pa., 19.599
Dan Angelicchio (14), Greensburg, Pa., 19.61
Derek Stefanick (44G), Oakdale, Pa., 20.574
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 18.434
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 18.439
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 18.511
Tim Shaffer (47), Aliquippa, Pa., 18.602
Chris Brown (21b), Spring, Texas, 18.667
Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., 18.708
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 18.722
Davey Johnson (1J), Latrobe, Pa., 18.729
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 18.783
Jackie Boggs (4b), Grayson, Ky., 18.842
Devin Moran (99M), Dresden, Ohio, 18.958
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 19.092
Michael Davis (7M), Rayland, Ohio, 19.419
Jared Miley (H1), South Park, Pa., 19.589
Colton Flinner (75), Allison Park, Pa., 19.627
Mike Pegher Jr. (27), Wexford, Pa., 19.784
Jon Hodgkiss (69), Kennedy Twp., Pa., 20.008
Austin Hubbard (11), Seaford, Del., 20.487