Scott Bloomquist has always been known for coming up big when big money is on the line and that’s what he did in Saturday night’s Blue/Gray 100 at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC. After posting a 4th place result on Friday night in a $7,000-to-win event, the Mooresburg, Tenn. driver stepped forward and dominated Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win affair.
Bloomquist established himself early on as the favorite when he posted a qualifying effort of 15.976 seconds around the clay oval to lead the field of 24 cars that had signed in for competition. Also joining Bloomquist in earning a pole position in one of three heat races were Casey Roberts and Jonathan Davenport, who were 2nd and 3rd in time-trials respectively.
The action got intense immediately in the heat races. Going into the first turn of the first heat, Bloomquist and outside front row starter Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin came in contact with each other. Franklin’s car slammed hard into the outside wall as a result. When the field circulated back around under caution, Franklin flung his steering wheel at the passing No. 0 car.
Bloomquist went on to win that preliminary over Chris Madden and Austin Hubbard to secure the pole position for the feature.
Dustin Mitchell claimed the second heat race over Casey Roberts and Steve Francis while Jonathan Davenport beat out Brandon Overton and Don O’Neal to win the third heat.
At the outset of the 100-lap feature, Mitchell roared to the early lead from the outside of the front row with Bloomquist in his tire tracks. Davenport stayed right with the two lead cars as Madden and Overton looked on from the 4th and 5th positions.
The early laps proved to be a contest of Mitchell fighting to hold off Bloomquist as the two drivers quickly chased down the tail of the field. Finally on lap 11, the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member seized an opportunity in traffic and wrested the lead away from Mitchell. Davenport also got by former front runner to grab 2nd.
From that point, Bloomquist would lead all the way but Davenport remained close behind for much of the race distance, especially whenever the two cars found themselves working through slower traffic.
Meanwhile, the battle just behind the top-2 was much tighter. Madden, Overton, Roberts and Francis raced in close proximity throughout most of the feature as drivers fought for running room around the bottom of the track.
In the late going, Roberts’ car came to life as the Georgia driver was able to move around Overton for 4th and Madden for 3rd over the final third of the race distance. The No. 101 was even able to close enough on the lead duo that 2nd place came somewhat into question over the final laps.
But in the end, it was Scott Bloomquist who would claim the win ahead of Jonathan Davenport, Casey Roberts, Chris Madden, Brandon Overton, Dustin Mitchell, Steve Francis, Don O’Neal and Boom Briggs.