BARBERVILLE, Fla. — official series release — Chris Seelman photo —
Scott Bloomquist rekindled his love affair with Volusia Speedway Park Wednesday night.
The veteran racer from Mooresburg, Tennessee mastered the half-mile oval’s tricky clay surface during Wednesday’s DIRTcar Nationals A-Main, leading all 40 laps of the caution-free race for a $10,000 DIRTcar Late Model victory.
“I love this racetrack,” said Bloomquist, who recorded his 10th career DIRTcar Nationals triumph as Volusia closed out its stretch of DIRTcar-sanctioned action ahead of three straight nights of World of Outlaws Late Model Series programs Thursday through Saturday. “It’s so demanding and has so much character. There’s nothing like it really anywhere. It’s definitely one of my top three racetracks I love coming to.”
Bloomquist, who has now claimed at least one DIRTcar Nationals victory in every season since 2011, was nearly untouchable in racing to his first win of the season. He took command from the outside pole and never looked back.
Third-starting Dale McDowell briefly closed within striking distance as Bloomquist entered lapped traffic midway through the race, but Bloomquist quickly stretched his advantage once he cleared the slower cars.
“Sometimes a good car drives itself,” said Bloomquist, who steered his Durham-powered Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car to the convincing triumph. “But you got to work at this place. I love racetracks that are a challenge.”
McDowell settled for the runner-up finish, 1.923 seconds behind Bloomquist. Morgan Bagley was third with reigning WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan fourth. Shane Clanton, who won Monday’s DIRTcar Nationals opening round feature, was fifth.
Making his first appearance at this year’s DIRTcar Nationals, McDowell at times appeared to be able to keep pace with Bloomquist in traffic, but he was never able to mount a serious challenge. The veteran driver, who spent the first week of the DIRTcar Nationals assisting DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers Austin and Ty Dillon, fell just short of claiming his third career DIRTcar Nationals victory.
“It took me a little bit of time there to get going,” said McDowell, who hasn’t won a DIRTcar Nationals A-Main since winning in back-to-back seasons in 1998-99. “I’ve been working with modifieds this week and this was our first night out with this thing. We did good. We made some adjustments, but we’ve got some work to do for tomorrow night.”
“We’ll work on this thing and see if we can’t get it closer to the front – one spot more tomorrow night.”
After dropping back to fourth form his pole starting spot, Bagley recovered to take third from Jared Landers on lap 16 on his way to recording his first DIRTcar Nationals podium finish.
“It wasn’t a bad night,” said Bagley, whose previous best DIRTcar Nationals performance was a sixth-place finish in 2012. “We finally got qualified good and got to start up front. We just got to work on this thing and get her better so maybe we can get up there and get us a trophy.”
Landers slid back to sixth at the finish after pressuring McDowell for second early in the race. Three-time WoO LMS champion Josh Richards advanced from the 17th starting spot to finish seventh with Jonathan Davenport eighth. Pennsylvania’s Chub Frank was ninth with fellow Keystone State driver Gregg Satterlee rounding out the top 10.
The DIRTcar Nationals continue Thursday at Volusia with the first of three straight nights of $10,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series programs.
RESULTS: DIRTcar Late Models; DIRTcar Nationals; Volusia Speedway Park (Finishing Position/Driver/Laps Completed)
1. (2) Scott Bloomquist/40
2. (3) Dale McDowell/40
3. (1) Morgan Bagley/40
4. (9) Darrell Lanigan/40
5. (5) Shane Clanton/40
6. (4) Jared Landers/40
7. (17) Josh Richards/40
8. (6) Jonathan Davenport/40
9. (10) Chub Frank/40
10. (7) Gregg Satterlee/40
11. (21) Dennis Erb Jr./40
12. (15) Kent Robinson/40
13. (12) Billy Moyer/40
14. (14) Brandon Sheppard/40
15. (18) Eric Wells/40
16. (22) Kenny Pettyjohn/39
17. (23) Tim McCreadie/39
18. (20) Mason Zeigler/39
19. (19) Tyler Bruening/39
20. (19) Kyle Bronson/39
21. (13) Charles LaPlant/38
22. (26) Ricky Weiss/30
23. (11) Frank Heckenast Jr./29
24. (24) Boom Briggs/26
25. (28) Terry English/19
26. (25) Casey Roberts/12
27. (8) Don O’Neal/8
28. (27) Rick Eckert/6
Time of Race: 12 Mins., 46 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.923 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Bloomquist (1-40)
Provisional Starters: Roberts, Weiss, Eckert, English
CREDIT: NASCAR Home Tracks