ROSSBURG, OHIO — Scott Bloomquist powered around the outside of Brandon Overton on lap 55 and cruised the rest of the way to his seventh career victory in the $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Mowers at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night.
“It’s like all these big shows, you are just glad they are over with,” Bloomquist said. “Mission accomplished!”
Bloomquist started in the seventh position after finishing in second-place in the opening heat race, methodically working his way forward from the drop of the green flag.
He cracked the top-five on lap eight and moved to fourth-place when Mason Zeigler, who was running in the top five, brought out the first caution flag when he slowed with a flat tire on lap 12. On the double-file restart, Bloomquist jumped to the runner-up position behind leader Brandon Overton.
Bloomquist swapped the second-position with Brandon Sheppard three times over the next 40 laps, before finally shaking free of the Illinois driver on lap 53.
Two laps later, Bloomquist made the winning move around Overton, and was never seriously challenged the remaining 45 laps.
Bloomquist built as much as an eight-second lead in the closing stages of the event.
“This has always been one of my favorite places to race ever since I first came here in 1988,” Bloomquist said. “It is such a beautiful race track and you can race all over it from the inside wall to the outside wall. I can’t say enough for how these guys prep a race track. There were a few little bumps but that just gave the track character.”
The multi-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion took his time with lapped traffic late in the race, crossing the finish line 4.5 seconds ahead of Sheppard, who won a spirited battle with Overton for the runner-up position.
“I wasn’t really sure (how big the lead was),” Bloomquist said. “I got to some of the lapped traffic and the 18 car, and I about had him cleared; our air got a little messed up and I got loose … so I backed off a little bit and tried not to get too much heat in the tires. That would have cost us more than anything,”
Sheppard’s runner-up finish and Overton’s third-place finish were career best runs in the Dream for both young drivers.
“That was a fun race there with Brandon (Overton). We always race each other clean, so it was fun racing with him and congratulations to Scott. He was pretty good,” said Sheppard. “Once me and Brandon got the line figured out that we wanted to run, we were already too far behind.”
“That’s not too bad at all. We will take that,” Overton added. “Congratulations to Scott. If we are going to lose, these are the two to lose to. Me and Brandon raced each other as clean as we could. We faded a little bit but to get out there and lead we are all tickled to death. I want to thank all the fans here and back in Georgia. This place is pretty cool.”
Tim McCreadie finished in fourth-place, also scoring his best career Eldora finish, while Chris Madden came from 14th to round out the top five.
Dale McDowell, Jimmy Mars, Mike Marlar, Earl Pearson, Jr. and Zach Dohm were the balance of the top 10.
Kent Robinson led the first 11 laps of the main event from the outside of the front-row before giving way to Overton, who led laps 12 through 55.
After that it was all Bloomquist.
“It’s awesome to win here,” Bloomquist said. “We have a lot of fans and a lot of naysayers but that’s what makes it all go around.”
Heat races were won by Mars, Shannon Babb, Zeigler, Overton, Robinson and Marlar. The night’s two B-mains were won by Dale McDowell and Jon Henry.
Those B-mains were highlighted by defending World 100 winner Bobby Pierce charging from 24th to fourth, locking up the final starting spot in the 28-car feature line-up.
The B-main scrambles, a pair of non-qualifying races for cars that failed to make the main event, were captured by Eddie Carrier, Jr. and Brian Shirley.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…