Owens halts two-driver dominance at Cleveland
From series reports
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (July 24) — Breaking a two-driver stranglehold on victory lane with the O'Reilly Southern Nationals, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., took command on the 13th lap at Cleveland Speedway to win the eighth leg of the 10-race miniseries. Owens earned $3,500 for the 35-lap victory at the third-mile oval as he outran series dominators Dennis "Rambo" Franklin and Chris Madden, both of South Carolina.
The polesitting Franklin led the first two laps before fellow front-row starter Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn., took over for two laps. Franklin was back ahead on the fifth lap, but the fourth-starting Owens made his way to the front eight laps later and stayed in command the rest of the way for his second straight special event victory at Cleveland. He won an O'Reilly Southern All Star race at the same oval five days earlier.
Owens, Franklin and Madden were followed across the finish line by Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., and Jamie Perry of Ringgold, Ga. Arp was the first dropout in the 24-car field, departing after leading laps 3-4.
Notes: Owens drives a Bloomquist Race Car powered by a Cornett engine and sponsored by Gantte Appraisals and Reece Monument. ... Before Owens victory, Madden (four victories) and Franklin (three victories) had dominated the series action. ... Cleveland drew a series-high 42 drivers from 13 states. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: David Payne, Mark Douglas, Rick Rogers (who scratched after qualifying), April Farmer, Jake Knowles, Brad Coffey and Eric Wells. ... The series wraps up with $5,300-to-win events on July 25-26 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., and Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway.
Southern Nationals @ Cleveland: (1) Jimmy Owens, (2) Dennis Franklin, (3) Chris Madden, (4) Randy Weaver, (5) Jamie Perry, (6) Tony Knowles, (7) Kevin Gibson, (8) Brandon Kinzer, (9) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (10) D.J. Myers, (11) Eric Jacobsen, (12) Tommy Kerr, (13) Lamar Scoggins, (14) Johnny Chastain, (15) Billy Mayo, (16) Jeff Franklin, (17) Anthony Burroughs, (18) Shon Flanary, (19) Scott Jones, (20) Daniel Baggerly, (21) Mike Collins, (22) Gabe Wilson, (23) Ivedent Lloyd Jr., (24) Skip Arp. Fast qualifier (among 42 cars): Franklin, 13.386 seconds. Consolation winners: Kinzer, Chastain, Burroughs. Provisional starter: Jones.