Do big events create big stars or do big stars rise to the challenge in big events?
The answer to that question could certainly go either way. Of course, any driver who wins a big event such as the World 100 which is slated to run on Saturday night at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio would immediately be counted as one of the biggest stars in the Dirt Late Model universe. At the same time, however, those who are already counted among the big stars are looking to add to their brightness with feature wins in those monster events.
While there have been some surprise winners in the World 100 before, this race has tended to be one in which the power players in Dirt Late Model racing have increased their brightness by scoring wins and top finishes. A look at the list of winners who have taken home the much coveted globe trophy reveals some of the top names in the history of the sport with National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame members and future members scattered throughout.
Starting at the very top of the list it becomes apparent that this is a race dominated by those already at the top of the list. Billy Moyer has driven under the checkered flag at the front of the field no less than six times in the World 100. Indeed, the legendary driver has had the whole world in his hands more than anyone else at the end of the night at the famed half-mile clay oval.
Moyer has earned a top-5 finish in the fall season’s crown jewel event a total of nine times. And to show that the 61-year-old racer still knows his way around ‘The Big E’, Moyer grabbed a $10,000 win in a Thursday night preliminary race leading into the 2019 World 100.
Not far behind the remarkable record of Moyer is that of Scott Bloomquist. The Mooresburg, Tenn. star has a collection of four globe trophies in his shop. The 55-year-old superstar has taken lots of money away from Eldora as he has won the other crown jewel race held here, the Dirt Late Model Dream, a total of seven times.
And perhaps just a noteworthy, the leader of Team Zero has amassed an astounding 19 top-5 finishes during his career in the World 100. Since 1988, Bloomquist has ended his night among the top-5 finishes in this race an amazing 61% of the time.
But it isn’t just Moyer and Bloomquist who shine in this ‘Granddaddy of Them All’ event. Last year it was former World of Outlaws Late Model Series champ Tim McCreadie who wheeled into victory lane to earn a globe. And his story was added to by the fact that he earned that win in a car brought to the track in box trailer pulled by a dually pick-up truck in an era in which the massive two-piece haulers are king within the ranks of the top-tier teams.
Other big stars to have won this race in recent years include two-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series title holder Jonathan Davenport who has collected the World 100 winner’s check on two separate occasions. His 2015 triumph in the K&L Rumley Enterprises car contributed to what is typically considered the greatest single season ever enjoyed by a Dirt Late Model driver and team.
While still quite young compared to the other drivers mentioned here, multiple-time Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce built on his already impressive resumé with a win in this event back in 2016. Other national touring series pilots to have won the World 100 include Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton and Earl Pearson, Jr.
So, do big events create big stars or do big stars rise to the challenge in big events?
It certainly appears that in the case of the World 100, the big stars rise to the challenge. We will see if that proves to be the case once again this Saturday night under the bright lights of Eldora Speedway.