BRISTOL - Jimmy Mars took the low road to hand Freddy Smith his second straight runner-up finish in round 2 of the Battle of Bristol early Saturday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. Thursday night, Smith got passed by Scott Bloomquist less than...
BRISTOL - Jimmy Mars took the low road to hand Freddy Smith his second straight runner-up finish in round 2 of the Battle of Bristol early Saturday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Thursday night, Smith got passed by Scott Bloomquist less than 100 feet from the finish line. Tonight, he'll get a chance to win the 60-lap, $25,000 to win main event of the Battle of Bristol presented by Free Service Tire and Advance Auto Parts.
It was Mars' second United Dirt Track Racing Association (UDTRA) Pro DirtCars Series victory, and second of his career. He won earlier this year at Texas Motor Speedway.
Mars, who did not record a qualifying time Wednesday because of a gearbox problem, took advantage of the single qualifying lap he got Friday night to get a good heat race starting position. He won the second heat race to gain the outside front row of the 30-lap feature.
Smith had won the first heat race - helped when Bloomquist dropped out with a broken rear end - and started on the pole. Smith led the first 17 laps, but Mars passed him in turn 2 on lap 19 and led the rest of the way. Mars earned $10,000.
"I can't belive I'm here (in winner's circle)," Mars said. "I gotta thank a lot of people - UDTRA and Bristol Motor Speedway for putting on a show like this, the fans who stuck with us, my sponsor, Parker Stores, and my crew.
"The key was that Freddy was running at the top and I was better low. It was really good racing with Freddy."
Dan Schleiper finished third, Skip Arp fourth and Ray Cook fifth.
UDTRA points leader Rick Eckert had to take a provisional to get into the feature and finished 13th. Steve Francis finished seventh and trimmed Eckert's lead to 175 points. Eckert led by 218 points coming into the Battle of Bristol.
Bloomquist's car could not be repaired in time for the feature, and he used a driver's provisional and Duke Whisneat's race car to finish 21st. Bloomquist, the four-time UDTRA champion, is third in the points, but now is 435 behind Eckert.
The race ended at 1:41 a.m., with the program delayed for more than two hours because of thunderstorms. In the night's only major incident, Randy Korte of Highland, IL, was taken to Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center after a violent crash during the heat races. He suffered only a bruised shoulder.