Bloomquist and Davenport Score Big Wins in First Day of Dirt Late Model Dream XXI

Scott Bloomquist and Jonathan Davenport rolled to impressive preliminary feature victories on the opening night of Eldora Speedway’s Dirt Late Model Dream XXI presented by Ferris Commercial Mowers, splitting Thursday night’s two 25-lap DIRTcar-sanctioned races at the historic half-mile oval.

The $2,500-to-win triumphs put Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tennessee, and Davenport of Blairsville, Georgia, in prime position for Saturday’s $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream finale. Saturday’s heat races for the crown jewel event will be set based on drivers’ performances on Thursday and in a second night of preliminary action on Friday.

Picking up where he left off at September’s World 100, Bloomquist dominated the majority of Thursday’s first 25-lapper. His only serious challenge came midway through the race when third-starting Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Michigan, used the track’s high groove to pull into contention as the leaders entered lapped traffic.

But Bloomquist’s self-designed Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car proved too powerful for Van Wormer, easily pulling away through the second half of the race. He built more than a straightaway advantage in claiming the caution-free race.

“We always love coming to this racetrack,” said Bloomquist, the Hall-of-Fame racer who leads all drivers with six Dream victories to go along with his four World 100 wins. “The car just really works good on the bottom. I really think it works good everywhere. We’re really looking forward to Saturday.”

Van Wormer settled for second, 5.570 seconds behind Bloomquist. Sixth-starting Josh Rice of Verona, Kentucky, was third in a solid performance by the 16-year-old, second-generation racer. Jared Landers of Batesville, Arkansas, was fourth at the finish with Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, rounding out the top five.

Davenport, the current points leader on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, had to work a little harder for his victory in the second prelim feature. He advanced from his fifth-starting spot to battle polesitter Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Georgia. McDowell, last year’s Dirt Late Model Dream winner, led the race’s first 10 laps, but he couldn’t hold off Davenport’s Longhorn Chassis when Davenport headed to Eldora’s famous high line.

Davenport held McDowell at bay as the leaders raced through traffic during the closing laps, building an advantage of 1.311 seconds at the finish of another caution-free race.

“It always feels good to be in victory lane, but especially here at Eldora,” said Davenport, who also won a preliminary feature at last year’s World 100. “I got to rolling that bottom and was decent there, but was just way too tight. I saw that outside line was good and realized that was the place to be.”

McDowell settled for second while Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Illinois, advanced from eighth to finish third. Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Georgia, was fourth at the finish. The current World of Outlaws Late Model Series points leader roared from sixth to third on the race’s opening lap and challenged McDowell early before fading late. He held off a late challenge from Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tennessee, who finished fifth.

The 21st annual Dirt Late Model Dream Weekend Presented Ferris Mowers continues on Friday with a second night of preliminary competition. The 84-car field will again be split into two groups for heat races, B-Mains and 25-lap features that will both pay $5,000 to the winners.

Eldora Speedway PR