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Daily Dirt 04/18/2024 09:08:27

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August 8
Florence Speedway,
Union, KY
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100) - $50,000
Information provided by: Alli Collis and Todd Turner (last updated August 9, 12:03 pm)
Bloomquist, Owens shine in North-South prelims
Rick Schwallie/rickschwalliephotos.com
Action during the first round of heats Friday at Florence Speedway.
Key notes: The first of two nights of action at Florence. ... A new format greets drivers. Time trials have been scrapped with two sets of heat races scheduled; combined passing points lock 16 drivers into Saturday's 100-lapper. ... Most drivers will also get their first taste of a reconfigured and wider turns three and four. ... The National Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday. Competitor Steve Francis is among inductees.
Points chase: Going for his fourth straight title, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., has 5,305 points to lead Don O'Neal (5,235). Scott Bloomquist (4,915) is a distant third.
Car count: 52
Heat race winners: Scott Bloomquist, Jason Jameson, Steve Francis, Michael Chilton, Jared Landers, Dustin Linville, Gregg Satterlee, Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship
Next series race: August 15, Batesville Motor Speedway (Locust Grove, AR) $40,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Alli Collis and Todd Turner

UNION, Ky. (Aug. 8) — Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and former series champ Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., will start on the front of pole dashes Saturday at Florence Speedway’s 32nd annual Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100.

Bloomquist and Owens were the top earners in combined passing points after two rounds of five heat races in Florence’s new format for the $50,000-to-win event. In all, 16 drivers, including Florence points leader Jesse Lay of Walton, Ky., guaranteed themselves starting spots in the 100-lap main event.

Bloomquist, a two-time North-South 100 winner, shined brightest, dominating his first heat race after starting outside the front row, then roaring from the 10th starting spot in his second heat race to become the night’s only double-heat winner.

Owens, a three-time North-South 100 winner, came from ninth to second in his first heat race, then won his second heat from outside the front row to finish second in the passing-points system that rewards drivers for overtaking drivers in the preliminary events.

Following Bloomquist (135.80) and Owens (128.08) in the passing-point totals was John Blankenship (120.08) of Williamson, W.Va., who rallied from ninth to win his second heat race. Mike Marlar (118.32) of Winfield, Tenn., was fourth and Don O’Neal (116.56) of Martinsville, Ind., fifth.

The odd-numbered drivers in passing-point totals — Bloomquist, Blankenship, O’Neal, Steve Francis, Jared Landers, Doug Drown, Tim McCreadie and Randy Weaver — will compete in the first of two Geri Ramey Memorial Dashes on Saturday.

The even-numbered drivers — Owens, Marlar, Eddie Carrier Jr., Brandon Overton, Jimmy Mars, Gregg Satterlee, Jesse Lay and Dale McDowell — will run in the second dash that honors the late fiancee of long-time racing publicist Ryan Delph.

The dashes will carry $1,500 in extra money from Delph Communications with $500 to the winners, $150 for second place and $100 for third place in each dash.

More importantly, the winners earn front-row starting spots for the 100-lap main event. The first dash sets the inside-lane starters among the first eight rows of the 100-lapper, the second the outside-lane starters in the main event.

Combined passing points
(Ties broken by fastest lap turned in heat race)
1. Scott Bloomquist - 135.60
2. Jimmy Owens - 128.08
3. John Blankenship - 120.08
4. Mike Marlar - 118.32
5. Don O’Neal - 116.56
6. Eddie Carrier Jr. - 112.56
7. Steve Francis - 110.80
8. Brandon Overton - 110.80
9. Jared Landers - 110.80
10. Jimmy Mars - 110.80
11. Doug Drown - 106.80
12. Gregg Satterlee - 106.80
13. Tim McCreadie - 105.04
14. Jesse Lay - 105.04
15. Randy Weaver - 102.80
16. Dale McDowell - 102.80

Geri Ramey Memorial Twin Dash lineups

First dash
(Six laps; sets inside lane of main event)
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, John Blankenship
Row 2: Don O’Neal, Steve Francis
Row 3: Jared Landers, Doug Drown
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Randy Weaver
Second dash
(Six laps; sets outside lane of main event)
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Eddie Carrier Jr., Brandon Overton
Row 3: Jimmy Mars, Gregg Satterlee
Row 4: Jesse Lay, Dale McDowell

Consolation lineups

First consolation
(20 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Steve Casebolt, Michael Chilton
Row 2: Duane Chamberlain, Dustin Linville
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., James Rice
Row 4: Chris Stotts, Scott James
Row 5: Nick Latham, Tim Tungate
Row 6: Robby Hensley, Ray Cook
Row 7: Ted Nobbe, Chad Smith
Row 8: Mike Fryer, Jay Shell
Row 9: Steve Landrum, Brian Gray
Second consolation
(20 laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Matt Miller
Row 2: Mason Zeigler, Jason Jameson
Row 3: Jason Hughes, Stephen Breeding
Row 4: Wayne Chinn, Jason Papich
Row 5: Michael Asberry, Steve Shaver
Row 6: Dingus Griffin, Dan Schlieper
Row 7: Dustin Neat, Brad Neat
Row 8: Gary Christian, Zak Blackwood
Row 9: Skylar Marlar, Jeff Alsip

Friday's preliminary results:

Fifth heat

Ninth-starting John Blankenship charged past polesitter Duane Chamberlain on lap eight and led the remaining four circuits. Chamberlain led the first seven laps, but fell to Florence weekly points leader Jesse Lay on the final lap. Stephen Breeding moved from the tail of the field to salvage a fourth-place finish. Tenth-starting Wayne Chinn rounded out the top five. A yellow flew on lap 10 for Zak Blackwood. Skylar Marlar spun for a caution on the first lap and retired. Dustin Neat and Stephen Breeding tangled in turn two on the restart.

Finish: John Blankenship, Jesse Lay, Duane Chamberlain, Stephen Breeding, Wayne Chinn, Michael Asberry, Mike Fryer, Dustin Neat, Zak Blackwood, Skylar Marlar.

Fourth heat

Second-starting Jimmy Owens jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag and led all 12 laps. Polesitter Mike Marlar held on to the second-place spot. Don O'Neal and Dale McDowell battled for third before McDowell slipped to fifth. Pearson to took the fourth-place spot. Eighth-starting Mason Zeigler advanced two places to finish sixth.

Finish: Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar, Don O'Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Dale McDowell, Mason Zeigler, Jason Jameson, Jason Papich, Chris Stotts, Dingus Griffin.

Third heat

After slipping back early, third-starting Gregg Satterlee came alive mid-race and took the lead from Randy Weaver on the 10th lap. Satterlee stalked frontrunners Matt Miller, who started on the pole, and Weaver the first half of the race before making his winning move. Miller led the first four laps, but Weaver squeezed through a hole between the backstretch wall and Miller's car on the fifth lap to take command before losing the lead to Satterlee. Jimmy Mars was part of an early caution but rallied to finish fourth. A first-lap caution flew when fifth-starting Scott James got sideways in turn one, collecting James Rice. A second yellow flew on the scond lap when former North-South 100 winners Mars and Steve Shaver tangled entering turn one, collecting Robby Hensley. All three continued.

Finish: Gregg Satterlee, Matt Miller, Randy Weaver, Jimmy Mars, Scott James, Ray Cook, James Rice, Steve Shaver, Chad Smith, Robby Hensley.

Second heat

Polesitter Dustin Linville held off a rally of Brandon Overton, who rallied to the tail after a first-lap flat tire. Overton settled for second ahead of fifth-starting Steve Casebolt. Jason Hughes started outside the front row but slipped back to finish sixth in the 13-lapper. The most serious of three cautions came n the fourth lap when Brad Neat slammed the inside frontstretch wall while he battled with Jared Landers; Neat was able to steer his car to the pits. The first start was called back, and another yellow appeared when Jeff Aslip lost a wheel on the second start.

Finish: Dustin Linville, Brandon Overton, Steve Casebolt, Doug Drown, Jared Landers, Jason Hughes, Michael Chilton, Gary Christian, Steve Landrum, Brad Neat, Jeff Alslip.

First heat

Scott Bloomquist charged from the 10th starting spot to take the lead on the 11th lap, putting him near the top of the passing points leaderboard. Sixth-starting Eddie Carrier Jr. charged past polesitter Nick Latham on the fourth lap, leading seven laps until he fell to Bloomquist. Latham held on to the third-place spot, with Tim McCreadie finishing fourth. Steve Francis, a winner in the first set of heats, rounded out the top-five.

Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Eddie Carrier Jr., Nick Latham, Tim McCreadie, Steve Francis, Dennis Erb. Jr., Ted Nobbe, Dan Schlieper, Tim Tungate, Jay Shell, Brian Gray.

Second set heat lineups

(Lineups inverted by draw)
First heat
Row 1: Nick Latham, Dan Schlieper
Row 2: Tim Tungate, Tim McCreadie
Row 3: Ted Nobbe, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 4: Steve Francis, Brian Gray
Row 5: Jay Shell, Scott Bloomquist
Row 6: Dennis Erb Jr.
Second heat
Row 1: Dustin Linville, Jason Hughes
Row 2: Jeff Alsip, Brandon Overton
Row 3: Steve Casebolt, Doug Drown
Row 4: Brad Neat, Gary Christian
Row 5: Michael Chilton, Jared Landers
Row 6: Steve Landrum
Third heat
Row 1: Matt Miller, Randy Weaver
Row 2: Gregg Satterlee, Jimmy Mars
Row 3: Scott James, Chad Smith
Row 4: Steve Shaver, Ray Cook
Row 5: James Rice, Robby Hensley
Fourth heat
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Earl Pearson Jr., Dale McDowell
Row 3: Jason Papich, Don O'Neal
Row 4: Dingus Griffin, Mason Zeigler
Row 5: Jason Jameson, Chris Stotts
Fifth heat
Row 1: Duane Chamberlain, Zak Blackwood
Row 2: Mike Fryer, Skylar Marlar
Row 3: Michael Asberry, Jesse Lay
Row 4: Dustin Neat, Stephen Breeding
Row 5: John Blankenship, Wayne Chinn

Passing points (after first round of heats)

1. Jimmy Owens - 67.32
2. Steve Franics - 64.28
3. Jimmy Mars - 63.80
4. Mike Marlar - 63.32
5. Jason Jameson - 62.52
6. Scott Bloomquist - 60.75
7. Michael Chilton - 60.76
8. Don O’Neal - 60.28
9. Dale McDowell - 59.80
10. Jared Landers - 59.00

Fifth heat

Polesitter Jared Landers built a straightaway lead after four laps and cruised to a 12-lap victory in the third heat, staying well ahead of some feisty action behind him. Outside front-row starter Dingus Griffin held the second spot the first half of the race, but ninth-starting Jimmy Owens went by on the eighth lap while dueling Tim McCreadie much of the way. Owens, McCreadie and Steve Casebolt — who took the fourth spot from Griffin on the final lap — followed Landers to the checkers. Jay Shell was scheduled to start outside the front row but elected to start on the tail. Mike Fryer slowed on the last lap to finish last

Finish: Jared Landers, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Steve Casebolt, Dingus Griffin, Steve Casebolt, Chad Smith, Stephen Breeding, Jay Shell, Mike Fryer.

Fourth heat

Getting a good start and an even better restart after an early caution, home-state driver Michael Chilton grabbed a impressive victory in the fourth heat. Chilton led fellow Kentuckians Robby Hensley and Dustin Neat at halfway, but both had problems after a lap-seven caution. With Hensley and Neat out of the mix, the rest of the race was a slide-job battle between fifth-starting Don O'Neal and 10th-starting Mike Marlar for the second spot. O'Neal got the second spot at the finish with Marlar third ahead of Brandon Overton and Hensley. Dustin Neat was running second when he broke in turn two on the eighth lap and got hung up trying to pull to the infield. Two other cautions flew for turn-four spins for Brian Gray, the first on the first lap and the second on lap seven. Zak Blackwood retired with a flat right-rear on the lap-seven caution and Scott James was running third when he pulled to the pits before a lap-nine restart.

Finish: Michael Chilton, Don O'Neal, Mike Marlar, Brandon Overton, Robby Hensley, Tim Tungate, Scott James, Dustin Neat, Brian Gray, Zak Blackwood.

Third heat

Fourth-starting Steve Francis took the lead from polesitter Chris Stotts on the second lap and led the remaining 10 circuits. Eighth-starting Jimmy Mars finished six seconds behind Francis, with Stotts holding on to finish third. Local drivers James Rice and Jesse Lay rounded out the top-five.

Finish: Steve Francis, Jimmy Mars, Chris Stotts, James Rice, Jesse Lay, Jason Papich, Duane Chamberlain, Dan Schlieper, Jeff Alsip, Gary Christian.

Second heat

Third-starting Jason Jameson, winner of the UMP DIRTcar Summernationals stop at Florence last month, overtook polesitter Dennis Eb Jr. on the eighth lap and pulled away for a victory in the second heat. Erb led comfortably early but Jameson used an unusual groove to reel him in and go ahead. Jameson took the checkers more than a straightaway ahead of Erb with eighth-starting Dale McDowell piling up passing points in finishing third. Eddie Carrier Jr. was fourth and 10th-starting Jason Hughes fifth.

Finish: Jason Jameson, Dennis Erb Jr., Dale McDowell, Eddie Carrier Jr., Jason Hughes, Gregg Satterlee, Brad Neat, Michael Asberry, Wayne Chinn, Ray Cook, Nick Latham.

First heat

Second-starting Scott Bloomquist led all 13 laps, finishing four seconds ahead of runner-up Mason Zeigler. Zeigler challenged Bloomquist on the first lap, but was unable to keep pace with the race leader. Sixth-starting Doug Drown advanced to finish third.Randy Weaver rallied from the 10th starting position to finish fifth. Polesitter Steve Landrum slipped to the tail of the field following a shaky start.

Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Mason Zeigler, Doug Drown, John Blankenship, Randy Weaver, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Shaver, Dustin Linville, Ted Nobbe, Skylar Marlar, Steve Landrum.

Pre-race setup

Kentucky’s richest Dirt Late Model event greets competitors with a new format for Florence Speedway’s Sunoco North-South 100.

Instead of time trials, a format similar to I-80 Speedway’s Silver Dollar Nationals will be used for the first of two nights racing. Friday’s preliminary night of action will be made up of two sets of heats by random draw; the first five heats will line up straightup by draw while the second set of five heats will be inverted.

The top 16 in combined passing points will be locked into Saturday’s 100-lap feature. Two dashes and at least two consolation races on Saturday will precede the $50,000-to-win main event.

While much of Kentucky has received rain throughout the day, Florence Speedway has avoided most of the wet weather. The pit area is dry and pack trucks began working the racing surface shortly after 5:30 p.m. when the gates opened on schedule.

Pre-race notes

Florence Speedway sold a record number of presale tickets for this year’s event. … The National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame induction awards ceremony will take place prior to Saturday’s racing action. … Besides Late Models, Friday’s program includes modified heat races and consolations. … Two-time North-South 100 winner Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va. is driving Brad Malcuit’s No. 79 machine; he won in the car last weekend at Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio. … Hall of Fame inductee Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., unveiled a throwback car when he unloaded Wednesday evening. … Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., and Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., were expected entrants, but Robinson is out with a broken rib (in a non-racing related accident) while Rattliff underwent surgery Thursday on a broken hand (an injury suffered racing in Tazewell, Tenn.). … Jesse Lay of Walton, Ky., leads the weekly track points; he’s first in line for a provisional starting spot if he does not race his way into the event. ... Dingus Griffin of Ohatchee, Ala., is a surprise entrant. ... Doug Drown of Wooster, Ohio, is back at Florence for the first time in 12 years. ... The No. 44x of Jay Shell is powered by a Crate engine. ... Heat race lap counts vary from heat to heat. The prelims will be two laps more than the total number of cars. For instance, for an 11-car heat, it will be 13 laps. For a 10-car heat, it will be 12 laps.

First set heat lineups

(Lineups straightup by draw)
First heat
Row 1: Steve Landrum, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: John Blankenship, Mason Zeigler
Row 3: Steve Shaver, Doug Drown
Row 4: Ted Nobbe, Skylar Marlar
Row 5: Earl Pearson Jr., Randy Weaver
Row 6: Dustin Linville
Second heat
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Wayne Chinn
Row 2: Jason Jameson, Ray Cook
Row 3: Brad Neat, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 4: Michael Asberry, Dale McDowell
Row 5: Gregg Satterlee, Jason Hughes
Row 6: Nick Latham
Third heat
Row 1: Chris Stotts, James Rice
Row 2: Gary Christian, Steve Francis
Row 3: Jesse Lay, Jason Papich
Row 4: Jimmy Mars, Jeff Alsip
Row 5: Dan Schlieper, Duane Chamberlain
Fourth heat
Row 1: Robby Hensley, Michael Chilton
Row 2: Brian Gray, Dustin Neat
Row 3: Don O’Neal, Scott James
Row 4: Brandon Overton, Tim Tungate
Row 5: Zak Blackwood, Mike Marlar
Fifth heat
Row 1: Jared Landers, Jay Shell
Row 2: Stephen Breeding, Dingus Griffin
Row 3: Chad Smith, Steve Casebolt
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Mike Fryer
Row 5: Jimmy Owens, Matt Miller

North-South 100 roster (alphabetical)

Driver (car No.), hometown
Jeff Alsip (78), Independence, Ky.
Michael Asberry (360), Crossville, Tenn.
Zak Blackwood (93), Columbus, Ind.
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va.
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn.
Stephen Breeding (5), Isom, Ky.
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va.
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind.
Duane Chamberlain (20c), Richmond, Ind.
Michael Chilton (97), Campbellsville, Ky.
Wayne Chinn (1c), Bradford, Ohio
Gary Christian (1cj), Broken Bow, Okla.
Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C.
Doug Drown (20), Wooster, Ohio
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill.
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky.
Mike Fryer (5m), Freeport, Ill.
Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky.
Brian Gray (3), Hamilton, Ohio
Dingus Griffin (49), Ohatchee, Ala.
Robby Hensley (21), Walton, Ky.
Jason Hughes (12), Westville, Okla.
Scott James (83), Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark.
Steve Landrum (18), Erlanger, Ky.
Jesse Lay (63), Walton, Ky.
Dustin Linville (D8), Bryantsville, Ky.
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn.
Skylar Marlar (11), Winfield, Tenn.
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis.
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y.
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga.
Matt Miller (7), Whitehouse, Ohio
Dustin Neat (6n), Dunnville, Ky.
Ted Nobbe (9N), Batesville, Ind.
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind.
Brandon Overton (5), Appling, Ga.
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn.
Jason Papich (91p), Nipomo, Calif.
James Rice (11r), Verona, Ky.
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa.
Dan Schlieper (15), Sullivan, Wis.
Steve Shaver (79), Vienna, W.Va.
Jay Shell (44), Hebron, Ky.
Chad Smith (19), Middletown, Ohio
Chris Stotts (s8), Shade, Ohio
Tim Tungate (18), Campbellsville, Ky.
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa.

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