Chevy Does It For Bloomquist
GIBSONTON, Fla. — Scott Bloomquist claimed victory on the opening night of the 35th annual DART Winternationals Tuesday at East Bay Raceway.
For Bloomquist it was his fifth career triumph at the one-third mile oval and the 502nd of his Hall of Fame racing career in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned event.
Bloomquist charged from fourth starting position to take the lead from Jimmy Owens on lap nine and led Owens and Austin Hubbard to the finish line to earn $5,000. David Breazeale was fourth, followed by 11th-starting, Eddie Carrier, Jr.
Bloomquist considered winning at East Bay a thorn in his side until last year when he won twice.
“When your car is not handling, this place is tough enough. We practiced with the Ford the other night and tonight we decided to give the Chevy a run and it paid off tonight. Jimmy (Owens) looked like he was pushing a few times and one time there he got up there in the loose stuff, and we were by him,” said the 47-year-old driver.
Owens took the lead at the start of the 30-lap event with Breazeale and Bloomquist putting up a challenge early on. The fast-paced race was slowed on lap five for a multi-car wreck on the frontstretch. When the race resumed Bloomquist, who restarted third got around Breazeale to take second on lap eight, and a circuit later when Owens slipped slightly Bloomquist made the move around him to take the lead.
Bloomquist showed the way over the final 21 laps, never being seriously challenged, despite five caution flags.
Owens had to settle for second in the Reece Monument Company, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford Fusion as the 18-year-old Hubbard got around Breazeale late for third.
Brad Neat was the fast qualifier for the 64-car field with a lap of 15.134 seconds.
Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Austin Hubbard, David Breazeale, Eddie Carrier, Jr., Mike Marlar, Steve Francis, Eric Jacobsen, Don O’Neal, Tim Dohm, Ray Cook, Dennis Erb, Jr., Billy Moyer, Jr., Earl Pearson, Jr., Jason Feger, Tim Isenberg, Jared Landers, Dan Schlieper, Brad Neat, Tim McCreadie, Josh Richards, Dale McDowell, D.J. Wells, Jared Hawkins, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Wendell Wallace.