GREENWOOD, Neb. – Scott Bloomquist and Chad Simpson will make-up the front row for Saturday night’s fourth annual Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway.
This weekend’s event is part of the ASi Racewear Crown Jewel Cup presented by Dirtondirt.com and will pay $30,000 to the winner.
A total of 54 entrants were on hand for Friday night’s preliminary action, which included a total of ten heat races. Each driver ran two heat races and their combined passing point total earned an elite group of drivers a top-18 starting spot in Saturday night’s 80-lap main event. The remaining starting spots for tomorrow’s feature event will be made up of B-main transfers and provisionals. There will be a non-qualifiers race following the B-Mains paying $3,000 to win. The winner can forfeit the money and start last in the 80-lap feature event.
Heat race winners in round one included Steve Francis, Don O’Neal, Chad Simpson, Brandon Overton and Billy Moyer. In the second round heat races winners included Jared Landers, Ryan Gustin, Jason Feger, Scott Bloomquist and Jimmy Owens.
Owens, the defending Silver Dollar Nationals champion, entered the event 50-points ahead of O’Neal in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings. Owens will start eighth in the field on Saturday night and O’Neal will fire from the fifth starting position. O’Neal won the inaugural event held in 2011. Brian Birkhofer, the 2012 victor, will start from the outside of row number two in Saturday’s finale.
Both Bloomquist and Chad Simpson earned the front row by virtue of their heat race performances. Both drivers were in heat race number three in round one. Simpson, who started sixth, made his way to the front by grabbing the lead from Denny Eckrich and then sailed away for the win. Bloomquist started ninth, and made a late-race charge to finish second just ahead of John Blankenship.
In the second round of heat races Bloomquist started third and quickly made his way to the front in an absolutely stacked heat race. Bloomquist went on for a convincing second round win. Simpson started sixth again in round two, and he advanced up to the second spot at the finish, trailing Ryan Gustin to the finish line.