CLEVELAND, TN (June 16, 2009) – Many Dirt Late Model observers knew it was a matter of time before the young lion, Jake Knowles of Tyrone, GA, would capture a major touring event. Tonight, at Cleveland Speedway it happened as the 23-year-old racer fought off all the challenges of Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN. He went on to win the biggest super late model race of his career, earning $7,000 in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 40 lap race. Knowles led all the way, but he had to hold off the Hall of Famer Bloomquist over the last 44 laps of the race. Bloomquist finished second followed by Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA; Jamie Perry of Ringgold, GA; and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN.
Knowles and Perry started on the front row of the event, which was held before a large crowd at the Monty Morrow promoted facility. A three car tangle on the initial start made way for a complete restart. Knowles jumped to the early lead followed by Perry, Bloomquist, McDowell and Josh McGuire.
A caution on lap five for the slowing Eric Jacobsen bunched the field back up with Knowles holding the point on the Delaware double-file restart. Bloomquist made quick work of Perry, passing the former track champion to take over second a lap into the restart. McDowell passed Perry to take over third a circuit later.
A caution for Michael Walker on lap seven, wiped out Knowles’ lead of three-car lengths over Bloomquist and McDowell. On the restart, Knowles had to fight off Bloomquist to maintain his lead; Bloomquist looked to be biding his time and planning his assault. With 15 laps in the books, it was still Knowles out in front followed closely by Bloomquist, McDowell, Perry and McGuire, who was still fifth.
The field then had several green flag laps and that put Knowles in a position he had not been the entire race and that was with traffic in front of him. Bloomquist closed right on the rear deck lid of Knowles as McDowell was coming into the hunt; just one length behind Bloomquist.
As the four cars raced for the lead; things were really heating up in traffic, Todd Morrow slowed in turn number two bringing out the final caution of the race with 23 laps complete. The final restart of the race had Knowles where he had been from the start, out in front, followed by the double-file restart cars of Bloomquist and McDowell.
With 17 laps remaining, all Knowles had to do was hit his marks and hold off both Bloomquist and McDowell, which is no easy task. Knowles ran the highside of the track in the remaining laps as Bloomquist followed in his tire tracks. Bloomquist dived low heading into turn four in an attempt to pass Knowles, but he never could pull alongside of Knowles.
Knowles just had one more scare; he had one lapped car to deal with in the closing laps with Bloomquist still close enough that Knowles could not take it easy. Knowles drove just as hard on the last lap as the first one. He was able to safely clear the lapped car and that allowed him enough distance apart from Bloomquist blazed across the finish line with their crowd on their feet as he crossed the line to become the 14th different winner on the 2009 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Tour.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the third stop on the ’09 Summer Sizzler Tour, Knowles has a massive celebration with family and friends on the main straightaway. “Man to hold off Scott (Bloomquist) I don’t know what to say, I just held my line and kept him behind me, I knew he was there, my dad (Wade) kept giving me signals there in traffic, I was trying to slow up a little so I wouldn’t overdrive the car, I am glad it all worked out, the track was in good shape tonight and running the top was the way to go, thanks to my crew and the fans for coming out tonight, it looked like a big crowd,” said Knowles who’s biggest career win was a $10,000 to win Crate Late Model Race in 2006 at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL.
Knowles drove a MasterSbilt Chassis powered by a Race Engine Design motor to the win with sponsorship from Car Smart Auto Sales, Cleveland Speedway Driving School, VP Racing Fuels and Cruise with the Champions
Bloomquist maintains the series points lead finishing second in his Miller Brothers Coal/Sweet Mfg/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS with McDowell coming home third in the Clint Bowyer Racing/Chevrolet/Warrior Race Cars Impala SS. Completing the top five were Perry in his best ever Lucas Oil Series finish taking fourth in the Choo Choo Materials/Warrior Monte Carlo SS with O’Neal grabbing fifth in the Racing United Marketing/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo SS.
Completing the top ten were Josh McGuire, Steve Casebolt, Randy Weaver, Billy Ogle, Jr. and Earl Pearson Jr.
In preliminary action Don O’Neal was the PRC Fast Qualifier with a lap of 13.921 seconds. O’Neal also earned an extra $500 courtesy of ATC Roofing and another $200 from Murphy Glass and Mirror, Inc. Heat race winners were Jake Knowles, Scott Bloomquist, Jamie Perry and Dale McDowell. The B-mains went to Brad Neat and Todd Morrow. Billy Ogle Jr. was the PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race finishing ninth after starting in 19th.
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
Race Summary Tuesday Night, June 16, 2009 Cleveland Speedway – Cleveland, TN
PRC Fast Time: Don O’Neal/ 13.921 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jake Knowles, Don O’Neal, Kevin Gibson, Eric Jacobsen, Derek Ellis, Billy Ogle, John Blankenship, David Breazeale, Cale Finley, Kayne Hickman
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Josh McGuire, Dan Schlieper, Jimmy Owens, Janathan Davenport, Brad Neat, Brian Hickman, Michael Walker, Brett Wyatt
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jamie Perry, Shawn Chastain, Steve Casebolt, Randy Weaver, Ray Cook, Joe Armes, Freddy Smith, Rick Rogers, Steve Smith, Matt Helbing
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dale McDowell, Earl Pearson Jr., Skip Arp, Chad Ogle, Todd Morrow, Bobby Giffin, Johnny Chastain, Daniel Baggerly, Michael Akeson
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Brad Neat, Billy Ogle, Jonathan Davenport, John Blankenship, Brian Hickman, Michael Walker, Cale Finley, David Breazeale, Brett Wyatt, Derek Ellis, Kayne Hickman-DNS
Wiles Drive Shafts Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Todd Morrow, Ray Cook, Joe Armes, Freddy Smith, Rick Rogers, Bobby Giffin, Johnny Chastain, Michael Akeson, Daniel Baggerly, Matt Helbing, Steve Smith-DNS
Feature Finish (40 Laps): Jake Knowles, Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, Jamie Perry, Don O’Neal, Josh McGuire, Steve Casebolt, Randy Weaver, Billy Ogle, Earl Pearson Jr., Kevin Gibson, Ray Cook, Dan Schlieper, Joe Armes, Brad Neat, Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Jonathan Davenport, Freddy Smith, David Breazeale, Shawn Chastain, Todd Morrow, Chad Ogle, Michael Walker, Eric Jacobsen
Finish (Start) Car Number Driver Name
1. (1) #66 Jake Knowles 2. (3) #0 Scott Bloomquist 3. (4) #17M Dale McDowell 4. (2) #P16 Jamie Perry 5. (5) #71 Don O’Neal 6. (7) #41 Josh McGuire 7. (10) #c9 Steve Casebolt 8. (12) #116 Randy Weaver 9. (19) #201 Billy Ogle 10. (8) #44 Earl Pearson Jr. 11. (9) #m45 Kevin Gibson 12. (18) #53 Ray Cook 13. (11) #s9 Dan Schlieper 14. (20 #77 Joe Armes 15. (17) #41N Brad Neat 16. (15) #20 Jimmy Owens 17. (23) #23 John Blankenship 18. (21) #18 Jonathan Davenport 19. (22) #00 Freddy Smith 20. (24) #54 David Breazeale 21. (6) #x15 Shawn Chastain 22. (16) #T16 Todd Morrow 23. (14) #10 Chad Ogle 24. (25) #64 Michael Walker 25. (13) #5 Eric Jacobsen
Entries: 38 Caution Flags: Eric Jacobsen, Jimmy Owens, Joe Armes (Lap 1); Eric Jacobsen (Lap 5); Michael Walker (Lap 7); Todd Morrow (Lap 23) Lap Leaders: Jake Knowles (Laps 1-40) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: John Blankenship, David Breazeale Emergency Provisional: Michael Walker PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Billy Ogle Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Jake Knowles K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Ray Cook Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: John Blankenship Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Race Engine Design Time of the Race: 29 minutes 9 Seconds
2009 Championship Points Standings
1. Scott Bloomquist (Mooresburg, TN) 2740 2. Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 2415 3. Jimmy Owens (Newport, TN) 2410 4. Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, GA) 2365 5. Ray Cook (Brasstown, NC) 2350 6. Don O’Neal (Martinsville, IN) 2310 7. Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 2220 8. Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY) 2165 9. Josh McGuire (Grayson, KY) 2095 10. Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 1975 11. John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 1965 12. Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 1865 13. Billy Moyer (Batesville, AR) 1810 14. Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 1745 15. David Breazeale (Four Corners, MS) 1695 16. Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 1635 18. Michael Walker (Franklin, TN) 1315
2009 Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1. John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 1965 2. David Breazeale (Four Corners, MS) 1695 3. Jeep VanWormer (Pinnconning, MI) 1590 4. Michael Walker (Franklin, TN) 1315