BULLS GAP, TN (July 7, 2007)-The way the first ever visit by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Volunteer Speedway was shaping up it was going to be Bloomquist Race Cars/Team Zero drivers Jimmy Owens and Chris Madden taking home the top two spots on Saturday Night but when it was all said and done it was two other Bloomquist/Team Zero drivers. The boss, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN along with Brady Smith of Solon Springs, WI finishing first and second when the checkers flew. Bloomquist took his second series win of 2007 and his Lucas Oil Series career leading 13th triumph as he passed Owens on lap 35 and then held off Smith for the win. Brandon Kinzer of Allen, KY was third with Billy Ogle, Jr. of Knoxville, TN and Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH rounding out the top five.
Owens was quick to the point grabbing the lead at the waving of chief starter Cole Lewis’ green flag. Madden who started second would follow Owens around the high banked dirt track nabbing the runner-up spot at the start with Brad Neat, fifth place starter Scott Bloomquist and Billy Ogle, Jr. heading up the top five with a lap scored.
The running order would remain the same for two more circuits until Bloomquist and Ogle would go by Neat to advance to third and fourth place. The first caution for a slowing Rick Eckert would take place on lap five.
With the Delaware double file restarts in effect Owens would have the point all by himself with Madden and Bloomquist lining up door to door for the restart. When the green flag came back out it would take Bloomquist just two laps to clear Madden for second.
Owens had been setting a pretty good pace as the battle for second was being taken of by Bloomquist. The second caution of the race for a slowing Todd Morrow would once again set up a double file restart and prevent Owens from building his lead over Bloomquist.
With this ensuing restart Owens and Bloomquist would pull away from the pack of drivers as Ogle was all over Madden for third. A car on the move was Brady Smith. Smith who won his B-main to advance to the 60 lap main event had started 18th but was on a mission as he was around fifth place running Neat by just the 16th lap.
Smith who’s only other appearance at “The Gap” was a heat race run and no feature start was using the top side of the high banks as he was pressuring Ogle for fourth. Ogle had other things on his mind as he was trying to get around Madden who was directly in front of him.
While those three drivers were putting on an exciting duel for third Bloomquist was closing down on Owens in the race for the lead. Owens however was doing his best as Bloomquist was maneuvering his car all over the track trying to find an avenue by Owens.
On the 26th lap Ogle would finally get past Madden for third. The third caution of the race on lap 28 came out for four-time Volunteer Speedway track champion, Vic Hill who stopped on the backstretch. This would not only tighten the field up for a restart, but it helped bring back Owens and Bloomquist to the rest of the field. On the restart the drivers could not get another lap in as Scott James, who came into the race as the series points leader slowed in turn four.
On the restart to begin lap 29 Smith would sweep to the top groove once again moving by Ogle to take over third. This would set up a potential one-two-three finish for Bloomquist/team Zero because at the halfway mark it was Owens, Bloomquist and Smith in the top three spots with Ogle and Kinzer both driving GRT prepared chassis running fourth and fifth.
Ogle and Kinzer would put on a nice little battle between themselves as Kinzer made the pass for fourth on lap 31. Up front Bloomquist was really applying the heat to Owens and coming out of turn number two on lap 35 he would go to the inside of Owens down the backshute and take over the lead heading into turn number three.
A few laps later Smith would take over second passing Owens on lap 37. With 20 laps remaining in the race Bloomquist was setting sail as he was making his way around the track putting lapped cars between himself and Smith. Owens would slip another spot on lap 41 as Kinzer was on the move.
Kinzer then was gaining on Smith as Bloomquist was still in the lapping process. Kinzer closed right on the quarter panel of Smith by lap 48 as the two would go door to door for at least three laps. With ten laps to go Bloomquist had a four car length cushion between him and the hot race for second place.
The fifth and final caution came out for Vic Hill on lap 56 who slowed on the track. With four laps to go this would set up an exciting restart with Bloomquist on the point and Smith and Kinzer lined up side by side right behind him
On the restart Bloomquist would get a good run heading into turn one with Smith and Kinzer hanging right there. In the waning laps Bloomquist would have enough to hold off both Smith and Kinzer to take his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win since East Bay back in February. For Smith it was his third career runner-up finish in Lucas Oil competition as Bloomquist denied him his first ever series and $10,000 win. Kinzer equaled his best ever series finish with his third. Ogle was fourth and Donnie Moran came on late in the race to pass Owens for fifth on the final lap.
In victory lane the driver whose race shop is just down the road from Bulls Gap emerged from his car to the partisan cheering crowd. “I’ll tell you what this place is always exciting and puts on good racing, we were really good and Brady was really good, you could run anywhere out there,” said the 43 year member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. “It looked like Jimmy’s right front tire gave out, we had a good race there, and we ran a smaller motor here than we normally do and it all worked out and it’s always great to win here in front of family and friends.” Bloomquist and his crew chief Tommy Hicks were joined in victory lane by sponsors Bob and Barb Miller. “They have been a great help to my race team for a long time, they are great friends of ours and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Bloomquist’s Bloomquist Race Cars Chevrolet is sponsored by Miller Brothers Coal/Hawkeye Trucking/Allstar Performance/Sweet Manufacturing/Hoosier Tires/Arizona Sport Shorts and powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine.
Smith who’s best career Lucas Oil Series finishes came in 2005 at Farley, IA and last year at Brownstown, IN grab runner-up honors at the pay window in his AMSOIL/Vic Hill Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo with Kinzer equaling this third place last month at Talladega (AL) Short Track was driving his Kinzer Drilling/Custom Race Engines/GRT GTO. Ogle was fourth in the City Bonding Company/Clements Racing Engines/GRT Monte Carlo with Moran in his Custom Cutters/Eddie’s Sunoco/MasterSbilt Impala SS.
The rest of the top ten finishers were Jimmy Owens, Ray Cook, Steve Casebolt, Justin Rattliff and Chris Madden.
The preliminaries before the main event saw Earl Pearson, Jr. take the LifeLong Locks Fast Time Award and the ten bonus points that go with that. Pearson toured the 4/10th mile oval with a lap of 12.768 seconds among the 47 entrants on hand. The Hawk Brake and Quarter Maser sponsored heat races were taken by Ray Cook, Jimmy Owens, Brad Neat and Chris Madden. The Mason Racin’ rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks B-Main winners were Dan Schlieper and Brady Smith. The Edelbrock Hard Charger of the Race was Brady Smith, who started 18th and finished second. Steve Casebolt, who took over the series championship points standings also passed 16 cars after having to take a provisional, was awarded the Allstar Performance Performer of the Race. The K&N Clean Pass of the Race went to Donnie Moran for his last lap pass on Jimmy Owens.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is back in action this upcoming weekend with a Friday Night, July 13th visit to North Alabama Speedway in Tuscumbia, AL and Saturday Night, July 14th for its yearly visit to Johnny Stokes’ Columbus Speedway in Columbus, MS. For more information on these events you can check out www.lucasdirt.com this week.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, July 7, 2007
Volunteer Speedway-Bulls Gap, TN
LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier: Earl Pearson, Jr. 12.768 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Ray Cook, Scott Bloomquist, Vic Hill, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dan Schlieper, Rick Rogers, Randy Weaver, Scott James, Eric Wells, Austin Dillon, Michael Smith, Barry Arnold
Quarter Master Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Billy Ogle, Jr., Todd Morrow, John Blankenship, Billy Drake, Rodney Kiker, Kerry Jones, Shane Roberts, Jeff Maupin, Anthony White, Randy Davidson, Damon Eller
Hawk Brake Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Brad Neat, Donnie Moran, Terry English, Skip Arp, Justin Rattliff, Brady Smith, Freddy Smith, Rick Eckert, Herman Goddard, Jeremy Clements, David Payne, Jamie Oliver
Quarter Master Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Chris Madden, Brandon Kinzer, Bobby Giffin, Ricky Arms, Shanon Buckingham, Chris Combs, John Mason, Dale Groves, Jr., Mark Douglas, Scott Sexton, Steve Casebolt
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Billy Drake, Rick Rogers, Randy Weaver, Kerry Jones, Shane Roberts, Rodney Kiker, Jeff Maupin, Austin Dillon, Anthony White, Randy Davidson, Damon Eller, Eric Wells, Michael Smith, Scott James
Penske Shocks Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Brady Smith, Justin Rattliff, Rick Eckert, Shanon Buckingham, Freddy Smith, Chris Combs, Jeremy Clements, Mark Douglas, John Mason, Jamie Oliver, Herman Goddard, David Payne, Dale Groves, Jr., Steve Casebolt
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Pizza Plus/Rusty Wallace Auto Group 60” (60 laps): Scott Bloomquist, Brady Smith, Brandon Kinzer, Billy Ogle, Jr., Donnie Moran, Jimmy Owens, Ray Cook, Steve Casebolt, Justin Rattliff, Chris Madden, Brad Neat, Ricky Arms, Rick Rogers, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott James, Terry English, Vic Hill, Dan Schlieper, Billy Drake, Todd Morrow, Bobby Giffin, Skip Arp, John Blankenship, Rick Eckert
Yellow Flags: 5
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens 1-34, Scott Bloomquist 35-60
Edelbrock Hard Charger Award: Brady Smith (Started 18th and Finished 2nd-Advanced 16 Positions)
All-Star Performance Performer of the Race: Steve Casebolt
K&N Clean Pass Award: Donnie Moran
COMP Cams Rookie of the Race: Justin Rattliff
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Scott James and Steve Casebolt
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After July 7, 2007)
1) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-3215
2) Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)-3190
3) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN)-3185
4) Terry English (Benton, KY)-2850
5) Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH)-2700
6) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY)-2690
7) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL)-2485
8) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI)-2415
9) Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-2285
10) Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY)-2270
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series COMP Cams Rookie of the Year Points Standings (After July 7, 2007)