Hubbard, Richards grab Columbus heat victories
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
COLUMBUS, Miss. (March 18) — World of Outlaws Late Model Series stars Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., shared the spotlight Friday night at Columbus Speedway with powerful drives to heat-race victories during preliminaries for the inaugural Cash Cow 100. | Practice night | Video
The national tour’s brightest young talents joined veterans Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., as winners of the 15-lap heats that transferred 16 competitors directly into Saturday evening’s $20,000-to-win 100-lapper at the high-banked, third-mile oval.
Forty-nine drivers from 17 states signed in for the qualifying program, which provided fans a scintillating taste of the action expected in Saturday night’s extra-distance headliner.
Richards, 23, was responsible for the first burst of heat-race excitement. The two-time defending series champion recovered from a subpar time-trial performance to win the first preliminary from the fifth starting spot — a charge he completed by overtaking both Chris Wall of Holden, La., who began the night by earning his first career WoO fast-time honor with a lap of 13.581 seconds, and Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., on a lap-six restart.
“We didn’t really show it with our starting spot in the heat, but we had an awesome car,” said Richards, who managed only the 17th-fastest lap. “We picked the right tires, were able to make the right moves at the right time and get up through there. I’m just looking forward to 100 laps tomorrow.”
Hubbard, 19, dominated the second heat race, surging off the pole position to lead the entire distance. He pulled away from Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., following a late restart to triumph in his first-ever appearance at Columbus.
“We had a good car since we came out of the box here (during Thursday's practice),” Hubbard said of his Dale Beitler-owned Rocket car. “In the heat I just tried to hit my marks and not burn my tires up and we got a win. Now we need to get a good redraw tomorrow, make a good tire decision and have a good run.”
Marlar and Moyer — both former winners of the lucrative Magnolia State 100 at Columbus — closed the evening with victories. Marlar raced off the outside pole and outdueled Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., to win the third heat while Moyer captured the fourth prelim from the fifth starting spot.
The heat winners and runners-up — Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Francis, Feger and Will Vaught of Crane, Mo. — will participate in a redraw on Saturday night to determine the first eight starting spots in the Cash Cow 100.
Frank, who did not attend Thursday night’s open practice, might have been the most fortunate of the heat-race qualifiers. His car lost power just as he crossed the finish line due to a busted fuel pump that also blew out the machine’s power-steering pump.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., finished third in the fourth heat, giving him the 12th starting spot in the Cash Cow 100. He enters the weekend shooting for three consecutive WoO victories after sweeping the tour’s season-opening events at last month’s DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
The Cash Cow 100 weekend concludes on Saturday with consolation races and the 100-lapper. Grandstand gates open at 3 p.m. for advance ticket-holders and 3:15 p.m. for all other fans, and action is set to get underway at 7 p.m.
Cash Cow 100 preliminaries
Pos., driver (car no), hometown, time
1. Chris Wall (71)Holden, La., 13.581
2. Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del., 13.664
3. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.718
4. Ron Davies (71d), Warren, Pa., 13.720
5. Dan Schlieper (9), Sullivan, Wis., 13.776
6. Rick Rickman (68), Columbus, Miss., 13.788
7. Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn., 13.797
8. David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss., 13.823
9. Chub Frank (18), Bear Lake, Pa., 13.837
10. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 13.869
11. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 13.872
12. Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 13.914
13. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 13.922
14. Jason Cliburn (888), Star, Miss., 13.929
15. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 13.957
16. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.003
17. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.037
18. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickmauga, Ga., 14.088
19. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 14.118
20. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.119
21. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 14.140
22. Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 14.198
23. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 14.209
24. Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 14.226
25. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.295
26. Klint Byars (5), Carrollton, Miss., 14.300
27. Brian Rickman (7), Columbus, Miss., 14.314
28. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.359
29. Brian Reese (33), Sharpsburg, Ga., 14.384
30. Pat Doar (11), New Richmond, Wis., 14.411
31. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth (18), Gulfport, Ala., 14.424
32. Dane Dacus (54), Lakeland, Tenn., 14.446
33. Greg Fore (77), Greenville, Miss., 14.470
34. Rodney Wing (10), Meridian, Miss., 14.517
35. Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 14.535
36. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 14.655
37. Scott Creel (31), Franklinton, La., 14.668
38. Justin McRee (25), Woodstock, Ala.,
39. Wade Byars (05), Carrollton, Miss., 14.712
40. Charles Thrash (1c), Meridian, Miss., 14.732
41. Brent Robinson (3), Smithfield, VA 14.792
42. John Lobb (1L), Frewsburg, N.Y., 14.897
43. Dewaine Hottinger (65), Russellville, Ark., 15.000
44. Dwight Falcon (F4), Pine Grove, La., 15.050
45. Doug Showah (D8), Indianola, Miss., 15.092
46. Leon Henderson (10), Laurel, Miss., 15.216
47. Hunter Carroll (88), Columbus, Miss., 15.422
48. Chad Washington (17), Greenville, Miss., 16.336
49. Brian Nuttall Jr. (16), Claxton, Ga., no time
(15 laps; top four transfer to main event with top two redrawing for top eight starting spots in main event)
First heat: Richards, Frank, Wall, Moyer Jr., Pearson, C. Smith, Creel, Reese, Fore, Schlieper, Showah. Scratched: Robinson, Nuttall.
Second heat: Hubbard, Francis, K. Byars, R. Rickman, McDowell, Coffey, Wing, Doar, Lobb, Cliburn, McRee, Henderson.
Third heat: Marlar, Feger, Clanton, Hollingsworth, Eckert, Lanigan, Fuller, Hottinger, W. Byars, George, B. Rickman. Scratched: Carroll.
Fourth heat: Moyer, Vaught, Bloomquist, McCool, McCreadie, Davies, Thrash, Dacus, Breazeale, Washington, Falcon, Beard.