BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Casey Roberts is a man of few words but boy, can he drive a super late model.
After retaking the lead in Thursday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature from superstar Scott Bloomquist with the crowd up and cheering, all the Georgia racer had to say was, “That was some real racing. I could have given up when Scott went by but I didn’t.”
A win in the first heat put Roberts in the redraw, where he got the coveted pole. He got beat on the original start by Brady Smith, who was fast early before fading, and then lost second to Steve Francis.
But when Smith slid high on lap 14, Francis and Roberts shot by, with Roberts in turn blowing under Francis to take command.
In the meantime, the sixth-starting Bloomquist was on the move along with John Blankenship, up from 13th, and when the yellow flew on lap 21 for a slowing Brian Shirley, they sat third and fourth, respectively.
Bloomquist grabbed second from Francis on the restart but Roberts held him off through lap 31 despite a pair of restarts that kept them out of traffic. But Bloomquist kept hitting turn three harder and harder and finally drove around Roberts on lap 31, leading almost everyone to think the race was effectively over. But Roberts dug deep and with two to go, blew it into turn one under the famed #0 and came out of turn two with the lead and the $10,0000 win.
Dale McDowell turned in an equally impressive run, clawing his way from 15th to third at the checkers, with Blankenship, Greg Satterlee, Brandon Sheppard, Francis, Rick Eckert and Shane Clanton trailing.
“I was good at one end but had a huge push at the other,” said Bloomquist. “We tried a different combination of tires tonight, a step harder, and got beat by the same compound we won with last night.”
As for McDowell, his car was running out of brakes, though you would never have known it.
“I had a front row seat to a great race,” tipped the veteran. “I figured they might take each other out and I’d be right there to take over, but it didn’t happen.”
Casey Roberts, Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, John Blankenship, Gregg Satterlee, Brandon Sheppard, Steve Francis, Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Shane Clanton, Billy Moyer, Tim Fuller, Don O’Neal, Brady Smith, Vic Coffey, Eric Wells, Mike Marlar, Kenny Pettyjohn, Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Chub Frank, Tim McCreadie, Morgan Bagley, Clint Smith, Brian Shirley, Kyle Bronson.