ROME, GA (October 11, 2009) – Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN clinched the 2009 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Championship in grand fashion by winning the final series race of the year on Sunday Night at Rome Speedway. Bloomquist led all 50 laps to take the $10,000 first place money, but more importantly will take home the $75,000 first place check for winning his first ever Lucas Oil Series title. The boss of Team Zero led a clean sweep of his chassis’ as Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, WI finished second followed by Chris Madden of Gaffney, SC in third. Completing the top five were Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, GA and Casey Roberts of Toccoa, GA.
Dale McDowell and Bloomquist started on the front row of the 40th and final Lucas Oil Series race of 2009 the Rome Showdown which was sponsored by Coal America’s Energy. Bloomquist started off quick grabbing the lead from the onset followed by Jimmy Owens, McDowell, Roberts and Clanton. Clanton moved to fourth on lap two passing Roberts, who fell to fifth.
Bloomquist continued to hold a steady pace early on, expanding his lead lap after lap as he started to enter traffic only ten laps into the race. Owens began to close on Bloomquist as he lapped his first car, 12 laps in. As Owens set his sights on Bloomquist, McDowell got back into things as the polesitter passed Owens for second on the 14th circuit.
With laps complete the running order was Bloomquist, McDowell, Owens, a fast moving Ray Cook and Clanton. Cook, who won the Dixie Shootout the night before at Dixie Speedway, looked to be the fastest car on the track until he slowed on lap 19 with a broken torque arm which put him out of competition.
On the restart Bloomquist still held the point as Clanton would become the new second place car by lap 23 as he passed McDowell. At the halfway mark of the race Bloomquist still held a three-car length advantage over Clanton with Dan Schlieper up to third followed by McDowell and Chris Madden.
The top five remained that way until Schlieper powered past Clanton on lap 34 to take over second place. Schlieper then started to chop into Bloomquist’ lead and with ten laps to go Schlieper closed to within two car lengths of Bloomquist. With Schlieper closing he would see his momentum halted when the fourth place running McDowell slowed on the track with a flat tire.
The restart would this time be a single file one as Bloomquist was still keeping Schlieper at bay and five to go Schlieper was still within striking distance of Bloomquist. The race stayed green until there were two laps to go when fifth place running Steve Casebolt slowed with a flat tire.
The final restart of the race saw Bloomquist hold off Schlieper to score his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season and the 17th of his career. Bloomquist held a 190-point lead over Jimmy Owens before the night began and with the win by Bloomquist and Owens’ 15th place finish the final margin was 285 points in favor of Bloomquist.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane the 45-year –old racer breathed a sigh of relief that the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series which began in February at East Bay ended with the win and championship on the same night. “You know it’s been a long season and I don’t think anybody remembers the first winner of the year, but just the last one, everybody kept saying you can’t make it through this Lucas season without winning a race and we proved them wrong, Dan had a good car, he drives similar to me, so I didn’t know how close he was at the end, a couple of times I felt the car got a little loose there at the end, but the Vic Hill engine performed well,” said Bloomquist who’s victory was the 483rd of his illustrious career.
“Bob and Barb Miller couldn’t be here this weekend, but they have been sponsors and friends for years and I know they would have enjoyed this, I have to thank my family for their support all of these years, we slowed down there a little bit towards the end to make sure we didn’t have a flat like some of the cars were having, I felt really strong in my heat race and it carried over to the feature, it’s so hard to win a title in any series, we had a lot of seconds and thirds and finally got that win here tonight,” said Bloomquist.
“I have to thank my crew chief Tommy Hicks and everybody on the crew they worked their tails off all year, all my sponsors I want to thank them, the track was good, it’s probably the best I have seen, it feels great to win the Lucas Oil Series Championship the competition level this year was unreal and congrats to John Blankenship for winning the Rookie of the Year in one of our cars.”
Bloomquist drives his own Bloomquist Race Cars with a Vic Hill Racing Engine and is sponsored by Miller Brothers Coal, Hawkeye Trucking, Sweet Mfg, Hoosier Tires, VP Racing Fuels and Allstar Performance.
Schlieper ran second in his Rockstar Energy Drink/Pro Power Engines/Bloomquist Ford Fusion followed by Madden in his Century Plastics Inc/Cornett Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS. Clanton was fourth in the Ronnie Dobbins/SAE Parts Inc/Rocket with Roberts in the Starrette Trucking/Moyer Victory Circle M1 chassis placing fifth.
Completing the top ten were Brad Neat of Dunnville,KY, Clint Smith of Senoia, GA, John Blankenship of Williamson, WV, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL and Aaron Ridley of Chatsworth, GA.
Prior to the event at Rome Speedway, officials of Talladega Short Track and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series came to a mutual agreement to cancel the November 14th postponement date. Fans can look forward to having TST back on the 2010 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule, “We appreciate everyone’s support of the series and Talladega Short Track this season and we look forward to returning to the “Hornet’s Nest” next year,” stated Series Director, Ritchie Lewis.
To find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, October 10th, 2009
“Rome Showdown 50”
Rome Speedway – Rome, GA
PRC Fast Time: Dale McDowell / 13.161 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dale McDowell, Dan Schlieper, Skip Arp, Clint Smith, Tony Knowles, Bub McCool, Luther Jenkins, Travis Pennington, Mark Sims, Brian Smith, Buster Goss
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Casey Roberts, Chris Madden, Don O’Neal, John Blankenship, Tommy Kerr, Lamar Haygood, Freddy Smith, Eric Jacobsen, David Payne, Danny Ferguson
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Shane Clanton, Ray Cook, Brad neat, Jonathan Davenport, Randy Weaver, Cody Barnett, Rod Carroll, Chuck Laney, Chris Noah, Michael Walker-DNS
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Steve Casebolt, Lee Sutton, Jody Knowles, Aaron Ridley, JJ Nye, Jody Summerville, Matt Helbing, Earl Pearson Jr., Teddy Snow
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Tommy Kerr, Tony Knowles, Bub McCool, Luther Jenkins, Freddy Smith, Eric Jacobsen, David Payne, Mark Sims, Travis Pennington, Lamar Haygood, Brian Smith-DNS, Danny Ferguson-DNS
Wiles Drive Shafts Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Jonathan Davenport, Randy Weaver, Aaron Ridley, Buster Goss, Rod Carroll, Matt Helbing, JJ Nye, Cody Barnett, Michael Walker, Chuck Laney, Chris Noah, Teddy Snow, Earl Pearson Jr.-DNS, Jody Summerville-DNS
Rome Showdown Feature Finish (50 Laps): Scott Bloomquist, Dan Schlieper, Chris Madden, Shane Clanton, Casey Roberts, Brad Neat, Clint Smith, John Blankenship, Earl Pearson Jr., Aaron Ridley, Bub McCool, Tony Knowles, Lee Sutton, Tommy Kerr, Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell, Jonathan Davenport, Steve Casebolt, Jody Knowles, Eric Jacobsen, Don O’Neal, Skip Arp, Randy Weaver, Ray Cook
Finish (Start) Car Number Driver Name
1. (2) #0 Scott Bloomquist 2. (5) #s9 Dan Schlieper
3. (7) #44m Chris Madden
4. (6) #25c Shane Clanton
5. (3) #101 Casey Roberts
6. (14) #41N Brad Neat
7. (13) #44c Clint Smith 8. (15) #23 John Blankenship
9. (23) #44 Earl Pearson Jr.
10. (22) #1a Aaron Ridley
11. (21) #57J Bub McCool
12. (19) #26 Tony Knowles
13. (12) #L7 Lee Sutton
14. (17) #4t Tommy Kerr
15. (4) #20 Jimmy Owens
16. (1) #17m Dale McDowell
17. (18) #49 Jonathan Davenport
18. (8) #c9 Steve Casebolt
19. (16) #66J Jody Knowles
20. (24) #5 Eric Jacobsen
21. (11) #71 Don O’Neal
22. (9) #31 Skip Arp
23. (20) #B1 Randy Weaver
24. (10) #53 Ray Cook
Lap Leaders: Scott Bloomquist (Laps 1-50)
Caution Flags: Lap 19 (Ray Cook); Lap 22 (Jimmy Owens); Lap 23 (Jody Knowles); Lap 33 (Debris); Lap 43 (Dale McDowell); Lap 48 (Don O’Neal)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr.; Eric Jacobsen
PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr.
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Brad Neat
K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Dan Schlieper
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: John Blankenship
Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Racing Engines
Time of Race: 35 minutes 15 seconds
2009 Championship Points Standings
1. Scott Bloomquist (Mooresburg, TN) 7390
2. Jimmy Owens (Newport, TN) 7105 3. Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 6970
4. Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, GA) 6785
5. Don O’Neal (Martinsville, IN) 6585
6. Ray Cook (Brasstown, NC) 6490 7. Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY) 6025
8. Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 5990
9. John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 5520
9. Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 5520
11. Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 5435
12. Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 4280
13. David Breazeale (Four Corners, MS) 3880
14. Michael Walker (Franklin, TN) 3515
2009 Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1. John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 5520
2. David Breazeale (Four Corners, MS) 3880
3. Michael Walker (Franklin, TN) 3515
4. Jeep VanWormer (Pinconning, MI) 2090