LOCUST GROVE, Ark. — Chris Madden’s win streak had to end sometime. Who better than his teammate and car owner Scott Bloomquist to end it? It was far from easy, however, as Madden didn’t go away without a fight and Bloomquist, still recovering from a March motorcycle accident that left the hall of fame driver needing extensive surgery to repair his injured hip and right leg, had to withstand a rugged track surface for 30 grueling laps.
Bloomquist, of Mooresburg, Tenn., turned back multiple challenges from Madden, of Gray Court, S.C. — the most significant following a pair of restarts before the halfway mark — to win Friday’s Topless 100 preliminary feature.
After the final caution on lap 21, Bloomquist pulled away to win by 1.305 seconds. His series-best 94th career victory on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series was worth $5,000 and ended a 13-month dry spell. Bloomquist, who is still feeling the pains from his accident, gave his familiar shaka sign with both hands before gingerly exiting his car in victory lane.
“When you don’t really know if you’re gonna race again, a lot of thoughts go through your head,” said Bloomquist. “It’s been a little bit of a struggle getting back. They weren’t expecting us to be able to race this year. I’ve been enduring a lot of pain. I knew that we were capable of doing it still. You know, working with Chris (Madden) that’s our car and engine and everything, so I knew our equipment was up to it. I just had to get back to where I could take it.
“We’re just glad everyone hung in there with us and hopefully we things will turn around in these final races of this year and we can mow some down. You know, Chris has been doing such a good job. It’s nice to have to compete against something that’s a win-win.”
Series leader Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., advanced from eighth to finish third, while fifth-starting Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, Tenn., and fourth-starting Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., completed the top five. None of them had anything for the two team Bloomquist drivers though.
Bloomquist bolted ahead of fellow front-row starter and overall fast qualifier Madden on the opening lap and quickly pulled away. Negotiating the tricky surface in turns one and two was one of the biggest challenges.
“Turn one was still really loose … dirt everywhere and it had that big dip in it,” said Bloomquist. “But we could go through that. I could time it right. But this end, (turns) three and four was just slick and the car was super through that. I thought I’d lose the front end with the softer front tires, that being mandated. I thought that end we’d lose the front end, at least halfway through the race, but the car stayed good.”
Madden managed to pull even after a caution on lap eight. He used a smooth crossover move exiting turn two to dive under Bloomquist as the raced down the backstretch. For two laps, the duo were side-by-side at the line, with Bloomquist barely inching ahead. With Madden to his inside, Bloomquist had to find a different way around.
“He was close enough beside me there that I had to change my line,” Bloomquist said. “I got through turns three and four good enough on the top and just edged him enough where I could get back in my line because (turns) one and two for me was definitely better in the bottom. You never know how good you are. You know when the guy who’s been winning all the shows is up underneath you, you kinda suck it up a little bit.”
After his early bid for the lead was denied, Madden’s charge stalled in the second half of the race, thanks in part to a deflating right rear tire. A couple of circuits following at the restart on lap 15 was all Bloomquist needed to ease away.
“We had a right rear flat right after halfway there,” said Madden, who’d won four straight races entering Friday, including three consecutive on the Lucas Oil tour. “We were kinda putting the heat on him there for a little while and we had a caution and I went up there and buzzed my tires in that loose stuff and probably run over a rock and poked a hole in it.
"But we was able to manage. After that I kinda had to get out in the banking of the racetrack and just take it easy on the right rear. I felt it going down and didn’t want to blow it out. We needed a good points night. We managed to run second and Scott got a win for us, so that’s great.”
While the Team Zero cars battled up front, Davenport motored from eighth. He was hoping he’d get one last shot at either Madden or Bloomquist on the restart following the final caution, but he wasn’t able to muster a challenge.
“I just never did get took off as good as them,” said Davenport. “We’re just not quite as good as Scott and Madden right now. Congratulations to him on his first win back. It probably took longer than everybody thought it would. He’s been really good though, just had some bad luck.”
Notes: Drivers will use points accumulated from their combined finishes in Thursday and Friday preliminaries to determine the feature lineup and the consolation lineups for Saturday’s 27th annual Topless 100. Madden by virtue of his Thursday victory and Friday’s runner-up finish will start from the pole position in Saturday’s main event. Bloomquist, who has a first and third in the two prelims, will start alongside his teammate on the front row. … Bloomquist added to his series-high win total on a night when the Lucas Oil Series celebrated his 600th event in series history. … His last series win was July 18, 2018 at Jackson (Minn.) Motorplex. … Unlike Thursday’s prelim feature, Bloomquist didn’t have to worry with slower traffic. Thanks to three timely cautions, 23 of the 24 starters were still on the lead lap. … The first caution was for Josh Richards of Shinston, W.Va., who slowed on lap eight with a flat. … The caution waved on lap when when Billy Moyer looped his car as he exited turn two. Raymond Merrill was collected in that incident when he slid into Moyer’s stalled machine sitting on the backstretch. … The third and final caution was for New Mexico’s Johnny Scott, who gave up a top-10 spot when he too slowed with a flat.
Preliminary results and notes
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Chris Madden
Row 2: Michael Norris, Mike Marlar
Row 3: Shanon Buckingham, Billy Moyer
Row 4: Josh Richards, Jonathan Davenport
Row 5: Timothy Culp, Johnny Scott
Row 6: Shannon Babb, Stormy Scott
Row 7: Tyler Erb, Neil Baggett
Row 8: Earl Pearson Jr., Robert Baker
Row 9: Devin Moran, Tim McCreadie
Row 10: Jack Sullivan, Raymond Merrill
Row 11: Jimmy Owens, Mason Oberkramer
Row 12: Kyle Bronson, Tony Jackson Jr.
First consolation (top four transfer): Devin Moran, Jack Sullivan, Jimmy Owens, Kyle Bronson, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Overton, Billy Moyer Jr., Kyle Beard, Gavin Landers, Chad Mallett, Jon Mitchell, Nathan Brown, Zach McMillan. Scratched: Scott Crigler, Wendell Wallace.
Second consolation (top four transfer): Tim McCredie, Raymond Merrill, Mason Oberkramer, Tony Jackson Jr., Hunter Rasdon, Morgan Bagley, Brian Rickman, B.J. Robinson, Logan Martin, Austin Rettig, Robbie Stuart, Jared Landers, David Payne, Jake Davis, Brad Couch.
12 laps; top four transfer
Row 1: Jack Sullivan, Devin Moran
Row 2: Billy Moyer Jr., Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Kyle Bronson, Kyle Beard
Row 4: Hudson O’Neal, Nathan Brown
Row 5: Gavin Landers, Chad Mallett
Row 6: Jon Mitchell, Zach McMillan
Row 7: Brandon Overton, Wendell Wallace
Row 8: Scott Crigler
Row 1: Raymond Merrill, B.J. Robinson
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Hunter Rasdon, Mason Oberkramer
Row 4: Brian Rickman, Austin Rettig
Row 5: Jared Landers, Morgan Bagley
Row 6 Robbie Stuart, Logan Martin
Row 7: Brad Couch, Jake Davis
Row 8: David Payne
Heat race results
First heat (top four transfer): Scott Bloomquist, Shanon Buckingham, Timothy Culp, Tyler Erb, Jack Sullivan, Billy Moyer Jr., Kyle Bronson, Hudson O’Neal, Gavin Landers, Jon Mitchell, Brandon Overton.
Second heat (top four transfer): Michael Norris, Josh Richards, Shannon Babb, Earl Pearson Jr., Devin Moran, Jimmy Owens, Kyle Beard, Nathan Brown, Chad Mallett, Zach McMillan, Wendell Wallace.
Third heat (top four transfer): Chris Madden, Billy Moyer, Johnny Scott, Neil Baggett, Raymond Merrill, Tim McCreadie, Hunter Rasdon, Jared Landers, Robbie Stuart, Brad Couch, David Payne.
Fourth heat (top four transfer): Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Stormy Scott, Robert Baker, B.J. Robinson, Tony Jackson Jr., Mason Oberkramer, Austin Rettig, Morgan Bagley, Logan Martin, Jake Davis.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Brandon Overton
Row 2: Jack Sullivan, Timothy Culp
Row 3: Shanon Buckingham, Jon Mitchell
Row 4: Tyler Erb, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 5: Kyle Bronson, Gavin Landers
Row 6: Scott Crigler, Hudson O’Neal
Row 1: Shannon Babb, Michael Norris
Row 2: Wendell Wallace, Devin Moran
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Beard
Row 4: Josh Richards, Jimmy Owens
Row 5: Zach McMillan, Chad Mallett
Row 6: Nathan Brown
Row 1: Chris Madden, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Neil Baggett, Raymond Merrill
Row 3: Tim McCreadie, Johnny Scott
Row 4: Hunter Rasdon, Brian Rickman
Row 5: Jared Landers, Robbie Stuart
Row 6: Brad Couch, David Payne
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Robert Baker
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Stormy Scott, B.J. Robinson
Row 4: Austin Rettig, Mason Oberkramer
Row 5: Morgan Bagley, Logan Martin
Row 6: Jake Davis
Friday’s prelim is the 600th Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race in series history. … Series iron-man Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., has never missed a series race. … Series announcer James Essex has only missed four of the 600. He hasn’t missed a race in 10 years. … Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who had yet to win a series race this season, has never gone a full season without at least one win on the Lucas Oil tour. … After his third-place finish on Thursday, Bloomquist said he hoped the track would be a little smoother on Friday. “The track’s a little bit rough for my hip. I hope they get it a lot smoother,” said Bloomquist, who is still feeling the pains from his March motorcycle accident. … Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, advanced to fifth on Thursday before a faulty crank trigger ended his night. He said he didn’t have many concerns over the track surface, which was a little rougher than many anticipated. “It’s not bad,” Erb said. “I think it’ll race better like this because when it’s so slick and slow it’s like rubber and then it’s just all in the same line. I think he did a good job on the racetrack … maybe just work on the holes a little bit.” … Hunter Rasdon of Jonesboro, Ark., said he felt like the track was a little better when the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series visited Batesville on July 26. “You couldn’t move around on it as good (Thursday) as you could a couple weeks ago,” said Rasdon. … Logan Martin of Greenbrier, Ark., won that CCSDS event here in July, but had a disappointing 22nd-place finish in Thursday’s prelim. “We folded the nose under and had to pull in,” said Martin. “We got that fixed today and fixed the nose a little bot different.” … Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., suffered a broken J-bar just as he began to take his qualifying lap and did not get a time. He will start in the rear of his heat race. … Batesville’s Billy Moyer debuted a brand new Black Diamond Chassis on Thursday.
Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., stayed hot as he turned the overall fast lap during Friday’s qualifying. Madden stopped the clock at 14.276 seconds in the second group and will start from the pole position of the third heat. Madden’s car owner and teammate, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was the quickest in the first group and will start from the pole of the first heat. Bloomquist’s time was 14.331 seconds.
“It’s pretty awesome for both of us to be quick time in Group A and Group B fast time overall,” said Madden.
Shannon Babb (14.372 seconds) was second in the first group and will start on the pole of the second heat, while Mike Marlar (14.392 seconds) was second in the second group and starts on the pole of the fourth heat.
Time trial results (unofficial)
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.331
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.372
Brandon Overton (2), Evans, Ga., 14.419
Michael Norris (5), Sarver, Pa., 14.550
Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark., 14.579
Wendell Wallace (GRT1), Batesville, Ark., 14.616
Timothy Culp (C8), Prattsville, Ark., 14.624
Devin Moran (1), Dresden, Ohio, 14.636
Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., 14.658
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 14.686
Jon Mitchell (5), Texarkana, Texas, 14.697
Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 14.743
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 14.771
Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.791
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.820
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.865
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 14.946
Zach McMillan (14), Gladewater, Texas, 15.001
Gavin Landers (77), Batesville, Ark., 15.074
Chad Mallett (92m), Greenbrier, Ark., 15.236
Scott Crigler (12), Alton, Mo., 15.317
Nathan Brown (3N), Marion, Ark., 15.887
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., no time
Chris Madden (0M), Gray Court, S.C., 14.276
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 14.392
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.488
Robert Baker (71M), Bryant, Ark., 14.639
Neil Baggett (21xxx), Columbus, Miss., 14.671
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 14.681
Raymond Merrill (12M), Sallisaw, Okla., 14.700
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 14.747
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.748
Stormy Scott (2), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.784
Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.912
B.J. Robinson (1), Haughton, La., 14.985
Hunter Rasdon (R5), Jonesboro, Ark., 15.007
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 15.039
Brian Rickman (90), Columbus, Miss., 15.052
Mason Oberkramer (93), Broseley, Mo., 15.067
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 15.102
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 15.106
Robbie Stuart (6R), DeRidder, La., 15.155
Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 15.163
Brad Couch (5C), Bossier City, La. ,15.397
Jake Davis (7D), Haackett, Ark., 15.454
David Payne (7), Cabbott, Ark., no time
Action at Batesville Motor Speedway continues Friday as the 3/8-mile oval hosts another 30-lap preliminary feature heading into Saturday’s 25th running of the Comp Cams Topless 100 presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions. Drivers continue to chase Chris Madden of Gray Court, who won Thursday’s prelim feature, his fourth consecutive win and third straight victory on the Lucas Oil tour.
Friday’s event is highlighted by a $5,000-to-win Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series preliminary feature. The full program includes hot laps, time trials, four heats and two consolations to set the 24-car starting grid for the 30-lap feature. No provisionals are awarded on Thursday and Friday. Drivers accumulate points from Thursday and Friday preliminary features, which will be used to set feature and consolation lineups for Saturday’s $40,000-to-win program.
Friday’s action also includes a $1,000-to-win program for IMCA open-wheel modifieds on the undercard.
3 p.m. - Pit gates open
4 p.m. - Grandstand gates open
7 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
7:30 p.m. - Competition
- Hot laps
- Late Model time trials
- Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Late Model consolations (15 laps)
- Late Model feature (30 laps)
- Complete show for modifieds