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Scott Bloomquist may have been down, but dirt late model fans have learned that he's rarely out.

He started near the back after a heat race disqualification Friday night, but Bloomquist sliced through the field and took the lead shortly after midway before claiming his record fifth Comp Cams Topless 100 title Sunday afternoon at Batesville Motor Speedway in Locust Grove.

Bloomquist, of Mooresburg, Tenn., won his heat race Friday night but was disqualified when his car did not meet the minimum weight requirement set by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Then, after Saturday's racing was postposed by rain until Sunday afternoon, Bloomquist did not advance through his consolation qualifier.

He took a series provisional spot for the 100-lap main event and started 23rd in the 26-car field.

But he did not stay in the back for long.

He was in the top 10 by the 40th lap and was in third on lap 60.

Bloomquist inherited the lead during a caution period on the 65th lap when the two leaders -- Austin Rettig of Sikeston, Mo., and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. -- both pitted with flat tires.

"I just kept watching those lead cars," said Bloomquist, who earned $40,000. "They were starting to have trouble around lap 60. I knew we had enough for them at the end. I just had to keep the car straight and smooth."

Bloomquist, the Topless winner in 1999, 2001, 2006 and 2011, was not seriously challenged the rest of the way, earning his seventh event of the season on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

He is the Series' all-time leader with 84 victories.

Tire wear has been an issue for the event over the past decade, and it was even more of a problem Sunday in the afternoon heat. There were 11 cautions, almost all for drivers with tire issues.

McCreadie, the 2008 Topless winner who also won the Bad Boy 98 at Batesville in April, started from the pole and led the first 63 laps. Rettig, who started 21st, passed McCreadie for the lead on the 64th lap, a lap before both suffered flat tires.

"I followed the 94 car [Rettig] through there, but he was burning the tires up," Bloomquist said. "I would sweep wide on the straightaways and go low in the corners. That was the fastest groove. I wasn't worried about being passed at the end. I was just worried about tire wear to finish the race. I didn't push it nearly as much as I could have there at the end."

Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., who started 11th, finished second and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., was third. David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., was fourth and McCreadie battled back to finish fifth.

Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., took sixth and Rettig finished seventh. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., was eighth and 2012 winner Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., took ninth. Benton Jared Landers, the 2010 winner, was top finishing Arkansan in 10th.

Sports on 08/21/2017

Print Headline: Wily vet keeps tires in groove

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