Portsmouth Raceway Park hosted a record-setting crowd Saturday for the third and final day of the 35th annual Optima Batteries Dirt Track World Championship presented by NAPA Auto Parts.
The huge weekend at PRP brought in fans from all over the United States and Canada. Over 500 RVs lined the parking area, and 193 race teams filed into the pits.
The enormous crowd Saturday witnessed Scott Bloomquist’s pick up of $100,000 for winning the 100-lap, Lucas Oil Series-sanctioned Late Model A-Main. Jake Hawkins claimed the $4,000-to-win Modified Feature.
Bloomquist claimed the DTWC for the second straight year becoming the first-ever driver to win the event in back-to-back seasons. The veteran racer was dominant all weekend, as he captured both of his heat races on Friday and led every lap of Saturday’s feature.
For Bloomquist, Saturday’s victory marked his third DTWC win, as his first occurred in 2005. He held off Arkansas’ Jared Landers, Indiana’s Don O’Neal, and highest finishing local racer R.J. Conley of Wheelersburg. The top four went across the line nose to tail.
In total, there were drivers from 12 different states in the 26-car field. Shinnston, WV’s Josh Richards rounded out the top five. Steve Francis came up from 13th to finish sixth. The rest of the top 10 was made up of Darrell Lanigan, Dustin Linville, Dennis Erb, Jr., and Eddie Carrier, Jr.
The remainder of the field consisted of Chris Brown, Jason Feger, Jonathan Davenport, Rod Conley, Alex Ferree, Jackie Boggs, Rick Eckert, Jason Montgomery, Earl Pearson, Jr., Audie Swartz, Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce, Greg Johnson, Zack Dohm, Devin Moran, and Jimmy Owens.
Chris Ferguson won Saturday’s Jim Dunn Memorial Late Model Non-qualifiers race. Davenport wound up capturing the 2015 Lucas Oil Series Championship.
The DTWC Weekend got underway with Glockner.com Night Thursday, as fans witnessed Modified Time Trials, Heats, and B-Mains. Action continued Friday as the Late Model portion of the program kicked into gear with 81 drivers running two rounds of heat races. In total, PRP fans saw 16 Lucas Oil Late Model Heats Friday, as the implementation of passing points occurred for the first time ever at PRP and the DTWC.
Friday’s heats certainly witnessed plenty of passing. Landers came from eighth to record a victory. Bloomquist, Johnson, Carrier, and O’Neal all marched from seventh to win heats.
The Wince Mayabb Memorial Modified Non-Qualifiers Race also took place Friday with Pedro’s Brian Skaggs taking the win.
Saturday’s Modified Feature was a good one with Hawkins leading 28 of 30 laps. K.C. Burdette placed second. John Burdette was third. Keith Smith finished fourth, and two-time PRP track champ Tim Tribby from Beaver climbed from 10th to finish fifth.
North Carolina racer David Stremme marched from 20th to sixth. The rest of the field was made up of Kevin Morehouse, Tanner Wilson, Shawn Holliday, Ervin Vance, Anthony Kinkade, Tony DeHart, Jeremy Rayburn, Shon Flanary, Greg Oliver, Jason Montgomery, Jody Puckett, Davey Warnock, Jeremy Hayes, Kevin Hall, Henry Sizemore, Todd Robinson, Ben Adkins, Tyler Evans, Dave Jamison, and Michael Paul Howard.
Carl Short’s 2016 Dirt Track World Championship will return to Portsmouth Raceway Park October 13th, 14th, and 15th.