ATTICA, Ohio — A resurgent Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., ruled Attica Raceway Park on Friday to race to his first three-race winning streak on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series since 2011.
Bloomquist took the lead from Steve Casebolt on the 10th lap and, other than a few restarts, wasn’t seriously challenged on Detroit Chocolat Night in repeating his Lucas Oil Series victory from last season at Attica. Bloomquist’s 59th career series victory and 553rd overall of his career paid $10,000 as he took the checkers ahead of Indiana drivers Casebolt of Richmond and Don O’Neal of Martinsville. Former series champs Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Earl Pearson Jr of Jacksonville, Fla., rounded out the top five.
Bloomquist continued chipping away at the series points lead of Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who finished eighth.
“We’re up for this (championship run) … we just don’t need any more bad luck,” Bloomquist said. “We had that race in Batesville won and would have gotten us really close. We’re creeping up on it. We had such a bad start to the year. Jonathan’s been running extremely well … we just need to step it up.”
Bloomquist and Davenport had a scrape in the fourth heat, but Bloomquist survived to come out on top.
“In that heat race … something else got damaged on the car beside just the body. We got that fixed. The toe-out was alright, but I think it did something else because a number of times I had a catch in the steering and it would catch, it would hold itself in one spot. We’ll change that out and send it back to Randy Sweet and he’ll fix it and we’ll keep on trucking.”
Casebolt, a winner earlier this season at Attica, stayed within striking distances after leading laps five through nine, but he couldn’t overtake the winner in traffic.
“Scott and Davenport and Owens and these guys have set the bar so high they’ve left us no choice but to try some different things and we did … everyone in the pits is doing that,” Casebolt said. "The fans in this area should be proud to have a racetrack like this. We really enjoy coming over here to race. My car owner Tye Twarog lives over here in Ohio, so it's always good to have a good finish for him.
“I was making up ground on Scott until that yellow. It was weird … we’d run him down and keep up with him and then he’d run off, kind of like a yo-yo effect and I don’t know why. I tried all over the racetrack and my car seemed about equal.”
O’Neal, who was third the previous weekend in Lawrenceburg, Ind., posted his first back-to-back top-five finishes on the tour since May 1-2.
“Two weekends in a row to finish in the top three the way we struggled middle of the summer, we’re making gains,” O’Neal said of his Barry Wright house car for Clint Bowyer Racing.
Casebolt and Devin Moran brought the field to green for the 50-lapper with Moran leading Casebolt, Bloomquist, Steve Francis and Eddie Carrier Jr. early. Casebolt challenged Moran lap after lap, with Bloomquist joining the battle. Casebolt took the lead on lap five with Moran and Bloomquist in pursuit.
A Jon Henry spin on lap seven bunched the field and Bloomquist drove around Moran for second on the restart and began pressuring Casebolt. Carrier took third from Moran on the ninth lap, but Moran, Owens, O’Neal and Francis battled throughout the main event. Bloomquist overtook Casebolt on the 10th lap and steadily pulled away.
Meanwhile, the race for third was a dandy with Carrier, Moran, Owens and O’Neal battling. Moran would move back into third on lap 19 as the leaders prepared to race into lapped traffic. The caution flew on lap 27 for Chris Keller with this running order: Bloomquist, Casebolt, Moran, Owens, O’Neal, Carrier and the 12th-starting Davenport.
When the green flew again, so did Bloomquist. Only a caution for Rocky Owens on lap 35 would slow his march to the checkers. On the restart Bloomquist pulled away while Casebolt as O’Neal came to life and raced into third. As Bloomquist drove away, Casebolt had his hands full with O’Neal and Owens. Bloomquist would took the checkers about four lengths ahead of Casebolt.