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Daily Dirt 02/23/2024 17:07:13

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May 22
Lucas Oil Speedway,
Wheatland, MO
Sanction: Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association (Cowboy Classic) - $5,045
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated May 23, 7:33 am)
Bloomquist spoils Baker's bid for Wheatland upset
Cowboy Classic
  1. Scott Bloomquist
  2. Robert Baker
  3. Chris Simpson
  4. Don O'Neal
  5. Eddie Carrier Jr.
  6. Ryan Gustin
  7. Jared Landers
  8. Steve Francis
  9. Chad Simpson
  10. Jesse Stovall
  11. Rodney Sanders
  12. Bobby Pierce
  13. Shannon Babb
  14. Will Vaught
  15. Brian Shirley
  16. Dennis Erb Jr.
  17. Jason Papich
  18. Jack Sullivan
  19. Garrett Alberson
  20. John Blankenship
  21. Jason Bodenhamer
  22. Jimmy Owens
  23. Earl Pearson Jr.
  24. Tommy Weder Jr.
  25. Travis Dickes
  26. Terry Phillips
  27. Billy Moyer
  28. Jason Hughes
presented by
Joey Millard/thesportswire.net
Scott Bloomquist (0) goes around Robert Baker (17m) for the winning pass.
What won the race: Fourth-starting Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., overtook polesitter Robert Baker of Bryant, Ark., following a lap-37 restart and led the final eight circuits to collect $5,045 in the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association-sanctioned Cowboy Classic.
On the move: Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., climbed from 15th to finish fourth in the 45-lap main event.
Winner's sponsors: Bloomquist's self-designed race car is powered by a Durham Racing Engine with sponsorship from All Star Performance, Base Race Fuels, Hawkeye Trucking, Hoosier Racing Tire, Lucas Oil Products, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Penske Shocks, Sweet Manufacturing and Weld Racing Wheels.
Points chase: Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, entered the race with the MLRA points lead; he finished ninth.
Car count: 63
Fast qualifier: Robert Baker
Time: 15.637 seconds
Polesitter: Robert Baker
Heat race winners: Robert Baker, Jared Landers, Jesse Stovall, Scott Bloomquist, Brian Shirley, Shannon Babb
Consolation race winners: Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer, Will Vaught
Provisional starters: Travis Dickes, Terry Phillips, Jason Papich, Jason Bodenhamer
Next series race: May 23, Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO) $30,000
By Kevin Kovac
DirtonDirt.com senior writer

WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 22) — Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., appeared destined to become the victim of an absolutely monumental upset on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway — and then he went to the top of the racetrack.

Powering around the outside of the 3/8-mile oval, Bloomquist regained the lead from the unheralded Robert Baker of Bryant, Ark., on lap 37 and marched on to capture the 45-lap Midwest LateModel Racing Association-sanctioned Cowboy Classic that kicked off the 22nd annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com weekend.

Bloomquist, 50, initially passed Baker for the lead on lap 15, but Baker shocked the assemblage by sticking with Bloomquist and moving back in front on lap 34. Then Bloomquist’s high-side response — plus a caution flag on lap 36 — allowed the Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer to snuff out Baker’s underdog bid and claim the $5,045 winner’s share.

“He showed some good poise tonight,” Bloomquist said of Baker, a former open-wheel modified racer in just his third year of Dirt Late Model competition. “He did a good job, and he drove a really good race. It was all had to beat him.”

Baker, who turns 30 on May 28, settled for second place, .0690 of a second behind Bloomquist at the finish. Seventh-starter Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, surged into third place just before the lap-36 caution and finished there, 15th-starter Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., hustled forward to place fourth and Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., ran steadily throughout the distance to complete the top five.

In a race run in memory of late MLRA co-owner Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor, Bloomquist recorded his second career win at Lucas Oil Speedway with a determined rally. He refused to play along with the fairy-tale story being authored by Baker, who was gunning for by far the biggest victory of his young Dirt Late Model career.

“After he passed us for the lead we had to do something,” said Bloomquist, whose previous win at Wheatland came in a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on July 16, 2011. “I just knew I wasn’t as good in the middle as he was on the bottom, and I knew if I tried to pinch my car hard to stay on the very bottom I’d get a little loose. I just decided to roll in higher and carry a little momentum through the center of the corner.

“When we moved up we gained back towards him, and that’s why I knew when we started the race again (after the caution) that we were gonna focus on running up high.”

The triumph gave Bloomquist a big boost heading into remainder of the Show-Me 100 weekend, which includes time trials and heat races on Friday night and consolations ad the $30,000-to-win Lucas Oil Series headliner on Saturday evening.

“Tonight makes for a pretty good test session — and it’s nice taking a little bit of money also,” said Bloomquist, who won the Show-Me 100 a record five times when it was run at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway but counts a second-place finish in 2011 as his best run in the four years the race has been run at Wheatland. “I think I got enough laps under me now to know what’s gonna happen over a long run so I feel like I can make some real fine-tune adjustments now. I feel like I got a real good shot at it (on Saturday).”

Baker’s confidence for the season’s first crown-jewel event also rose thanks to his Thursday-night performance. The 2012 Comp Cams Super Dirt Series Rookie of the Year and a two-time winner on the tour last season, Baker entered the Show-Me 100 tuneup as an unknown commodity to most on hand but emerged as a serious contender after recording the night’s overall fastest qualifying lap, winning a heat race and going toe-to-toe with Bloomquist.

“We were pretty good since we unloaded. Just that late-race restart and experience got me — I was just too low and slow I guess. With some momentum from running higher, I think we could’ve done something.

“We were kind of throwing some marbles up there (to the top of the track) a little bit, and I’m not so sure that we didn’t roll in a few during that caution. It was kind of good up there for a few laps there and (Bloomquist) took advantage of it.

“If I could’ve done it over again maybe it would’ve been different,” he added, “but I’m not so sure that he wouldn’t have done the same thing if he was in front.”

Notes: Bloomquist, who drove a self-designed 2014 car, officially recorded his second career MLRA win. His other score was his 2011 victory at Lucas Oil Speedway that was co-sanctioned by MLRA. … Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, advanced from the 14th starting spot to finish sixth. … Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., climbed from the 11th starting spot to the verge of the top five before fading to 20th in the final rundown. … Every feature finisher’s payout ended with "45" to honor Cowboy Chancellor’s car number when he competed.

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