Much like the preview I wrote earlier this year on the Knoxville Nationals, the World 100 is the biggest event run in Dirt Late Model racing. Every year the best of the best flock to the famed grounds of the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio to see who will be crowned the winner of the most famous Late Model event in the entire country, and this year there is no shortage of storylines heading into the event. So let’s get to it.
Scott Bloomquist – Can there really be another favorite at this point? He has won 5 straight Lucas Oil Series events in a row heading into the event and was dominant in picking up the win in the Hillbilly 100 this past Sunday leading into the World. He has not had the overall season that Davenport has had, but he is faster right now heading into this event. And a angry Bloomquist is a fast Bloomquist. After winning the Dream this past June but coming up 25 pounds light at the scales, a feat he swears still isn’t true, the win was awarded to Davenport, who at the time was faster then Bloomquist. But as of late, Bloomquist has been consistently the fastest car in the country. And at a track where Bloomquist has been responsible for some of the sport’s biggest moment, just last year Bloomquist was sent to the rear then nearly won by a half track in the World, look for Bloomquist to be in victory lane once again.
Who may stop him
Jonathan Davenport – You have to consider Davenport the most likely driver to unseat Bloomquist and pick up his first career World 100 victory. Davenport has had the best season of anyone. He leads the Lucas Oil points, he won the Dream, the North/South 100, and many other crown jewel events this season, and an interesting stat courtesy of Dirt on Dirt is that Davenport has won in 4 of his last 5 starts at Eldora. If anyone is going to outrun Bloomquist it’s him.
Jimmy Owens – Owens has had a down year by his standards, but he has been fast lately. He was leading the North/South 100 before being spun out by a lapped car and was challenging Bloomquist for the lead early in the Hillbilly before a right front flat retired him from contention. If Owens is going to get back on track Eldora would be a good place to start where he is a former winner of both the World 100 and the Dream.
Dale McDowell – I once watched him start 21st and win the Dream, he is a former winner of the World 100, and his track record at Eldora in recent years has spelled FAST. McDowell is a favorite in my eyes to have a chance to win.
Earl Pearson Jr. – I know, I know. You’re saying he doesn’t have many wins recently. But remember the Dream this past June. While everyone was talking about Bloomquist being light at the scales and Davenport battling for the lead with Bloomquist late, Pearson made his way from a B-Main to the front and was nearly in contention in the Moring Motorsports car that he had not run previous to that event. If Pearson can recreate that magic he will be tough.
Billy Moyer – Moyer was the winner last Sunday at Eldora in the Baltes Classic leading every lap of the event, and he has been fast this year. Oh by the way, Moyer has won the World a record 6 times. With his current speed look for Moyer to be in contention.
Who could surprise you
Dennis Erb Jr. – Erb has been very fast as of late but doesn’t have the wins to show for it. He doesn’t have the big wins at Eldora, but he has picked up preliminary victories at Eldora in the past, and he could shock the World literally with a victory
Darrell Lanigan – I know he has had a huge down year but right now the Club 29 car is working good. He picked up the WoO Late Models win at Selinsgrove this past Sunday on a big fast track, has run very good at Eldora in the past, and if not for mechanical failure very well could have won the Firecracker 100 this past weekend as well. If I had to put money on it, I would say that Lanigan will be there in contention at the World.
So there you have it. My preview of the World 100. One thing is for certain, the best of the best in Dirt Late Model racing will converge at the most important race track for Dirt Late Models in the country, the Eldora Speedway this weekend for the biggest event they run. What more could you want?