Scott Bloomquist entered Saturday night as the defending champion of the ‘Mountain Outlaw 50’ event at Smoky Mountain Speedway sanctioned by the World of Outlaws Late Models and east Tennessee driver ended the night with a second consecutive victory in the race held at the historic Maryville, Tenn. facility. The National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame member picked up a check valued at $10,000 for his efforts in front of a full grandstand.
Chris Madden began the night by setting fast time in Group A qualifying and overall when he posted a time of 15.797 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. The South Carolina native beat out former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Joey Coulter, Rick Eckert and Skip Arp in that group.
Bloomquist proved to be the fastest in Group B time-trials with a lap of 16.037 seconds to beat out Josh Richards, Mike Marlar and Ricky Weiss for the honors in that group.
Madden bested Eckert, Dale McDowell and Eric Wells in the first heat race of the night while Billy Moyer, Jr. took the checkered flag in the second preliminary ahead of Casey Roberts, Darrell Lanigan and Coulter.
Bloomquist won the third heat ahead of Marlar, Brandon Overton and Ray Cook while Richards took the fourth and final heat over Donald McIntosh, Weiss and Greg Johnson.
The WoO Late Models Series employs a redraw for the top-2 finishers in each heat to set the starting lineup for the first four rows in the main event. That redraw placed Roberts on the pole for the feature with Richards, Bloomquist, Eckert, McIntosh, Madden, Marlar and Moyer following.
Roberts surged to the early lead at the start of the 50-lap feature with Bloomquist, Madden, Richards and McIntosh in his wake. Soon after the waving of the green flag, however, Bloomquist began to close in on the race leader and apply pressure. At the same time, Richards had designs on wresting the third spot away from Madden as the two raced just behind the lead duo.
The torrid pace of the top-2 runners quickly caused them to encounter slower traffic as they caught the tail of the field on the eighth lap of a race that ultimately run caution free over its entire distance. It was while racing in that traffic where Bloomquist find an opportunity to seize the top spot away from Roberts as on lap 15 the No. 0 machine made his way to the top of the leader board where he would remain for the rest of the night.
Meanwhile, Madden and Richards continued their battle for position as they closed in on Roberts and eventually shuffled him back to the fourth position after a prolonged battle between those three racers.
Marlar worked his way into contention as he passed by McDowell for sixth on lap 23 then cracked the top-5 with a pass on McIntosh one lap later. The No. 157 finally made its way to fourth with a late race move to get around Roberts.
Over the closing laps, Bloomquist went unchallenged while Richards continued to fight Madden for the runner-up spot right to the checkered flag.
Feature Finish:1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Chris Madden, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Mike Marlar, 5. Casey Roberts, 6. Donald McIntosh, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Steve Francis, 9. Rick Eckert, 10. Billy Moyer, Jr., 11. Darrell Lanigan, 12. Brandon Overton, 13. Ricky Weiss, 14. Eric Wells, 15. Greg Johnson, 16. Shane Clanton, 17. Morgan Bagley, 18. Chub Frank, 19. Steve Casebolt, 20. Chase Junghans, 21. Frank Heckenast, Jr., 22. Don O’Neal, 23. Joey Coulter, 24. Jared Landers, 25. Brian Shirley, 26. Ray Cook, 27. David Crabtree