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Last updated: June 12. 2014 10:08AM - 188 Views
Times Staff Report



Veteran driver Dale McDowell drove to a feature win in the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway.
Veteran driver Dale McDowell drove to a feature win in the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway.
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ROSSBURG, Ohio — Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., completed some unfinished business on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway.


Nine years after inheriting a triumph in the prestigious World 100 that left him feeling less than satisfied, the 48-year-old veteran captured the famed half-mile oval’s other, richer crown-jewel event with a convincing drive to the checkered flag in the Dream XX presented by Ferris Mowers.


McDowell stormed forward from the 22nd starting spot to grab the lead from six-time Dream champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., on lap 79 and never looked back en route to claiming the $100,000 first-place prize.


“Thanks goodness that I made it victory lane,” said the relieved McDowell, who has been pursuing a full-fledged party on Eldora’s grand stage since his tempered World 100 post-race. “I won the World in 2005, but Shannon Babb actually won it. I just was the recipient of his misfortune (Babb was disqualified for being 10 pounds light), so it feels great to be able to celebrate in victory lane.”


McDowell was never challenged once in command. He steered his Team Dillon Racing Warrior car across the finish line with a half-straightaway edge over defending World 100 winner John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., who charged from the 24th starting spot to take the $20,000 runner-up payoff.


Bloomquist settled for third place after leading laps 33-78, 25th-starter Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., finished fourth and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., who started second and led laps 1-16, completed the top five.


Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., led laps 17-32 but faded to a seventh-place finish.


McDowell failed to transfer through a heat race on Saturday night, pulling back his high hopes coming off a win in one of the previous evening’s 25-lap preliminary features. He came back to win a B-Main but still wasn’t overly confident about his chances.


“I’m lost for words,” said McDowell, whose best previous finish in 11 previous Dream feature starts was third in 2010. “We didn’t do well in the heat race — I’m just no damn good up on the cushion (that was dominant during qualifying) — and we started 22nd, so I really didn’t have expectations of getting to the front. Honest to God I didn’t.


“But shoot, it was just our turn tonight — finally.”


McDowell got rolling in the fast and furious 100-lapper, however, cracking the top 10 just after the race’s first caution flag flew on lap 32 for Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, stopping on the inside of turn one. He found himself in a battle for fifth by lap 55 and vaulted up to third on lap 60 when Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., tangled and spun between turns three and four while racing for position with McDowell.


Then, after the race restarted for the final time on the 60th circuit, McDowell took second place from Carrier and chased after Bloomquist. He made his deciding move on lap 79, working the inside lane off turn two to snatch the top spot for good.


“There late in the race I could run top and bottom and didn’t know where I needed to be,” McDowell said. “This racetrack was flawless. You could race all over it, but you just can’t feel the speed in the seat, so my brother (and crew chief) Shane was down there giving me hand signals and I was trying to look for him and see what was going on.


“Man, them last 15 laps, I looked up on the board and I didn’t think they were ever gonna click off.”


McDowell held on to become the sixth driver to win both of Eldora’s crown-jewel events, joining Bloomquist, Moyer, Owens, Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga.


Blankenship, 32, broke into second place with a lap-84 pass of Bloomquist. He appeared to be catching McDowell for a short time before gradually losing ground in the closing laps.


“I had a great car and I was just pushing it a little hard at the end,” said Blankenship, who matched his career-best Dream finish of second in 2012. “I was hoping he’d get hung up and stuck on the track a little bit with those lapped cars, but that was really the only shot I had. I kind of ran out of race car.


“Either way, hat’s off to my crew. I ran into the wall twice this week and tore it up, and they did an excellent job getting it back together.”


The 50-year-old Bloomquist pushed forward from the fifth starting spot to take the lead from Carrier on lap 33, but he couldn’t stay in front the whole way to become the first driver in the Dream’s 20-year history to win the race in consecutive years.


“It looks like we just had some tire-size issues,” said Bloomquist, who made his 18th career start in a Dream A-Main. “It’s our fault. I didn’t have the stagger we needed, so I had to shear the car to turn it and that caused the tires to give up on us some.


“We really felt like we had the car to beat but we just kind of beat ourselves tonight. But congratulations to Dale and all that bunch — he looked like he was pretty good there, and that’s all we had at the end.”


DIRT LATE MODEL DREAM


June 7 at Eldora Speedway


UMP DIRTcar Late Models


HEAT 1 – 1. 22S-Gregg Satterlee [2]; 2. 1E-Rick Eckert [3]; 3. 15-Steve Francis [1]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar [5]; 5. 40B-Kyle Bronson [9]; 6. 25B-Mike Benedum [7]; 7. 71C-R J Conley [4]; 8. 58D-Aj Diemel [12]; 9. 6-Dustin Neat [13]; 10. 18K-Brandon Kinzer [11]; 11. 18J-Chase Junghans [8]; 12. 19M-Josh Adkins [10]; 13. 15B-Brian Birkhofer [DNF].


HEAT 2 – 1. 0-Scott Bloomquist [8]; 2. 777-Jared Landers [7]; 3. 29-Darrell Lanigan [3]; 4. 6D-Jonathan Davenport [4]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens [6]; 6. 25C-Shane Clanton [2]; 7. 1J-Davey Johnson [10]; 8. 32P-Bobby Pierce [DNF]; 9. 28P-Jeff Provinzino [DNF]; 10. 16N-Brad Neat [DNF]; 11. 16R-Justin Ratliff [DNS]; 12. 44-Earl Pearson, Jr [DNS]; 13. 71-Delmas Conley [DNS].


HEAT 3 – 1. 5-Don Oneal [5]; 2. 12-Jason Hughes [2]; 3. 00K-Randy Korte [1]; 4. 9R-Curtis Roberts [6]; 5. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr [3]; 6. 28M-Jimmy Mars [9]; 7. 31-Nick Latham [12]; 8. 98S-Tim Sabo [DNF]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb Jr [DNF]; 10. 18-Shannon Babb [DNS]; 11. 99M-Devin Moran [DNS]; 12. 11S-Rusty Schlenk [DNS]; 13. 3G-Brian Gray [DNS].


HEAT 4 – 1. 28C-Eddie Carrier Jr [5]; 2. 44M-Chris Madden [1]; 3. 81JR-Jason Riggs [4]; 4. 19R-Ryan Gustin [7]; 5. 23B-John Blankenship [13]; 6. 1B-Jeff Babcock [8]; 7. 75P-Terry Phillips [10]; 8. 15H-Jon Henry [6]; 9. 1V-Vic Hill [9]; 10. 1H-Jason Hiett [2]; 11. 33-Aaron Scott [12]; 12. 5E-Brandon Overton [DNF]; 13. 36-Matt Irey [DNF].


HEAT 5 – 1. 21-Billy Moyer [4]; 2. 25Z-Mason Zeigler [5]; 3. 32-Chris Simpson [2]; 4. 20C-Duane Chamberlain [6]; 5. 14M-Morgan Bagley [7]; 6. 20H-Jacob Hawkins [9]; 7. 18W-Eric Wells [8]; 8. 95J-Jerry Bowersock [12]; 9. 81S-Brian Shirley [3]; 10. 4C-Ernie Cordier [DNF]; 11. 83-Scott James [DNF]; 12. 75M-Dusty Moore [DNF]; 13. 1N-Casey Noonan [DNS].


HEAT 6 – 1. 55-Jeep Vanwormer [1]; 2. 25F-Jason Feger [2]; 3. 3-Matt Miller [6]; 4. 17M-Dale Mcdowell [3]; 5. 39-Tim Mccreadie [5]; 6. B5-Brandon Sheppard [8]; 7. 1WC-Wayne Chinn [4]; 8. 1W-Wendall Wallace [11]; 9. 93-Jay Johnson [12]; 10. 11W-Rob Williams [DNF]; 11. 7R-Kent Robinson [DNF]; 12. 360-Michael Asberry [DNF]; 13. 3C-Charlie Laplant [DNS].


B-FEATURE 1 – 1. 6D-Jonathan Davenport [2]; 2. 25C-Shane Clanton [8]; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens [5]; 4. 18K-Brandon Kinzer [16]; 5. 28-Dennis Erb Jr [18]; 6. 58D-Aj Diemel [10]; 7. 25B-Mike Benedum [4]; 8. 18J-Chase Junghans [19]; 9. 31-Nick Latham [12]; 10. 9R-Curtis Roberts [3]; 11. 19M-Josh Adkins [21]; 12. 40B-Kyle Bronson [DNF]; 13. 28M-Jimmy Mars [DNF]; 14. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr [DNF]; 15. 1J-Davey Johnson [DNF]; 16. 71C-R J Conley [DNF]; 17. 6-Dustin Neat [DNF]; 18. 98S-Tim Sabo [DNF]; 19. 15B-Brian Birkhofer [DNS]; 20. 18-Shannon Babb [DNS]; 21. 28P-Jeff Provinzino [DNS]; 22. 32P-Bobby Pierce [DNS]; 23. 99M-Devin Moran [DNS].


B SCRAMBLE 1 - 1. 28-Dennis Erb Jr [2]; 2. 18K-Brandon Kinzer [1]; 3. 58D-Aj Diemel [3]; 4. 18J-Chase Junghans [5]; 5. 25B-Mike Benedum [4]; 6. 31-Nick Latham [6]; 7. 9R-Curtis Roberts [7]; 8. 19M-Josh Adkins [8].


B-FEATURE 2 – 1. 17M-Dale Mcdowell [3]; 2. 23B-John Blankenship [4]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin [1]; 4. 39-Tim Mccreadie [6]; 5. 20C-Duane Chamberlain [2]; 6. 1B-Jeff Babcock [7]; 7. 20H-Jacob Hawkins [8]; 8. B5-Brandon Sheppard [9]; 9. 18W-Eric Wells [11]; 10. 14M-Morgan Bagley [5]; 11. 1H-Jason Hiett [19]; 12. 81S-Brian Shirley [17]; 13. 75P-Terry Phillips [10]; 14. 1W-Wendall Wallace [DNF]; 15. 15H-Jon Henry [DNF]; 16. 83-Scott James [DNF]; 17. 1V-Vic Hill [DNF]; 18. 95J-Jerry Bowersock [DNF]; 19. 93-Jay Johnson [DNF]; 20. 11W-Rob Williams [DNF]; 21. 4C-Ernie Cordier [DNF]; 22. 1WC-Wayne Chinn [DNF]; 23. 7R-Kent Robinson [DNF]; 24. 33-Aaron Scott [DNF].


B SCRAMBLE 2 – 1. 39-Tim Mccreadie [1]; 2. 1B-Jeff Babcock [3]; 3. 20C-Duane Chamberlain [2]; 4. 14M-Morgan Bagley [6]; 5. 20H-Jacob Hawkins [4]; 6. 18W-Eric Wells [5]; 7. 1H-Jason Hiett [7]; 8. 83-Scott James [10]; 9. 1W-Wendall Wallace [9]; 10. 95J-Jerry Bowersock [11]; 11. 93-Jay Johnson [12]; 12. 81S-Brian Shirley [8]; 13. 11W-Rob Williams [13]; 14. 4C-Ernie Cordier [14].


A FEATURE - 1. 17M-Dale Mcdowell [22]; 2. 23B-John Blankenship [24]; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist [5]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens [25]; 5. 21-Billy Moyer [2]; 6. 777-Jared Landers [8]; 7. 28C-Eddie Carrier Jr [3]; 8. 1E-Rick Eckert [7]; 9. 55-Jeep Vanwormer [1]; 10. 44M-Chris Madden [10]; 11. 3-Matt Miller [18]; 12. 15-Steve Francis [13]; 13. 157-Mike Marlar [19]; 14. 22S-Gregg Satterlee [6]; 15. 25Z-Mason Zeigler [11]; 16. 7R-Kent Robinson [27]; 17. 12-Jason Hughes [9]; 18. 81JR-Jason Riggs [16]; 19. 00K-Randy Korte [15]; 20. 6D-Jonathan Davenport [DNF]; 21. 5-Don Oneal [DNF]; 22. 16N-Brad Neat [DNF]; 23. 25F-Jason Feger [DNF]; 24. 32-Chris Simpson [DNF]; 25. 19R-Ryan Gustin [DNF]; 26. 18-Shannon Babb [DNF]; 27. 25C-Shane Clanton [DNF]; 28. 29-Darrell Lanigan [DNF].


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