BUSTI - It was two years in the making and mother nature provided a perfect summer night for the inaugural appearance of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models in the Empire 50, sponsored by Davies & Sons and Roberts Trucking.
The UEMS E-Mods were also on-hand 38 strong.
Sixteen year old Tyler Reddick set Lucas fast time with a 15.723 second lap and local racer Ron Davies was second fastest at 15.948 seconds.
Scott Bloomquist goes into turn two sideways during the Empire 50 at Stateline Speedway on Tuesday night. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Scott Reagle
Lucas point leader Jimmy Owens had to qualify through the first B-main along with Bump Hedman and Jason Dupont to race the Empire 50. The second B-Main was won by Randy Lobb with Dave Scott second and Doug Eck third.
John Blankenship won the Empire 50 after an epic battle with Mike Knight. Knight came from sixth to challenge the leader on the closing laps, but fell short giving Blankenship his second win at Stateline and the $10,000 first prize.
Brent Rhebergen won the UEMS feature, his first of the season at Stateline, after fending off a challenge from Rich Michael Jr.
The four-wide salute to the fans was led by Blankenship and Scott Bloomquist in the front row for the Empire 50. Dan Stone and Chub Frank were in row two with Tyler Reddick and Mike Knight in row three. Jared Landers pulled into the infield right after the four-wide salute and before the race went green Hedman joined Landers. There were 13 Lucas cars and 12 local racers in the field.
Blankenship won the race to turn one and led the first circuit with Bloomquist in tow. Dan Stone was third with Frank fourth. Davies nearly spun as Dupont pulled into the infield with a broken suspension. Reddick, the fast qualifier, spun with nine laps down for the first yellow of the race. Blankenship, Bloomquist, Stone, Frank and Jonathan Davenport were the restart leaders.
Frank tested Stone on the restart. Francis spun, collecting Eric Wells for the second yellow with 10 laps complete. Frank was scored third for the restart right behind Bloomquist. Blankenship was running high along with Frank while Bloomquist and Stone ran low. Stone reclaimed third then two laps latter Frank was third as Blankenship began to build a lead on the field. David Scott spun on the front stretch collecting John Lobb for the third yellow with seventeen laps down. Scott retired to the pits during the yellow as did fourth running Stone. Twenty cars remained for the restart.
Doug Eck did a half spin on the restart for yellow five and also retired to the pits. Hess was tagged by Greg Satterlee which started an incident on the restart collecting Bump Hedman for yellow six. Frank moved up alongside Bloomquist on the restart, but could not finish the pass and Knight was running fourth and Davenport fifth.
At the halfway point Knight moved up to take third from Chub and lock onto Bloomquist's bumper. Knight and Bloomquist went side by side on lap 29 and completed the pass on lap 30. Knight was running faster than Blankenship as he closed the distance to the leader. With 15 laps remaining Blankenship had less than a one second lead over Knight in heavy lap traffic. Hess was the next to pass Bloomquist with nine laps remaining.
Knight caught Blankenship two laps later then was slowed by lap traffic. Knight closed again with four laps remaining and could not complete the pass. Knight did it again on the white flag lap taking the lead on the back stretch and losing it on the front stretch.
Blankenship fended off Knight a final time on the final lap winning by less the 0.2 seconds over the hard charging Knight.
Davies spun on the initial start of the UEMS E-Mod feature collecting several cars for caution number one. Mike McGee was leading then lost power on lap three and several cars narrowly avoided a collision as the second yellow flew. Brent Rhebergen was the new leader with Chad Ruhlman second and Rich Michael Jr. third. Michael and Rhebergen started to pull away from the field when a spin by Ben Asel caused yellow three and allowed the field to close with Rhebergen and Michael. Michael led by a bumper at the end of lap eight and then Rhebergen led lap nine. Michael stayed low with Rhebergen up against the fence. Steve Dixon was third with Randy Hall fourth and Kyle Bedell fifth. Bedell passed Hall for fourth and Rhebergen was finally able to get a little distance from Michael.
Dan Davies was the next to pass Hall with five laps remaining in the race. Rhebergen took the two to go with a ten car length lead over Michael. It was all Rhebergen at the end his first win of the season at Stateline.
Time Trials Group A
1 Tyler Reddick 15.723
2 Ron Davies 15.948
3 John Blankinship 15.970
4 Dan Stone 16.050
5 Steve Francis 16.080
6 Ricky Elliott 16.174
7 Bumpy Hedman 16.212
8 Jimmy Owens 16.214
9 Greg Satterlee 16.238
10 Rob Blair 16.253
11 John Lobb 16.290
12 Jared Landers 16.384
13 Jason DuPont 16.395
14 Boom Briggs 16.507
15 Dutch Davies 16.566
16 Brent Rhebergen 16.665
17 Greg Oakes 16.764
18 Dick Barton 16.935
19 Jordan Eck 17.346
Time Trials Group B
1 Scott Bloomquist 16.087
2 Jonathan Davenport 16.118
3 Mike Knight 16.175
4 Chub Frank 16.371
5 Earl Pearson Jr. 16.339
6 Eric Wells 16.376
7 Don O'Neal 16.378
8 Dave Hess 16.504
9 Doug Eck 16.511
10 Darrell Bossard 16.518
11 David Scott16.553
12 Scott Gurdak 16.564
13 Rich Gardner 16.645
14 Randy Lobb 16.654
15 Chad Valone 16.667
16 Andy Boozel 16.712
17 Chris Hackett 16,726
18 George LaBarberra 16.958
Super Late Model
Heat 1: John Blankenship, Tyler Reddick, Steve Francis, Greg Satterlee, Jason Dupont Cyclone PA
Heat 2: Dan Stone, Ron Davies Warren PA, Ricky Elliott, Dick Barton Ashville NY, Jimmy Owens
Heat 3: Scott Bloomquist, Mike Knight Ripley NY, Earl Pearson Jr, Don O'neal, David Scott Garland PA
Heat 4: Chub Frank Bear Lake PA, Jonathan Davenport, Eric Wells, Dave Hess Jr. Waterford PA, Randy Lobb Jamestown NY
Consolation 1: Jimmy Owens, Jason Dupont Cyclone PA, Bump Hedman Sugar Grove PA, Robbie Blair Centerville PA, Dutch Davies Warren PA, Jared Landers, Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Greg Oakes Franklinville NY, Jordan Eck Corry PA, Boom Briggs Bear Lake PA, John Lobb Frewsburg NY
Consolation 2: Randy Lobb Jamestown NY, David Scott Garland PA, Doug Eck Corry PA, Andy Boozel Clymer NY, Darrell Bossard Centerville PA, Chad Valone Jamestown NY, Chris Hackett Jamestown NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Rich Gardner Waterford PA
Feature: John Blankenship, Mike Knight Ripley NY, Dave Hess Jr. Waterford PA, Chub Frank Bear Lake PA, Scott Bloomquist, Don O'Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Jared Landers, Ron Davies Warren PA, Earl Pearson Jr, Bump Hedman Sugar Grove PA, Ricky Elliott, Eric Wells, Tyler Reddick, Steve Francis, Randy Lobb Jamestown NY, Rich Gardner Waterford PA, Greg Satterlee, Dick Barton Ashville NY, Dan Stone , Doug Eck Corry PA, David Scott Garland PA, Robbie Blair Centerville PA, Jason Dupont Cyclone PA
Heat 1: Kyle Bedell Little Valley NY, Dan Davies Warren PA, John Boardman Jamestown NY, John Boyd Waterford PA, John Woodward Jr. Franklinville NY
Heat 2: Chad Ruhlman Bemus Point NY, Randy Hall Olean NY, Scott Gurdak Bear Lake PA, Carl McKinney Mars PA, Tim Walden Bear Lake PA
Heat 3: Steve Dixon, Mike McGee Mayville NY, Ron Seeley Youngsville PA, Joel Watson Conneaut OH, Cale Crocker Pittsfield PA
Heat 4: Richard Michael Jr. Ischua NY, David Shagla Jr. Sugar Grove PA, Butch Southwell Warren PA, Vic Vena Shinglehouse PA, Mike Eschrich Mt. Jewett PA
Heat 5: Ron Davies Warren PA, Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Al Brewer Belfast NY, Nathan Hill East Otto NY, Leonard Enos Russell PA
Consolation 1: Joel Watson Conneaut OH, John Boyd Waterford PA, Shane Crotty Corry PA, Alex Froman Ashville NY, Greg Johnson Jamestown NY, Brian Fardink Sherman NY, Tim Walden Bear Lake PA, Steve Rosenberger Jr. Erie PA, Dan Sasso Forestville NY, Nathan Hill East Otto NY
Consolation 2: Vic Vena Shinglehouse PA, Carl McKinney Mars PA, Ben Asel Kane PA, Cale Crocker Pittsfield PA, Jaben Hill Cattaraugus NY, John Woodward Jr. Franklinville NY, Steve Rex Youngsville PA, Clint Brady Frewsburg NY, Leonard Enos Russell PA, Darren Tarabori Galeton PA
Feature: Brent Rhebergen Clymer NY, Richard Michael Jr. Ischua NY, Steve Dixon, Kyle Bedell Little Valley NY, Dan Davies Warren PA, Randy Hall Olean NY, Joel Watson Conneaut OH, Butch Southwell Warren PA, Carl McKinney Mars PA, Mike Kinney Ashtabula PA