Bloomquist bags Lucas Oil victory at Tazewell
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
TAZEWELL, Tenn. (June 3) — Two-time series champion Scott Bloomquist used a visit to a familiar racetrack to return to form on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Racing less than an hour from his Mooresburg, Tenn., race shop, Bloomquist led all 50 laps of Sunday night’s rain-postponed Toyota Knoxville 50 at Tazewell Speedway and earned $10,000 for his first series victory since winning back-to-back events in April. | Video | Slideshow
Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., chased Bloomquist for much of the 50-lapper, but settled for second ahead of Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn. John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., was fourth with Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., rounding out the top five.
"The car was just phenomenal tonight," said Bloomquist, who lowered the track record during Sunday’s time trials at the high-banked east Tennessee oval. “The Roush Yates Racing Engine ran perfect and the car handled so well, right from hot laps on. I want to thank my crew, sponsors, and everybody with my race team. Hopefully we can get on a roll again.”
Bloomquist held a comfortable lead for most of the race, which was slowed by just two cautions. Bloomquist pulled away from the field on each restart and successfully navigated lapped traffic in racing to a series-leading 45th Lucas Oil Series victory.
"The traffic is always an issue here,” Bloomquist said. “We ran up on some cars and I backed off the throttle a little. I didn't know how close Don (O'Neal) was, but I had to be careful.”
Ogle, the reigning champion on the Southern All Star Series, briefly held the second position after the race’s first restart, but O'Neal eventually reclaimed the spot.
Notes: Bloomquist's self-designed car has a Roush Yates powerplant and sponsorship from Hawkeye Trucking, Base Racing Fuels, Lucas Oil Products, Sweet Mfg., Lane Automotive, Ohlins, Weld Racing and Allstar Performance. ... In finishing seventh, series points leader and reigning series champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., finished outside of the top five for just the second time in tour’s past 9 races. ... Defending race winner Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., finished 12th. ... The Lucas Oil Series returns to action with a doubleheader weekend June 22-23 at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., and Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, Va. Both events pay $10,000 to the winner.
Toyota Knoxville 50: (1) Scott Bloomquist, (2) Don O’Neal, (3) Billy Ogle Jr., (4) John Blankenship, (5) Earl Pearson Jr., (6) Jonathan Davenport, (7) Jimmy Owens, (8) Steve Francis, (9) Vic Hill, (10) Eric Wells, (11) Brad Neat, (12) Jared Landers, (13) Jeff Wolfenbarger, (14) Bryan Hendrix, (15) Tyler Reddick, (16) Ray Cook, (17) Dennis Erb Jr., (18) Steve Smith, (19) Mike Weeks, (20) Jason Trammell, (21) Rick Rogers, (22) Austin Hubbard. Fast qualifier: Bloomquist, 10.822 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, O’Neal, Blankenship.