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Poll Position: Owens still on top of power rankings

August 23, 2011, 7:15 am

Welcome to one of the newest DirtonDirt.com features, Poll Position, as DirtonDirt.com staffers Michael Rigsby, Todd Turner and Joshua Joiner rank the nation's top 25 Dirt Late Model racers by consensus. Future rankings will appear every Tuesday at DirtonDirt.com.

1. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn.

Comment: His stranglehold on crown jewels sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Series came to an end in the Comp Cams Topless 100, but he’s still in control of the championship battle. Series points: First (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 1st (nc)

2. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn.

Comment: Finally stopped the Owens train with a redeeming victory in Sunday’s rain-postponed Topless 100 at Batesville. Series points: Second (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 2nd (nc)

3. Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va.

Comment: The two-time defending WoO champ is eyeing his third title as he continues to close the gap in the series standings. Series points: Second (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 3rd (nc)

4. Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa

Comment: Increased his streak to nine consecutive top-five finishers with his runner-up effort in the WoO race at Winston Speedway Friday night. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 4th (nc)

5. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky.

Comment: Posted a pair of fourth-place finishes in Michigan as he continues to chase Eckert and Richards in the WoO standings. Series points: Third (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 5th (nc)

6. Steve Shaver, Vienna, W.Va.

Comment: Part-time status makes the sting of his DNQ at Florence last even longer. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 6th (nc)

7. Rick Eckert, York, Pa.

Comment: Still leading the WoO standings, but his worst series finish this season Saturday at Merritt allowed Richards to nearly cut his points lead in half. Series points: First (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 9th (+2)

8. Chris Madden, Gray Court, S.C.

Comment: Saturday’s SAS winner at Cherokee will try to make to two in row in east Tennessee when Lucas Oil visits Volunteer Thursday night. Series points: First (Southern Nationals). Last week's ranking: 11th (+3)

9. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill.

Comment: Was strong in preliminary action at Batesville, but faded fast in the main event. Series points: First (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: 7th (-2)

10. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.

Comment: The four-time Topless 100 winner was never a factor Sunday after going down a lap early. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 8th (-2)

11. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga.

Comment: Plans to compete Thursday night at Volunteer Speedway, where he posted a $5,000 victory earlier this year. Series points: Seventh (Southern Nationals). Last week's ranking: 12th (+1)

12. Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.

Comment: After missing the North-South feature lineup, things didn’t get much better during WoO’s Michigan doubleheader. He posted finishes of 15th and 25th. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 10th (-2)

13. Don O'Neal, Martinsville, Ind.

Comment: Squandered another golden opportunity when he dropped like a rock after starting on the pole of the Topless 100 feature. Series points: Third (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 13th (nc)

14. Eddie Carrier Jr., Salt Rock, W.Va.

Comment: Has his eye on another Hillbilly 100 victory after winning $5,000 in Portsmouth Raceway’s Fred Dillow Memorial Saturday. Series points: Second (All Stars). Last week's ranking: 16th (+2)

15. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.

Comment: Francis avoided near disaster in qualifying at Batesville and finished fourth in the Topless 100 feature. Series points: Fourth (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 14th (-1)

16. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

Comment: Just when he appeared to have his program turned around, McCreadie is again headed in the wrong direction. Series points: Fourth (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 15th (-1)

17. Chad Simpson, Mount Vernon, Iowa

Comment: The Corn Belt Clash points leader is taking some time off before the tour’s Labor Day weekend doubleheader. Series points: First (Corn Belt Clash). Last week's ranking: 17th (nc)

18. Jason Covert, York Haven, Pa.

Comment: Gearing up for the final four-race stretch on the Three State Flyers tour in September. Series points: First (Three State Flyers). Last week's ranking: 18th (nc)

19. Austin Hubbard, Seaford, Del.

Comment: Last year’s WoO Rookie of the Year is running out of time to reach victory lane in his sophomore season on the tour. Series points: Seventh (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 19th (nc)

20. Shane Clanton, Fayetteville, Ga.

Comment: Finally finding some consistency with WoO finishes of fifth and sixth in Michigan. Series points: Sixth (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 20th (nc)

21. Klint Byars, Carrollton, Miss.

Comment: Byars scored two victories over the past week, one on the racetrack and one in the lab. His stripped SAS victory was reinstated after further chemical tire tests. Series points: First (MSCCS). Last week's ranking: Not ranked

22. Ronnie Johnson, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Comment: Still struggling to meet last year’s performance level. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 21st (-1)

23. Robbie Blair, Titusville, Pa.

Comment: The weekend saw limited action for Blair. Series points: none. Last week's ranking: 23rd (nc)

24. Scott James, Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Comment: Was headed for a dominating victory at Moler until a broken axel ended his run. Series points: Second (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: Not ranked.

25. Brady Smith, Solon Springs, Wis.

Comment: The former WoO regular finally got back to victory lane on the national tour with a dominating performance at Merritt Raceway. Series points: none. Last week's ranking: Not ranked.

DROPPED OUT: Kelly Boen, Ray Moore, Jeep Van Wormer.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Kelly Boen, Ray Moore, Dave Hess Jr., Brad Looney, Jeep Van Wormer.

DirtonDirt Top 25

1. Jimmy Owens (nc)
2. Scott Bloomquist (nc)
3. Josh Richards (nc)
4. Brian Birkhofer (nc)
5. Darrell Lanigan (nc)
6. Steve Shaver (nc)
7. Rick Eckert (+2)
8. Chris Madden (+3)
9. Shannon Babb (-2)
10. Billy Moyer (-2)
11. Jonathan Davenport (+1)
12. Jimmy Mars (-2)
13. Don O’Neal (nc)
14. Eddie Carrier Jr. (+2)
15. Steve Francis (-1)
16. Tim McCreadie (-1)
17. Chad Simpson (nc)
18. Jason Covert (nc)
19. Austin Hubbard (nc)
20. Shane Clanton (nc)
21. Klint Byars (new)
22. Ronnie Johnson (-1)
23. Robbie Blair (nc)
24. Scott James (new)
25. Brady Smith (new)

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