UNION, KY (August 9, 2008) – Using a textbook slide job on Scott Bloomquist, Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL took the lead on the 77th lap and then held off the Hall of Famer over the last 23 circuits to win the biggest race of his career on Saturday Night at Florence Speedway. Miller’s margin of victory was a little more than half a car length as the 31-year-old driver earned $50,000 by winning the Sunoco Race Fuels 26th Annual North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil. Matt Miller of Waterville, OH finished third followed by Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, WV and Bart Hartman of Zanesville, OH.
Miller and Bloomquist started on the front row of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned event. Bloomquist got the jump at the drop of the green flag as he bolted into the lead. In the early going, the top five were Bloomquist, Darren Miller, Steve Francis, Eddie Carrier Jr., and Brady Smith. They remained in the same running order until Terry Phillips clawed his way into the top five on the fifth lap.
Bloomquist stretched his lead to five car lengths over Darren Miller just as Francis started to close ground with 15 laps in the record books. Bloomquist was never able to build the lead he wanted, and with 25 laps scored both Miller and Francis had cut into the gap that Bloomquist had maintained.
The three frontrunners started to enter heavy traffic as Bloomquist, Darren Miller and Francis would go nose to tail in the race for the lead. Darren Miller would make the move in traffic on Bloomquist taking the lead, briefly, for two laps as he was scored in the lead on lap 34 and 35; only to allow Bloomquist to come right back and regain the point by the 36th circuit.
Meanwhile, Carrier had started to pick up some precious momentum as he tracked down the three cars ahead of him, making it a four-car battle for the lead. Phillips was still running fifth but was trying to hold off several other drivers behind him running three wide for position.
With the cross flags, indicating the half-way mark of the race, Bloomquist was still receiving heavy pressure from Darren Miller and Francis. Just as Francis attempted to go to the outside of Darren Miller for second, he made contact with the turn two wall, ultimately ending his race and taking his car pit-side.
On the first restart of the race, Bloomquist would pull to a two- car length advantage over Darren Miller with Carrier now running in third, Matt Miller was up to fourth with Phillips back into fifth. The second caution of the race came out on lap 65 for a slowing Steve Casebolt.
This would be the last restart of the race as the packed grandstand began to anticipate a Bloomquist runaway in the final 35 laps. Bloomquist would again fire very well on the restart, marching to a quick three-car length advantage over Darren Miller and Carrier with Matt Miller now receiving pressure from Shannon Babb, who was in the top five for the first time in the event.
Darren Miller would then chase down Bloomquist and with 72 laps complete he was all over him as the fans came to their feet. Darren Miller would dive to the inside of Bloomquist in turns three and four putting Bloomquist in jeopardy of losing the lead. Finally on lap 77, it happened, Darren Miller tried a slide-job in turn four. His car managed to accomplish the feat as he grabbed the lead from Bloomquist.
With Darren Miller in front, he put some breathing room between himself and Bloomquist with 15 laps to go; just ahead of him two former Florence track champions, Jerry Rice and Jesse Lay were fighting for position as both those drivers were tried to stay on the lead lap of the race.
With Rice and Lay dueling it out, Darren Miller looked like he was trapped behind those two, and thwart his momentum as Bloomquist closed right to the rear of Darren Miller’s car with five laps to go. Darren Miller would still have to contend not only with Rice and Lay, but Bloomquist was again applying pressure to Darren Miller for one last attempt to cruise around the leader.
Heading into turn three, and coming to the checkered flag, Miller would shut the door on Bloomquist as crossed the line first and won the biggest race of his career by a slim margin. Matt Miller would pass Carrier on the final lap to take third as Carrier finished fourth with Bart Hartman taking the fifth spot after Babb’s car erupted in a ball of flames under the hood on the white flag lap.
As Darren Miller stood in the Lucas Oil Victory Lane, he did an interview with SPEED Channel who was on hand to tape what turned out to be a classic event. “I don’t even know what to say, I’ve never won a big event like this, no doubt it’s the biggest win of my career and I can sure use the $50,000,” said Miller who became the 21st different winner this season on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series tour.
It was also another big win this season for a Moyer Victory Circle Chassis, the car of choice for the event for Darren Miller. “I thought I could get into the corner better than him and I felt pretty good when I passed him, I don’t know if he to check up or anything, but we’re running for $50,000 to win and I was going for it. We pulled away there at the end and I had to contend with the two cars in front of me, but I was glad to keep him behind me and when I crossed the finish line, it was a great feeling to beat someone like him.”
Miller’s best career win up until Saturday Night was a $20,000 to win victory in Oklahoma. He closed his interviews by thanking his family and his crew. The #32D car is powered by a Pro Power Racing Engine and is sponsored by Graphic Arts Express, NAPA, J.C. Dubil Racing Parts, Ideal Ready Mix, McLaughlin Freight Services, Cobra Graphics, VP Racing Fuels and Port City Racing.
Bloomquist was driving his Miller Brothers Coal/Vic Hill Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS as he fell just short of winning his third North/South 100. Matt Miller was driving the McCullough Industries/Gressman Racing Engines/Rocket Impala SS. Carrier was behind the wheel of the Carl Grover Motorsports/Engines, Inc/Rocket Ford Fusion with Hartman in the seat of the Imler’s Poultry/Cornett Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo SS.
Completing the top ten were Brian Birkhofer who earned the Hard Charger of the Race after starting 23rd. Tim McCreadie, Clint Smith, Jimmy Mars and Darrell Lanigan finished in positions 7-10.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will now head to Batesville Speedway in Batesville, AR for the 16th Annual “Topless 100”paying $40,000 to win on Friday and Saturday, August 15th and 16th. For more information you can go to www.batesvillespeedway.com.
For the latest on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series you can visit www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt SeriesRace Summary Saturday Night, August 9, 2008 Florence Speedway—Union, Kentucky
PRC Fast Time: Jeremy Payne/17.559 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Steve Francis, Skip Arp, Tim McCreadie, Billy Moyer, Steve Casebolt, Eric Wells, Shane Clanton, Shon Flanary, Dan Schlieper, Kevin Claycomb, Al Purkey, Brad Neat, Wendell Wallace, Scott James, Joe Armes – DNS, Ray Cook – DNS
Hawk Brake Second Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Eddie Carrier Jr., Terry Phillips, Jack Sullivan, Dustin Neat, Don O’Neal, Dale McDowell, Michael England, Wayne Chinn, Jordan Bland, John Gill, Tyrel Todd, Robby Hensley, Cody Mahoney, Jason Jameson, Duke Whiseant – DNS, Chris Combs – DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Brady Smith, Clint Smith, Eric Jacobsen, Freddy Smith, John Blankenship, Jeep VanWormer, James Ward, John Mason, Steve Landrum, Shanon Buckingham, Barry Doss, Joey Tackett, Tony Brewer, Gary Stuhler, Jeremy Crisp
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Matt Miller, Shannon Babb, Jerry Rice, Greg Johnson, Josh McGuire, Jesse Lay, Billy Drake, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Tony Knowles, Rick Corbin, Larry Pickleheimer Jr., Adrian Nichols, Bob Lanter, Jason Whitaker, Dustin Webber
Hawk Brake Fifth Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Darren Miller, Bart Hartman, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Darrell Lanigan, Chub Frank, David Spille, Steve Shaver, Justin Rattliff, Brian Shirley, Donnie Moran, Herman Goddard, Chris Wilson, Bob Carnes, Tim Prince
Hawk Brake Sixth Heat (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Mars, Jeremy Payne, Brian Birkhofer, Josh Richards, Vic Hill, Mike Marlar, Rod Conley, Stacy Taylor, Rodney Combs, Jeff Alsip, Josh Williams, Eric Myers, Mike Jewell – DNS, Anthony Ferguson – DNS, Steve Duderstandt Jr. – DNS
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Winner Advances): Billy Moyer, Steve Casebolt, Dale McDowell, Dustin Neat, Eric Wells, Shane Clanton, Don O’Neal, Michael England, Jordan Bland, Kevin Claycomb, Brad Neat, Shon Flanary, Scott James, Wayne Chinn, John Gill, Al Purkey, Tyrel Todd, Jason Jameson, Dan Schlieper, Robby Hensley, Wendell Wallace – DNS, Cody Mahoney – DNS, Ray Cook – DNS, Joe Armes – DNS, Chris Combs – DNS, Duke Whiseant – DNS
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps-Winner Advances): Freddy Smith, Greg Johnson, Jeep VanWormer, John Blankenship, Josh McGuire, Jesse Lay, James Ward, Billy Drake, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Tony Knowles, John Mason, Steve Landrum, Joey Tackett, Adrian Nichols, Rick Corbin, Larry Pickleheimer Jr., Jason Whitaker, Dustin Webber, Jeremy Crisp, Shanon Buckingham – DNS, Barry Doss – DNS, Tony Brewer – DNS, Bob Lanter – DNS, Gary Stuhler – DNS
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno Third B-Main (12 Laps-Winner Advances): Brian Birkhofer, Darrell Lanigan, Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Richards, Chub Frank, David Spille, Vic Hill, Mike Marlar, Rodney Combs, Rod Conley, Justin Rattliff, Steve Shaver, Jeff Alsip, Herman Goddard, Josh Williams, Donnie Moran, Eric Myers, Chris Wilson, Bob Carnes, Stacy Taylor – DNS, Brian Shirley – DNS, Tim Prince – DNS, Mike Jewell – DNS, Anthony Ferguson – DNS, Steve Duderstandt Jr. – DNS
26th Annual Sunoco Race Fuels “North/South 100” presented by Lucas Oil Feature Finish (100 Laps): Darren Miller, Scott Bloomquist, Eddie Carrier Jr., Bart Hartman, Brian Birkhofer, Tim McCreadie, Clint Smith, Jimmy Mars, Darrell Lanigan, Terry Phillips, Billy Moyer, Jeremy Payne, Shannon Babb, Jerry Rice, Jesse Lay, Earl Pearson Jr., Eric Jacobsen, Skip Arp, Steve Casebolt, Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Freddy Smith, Brady Smith, Jack Sullivan
Entries: 95 Caution Flags: 2 Lap Leaders: Scott Bloomquist 1-33, Darren Miller 34-35, Bloomquist 36-76, Miller 77-100Fast Time Provisional: Darrell LaniganLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Casebolt Florence Speedway Track Provisional: Jesse Lay PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Brian Birkhofer (Started 21st and finished 6th – advanced 15 positions) Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Eddie Carrier Jr. K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Darren Miller Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Eric Jacobsen ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Tim McCreadie Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Scott Smith (Matt Miller) Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Pro Power Racing Engines Time of the Race: 39 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonvile, FL) 5595
2) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 5140
3) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 5055
4) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 4680
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 4480
6) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 4380
7) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 4335
8) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4315
9) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 3955
10) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3660
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4315
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3660
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 855
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 505
5) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 385