What started out as a dry and dusty late Saturday night ended up as a dewy early Sunday morning with 24 drivers putting the pedal to the metal with the title of O'Reily's Show-Me 100 champion on the line at West Plains Motor Speedway May 28.
As it turned out, Mooresburg, Tennesse's Scott Bloomquist successfully battled the dry conditions and managed to avoid a glut of wrecks to hold off a late charge from Batesville's Wendall Wallace to win his third straight Show-Me 100, and his fourth (1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005) overall.
Bloomquist took home $39,000 for winning the 13th annual event, while Wallace came in second and earned $16,00 for his efforts.
Grabbing the lead on lap number eight, Bloomquist never let the advantage of driving in front of the pack slip through his grip, despite the cars running on a dry-slick track thanks to the absence of rain in the past several weeks.
After a late-race re-start, Wallace began to put pressure on the front-running Bloomquist, and by lap 92 of the 100-lap modified program, Wallace was on Bloomquist's back bumper. Tossing out a number of moves over the course of the last eight laps, Wallace was unable to overtake Bloomquist, and ended up a half of a car length short of victory in the race that finished around 2 a.m. May 29.
While it wasn't surprising that Bloomquist found a way to win his fourth Show-Me 100 crown, it was surprising that a pair of former champions were unable to qualify for the feature event. Three-time winner Billy Moyer of Batesville, along with Springfield's Terry Phillips, winner of the 1999 event, were left out of the 24-car field. Moyer came in seventh in his last-chance qualifier, and Phillips placed third in a last-chance B-feature that saw the top two advancing.
After Bloomquist and Wallace, the rest of the field included in order of finish: Dan Schlieper, Sullivan, Wis.; Don O'Neal, Martinville, Ind.; Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.; Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky.; Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa; Bill Frye, Greenbrier, Ark.; Jack Sullivan, Greenbrier, Ark.; Ray Cook, Brasstown, N.C.; Davey Johnson, Greensburg, Pa.; Clint Smith, Snoia, Ga.; Wayne Brooks, Bald Knob; Stacy Taylor, Jacksonville; Brad Looney, Republic, Mo.; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.; Matt Miller, Arlington, Ohio; Scott James, Lawrenesburg, Ind.; Skip Arp, Georgetown, Tenn.; Jeff Floyd, Walnut Ridge; Rick Eckert, York, Pa.; Freddy Smith, Seymour, Tenn.; Marshall Green, Woodstock, Ga.; Jeff Taylor, Pleasant Plains.
Just earning a spot in the starting lineup was worth $3,900 in the premier dirt-track event that annually draws racers and fans from across the United States to West Plains.