Scott Bloomquist started fourth
and worked his way into the lead to take the opening night victory at East
Lucas Oil Series: Bloomquist
Claims Winternationals Opener
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.
Mississippi's David Breazeale
gave up some late real estate in themain event, but still came away with his career best fourth place
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”
“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 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.
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
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
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