Dozen Diamonds: A look back at the 12 previous editions of Lucas Oil Speedway's CMH Diamond Nationals
WHEATLAND, Missouri (July 11, 2019) - The CMH Diamond Nationals Presented by Super Clean at Lucas Oil Speedway has become one of the premier dirt-track events on the summer schedule since its inception. But did you know that the inaugural event, in 2007, was held in mid-May and contested at 100 laps?
There have been plenty of memorable moments since Brian Birkhofer prevailed in the inaugural Diamond Nationals, including three wins by Jimmy Owens and a milestone for the legendary Scott Bloomquist just one year ago.
The 13th annual CMH Diamond Nationals Presented by Super Clean will be unique in that it will be a doubleheader, with $15,000-to-win main events both Saturday and Sunday. That's to help fill the void from the cancellation of the Show-Me 100 earlier this year due to storm damage at the facility.
Before the engines fire up on this weekend, here's a look back at the history of the CMH Diamond Nationals:
2018 - One of dirt racing's all-time greats scored a milestone victory and, in the process, completed a sweep of the season's two biggest Late Model races at Lucas Oil Speedway. Scott Bloomquist overtook Jimmy Owens to complete lap 32 and went on to capture the 50-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series CMH Diamond Nationals for career victory No. 600.
"We earned that one. It feels really good," the 54-year-old from Mooresburg, Tennessee, said after emerging from his car to a cascade of noise from the big crowd. "It takes everybody. When you look at all the names on this car, they mean so much to us.
"You go though ups and downs and a lot of things through a full career. You learn from a lot of things. We're surely closer to our winter years in life than our spring."
Mason Zeigler ran second with Earl Pearson Jr. third and Will Vaught of Crane, Missouri fourth. Bloomquist also won the Show-Me 100 earlier in the season at Lucas Oil Speedway.
2017 - Jimmy Owens looked to be on his way to a fourth Diamond Nationals victory, but Josh Richards tracked him down and took the lead with eight laps remaining. Owens then got too high in turn four while trying to get back around Richards and his car stalled with three laps remaining and Richards then cruised to the win. Don O'Neal was second and Darrell Lanigan third.
2016 - Jared Landers of Batesville, Arkansas took home the CMH Diamond Nationals victory in a thriller that came down to a frantic conclusion. Landers was the third different leader of the race, taking the lead on lap 13 and then held off a furious three-lap challenge from several drivers at the finish. Jimmy Owens was second and Jonathan Davenport finished third. Tim McCreadie and Scott Bloomquist rouned out the top five.
2015 - Completing a tremendous weekend, Jonathan Davenport roared to his eighth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season, leading the final 34 laps. Scott Bloomquist was second and Jimmy Owens finished third. Just one night earlier, Davenport also claimed the Show-Me 100 title in a makeup of the final night of the crown-jewel event that was rained out back in May.
2014 - Jimmy Owens won his third CMH Diamond Nationals, taking the lead on lap 19 and holding off Scott Bloomquist the rest of the 50-lap event. Bloomquist finished second ahead of Earl Pearson Jr. with Ozarks-area driver Jesse Stovall of Billings finishing fourth after charging from a 16th-starting position.
2013 - John Blankenship of Williamson, West Virginia, took the lead from Jimmy Owens on lap 28, then led the rest of the way in the caution-free 50-lapper. The win vaulted Blankenship into the series points lead for the first time in his career. Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, representing the local hopes, came home a strong third and Earl Pearson Jr. finished fourth.
2012 - In a battle similar to the Show-Me 100 on Memorial Day Weekend, Jimmy Owens and John Blankenship thrilled the large crowd with a back-and-forth battle. Owens prevailed, holding off Blankenship on the final lap to gain the win in the 6th annual Diamond Nationals win to earn $10,000. Don O'Neal finished third and Scott Bloomquist came home in fourth.
2011 - Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tennessee inherited the top spot when race leader Steve Francis had driveline failure with six laps to go. Bloomquist went on to lead the rest of the way in the 5th Annual CMH Diamond Nationals as John Blankenship finished second, followed by Jimmy Owens and 15-year-old Tyler Reddick (the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion) in fourth.
2010 - Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tennessee held off a late-race charge from Chris Wall of Springfield, Louisiana to win the 4th annual CMH Diamond Nationals to earn $10,000. It was Owens' seventh series win of the season. Earl Pearson Jr. finished third, Billy Moyer fourth and Brad Smith fourth. The raced moved to its July home after the Show-Me 100 moved to Lucas Oil Speedway in May.
2009 - Brian Birkhofer make it two Diamond Nationals triumphs in three years, grabbing the $30,000 first prize in the final May rendition of the event. Birkhofer took the lead on lap six and led the remainder of the 75-lapper. Georgia's Dale McDowell finished second with Billy Moyer third, Jimmy Mars fourth and Steve Casebolt fifth.
2008 - Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Illinois earned a $40,000 pay day with the May victory, beating runner-up Billy Moyer to the finish. Darrell Lanigan finished third with Jimmy Owens fourth and Steve Casebolt coming home in fifth.
2007 - Brian Birkhofer started on the pole and went on to win the inaugural $25,000 CMH Diamond Nationals prize. Birkhofer, of Muscatine, Iowa took the lead on the 45th lap and went on to beat runner-up John Anderson (who led laps 19-44), third-place Steve Shaver and fourth-place Don O'Neal.
On this year's program: The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will be the support class on Saturday with a $2,000-to-win feature. On Sunday, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks will be in action, with the feature winner taking home $1,000.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05. On Sunday, everything will be one hour earlier with gates opening at 3 p.m., hot laps at 5:30 and racing at 6:05. An autograph session with the drivers is scheduled for 4:30-5:15 p.m. Saturday.
Also on Saturday will be Ron Mitchell's annual "Doors for a Cure" Door Panel Auction on the hillside between the front gate and main grandstands. Mitchell, a long-time southwest Missouri racing photographer, has been doing the silent auction for several years during the Show-Me 100 with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. He expects to have at least 60 panels, from various drivers, available for bid. Last year, the auction raised $10,600.
Admission prices (both nights):
Adults (16 and over) $30
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $27
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family pass $70
Pit pass $40
For questions about tickets or camping for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Nichole@LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Citizens Memorial Hospital and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation (CMH) in Bolivar serves eight counties in southwest Missouri. A 2014 and 2010 Missouri Quality Award recipient, CMH is a Level III Trauma Center and has implemented a STEMI Program. CMH also has 32 primary and specialty physician clinics, seven long-term care facilities and other ancillary services.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984