Magnolia Motor Speedway
Owens, Weaver share front row at Magnolia
COLUMBUS, Miss. (Oct. 26) — Fresh off claiming his first-ever Dirt Track World Championship victory and wrapping up his second straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., put himself in a good position to add a Southern Belle Cotton Pickin’ 100 victory to his already impressive season.
Owens raced to victory during the first of six Cotton Pickin’ 100 heat races during Friday’s preliminary action at Magnolia Motor Speedway, earning the pole for Saturday night’s 100-lap main event. | Slideshow
Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., will join Owens on the front row for the start of the unsanctioned special event after claiming Friday’s fourth heat race. Other heat winners — Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., and Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind. — will make up the remainder of the top six starting spots.
Owens topped fellow Lucas Oil Series regular Scott Bloomquist of Moorsburg, Tenn., on his way to winning the first heat race while Klint Byars of Carrolton, Miss., earned the third and final transfer spot after earlier in the evening posting a qualifying lap of 13.093 seconds to top 63 qualifiers and lower the 3/8-mile oval’s track record.
“I was looking for the track to be a little bit dryer than it was and then that little shower came through and they were setting track-record qualifying times out there,” Owens said. “We qualified fourth and was a little free, but we tightened up for the heat and almost got a little tighter than it need to be to rotate the bottom the bottom like I needed to. But we’ll make some adjustments tomorrow and maybe bring this race home.”
Moyer, a three-time Cotton Pickin’ 100 winner who last won the event in 2009, raced to the heat two victory over Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and Chris Wall of Holden, La. Wall rallied from the tail of the field to earn a feature transfer after his qualifying lap was disqualified when he failed to report to scales during time trials.
“We started on the pole and won our heat, so that’s some of the work out of the way," Moyer said. "We’ll have to try to make the right decisions for tomorrow.”
After driving a Childress Racing MasterSbilt to a $15,000 Coors Light Fall Classic victory on Oct. 13 at nearby Whynot (Miss.) Motorsports Park, O’Neal used the same Childress Racing entry in winning Friday’s third heat race. O’Neal, who earlier this year drove his MasterSbilt Race Cars house car ride to a $20,000 Lucas Oil Series victory at Magnolia, topped Georgians Shane Clanton of Fayetteville and Clint Smith of Senoia for his prelim win.
Weaver, who this weekend returned to Mississippi for the first time since his sweep of the Southern All Star Series doubleheader at Whynot and Magnolia in May, raced from his fifth starting spot in the fourth heat and made a late rally around home-state drivers Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., and Chad Thrash of Meridian earn the prelim victory and the outside pole starting spot for Saturday’s main event.
“Everybody was battling there for third and had a couple little incidents and had a caution," Weaver said. "We finally found a good line up around the top and our car got to working real well up there. Next thing you know we ran the leaders down and barely got by them.”
Bagley raced to victory in the fifth heat over Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., while Robinson’s sixth-heat victory came over David Gentry of Lewisburg, Tenn., and David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss.
Cotton Pickin’ 100 action concludes Saturday with three consolation races each transferring two more drivers to the 100-lap main event that wraps up the weekend.
Heat race results
First heat: Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Klint Byars, Jamie Elam, Ross Camponovo, Scott Creel, Pat Doar, Dylan Ames, Tony Lawson, Kurt Radojcsics, Tony Barnett.
Second heat: Billy Moyer, Mike Marlar, Chris Wall, Dane Dacus, Scott Dywylder, Kyle Beard, Jimmy Cliburn, Chase Edge, Robbie Lovette, Dewayne Lott, Jamie Tollison.
Third heat: Don O’Neal, Shane Clanton, Clint Smith, Robbie Stuart, Timothy Culp, Brian Reese, Riley Hickman, Robert Baker, David Jackson, Keith House.
Fourth heat: Randy Weaver, Bub McCool, Chad Thrash, Eric Cooley, Neil Baggett, Dillon Wood, Jason Cliburn, Jerry Lierly, Tom Maddox, Eric Wells, Clint Logan.
Fifth heat: Morgan Bagley, Jack Sullivan, Dennis Erb Jr., Rick Rickman, Robbie Starnes, Wendell Wallace, Henry Cooper, Larry Boutwell, Jered Smith, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, William Sykes.
Sixth heat: Kent Robinson, David Gentry, David Breazeale, Billy Moyer Jr., Mike Boland, Brandon Kinzer, Ronnie Johnson, Eric Turner, Tyler Renshaw, Braden Mitchell.
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Randy Weaver
Row 2: Billy Moyer, Morgan Bagley
Row 3: Don O’Neal, Kent Robinson
Row 4: Scott Bloomquist, Bub McCool
Row 5: Mike Marlar, Jack Sullivan
Row 6: Shane Clanton, David Gentry
Row 7: Klint Byars, Chad Thrash
Row 8: Chris Wall, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 9: Clint Smith, David Breazeale
Row 10: Consolation race transfers
Row 11: Consolation race transfers
Row 12: Consolation race transfers
Consolation race lineups
Top two transfer to feature
First consolation race
Row 1: Jamie Elam, Eric Cooley
Row 2: Ross Camponovo, Neil Baggett
Row 3: Scott Creel, Dillon Wood
Row 4: Pat Doar, Jason Cliburn
Row 5: Dylan Ames, Jerry Lierly
Row 6: Tony Lawson, Tom Maddox
Row 7: Kurt Radojcsics, Eric Wells
Row 8: Tony Barnett, William Sykes
Second consolation race
Row 1: Dane Dacus, Rick Rickman
Row 2: Scott Dedwylder, Robbie Starnes
Row 3: Kyle Beard, Wendell Wallace
Row 4: Jimmy Cliburn, Henry Cooper
Row 5: Chase Edge, Larry Boutwell
Row 6: Robbie Lovette, Jered Smith
Row 7: Dewayne Lott, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth
Row 8: Jamie Tollison
Third consolation race
Row 1: Robbie Stuart, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Timothy Culp, Mike Boland
Row 3: Brian Reese, Brandon Kinzer
Row 4: Riley Hickman, Ronnie Johnson
Row 5: Robert Baker, Eric Turner
Row 6: David Jackson, Tyler Renshaw
Row 7: Keith House, Braden Mitchell
Row 8: Clint Logan