Bloomquist Stars At Ark-La-Tex
VIVIAN, La. — Scott Bloomquist raced to his 47th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win Saturday night at Ark-La-Tex Speedway in thrilling fashion.
Bloomquist took the lead on the 48th lap and led Ray Moore and Ryan Gustin to the checkered flag in a close finish. Bloomquist took over the second spot on lap 20 and trailed Moore until the two entered lapped traffic in the final 10 laps when he began closing on Moore’s rear bumper.
“This is our first time here,” said Bloomquist, who became the 10th different winner in 11 series races this season. “I heard the racing would be two and three wide easily here. Well it is definitely true. I hope the crowd enjoyed that one. Our Sweet-Bloomquist car has been good all year. I have to thank Hawkeye Trucking, Durham Racing Engines, Lucas Oil Products, and Penske Shocks.
“The track in the heat races was great and we could run anywhere, then the top started getting dominant during the feature. We set up our car for the end with our tire choice. When we caught him (Moore), there were a few cars in front of us, and I just picked the right line to get by him. He drove a heck of a race, we had just enough laps to catch him and pass him,” said Bloomquist afterwards.
Moore and Gustin battled with Bloomquist to the very end.
“This would have been the biggest win of my career with the competition that was here tonight,” said Moore. “We won the Pelican here and that was huge for us. Scott is just too good. Once he got by me; I knew I was in trouble. I was trying to hang on for second ahead of Gustin,” said the driver of the Moore Wireline, MB Customs entry. “I really wanted to win for the home-state fans as well as they have been behind me since I started my racing career. We came up a little short tonight, but we will be back and try again.”
Gustin, in his first full year of late model racing, nearly stole the win at the end.
“We were coming up quickly in the final five laps. The top was going away, and our car just didn’t work as well on the bottom to middle part of the track,” said Gustin. “To run third against these guys says a lot about our team as we continue to grow. We have a lot to learn about these cars, but I think once we get the hang of it, we are going to get some big wins.”
Jimmy Owens, the three-time and reigning series champion charged from 18th to fourth and fast qualifier Don O’Neal rounded out the top five. Completing the top ten were Chris Wall, Brian Shirley, Tim McCreadie, Ray Cook and Earl Pearson Jr.
In preliminary action, O’Neal set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the 51 entrants, with a lap of 13.607 seconds. Gustin set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 14.095 seconds. Morgan Bagley, Eddie Carrier Jr., McCreadie, Moore, Bloomquist, and Billy Moyer won their respective heat races. Kyle Bronson and Pearson won their respective B-Mains.