WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 24) — Scott Bloomquist threw down the gauntlet Thursday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
After turning back a late challenge from Chad Simpson to secure a flag-to-flag victory in the 45-lap Cowboy Classic that kicked off the 26th annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtechTheHarvest.com weekend, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer from Mooresburg, Tenn., served notice that he’s ready to finally capture the crown jewel event for the first time since it moved to Forrest Lucas’s 3/8-mile showplace in 2010.
“You know, these races, there’s so many things that can happen in ‘em,” Bloomquist said after pocketing $6,000 for his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned triumph of the season. “But absolutely, I think we’ve got what it takes to win this year. We’ve had what it takes to win other years, so we’ve just got to hope everything falls our direction.”
Bloomquist is a five-time winner of the prestigious Show-Me 100, but his previous victories — 1995, 2003, ’04, ’05 and ’08 — came at West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway, the race’s original home. He’s finished second in the 100-lapper three times since its relocation to Wheatland and has never placed worse than 13th, but the checkered flag has eluded him.
Ever the competitor, Bloomquist wants to change that void in his sparkling resume. The speed he showed in racing off the outside pole to lead every lap of the weekend’s first preliminary feature showed he’s primed to make that happen.
“Before we came, we just discussed all the different times, what our problems had been, and just focused on a couple of them that I think were causing us trouble,” Bloomquist said when asked about the strength of his Sweet-Bloomquist car. “But we’ve been really good here. We lost that wheel two years ago (while leading with just nine laps remaining) and come back to second with only a few laps to left … hopefully we got it right this time.”
Bloomquist dominated much of Thursday’s distance, keeping Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., at bay throughout its first half and driving away to a full straightaway lead soon after a lap-26 caution period. But after a lap-38 restart he faced unexpected pressure from Mount Vernon, Iowa’s Simpson, who overtook Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., for second when the green flag reappeared and then dived underneath Bloomquist off turn four to nearly lead lap 40.
But Bloomquist proceeded to move slight lower on the track, allowing him to put a couple car lengths on Simpson’s Brinkman Motorsports Black Diamond car and beat the 39-year-old driver to the finish line by 0.800 of a second.
The 17-year-old O’Neal settled for a third-place finish in Todd Burns’s Club 29 Race Car. Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., advanced from the 16th starting spot to place fourth in his Ronnie Delk-owned XR1 Rocket and 18th-starter Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., completed the top five in Bob Cullen’s XR1 Rocket.
Bloomquist was admittedly surprised by Simpson’s bid, but his made the right alteration to his line to stay in front.
“It’s hard to know (when the inside is quicker),” said Bloomquist, who registered his 89th career win on the Lucas Oil tour. “It’s really hard to gauge whether that bottom mud strip is capable of being the fastest spot. A lot of times it is … but I did not want to block the bottom.
“The top had worn out pretty good and I just felt really good in the middle. I just stayed with my own line and just wanted to stay doing my own thing. I didn’t want to get suckered into going too low.”
Simpson, who started 10th, didn’t hang his head after claiming a runner-up finish to follow up his third-place run in last Saturday night’s Lucas Oil-sanctioned event at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.
“Early in the race I didn’t think I had nothing for him,” Simpson said of Bloomquist. “He stretched it out so far on all of us. Then we had that (lap-26) restart and I got by Hud, and I kind of hung with (Bloomquist) and could gain on him. I finally got underneath him and I thought, Man, maybe I do got something for him.
“But once he moved down to the bottom, once he found out I was there and moved down, then it was over. I think if he would’ve never moved down we would’ve had something, but once he moved down he could kind of chop me to where I couldn’t carry my momentum … it was kind of done.”
O’Neal, meanwhile, wore a smile after an up-and-down race that saw him reach a high point of second when he passed Owens on a lap-26 restart and stay there until Simpson shot by following a lap-38 caution.
“I got to third on the initial start and then they started driving by me and I fell to like seventh and I was like, ‘Oh, no!’” said O’Neal, who started fifth. “It all worked out OK.”
The teenager didn’t feel like he left anything on the table.
“They were good, they were really competitive,” O’Neal said of Bloomquist and Simpson. “Once Chad got around me, he drove off from me. You can’t really say you had a shot with them when they’re driving away from you.”
Three caution flags slowed the race, including two for spins by Lucas Oil Series regulars. Defending Show-Me 100 champion Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., twirled in turn one on lap three while running the top 10 and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., spun out of sixth place in turn two on lap 26. Payton Looney of Republic, Mo., brought out the final caution on lap 38 when he stopped with rearend problems.
Notes: Bloomquist tallied his third career win at Lucas Oil Speedway. His previous triumphs came in a July 2011 Lucas Oil Series event and a Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Association-sanctioned A-main that began the 2014 Show-Me 100 weekend. … Owens finished sixth after slipping out of the top five in the final circuits. … Polesitter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was never a serious factor en route to a ninth-place finish. He was outgunned by Bloomquist on the original start and lost several positions when he slipped high on the lap-three. … The race, which was co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Series and its sister MLRA circuit, didn’t offer point for either tour. ... With no provisionals available for the feature, six Lucas Oil Series regulars who didn't qualify — 2017 Cowboy Classic winner Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Richards, Don O'Neal, Darrell Lanigan, Gregg Satterlee and Dennis Erb Jr. — were spectators for the headliner. ... The race honored late MLRA co-owner Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor. … The first 18 starting positions for Saturday’s Show-Me 100 will be determined by drivers’ cumulative points from the Thursday and Friday preliminary programs.
Preliminary notes and results:
With pop-up thunderstorms dancing around the Wheatland area, series and track officials decided to change the program’s schedule to push through the Dirt Late Model action. The modified heats were stopped after the completion of two events to make way for the entire Late Model show; the horn to line up the 45-lap feature was blown at approximately 9:35 p.m. CT. … Polesitter Tim McCreadie was victorious in last year’s Show-Me 100 preliminary feature on Friday night. … Completing an impressive rally after a heat-race spin put him to the rear of the field, second-time Wheatland visitor Shanon Buckingham pulled off a last-lap victory in the third B-main to make the Cowboy Classic A-main field. … There are no provisional starters in the feature, which does not offer Lucas Oil Series points.
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Hudson O’Neal, Mason Zeigler
Row 4: Jared Landers, Bobby Pierce
Row 5: Austin Rettig, Chad Simpson
Row 6: B.J. Robinson, Jimmy Mars
Row 7: Payton Looney, Chris Simpson
Row 8: Austin Siebert, Mike Marlar
Row 9: Kyle Bronson, Brian Shirley
Row 10: Will Vaught, Brandon Sheppard
Row 11: Shanon Buckingham, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 12: Chase Junghans, Cade Dillard
First B-main finish (15 laps; top 2 transfer): Will Vaught, Frank Heckenast Jr., Billy Moyer, Shannon Babb, Don O’Neal, Jesse Stovall, Jake Davis, Tony Jackson Jr., Kolby Vandenbergh, Joseph Gorby, Mark Burgtorf, Matt Furman, Justin Duty, Aaron Poe, Darrell Lanigan, Scott Crigler.
Second B-main finish (15 laps; top 2 transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Billy Moyer Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Brad Looney, Logan Martin, Joe Godsey, Gavin Landers, Terry Phillips, Dennis Erb Jr., Cole Wells, Raymong Merrill, Jeremy Grady, Reid Millard, Al Humphrey.
Third B-main finish (15 laps; top 2 transfer): Shanon Buckingham, Cade Dillard, Earl Pearson Jr., Jack Sullivan, Mason Oberkramer, Tyler Erb, Josh Richards, Mitch McGrath, J.C. Wyman, Joey Moriarty, Dave Eckrich, Kaeden Cornell, Blonde Bomber Mitchell.
(15 laps; top 2 transfer)
Row 1: Will Vaught, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 2: Billy Moyer, Don O’Neal
Row 3: Shannon Babb, Kolby Vandenbergh
Row 4: Justin Duty, Jake Davis
Row 5: Jesse Stovall, Mark Burgtorf
Row 6: Joseph Gorby, Scott Crigler
Row 7: Matt Furman, Darrell Lanigan
Row 8: Aaron Poe, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Logan Martin
Row 2: Gavin Landers, Chase Junghans
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 4: Brad Looney, Cole Wells
Row 5: Gregg Satterlee, Raymond Merrill
Row 6: Terry Phillips, Joe Godsey
Row 7: Shannon Scott, Jeremy Grady
Row 8: Reid Millard, Al Humphrey
Row 1: Cade Dillard, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 2: Jack Sullivan, Shanon Buckingham
Row 3: Tyler Erb, Mason Oberkramer
Row 4: Mitch McGrath, J.C. Wyman
Row 5: Josh Richards, Dave Eckrich
Row 6: Joey Moriarty, Jeff Roth
Row 7: Kaeden Cornell, Bryon Allison
Row 8: Blonde Bomber Mitchell
Mason Zeigler cruised to victory, beating Jimmy Mars by 1.842 seconds. Brian Shirley finished a solid fifth while Earl Pearson Jr. placed fourth and Shanon Buckingham rallied after triggering a caution flag on lap two with a turn-four spin to finish fifth.
Finish: Mason Zeigler, Jimmy Mars, Brian Shirley, Earl Pearson Jr., Shanon Buckingham, Mason Oberkramer, J.C. Wyman, Dave Eckrich, Jeff Roth, Bryon Allison.
Jimmy Owens ran away from the field, leading every lap to score a full straightaway victory over Chad Simpson. Mike Marlar lost second to Simpson on lap four but held on to place third in the non-stop race.
Finish: Jimmy Owens, Chad Simpson, Mike Marlar, Cade Dillard, Jack Sullivan, Tyler Erb, Mitch McGrath, Josh Richards, Joey Moriarty, Kaeden Cornell, Blonde Bomber Mitchell
Scott Bloomquist cruised to a flag-to-flag victory, beating Bobby Pierce by 3.025 seconds in a caution-free race. Chris Simpson settled into third at the start and ran there for the entire distance.
Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce, Chris Simpson, Logan Martin, Chase Junghans, Billy Moyer Jr., Cole Wells, Raymond Merrill, Joe Godsey, Jeremy Grady, Al Humphrey.
Taking advantage of a lap-seven restart, sixth-starter Hudson O’Neal ducked underneath race-long pacesetter Kyle Bronson off turn four to assume command on lap eight and beat B.J. Robinson to the finish li ne by 0.602 of a second. Bronson settled for third while Brandon Sheppard fell one spot short of transferring. Cautions flew on lap six when Shannon Scott slowed in turn four and one circuit later for a turn-four spin by Reid Millard.
Finish: Hudson O’Neal, B.J. Robinson, Kyle Bronson, Brandon Sheppard, Gavin Landers, Dennis Erb Jr., Brad Looney, Gregg Satterlee, Terry Phillips, Shannon Scott, Reid Millard.
Jonathan Davenport led the entire distance but had to survive a furious last-lap challenge from Austin Rettig to emerge victorious. Rettig drew alongside Davenport off the outside of turn two, but after contact in the middle of the backstretch Davenport held on to win by 0.268 of a second. Polesitter Austin Siebert claimed the third and final transfer spot. Tony Jackson Jr. was an early retiree, pulling off on lap three after engaging in some mid-pack bumping and banging.
Finish: Jonathan Davenport, Austin Rettig, Austin Siebert, Frank Heckenast Jr., Don O’Neal, Kolby Vandenbergh, Jake Davis, Mark Burgtorf, Scott Crigler, Darrell Lanigan, Tony Jackson Jr.
Mastering the inside of the 3/8-mile oval, Tim McCreadie advanced from the sixth starting spot to grab the lead from Jared Landers on lap five and march on to a convincing victory. Landers finished second while Payton Looney charged forward from the eighth starting spot to place third. Jesse Stovall brought out a caution flag on the race’s opening lap when he spun in turn four —putting him to the rear of the field — and Matt Furman triggered a second slowdown on lap one with a turn-one twirl.
Finish: Tim McCreadie, Jared Landers, Payton Looney, Will Vaught, Billy Moyer, Shannon Babb, Justin Duty, Jesse Stovall, Joseph Gorby, Matt Furman, Aaron Poe.
Making his first Lucas Oil Series start of 2018, Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., blasted to a lap of 15.637 seconds during the first qualifying group and it stood up as the night’s overall fast time. He will start from the pole position in the first heat behind the wheel of David Peterson’s Black Diamond machine.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was quickest in the second round of qualifying with a lap of 16.006 seconds. He clicked off the circuit after he failed to register a time on his first two trips around the track due to a non-functioning transponder; after another was bolted on his car he returned to the track alone and topped the speed chart.
Joining Landers and Bloomquist as heat polesitters are Austin Siebert, Kyle Bronson, Jimmy Owens and Mason Zeigler.
Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., was fifth-fastest in Group 2, but on his second lap he slapped the wall in turn four and ripped the entire rear deck of his car astray.
The 26th annual Show-Me 100 weekend kicks off on a gorgeous Thursday with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. There is a slight chance of an evening thunderstorm. … The 65-car field is down two entries from 2017’s opening night, but two drivers who came to the track intending to compete — Cliff Morrow and Mark Simon — won’t race. Morrow is sitting out because he forgot his helmet while Simon’s car did not meet the Lucas Oil Series safety requirements when he rolled through pre-race technical inspection. … Defending World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., is one of four WoO regulars in the field with the national tour off during the Show-Me 100 for the first time since 2008, joining Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, and Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan. Sheppard is behind the wheel of his family-owned No. b5, which he completed preparations on at midnight Wednesday after swapping motors and making other fixes following his participation in last Saturday night’s Lucas Oil show at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. … Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., is making his first start since winning a WoO event at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss., on April 21. He dropped off the tour and stayed away from the track for the past month to be with his wife after the premature birth of their first daughter, whose improvement has allowed Moyer to return to competition. … Seven former Show-Me 100 winners are entered: Bobby Pierce, Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Don O’Neal, Scott Bloomquist, Terry Phillips and Billy Moyer. … Phillips, the only home-state winner of the Show-Me 100, expects to race only in Thursday night’s preliminary program. He is planning to spend the remainder of the weekend running USMTS-sanctioned modified events in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
The 26th annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Lucas Oil Speedway commences Thursday night with the 45-lap Cowboy Classic, a full racing program co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association. It’s the sixth straight year for the Thursday event, which serves as a memorial to late MLRA co-owner Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor, who died in April 2014.
Thursday night’s action will be followed by a 40-lap, $6,000-to-win card on Friday evening that is billed as a Tribute to Don and Billie Gibson, the founders of the Show-Me 100 in 1993 at West Plains Motor Speedway. This is the third straight year that two full preliminary programs will lead off the Show-Me 100 weekend.
Drivers will earn points for the A-Main and B-Main finishes (and qualifying group fast-timers will earn 10 bonus points) in the two preliminary shows. The top 18 in the combined points after the two prelim programs will lock into Saturday night’s $30,000-to-win Show-Me 100 headliner while the remainder will move to three B-Mains on Saturday.
The Thursday and Friday programs will follow the same format as regular Lucas Oil Series events with drivers split into two groups for time trials.
Tonight’s drivers’ meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. Hot laps are scheduled for 7 p.m. with time trials kicking off the competitive portion of the show immediately after.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top 3 transfer)
Row 1: Jared Landers, Shannon Babb
Row 2: Will Vaught, Jesse Stovall
Row 3: Billy Moyer, Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Justin Duty, Payton Looney
Row 5: Matt Furman, Joseph Gorby
Row 6: Aaron Poe
Row 1: Austin Siebert, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Austin Rettig, Jake Davis
Row 3: Frank Heckenast Jr., Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 4: Scott Crigler, Don O’Neal
Row 5: Kolby Vandenbergh, Mark Burgtorf
Row 6: Darrell Lanigan
Row 1: Kyle Bronson, B.J. Robinson
Row 2: Gavin Landers, Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Brandon Sheppard, Hudson O’Neal
Row 4: Shannon Scott, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 5: Brad Looney, Terry Phillips
Row 6: Reid Millard
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce
Row 2: Chris Simpson, Chase Junghans
Row 3: Billy Moyer Jr., Logan Martin
Row 4: Jeremy Grady, Cole Wells
Row 5: Raymond Merrill, Joe Godsey
Row 6: Al Humphrey
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Chad Simpson, Cade Dillard
Row 3: Jack Sullivan, Tyler Erb
Row 4: Mitch McGrath, Kaeden Cornell
Row 5: Joey Moriarty, Josh Richards
Row 6: Blonde Bomber Mitchell
Row 1: Mason Zeigler, Brian Shirley
Row 2: Shanon Buckingham, Jimmy Mars
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Mason Oberkramer
Row 4: Dave Eckrich, J.C. Wyman
Row 5: Bryon Allison, Jeff Roth
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 15.637
Austin Siebert (16A), Grandview, Mo., 15.655
Kyle Bronson (40b), Brandon, Fla., 15.813
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 15.818
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.911
B.J. Robinson (1), Bossier City, La., 16.010
Will Vaught (1V), Crane, Mo., 16.083
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 16.122
Gavin Landers (77), Batesville, Ark., 16.210
Jesse Stovall (00), Billings, Mo., 16.229
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 16.259
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.266
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.274
Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.323
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.337
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 16.349
Hudson O'Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 16.382
Justin Duty (15d), Mulino, Ore., 16.396
Scott Crigler (12), Alton, Mo., 16.466
Shannon Scott (4F), Henrietta, Okla., 16.476
Payton Looney (15L), Republic, Mo., 16.517
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.564
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.594
Matt Furman (51), Portland, Ore., 16.624
Kolby Vandenbergh (15), Ashland, Ill., 16.752
Brad Looney (14L), Republic, Mo., 16.779
Joseph Gorby (9), Bartlesville, Okla., 16.783
Mark Burgtorf (5B), Quincy, Ill., 16.794
Jake Davis (7DX), Hackett, Ark., 16.794
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 16.805
Aaron Poe (45), Warrensburg, Mo., 16.861
Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., 17.001
Reid Millard (14M), Jefferson City, Mo., 18.464
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.006
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 16.212
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.295
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 16.358
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.380
Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 16.404
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 16.425
Chad Simpson (25), Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 16.456
Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., 16.506
Chase Junghans (18c), Manhattan, Kan., 16.523
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 16.561
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.579
Billy Moyer Jr. (21Jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.603
Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark., 16.618
Earl Pearson Jr. (1P), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.634
Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 16.752
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 16.799
Mason Oberkramer (93), Brosley, Mo., 16.799
Jeremy Grady (43), Story City, Iowa, 16.806
Mitch McGrath (74M), Waukesha, Wis., 16.835
Dave Eckrich (58), Oxford, Iowa, 16.871
Cole Wells (7W), Aurora, Mo., 16.888
Kaeden Cornell (50x), Willard, Mo., 16.982
J.C. Wyman (4W), Griswold, Iowa, 17.023
Raymond Merrill (12M), Sallisaw, Okla., 17.043
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 17.092
Bryon Allison (1A), Marshall, Mo., 17.158
Joe Godsey (14G), Bentonville, Ark., 17.192
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 17.208
Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 17.216
Al Humphrey (6H), Giltner, Neb., 17.580
Blonde Bomber Mitchell (B29), Pea Ridge, Ark., no time
Thursday’s tentative schedule of events
1:30 p.m.: Pits closed and cleared
2 p.m.: Pits reopen
3:30 p.m.: Grandstands closed and cleared
4 p.m.: Grandstands reopen
2-5:30 p.m.: Tech inspection (drivers must have their cars cleared through tech building by 5:30 p.m.)
6 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps, followed by qualifying and racing
Thursday’s order of events (tentative):
• Late Model qualifying
• USRA Modified heats (8 laps)
• Track prep if needed (10-15 minutes)
• Late Model heats (10 laps)
• USRA Modified B-mains (12 laps)
• Track prep if needed (10-15 minutes)
• Late Model B-mains (15 laps)
• Intermission/track prep (15-20 minutes)
• Late Model Cowboy Classic A-main (45 laps)
• USRA Modified A-main (20 laps)
1:30 a.m. Diamond Bar Closes