SARVER, Pa. (June 25) — Edging ahead of race leader Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., on lap 54 of 100, eighth-starting Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., led the remaining circuits, stretching his lead in lapped traffic for his third career Firecracker 100 victory at Lernerville Speedway. He earned a $30,000 payday.
Rolling off from the second-starting spot, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag, entering lapped traffic by lap 15. Successfully navigating lapped cars, third-starting Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., shot past McCreadie down the backstretch, assuming the point on lap 17.
McDowell stretched his lead in the early running, with Bloomquist reeling in the race leader near the halfway mark. The pair crossed the line side-by-side on lap 49, with Bloomquist pulling ahead for good five laps later. The Hall of Famer distanced himself from second-running Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., late in the race to capture his 30th career World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory.
“The car was really good,” Bloomquist said after the race. “The engine was smooth. Everything was smooth once the race started. I didn’t have to get too ridiculous, but I know I probably covered every inch of that racetrack.
“I didn’t want to take the lead too early. But you also don’t want to put yourself in a position on the double-file restarts to end up back another spot. Once I got in second, I chose the inside and it worked out fine for us. I was running a different line than Dale (McDowell). I’d followed him enough, I felt real confident I could get the lead. I found what I considered to be the best line once I took the lead.”
Blomquist’s victory comes just days after DIRTcar Racing announced him as one of five drivers receiving a suspension and other penalties because of failed tire tests from Eldora Speedway’s June 9-11 Dream XXII.
“I was in Texas on Monday, and I didn’t event have a clue any of this stuff was going on,” Bloomquist said. “I found out about it when everyone else did. That was pretty disappointing. That’s the last thing I expected. When I heard, I was like, ‘What next?’
"It’s not just me. And I’m not making this out to be like anyone was singled out. I don’t think I was singled out. I don’t think the others were singled out. I just believe, from what I understand, this isn’t about something that was added to a tire. This is about something that the lab said was missing from a tire. What they need to pull out is the person doing the testing and sample them."
Advancing from the fifth-starting spot, Richards finished runner-up, with McDowell settling for third. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., charged from the 14th starting position to run fourth, with Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who had to relinquish his scheduled sixth starting and take the green from the 28th position because he failed to make it to the track for driver introductions, rallying from the tail of the field for salvage a top-five finish.
“We had a great week,” Richards said in victory lane. “We just lacked just a little bit. Scott could turn ever-so-slightly better. That was the difference in winning. He did a great job. We were off a little bit, but I’m still glad that we were that close at the end. We still had a good week.”
After leading early, McDowell slipped to finish third, but overall he said he was pleased with his Firecracker weekend.
“We’ve struggled all weekend on forward drive,” McDowell said after the race. “Shane, my brother, has been working his tail off switching things and working on the car, so we at least went in a positive direction tonight. We were better when there was a little bit of spotty traction, and once that was gone, I think Scott was definitely a little better. We’ll keep working on it and see if we can do better next week."
Notes: Bloomquist previously won the event in 2007 and 2012. ... The first yellow flag flew on lap 23 when Brian Shirley spun in turn two; Mason Zeigler and Alex Ferree retired under the caution. … Jason Covert drew a caution on lap 38 when he slowed in turn two. … A yellow flag waved on lap 52 when Shirley slowed in turns three and four. … Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., failed to start the Firecracker 100 for the first time after experiencing a rough heat race in which the former race winner ended up spun around twice; Chub Frank and Rick Eckert are now the only two drivers to start all 10 of them. ... Eckert was the top home-state performer, finishing seventh.
Preliminary notes and results:
Uncle Sam results
Finish: Austin Smith, Matt Lux, Bump Hedman, Dave Hess Jr., Allen Murray, Ken Schaltenbrand, Charles Powell Jr., Tyler Erb, Dan Angelicchio, Gary Lyle, Devin Lewis, Todd Bachman, Joey Coulter, Dan Swartzlander
Uncle Sam lineup
Row 1: Austin Smith, Bump Hedman
Row 2: Allen Murray, Tyler Erb
Row 3: Charles Powell Jr., Dan Swartzlander
Row 4: Matt Lux, Joey Coulter
Row 5: Dave Hess Jr., Devin Lewis
Row 6: Gary Lyle, Todd Bachman
Row 7: Dan Angelicchico, Mike Norris
Row 8: Darrell Lanigan
First consolation finish (top four transfer): Mike Benedum, Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton, Kenny Pettyjohn, Austin Smith, Eric Wells, Allen Murray, Eric Wells, Charles Powell Jr., Matt Lux, Dave Hess Jr., Gary Lyle
Second consolation finish (top four transfer): Frank Heckenast Jr., Mason Zeigler, Russ King, Jason Covert, Bump Hedman, Tyler Erb, Alex Ferree, Dan Swartzlander, Joey Coulter, Devin Lewis, Todd Bachman, Mike Norris, Morgan Bagley, Darrell Lanigan
(15 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Dave Hess Jr., Brandon Overton
Row 2: Eric Wells, Chase Junghans
Row 3: Kenny Pettyjohn, Mike Benedum
Row 4: Matt Lux, Dan Angelicchio
Row 5: Charles Powell Jr., Austin Smith
Row 6: Mike Pegher Jr., Allen Murray
Row 7: Gary Lyle
Row 1: Joey Coulter, Mason Zeigler
Row 2: Frank Heckenast Jr., Alex Ferree
Row 3: Jason Covert, Dan Swartzlander
Row 4: Russ King, Devin Lewis
Row 5: Todd Bachman, Morgan Bagley
Row 6: Bump Hedman, Mike Norris
Row 7: Darrell Lanigan, Tyler Erb
Heat race results
First heat finish (top four transfer): Josh Richards, Chub Frank, Billy Moyer Jr., Shane Clanton, Dave Hess Jr., Eric Wells, Kenny Pettyjohn, Matt Lux, Charles Powell Jr., Mike Pegher Jr.
Second heat finish (top four transfer): Brian Shirley, Rick Eckert, Jared Miley, Earl Pearson Jr., Brandon Overton, Chase Junghans, Mike Benedum, Dan Angelicchio, Austin Smith, Allen Murray, Gary Lyle
Third heat finish (top four transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, Dan Stone, Boom Briggs, Joey Coulter, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jason Covert, Russ King, Bump Hedman, Darrell Lanigan
Fourth heat finish (top four transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, Gregg Satterlee, Steve Casebolt, Mason Zeigler, Alex Ferree, Dan Swartzlander, Devin Lewis, Morgan Bagley, Mike Norris, Tyler Erb
Heat race lineups
(15 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Josh Richards, Chub Frank
Row 2: Eric Wells, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 3: Mike Pegher Jr., Shane Clanton
Row 4: Kenny Pettyjohn, Dave Hess Jr.
Row 5: Matt Lux, Charles Powell Jr.
Row 6: Jim Rasey
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Brian Shirley
Row 2: Jared Miley, Rick Eckert
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Austin Smith
Row 4: Chase Junghans, Mike Benedum
Row 5: Allen Murray, Dan Angelicchio
Row 6: Gary Lyle
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Russ King
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan, Jason Covert
Row 4: Dan Stone, Boom Briggs
Row 5: Bump Hedman, Joey Coulter
Row 6: Todd Bachman
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Gregg Satterlee
Row 2: Dale McDowell, Mason Zeigler
Row 3: Steve Casebolt, Morgan Bagley
Row 4: Mike Norris, Tyler Erb
Row 5: Alex Ferree, Devin Lewis
Row 6: Dan Swartzlander
Former Firecracker 100 winner Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., enters Saturday’s main event with the best overall finish from preliminary action. He’ll start on the pole of the evening’s first heat race. … After experiencing problems in Saturday afternoon’s program and scratching from racing action, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., has switched engines in his Clint Bowyer Racing machine. ... Sustaining an ankle injury in a Friday rollover incident, Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., is on hand for the Firecracker 100 finale as a spectator. He’ll have to undergo surgery this week. … Two Lernerville track provisionals will be locked in to Saturday’s 100-lapper. Should they not qualify through the heat race or consolation, provisionals will go to Mike Pegher Jr. of Wexford, Pa., and Russ King of Bristolville, Pa. Pegher was the winner of Lernerville’s mid-season championship, while King is the track’s current points leader.
With Saturday’s afternoon makeup session complete, Lernerville Speedway moves into the weekend’s Firecracker 100 finale. The 100-lap World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event is $30,000-to-win.
Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., was the winner of Friday’s $6,000-to-win preliminary feature, while Brandon Overton of Appling, Ga., captured his first career World of Outlaws victory in Saturday afternoon’s prelim. Rick Eckert of York, Pa., is the defending Firecracker 100 winner.
Saturday evening’s program will include four heat races, lined up based on a driver's best finish overall finish in preliminary action. Consolations will line up the remainder of the feature field, along with two series provisionals and two track provisionals.