- Feb. 8 - East Bay Raceway Winternationals by Sam Holbrooks


Scott Bloomquist VL1 - East Bay Winternationals 

Scott Bloomquist started fourth and worked his way into the lead to take the opening night victory at East Bay. (Brian McLeod) 

Lucas Oil Series: Bloomquist Claims Winternationals Opener

James Essex

TAMPA, Fla. – Feb. 8. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn. charged from his fourth starting position to take the lead from Jimmy Owens on lap nine, and went on to win the opening night of the 35th annual DART Winternationals on Tuesday at East Bay Raceway Park. It was Bloomquist's fifth career win at the one-third mile oval and the 502nd of his racing career in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned event.  
 David Breazeale - East Bay 2-8
Mississippi's David Breazeale gave up some late real estate in themain event, but still came away with his career best fourth place finish. (Neil Eric Miller) 
Bloomquist led Owens and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. to the finish line to earn $5,000 for his win. David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss. was fourth, followed by 11th starting, Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.V.
Winning at a track that he has always considered a thorn in his side up until last year, when he captured two main event wins, Bloomquist continued his winning ways at the “Clay by the Bay” this year. 
“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. 
Jared Landers - Frank Heckenast
Jared Landers and #99 Frank Heckenast, Jr. fight for position at East Bay Raceway Park. (Neil Eric Miller)
Owens took the lead at the start of the 30-lap main 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 over the lead.
Scott Bloomquist - East Bay Winternationals 1
Making a change from Ford to Chevy power, Scott Bloomquist drove to his fifth career win at East Bay Raceway Park on the first night of the "Winternationals" series at the Tampa area track. (Brian McLeod)
Bloomquist then showed the way over the final 21 laps, never seriously challenged, despite five caution flags. Owens tried to stay with Bloomquist the best he could on the restarts, but he was having a tough time holding off Breazeale, who was making his best ever run at East Bay. 
The 18-year-old Hubbard got around Breazeale late for third, also his best career finish at the track. 
In preliminary action Brad Neat of Dunnville, KY was the Red Buck Cigars fast qualifier among the 64 entrants. Neat was the final qualifier of the night when he clicked off his fast lap. Heat races winners were Jimmy Owens, David Breazeale, Austin Hubbard, Ray Cook, and Steve Francis. The B-Mains were taken by Tim Dohm and Tim McCreadie. Jared Hawkins was victorious in the Magnaflow Exhaust Strawberry Dash.

Feb. 8 - East Bay Raceway Winternationals

1) Scott Bloomquist, 2) Jimmy Owens, 3) Austin Hubbard, 4) David Breazeale, 5) Eddie Carrier, Jr., 6) Mike Marlar, 7) Steve Francis, 8) Eric Jacobsen, 9) Don O'Neal, 10) Tim Dohm, 11) Ray Cook, 12) Dennis Erb, Jr., 13) Billy Moyer, Jr., 14) Earl Pearson, Jr., 15) Jason Feger, 16) Tim Isenberg, 17) Jared Landers, 18) Dan Schlieper, 19) Brad Neat, 20) Tim McCreadie, 21) Josh Richards, 22) Dale McDowell, 23) D.J. Wells, 24) Jared Hawkins, 25) Frank Heckenast, Jr., 26) Wendell Wallace
Fast Time (64 entries): Brad Neat / 15.134 seconds; Heat winners: Owens, Breazeale, Hubbard, Cook, Bloomquist, Francis. B-Main winners: Dohm, McCreadie.

Brian McLeod photo


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