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BACK IN BLACK: BLOOMQUIST WINS SEVENTH $100,000 VICTORY AT ELDORA
ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 10) – Veteran Scott Bloomquist powered around the outside of Georgia’s Brandon Overton on lap-55 and cruised the rest of the way to a dominating win for his seventh career victory in the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night.
“It’s like all these big shows, you are just glad they are over with,” Bloomquist said of his return after laboratory tests and resulting legal action saw he and four other drivers suspended from participation at Eldora until mid-May. “Mission accomplished!”
Bloomquist, of Mooresburg, Tennessee, started in the seventh position following a second-place in the opening heat race and methodically worked his way forward from the drop of the green flag.
He cracked the top-five on lap eight and moved to fourth-place when Pennsylvania’s Mason Zeigler, who was running in the top-five, brought out the first caution flag when he slowed with a flat tire on lap-12. On the double-file restart, Bloomquist jumped to the runner-up position behind leader Brandon Overton.
Bloomquist swapped the second-position with New Berlin, Illinois’ Brandon Sheppard three times over the next 40 laps before finally shaking free of the Rocket Chassis-house car on lap-53.
Two laps later, the 53-year old Bloomquist made the winning move to the outside of Overton and was never seriously challenged the remaining 45 laps building as much as an eight second lead in the closing stages of the event.
“This has always been one of my favorite places to race ever since I first came here in 1988,” Bloomquist said. “It is such a beautiful race track and you can race all over it from the inside wall to the outside wall. I can’t say enough for how these guys prep a race track. There were a few little bumps but that just gave the track character.”
Bloomquist took his time with lapped traffic late in the race and crossed the finish line 4.5 seconds ahead of Sheppard who won a spirited battle with Overton for the runner-up position.
“I wasn’t really sure (how big the lead was), then I got to some of the lapped traffic and the 18 car (Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kansas) and I about had him cleared. Our air got a little messed up and I got loose so I backed off a little bit and tried not to get too much heat in the tires. That would have cost us more than anything,” Bloomquist said.
Sheppard’s runner-up finish and Overton’s third-place finish were career best runs in the Dirt Late Model Dream for both of the young drivers.
“That was a fun race there with Brandon (Overton). We always race each other clean, so it was fun racing with him and congratulations to Scott. He was pretty good,” said Sheppard, the 24 year old point leader of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series. “Once me and Brandon got the line figured out that we wanted to run, we were already too far behind.”
“That’s not too bad at all. We will take that,” commented Overton, the 26 year old of Evans, Georgia who scored an emotional victory in one of Thursday’s Twin 25 Feature races. “Congratulations to Scott. If we are going to lose, these are the two to lose to. Me and Brandon raced each other as clean as we could. We faded a little bit but to get out there and lead we are all tickled to death. I want to thank all the fans here and back in Georgia. This place is pretty cool.”
Tim McCreadie, of Avon, New York, finished in fourth-place for his best career Eldora finish, while Gaffney, South Carolina’s Chris Madden rounded out the top five, after starting 14th.
Completing the top ten were 2014 Dirt Late Model Dream winner Dale McDowell (Georgia), 1997 winner Jimmy Mars (Wisconsin), Mike Marlar (Tennessee), Earl Pearson, Jr. (Florida), and young second-generation driver Zach Dohm (West Virginia).
Kent Robinson, of Bloomington, Indiana, led the first 11 laps of the main event from his outside front-row starting position before giving way to Overton who led laps 12-55. After that it was all Bloomquist.
“It's awesome to win here,” Bloomquist said. “We have a lot of fans and a lot of naysayers but that’s what makes it all go around. It’s something that doesn’t have an affect on the outcome of the race, I believe, but it takes both (supporters and detractors) to make that much noise. It makes me smile that so many people have some kind of emotion toward us.”
Heat races were won by Mars, Shannon Babb (Illinois), Zeigler, Overton, Robinson and Marlar. The B-Features, highlighted by defending World 100 winner Bobby Pierce charging from 25th starting position to a thrilling fourth-place finish to secure the final starting spot in the 28-car Dirt Late Model Dream, were won by Dale McDowell and Jon Henry (Ada). The $1,000-to-win B-Scrambles for drivers who failed to advance to Saturday’s main event, were captured by Eddie Carrier, Jr. (West Virginia) and Brian Shirley (Illinois).
Eldora officials turn their attention to the open wheel winged sprint cars this coming Saturday night. The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions return for the second leg of Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Casey General Stores. Gates will open at 4:00 PM with hot laps at 6 p.m. and the show scheduled for to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Heat 2 – (15 Laps)
Heat 3 – (15 Laps)
Heat 4 – (15 Laps)
Heat 5 – (15 Laps)
Heat 6 – (15 Laps)
B-Feature 1 – (20 Laps)
B Scramble 1 (5 Laps)
B-Feature 2 – (20 Laps)
B Scramble 2 (5 Laps)
Dirt Late Model Dream – (100 Laps)