WHEATLAND, Mo. – One of dirt racing’s all-time greats scored a milestone victory Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway as Scott Bloomquist earned the 600th victory of his career during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series CMH Diamond Nationals.
Bloomquist overtook Jimmy Owens at the end of lap 32 and drove away to victory in the 50-lap event, completing a season sweep of the major dirt late model events at Lucas Oil Speedway in the process.
“We earned that one. It feels really good,” the 54-year-old Bloomquist. “It takes everybody. When you look at all the names on this car, they mean so much to us.
“You go though ups and downs and a lot of things through a full career. You learn from a lot of things. We’re surely closer to our winter years in life than our spring.”
It’s been a long, winding and winning road for Bloomquist. The native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, took home $12,000 and a diamond ring for the latest triumph in a career spanning nearing four decades.
Rookie Mason Zeigler finished second with Earl Pearson Jr. third and Will Vaught fourth. Owens, after leading the first 31 laps, faded to fifth.
For Bloomquist, who won the Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway on May 26, it was his sixth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season and 92nd of his a racing career that began in 1980 in Corona, Calif.
Zeigler gave futile chase over the final 18 laps and could only chuckle and pay tribute to Bloomquist in a post-race interview.
“I had the car to win tonight,” Zeigler said. “I just got out-drove by a 60-year-old with arthritis.”
Owens got the jump from his outside front-row starting position and set a blistering pace at the front, catching heavy lapped traffic by lap 15.
Bloomquist took advantage and closed to within a couple of car lengths of Owens when the race’s second caution flag waved on lap 27 as Payton Looney came to a stop in turn four.
Zeigler slipped past Bloomquist on the restart with Vaught in fourth and Pearson in fifth. Meanwhile, 22nd-starting Jonathan Davenport worked his way to seventh, just behind Bobby Pierce.
A lap-30 caution for debris again bunched the field and that’s when Bloomquist made his move. He passed Zeigler and pulled alongside Owens after the green flew, but was not quite able to make the pass for the lead stick.
Bloomquist did make it stick on the next lap, passing Owens as the two came to the start-finish line to complete lap 32. He dominated from there, pulling away to win by about a straightaway’s margin.
“We had to work a little bit for it,” Bloomquist said. “Jimmy was pretty good. We racd pretty hard out there. He wasn’t going to give nothing. We earned that one.”
Bloomquist praised crew chief Cody Mallory saying the two “put in ridiculous hours” on the car.
“There’s been a whole lot of races where it’s just him and I that go to the races,” Bloomquist said. “We’re gonna keep working hard and we’ll hopefully keep knocking them down. We have a lot of racing to come.”
In other action, Darron Fuqua beat Jon Sheets in a classic battle to capture the $1,000-to-win, 30-lap Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature.
Scott Bloomquist, Mason Zeigler, Earl Pearson Jr., Will Vaught, Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Bobby Pierce, Logan Martin, Chad Simpson, Hudson O’Neal, Don O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Josh Richards, Dennis Erb Jr., Kyle Bronson, Mitch McGrath, Terry Phillips, Darrell Lanigan, Clay Daly, Scott Crigler, Austin Rettig, Gregg Satterlee, Jeff Roth, Tony Jackson Jr., Payton Looney.