Smoky Mountain Speedway
Smoky Mountain's SAS event belongs to Owens
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (April 16) — Polesitter Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., overtook race-long leader Chad Ogle of Sevierville, Tenn., on the 21st lap and led the rest of the way in the Smoky Mountain Spring 50.
Owens earned $5,000 at Smoky Mountain Speedway for the 15th Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series victory of his career. Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., finished second at the historic 4/10-mile oval followed by 10th-starting Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., and Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn. Chad Ogle faded to finish 15th in the 24-car field. | Slideshow
Chad Ogle started outside the front row and got the jump on Owens at the outset, using the high groove to edge away from the field until traffic slowed his pace.
Owens closed in on Ogle before a lap-11 caution for seventh-starting Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., who got into the wall. On the restart, Ogle pulled away from Owens again, but the pursuer again tracked him down and took the lead before the halfway point.
As Ogle continued to drop back in the field, Owens stayed in command while Cook and Thomas gave chase. Further back, Billy Ogle Jr. was making progress from his fifth-row starting spot, breaking into the top five on the 36th lap as the race's final caution appeared.
Owens cruised the rest of the way while Billy Ogle Jr. gained two more spots and hounded the runner-up Cook in the final laps.
Notes: Owens drives a Cornett-powered Bloomquist Race Car with sponsorship from Reece Monument and Gantte Appraisals. ... Owens won seven days earlier in an unsanctioned event at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn. ... The team planned to compete in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series-sanctioned Commonwealth 100 at Virginia Motor Speedway, but the team loaded up with engine problems after Friday's time trials. ... Owens makes infrequent series starts; his last Southern All Star victory came July 19, 2008, at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway. ... Owens lowered the track record in time trials with a lap nearly a half-second faster than Ivedent Lloyd Jr.'s mark. ... Two-time and reigning series champion Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., was a no-show; he'd won the previous two series events at Smoky Mountain. ... Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., heavily damaged a car for the second straight weekend, slamming the turn-two wall on a lap-three restart in a consolation race; he wasn't seriously injured.
Smoky Mountain Spring 50: (1) Jimmy Owens, (2) Ray Cook, (3) Billy Ogle Jr., (4) William Thomas, (5) Mike Marlar, (6) Steve Smith, (7) Mike Weeks, (8) Mark Vineyard, (9) Tommy Kerr, (10) Scott Creel, (11) Tony Knowles, (12) Brian Reese, (13) Ross White, (14) Brandon Kinzer, (15) Chad Ogle, (16) Bobby Giffin, (17) Skip Arp, (18) David Payne, (19) Todd Morrow, (20) Mark Douglas, (21) Sammie Russell, (22) Kayne Hickman, (23) Duane Treadwell, (24) David Crabtree. Fast qualifier (among 27 cars): Owens, 15.187 seconds. Consolation race winners: Douglas, Vineyard.
Correction: Fixes fast time for Owens.