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Daily Dirt 03/08/2021 01:08:04

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September 25
Thunder Mountain Speedway,
Knox Dale, PA
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series (Thunderfest) - $10,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated September 26, 9:45 am)
He's back: Bloomquist scores first '20 victory
Thunderfest
  1. Scott Bloomquist
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Darrell Lanigan
  4. David Scott
  5. Max Blair
  6. Dennis Erb Jr.
  7. Jared Miley
  8. Ashton Winger
  9. Chub Frank
  10. Boom Briggs
  11. Chris Hackett
  12. Ricky Weiss
  13. Cade Dillard
  14. Denny Fenton
  15. Gale Huey
  16. Matt Lux
  17. Damian Bidwell
  18. Greg Oakes
  19. Mason Zeigler
  20. Jason Covert
  21. Brent Larson
  22. Charles Powell Jr.
  23. Chase Junghans
  24. Gregg Satterlee
  25. Alex Ferree
presented by
Jacy Norgaard/jacynorgaardphotography.com
Scott Bloomquist races to a heat victory before his feature win.
What won the race: Repelling challenges by Brandon Sheppard and Darrell Lanigan in the final laps, outside front-row starter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., cruised to a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory Friday at Thunder Mountain Speedway for his first feature win in 10 months. Finishing 0.517 of a second ahead of Sheppard, Bloomquist earned $10,000 for his 33rd career WoO win.
Key notes: Thunder Mountain is hosting its first national-level event with the two-day Thunderfest for the World of Outlaws. ... Another $10,000-to-win program is set for Saturday. ... Thunder Mountain was originally scheduled to host a single WoO event on Sept. 26, but the track added a second date after the circuit's Sept. 25 event set for Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, N.Y., was canceled by coronavirus-related crowd restrictions in the Empire State.
Winner's sponsors: Bloomquist’s Bloomquist Race Car is powered by a Custom Race Engine and sponsored by Drydene Performance Products, Petroff Towing, Sorbera Chiropractic, Penske Racing Shocks, Arizona Sport Shirts, Sweet Manufacturing, VP Racing Fuels and Penske Racing Shocks.
Points chase: After Thunder Mountain Friday: 1. Brandon Sheppard (4,943); 2. Ricky Weiss (4,671); 3. Cade Dillard (4,591); 4. Darrell Lanigan (4,545); 5. Chase Junghans (4,539); 6. Dennis Erb Jr. (4,493); 7. Ashton Winger (4,417); 8. Scott Bloomquist (4,325); 9. Boom Briggs (4,051); 10. Brent Larson (3,963).
Current weather: Clear, 64°F
Car count: 37
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 15.731 seconds
Polesitter: Mason Zeigler
Heat race winners: Mason Zeigler, Chase Junghans, Boom Briggs, Scott Bloomquist
Consolation race winners: Dennis Erb Jr., Cade Dillard
Provisional starters: Gale Huey
Next series race: September 26, Thunder Mountain Speedway (Knox Dale, PA) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

KNOX DALE, Pa. — When Scott Bloomquist pulled into victory lane Friday at Thunder Mountain Speedway, World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series announcer Rick Eshelman said what everyone was thinking: "He's back!”

The Hall of Fame driver from Mooresburg, Tenn., who hadn’t led a lap in any feature race in 2020, led all 50 laps in the national tour’s debut at the half-mile track for his first victory since winter hip replacement surgery, earning $10,000.

While Bloomquist was slow climbing out of the car and gingerly walked over to Eshelman for his victory lane interview, he was fast on the track, building comfortable leads en route to collecting his 33rd career WoO victory and first since 2018.

For a driver with more than 600 victories, countless titles and accolades, Bloomquist was glad to be back in victory lane in the opener of a two-race weekend at Thunder Mountain. “It’s been too long,” he told Eshelman.

Bloomquist’s victory was his first with new major sponsor Drydene Performance Products, who he thanked along with his other sponsors and supporters for sticking with the 56-year-old during one of his most trying seasons.

“Everybody that helped us it’s been great,” Bloomquist said after winning his debut at the track. “No weak links. We’re going to be back.”

The outside front-row starting Bloomquist kept challengers at bay throughout, winning by 0.517 of a second over WoO points leader Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who started sixth. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who held the second spot from lap 20-47, settled for third.

David Scott of Garland, Pa., scheduled to start 15th but forced to the tail when he was late to the lineup grid, made a stirring rally to fourth and 22nd-starting Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., rounded out the top five finishers.

Two of the race’s top contenders weren’t around at the finish. Heat winners Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., and Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., tangled in turn four following a lap-16 restart, with Zeigler surviving while Junghans suffered serious front-end damage as the collision triggered a multicar pileup that also eliminated Gregg Satterlee. The two came together battling for second behind Bloomquist, and Zeigler began to fade thereafter before retiring on lap 33.

Bloomquist’s victory was his first since Nov. 30, 2019, in a non-series race at Cochran (Ga.) Motor Speedway that came at the end of a season that saw the superstar miss nearly four months of action after suffering serious hip, knee and ankle injuries in a March motorcycle accident.

While he recovered enough to return to racing, his mobility remained limited and he elected to undergo January hip replacement surgery between WoO’s January action at Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park and February’s action at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. He’s struggled to return to full health and entered action at Thunder Mountain eighth in series points.

“I had that hip surgery, or hip replacement, and it’s been a lot more difficult than I thought,” Bloomquist said. “We thought we could get right back in it, and not being able to feel your foot and your leg makes it pretty hard — sometimes I’d slip off the gas pedal and didn’t know it until the engine about quit on me.

“We’ve got all the feeling back in my leg and 60 percent back in my foot, so I can feel the throttle and I can work it again. It’ll do nothing but get better from here.”

Sheppard finally secured the second spot late in the race, but he didn’t have enough time to seriously challenge Bloomquist on a track he described as “tricky.”

“I kept getting put on the bottom on the restarts and that was killing me,” Sheppard said. “And being in the second row on them restarts was killing me on the top, too, so I couldn’t really get where I needed to be. Finally I was able to, there at the end, I just got mad at it and got up on the wheel.

“So we’re going to work on this thing a little bit and try to get a little bit better for tomorrow. We qualified good tonight, so we know our qualifying program is pretty good, but we gotta get a little bit better in the heat race and the feature. But I think we’re plenty capable.”

Lanigan gave a lengthy chase of Bloomquist before giving up the second spot to Sheppard late in the race.

“This place is definitely a little different place than we’ve been to lately, but all in all we had a pretty good night,” Lanigan said. “I think Scott was a little hard on tire there, but I think we gave up a little bit there at the end and should’ve gotten up there against the cushion. But all in all I had a pretty good piece.”

The feature was slowed by seven cautions, the most serious for the Zeigler-Junghans tangle which caused the turn-four pileup.

Another pileup came on the 33rd lap when track champion Matt Lux and Cade Dillard made contact, resulting in a scramble exiting turn four that included Damian Bidwell and Greg Oakes, who retired with radiator damage.

The other cautions: Track provisional starter Gale Huey, winner of the previous two weekly features, spun on the frontstretch on the first lap, and Alex Ferree slowed for a lap-nine yellow. A lap-16 caution appeared when Jason Covert went over the banking in turns three and four and Brent Larson drew a lap-21 yellow with a broken driveshaft. Cade Dillard had lap-36 flat tire for the final yellow.

World of Outlaws competitors complete the weekend Saturday night with another $10,000-to-win event at Thunder Mountain with a 50-lap feature.

Notes: Bloomquist’s previous WoO victory came Nov. 3, 2018, at the Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C. … His last WoO victory in Pennsylvania came in 2016 at Sarver’s Lernerville Speedway. … Bloomquist always notes victories at first-time tracks. “This’ll up my win percentage for my first trip to a racetrack,” he said. “We were in the 70 percent (range), somewhere in there, we’ll have to figure that out.” … Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., finished sixth in a backup car; a broken ring-and-pinion during time trials began the start of a long night that he salvaged from his 17th starting spot. … The mid-race interview with Chase Junghans should’ve come with a parental guidance warning as he used salty language to say he believed Zeigler ran into him on purpose. Zeigler didn’t dispute the accusation, saying it was payback to Junghans. “I went on down there and doored him,” Zeigler said, adding he “was just giving him a little taste of what he’d given me two restarts in a row.” … Zeigler did apologize for other drivers caught up in the mess. … Junghans was ineligible to continue because he climbed from his car, but he took a few more laps before being black-flagged and sent off the track. … Dave Blazavich of Marion Center, Pa., entered but scratched before time trials because of engine problems. … Joe Martin won the night’s Semi-Late Model feature.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Zeigler, Bloomquist
Row 2: Briggs, Junghans
Row 3: Lanigan, Sheppard
Row 4: Powell Jr., Satterlee
Row 5: Winger, Frank
Row 6: Larson, Miley
Row 7: Oakes, Covert
Row 8: Scott, Lux
Row 9: Erb Jr., Dillard
Row 10: Ferree, Weiss
Row 11: Fenton, Blair
Row 12: Hackett, Bidwell
Row 13: Huey

Consolation results

(10; top 3 transfer)

First consolation: Dennis Erb Jr., Alex Ferree, Denny Fenton, Chris Hackett, Doug Drown, Del Rougeux, Wyatt Scott, Breyton Santee, Galey Huey

Second Consolation: Cade Dillard, Ricky Weiss, Max Blair, Damian Bidwell, Drake Troutman, Tyler Dietz, Levi Sikora, Levi Yetter, Kenneth Schaffer, Mike Wonderling Jr.

Heat race results

(10 laps; top 4 transfer)

First heat: Mason Zeigler, Darrell Lanigan, Ashton Winger, Greg Oakes, Alex Ferree, Chris Hackett, Doug Drown, Gale Huey, Breyton Santee

Second heat: Chase Junghans, Gregg Satterlee, Brent Larson, David Scott, Dennis Erb Jr., Denny Fenton, Del Rougeux, Jon Lee, Wyatt Scott

Third heat: Boom Briggs, Brandon Sheppard, Chub Frank, Jason Covert, Cade Dillard, Max Blair, Drake Troutman, Tyler Dietz, Mike Wonderling Jr.

Fourth heat: Scott Bloomquist, Charles Powell Jr., Jared Miley, Matt Lux, Ricky Weiss, Damian Bidwell, Levi Yetter, Ken Schaffer, Levi Sikora

Time trials (unofficial)

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown

  1. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.790
  2. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 15.805
  3. Alex Ferree (4), Saxonburg, Pa., 15.942
  4. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.997
  5. Darrell Lanigan (29v), Union, Ky., 16.001
  6. Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 16.060
  7. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 16.157
  8. Greg Oakes (22), Franklinville, N.Y., 16.206
  9. David Scott (4s), Garland, Pa., 16.211
  10. Chris Hackett (33), Jamestown, N.Y., 16.256
  11. Jon Lee (5L), Mahaffey, Pa., 16.404
  12. Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 16.431
  13. Denny Fenton (55), Clearfield, Pa., 16.558
  14. Del Rougeux (28), Frenchville, Pa., 16.638
  15. Gale Huey (11), Glen Campbell, Pa., 16.705
  16. Wyatt Scott (x3), Garland, Pa., 17.089
  17. Breyton Santee (9), North Kingsville, Ohio, 17.114
  18. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 17.263
  19. Dave Blazavich (18B), Marion Center, Pa., no time

Group B

  1. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 15.731
  2. Charles Powell Jr. (94), Brookville, Pa., 15.744
  3. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 15.990
  4. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.022
  5. Max Blair (111), Centerville, Pa., 16.042
  6. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 16.095
  7. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 16.171
  8. Jared Miley (10), Pittsburgh, Pa., 16.196
  9. Chub Frank (119), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.249
  10. Matt Lux (111), Franklin, Pa., 16.278
  11. Jason Covert (72), York Haven, Pa., 16.341
  12. Levi Sikora (57), Punxsutawney, Pa., 16.369
  13. Drake Troutman (7T), Hyndman, Pa., 16.551
  14. Ken Schaffer (13x), Du Bois, Pa., 16.559
  15. Tyler Dietz (77), Saxonburg, Pa., 16.592
  16. Levi Yetter (9), Saxonburg, Pa., 16.657
  17. Mike Wonderling (18), Scio, N.Y., 16.878
  18. Damian Bidwell (½), Eldred, Pa., 17.053

Feature lineup

Row 1: Zeigler, Bloomquist
Row 2: Briggs, Junghans
Row 3: Lanigan, Sheppard
Row 4: Powell Jr., Satterlee
Row 5: Winger, Frank
Row 6: Larson, Miley
Row 7: Oakes, Covert
Row 8: Scott, Lux
Row 9: Erb Jr., Dillard
Row 10: Ferree, Weiss
Row 11: Fenton, Blair
Row 12: Hackett, Bidwell
Row 13: Huey
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