Bloomquist Banks $10,000 At Volusia
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — A slower track surface played right into Scott Bloomquist’s hands on Wednesday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Making his first start in a new car he designed in a collaboration with noted parts manufacturer Randy Sweet, the 50-year-old superstar mastered the sprawling half-mile oval to capture the 40-lap feature that closed the DIRTcar late model portion of the 43rd annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
Bloomquist swept past fellow Hall of Famer Billy Moyer for the lead on lap 20 and never looked back in the caution-free event. He pocketed $10,000 for his ninth career win during the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit.
“The race track was awesome tonight,” said Bloomquist, who began the six-night full-fender meet at VSP with finishes of sixth (Monday) and fifth (Tuesday). “It’s a little different when you just don’t sit out there and have everybody hold it on the floor all night. You gotta have a little bit of foot, a little bit of patience.”
Bloomquist showed plenty of those traits on his way to crossing the finish line 1.497 seconds ahead of Dale McDowell, who made a strong advance from the 14th starting spot. McDowell reached second on lap 30 and briefly closed on Bloomquist before losing ground and settling for runner-up money.
Eric Wells, who started fifth, climbed as high as second on lap 24 before being overtaken by McDowell six circuits later and placing third – his second podium finish in the week’s three DIRTcar Late Model events. Darrell Lanigan started and finished fourth and Moyer faded to fifth at the checkered flag after starting from the outside pole and leading laps 1-19.
In a race completed in a rapid 12 minutes, 35.182 seconds, Bloomquist started third and chased Moyer and polesitter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., through the early circuits. Bloomquist wrestled second from Eckert on lap 15 and quickly ran down Moyer.
With a burst off the inside of turn four, Bloomquist shot past Moyer to assume command for good as lap 20 was scored.
“We moved around and just tried to find where we could work well on the race track,” said Bloomquist, who won a feature during the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit for the fourth consecutive year. “I really felt great all over the racetrack, but finally we got to the middle of (turns) three and four. It looked like not too many guys could carry that much speed through the middle.
“(Moyer) looked like he was just kind of fading and we were coming to him,” he continued. “He might have went with a little different tire combination. But I knew all the guys up front had the same thing, so we just had the superior piece and I felt like we drove a pretty good race.”
Putting the new car in victory lane in its debut gave Bloomquist a definite confident boost.
“We finished this car while we were racing in Tampa (last week at East Bay Raceway Park),” said Bloomquist. “We’ve had a pretty rough two-week period, so to get the car finally done and get out here – this is the first laps on it this week – we really know we got something going on with this race car. I think there’s gonna be a lot of victories to come.”
McDowell, 47, appeared primed to stop Bloomquist’s march after surging past Lanigan and Wells to claim second place on lap 30. The veteran drew his Team Dillon Warrior within a half-second of Bloomquist before his bid stalled.
“I got to gaining a little bit there but just got to turning hard,” said McDowell, who was chasing his first DIRTcar Nationals by Summit victory since the 1999 finale. “I got kind of balanced out the last five, six laps, and got a little bit tight, and Scott was good rolling right through that middle. We’ll try to fix that problem and see if we can’t get up front the rest of the week.”
Moyer registered the fastest overall qualifying lap at 15.999 seconds.
Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, Eric Wells, Darrell Lanigan, Billy Moyer, Rick Eckert, Steve Francis, Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Brady Smith, Vic Coffey, Bobby Pierce, Don O’Neal, Brian Shirley, Jared Landers, Chad Hollenbeck, Casey Roberts, Kenny Pettyjohn, Jeff Babcock, Morgan Bagley, Frankie Heckenast Jr., Eric Jacobsen, Shane Clanton, John Blankenship, Gregg Satterlee, Clint Smith, Mike Hammerle.