Bronson Stars In Volusia Late Model Upset
BARBERVILLE, FL – Kyle Bronson became the latest upset winner of a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event, capturing Saturday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Volusia Speedway Park for his first-ever victory behind the wheel of a super late model.
A 23-year-old open-wheel modified standout in the Sunshine State, Bronson joined Thursday-night victor Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., as unexpected first-time WoO LMS winners during the 43rd DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment. His $10,500 triumph in the finale of the mid-winter motorsports meet also was the second of the week for a home state driver following the win by Ivedent Lloyd Jr. of Ocala, Fla., in the DIRTcar Racing-sanctioned event on Feb. 17.
“This is unbelievable,” said Bronson, whose win came in the just the eighth Super Late Model start of his fledgling racing career. “I’ve never doubted myself, but I dang sure didn’t think I was gonna come here and win the race. If you would’ve asked me (about winning a WoO LMS event) a couple days ago, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. We had our goals set (for the DIRTcar Nationals) to try and make all of (the features).
“I don’t know what to say. I’m so excited I don’t even know how to show it right now.”
Bronson started from the pole position but was outgunned for the lead at the initial green flag by John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va. Bronson held strong in second, however, and rallied to grab the top spot from Blankenship on lap 17.
Bronson then survived two caution flags, strong challenges from Blankenship and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and a final-corner stumble to secure the milestone score. He crossed the finish line 0.706 of a second in front of two-time WoO LMS champion and current points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who inherited second when McDowell retired on lap 41 due to a broken right-rear caliper but wasn’t able to seriously threaten Bronson.
Blankenship settled for a third-place finish after leading laps 1-16. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., slipped out of the top five midway through the race but came back to finish fourth and clinch the overall DIRTcar Nationals by Summit Late Model points title for the first time in his career. Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., completed the top five after starting 10th, earning his best finish of the week in his Clint Bowyer Racing mount.
Bloomquist, 50, emerged as the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit champion after never finishing worse than sixth in the week’s five A-Mains. He received a coveted gator-shaped trophy for his accomplishment.
“We’re proud to get it,” Bloomquist of the unique hardware that has become a trademark of the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit. “We’ve never run every race here during the week, but we decided to do it this year and I felt like we ran really good. We had a little problem with the car tonight that I don’t really want to mention, but we still had a decent run and were good all week.”
Bloomquist – nor anyone else in the talent-laden field – was able to handle Bronson. Running a Rocket car/ProPower engine combination owned by his uncle and aunt, Wayne and Shirlene Hammond of Tampa, Fla., Bronson demonstrated ability that belied his limited experience in open-competition Late Model racing.