Wednesday, June 25, 2014

8th Annual Firecracker 100 Central

Welcome to the  home of our 2014 Firecracker 100 Coverage! We'll be doing our best to keep you updated through all three days of action from Lernerville this weekend so be sure to keep checking up right here for the latest results, recaps, stories and coverage. You never know what else you might find here!


You can find all the time, place, schedule/protocol, and non racing festivities via Lernerville's Firecracker page.  Firecracker 100 Need to Know File

The page is also a great resource for first time goers or those from out of the area. There's camping information, hotels, ticket info, and other very useful information there as well!

Paul Archer Photo

Drivers List:

The following drivers are present at this years Firecracker 100.

Alex Ferree               Austin Hubbard            Bo Lockwood        Boom Briggs
Colton Flinner           Chase Junghans           Eric Jacobsen        Chris Casner
Chub Frank               Chuck Sarver                Clint Smith           Dale McDowell
Dan Stone                 Darrell Lanigan            Dave Hess Jr          Russ King
Mike Marlar               Davey Johnson             Doug Drown           Brian Tavenner
Eric Wells                 Frankie Heckenast Jr    Garrett Krummert  Gary Lyle
Gregg Satterlee        Herman Bertollini         Jared Miley            Jimmy Mars
Jimmy Owens           John Garvin Jr              John Blankenship    Justin Kann
Jonathan Davenport  Mike Altobelli Jr          Mike Benedum       Michael Norris
Mike Pegher Jr          Morgan Bagley              Rick Eckert            John Flinner   
Scott Bloomquist       Shane Clanton              Tim McCreadie      Todd Bachman
Tommy Beck             Vic Coffey                     Kent Robinson       Mike Knight
Tim Fuller                 Max Blair                      Dave Hess Jr          Casey Roberts
Dan Angellichio         Mason Ziegler                Matt Cochran       



Our Friends over at Raceday Weather will have a sharp eye open on the Firecracker weather all weekend long. Keep track by website: Raceday Weather  For up to the minute weather be sure to follow them on twitter @RaceDayWeather

Here's what our weather guru Trever Steele currently sees happening.

"While last year's Firecracker 100 was rain-plagued, the 2014 version of this event will see much more settled conditions.  Mother Nature did provide soaking rains earlier this week, but no more are in the forecast for this weekend.

Friday will see  plenty of afternoon sun and slightly milder temps.  For the Saturday finale, humidity will again be on the increase, which will allow for some development of scattered PM storms. Storms are not expected to be widespread, but the threat will be there."

Fri: Milder with continued Low Humidity High~82 | Partly Cloudy, Seasonable. Low~68

Sat: Muggy, Milder with isolated PM showers High~85 | An isolated shower, otherwise partly cloudy, mild. Low~71


Previous Winners:

  • 2007- Scott Bloomquist
  • 2008 - Brian Birkhofer
  • 2009 - Jimmy Mars
  • 2010 - Shane Clanton
  • 2011 - Jimmy Mars
  • 2012 - Scott Bloomquist
  • 2013 - Josh Richards
  • 2014 - ???


Here's a few great sources of info:

On Twitter: Make Sure you're following these folks

@TheDirtNetwork - We'll have live updates
@DirtonDirt - Always great info
@WoOLateModels- Good details
@lernerville - Great way to keep up

Other useful links:

Lernerville Speedway Home Page
World of Outlaw Late Model Official Site
Dirt On Dirt- Excellent Coverage


We looked into our crystal ball, and pretty much came up with the same cast of characters in the mix in 2014. We all know who they are and they'll be up front at some point or another. Pick a name, Bloomquist, Mars, McCreadie, Birkhofer, Clanton, Lanigan...etc, and there's a potential winner.

Without much rain in the forecast, look for dry slick conditions by feature time if not before, but the track crew will keep it smooth and multi groove and very racy!

We recently discussed some drivers to look for outside of the perennial favorites. You can give it a look here: TDN Roundtable- Firecracker Edition

Here are the final staff predictions:

  • Brian Compton- "Bloomquist by a straightaway"
  • Pat Miller- "Seriously think Lanigan is going to win"
  • Josh Bayko- "Rick Eckert. He was always bad fast at Lernerville in a Rocket"
  • Gary Heeman- "McCreadie- "Always seems motivated for this one, just needs luck"
  • Jerin Steele- "Lanigan"
  • Trever Steele- "Eckert"
  • Eric Burton- "Tim McCreadie that's my pick and I am sticking to it"
  • Tyler Beichner- "My not so bold prediction is BLOOMER!"

In Closing:

This is one of the most anticipated events of the year and always provides a great time. It's not a crown jewel yet and it doesn't need to be! It's fan interactive, with great racing and a great time. 3 days of speed and glory with an atmosphere that's worthy of the hype. Enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes all weekend long.

And remember, we'll have this page updated every day, full of news, notes, recaps, interviews and much more!!

Post Race Interview with Lanigan (Gary Heeman Photo)
Firecracker Night 3: Lanigan Battles Bloomquist and the Raindrops to pick up Elusive Firecracker Victory.

By Jerin Steele

Darrell Lanigan survived the rain and a late race charge from Scott Bloomquist to pick up his first Firecracker 100 victory Saturday night.

The rain started to fall in the closing stages of the race while Bloomquist was making a late race push to try and get around the 29 machine. The rain became heavier and the race was put under caution on lap 90. It was called shortly after.

"I couldn't feel the rain in the car, but I knew I was about to go off the track every lap," Lanigan said beside his Gotta, Keyser Manufacturing, Cornett Thunder backed Club 29 machine. "I'm just glad they threw the caution." 

You can hear more quotes from Lanigan here Darrell Lanigan- Post Race Interview

After a rain delay pushed the start back Jonathan Davenport and Lanigan paced the field to the start. When the green flag flew it was Lanigan who got the early jump.  Fourth starting Scott Bloomquist quickly got around Jimmy Mars and Davenport to move into second. The caution came out just a few laps into the race when Chub Frank spun and Chase Junghans slowed on the track. Junghans would be done for the evening.

The race restarted but was slowed once again on lap 12 for Boom Briggs who spun.

The second restart of the race saw Davenport use the outside line to pass both Bloomquist and Lanigan on the backstretch to take the lead. From there the race went on a long green flag run that saw Davenport stretch his lead to a full straightaway on Lanigan. Davenport continued to enjoy that nice cushion, while working masterfully through lapped traffic, until Briggs spun for the second time to bring out the yellow on lap 38.

A couple of more incidents brought out the yellow shortly after including one for Gregg Satterlee who slowed on lap 40. At the same time Friday night’s winner Jimmy Owens pulled into the infield with a mechanical issue on his number 20 machine. After that Briggs spun for the third time on lap 43.

The race would settle in for a while from there and Davenport went back to having a comfortable lead. Around lap 60 Lanigan started to reel in the driver of the number 6 longhorn chassis car and the race was on. On lap 65 sparks started to appear from the rear of Davenport’s mount and heartbreak set in on lap 67 when his car slowed to a stop with a broken drive shaft. This unfortunately would end his night.

Lanigan inherited the lead, and enjoyed a nice five car length lead on Bloomquist until the caution waved one final time for an on track incident when Dan Stone slid to a stop in turn four. Stone would rebound to finish tenth. Around this time the rain started falling lightly on the speedway.

Lanigan would battle the deteriorating track conditions due to the moisture and had to fend off Bloomquist, who was catching him running the middle to low part of the track while Lanigan continued to soldier around the top. The track conditions became unsuitable for racing and the yellow flag flew ending the event.
After finishing second numerous times in the Saturday night finale The Union, Ky native will get his name on the trophy.

Bloomquist came home second for the third straight night. Ninth starting John Blankenship wound up third followed by Dale McDowell, who was racing a backup car after a hard crash on Friday, and Mars rounded out the top five.

Morgan Bagley was the hard charger and after taking a provisional he drove from his 25th starting spot up to sixth.

Owens, Lanigan, Bloomquist, Blankenship, Davenport and Kent Robinson took heat race wins. Frank, Dave Hess, Jr and Mike Benedum won the bmains.

World of Outlaws tour regular Shane Clanton was disqualified for the night after making contact with Frank multiple times under caution in his heat race. They tangled in a wreck early in the heat and after Clanton made repairs he let Frank know his displeasure with him by bumping him a few times before they went back to green.

The Uncle Sam 30 was postponed until the World of Outlaws return to the Sarver oval for the Working Man’s 50 on August 29th.

Check out Eric Westendorf''s full results here Firecracker 100 Quick Results

Firecracker 100 Night 2; Friday June 27

Owens Comes Up With Save; Holds off Bloomquist for 1st Career Lernerville Win

from Gary Heeman- TDN

The packed grandstands at Lernerville, full to the brim with of some of the most passionate super late model fans in the country were treated to yet another memorable preliminary night feature Friday night.  Jimmy Owens survived a furious charge from Scott Bloomquist to capture the win on a night that kept drivers guessing with track conditions that went from dry slick, to light and tacky to anywhere between the two over the course of the evening.

Time Trials:

Local driver John Garvin Jr put his name in the books with a surprising quick time performance. Garvin Jr became the first local driver to earn the honor in the event's history. Jonathan Davenport kept impressing the crowd in his first Firecracker appearance, leading group B qualifying while last night's fastest time winner, Mike Marlar got off to a shaky start by spinning in his first attempt but managed fourth quick. Chub Frank opened some eyes by taking the third fastest time. The track was typically greasy for the first few runs with most drivers looking topside for the best forward bite.


Heat 1:
Garvin's time put him on the pole, but Owens made quick work of it from the get go. He took the lead from Garvin Jr on lap 1 and Tim McCreadie found his way past Garvin just moments later while John Blankenship made a charge toward the end but could not take the third and final transfer spot away from Garvin Jr as Owens checked out to a 4+ second win. 

Heat 2:
Chub Frank and local driver Garrett Krummert led heat two to the green flag and while Frank wasted no time taking the early lead, a five car battle for the final two transfer spots ensued behind him. Shane Clanton and Russ King moved out of the pack and claimed the final two transfer spots while last night's hard charger, Jared Miley,  tried his best to make it interesting, falling short of the last spot.

Heat 3:
Right around the green flag, the cushion was getting fairly thin and the low side became the preferred groove. Mike Marlar took the lead from the pole as Jimmy Mars and Eric Jacobsen both made their way past second starting Mike Benedum to take the final two transfer spots.

Heat 4:
Two drivers that were in the hunt last night started up front in this one as Davenport and Scott Bloomquist paced the field to the green. Bloomquist jumped out to the early lead and rolled the car through the middle groove with surgeon like precision. Davenport and Gregg Satterlee earned the final two starting spots without much debate as Morgan Bagley made a furious charge but came up short at the end.

Heat 5:
Tim Fuller's had a good start to the three day weekend, posting up good times in qualifying and has been towards the front consistently so far and heat five was no exception. Fuller took the early lead while Frankie Heckenast Jr moved around second starting Dan Stone for second. Dream 100 winner Dale McDowell had his hood fly off on the opening lap and on lap 7 suffered a tough break as he slid off the track in turn three at full speed landing on a guardrail in front of the pit grandstand. McDowell was alright but his car, not so much and he was forced to retire from the action for the rest of the evening.  Fuller pulled away on the restart to capture the win with Heckenast Jr and Stone finishing in transfer positions

Heat 6:
Kent Robinson and Mason Ziegler took the green on the front row and held onto the transfer spots, but it was Ziegler that took the win and redraw spot with his early pass. WoO regulars Darrell Lanigan (last night's feature winner) and Rick Eckert found themselves battling for the final ticket to the show from heat six and although Lanigan kept Eckert at bay, neither looked particularly impressive on this night. It's hard to say whether either one were trying some new setups but neither would be a factor in the mix the rest of the evening.


The track used the time between heats and last chance showdowns to rework the surface with a quick till/water/pack session that raised the intrigue factor significantly. Most fans in attendance kept asking "What's going to change now?" As the six heat winners gathered for their redraw, the number of drivers peering out over turns three and four to take a peek at the changing surface grew. And when it was finished the track went from hard to light with moisture, leaving drivers and crew to change plans and hope for the best.

BMain 1:
Blankenship and Miley led the first LCS to green and they stayed right where they were until Miley used the momentum from the rejuvenated top side to get around Blankenship for the win. Mike Knight made a valiant effort to catch the second place car but couldn't find a way by once he was there in the mix.

Bmain 2:
Mike Benedum had to be feeling pretty good after a decent time trial, and a fair performance in his heat. So when he lined up on the pole of LCS number 2, it was a good bet he'd move on. But that's why they race! The race revealed that Benedum may have been missing something or had gremlins because Austin Hubbard and Morgan Bagley went around him fairly easily, taking the two transfer positions.

Bmain 3:
Dave Hess committed the crime of premature acceleration on the start, putting Rick Eckert on the pole of the final LCS of the night. But the real story was Davey Johnson. He'd not had a good opening night and seemed destined for perhaps another night of watching the feature instead of driving in it. Johnson quickly picked up two spots in two laps and rocketed around Eckert for the win and looked completely confident on the newer surface. WoO rookie of the year candidate Chase Junghans also got around Eckert to take the final transfer spot.

Dow Carnahan and Jimmy Owens in Victory Lane


The storylines between Jimmy Owens and Scott Bloomquist are many and to be frank, explaining them further would simply not do justice to the action on the track.

The minute the redraw revealed that both Tennessee drivers would be starting on the front row, was the moment that most in attendance knew what to expect. That in 30 laps, very few competitors would be able to catch them let alone get around them if they were able to close any gap.

As Owens jumped out to a 1.5 second lead in the first few laps, Tim McCreadie tried his best to reel them in, moving through a tight pack from his seventh starting position to find himself in third in the opening moments. But he'd get no closer. Owens and Bloomquist were simply dominant and the clear class of the field Friday night.

The caution flag flew on lap 11 when Jared Miley and Mason Ziegler tangled at the end of the front stretch, causing considerable damage to Miley's car.  It was a tough break for two drivers that have looked tough in the early going. On the restart, Owens started to open a considerable gap between himself and Bloomquist. But, on lap 19 Owens got into trouble with the cushion in turn two and made an unbelievable save, allowing him to retain the lead until a lap 24 caution would stack the field back up for one final battle to the end.

The final six laps saw Bloomquist all over Owens, as both had great cars and clean air to work with and they gave the fans a memorable finish as Bloomquist used a middle grove to creep up on Owens with every lap. By the final circuit, Bloomquist threw his best effort and pulled almost door handle to door handle while Owens used up the last of the high side momentum to just barely keep Bloomquist at bay and in second as he collected his first ever career Lernerville win.  McCreadie held off a late charge from former champion Jimmy Mars to keep third. While Chub Frank rounded out the top five with a strong performance.

"This track's just so racy that you don't know where the groove is" remarked Jimmy Owens in victory lane. "I felt pretty comfortable up high, but once I hit lapped traffic I felt like I was going to have to start moving around, but with the way the cautions hit, I was able to stay where I was."

You can hear the full victory lane interview here: Jimmy Owens in Victory Lane

Top 10:

1. Jimmy Owens
2. Scott Bloomquist
3. Tim McCreadie
4. Jimmy Mars
5. Chub Frank
6. Tim Fuller
7. John Blankenship
8. Kent Robinson
9. Austin Hubbard
10. John Blankenship


The same 55 cars in attendance last night were on display again tonight for night 2 of the Firecracker 100.  In a surprise, local competitor John Garvin Jr set quick time overall. When the dust settled on the evening, it was Jimmy Owens who edged Scott Bloomquist by fractions of a second to claim his first ever Lernerville victory of any kind. Tim McCreadie finished out the podium.  Our full recap will be up momentarily.

Top 10:

1. Jimmy Owens
2. Scott Bloomquist
3. Tim McCreadie
4. Jimmy Mars
5. Chub Frank
6. Tim Fuller
7. John Blankenship
8. Kent Robinson
9. Austin Hubbard
10. John Blankenship


Firecracker Night 1; Thursday June 26



55 Cars are currently present at Lernerville on night 1.  A few surprises have rolled in including Jonathan Davenport, Casey Roberts, Mike Marlar, Mike Knight, John Flinner and Jimmy Owens.

Owens appearance had been rumored for weeks. like most years actually.  But most longtime fans simply had trouble believing it until they actually saw the car on the track, he's in attendance, it's not an illusion.

Tonight, they'll be going 30 laps for $6,000 to win.

Quick time tonight was set by Mike Marlar with a 16.221.

Top 10 in time trials:

1. Mike Marlar 16.221
2. Scott Bloomquist 16.425
3. Jonathan Davenport 16.543
4. Doug Drown 16.631
5. Jimmy Owens 16.750
6. Kent Robinson 16.792
7. Morgan Bagley 16.805
8. Darrell Lanigan 16.845
9. John Garvin 16.858
10. Tim Fuller 16.883

Transferring from the heats on night 1:

Jimmy Owens
Mike Marlar
Mike Knight
Scott Bloomquist
Tim Fuller
Kent Robinson
Doug Drown
Morgan Bagley
Alex Ferree
Jonathan Davenport
John Blankenship
Max Blair
Darrell Lanigan
Mason Ziegler
Dan Stone
Austin Hubbard
Rick Eckert
Shane Clanton

Transferring from the BMains (3) Night 1:

Jared Miley
Tim McCreadie
Dave Hess Jr
Chub Frank
Dale McDowell
Boom Briggs

Feature Lineup:

Darrell Lanigan            Jonathan Davenport
Doug Drown                Scott Bloomquist
Austin Hubbard           Jimmy Owens
Mike Marlar                Tim Fuller
Morgan Bagley            John Blankenship
Mason Ziegler             Rick Eckert
Mike Knight                Kent Robinson
Alex Ferree                 Max Blair
Dan Stone                    Shane Clanton
Jared Miley                  Dave Hess Jr
Dale McDowell           Tim McCreadie
Chub Frank                  Boom Briggs
Eric Wells                    Frank Heckenast Jr

Feature Finish: Top 10

1. Darrell Lanigan
2. Scott Bloomquist
3. Jimmy Owens
4. Jonathan Davenport
5. Mike Marlar
6. Tim Fuller
7. Jared Miley
8. Alex Ferree
9. Morgan Bagley
10. Rick Eckert

Thursday Recap:- Trever Steele

Fifty five of the best dirt late model drivers in the country provided an exciting show on night 1 of the Firecracker 100 in front of a packed house. Group qualifying set the stage for six heat races, Mike Marlar set quicktime in Group A and Jonathan Davenport did so in Group B.

For time trials, the track required running a precise line around the top on a rather slick surface.  However, following time trials, the track was reworked and watered from top to the bottom. This extra track work provided a very good surface for the rest of the night.

Heat 1: Fellow Tennessee drivers Mike Marlar and Jimmy Owens battled for the lead much of the race. Marlar held the point the first nine laps until Owens secured the win with an impressive run off turn two on the last lap. Mike Knight also raced his way into the Amain with a strong run from 8th to 3rd.

Heat 2: Scott Bloomquist led wire to wire in impressive fashion.  Tim Fuller drove by Kent Robinson to take 2nd, while Robinson settled for the final transfer spot. The bottom groove was preferred in this heat, as all the top running cars were running a similar line.

Heat 3: "Hammer Down" Doug Drown lived up to his nickname, rim riding to a dominating victory.  Morgan Bagley grabbed the second transfer spot, while local Alex Ferree slid by Frank Heckenast for the final transfer spot.

Heat 4: "Superman" Jonathan Davenport continued his strong season with an easy victory. John Blankenship took home a strong second. Max Blair looked very impressive, holding off Gregg Satterlee for the final transfer spot.

Heat 5: An interesting start to this heat, as Garrett Krummert got into the back of outside pole sitter Dan Stone. This stacked up the outside line, while pole-sitter Darrell Lanigan raced out to the lead.  Lanigan led  all the way with Mason Ziegler finishing 2nd. Stone recovered from his poor start to take home the final transfer spot by passing Dale McDowell and Jimmy Mars.

Heat 6: Delware's Austin Hubbard survived a restart with one lap to go for the final heat win. Outlaws Rick Eckert and Shane Clanton also took transfer spots.

Bmains:  Jared Miley drove past Tim McCreadie to take the win in Bmain #1, while T-Mac held on to take the second transfer spot.  Dave Hess Jr, Gregg Satterlee, Chub Frank, and Mike Benedum all were in the hunt for the two transfer spots in Bmain #2.  Hess would take the win, but the battle was on for 2nd.  Satterlee and Chub raced side-by-side for several laps, before Chub finally prevailed on the last lap to take the transfer spot.  Dream winner Dale McDowell took home the win in the final Bmain, while Boom Briggs squeezed by Jimmy Mars to claim the final spot in the 30 lap Amain.

Amain: Lanigan and Davenport led the 28 car field to green. 4th starting Scott Bloomquist tried to take the front starters three wide at the green flag, but got squeezed out heading into turn 1.  Davenport passed Lanigan on the outside coming off turn 2 to secure the early lead, while Doug Drown also was able to get by Lanigan for 2nd.

 In the following laps, Davenport would open up a sizeable lead with Lanigan and Bloomquist both getting by Drown for 2nd and 3rd, respectively.  The first caution flew on lap 9 for Kent Robinson breaking off turn 4, just as the leaders were approaching lap traffic. Bloomquist used the restart to his advantage, as he was able to clear Lanigan for 2nd.  Davenport continued to lead, as he used the very top of the track to keep up his momentum around the Sarver oval.

Lanigan began to track down Bloomquist for 2nd as the halfway mark approached in the lap 30 event. On lap 16, Lanigan pulled a slidejob to get by Bloomquist momentarily going into turn 2, but Bloomquist drove back by down the backstretch.

Dan Stone brought out a caution on Lap 17, again just as the leaders were approaching lap traffic.  This setup a clear track for the leaders to battle with 13 laps to go.

Davenport once again used the outside to drive by Bloomquist for the lead on the restart. However, Bloomquist pulled an impressive slidejob in turns 3 and 4 to take the lead on lap 19.

Once the Team Zero car gets out front at Lernerville, it usually stays there. However, just two laps later a charging Lanigan drove past Bloomquist.  Lanigan officially took the lead on lap 21 and would hold it the rest of the way to claim his first Lernerville win.

Jimmy Owens tracked down Bloomquist in the closing laps, but was unable to get past the 0 machine.  Bloomquist, Owens, Davenport and Mike Marlar rounded out the top five.  Locals Alex Ferree and Jared Miley each had an impressive start to the weekend, as both drove their way to top 10 finishes. Miley earned the hard charger coming from 19th to finish 7th, as he passed many stout drivers both high and low.

Lanigan seemed relieved in victory lane, after finally getting it done at Lernerville. Lanigan is no stranger to victory lane on the Outlaw tour, however, as it was his sixth Outlaw victory of the season.

We do it all again tomorrow night with another 30 lap, $6,000 to win feature.

To see our photo gallery from last night, courtesy of Pat Miller. Click Here

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