COLUMBUS, MS (July 14, 2007)-In one of the most exciting and hard fought Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events of the season on Saturday Night at Columbus Speedway, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN repelled all challengers in taking the “Cliburn Tank Lines/Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau” sponsored event earning $10,000 for his all-time series leading 14th career win and his third of the season. Bloomquist led all 50 laps but had to battle traffic and several other hungry competitors in taking a two-car length win over Dan Schlieper. Earl Pearson, Jr. finished third to regain the points lead with Steve Casebolt and Justin Rattliff completing the top five.
Ronny Lee Hollingsworth and Bloomquist would start on the front row of the main event. The night was ripe with anticipation after an outstanding array of racing in the heat races and B-mains. This set the stage for what would turn out to be a tremendous feature event.
Bloomquist would grab the point at the start of the 50 lapper which was being taped before the cameras of SPEED Channel with the youngster, Hollingsworth and Casebolt snaring the second and third spots on the initial lap.
Casebolt would then move to the very inside of the race track with Hollingsworth trying to follow in Bloomquist’ tire tracks up against the outside retaining wall. The race was moving along rather quickly as a rapid pace was being set by the field. The first and only caution of the race would come out on lap seven for Scott James who had stopped crossways coming off of turn number four. James had come into the Columbus event leading the series points, but he had to use a provisional to make the ultra tough lineup as he would restart the race on the back.
On the restart Bloomquist would be out in front by himself with Hollingsworth and Casebolt lined up side by side on the Delaware double file restart. Casebolt would get the advantage on Hollingsworth moving into the second slot on lap eight.
Casebolt then would begin to build momentum on the bottom groove as he was closing down on Bloomquist in a hurry. Bloomquist was maintaining his top groove line as Casebolt would pull even with Bloomquist as the two would run side by side for a couple of circuits as they would be joined by Schlieper, who had moved from the seventh starting spot up to third at this early part of the race.
With 15 laps in the books Bloomquist was just out to a two car length lead over Casebolt with Schlieper, Pearson and Rattliff the top five runners. Hollingsworth who ran strong for the early portion of the race would leave the race track heading pit side putting to end his night of racing.
Bloomquist would then start to encounter some lapped traffic by the 18th lap. That would allow several drivers to close on him as this would set up a classic race through traffic for the top runners. Schlieper would hound Casebolt lap after lap until racing by him on lap 26.
With the last half of the race underway and no cautions to slow the frantic pace Bloomquist would see Schlieper close the margin on him with 20 laps remaining in the race. What Bloomquist couldn’t see was Schlieper, Casebolt, Pearson and Rattliff were all within striking distance of him as they all battled through heavy traffic as the race track was still showing three distinct grooves this late in the race.
Sometimes there was four wide racing up front with the lapped cars being in the mix Schlieper was using the bottom side to close on Bloomquist’ quarter panel on several occasions. At one point it looked like Schlieper was going to get Bloomquist trapped behind a lapped car, but each time Bloomquist would make the move he needed to keep Schlieper from taking the lead.
With five laps to go, the winner was still up in the air as Bloomquist was still having to contend with traffic, but he would make what turned out to be his best move of the race as he split two cars perfectly and that was the ticket he needed to maintain a two car length advantage over Schlieper until the checkers flew.
In the Lucas Oil victory lane afterwards Bloomquist along with the large crowd of fans on hand were still trying to catch their breaths after a thrilling race. “I am sure it looked a lot better from where everyone else was sitting, it wasn’t easy, I saw Dan there a few times, but the car was good we liked the top better than they did, but it also worked good on the bottom as well. We had to do a couple of slide jobs there in traffic; because it was getting close there with the pressure from Dan, everybody out there drove a good race tonight.” This is one Bad Bull Ring” Wow what a race!!!
“I can’t say enough about Vic Hill and the engines he has , I want to thank Bob and Barb Miller, Ohlins, Sweet Manufacturing, Hoosier Tires and everyone else that plays such a great role with our race team, we couldn’t do this without their help,” said the 43 year old National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member.
Bloomquist in his own self designed Bloomquist Race Cars Chevrolet is sponsored by Miller Brothers Coal, Hawkeye Trucking, Sweet Manufacturing, Hoosier Racing Tires, Ohlins Shocks, Allstar Performance and Arizona Sport Shirts with the aforementioned Vic Hill Racing Engine under the hood.
Schlieper picked up another strong finish by placing second in his Miller Brothers Coal/Pro Power Engines/C.J. Rayburn Ford Fusion. Pearson with his third place showing regained the championship points lead in the Bobby Labonte Racing/LifeLong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger as Casebolt took fourth in the Dale Beitler/Reliable Painting/Rocket Pontiac GTO. Rattliff finished fifth in the James Rattliff/Rattliff Motors/C.J. Rayburn Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Completing the top ten were Wendell Wallace, who earned the Edelbrock Hard Charger of the Race after starting 18th. Billy Drake was seventh followed by Terry English, Freddy Smith and Chris Wall.
In Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Preliminary action it was Jason Cliburn taking his first career LifeLong Locks fast Time Award with a fast lap of 13.54 seconds around “The Baddest Bullring in the South.” There were 46 cars that timed in. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott Bloomquist and Steve Casebolt were the winners in the Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored heat races. The Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks B-mains were taken by Bub McCool and Wendell Wallace.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series heads to the Midwest this upcoming weekend with two events. On Friday Night, July 20th the series comes to the Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL for the third time and on Saturday Night returns for the second time this season to “The Diamond of Dirt Tracks’ the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. Both events will pay $10,000 to win and $700 to start. Friday’s event at the Kevin and Tammy Gundaker promoted facility will be the first time the series has raced on the new 3/8ths mile track. A special open practice session will be held at Tri-City on Thursday Night from 6-10 pm and the Friday event will have the cameras of SPEED Channel on hand to tape the event which will be shown on a date and time to be announced in the future. For more information you can log onto www.lucasdirt.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, July 14, 2007
Columbus Speedway-Columbus, MS
LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier: Jason Cliburn 13.540
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Terry English, Jason Cliburn, Billy Drake, Jimmy Cliburn, Anthony Burroughs, Tony Knowles, Rick Rickman, Jason Sanderford, Roger Shirley, Billy James
Quarter Master Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Earl Pearson, Jr., David Breazeale, Freddy Smith, Kenny Merchant, Bub McCool, Brian Rickman, James Ward, Terrence Nowell, Scott Dedwylder, Shawn Edwards, Terrell Stripling, Byron Michaels
Hawk Brake Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Dan Schlieper, Jamie Elam, Chris Wall, Wendell Wallace, Garrett Durrett, Mike Boland, JimBo McDuffie, Justin McRee, Mark Dodson, David Seibers
Quarter Master Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Steve Casebolt, Justin Rattliff, Donnie Moran, Dean Carpenter, Damon Eller, Chris Ragan, Clint Logan, Dwight Falcon, Ben McCreary, Greg Fore, Scott James
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Bub McCool, Brian Rickman, Rick Rickman, Tony Knowles, Jimmy Cliburn, Jason Sanderford, Scott Dedwylder, James Ward, Byron Michaels, Terrence Nowell, Shawn Edwards, Roger Shirley, Anthony Burroughs, Billy James
Penske Shocks Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Wendell Wallace, Garrett Durrett, Mike Boland, Damon Eller, Chris Ragan, JimBo McDuffie, David Seibers, Ben McCreary, Mark Dodson, Scott James, Dwight Falcon, Justin McRee, Clint Logan
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Cliburn Tank Lines/Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau” Feature Event (50 Laps): Scott Bloomquist, Dan Schlieper, Earl Pearson, Jr., Steve Casebolt, Justin Rattliff, Wendell Wallace, Billy Drake, Terry English, Freddy Smith, Chris Wall, Donnie Moran, David Breazeale, Mike Boland, Kenny Merchant, Brian Rickman, Jamie Elam, Bub McCool, Scott James, Dean Carpenter, Damon Eller, Rick Rickman, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Jason Cliburn, Garrett Durrett
Yellow Flags: 1
Lap Leaders: Scott Bloomquist 1-50
Edelbrock Hard Charger Award: Wendell Wallace (Started 18th and Finished 6th-Advanced 12 Positions)
All-Star Performance Performer of the Race: Earl Pearson, Jr.
K&N Clean Pass Award: Scott Bloomquist
COMP Cams Rookie of the Race: Justin Rattliff
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Scott James and Damon Eller
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After July 14, 2007)
1) Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)-3630
2) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN)-3555
3) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-3550
4) Terry English (Benton, KY)-3165
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY)-3100
6) Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH)-3065
7) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL)-2930
8) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI)-2865
9) Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-2575
10) Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY)-2395
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series COMP Cams Rookie of the Year Points Standings (After July 14, 2007)