UNION, Ky. — Defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Scott Bloomquist picked up his fourth Ralph Latham Memorial victory on Saturday night at Florence Speedway.
Bloomquist led all 60 laps, but traffic at the end of the race allowed Tim McCreadie and Josh Richards to make it a close finish.
Bloomquist won the event one-year ago on its 30th anniversary and maintained his point lead with the victory.
McCreadie got around Richards on the final lap to finish in second. In his first Florence appearance in five years, Richards was third at the finish line.
Clint Bowyer Racing teammates Don O’Neal and Darrell Lanigan finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“With all of the rain they had this week, we all thought the track would be rough or different than it is most of the time,” Bloomquist explained. “With the no cutting or siping rule on the right-rear tire, you would hit a slick spot and you didn’t know where the car would go. I got to those last few cars towards the end and I went to the outside of them. I was just hoping I didn’t leave the door open for someone else.”
Bloomquist saw Earl Pearson Jr. mount a challenge early in the race, while McCreadie started sixth and climbed through the field to pressure Bloomquist for the lead. Several times McCreadie would have an opportunity to get close to Bloomquist, but each time a caution thwarted his run.
With less than five laps to go, Richards closed to within a car length as Bloomquist was attempting to lap traffic in front of him, but Bloomquist veered to the outside and cleared them enough to gain the victory.
McCreadie went to the top side of the track with two laps to go in turns one and two, and that move enabled him to squeeze by Richards on the final lap for second.
“We had a good car all race long. We need to keep tweaking on it during the night to get it better. We are almost there. We are challenging for the wins now and in this type of solid field of cars … it’s tough to do night in and night out,” said McCreadie, who maintains second place in the points.
After Saturday’s solid performance, Richards seemed ready to come back to Florence again soon.
“I thought I had a shot there when he [Bloomquist] went to the outside of those cars,” said Richards. “We didn’t do bad, considering we hadn’t raced here in five years. When we come back for the North-South 100, we should be better.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Ralph Latham Memorial; Florence Speedway; May 6, 2017
Feature (60 laps): 1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Don O’Neal, 5. Darrell Lanigan, 6. Earl Pearson Jr., 7. Steve Casebolt, 8. Devin Gilpin, 9. Hudson O’Neal, 10. Shanon Buckingham, 11. Jimmy Owens, 12. Gregg Satterlee, 13. Boom Briggs, 14. Adam Bowman, 15. Nick Latham, 16. Michael Chilton, 17. Steve Francis, 18. Kody Evans, 19. Robby Hensley, 20. Jackie Boggs, 21. Dennis Erb Jr., 22. Colton Flinner, 23. Cody Mahoney, 24. Jason Jameson, 25. John Gill.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications