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Hartman Keeps The World 100 Trophy In Ohio For First Time In 12 Years On Saturday Night At Eldora Speedway


Bart Hartman
Mike Ruefer Photo

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Rossburg, OH — Eldora Speedway is no longer Bart Hartman’s Achilles’ heel.

With a convincing victory in Saturday night’s 39th annual UMP DIRTcar Racing-sanctioned World 100, Hartman not only kept the prestigious event’s trophy home in the Buckeye State for the first time in 12 years but also ended his longtime run of frustration at the famed half-mile oval.

Hartman, 40, of Zanesville, Ohio, passed 2007 World 100 winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., for the lead on lap 20 and never looked back en route to a $42,000-plus triumph at a track that had never been kind to him over the years.

“I never disliked this place,” said Hartman, who became the first Ohio driver to capture the World 100 since Donnie Moran in 1997. “I just didn’t like my luck here.”

Indeed, Hartman’s previous career-high finish in one of Eldora’s crown-jewel dirt Late Model shows was a sixth in the 2007 Dream – after an opening-lap spin forced him to restart at the rear of the field. He had never finished better than 12th in three career World 100 A-Main starts, all of which came consecutively from 1998-2000.

“We were up there (on stage in the spectator area) yesterday doing that (pre-race show) interview with Donnie Moran and Rick Eckert and they were making fun of me because I’ve never run well here,” quipped Hartman, who didn’t even enter last year’s World 100 activities. “Well, there you go – we did it tonight. We won the World 100! We get to put it up there with the rest of our trophies. It’s a dream come true.”

In a fast-paced race slowed by just two caution flags, Hartman fought off mid- and late-race challenges from 2002 World 100 champ Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, to run the event’s streak of first-time winners to eight consecutive years. Hartman steered his self-owned Rocket Chassis/Cornett Chevy engine combination under the checkered flag several car lengths ahead of Birkhofer’s MB Customs mount.

Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who won the World 100 in 2005, moved forward from the seventh starting spot to finish third in NASCAR star Clint Bowyer’s Warrior mount but never threatened the top-two finishers.

World 100 rookie Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark. – racing as a teammate to McDowell – placed fourth after starting from the pole position in a Warrior car, and Owens, who surged off the outside pole to lead laps 1-19, settled for fifth place in his backup Team Zero by Bloomquist machine after his primary car was sidelined by engine problems during Friday night’s hot laps.

Hartman, who started fourth, was understandably surprised by the superiority he demonstrated over the talent-laden field.

“I didn’t think our car was as good as it was until we got out there,” said Hartman, who grabbed second from Landers on lap 15 and then rapidly ran down Owens. “This car was awesome. We were good right around the middle to bottom (grooves), and we just ran our line and we got by (Owens).”

During a long green-flag run that stretched from lap 21 to 83, Hartman built a lead of nearly a straightaway before lapped traffic slowed his pace and allowed Birkhofer to close in.

Birkhofer, who started fifth, pulled up to Hartman’s rear bumper on lap 62, but Hartman drove away when he broke into open track a few circuits later. Birkhofer got within a car length when Hartman approached lapped traffic again with five laps remaining, but Hartman calmly maintained command.

“Austin (Hargrove) was giving me hand signals getting into (turn) one so I knew Birkhofer was getting closer at the end,” Hartman said of his chief mechanic. “I was getting a little tight down into turn one, but I protected the bottom enough so it was gonna have to be something real special for him to roll me on the outside.”

Birkhofer, who registered his first World 100 top-five finish since a fifth in 2005, conceded that a $15,000 runner-up payoff was the best he could do: “We got beat by a better car.”

And one tough driver. Hartman made his march to victory while fighting a wicked headache that developed during his heat race and left him uncertain whether he could go the 100-lap distance.

“All of a sudden, on about the third lap of my heat, I started feeling a headache,” said Hartman. “It got to where it was blurring my vision, but I was able to finish the heat (as a winner). I took some pills and went and laid down in the truck and didn’t get out of it until right before the driver introductions.

“I was determined to run as many laps as I could (in the A-Main), but I didn’t know how long I could go. Then I thought, Man, I’m leading the World 100! So we stayed out there and did the best we could.”

Hartman’s head was still pounding during the post-race press conference in the Eldora tower, but he wasn’t about to let the pain damper his memorable moment.

“I’m gonna go ‘medicate’ it in a little bit,” he said with a smile, thinking of his family, friends and fans waiting to celebrate with him in the pit area.

Finishing in positions 6-10 was Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va.; 20th-starter Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., who used a fast-time provisional (he qualified second on Friday) to start the A-Main after missing a transfer spot in his heat; 21st-starter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn.; Matt Miller of Waterville, Ohio; and two-time defending UMP DIRTcar national champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.

Among the pre-race favorites who retired early were Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who pitted during a lap-21 caution period and did not return; red-hot World of Outlaws Late Model Series star Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., who climbed as high as third from the eighth starting spot before a skipping engine caused him to drop out on lap 52 while running seventh; and WoO LMS points leader Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who went down a lap early and pulled off the track midway through the 100.

Dan Schlieper of Sullivan, Wis., who set fast time during Friday night’s 172-car qualifying session with a lap of 16.853 seconds, saw his weekend go sour on Saturday. Terminal engine problems on the final lap of his heat forced him to make a motor change and use his fast-time provisional to get in the A-Main – and then more woes under the hood caused him to slow and bring out a caution flag on lap 21.

The race’s other caution period was necessitated when Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., backed into the outside wall between turns three and four on lap 83. He wasn’t injured.

The winners of Saturday night’s 15-lap heats were Wells, Birkhofer, Hartman, Erb, Owens and Landers. The 20-lap B-Mains were captured by Bloomquist and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.

For more information on UMP DIRTcar Racing, visit www.dirtcar.com.

172 cars
Fast Time: Dan Schlieper – 16.853

Non Qualifiers Heat 1:
1. Shawn Negangard[2]; 2. Jason Rauen[12]; 3. Steve Dimmick[6]; 4. Jason Riggs[13]; 5. Shannon Thornsberry[4]; 6. Adam Thrush[3]; 7. Scott Schmitt[5]; 8. Brad Blake[1]; 9. Andrew Reaume[12]; 10. Brett Reaume[16]; 11. Cody Huston[10]; 12. Jill George[8]; 13. Cody Watters[9]; 14. Corey Bevard[15]; 15. Shane Allen[14]; 16. Johnny Parsley[-]; 17. Don Gordon[-];

Non Qualifiers Heat 2:
1. Brad Eitniear[4]; 2. Terry Wolfenbarger[5]; 3. Kyle Logue[13]; 4. Mike Smith[2]; 5. Scott Koskovich[8]; 6. Eric Spangler[1]; 7. Bill Koons[8]; 8. Brandon Thirlby[14]; 9. Steve Thorsten[12]; 10. Joey Pomeroy[17]; 11. Zach Calkins[16]; 12. Jeff Wolfenbarger[9]; 13. Justin McNeill[6]; 14. Kerry Mathew[10]; 15. Eric Haynes[15]; 16. Cody Mahoney[-]; 17. Darryl Hills[-]; 18. Dale Dillon[-];

Non Qualifiers Heat 3:
1. Alan Vochaska[2]; 2. Guy Volk[1]; 3. Jeff Beyers[3]; 4. Jeff Franklin[8]; 5. Jeff Watson[12]; 6. Dale Sheehy[11]; 7. Michael Stiltner[14]; 8. Gary Schalmo[13]; 9. Bryant Dickinson[15]; 10. Dylan Treston[17]; 11. Greg Haskell[5]; 12. Randy Boggs[6]; 13. Ed Pursell[16]; 14. John Lawhorn[10]; 15. Rodney Combs[-]; 16. Derek Ellis[-]; 17. Jeff Raisor[9];

Heat 1:
1. Eric Wells[1]; 2. Dale McDowell[4]; 3. Brad Neat[8]; 4. Scott Bloomquist[5]; 5. Wayne Chinn[12]; 6. Shanon Buckingham[9]; 7. Brent Kreke[16]; 8. Dona Marcoullier[11]; 9. Jamie Lathroum[20]; 10. Matt Lux[18]; 11. Richard Neiser[15]; 12. Robby Hensley[19]; 13. Dan Schlieper[6]; 14. Tim Manville[14]; 15. Jeep Van Wormer[2]; 16. Vic Hill[3]; 17. Shawn Toczek[7]; 18. Mike Marlar[10]; 19. Chris Ferguson[13]; 20. Justin Rattliff[17];

Heat 2:
1. Brian Birkhofer[2]; 2. Tim Fuller[1]; 3. Matt Miller[5]; 4. Earl Pearson Jr.[6]; 5. Steve Francis[8]; 6. Randy Korte[4]; 7. Bub Mccool[11]; 8. Eddie Carrier Jr.[3]; 9. John Mason[12]; 10. Steve Shaver[10]; 11. Randy Weaver[7]; 12. Frank Heckenast[13]; 13. Kevin Weaver[15]; 14. Casey Roberts[9]; 15. Tim Lance[20]; 16. Aaron Scott[16]; 17. Wayne Maffett Jr.[14]; 18. DJ Wells[18]; 19. Steve Sheppard Jr.[19]; 20. Tim Tungate[17];

Heat 3:
1. Bart Hartman[2]; 2. Jimmy Mars[1]; 3. Don O’Neal[5]; 4. Jonathan Davenport[4]; 5. Clint Smith[3]; 6. Tim McCreadie[6]; 7. Tim Dohm[7]; 8. Jon Henry[14]; 9. Lee DeVasier[16]; 10. Bill Frye[17]; 11. Chris Ross[9]; 12. Tony Knowles[15]; 13. Tommy Kerr[10]; 14. Aaron Ridley[18]; 15. Dustin Hapka[19]; 16. Jason Feger[12]; 17. RJ Conley[8]; 18. Brian Rickman[20]; 19. Brandon Kinzer[11]; 20. Chris Wilson[13];

Heat 4:
1. Dennis Erb Jr.[2]; 2. Josh Richards[6]; 3. John Blankenship[1]; 4. Ray Cook[5]; 5. Gregg Satterlee[4]; 6. Ben Adkins[3]; 7. Randle Chupp[8]; 8. Austin Dillon[7]; 9. Dustin Neat[15]; 10. David Webb[11]; 11. Donnie Moran[12]; 12. Dennis Roberson[14]; 13. Tim Isenberg[18]; 14. Jay Johnson[17]; 15. Doug Drown[13]; 16. Ryan VanderVeen[16]; 17. Dillan White[20]; 18. Jared Hawkins[9]; 19. Billy Moyer[10]; 20. Rick Rickman[19];

Heat 5:
1. Jimmy Owens[1]; 2. Darrell Lanigan[2]; 3. Austin Hubbard[4]; 4. Chub Frank[5]; 5. Rick Eckert[6]; 6. Shane Clanton[7]; 7. Steve Casebolt[8]; 8. Scott James[10]; 9. Freddy Smith[3]; 10. Will Vaught[12]; 11. Duane Chamberlain[11]; 12. Josh McGuire[16]; 13. Shon Flanary[9]; 14. Terry English[13]; 15. Brett Wyatt[14]; 16. Al Purkey[19]; 17. Mike Collins[18]; 18. Steve Lance Jr.[15]; 19. April Farmer[17]; 20. Greg Hill Eveleth[20];

Heat 6:
1. Jared Landers[2]; 2. Brady Smith[8]; 3. Terry Casey[1]; 4. Chris Madden[6]; 5. Shannon Babb[4]; 6. Chad Simpson[11]; 7. Jordan Bland[9]; 8. Casey Noonan[20]; 9. Chad Ruhlman[7]; 10. Vic Coffey[13]; 11. Mike Mataragas[15]; 12. Dusty Moore[19]; 13. Mike Hill[18]; 14. Curt Spalding[17]; 15. Josh Williams[12]; 16. Jerry Rice[3]; 17. Chris Wall[5]; 18. Brian Ruhlman[10]; 19. Jerry Bowersock[14]; 20. Jason Hughes[16];

B Main 1:
1. Scott Bloomquist[1]; 2. Tim McCreadie[9]; 3. Eddie Carrier Jr.[11]; 4. Steve Francis[2]; 5. Bub Mccool[8]; 6. Tim Dohm[12]; 7. Bill Frye[21]; 8. Jonathan Davenport[3]; 9. Brent Kreke[10]; 10. Chris Ross[24]; 11. Dona Marcoullier[13]; 12. Jon Henry[15]; 13. Matt Lux[19]; 14. Lee DeVasier[18]; 15. Richard Neiser[22]; 16. John Mason[14]; 17. Wayne Chinn[4]; 18. Jamie Lathroum[16]; 19. Randy Korte[5]; 20. Shanon Buckingham[7]; 21. Clint Smith[-]; 22. Steve Shaver[-]; 23. Randy Weaver[-]; 24. Frank Heckenast[-];

B Main 2:
1. Chub Frank[2]; 2. Chris Madden[3]; 3. Ray Cook[1]; 4. Rick Eckert[5]; 5. Shannon Babb[6]; 6. Shane Clanton[8]; 7. Scott James[14]; 8. Chad Simpson[9]; 9. Jordan Bland[12]; 10. Austin Dillon[13]; 11. Jamie Lathroum[10]; 12. Duane Chamberlain[23]; 13. Ben Adkins[7]; 14. Will Vaught[20]; 15. Freddy Smith[17]; 16. Mike Mataragas[24]; 17. Dustin Neat[16]; 18. Vic Coffey[21]; 19. Chad Ruhlman[18]; 20. David Webb[19]; 21. Casey Noonan[15]; 22. Donnie Moran[22]; 23. Gregg Satterlee[4]; 24. Steve Casebolt[-];

Feature:
1. Bart Hartman (75), Zanesville, Ohio, Rocket, $42,000
2. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, M-B, $15,000
3. Dale McDowell (17m), Rossville, Ga., Warrior, $10,000
4. Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., Warrior, $7,500
5. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Bloomquist, $6,000
6. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., Rocket, $5,000
7. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., MasterSbilt, $4,000
8. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Bloomquist, $3,500
9. Matt Miller (7), Waterville, Ohio, Mastersbilt, $3,000
10. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., Rayburn, $2,500
11. Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., MasterSbilt, $2,250
12. Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky., MasterSbilt, $2,000
13. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., Bloomquist, $1,900
14. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., Rocket, $1,800
15. Chub Frank (1), Bear Lake, Pa., Rocket, $1,750
16. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., Rocket, $1,725
17. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., Bloomquist, $1,700
18. Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., MasterSbilt, $1,675
19. Austin Hubbard (11), Seaford, Del., Rocket $1,650
20. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., Rocket, $1,645
21. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., Bloomquist, $1,640
22. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Rocket, $1,635
23. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., Bloomquist, $1,630
24. Steve Francis (19), Ashland, Ky., Rocket, $1,625
25. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., Rocket, $1,620
26. Terry Casey (42), New London, Wis., Rocket, $1,615
27. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., M-B, $1,610
28. Dan Schlieper (9), Sullivan, Wis., Bloomquist, $1,605