ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Shannon Babb made sure he didn’t go winless during the 2016 season by picking up a victory during the inaugural Gateway Dirt Nationals inside The Dome at America’s Center on Friday night.
Scott Bloomquist started from the pole and led the first 22 laps of the 25-lap event on the fifth-mile oval, but found himself being chased by Darrell Lanigan and Babb throughout the event. Lanigan was on the outside of Bloomquist on the 23rd lap when Babb saw his opening.
Bloomquist checked up coming out of turn two with Lanigan alongside him, allowing Babb to get a run around the inside and drive by both Bloomquist and Lanigan to take over the top spot.
Once in the lead Babb pulled away, eventually being Lanigan to the checkered flag by .602 of a second for his first victory of the 2016 campaign, worth $5,000.
Jason Feger came home in third while Bloomquist faded to fourth at the checkered flag. Chris Simpson was fifth with Chad Zorbrist, Don O’Neal, Kevin Weaver, Kent Robinson and Jacob Magee completing the top-10.
The top-eight drivers in Friday’s event earned guaranteed starting positions in Saturday’s finale and will make up the first four rows of the Saturday feature. The remainder of the 22-car field for the $20,000-to-win finale will be filled through preliminary action on Saturday.
Matt Cooper won the modified portion of Friday’s Gateway Dirt Nationals, also earning a $5,000 payday.
Shannon Babb, Darrell Lanigan, Jason Feger, Scott Bloomquist, Chris Simpson, Chad Zobrist, Don O’Neal, Kevin Weaver, Kent Robinson, Jacob Magee, Ray Cook, Bobby Pierce, Joey Coulter, Michael Kloos, Brandon Sheppard, Hunter Rasdon, Billy Moyer Jr., Nick Hoffman, Daryl Klein, Devin Moran.