Lucas Oil Speedway
Live updates: Bloomquist denies Baker in opener
By Kevin KovacDirtonDirt.com senior writer
WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 22) — Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., appeared destined to become the victim of an absolutely monumental upset on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway — and then he went to the top of the racetrack. | Complete Show-Me coverage
Powering around the outside of the 3/8-mile oval, Bloomquist regained the lead from Robert Baker of Bryant, Ark., on lap 37 and marched on to capture the 45-lap Midwest LateModel Racing Association-sanctioned Cowboy Classic that kicked off the 22nd annual Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com weekend.
Bloomquist, 50, initially passed the unheralded Baker for the lead on lap 15, but Baker shocked the assemblage by sticking with Bloomquist and moving back in front on lap 34. But Bloomquist’s high-side response — plus a caution flag on lap 36 — allowed the Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer to snuff out Baker’s bid and claim the $5,045 winner's share.
Baker, who turns 30 on May 28, settled for second place, .0690 of a second behind Bloomquist at the finish. Seventh-starter Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, surged into third place just before the lap-36 caution and finished there, 15th-starter Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., placed fourth and Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., completed the top five.
MLRA @ Lucas Oil Speedway: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Robert Baker, (3) Chris Simpson, (4) Don O’Neal, (5) Eddie Carrier Jr. (6) Ryan Gustin, (7) Jared Landers, (8) Steve Francis, (9) Chad Simpson, (10) Jesse Stovall, (11) Rodney Sanders, (12) Bobby Pierce, (13) Shannon Babb, (14) Will Vaught, (15) Brian Shirley, (16) Dennis Erb Jr., (17) Jason Papich, (18) Jack Sullivan, (19) Garrett Alberson, (20) John Blankenship, (21) Jason Bodenhamer, (22) Jimmy Owens, (23) Earl Pearson Jr., (24) Tommy Weder, (25) Travis Dickes, (26) Terry Phillips, (27) Billy Moyer, (28) Jason Hughes. Fastest qualifier (among 63 cars): Baker, 15.637 seconds. Heat race winners: Baker, Landers, Stovall, Bloomquist, Shirley, Babb. Consolation winners: Pearson, Moyer, Vaught. Provisional starters: Phillips, Dickes, Papich, Bodenhamer.
Thursday's preliminary results:
Robert Baker's dream night continued with the feature redraw, which put him on the pole for the 45-lap headliner. Jesse Stovall will start second, followed by Brian Shirley, Scott Bloomquist, Shannon Babb and Jared Landers.
Provisional starting spots for the feature went to Terry Phillips, Travis Dickes, Jason Papich and Brantlee Gotschall.
At 10:30 p.m. CT, the track crew is on the speedway completing a reworking of the surface. The feature will begin lining up momentarily.
A race-long battle for the lead was finally resolved on lap 11 when Will Vaught snuck by Tommy Weder to assume command for good. Vaught pulled away over the final laps to cross the finish line ahead of Weder. Jason Feger fell one spot short with a third-place finish. Bub McCool ran third until slowing on the final lap.
Finish: Will Vaught, Tommy Weder, Jason Feger, Austin Siebert, Mark Dotson, J.C. Wyman, Wendell Wallace, Dustin Walker, Junior Coover, Dave Deetz, Bub McCool, Reid Millard, Scotty Bough (DNS) Sonny Findling, Greg Clemons.
Billy Moyer dominated the action, leading from flag-to-flag to move on to the feature with a victory. New Mexico’s Garrett Alberson finished a distant second to join Moyer Jr. as a transfer in the non-stop event.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Garrett Alberson, Travis Dickes, Billy Moyer Jr., Brantlee Gotschall, Jason Bodenhamer, Jason Papich, Timothy Culp, Gavin Landers, Bryon Allison, Brian Birkhofer, John Anderson, Mike Marlar, Steve Casebolt (DNS) Rick Kenderling.
Earl Pearson Jr. surged ahead of race-long pacesetter John Blankenship exiting turn two on the final circuit to grab the first last-chance race after the two drivers spent virtually the entire distance battling for the lead. Jeremy Payne ran within striking distance of the leaders throughout but finished third, missing a transfer spot. Among the race’s casualties was Tony Jackson Jr., who retired late in the distance.
Finish: Earl Pearson Jr., John Blankenship, Jeremy Payne, Chris Brown, Dave Eckrich, Brady Smith, Matt Furman, Bill Koons, Scott Lewis, Raymond Merrill, Joey Smith, Tony Jackson Jr., Austin Rettig (DNS) Terry Phillips.
(15 laps; top 2 transfer)
Row 1: Matt Furman, John Blankenship
Row 2: Jeremy Payne, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 3: Chris Brown, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 4: Raymond Merrill, Kyle Beard
Row 5: Dave Eckrich, Scott Lewis
Row 6: Austin Rettig, Joey Smith
Row 7: Brady Smith, Bill Koons
Row 8: Justin Asplin, Terry Phillips
Row 1: Jason Bodenhamer, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Garrett Alberson, Travis Dickes
Row 3: Billy Moyer Jr., John Anderson
Row 4: Mike Marlar, Jason Papich
Row 5: Brantlee Gotschall, Timothy Culp
Row 6: Steve Casebolt, Gavin Landers
Row 7: Bryon Allison, Brian Birkhofer
Row 8: Rick Kimberling
Row 1: Will Vaught, Tommy Weder
Row 2: Bub McCool, Mark Dotson
Row 3: Jason Feger, J.C. Wyman
Row 4: Wendell Wallace, Dave Deetz
Row 5: Austin Siebert, Dustin Walker
Row 6: Junior Coover, Reid Millard
Row 7: Scotty Bough, Sonny Findling
Row 8: Greg Clemons
The most competitive heat of the evening saw Shannon Babb overtake fellow Illinois driver Dennis Erb Jr. midway through the race to emerge victorious. Jason Hughes advanced from the fifth starting spot to place fifth and Erb settled for third.
Finish: Shannon Babb, Jason Hughes, Dennis Erb Jr., Tommy Weder, Mark Dotson, J.C. Wyman, Dave Deetz, Dustin Walker, Reid Millard, Sonny Findling.
Brian Shirley checked out to score an easy triumph, but the battle for second raged throughout the distance. Will Vaught held the spot for the majority of the race but faded in the final laps, losing second to Jack Sullivan and then, on the final lap, third to Rodney Sanders, who started sixth.
Finish: Brian Shirley, Jack Sullivan, Rodney Sanders, Will Vaugt, Bub McCool, Jason Feger, Wendell Wallace, Austin Siebert, Junior Coover, Scotty Bough.
Scott Bloomquist controlled the action from start-to-finish, steering his white-trimmed machine to to victory over a close battle for second between Steve Francis and Ryan Gustin. Billy Moyer fell short by one spot, placing fourth in a race that ran non-stop after the original start was called back.
Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis, Ryan Gustin, Billy Moyer, Travis Dickes, John Anderson, Jason Papich, Timothy Culp, Gavin Landers, Brian Birkhofer, Rick Kimberling.
Jesse Stovall turned back an early challenge from Chris Simpson to emerge triumphant. Simpson finished several car lengths behind Stovall in second with Don O’Neal placing third. Billy Moyer Jr., Mike Marlar and Steve Casebolt were among the high-profile non-qualifiers in the caution-free event.
Finish: Jesse Stovall, Chris Simpson, Don O’Neal, Jason Bodenhamer, Garrett Alberson, Billy Moyer Jr., Mike Marlar, Brantlee Gotschall, Steve Casebolt, Bryon Allison.
Jared Landers outgunned polesitter Jimmy Owens for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back en route to victory, but he had an anxious moment on lap six when he nearly ran into Joey Smith, who spun in turn four to bring out a caution flag. Landers was able to avoid Smith and stay a couple car lengths ahead of Owens over the remaining circuits. Chad Simpson came out on top of a close race for third, nipping John Blankenship and Earl Pearson Jr. for the final transfer spot.
Finish: Jared Landers, Jimmy Owens, Chad Simpson, John Blankenship, Earl Pearson Jr., Tony Jackson Jr., Kyle Beard, Scott Lewis, Joey Smith, Bill Koons, Justin Asplin.
Robert Baker continued his coming-out party at Wheatland, checking out from the field to score a dominating victory. He led the race from green-to-checkered, crossing the finish line more than a straightaway ahead of runner-up Eddie Carrier Jr., who slipped underneath Bobby Pierce for second place rounding turns one and two on the final lap. Pierce settled for third in the non-stop race, which saw Brady Smith pull off on lap eight and Terry Phillips scratch from competition.
Finish: Robert Baker, Eddie Carrier Jr., Bobby Pierce, Matt Furman, Jeremy Payne, Chris Brown, Raymond Merrill, Dave Eckrich, Austin Rettig, Brady Smith (DNS) Terry Phillips.
Robert Baker of Bryant, Ark., kicked off the weekend by pulling off a qualifying upset, registering the overall fastest lap of the session with a clocking of 15.637 seconds in Group A. The 2012 Comp Cams Super Dirt Series Rookie of the Year will celebrate his 30th on May 28.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., meanwhile, was the last scheduled driver to qualify after picking the worst number — 100 — in the time-trial draw, but he ripped off the quickest lap of Group B with a circuit of 15.844 seconds.
The polesitters in the upcoming 10-lap qualifying heat races will be Baker, Jimmy Owens, Jesse Stovall, Bloomquist, Brian Shirley and Sonny Findling, a veteran from Kirksville, Mo., who spent much of Group B atop the speed chart. The top three finishers in each prelim will advance to the 40-lap feature.
The pits are crowded with Late Models on Thursday as Lucas Oil Speedway opens the first of three days of the 22nd annual Lucas Oil Show-Me 100 with a complete program for the Lucas Oil MLRA tour, the cousin of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who is gunning for his fifth victory in his last six feature races at the 3/8-mile oval, is among the 63 entries signed in for tonight's action. Former Show-Me 100 winners Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer, Brian Birkhofer, Terry Phillips and Wendell Wallace — who will make is debut in the Illinois-based Moring Motorsports ride — are also among drivers in the pits.
Tonight’s program will follow the same format as the Show-Me 100 on Friday and Saturday. Drivers will be split into two groups for time trials, with the results from the first lining up Heats 1-3 and those from the second aligning Heats 4-6. All 18 heat-race qualifiers will redraw bottles of Lucas Oil product for feature starting spots — winners picking positions 1-6, second-place finishers 7-12 and third-place finishers 13-18. The feature redraw system will also be used for Saturday night’s Show-Me 100.
Tonight's feature will run over the 45-lap distance in honor of the late Cowboy Chancellor, whose number was 45 when he raced. His final season behind the wheel was in 2013 when he competed in the Late Model division at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Tonight’s drivers’ meeting is set for 6 p.m. CT. Hot laps are scheduled for 6:45 p.m. with time trials kicking off the competitive portion of the show at 7:35 p.m
Tonight’s program marks the second straight year that the Show-Me 100 weekend kicks off with a Thursday-night tuneup sanctioned by the MLRA. This year’s event has been titled the Cowboy Classic in honor of late series co-owner Allen “Cowboy” Chancellor, who died last month. … Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., plans to run his Darrell Lanigan-designed Club 29 car this weekend after winning the last three Show-Me 100s with his Bloomquist Race Car. … Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., is debuting a new Rocket Chassis car and open-wheel modified ace Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, is making his first start in a Club 29 Race Car. … Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., unloaded his Bloomquist Chassis machine with a new plain black body. His number and sponsor wrap arrived late in the afternoon and was applied to the car for tonight’s action in the pit area.
Heat race lineups
Row 1: Robert Baker, Bobby Pierce
Row 2: Matt Furman, Raymond Merrill
Row 3: Jeremy Payne, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 4: Terry Phillips, Chris Brown
Row 5: Dave Eckrich, Austin Rettig
Row 6: Brady Smith
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Jared Landers
Row 2: Scott Lewis, Chad Simpson
Row 3: Bill Koons, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 4: Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Beard
Row 5: Justin Asplin, John Blankenship
Row 6: Joey Smith
Row 1: Jesse Stovall, Jason Bodenhamer
Row 2: Chris Simpson, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 3: Don O’Neal, Steve Casebolt
Row 4: Mike Marlar, Garrett Alberson
Row 5: Brantlee Gotschall, Bryon Allison
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis
Row 2: Ryan Gustin, Jason Papich
Row 3: John Anderson, Billy Moyer
Row 4: Timothy Culp, Travis Dickes
Row 5: Brian Birkhofer, Gavin Landers
Row 6: Rick Kimberling
Row 1: Brian Shirley, Will Vaught
Row 2: Jack Sullivan, Bub McCool
Row 3: Jason Feger, Rodney Sanders
Row 4: Junior Coover, Austin Siebert
Row 5: Wendell Wallace, Scotty Bough
Row 1: Sonny Findling, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Tommy Weder
Row 3: Jason Hughes, J.C. Wyman
Row 4: Dustin Walker, Mark Dotson
Row 5: Dave Deetz, Reid Millard
Time trial results
Robert Baker (17m), Bryant, Ark., 15.637
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.721
Jesse Stovall (00), Galena, Mo., 15.824
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.873
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 15.897
Jason Bodenhamer (2b), Centerview, Mo., 15.949
Matt Furman (51), Columbus, Ohio, 16.012
Scott Lewis (99L), Henderson, Colo., 16.025
Chris Simpson (32x), Oxford, Iowa, 16.079
Raymond Merrill (12m), Salisaw, Okla., 16.084
Chad Simpson (25c), Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 16.106
Billy Moyer Jr. (21Jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.149
Jeremy Payne (186), Springfield, Mo., 16.156
Bill Koons (29), Omaha, Neb., 16.170
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.179
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 16.259
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 16.306
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., 16.341
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 16.518
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.601
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.67
Chris Brown (21b), Spring, Texas, 16.676
Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 16.734
Garrett Alberson (43), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.762
Dave Eckrich (58), Oxford, Iowa, 16.78
Justin Asplin (77a), Birch Tree, Mo., 16.902
Brantlee Gotschall (4G), Nevada, Mo., 16.953
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 16.981
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 17.067
Bryon Allison (1A), Marshall, Mo., 17.08
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 17.275
Joey Smith (13), Pomona, Mo., 17.467
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.844
Brian Shirley (81), Chatham, Ill., 15.918
Sonny Findling (8), Kirksville, Mo., 15.975
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 16.003
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.062
Will Vaught (1v), Crane, Mo., 16.062
Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.216
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 16.358
Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark.,16.371
Jason Papich (91p), Nipomo, Calif., 16.459
Bub McCool (57J), Vicksburg, Miss., 16.462
Tommy Weder (02), Woodward, Okla., 16.462
John Anderson (21x), Omaha, Neb., 16.585
Jason Feger (25F), Bloomington, Ill., 16.588
Jason Hughes (12), Watts, Okla., 16.603
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.638
Rodney Sanders (20x), Happy, Texas, 16.665
J.C. Wyman (4w), Griswold, Iowa, 16.695
Timothy Culp (c8), W. Monroe, La., 16.787
Junior Coover (10c), Norfolk, Neb., 16.894
Dustin Walker (14w), Peculiar, Mo.,16.897
Travis Dickes (6T), Madison, Neb., 16.954
Austin Siebert (16), Grandview, Mo., 16.988
Mark Dotson (85d), Cameron, Mo., 16.998
Brian Birkhofer (15b), Muscatine, Iowa, 17.022
Wendell Wallace (1), Batesville, Ark., 17.084
Dave Deetz (12A), Las Cruces, N.M., 17.298
Gavin Landers (77), Batesville, Ark., 17.418
Scotty Bough (47), Nevada, Mo., 17.61
Reid Millard (14m), Jefferson City, Mo., 19.096
Rick Kimberling (1k), Slater, Mo., 19.179