Ogle outruns Bloomquist for victory at Volunteer
By James EssexLucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Aug. 23) — Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., was in a rut of runner-up finishes earlier this season. Then he clicked off a pair of regional-tour victories in east Tennessee. Now he’s really done it.
Winning a race-long, caution-free duel with two-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Scott Bloomquist, Ogle grabbed $10,000 Thursday at Volunteer Speedway for one of the biggest victories of his career. | Video | Slideshow
Ogle wrestled the lead from Bloomquist for good with four laps remaining and captured the ninth annual Reece Monument Scorcher 50 for his first-ever Lucas Oil Series victory.
"Once I fell to second, I just wanted to stay right there with him, and (Bloomquist) left the door open there and that was just enough for me,” the 48-year-Ogle said in victory lane. "I still can't believe I won this.
"I can't thank my car owner Larry Garner enough for giving me the opportunity to drive his car. We have won three-in-a-row now and to beat the best in the business tonight, wow, I don't know what to say. I want to thank my crew chief, David Bryant and all the crew, they did a great job with the car and I just drove it, the track was pretty good tonight and how about this crowd? This is so much fun.”
The previous richest victory for Ogle, a long-time east Tennessee standout with multiple track championships at the now-closed Atomic Motor Speedway near Knoxville, came in 1998 at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway with his lone victory on the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series.
Bloomquist, looking for his fourth series victory, settled for second after leading 29 of 50 laps at a track he’s dominated most of his career. Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., was third followed by Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., and five-time track champ Vic Hill of Mosheim, Tenn. Series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., was ninth.
Ogle and Bloomquist put on a dazzling display on the high banks over the 50 laps, with Bloomquist leading the first 21 circuits until Ogle made a low-side pass to take command.
Ogle stayed in control for 17 laps before Bloomquist went back ahead on lap 39. Even after Bloomquist got by, Ogle never gave up. He chased the leader back down and eventually overtook the Hall of Fame driver with four laps to go en route to the special victory.
"It feels great to win this, especially to be beat Scott. He’s one of the all-time best,” Ogle said. "He got out in front, but I just bided my time and wanted to stay close to him and when he got behind the (slower car of Ty Dillon), I saw my chance and went for it.”
Notes: Ogle’s Blount Motorsports No. 201 is a Rocket Chassis with a Custom Race Engine sponsored by Massey Electric, Stowers Cat, Cherokee Millwright and Mechanical, GEO Services, Blount Excavating as well as Grady and King Construction. ... Ogle became the 12th Lucas Oil Series winner in 2012. ... Ogle’s previous victories in his three-race streak came on the Southern Regional Racing Series at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., on Aug. 11, and in Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series action Aug. 18 at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway. ... Volunteer’s feature lasted less than 12 minutes. ... Provisional starter Ray Cook earned Optima Batteries Hard Charger honors with his 23rd-to-11th run. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Steve Smith, D.J Wells, Mark Vineyard, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Ryan King, Eric Jacobsen and former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who was making his first Super Late Model start. ... Lucas Oil competitors take a night off before hitting the track again Saturday at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway for another $10,000-to-win event.
Reece Monument Scorcher 50: (1) Billy Ogle Jr., (2) Scott Bloomquist, (3) Don O’Neal, (4) Chris Madden, (5) Vic Hill, (6) Tyler Reddick, (7) Eric Wells, (8) John Blankenship, (9) Jimmy Owens, (10) Steve Francis, (11) Ray Cook, (12) Brad Neat, (13) Jared Landers, (14) Earl Pearson Jr., (15) Ty Dillon, (16) Tommy Kerr, (17) Brett Miller, (18) Chad Ogle, (19) Jonathan Davenport, (20) Dale McDowell, (21) Casey Roberts, (22) Mark Vineyard, (23) Mark Douglas, (24) Jeff Maupin. Fast qualifier (among 35 cars): Bloomquist, 12.182 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, Madden, B. Ogle, Pearson. Consolation winners: C. Ogle, Francis. Provisional starters: Cook, Miller.