HAGERSTOWN, Md. (April 23) — Hagerstown Speedway’s crowd went wild for Gregg Satterlee on Saturday night — and he loved the adulation.
The 31-year-old driver from Indiana, Pa., deserved it, too, after pulling off a dramatic, final-circuit pass of Mooresburg, Tenn.’s Scott Bloomquist in the 60-lap Stanley Schetrompf Founders Day Classic to capture the most earth-shattering victory of his career.
Satterlee earned $12,000 for his first-ever triumph on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, which ran at the half-mile oval for the first time since 2013. The national tour’s scheduled events at Hagerstown were lost to bad weather in each of the last two years.
The circuit’s return to the track certainly couldn’t have produced a more spectacular finish. When Satterlee slipped underneath Bloomquist rounding turns one and two, surged ahead on the backstretch and turned back Bloomquist’s last-ditch bid to regain command through turns three and four, Hagerstown’s fans erupted in a roar audible over the sound of the race cars and gave Satterlee a rousing reception in victory lane.
“I’ve always wanted to win a Lucas Oil race,” Satterlee said after climbing out of his father Gary’s Durham-powered Rocket XR1 car. “We won a World of Outlaws (Craftsman Late Model Series) race (three in his career) but never were able to get a Lucas victory … it’s a stout group of cars, so to be able to win one and pass Bloomquist on the last lap, I don’t think you could write it any better than that.”
Bloomquist, 52, grabbed the lead from polesitter Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., on lap 15 and built as much as a half-straightaway edge midway through the race, but he settled for a runner-up finish in his Sweet-Bloomquist mount, 0.594 of a second behind Satterlee. The former Lucas Oil Series champion fell short of backing up his victory in the tour’s Bad Boy 98 one week earlier at Batesville Motor Speedway in Locust Grove, Ark.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., placed third in the Sweeteners Plus Longhorn Race Car after starting sixth for his best finish since Georgia-Florida Speedweeks. He climbed as high as second with a lap-35 restart pass of Satterlee but relinquished the spot back to the eventual winner after a lap-46 caution flag.
Lucas Oil Series points leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., advanced his K&L Rumley Longhorn forward from the 11th starting spot to reach fourth on lap 25 and finished in the position. Third-starter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., completed the top five in Paul Crowl’s Longhorn.
Satterlee started second, but was overtaken for the position by the fourth-starting Bloomquist on two and settled into third for the race’s early stages. After taking second on lap 22 from the fading Owens — who would ultimately finish eighth after leading laps 1-14 — Satterlee exchanged the spot with McCreadie on consecutive restarts before finally mounting a serious charge at Bloomquist.
“I knew if we got to lapped traffic, that was gonna be my only shot of getting by him,” Satterlee said of Bloomquist. “I was watching the lap board and I thought, I could still do this, I could still do it.
“It just worked out. It was just our night.”
Indeed, the final circuit played right into Satterlee’s hand. Bloomquist came upon the slower Colton Flinner of Allison Park, Pa., entering turn one and slid high, leaving Satterlee an opening to shoot by on the inside and lead the race’s most important lap.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Satterlee said. “It’s so hard to follow lapped cars here and not lose time, and (Bloomquist) just got a little bit crooked in the middle of (turns) one and two and I hit the entry just perfect. I went a little harder (into the corners) … I was gonna try to go above him and at the last second I decided I was gonna go below him.
“I don’t know, it was just one of those things … I just drove right by him.
“It definitely was exciting to pass Scott Bloomquist for the win on the last lap,” he added. “I’m probably not gonna get too many more chances to that in my career.”
Bloomquist was as surprised as anyone that Satterlee burst so quickly into the lead to snatch the race from the Hall of Famer’s grasp.
“I felt like we were taking off pretty good (on restarts) and I felt like we could hold our own,” said Bloomquist, who has never won a Lucas Oil Series-sanctioned event at Hagerstown. “We did have a pretty good roll going there (at mid-race) … it would’ve been hard probably to run us down, but I probably should’ve just locked in a little different line and been a little easier on my tires.
“It seemed like the longer we ran … it looks like the left-rear (tire) might have gave up a little bit. But (Satterlee) ran a good race … the tire was just giving up a little bit, and we just got in a little bit hot there (through turns one and two on the final lap). I should’ve stayed right on the bottom I guess … I didn’t know he was quite that close, but you know, s— happens.
“I knew when I got in (the corner on the last circuit) I was just out far enough and the lapped car got the air off my car a little bit and it got light,” he added. “It kind of got a little bit loose and floated longer than it had on any other lap, so I knew if he was close we were in trouble a little bit there. Then we saw him, and we took it off into (turn) three and four on the outside (in a last-ditch bid), which there wasn’t nothing out there. I just decided to see if there was anything at all left … but again, he ran a good race. Congratulations goes to him.”
Four caution flags slowed the feature. The first came on lap 22 for debris on the track. Subsequent yellow flags were needed on the lap-22 restart for Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., who pulled out of line in turn four and slowed; lap 35 for Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who fell off the pace between turns three and four; lap 46 for Dylan Yoder of Selinsgrove, Pa., who slowed with a flat left-front tire.
Notes: Satterlee became the 10th different winner in as many Lucas Oil Series events contested at Hagerstown since 2006. He also was the fourth driver to make Hagerstown the site of his first career Lucas Oil Series triumph, joining Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. (2006), Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. (2009) and John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va. (2012). … Hubbard was scheduled to start 15th in the feature but had to take the green flag at the rear because he pitted after rolling onto the track for the A-Main lineup. … Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., had worked his way forward from 17th to 10th when he retired on lap 32. … Alex Ferree of Saxonburg, Pa., pulled out of his heat race when his Bucky Johnson-owned Club 29 Race Car began to trail smoke. His crew found that it was only a valve cover gasket problem, but they did not have a replacement part along with them and couldn’t find one in the pit area so he scratched from the B-Main.