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Bloomquist makes return to victory lane

Jeff Birchfield • Aug 20, 2019 at 7:23 PM

Dirt track legend Scott Bloomquist has 604 victories over his racing career, but few are as special as the one last Friday night.

The longtime Hawkins County resident won Friday night’s feature at the Topless 100 at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway. It was Bloomquist’s first victory since being injured in a motorcycle wreck in March and his first win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series since July 2018.

It was the 94th win in the Lucas Oil Series for the 55-year-old from Mooresburg. Bloomquist started on the pole and battled teammate Chris Madden in a side-by-side battle for the lead over the first eight laps.

He stayed out front, fending off challenges from Madden, who had come into the race with a three-race winning streak. Bloomquist was finally able to put some distance between himself and Madden late in the race as the Team Zero teammates finished 1-2.

“There was a whole lot that went through my mind after the accident happened,” Bloomquist said after the race in a series press release. “The doctors don’t want to tell you anything positive to give you false hope. They told me you better just focus on getting better and not racing anymore this year or anytime soon.

“Finally, they told me it would be 12 weeks to stay off of my leg and then they told me the bones were healed and I asked them, what can keep me from racing? They said they didn’t think I could handle the pain, and I said, ‘Well then, I am going to race.’ ”

Defending national champion Jonathan Davenport finished third, followed by Morristown’s Shanon Buckingham and Mike Marlar, who recently posted a top five in the NASCAR Truck Series race at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway.

Another East Tennessee driver, Jimmy Owens from Newport, finished ninth.

Madden went on to win Saturday’s $40,000-to-win feature, a race where Bloomquist finished third and Buckingham 11th.

Over the past three weeks, Madden, a South Carolina driver, has won over $155,000 in preliminary and feature races. Other prize money includes $50,000 for winning the USA 100 at Cedar Lake (Wisc.) Speedway and $50,000 for winning the North/South 100 at Florence (Ky.) Speedway.

VOLUNTEER SPEEDWAY

Volunteer Speedway, where Bloomquist, Madden, Owens and Buckingham all are former winners, will return to action Saturday night with its six-division weekly program.

A 30-lap feature for the Crate Late Models headline the evening at the 4/10-mile Bulls Gap dirt track. Other features will be for the Sportsman Late Model, Modified Street, Classic, Street Stock and Mini Stock divisions.

Johnson City driver Tim Maupin leads the Crate Late Model standings by one point (200-199) over Jonesborough’s Tim Byrd, a three-time winner this season.

There will be a 30/30 promotion with the first 30 fans admitted free and the next 30 getting a free hot dog from the concession stands. General admission is $10 with kids 10-under admitted free.

KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY

Kingsport Speedway has its weekly program Friday with five divisions for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

There is a 60-lap feature for the Late Model Stock division headlining the program. As the season winds down, Nik Williams leads defending track champion Zeke Shell by nine points in the featured Late Model Stock points.

Other divisions in action include the Mod Street, Mod 4, Pure Street and Pure 4, where Kingsport driver Keith Helton ranks second in the NASCAR national points.

DRAGSTERS AND MOTOCROSS

After a six-week hiatus, the DER Bracket Series returns to Bristol Dragway this weekend. A test-and-tune session is scheduled for Friday night with racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Kingsport teenager Carson Eads continues to be a force in the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series with nine wins over three divisions this season. Eads, a student at Sullivan Central High School, also posted strong finishes in the 38th annual Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships held at the country music singer’s ranch in Hurricane Mills.

At the July 30 race, Eads rode his No. 36 KTM bike to a pair of 22nd-place finishes in the Mini Sr. 1 & 2 divisions. It was right outside his personal goals of top-20 finishes, but he was encouraged afterward, saying the Loretta Lynn course is the toughest he’s ever ridden.

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