Bloomquist Leads Team Zero Sweep; Scores Second "Winternationals" Win

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 6) – Leading all 50 laps, Scott Bloomquist held off fellow East Tennessean Jimmy Owens by two lengths to win Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at East Bay Raceway Park.

The $10,000 to win race was washed out on Friday and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader during the 34th Annual DART Winternationals. Trailing Bloomquist and Owens to the finish were Eric Jacobsen of Seacliffe Beach, Ca., Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa.

Ratliff & Co - East Bay

Kentucky's Justin Rattliff heads up a trio of close running race cars on a Saturday afternoon at East Bay. Scott Bloomquist earned his second win of the mini-series in the daytime race. (Chuck Gonzalez)

From the start, Bloomquist quickly opened up a three length advantage over Owens and Dennis Erb Jr., while Eric Jacobsen dueled side-by-side with Shannon Babb for two laps before finally clearing the veteran racer to take over the fourth position.

Just as Bloomquist was picking up the tail end of the field on the track, the first caution came out for Jimmy Mars, who came to a halt in and was pushed off the track, becoming the first out of the event.

The race went green for a lap until the next caution came out for Tyler Reddick. The top five remained the same until Jacobsen was able to make a

Bloomquist - East Bay winner

With his second win at East Bay on Saturday, Scott Bloomquist had reason to celebrate after his most successful "Winternationals" series ever. (Mike Ruefer)

pass on Erb for third on lap 21. The lead was also getting interesting, as Owens pulled even with Bloomquist on a couple of occasions after lap 23. All that seemed to accomplish was to wake Bloomquist up as he started to open up some distance until, on lap 29, the third and final caution flew for Michael Walker.

Thirlby wreck

The trio of Bloomquist, Owens and Jacobsen continued to show their superiority, pulling away from the rest of the running order with 20 laps to go. Behind those three was a close battle between several drivers as Erb, Babb, Billy Moyer and Earl Pearson, Jr. were jockeying for a spot in the top five. With 44 laps down, Moyer charged to fourth in front of Erb, but he was running out of time to catch the cars in front of him.

With five laps remaining, Owens started to pick up the pace, and reduced the lead to two lengths on the white flag lap as another last lap charge looked imminent, but Bloomquist got into and out of turn four with no problems. He held off Owens by two lengths to record his second victory of the week and his fourth ever at the one-third mile oval.

In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane for 19th time in his Hall of Fame career, the 2009 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion commented that the track was a lot racier than he thought it would be.

 “For a daytime race it was good, we knew tire selection was going to be critical. I was just hoping we had made the right choice. I have to thank Bob and Barb Miller for all their support through the years, and my crew did a great job preparing this car. We've come awfully close to winning a third time this week so we’ll give it a shot tonight and try to end the week on a solid note.”

Race Summary Saturday Day, February 6th, 2010 “34th Annual DART Winternationals” East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, Fla.

Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Steve Francis / 14.403 seconds

Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Dennis Erb, Jr., Steve Francis, Billy Moyer, Jimmy Mars, Ray Cook, Travis Varnadore, Jason McBride, Tim Isenberg, Jordan Bland, Leon Henderson, Danny Mitchell, Brandon Thirlby

AFCO Racing Products Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Shannon Babb, Rick Eckert, Jason Feger, Justin Rattliff, Tim fuller, Tyler Reddick, Russ King, Dillan White, Brad Neat, Mark Andersen, James O’Hara, Chad Hollenbeck

Allstar Performance Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Eric Jacobsen, Don O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Brady Smith, Mike Marlar, Daniel Stone, Dale McDowell, Steve Casebolt, Lee Thomason, Tim Dohm, DNS Mike Collins

Wrisco Aluminum Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Dan Schlieper, Austin Hubbard, Tim McCreadie, Chris Wall, John Blankenship, Eric Wells, Matt Miller, Tommy Kerr, Kyle Berck, Bub McCool, Shan Smith, Michael Walker

Hawk Brake First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers): Tim Fuller, Jimmy Mars, Tyler Reddick, Ray Cook, Tim Isenberg, Dillan White, Russ King, Jordan Bland, Danny Mitchell, Brad Neat, Travis Varnadore, Leon Henderson, Mark Andersen, James O’Hara, DNS Jason McBride, Chad Hollenbeck, Brandon Thirlby

Performance Rod and Custom (PRC) Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers): John Blankenship, Brady Smith, Mike Marlar, Daniel Stone, Eric Wells, Matt Miller, Tim Dohm, Bub McCool, Steve Casebolt, Tommy Kerr, Michael Walker, Lee Thomason, Shan Smith, Kyle Berck, DNS Dale McDowell, Ricky Weiss, Mike Collins

Random Draw for provisional start: Michael Walker

Feature Finish (50 Laps): (1) Scott Bloomquist, !2) Jimmy Owens, (3) Eric Jacobsen, (4) Billy Moyer, (5) Rick Eckert, (6) Dennis Erb, Jr., (7) Shannon Babb, (8) Earl Pearson, Jr., (9) Brady Smith, (10) Tim McCreadie, (11) Chris Wall, (12) Dan Schlieper, (13) Steve Francis, (14) Don O’Neal, (15) John Blankenship, (16) Ray Cook (prov.), (17) Justin Rattliff, (18) Austin Hubbard, (19) Jason Feger, (20) Dillan White (prov.), (21) Dale McDowell (prov.), (22) Michael Walker (prov.), (23) Mike Marlar, (24) Tyler Reddick, (25) Tim Fuller, (26) Jimmy Mars

Race Statistics Entrants: 50

Lap Leaders: 1-50 Scott Bloomquist Caution Flags: (Lap 9) Jimmy Mars; (Lap 10) Tyler Reddick; (Lap 29) Michael Walker Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Dale McDowell, Ray Cook

DART Fast Pass Provisional: Dillan White

PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Brady Smith (Started 20th; Finished 9th; Advanced 11 positions)

Ohlins Shocks Performer of the Race: Eric Jacobsen

K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Billy Moyer

Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Racing Engines

Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award: Brandon Thirlby

DirtonDirt.com Crew Chief of the Race: Tommy Hicks (Scott Bloomquist)

Time of Race: 25 minutes, 22 seconds

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