The 2009 racing season is officially over as the World Finals sanctioned by the World of Outlaws took center stage this past weekend at the Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Both championships came down to the final lap before being decided.
On the Late Model side, Josh Richards won the Thursday night Hungry Man Showdown, Scott Bloomquist won on Friday, and Jimmy Owens ended the season with a win on Saturday night.
Richards won the 2009 WoO LM title over Steve Francis after his seventh-place finish in the Saturday night finale, while Steve Francis finished 11th. It was Richards’ first career title and was worth $100,000.
He defeated Bloomquist for the $12,750 payday on Thursday, with Francis, Chris Madden and Earl Pearson the top five. Jeremy Miller finished 14th in that event.
Bloomquist’s win came over Madden, Rick Eckert, Darrell Lanigan and Richards on Friday night, while Owens scored his win over Tim McCreadie, Pearson, Lanigan and Babb.
Over on the Sprint car side, Donny Schatz won his fourth straight World of Outlaws championship with his second- and sixth-place finishes over the two nights. He defeated Jason Meyers by 19 points.
Meyers won on Friday night over Schatz, Danny Lasoski, Craig Dollansky and Pennsylvania’s Fred Rahmer. Other locals making the show on Friday were Brian Montieth (10th), Daryn Pittman (11th), Cody Darrah (24th) and Greg Hodnett (25th).
Joey Saldana became just the fifth-ever driver to win 20 AMains in one season with the Outlaws as he won Saturday’s finale in the KKR No. 9 sprinter. Saldana actually won 21 times, but the one win was a preliminary event at the Gold Cup. Saldana, who was third in overall points, defeated Dale Blnaye, Meyers, Steve Kinser and Rahmer with his second straight top-five finish. Hodnett was 13th, Darrah 14th, Pittman 18th and Lance Dewease 26th.
On a sad note, we send our sympathy to the family of longtime Late Model car owner Raye Vest, who passed away last Wednesday after a long illness. Vest has fielded top-notch cars for many years, most recently for York’s Rick Eckert, who will continue to pilot the Vest No. 24 in seasons to come.
That concludes the racing for the season as teams will prepare for the Winternationals in Florida, which begin in late January. Still disappointed in Penn State’s pathetic performance this weekend. Until next time, email reaches me at Bvores@comcast.net.