Login |
Watch LIVE at | Events | FAQ | Archives
Sponsor 1264
Sponsor 717


All Late Models. All the Time.

Your soruce for dirt late model news, photos and video

  • Join us on Twitter Join us on Facebook
Sponsor 525


Sponsor 743

Lucas Oil Speedway

Back after heartbreaker, Owens grasps Show-Me

May 29, 2011, 4:30 am
By Joshua Joiner
DirtonDirt.com staff writer
Jimmy Owens celebrates at Wheatland. (thesportswire.net)
Jimmy Owens celebrates at Wheatland. (thesportswire.net)

WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 28) — Jimmy Owens knows that victories in Dirt Late Model’s crown jewel events are hard to come by. And when he fell out while dominating last season's Dart Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway, the Newport, Tenn., driver wondered if he would ever have another opportunity at winning the Memorial Day weekend classic. | Complete Show-Me 100 coverage

It turns out Owens would have another shot to add a Show-Me 100 trophy to his collection, and it came just one year after the disappointing missed opportunity. The 39-year-old racer wasn’t as dominant at the 3/8-mile racetrack this time around, but he bided his time and survived tight battles with three different drivers to claim the $30,000 winner’s check in Saturday night’s 19th annual Show-Me 100.

Winning the event, which will appear on a taped-delay broadcast June 19 on CBS Sports Spectacular, also gives Owens claim to being the winner of the first-ever Dirt Late Model race to appear on a major broadcast television network.

“It’s a big race, and words can’t describe it,” said Owens, who dominated the early laps of the 2010 Show-Me before tangling with a lapped car. “After last year having such a good car, it was heartbreaking. To come back this year and win the Show-Me 100, it feels pretty special.”

Owens never ran worse than second after sharing the front row with polesitter Chip Brindle of Chatsworth, Ga., for the start of the race. He made three different appearances at the top of the leaderboard and stayed strong while other contenders faded.

He overcame an early-race battle with Dan Schlieper, bided his time when Don O’Neal dominated the middle portions of the race and fended off a last-lap charge by Hall of Famer Scott Bloomquist.

“I don’t know that we had the best car here this weekend, but we hung in there,” Owens said. “I was pretty confident in our chances there. O’Neal kinda worried me there for a little bit. But the biggest deal was we just kept our cool.”

Owens raced side-by-side with Brindle for the first three laps of the race before finally clearing the rookie driver. He led race’s first caution appeared on lap six when a poor restart allowed the third-running Schlieper of Oak Creek, Wis., to move by both Brindle and Owens for the lead.

Owens chased Schlieper for the next 12 laps before using an impressive high-side move to reclaim the top spot.

Owens’s second stint in the lead lasted until lap 37 when the 12th-starting O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., swept by on the outside. Owens battled back, pulling alongside O’Neal a number of times. But O’Neal began to pull away after the halfway point.

O’Neal appeared to be taking control of the race, but traffic would soon spoil his run. He had trouble navigating around the slower cars, which presented obstacles from the top to the bottom of the multi-groove racetrack and allowed Owens to close in as the race neared the lap-75 mark.

O’Neal got stuck behind a group of slower cars on lap 83, and Owens pulled back ahead.

“It’s tough out front in lapped traffic,” Owens said of O’Neal’s demise. “You’re kind of a sitting duck when it comes to traffic. He got to those guys and they were running three-wide in front of him. He just made a mistake and we were able to capitalize on it.”

O’Neal faded after losing the lead, falling back to sixth by the end of the race, as the ninth-starting Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., worked his way up to second. Bloomquist didn’t make up much ground on Owens at first, but a spin by fourth-running Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., on lap 88 erased Owens’s advantage.

Owens opened up a slight lead following the final restart, but Bloomquist moved to challenge the last five laps of the race.

Bloomquist took a shot at Owens on the final lap, diving to the bottom as the two drivers raced through the final corner. A simultaneous bobble by Owens allowed Bloomquist to race alongside, but Owens pulled back ahead and led by less than a car length at the finish line.

“Jimmy ran a good race and we had to make up some ground just to get up there with him,” Bloomquist said. “I didn’t think there would be enough to get a good run off the bottom and get a good launch to the flag stand, but anything’s possible and you sure ain’t gonna pass him following him.

“We ran a little bit harder rubber and thought the track might black up a little sooner,” Bloomquist continued. “It was coming at the end, but we ran out of laps. ... You can’t read (the track) perfect every time, but at least we ended up right there near the front.”

Knowing Bloomquist was close, Owens was worried after making the mistake in the final turn. He blamed the near-disastrous miscue on overwhelming emotions.

“It’s kinda hard to see the turn when you got tears in your eyes,” Owens said with a laugh. “This is a huge race for the sport and it was an emotional win for me.”

Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., made a late charge into the top five and ended the race in the third position after starting 18th. Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, finished fourth after running as high as second in the race, while first-time Show-Me starter Chris Brown of Spring, Texas, advanced from his 17th-starting position to round out the top five finishers. The pole-starting Brindle ended up 11th in his first Show-Me 100 start.

19th annual Dart Show-Me 100

Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Bloomquist, $30,000
2. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Bloomquist, $10000
3. Steve Casebolt (9), Richmond, Ind., MasterSbilt, $6,000
4. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, MB Customs, $4,000
5. Chris Brown (21), Spring, Texas, Bloomquist, $3000
6. Don O'Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., MasterSbilt, $2000
7. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., MasterSbilt, $1,850
8. Scott James (83), Lawrenceburg, Ind., Rocket, $1,800
9. Ray Cook (53), Brasstown, N.C., MasterSbilt, $1,750
10. Jared Landers (10), Batesville, Ark., Rocket, $1,700
11. Chip Brindle (21B), Chatsworth, Ga., Barry Wright, $1,650
12. Brad Neat (41), Dunnville, Ky., Longhorn, $1,600
13. Mike Marlar (36), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $1,550
14. Darren Miller (32D), Milledgeville, Ill., Victory Circle, $1,500
15. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., Rocket, $1,450
16. Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., Bloomquist, $1,400
17. Dan Schlieper (9), Oak Creek, Wis., Bloomquist, $1,350
18. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., Rocket, $1,300
19. Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind., MasterSbilt, $1,250
20. Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., Rocket, $1,200
21. Chris Wall (71), Springfield, La., Longhorn, $1,200
22. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., Barry Wright, $1,200
23. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., Longhorn, $1,200
24. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., Bloomquist, $1,200
25. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth (18), Northport, Ala., $1,200
26. Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., Victory Circle, $1,200
27. Jesse Stovall (00), Galena, Mo., Larry Shaw, $1,200
28. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., GRT, $1,200
29. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., Rocket, $1,200
30. Al Purkey (33), Coffeyville, Kan., Larry Shaw, $1,200
Fast qualifier (among 81 cars): Blankenship, 15.569 seconds.
Heat race winners: Brindle, Landers, Birkhofer, McDowell, Owens, Schlieper.
Consolation winners: Blankenship, Davenport, Hollingsworth.
Provisional starters: Erb, Neat, Purkey, Stovall, Cook, Wall.
Sponsor 1249
Sponsor 728
©2006-Present FloSports, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Cookie Preferences / Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information