JAMAICA, VA (September 15, 2012) – Jamie Lathroum of Mechanicsville, MD a former track champion at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway captured the biggest victory of his racing career on Saturday Night. He took home the $20,000 first place in the 33rd Annual USA 100. Lathroum took over the lead on lap 18 and held off Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN for the win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.
Steve Francis of Ashland, KY led the first 15 laps of the race until Lathroum forged under him coming off of turn four. Francis then jumped the cushion and was forced to stop on the track before contact with the inside guardrail. On the restart, Lathroum picked up the lead, but a big wreck in turn four involving four cars changed the complexion of the top five.
Lathroum maintained the top spot with Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL and John Blankenship of Williamson, WV running in third. Lathroum built his lead over Pearson and Blankenship as the drivers approached the halfway mark of the race.
Blankenship squeezed by Pearson for second as he began to run down the leader, Lathroum. Blankenship closed the gap in a hurry as he closed to within a car length of Lathroum, who was having difficulty negotiating lapped car. Blankenship tried to pass Lathroum several times, but could never get a good enough run.
Lathroum meanwhile stretched his lead out to a comfortable margin over Blankenship, who was now receiving pressure from the duo of Pearson and Bloomquist. Bloomquist moved into the third spot on lap 43 as he tracked down Blankenship and overhauled him on lap 46.
Bloomquist then tried to diamond-off the corners in an effort to catch the high-flying Lathroum, but it was to no avail as Lathroum hit his marks lap after lap as he took his car to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time in his career. He becomes the 15th different winner this year in series competition.
“This is just awesome,” said Lathroum, who emerged from his MasterSbilt by Huey with tears in his eyes. “This is the biggest win of my career and to outrun Bloomquist, O’Neal, and the rest of these guys is just unbelievable! I have to thank my crew, everybody here at Virginia Motor Speedway, my family and the fans,” said the 33-year-old, whose biggest win before tonight was a $10,000 victory in 2009.
Lathroum, who captured the late model track title at VMS back in 2005, said keeping his car away from the bumps and cushion was critical to his success. “I tried to stay away from all of that, there were guys jumping the cushion, it would bite you if you let it. I just tried to be smooth lap after lap and we got it done,” said the driver of the Three Mules Welding, Claar Logging, Superior Tank, The Bowles Boys, Lathroum’s Seafood, Integra, Abell Auto Glass and Eugene Copsey’s Plumbing. His car is powered by an Eatmon Racing Engine.
Bloomquist came home in second, followed by Blankenship, Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN;and Pearson rounded out the top five.
Completing the top ten were: Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA; Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN; Jared Landers of Batesville, AR; Dan Stone of Thompson, PA; and Walker Arthur of Forest, VA.
In preliminary action, Jimmy Owens set the Red Buck Fast Time amongst the 25 entrants, with a lap of 17.456 seconds. David Williams set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 17.673 seconds. Steve Shaver and Steve Francis won their respective Heat Races. David Williams won the B-Main.
Next weekend, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns to Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown, IN for the Jackson 100. The event will be a two-day show with Red Buck Time Trials on Friday and Heats, B-Mains, and the 100-Lap $20,000-to-win feature on Saturday. For more information, log onto www.brownstownspeedway.com.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com and be sure to follow the series at www.facebook.com/lucasdirt and www.twitter.com/#!/lucasdirt. Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Saturday Night, September 15th, 2012 “USA 100” Virginia Motor Speedway – Jamaica, VA
Red Buck Fast Time Group A: Jimmy Owens / 17.456 seconds Red Buck Fast Time Group B: David Williams / 17.673 seconds
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (25 Laps – Top 8 Transfer): Steve Shaver, Jared Landers, Chris Madden, Dale McDowell, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Kenny Moreland, Dean Bowen, Ricky Elliott , Eric Wells, Walker Arthur, Tyler Reddick
U. S. Steel Second Heat (25 Laps – Top 8 Transfer): Steve Francis, Jamie Lathroum, Jonathan Davenport, John Blankenship, Don O'Neal, Austin Hubbard, Jerry Bard, Jeremy Miller, David Williams, Matt Quade, David Watts, Daniel Stone
JRi Shocks B-Main (15 Laps – Top 6 Transfer): David Williams, Dean Bowen, Eric Wells, Ricky Elliott , Tyler Reddick, Daniel Stone, David Watts, Billy Tucker, Matt Quade-DNS, Walker Arthur-DNS
Feature Finish – 50 Laps
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||4||6L||Jamie Lathroum||Mechanicsville, MD|
|2||11||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|3||8||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|4||10||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|5||9||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|6||21||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA|
|7||13||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|8||3||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|9||22||21d||Daniel Stone||Thompson, PA|
|10||23||87||Walker Arthur||Forest, VA|
|11||12||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE|
|12||24||04||David Watts||Buchanan, VA|
|13||15||24m||Kenny Moreland||Waldorf, MD|
|14||2||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|15||25||Bad 1||Billy Tucker||King George, VA|
|16||6||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA|
|17||1||6s||Steve Shaver||Vienna, WV|
|18||20||88||Ricky Elliott||Seaford, DE|
|19||19||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|20||14||26||Jerry Bard||Shippensburg, PA|
|21||5||44m||Chris Madden||Gaffney, SC|
|22||7||2||Dale McDowell||Chickamauga, GA|
|23||16||1m||Jeremy Miller||Littlestown, PA|
|24||18||5n||Dean Bowen||Whiteville, NC|
Race Statistics Entrants: 26 Lap Leaders: Steve Francis (Laps 1 – 17); Jamie Lathroum (Laps 18 – 50) Caution Flags: Eric Wells (Lap 4); Don O’Neal (Lap 7); Kenny Moreland (Lap 7); Dean Bowen (Lap 10); Chris Madden, David Watts (Lap 11); Steve Francis (Lap 17); Steve Francis (Lap 42) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: none Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: none Red Buck Fast Time Provisional: Walker Arthur, David Watts Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Reddick (Started 21st; Finished 6th; Advanced 15 positions) Allstar Performer of the Race: Don O’Neal Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Earl Pearson Jr. ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Scott Bloomquist Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Austin Hubbard COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Roush-Yates Racing Engines Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: MasterSbilt Race Cars Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Huey Wilcoxon (Jamie Lathroum) Time of Race: 48 minutes 47 seconds
Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||POINTS|
|1||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||6975|
|2||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN||6670|
|3||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||6600|
|4||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY||6385|
|5||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV||6075|
|6||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||5980|
|7||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||5745|
|8||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA||5640|
|9||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||5530|
|10||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY||5445|
*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*