Jimmy Owens Edges Scott Bloomquist on Second Night
of Lernerville Speedway’s Firecracker 100 Weekend
Stage set for Saturday’s $30,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model showcase
SARVER, Pa. – June 27, 2014 – Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., turned back a furious late-race challenge from Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., to capture Friday night’s 30-lap Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com preliminary feature at Lernerville Speedway.
Making his first appearance at the four-tenths-mile oval in five years, Owens raced off the pole position to lead the entire distance. But he didn’t secure his first-ever triumph at Lernerville and the eighth World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory of his career until surviving a scare of his own doing and a strong last-lap bid from Bloomquist.
After Owens, 42, nearly slipped over Lernerville’s turn-two berm on lap 19 while holding a comfortable lead of over 2.5 seconds, he didn’t make another mistake. He stuck strong to the outside lane and held off Bloomquist to win by 0.510 of a second.
“We had an excellent car all night long,” said Owens, who earned $6,050 for his first WoO LMS victory since Nov. 2, 2012, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C. “The high side was gone (in the final laps) and I wanted to move down, but we were so successful up there you just hated to move. We just stayed with it and held on.”
Bloomquist, 50, settled for his second runner-up finish in as many nights. He chased the designer of Owens’s Club 29 chassis, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., across the finish line in Thursday night’s Firecracker 100 preliminary feature.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the seventh starting spot to finish third, nearly three seconds behind the victor. Two-time Firecracker 100 winner Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., moved forward from the ninth starting spot to place fourth and third-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., placed fifth for his third top-five finish in his last four WoO LMS starts.
Owens admitted following the race that his designs on victory flashed before his eyes when he got too high on lap 19, but he quickly realized he still had control of the event.
“I entered that corner just like always but them crumbs were up there and I just slid off the track a little bit,” said Owens. “I knew we had a pretty good lead when we didn’t lose the lead (on lap 19).”
Owens’s checkered flag assured him of a pole starting spot in a heat race during Saturday night’s Firecracker 100 finale. He feels good about his chances for winning the $30,000 top prize.
“We’ll give it a whirl and see what we can come up with,” Owens said of his plans for Saturday night.
Bloomquist placed himself alongside Owens as a Firecracker favorite after his second consecutive contending run.
“We were good,” said Bloomquist, who also assured himself a pole starting spot on Saturday night. “We fell a little short at the end, but the thing that makes me really happy is that tomorrow is a hundred laps and we were getting better.”
Lanigan had a rare off night on the WoO LMS, finishing 11th after starting 18th. It was his first finish outside the top 10 in 16 events this season, but he still extended his points lead to 164 points over Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who finished 17th after using a provisional to start the A-Main.
Just two caution flags slowed the feature – on lap 11 when Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., and Jared Miley of South Park, Pa., tangled in turn one, and on lap 24 when Russ King of Bristolville, Ohio, slowed on the track.
Fifty-five cars were signed in for the second straight night.
Lernerville regular John Garvin Jr. of Sarver, Pa., was the overall fastest qualifier in the split Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, turning a lap of 16.849 seconds.
Heat winners were Owens, Frank, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., Bloomquist, Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., and Zeigler. The B-Mains were captured by Miley, Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa.