LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (Aug. 16) — After a heartbreaking 10th-place finish in last week’s Sunoco North-South 100, Jimmy Owens returned to victory lane Saturday night in Batesville Motor Speedway’s 22nd annual Comp Cams Topless 100.
Advancing from seventh starting spot, Owens charged past race leader Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., on the 81st lap, leading the remaining distance for his second career Topless 100 triumph and a $40,000 payday. The win gives the Newport, Tenn., driver his eighth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of 2014.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Owens said. “When we practiced we had a good car … we kind of dialed ourselves out in the heat race. But we was able to get a good second place finish. We just changed a few things there for the feature.
“As soon as they throwed the green I was able to maneuver and turn the car real good. You just had to kind of bide your time and take care of your tires and all that stuff to be there at the end.”
Owens passed Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the second-place spot on lap 27, but fell back to third mid-race when fifth-starting Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., used momentum from a restart to gain positioning. Owens regained the second slot on lap 54, setting up a two-car battle between himself and O’Neal.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader was able make gains on the race leader as the pair approached lapped traffic, but several cautions slowed the pace. Owens took control of the race with less than 20 laps remaining in the 100-lap distance.
“I could close in on him (O’Neal) and I figured I was going to get him in lapped traffic,” Owens said. “I know we were a little better than him, but I didn’t think I was going to be able to pass him unless I was in traffic. That take off, he just got to pushing a little worse and a little worse and he came to me. It worked out for the best.”
Owens led much of last week’s Sunoco North-South 100 at Florence Speedway before dropping back with a flat tire with only a few laps remaining in the crown jewel event.
While he’s pleased to add another Topless 100 victory to his resume, Owens said he’s just having fun.
“I really wanted to get that fourth North-South,” Owens said. “I was really proud that Eddie (Carrier Jr.) won. We just want to race and have a good time. Win, lose or draw, it’s all good. I just love it and love doing what I’m doing. I’m just glad to be here and when you win, it’s just an extra bonus.”
Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., charged from the 11th starting position, sliding by Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., for the runner-up spot with only two laps remaining in the 100-lap event. Davenport finished third, with Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., rallying from the 23rd starting spot to take fourth. O’Neal rounded out the top five.
The race was slowed by seven cautions. Exiting Batesville, Owens has 5,735 points over O’Neal (5,590).
22nd annual Comp Cams Topless 100
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Club 29, $40,000
2. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., Warrior, $20,000
3. Jonathan Davenport (6), Blairsville, Ga., Longhorn, $10,000
4. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Sweet-Bloomquist, $6,000
5. Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., Barry Wright, $5,000
6. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., Rocket, $4,500
7. Stacy Taylor (27), Jacksonville, Ark., Black Diamond, $4,000
8. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., MB Customs, $3,500
9. Chris Brown (21), Spring, Texas, Club 29, $3,000
10. Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., Rocket, $2,800
11. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., Barry Wright, $2,600
12. Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., Victory Circle, $2,500
13. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., Barry Wright, $2,450
14. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., Rocket, $2,400
15. Wendell Wallace (6m), Batesville, Ark. Barry Wright, $2,350
16. Robert Baker (17m), Bryant, Ark., Rocket, $2,300
17. Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark., Rocket, $2,250
18. Tommy Surrett (27s), North Little Rock, Ark., Rocket, $2,200
19. Robbie Stuart (6R), DeRidder, La., MasterSbilt, $2,175
20. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., Rocket, $2,150
21. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $2,100
22. Jason Papich (91P), Nipomo, Calif., Club 29, $2,075
23. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., Rocket, $2,050
24. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,000
25. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,000
26. Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., Pierce, $2,000
27. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, Rocket, $2,000
28. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., Longhorn, $2,000
Fast qualifier (among 63 cars): S. Taylor, 13.554 seconds
Heat race winners: S. Taylor, O’Neal, Davenport, Birkhofer, Wallace, Moyer
Consolation winners: Stuart, Pearson
Provisional starters: Bloomquist, Carrier, Beard, Surrett, D. Erb, Papich
Correction: Fixes Stuart's chassis.
Main event notes
10:27 p.m. Jimmy Owens wins the 22nd annual Comp Cams Topless 100. McDowell took the second place spot with two laps remaining. Davenport finishes third, with Bloomquist and O'Neal rounding out the top-five.
10:22 p.m. Owens charges past O'Neal for the lead on lap 81. Davenport runs third, McDowell, Bloomquist.
10:16 p.m. Erb draws another caution on lap 70 when he slows on the racetrack. O'Neal continues to lead. Bloomquist is up to fifth after starting 23rd.
10:12 p.m. With 63 laps scored Wallace slows on the racetrack to draw a caution. O'Neal leads over Owens, Taylor, Davenport, Dale McDowell, Bloomquist, John Blankenship, Mike Marlar and Jared Landers.
10:07 p.m. Babb draws a lap-54 caution after a collision with fourth-running Davenport. He does not return to the racetrack. Steve Francis and Eddie Carrier Jr. go to the hot pit under the caution. Scott Bloomquist is up to 10th after starting 23rd.
10:04 p.m. Wallace jumps to the second place spot on the restart, with Babb moving to fifth. O'Neal, Wallace, Owens, Jonathan Davenport and Babb make up the top five with 50 laps in the books.
10:00 p.m. Dennis Erb Jr. draws a caution with a right-rear flat. Second-running Owens was closing in on O'Neal in lapped traffic. Fifth-running Moyer, Billy Moyer Jr., Bub McCool and Terry Phillips all go to the hot pit under the yellow. Moyer exited the racetrack to his trailer.
9:52 p.m. Robbie Stuart spins in turn four to draw a lap-34 caution. Shannon Babb has advanced from 17th to the ninth-place spot.
9:50 p.m. Seventh-starting Owens passes Moyer on the low side on lap 27 to take second. O'Neal leads, Owens, Moyer, Taylor and Wallace make up the top five.
9:45 p.m. Tommy Surrett slows in turn one for a second caution on lap 23. Jason Papich goes to the hot pit and does not return to the racetrack. O'Neal remains the race leader.
9:42 p.m. After leading the first several laps, polesitter Stacy Taylor falls to Don O'Neal in lapped traffic. Billy Moyer, Wendell Wallace, and Jimmy Owens round out the top five.
9:36 p.m. Outside polesitter Brian Birkhofer hits the backstretch wall on the first lap. He retired to the pits. Earl Pearson Jr. pulled into the hot pit.
9:28 p.m. Following introductions, drivers are given the call to fire their engines.
The top two finishers in last week’s Sunoco North-South 100 will use Lucas Oil Series provisionals to start Saturday’s Comp Cams Topless 100 finale. … North-South 100 champion Eddie Carrier Jr. started on the outside pole of first consolation, but slowed around the bottom of the racetrack mid-race, exiting after 10 laps. … Scott Bloomquist suffered mechanical issues in Friday’s heat race and started from the 20th position in the first consolation. He also retired early and will take a series provisional for Saturday’s feature. … Comp Cams Super Late Model Series provisionals went to Kyle Beard and Tommy Surrett. … Dennis Erb Jr. and Jason Papich received Lucas Oil emergency provisionals.
Outside polesitter Earl Pearson jumped to the lead at the drop of the green and led all 15 laps to transfer to the 100-lap feature. Runner-up finisher Robert Baker challenged Pearson in the early running, but wasn't able keep pace with the race leader. Baker transfers to the feature event, with Jeff Taylor finishing third. The race was brought to a complete restart after Tony Jackson Jr. spun in turn four on the first lap to draw a caution. A second yellow flew on lap 11 when Will Vaught slowed in turn two. Anthony Burroughs spun in turn four for a third caution on the 12th lap.
Finish: Earl Pearson Jr., Robert Baker, Jeff Taylor, Tommy Weder, Mark Dotson, Jon Mitchell, Timothy Culp, Austin Rettig, Justin Asplin, Lynn Beach, Anthony Burroughs, Will Vaught, Jason Hughes, Tommy Surrett, Tony Jackson Jr., David Payne, Kody Mea Scratched: Tyler Erb, Chris Wall, Jason Bodenhamer, Chad Dupont
Polesitter Robbie Stuart led all 15 laps to transfer to the main event. Jack Sullivan finished second for the final transfer spot, with Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series regular Dennis Erb Jr. taking the third place spot. Last week's North-South 100 winner Eddie Carrier started on the outisde pole, but slipped to fourth on the initial start, eventually slowing around the bottom of the racetrack and pulling off after 10 laps. A caution flew on the second when Shannon Scott spun on the backstretch. Jeremey Payne retired to the pits with a flat tire; Jake Davis also exited the racetrack.
Finish: Robbie Stuart, Jack Sullivan, Dennis Erb Jr., Ryan Gustin, Jason Papich, Doug Drown, Chandler Petty, Jesse Stovall, Clay Fisher, Shannon Scott, Eddie Carrier Jr., Brandon Smith, Rick Hearnsberger, Kyle Beard, Scott Bloomquist, Jason Hughes, Jeremy Payne, Gavin Landers Scratched: Ray Moore, Joey Smith, Dwight Falcon, Jake Davis, Kennith Crowe
Consolation race lineups
Row 1: Robbie Stuart, Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 2: Jack Sullivan, Clay Fisher
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Doug Drown
Row 4: Rick Hearnsberger, Ryan Gustin
Row 5: Kyle Beard, Joey Smith
Row 6: Jesse Stovall, Brandon Smith
Row 7: Jeremy Payne, Jake Davis
Row 8: Jason Hughes, Jason Papich
Row 9: Shannon Scott, Gavin Landers
Row 10: Ray Moore, Scott Bloomquist
Row 11: Chandler Petty, Dwight Falcon
Row 12: Kennith Crowe
Row 1: Jeff Taylor, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 2: Justin Asplin, Robert Baker
Row 3: Tommy Weder Jr., Will Vaught
Row 4: Jon Mitchell, Mark Dotson
Row 5: Anthony Burroughs, Jason Hughes
Row 6: Tony Jackson Jr., Tommy Surrett
Row 7: Jason Bodenhamer, Austin Rettig
Row 8: Chris Wall, Kody Mea
Row 9: Timothy Culp, Tyler Erb
Row 10: Chad Dupont, Troy Berdan
Row 11: David Payne, Lynn Beach
Racing action continues Saturday evening for the conclusion of Batesville Motor Speedway’s 22nd annual Comp Cams Topless 100. Friday’s heat race preliminaries set the first nine rows of the $40,000-to-win, 100-lap main event, one of the sport’s crown jewel events.
The weekend's fast qualifier Stacy Taylor of Jacksonville, Ark., will start on the pole of Saturday’s feature event after winning his heat race and drawing the first starting spot in the redraw.
Friday’s other heat race winners were Don O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Brian Birkhofer, Wendell Wallace and Billy Moyer. The top-three finishers from each heat race transferred to the main event.
Saturday’s program will include two 15-lap consolation races, with the top two finishers from each race qualifying for the 100-lap feature. Provisional starters will make up the final two rows of the feature lineup.
The 63-car turnout is the biggest since the event drew 73 cars in 2010. … Stacy Taylor of Jacksonville, Ark., considers Batesville Motor Speedway his home track. “I guess you just do the best you can, and try to stay in front now,” he said Friday night after he drew the pole for Saturday’s 100-lapper. … Nine former Topless 100 are already locked into the main event. … Scott Bloomquist, a four-time Topless 100 champion, will start in the 10th row of the first consolation after experiencing mechanical issues in his heat race. … Hometown driver Billy Moyer is the only other four-time Topless 100 winner. He drew the fourth-place starting spot in Friday’s redraw. … Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., will start sixth in Saturday’s main event. He's looking to break his recent stint of bad luck, after rallying to finish third in Wednesday’s Carolina Clash event where a late-race flat-tire sent him to the rear of the field. … Last year’s Topless 100 winner Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., finished third in his heat race and will start from the outside of row eight … Saturday’s Topless 100 finale at Batesville includes another full modified program.