latemodelamerica.com - Feb.6 - (makeup race) Winternationals - East Bay Raceway Park
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

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.”

Feature Finish: (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

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