LOCUST GROVE, AR (May 19, 2012) – The defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN finally got his breakthrough victory on Saturday Night at Batesville Motor Speedway, after having finished 2nd seven times.
Owens fought off the challenges from Hall-of-Fame drivers, Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN to capture the Inaugural Bad Boy 98. The race paid $10,000 to win and Owens also claimed a 2012 Chevy Camaro from Mark Martin Chevrolet as his trophy. Moyer chased down Owens late in the race, but fell short of victory. Moyer did earn a $20,000 payday for second. Bloomquist came home third, followed by Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN.
Moyer entered the race leading the nation, with ten feature wins, and was looking for his first-win in seven years at his home track. He grabbed the lead at the start of the 98-lap affair. O’Neal challenged him early on. Owens regrouped and passed O’Neal for second on lap nine, then quickly began gaining ground on the leader.
Owens set up Moyer for a few laps and eventually got by him for the lead on lap 12. Meanwhile Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA quickly made his way up to third. With 20 laps scored, the running order was Owens, Moyer, Birkhofer, O’Neal and Steve Francis of Ashland, KY in the top five.
On lap 24 Earl Pearson Jr.’s car went up in smoke heading into turn number one, causing a chain reaction wreck involving several cars. By lap 47 Bloomquist made it a three-way battle for the lead. Both Moyer and Bloomquist closed on Owens in heavy traffic, but a caution for Austin Hubbard on lap 70 cleared the track for Owens in the remaining 28 circuits. Owens pulled away on the restart as Moyer and Bloomquist battled hard for second.
Owens had a commanding lead with ten laps to go, but Moyer cut that deficit in half by five to go. Owens had to contend with traffic to the finish. Moyer sliced the lead to three-car lengths, but couldn’t get any closer as the two took the white flag. Moyer made one last stab at the lead, but Owens headed to the finish line for his first series win of 2012.
“I have to thank Mike Reece for giving me the opportunity to drive his car, the crew did a great job this weekend, we were geared up for the long run tonight and it paid off! To hold off two of the best drivers to ever race Late Models is quite an accomplishment,” said the 40-year-old Owens, who remains out in front of this year’s Lucas Oil Championship Points Standings.
“I have to thank all of my great sponsors Reece Monument Company, Gantte Appraisals, Sunoco Race Fuels, Red Line Oil, C&C Trucking, and Midwest Sheet Metal, it feels good to finally get back to Lucas Oil Victory Lane. With all the second-place finishes this year, we knew eventually we would get here, thanks to the fans for coming out tonight, and I am going to give this new car to my 3-year-old son Nathan, so he can drive it when he gets old enough,” said Owens, who drives a Bloomquist Race Cars Ford powered by a Cornett Racing Engine.
Owens was teamed with fan, Matt McRae of Quitman, AR and the 19-year-old will drive away with a new 2012 Ford Mustang from Mark Martin Ford. “I can’t believe it,” said McRae. “I am now the biggest Jimmy Owens fan.”
Completing the top ten were Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, WI; John Blankenship of Williamson, WV; Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Jared Landers of Batesville, AR; and Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, AR.
In preliminary action, Billy Moyer set the Red Buck Cigars Fast Time amongst the 48 entrants with a lap of 13.011 seconds. Heat races were taken by: Billy Moyer, Don O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, and Steve Francis. Earl Pearson Jr. and Jesse Stovall won their respective B-Mains.
Next weekend the stars of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series head to the “DART Show Me 100.” The prestigious 20th annual event will take place from May 25th to 26th. For more information on the crown-jewel “Show-Me 100” at the “Diamond of the Dirt Tracks”, Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, log onto www.lucasoilspeedway.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, May 18th, 2012
“Bad Boy 98”
Batesville Motor Speedway – Batesville, MO
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time:
Billy Moyer / 13.011 seconds (Group A and Overall)
Jimmy Owens / 13.032 seconds (Group B)
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (12 Laps- Top 4 Advance):
Billy Moyer, Jack Sullivan, Dennis Erb, Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Terry Phillips, Eric Wells, Eric Jacobsen, Morgan Bagley, Ray Moore, Klint Byars, Jerry Lierly, Joseph Long
U. S. Steel Second Heat (12 Laps- Top 4 Advance):
Don O’Neal, Jared Landers, Brian Birkhofer, Billy Moyer, Jr., John Blankenship, Jimmy Mars, Earl Pearson, Jr., Timothy Culp, RC Whitwell, Tanner English, Nick Black, John Anderson-DNS
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (12 Laps- Top 4 Advance):
Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Tyler Reddick, Stacy Taylor, Jesse Stovall, Duke Whiseant, Eric Turner, Chris Wall, Jon Kirby, Bill Frye, Tommy Weder
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (12 Laps- Top 4 Advance):
Steve Francis, Wendell Wallace, Jonathan Davenport, Brad Neat, BJ Robinson, Austin Hubbard, AJ Diemel, Robert Baker, Jeff Chanler, Jeff Floyd, Brandon Smith, Shane Harris
JRi Shocks First B-Main (15 Laps – Top 3 Advance):
Earl Pearson, Jr., Jimmy Mars, Morgan Bagley, Ray Moore, Klint Byars, Tanner English, RC Whitwell, Timothy Culp, Nick Black, Jerry Lierly, Eric Jacobsen, John Blankenship, Terry Phillips, Eric Wells, Joseph Long-DNS, John Anderson-DNS
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (15 Laps – Top 3 Advance):
Jesse Stovall, Austin Hubbard, BJ Robinson, AJ Diemel, Robert Baker, Eric Turner, Jon Kirby, Shane Harris, Chris Wall, Tommy Weder, Stacy Taylor, Duke Whiseant, Jeff Chanler, Brandon Smith, Jeff Floyd-DNS, Bill Frye-DNS
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||2||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|2||1||21||Billy Moyer||Batesville, AR|
|3||13||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
|4||8||6m||Wendell Wallace||Batesville, AR|
|5||3||71||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|6||19||28m||Jimmy Mars||Menomonie, WI|
|7||25||23||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|8||4||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|9||7||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|10||15||21JR||Billy Moyer, Jr.||Batesville, AR|
|11||14||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA|
|12||20||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE|
|13||12||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA|
|14||9||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|15||24||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|16||10||18H||Ronny Lee Hollingsworth||Northport, AL|
|17||21||14m||Morgan Bagley||Tyler, TX|
|18||22||F5||BJ Robinson||Shreveport, LA|
|19||11||15b||Brian Birkhofer||Muscatine, IA|
|20||16||41n||Brad Neat||Dunnville, KY|
|21||5||1s||Jack Sullivan||Greenbrier, AR|
|22||6||25c||Shane Clanton||Fayetteville, GA|
|23||17||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|24||18||00S||Jesse Stovall||Galena, MO|
Lap Leaders: Billy Moyer (Laps 1 – 11); Jimmy Owens (Laps 12 – 98)
Caution Flags: Jimmy Mars (Lap 13); Shane Clanton (Lap 19); Earl Pearson Jr., Austin Hubbard, Tyler Reddick, Jesse Stovall (Lap24); Austin Hubbard (Lap 70); Brian Birkhofer (Lap 75)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Eric Wells, John Blankenship
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: none
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: John Blankenship (Started 24 th; Finished 7th; Advanced 18 positions)
Allstar Performer of the Race: Scott Bloomquist
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Jimmy Owens
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Austin Hubbard
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Bloomquist Race Cars
Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Chris Fox (Jimmy Owens)
Time of Race: 47 minutes 37 seconds