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GAFFNEY, SC (March 7, 2010) - Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN passed race leader Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA in turn four of the final lap as he outsprinted McDowell to the checkered flag in winning the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned March Madness race Sunday at Cherokee Speedway.  Randy Weaver of Crossville, TN crossed the stripe in third followed by 16th starting Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN and Chris Madden of Gaffney, SC rounded out the top five.

A wild first lap saw Bub McCool and Ray Cook get together on the backstretch with Cook suffering heavy damage to his car.  Cook went pit-side and fell several laps down as his crew made repairs to the car.  While the race was under red outside front row starter Dan Schlieper went to the pits for the night after fluid began leaking out from under his car.  So that put Madden to the outside of polesitter John Blankenship. The second time would be a charm to get the race underway. Madden took the lead, followed by McDowell, Blankenship, Chris Wall, and Johnny Pursley.  Wall, who was making his first appearance at Cherokee, climbed to third on lap three as Blankenship fell to fourth.

McDowell then started to put the heat on Madden for the lead pulling even with him on lap ten as the two crossed the start-finish line.  McDowell pulled ahead of Madden on lap 11 as Wall maintained third.  The second caution of the race flew on lap 12 as McCool slowed on the backstretch.

The restart saw McDowell on the point of the Delaware double-file restart as Madden and Wall lined up side-by-side ready for the return of chief starter Bruce Coyle's green flag.  McDowell showed his power; but Madden did not giving up easily as the hometown favorite closed to the bumper of McDowell's mount with 16 laps complete. Bloomquist, who started seventh, was now in the hunt. He was running in the fourth spot bringing Randy Weaver with him.  Bloomquist and Weaver then began to pressure Wall for third, but Wall, who was the Red Buck Cigars fast qualifier for the night was doing a good job in fighting off the challenges of the two.

McDowell continued to show the way as he and Madden raced through traffic through the mid-point of the race.  Madden then pulled dead even with McDowell on lap 27 as the crowd came to its collective feet.  McDowell led lap 28, but a circuit later Madden was scored as the race leader. The torrid battle for the lead had all eyes on the two frontrunners. Madden then took a five-car length lead over McDowell on lap 32 as it looked like he was going to be the car to beat in the remaining laps of the race, but McDowell re-grouped and closed quickly on Madden as the two continued to race through some heavy lapped traffic.

With ten laps to go Madden was still showing the way, followed by McDowell.  Bloomquist and Weaver had managed to get around Wall back on lap 38 to take over third and fourth places, but they looked to be too far out of it to make a run in the final laps. Bloomquist was out to prove the naysayers wrong as he put on a charge in the last five laps that would give him a shot at the win.

Bloomquist went around Madden on lap 45 as he set his sights on McDowell.  A caution with four laps to go for Casey Roberts bunched the field for a four-lap shootout to the finish.  McDowell was under constant pressure from Bloomquist as the two went side-by-side coming off of turn number two. McDowell managed enough momentum to maintain the lead. As the two drivers took the white flag, McDowell was a car length ahead of Bloomquist and going into turn number two he moved up just enough out of the groove to allow Bloomquist room on the bottom to pull even with him as Bloomquist carried that momentum as the two were still side-by-side in turn three.

Bloomquist slid up in front of McDowell in turn four and led him on a drag race down the frontstretch as the two headed to the checkered flag. Bloomquist got the win by one car length as a stunned crowd looked on as Bloomquist had recorded another come from behind victory for his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the year.

In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 20th time in his Hall of Fame Career, the reigning series champion was out of breath in his post-race interview.  "Well the car was super, it just got better and better as the race went on, everything went well today for us, Chris (Madden)is good at this place, we share a lot of information, if he would have had my tire combination on he would have won," said the 46-year-old driver who is quickly approaching 500 career wins.

"We had out a Jay Dickens Engine in today, what can I say, everything went good for us. Dale and I had a great race, we raced each other clean, before that last caution I was catching them and I didn't know if the caution was good or bad for us, the car just fired up real good on the restart, this race track was real good today, everybody was giving each other room, there was some good racing going on out there. Dale and I have raced together several times in the past and it was going to be tough to get around him," said the winner who continues to lead the series points standings heading into the next event on March 27th at Brownstown (IN) Speedway.

Bloomquist' Jay Dickens Racing Engine powered Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS is sponsored by Miller Brothers Construction, Hawkeye Trucking, Sweet Mfg, VP Racing Fuels, Hoosier Tires, Arizona Sport Shirts, Ohlins and Lane Automotive.

McDowell in the Clint Bowyer Racing/Dollar General/Warrior Race Cars Impala SS moved to third in the points after his runner-up finish.  Weaver was third in the BKW Disaster, Recovery and Rebuilding/Race Engine Design/Bloomquist Race Cars Corvette.  Fourth went to the hard charger of the race Don O'Neal in the Superior Cleaning/Jay Dickens Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo SS as Madden took fifth in the Century Plastics/Cornett Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS.

Completing the top ten were Chris Wall of Holden, LA, Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, IL, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN, Clint Smith of Senoia, GA and Johnny Pursley of Clover, SC.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Sunday Night, March 7th, 2010 "March Madness VIII" Cherokee Speedway - Gaffney, SC   Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Chris Wall / 16.381 seconds   Wiles Driveshaft's First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): John Blankenship, Jimmy Owens, Casey Roberts, Jeff Smith, Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Eric Jacobsen, Freddy Smith, Tim Isenberg, Justin Rattliff, Wayne Chinn   AFCO Racing Products Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advances): Johnny Pursley, Scott Bloomquist, Eric Wells, Dennis Erb Jr., Steve Casebolt, Steve Shaver, Chris Ferguson, Jordan Bland, Ray Cook, Brent Dixon, Danny Howell   Allstar Performance Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Dale McDowell, Chris Wall, Clint Smith, Jason Feger, Will Vaught, Tyler Reddick, Donald Bradshear, Jim Rasey, Brad Neat, Michael Walker   Wrisco Aluminum Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Chris Madden, Jeff Cooke, Randy Weaver, Don O'Neal, Bub McCool, Mike Collins, Earl Pearson Jr., Daniel Baggerly, Mike Gault, Tim Rivers, John Henderson   Hawk Brake First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers): Mike Marlar, Steve Shaver, Jonathan Davenport, Eric Jacobsen, Steve Casebolt, Freddy Smith, Tim Isenberg, Ray cook, Chris Ferguson, Justin Rattliff, Wayne Chinn, Jordan Bland, Brent Dixon, Danny Howell   Performance Rod and Custom (PRC) Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers):  Jason Feger, Will Vaught, Bub McCool, Tyler Reddick, Jim Rasey, Daniel Baggerly, Mike Gault, Tim Rivers, Mike Collins, Donald Bradsher, Michael Walker, Earl Pearson Jr.-DNS, Brad Neat-DNS, John Henderson-DNS  "March Madness VIII" Feature Finish - 50 Laps

Finish - Start - Car Number - Driver Name - Hometown

 

1

7

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

2

6

17m

Dale McDowell

Chickamauga, GA

3

12

116

Randy Weaver

Crossville, TN

4

16

71

Don O'Neal

Martinsville, IN

5

4

44m

Chris Madden

Gaffney, SC

6

10

71w

Chris Wall

Holden, LA

7

15

28e

Dennis Erb, Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

8

5

20

Jimmy Owens

Newport, TN

9

14

44c

Clint Smith

Senoia, GA

10

3

09

Johnny Pursley

Clover, SC

11

17

157

Mike Marlar

Winfield, TN

12

1

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

13

8

99c

Jeff Cooke

Gaffney, SC

14

19

6

Steve Shaver

Vienna, WV

15

21

49

Jonathan Davenport

Blairsville, GA

16

13

18m

Jeff Smith

Gastonia, NC

17

20

1

Will Vaught

Crane, MO

18

26

00

Freddy Smith

Seymour, TN

19

23

44

Earl Pearson, Jr.

Jacksonville, FL

20

11

18e

Eric Wells

Hazard, KY

21

25

41n

Brad Neat

Dunnville, NC

22

22

57j

Bub McCool

Vicksburg, MS

23

9

101

Casey Roberts

Toccoa, GA

24

18

25f

Jason Feger

Bloomington, IL

25

24

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

26

2

s9

Dan Schlieper

Sullivan, WI

Race StatisticsEntrants: 39 Lap Leaders: Chris Madden (Laps 1-10); Dale McDowell (Laps 11-28); Chris Madden (Laps 29-41); Dale McDowell (Laps 42-49); Scott Bloomquist (Lap 50) Caution Flags: Bub McCool, Ray Cook (Start); Bub McCool (Lap 12); Casey Roberts (Lap 46) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Ray Cook Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: Brad Neat PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race:  Don O'Neal (Started 16th; Finished 4th; Advanced 12 positions) Ohlin's Shocks Performer of the Race: Dale McDowell K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Scott Bloomquist Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: none Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Jay Dickens Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award: Dan Schlieper DirtonDirt.com Crew Chief of the Race: Tommy Hicks E3 Spark Plugs TV Challenge All stars: n/a Time of Race: 35 minutes, 41 seconds

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings: 1. #0 Scott Bloomquist - Mooresburg, TN 700 2.  #71 Don O'Neal - Martinsville, IN 595 3. #17m Dale McDowell - Chickamauga, GA 585 4. #71w Chris Wall - Holden, LA 575 4. #53 Ray Cook - Brasstown, NC 575 6. #20 Jimmy Owens - Newport, TN 570 7. #s9 Da n Schlieper - Sullivan, WI 545 7. #28 Dennis Erb - Carpentersville, IL   545 9. #44 Earl Pearson Jr. - Jacksonville, FL 500 10. #c9 Steve Casebolt - Richmond, IN 375

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