Lucas Oil Speedway
Owens cruises, grabs third Show-Me in a row
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 25) — Jimmy Owens showed 'em one more time.
Winning his third straight crown jewel at Lucas Oil Speedway, Owens took the lead from polesitter Scott Bloomquist on the 11th lap and cruised to a $30,000 victory in the 21st annual Lucas Oil Show-Me 100 presented by Protect the Harvest.com. | Complete Show-Me 100 coverage
The outcome was never seriously in doubt for Owens, who captured Thursday’s preliminary feature for another $5,000 and now has a streak of six victories in his last seven feature starts at the 3/8-mile oval.
A flurry of contenders rallied from deep in the field — everyone else in the top five rallied from the sixth row or further back — but no one could keep up with Owens. Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, who rallied from 12th for his best-ever crown jewel finish, took a shot at Owens on the final restart with nine laps remaining, but the frontrunner quickly pulled away for his fourth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of the season.
Simpson settled for second while 20th-starting Dennis Erb Jr., of Carpentersville, Ill., was third at the Show-Me for the second straight year. Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., came from 22nd to finish fourth and 24th-starting Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, the runner-up’s older brother, rounded out the top five.
The biggest scare for Owens came early when outside front-row starting Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., got out of shape on the first lap, triggering a scramble that send the winner’s No. 20 spinning in turn two. But his body damage was minor, and by the 11th lap he was slipping past polesitter Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., and setting sail.
Bloomquist ran second most of the way, but lost the spot to Simpson on lap 82 and ducked into the pits on the final caution. He finished ninth.
Ten cautions slowed the action, the most serious for the first-lap scramble and then on lap 62 when 16th-starting Jeremy Payne, making a return to the Late Model division in Bryan Rowland’s car, smacked the turn-one wall while running fifth.
21st annual Lucas Oil Show-Me 100
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Bloomquist, $30,000
2. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, MB Customs, $10,000
3. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., Bloomquist, $6,000
4. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., Bloomquist, $4,000
5. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, MasterSbilt, $3,000
6. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., Barry Wright, $2,500
7. Mike Marlar (5B), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $2,400
8. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., Rocket, $2,300
9. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., Bloomquist, $2,200
10. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., Pierce, $2,100
11. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., Bloomquist, $2,000
12. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, MB Customs, $1,975
13. Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., Bloomquist, $1,950
14. Eric Jacobsen (5), Santa Cruz, Calif., Bloomquist, $1,925
15. John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., Rocket, $1,900
16. Jared Landers (5), Batesville, Ark., Barry Wright, $1,875
17. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., Longhorn, $1,850
18. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., Victory Circle, $1,825
19. Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., Rocket, $1,800
20. Jerry Lierly (7L), Camp Point, Ill., Bloomquist, $1,750
21. John Anderson (2), Omaha, Neb., MasterSbilt, $1,700
22. Don O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., MasterSbilt, $1,650
23. Jeremy Payne (20r), Springfield, Mo., Bloomquist, $1,600
24. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., MB Customs, $1,550
25. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., Warrior, $1,500
26. Eric Turner (33x), Springfield, Mo., Victory Circle, $1,500
27. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., Pierce, $1,500
28. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Victory Circle, $1,500
29. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., Pierce, $1,500
30. Jesse Stovall (00), Galena, Mo., Victory Circle, $1,500
31. Tim Isenberg (9T), Marshfield, Wis., MB Customs, $1,500
32. Steve Shaver (6s), Vienna, W.Va., Longhorn, $1,500
Fast qualifier (among 72 cars): Bloomquist, 14.902 seconds. Heat race winners: Bloomquist, Reddick, Stovall, O’Neal, Owens, Francis. Consolation winners: Mars, Erb, Moyer. Non-qualifiers’ race winner: Marlar. Provisional starters: Pearson, Carrier, Phillips, Vaught, Jacobsen, Moyer Jr., Lierly.
Lap 100: Owens wins by nearly a half-straight over Chris Simpson for his third straight Show-Me victory. Erb was another half-straight back in third with Brady Smith and Chad Simpson rounding out the top five. Owens was the only car among the top five to start in the top 10.
Lap 91: 10th caution as Tyler Reddick spins in turn two while running sixth. Owens leads Chris Simpson, Erb (started 20th), Brady Smith (22nd) and Francis. Bloomquist pitted, giving up the fifth spot.
Lap 82: Chris Simpson (who started 12th) takes second from Bloomquist after working him for many laps; Owens still leads by a full straightaway.
Lap 75: Rundown: Owens, Bloomquist, Chris Simpson, Erb, Reddick, Francis, B. Smith, Marlar, Anderson, Chad Simpson, Jackson, Birkhofer, Phillips, Feger, Blankenship,Jacobsen (Anderson retired on lap 77).
Lap 65: Owens still leads Bloomquist while Chris Simpson just squeezed up to third. Reddick and Erb round out the top five followed by Francis, who tried to squeeze between Simpson and Reddick and ran out of room.
Lap 63: Ninth caution out when Don O'Neal gets a flat right-front tire
Lap 62: Eighth caution out when fifth-running Payne smacks the turn-one wall; his night is over. That erases more than a straightaway lead for Owens who leads Bloomquist, Francis, Reddick, Chris Simpson, Erb, B. Smith, O'Neal, Chad Simpson and Anderson. (Birkhofer pitted and gave up a top-10 spot.)
Lap 50: Owens by nearly a full straight at halfway over Bloomquist, Francis, Reddick and Payne.
Lap 45: Seventh caution, this one for debris. Owens still in control over Bloomquist but third-running Francis is strong on the high side on restarts. ... Reddick a solid fourth while 16th-starting Payne is driving a balanced car that's smooth in the corners. ... Don O'Neal is hanging in the top 10 but has struggled. ... Brady Smith is steady in coming to 10th from 22nd. ... Eric Turner retired on lap 46 and Vaught retired a lap later.
Lap 43: Sixth caution; Shirley stops in turn two (several cars pit). Owens leads Bloomquist, Reddick, Francis and Payne. Sixth is Chris Simpson followed by Birkhofer, Erb, O'Neal and B. Smith.
Lap 40: Owens by a half-straight over Bloomquist. Reddick is third with Francis all over him. Payne is fifth ahead of MB Customs drivers Chris Simpson and Birkhofer.
Lap 31: Isenberg spins in turn three, collecting Shaver, Landers and Llerly; Shaver got the worst of it just after the lap-30 restart (Jesse Stovall retired).
Lap 30: Fifth caution for Will Vaught slowing in turn two; Owens leads Bloomquist, Reddick, Birkhofer, Payne (who started 16th) and Francis. Chris Simpson is sixth followed by O'Neal, Pierce, Erb, Chad Simpson (started 24th), B. Smith, Anderson, Isenberg, Stovall, Feger, Blankenship, Mars, Phillips, Jackson, Moyer, Pearson, Marlar, Jacobsen, Shirley, Landers (that's lead-lap cars).
Lap 25: Top 10: Owens (near half-straight), Bloomquist, Reddick, Birkhofer, Francis, Payne, Chris Simpson, O'Neal (fading), Pierce, Chad Simpson.
Lap 19: Landers loops it in turn two for the fourth caution; Owens had a cushion of three lapped cars. Bloomquist is second followed by Reddick, O'Neal and Birkhofer. From sixth on back: Francis, Chris Simpson, Pierce, Erb (started 20th), Payne, Stovall, Chad Simpson, Isenberg, Anderson, B. Smith, Feger, Shirley, Mars, Jackson, Vaught, Phillips, Moyer Sr., Pearson, Blankenship, Marlar, Landers, Jacobsen, Carrier, Lierly, Moyer Jr., Turner, Shaver (several laps down).
Lap 11: Owens takes the when Bloomquist hooks a rut in turn one. Reddick is a straightaway behind in third followed by O'Neal, Franics, Birkhofer, Pierce and Chris Simpson.
Lap 4: Third caution appears when Steve Shaver spins inside turn four, getting into a tire barrier. Bloomquist leads O'Neal, Reddick, Owens and Francis.
Lap 2: Eric Turner spun in turn one, drawing the second caution. Bloomquist leads O'Neal, Reddick, Francis and Owens.
Lap 1: Outside front-row starter Don O'Neal got out of shape on the first lap, triggering a collision that included Owens, Blankenship (who pitted and will restart on tail), Shirley, Jackson and more (Chris Simpson didn't pit). ... Owens has at least cosmetic damage and pulled up to the fence so his crew could consider a pit stop. ... There'll be a complete restart. ... The green flag originally flew at 10:05 p.m.
Mike Marlar won a back-and-forth battle with fellow front-row starter Travis Dickes to win the Midwest Sheet Metal non-qualifiers' race. Marlar opted to pass on the $2,000 payday and take the tail starting spot in the 32-car feature,which pays $1,500-to-start. Dickes, for the third straight prelim, finished one spot out of transferring to the main event. Randy Weaver nosed into second late but settled for third while Tanner English and Kyle Beard rounded out the top five. Marlar led comfortably early, but when he switched to the high groove on the 13th lap, Dickes took advantage to slip by and lead lap 15. But exiting turn two, Dickes lost the spot to Marlar. Dickes nosed back in front on lap 18 amid traffic, but Marlar quickly regained the lead and raced to the victory. The lone caution in the 20-lapper appeared on the fourth lap for a slowing Chase Junghans.
Finish: Mike Marlar, Travis Dickes, Randy Weaver, Tanner English, Kyle Beard, A.J. Diemel, Wendell Wallace, Rodney Sanders, Brandon Smith, Jason Bodenhamer, Brandon Sheppard, Brad Looney, Chris Brown, Chase Junghans, Austin Rettig, Jay Brunson, Jack Sullivan, Scott Lewis, Bryon Allison, Justin Asplin, Ron Johnson, Brandon McCormick, Shawn Knuckles.
Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., had a fight on his hands trying to take the second and final transfer spot from Tanner English in the second consolation, and he knew it. “It had to be a good race to watch,” Shaver said. Shaver finally found a way past, but was he ever worried he’d run out of laps? “Every lap,” he cracked. “That English kid, he’s a good little wheelman. I didn’t want to let him get out too far.” Shaver and Earl Pearson Jr. were huddling with team engineer Kevin Rumley about their feature setups. “We’re trying to make some small changes to make it better.” ... Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., started seventh in the first consolation and wasn’t in contention until a lap-13 restart. He came alive, zipping around Randy Weaver on the outside and grabbing the second transfer spot behind winner Jimmy Mars, another Wisconsin driver. “I had no choice — I had to try something,” Smith said of his outside move. He wasn’t crazy about Friday’s rough-and-tumble surface and found Saturday’s much more to his liking. “We should be a lot better,” he said. ... Will Vaught, who dropped out of Friday’s first heat while running second because of electrical problems, went through his car’s electrical system to make sure he zapped any bugaboos. “It’s running,” he said with a smile. ... Terry Phillips, like Vaught, will take an MLRA provisional, but he’ll do it in a backup car. His primary No 75 took a shot against the wall and in the rear in a consolation tangle with Tim Manville and Justin Wells. “It ain’t good,” Phillips said, adding that he hoped it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. “I haven’t looked at it yet.” Moments before, Phillips wadded up a piece of garbage in his palm, wheeled and fired it into a can beside his hauler about 20 feet away. “I’ve still got it,” he said. He’ll hope so for the 32-car main event where he’ll start near the tail.
Outside front-row starter Billy Moyer led all the way while second place was swapped among several cars in the 20-lapper. Jason Bodenhamer, Chad Simpson, Brandon Sheppard and Wendell Wallace were among those contending for the spot with Simpson asserting himself at the midway point, a few laps after he'd been shuffled back to fourth. Moyer and Simpson got the two transfer spots while Bodenhamer settled for third ahead of Wallace and Brad Looney. Sheppard faded from contention in the second half of the race. Robert Baker spun in turn two on the first lap, forcing a complete restart.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Chad Simpson, Jason Bodenhamer, Wendell Wallace, Brad Looney, Rodney Sanders, Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Chris Brown, Shawn Knuckles, Jeff Floyd, Robert Baker, Dave Deetz, Cole Wells, Mason Oberkramer. Scratched: Dustin Walker, Timothy Culp.
Fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. went around polesitter Tanner English on the fourth lap to take command he'd never give up in the 20-lap consy. English held the second spot until Steve Shaver, after a back-and-forth battle, grabbed the second transfer spot in the caution-free affair. Travis Dickes dropped English to fourth lap but couldn't catch Shaver.
Finish: Dennis Erb Jr., Steve Shaver, Travis Dickes, Tanner English, A.J. Diemel, Eric Jacobsen, Brandon Smith, Jack Sullivan, Scott Lewis, Bryon Allison, Stacy Taylor, Billy Moyer Jr., Justin Asplin, Tommy Weder Jr., Garrett Alberson, Jason Sivils, Brantliee Gotschall, Mark Dodson. Scratched: Steve Lampley.
Third-starting Jimmy Mars got a stellar starting, leading the field out of turn two on the first lap and cruising to a 20-lap victory on a greasy racetrack. Randy Weaver wrestled the second spot from Tim Manville on the fourth lap and held the spot until a lap-13 restart, when Brady Smith went by to make it an all-Wisconsin transfer duo. Weaver settled for fourth behind outside front-row starter Mike Marlar while polesitter Eddie Carrier Jr. rounded out the top five. Earl Pearson Jr., in line for a Lucas Oil provisional, didn't take the green flag, and Will Vaught, in line for an MLRA provisional, was an early retiree. Jerry Lierly spun in front of a car in turn four on the sixth lap, but no one made contact. The most serious caution of the weekend came on lap 13 when Tim Manville slowed going into turn three with a flat tire and collected a high-running Terry Phillips, who was then plowed from behind by Justin Wells. All three cars suffered significant damage and Phillips may have to go to a backup car to take a provisional for the 100-lapper.
Finish: Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, Mike Marlar, Randy Waeaver, Kyle Beard, Eddie Carrier Jr., Austin Rettig, Brandon McCormick, Jay Brunson, Tim Manville, Terry Phillips, Justin Wells, Ryan Gustin, Will Vaught. Scratched: Shannon Babb, Earl Pearson Jr.
Saturday's opening ceremonies were especially poignant with the track remembering the two lives lost Friday night in a nearby crash of the Lucas Oil Products-owned helicopter, and there was a "moment of silence for a loss in the Lucas Oil family last night." During the invocation, the prayer included a request to "surround the Lucas Oil family and the famliy of those who lost their loved ones last night" with comfort. During the prayer, an instrumental version of Amazing Grace played in the background, and during the ensuing national anthem, a huge flag was held by dozens in the infield.
Action is set to get under way Saturday evening for the last of three nights of action at the 21st annual Lucas Oil Show-Me 100 presented by Protect the Harvest.com. Three consolation races and the 100-lap main event are on tap for Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competitors.
Five-time winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., is on the pole position for the main event alongside fellow heat winner Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. Other Friday night heat winners filling the second and third rows are Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., Lucas Oil Series points leader Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., and Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.
Ten other drivers are locked into the feature (see lineup below) while Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., Tanner English of Benton, Ky. (in Allen Murray’s car), and Jason Bodenhamer of Centerview, Mo., are scheduled to start on the front row of consolation races.
The top two drivers from each consolation race transfer to the main event while provisional starters will be added to the rear of the starting field.
Saturday afternoon's mood is somewhat somber at the track after Friday night’s crash of a Lucas Oil Products-owned helicopter north of the track that killed the pilot and a female passenger. Authorities haven’t released the identities of the victims, but many of the Lucas Oil Series officials knew the pilot and the passenger lived nearby and worked at the racetrack. The helicopter has been at the track in recent years for TV production as well as providing riders an aerial view of the speedway. ... Jimmy Owens is gunning to win his third straight Show-Me 100; Scott Bloomquist pulled off that feat from 2003-'05. ... Bloomquist is locked into his 21st Show-Me 100; he’s the only driver to make every feature in race history. ... Drivers locked into their first Show-Me 100s through heat races: Bobby Pierce and Tim Isenberg. ... Jeremy Payne, piloting Rowland Racing’s Bloomquist Race Car, made his first Show-Me 100 feature since the race moved to Wheatland from West Plains, Mo., in 2010. ... Provisional starting spots include two for Lucas Oil, two for MLRA, fast-time and potentially emergency Lucas Oil provisionals.
• Hot laps for locked-in Late Models
• Intermission/track prep (20 minutes)
Row: 15: Provisional starters