TAMPA, FL – Mason Zeigler pulled a major upset by winning the finale of the 40th Annual Winternationals on Saturday Night at East Bay Raceway Park. Zeigler passed race leader Scott Bloomquist on lap 23 and held off the Hall-of-Fame driver to capture the biggest win of his career in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series sanctioned event.
A packed grandstand stood on its collective feet as Bloomquist charged to the inside of Zeigler on the final lap, but his charge fell one car length short as the 23-year-old Pennsylvania driver crossed the line first.
Bloomquist finished second, followed by 10th starting Dennis Erb Jr., Gregg Satterlee, and Darrell Lanigan.
“I just worked my tires so hard to get to the lead,” said Zeigler, who started fourth on the grid. “I didn’t think my right rear would survive the whole race, so I focused on slowing down once I got by him [Bloomquist].
Zeigler held a steady pace over the field as Bloomquist and several other drivers were running two and three wide behind the leader for the first half of the 60 lap event.
“This week, we have been up at 7 am to work on the car every day. We let JD [Jonathan Davenport] drive the car one night this week just to see what was wrong. They found some things in the brakes and other parts of the car that needed addressed and they helped get us straightened out. I would like to thank Kevin Rumley and Longhorn Chassis for such a spectacular ride.”
“We have put a new front fender on the car each race this week. We have thrashed and thrashed all week to get to here [in victory lane]. To get the biggest win of my career in front of a live broadcast audience and for TV is just great. This is a dream come true!”
Zeigler’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Pro Power Engine and sponsored by Ohio Pyle Vacation Rentals, Gotta Race, and Old Mill Farms.
Bloomquist complemented the young driver on his victory. “He [Zeigler] drove a very good race. I didn’t see him until he got alongside me on the outside and he just drove off from there. We were in rush mode all night long. We found a cracked transmission and I was working with the shocks and trying to decide what right rear to put on, it was pretty crazy.”
“We started off pretty well. The car fired better than I thought it would. I tried to keep pace with him [Zeigler] and while doing that, also trying not to hurt the tires. We closed in on him in the last few laps and he left the door open just enough that I was able to get to his driver’s door, but couldn’t get any further. My hat’s off to him!”
Erb snuck by Satterlee at the end to get third. “It was our best run of the week, no doubt. We hadn’t seen those track conditions all week. My car was good the entire race. There was two and three wide racing for a long time tonight. I’d like to give special thanks to McBride Mack, M&S Concrete, Cheap Cars, and J.R. McBride Leasing.”
Completing the top ten were Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard, Don O’Neal, and Randy Weaver.
In preliminary action, Jonathan Davenport set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the 35 entrants, with a lap of 15.012 seconds. Scott Bloomquist set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 15.152 seconds. Scott Bloomquist, Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport, and Mason Zeigler won their respective heat races. Tim Dohm and Kyle Bronson won their respective B-Mains. Chad Hollenbeck, David Breazeale, and Nick Davis earned the Miller Welders Fast Time Provisionals. James Rice won the DirtOnDirt.com Strawberry Dash.
Feature Finish (60 Laps):
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||4||25Z||Mason Zeigler||Chalk Hill, PA|
|2||1||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|3||10||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|4||7||22||Gregg Satterlee||Rochester Mills, PA|
|5||13||15L||Darrell Lanigan||Union, KY|
|6||21||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|7||3||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY|
|8||5||B5||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL|
|9||8||5||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|10||6||116||Randy Weaver||Crossville, TN|
|11||19||32||Bobby Pierce||Oakwood, IL|
|12||14||1||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|13||11||7w||Ricky Weiss||Headingley, MB|
|14||22||15F||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|15||9||777||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|16||18||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL|
|17||20||28||Eddie Carrier, Jr.||Salt Rock, WV|
|18||23||4-Ds||Chad Hollenbeck||Montrose, PA|
|19||12||K||Freddie Carpenter||Parkersburg, WV|
|20||2||6||Jonathan Davenport||Mount Airy, NC|
|21||15||11||Josh Rice||Verona, KY|
|22||24||10||David Breazeale||Four Corners, MS|
|23||25||92||Nick Davis||Millsboro, DE|
|24||16||16||Justin Rattliff||Campbellsville, KY|
|25||26||11R||James Rice||Verona, KY|
|26||17||6T||Tim Dohm||Charleston, W|
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release. Photo credit: Heath Lawson