WHEATLAND, MO - (Story courtesy of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series PR) Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN successfully defended his DART Show-Me 100 Presented by ProtectThe Harvest.com crown on Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Speedway. Owens earned $30,000 for his second consecutive series victory. In a hard-fought race that went down to the final lap, Owens held off 27th starting John Blankenship of Williamson, WV and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, IL for the win. The event was co-sanctioned with the Lucas Oil MLRA.
With high-flying passes on nearly every lap of the entire event, it was anyone's race to win. Owens started from the pole position and took the lead at the start of the race. Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR; a 3-time winner of the event; challenged Owens for the lead early on. Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA, the 16-year-old phenom, made his presence known early. He was going to a contender for the win as he came from his seventh starting spot to pass both Moyer and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN to take over the second spot.
Reddick then put the heat on Owens for the lead, diving to the bottom of the track Reddick gained ground on Owens and was gunning for the lead when his engine popped with 16 laps scored. Bloomquist inherited the second position after Reddick's night ended.
Jared Landers of Batesville, AR quickly became one of the wild-cards of the race. Landers started 25th and powered through the field, running third by lap 19. The top three of Owens, Bloomquist, and Landers then pulled away from Erb, who was fourth at this point. The leaders experienced heavy traffic with 30 laps in the books and ten circuits later they were nose-to-tail.
A caution on lap 48 for Will Vaught bunched the field up. On the restart, Landers went for the lead and took over the top spot, passing Owens on lap 49. Landers then led two more laps until his power steering started to go out. Owens regained the point from Landers on lap 53.
Landers then started to fade as several cars passed him. Bloomquist moved into second and he and Erb started to challenge Owens for the lead. Owens began to push in the turns as the cushion became a bit treacherous. He had trouble entering turn two and exiting turn four, allowing both Bloomquist and Erb to stay close.
Cautions for Kevin Sather on lap 74 and Bloomquist on lap 76, only added to the mix of exciting restarts. Erb picked up the challenge for the lead, racing Owens hard until the final caution of the race came out for Eric Wells with 89 laps scored. The field was set-up for the final free-for-all, with everyone gunning for the top spot with only 11 laps to go.
On the restart Blankenship; who had surged through the field, slid up in turn two, directly in front of Owens to briefly take the lead. But Owens dove down beneath Blankenship, and the two went door to door down the back stretch. Owens hung on to just edge out both Blankenship and Erb at the finish line.
"That was an awesome race, I think maybe we broke something on the left rear, I don't know, the car was a handful all night! If I could stay up on that cushion, I knew I couldn't let those guys get by me, I couldn't even take off good on the restarts," said the 40-year-old who won for the 31st time in his LOLMDS career.
"They could get a good run on me on the restarts, and luckily we were able to hang on. John (Blankenship) passed me there after that last restart, and I thought, well we have got to cross back over and kind of return the favor. My hat's off to John he had a great car, and made a great run."
"I have to thank my car owner Mike Reece, my sponsors Reece Monument Company, Sunoco Race Fuels, Gantte Appraisals, Red Line Oil, Midwest Sheet Metal, Ohlins, Hoosier, Keyser and C&C Tucking." The Bloomquist Race Cars entry that Owens drives is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine.
For the fourth time in the last five races, Blankenship earned the title of Hard Charger of the Race in the Coal America's Energy, Cornett Race Engines, Rocket. Erb bounced back with a solid third place finish in his JL Scrap Metals, Bloomquist Race Cars, Chevrolet.
Austin Hubbard of Seaford, DE also made a strong run. He started dead last in 29th place and worked his way up to a fourth place finish in his first ever appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway. Hubbard's run came in the Trinity Logistics, Cornett Race Engines, Rocket Chevrolet. Moyer completed the top five in his Banner Valley Hauling, Clements Race Engines, Moyer Victory Circle Chevy.
Completing the top ten were Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, GA; Earl Pearson of Jacksonville, FL; Eric Turner of Hermitage, MO ; and John Anderson of Omaha, NE.
In preliminary action, Jimmy Owens set the Red Buck Cigars Fast Time amongst the 55 entrants with a lap of 15.513 seconds. Heat races were taken by: Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Don O'Neal, and Billy Moyer. Billy Moyer Jr. and Jesse Stovall won their respective B-Mains.
The series will make its way back to the hills of Tennessee and to Kentucky next weekend as the stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series converge on Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, TN and Florence Speedway in Union, KY on Friday and Saturday Nights, June 1st and 2nd. Both events will pay $10,000-to-win, with Red Buck Cigars Time Trials, Full Heat Races, B-Mains, and 50-Lap main events. For more information on each track, check out www.tazewellspeedway.com and www.florencespeedway.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, May 26th, 2012
20th Annual DART "Show-Me 100" Presented by Protect The Harvest
Lucas Oil Speedway - Wheatland, MO
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time:
Jimmy Owens / 15.513 seconds (Group A and Overall)
Steve Francis / 16.158 seconds (Group B)
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (20 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Eric Turner, Wendell Wallace, Chad Simpson, Billy Moyer, Jr., Earl Pearson, Jr., Tony Jackson, Jr., Tommy Weder, Robert Baker, Jerry Lierly, Charlie McKenna, Morgan Bagley, Chris Wall, Brian Birkhofer
U. S. Steel Second Heat (20 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Scott Bloomquist, Tyler Reddick, Eric Wells, Shannon Babb, AJ Diemel, Austin Hubbard, John Blankenship, Duke Whiseant, Mark Dotson, Brian Shirley, Jason Rauen, Josh McGuire, Shane Harris, Scott Lewis
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (20 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Don O'Neal, Jimmy Mars, Jonathan Davenport, Steve Francis, Eric Jacobsen, Terry Phillips, John Anderson, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Bryon Allison, RC Whitwell, Brandon McCormick, Tim Rivers, BJ Robinson, Timothy Culp
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (20 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Billy Moyer, Dennis Erb, Jr., Kevin Sather, Will Vaught, Brad Neat, Jesse Stovall, Tim Isenberg, Chris Simpson, David Turner, Brad Looney, Jake Meier, Mike Stadel, Jared Landers
U. S. Steel Manufacturers Dash Presented by Fast Shafts: Brian Shirley, Brad Looney, Steve Francis, Don O'Neal, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Tony Jackson Jr., Brandon McCormick
Crawford Supply Race of Champions Presented by Traeger Grills: Billy Moyer, Terry Phillips, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Wendell Wallace, Brian Birkhofer
JRi Shocks First B-Main (15 Laps - Top 4 Advance): Billy Moyer, Jr., Earl Pearson, Jr., Duke Whiseant, AJ Diemel, Austin Hubbard, John Blankenship, Tony Jackson, Jr., Charlie McKenna, Robert Baker, Jason Rauen, Mark Dotson, Shane Harris, Brian Birkhofer, Jerry Lierly, Tommy Weder, Scott Lewis, Morgan Bagley, Josh McGuire, Brian Shirley-DNS, Chris Wall-DNS
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (15 Laps - Top 4 Advance): Jesse Stovall, Eric Jacobsen, Terry Phillips, John Anderson, Bryon Allison, Tim Isenberg, Timothy Culp, Jared Landers, Brad Neat, David Turner, Brad Looney, Jake Meier, Tim Rivers, RC Whitwell, Chris Simpson, Mike Stadel, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth-DNS, Brandon McCormick-DNS, BJ Robinson-DNS
Feature Finish - 100 Laps
Dennis Erb, Jr.
Earl Pearson, Jr.
Des Moines, IA
Billy Moyer, Jr.
Tony Jackson, Jr.
Mt. Vernon, IA
The 20th Annual DART Show-Me 100 wrapped up racing at Lucas Oil Speedway for the month of May. June 8-10 Lake Lucas will welcome the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series back for the John Haas Memorial Drag Boat Classic. The 3-Day event will also feature a full Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Championship Series Show on Saturday Night at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. For complete event information check out www.LucasOilSpeedway.com.