Lucas Oil Speedway
Streaking Owens shines, captures Show-Me heat
By Kevin KovacDirtonDirt.com senior writer
WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 23) — Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., made it clear that he’s primed to chase a fourth consecutive victory in the Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com after a dominating heat-race victory during Friday night’s qualifying program at Lucas Oil Speedway. | Complete Show-Me coverage
Owens recorded the most convincing triumph of the six 10-lap heat races, leading the entire distance of the fourth heat and crossing the finish line with nearly a half-lap edge over Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark. He will bid to become the first driver ever to win four consecutive crown-jewel Dirt Late Model events in Saturday night’s $30,000-to-win headliner.
Other heat-race victors included Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., a five-time Show-Me 100 champion and winner of Thursday night’s MLRA Cowboy Classic; Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., who overtook fast-timer Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, to capture the first heat; Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo.; Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; and Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn.
Jackson picked the pole position for the Show-Me 100 in the redraw among heat winners. Marlar will start second, with O’Neal and Stovall in the second row and Bloomquist and Owens sharing the third row.
Two 10-lap dashes closed out the program. The Hot Rod Tracker Chassis Manufacturers’ Dash was captured by O'Neal on behalf of Barry Wright Race Cars while Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, won the Crawford Supply/Traeger Grills Race of Champions. Both drivers picked up $1,000 for their efforts.
Saturday’s action is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. with three consolation races, a 20-lap non-qualifiers’ race and the 100-lap feature highlighting the program.
Friday's blog-style live updates:
Hot Rod Tracker Chassis Manufacturers’ Dash Finish: Don O’Neal ($1,000), Jesse Stovall, Bobby Pierce, Ryan Gustin, Will Vaught, Rodney Sanders, Garrett Alberson, Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist, Wendell Wallace, Jeremy Payne (DNS) Jason Feger.
Crawford Supply/Traeger Grills Race of Champions Finish: Brian Birkhofer, Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist, Shannon Babb, Terry Phillips, John Anderson, Wendell Wallace, Tony Jackson Jr., Billy Moyer.
The Friday-evening program will close with two 10-lap dashes. First up will be the Hot Rod Tracker Chassis Manufacturers’ Dash followed by the Crawford Supply/Traeger Grills Race of Champions.
Competitors in the Manufacturers’ Dash are Don O’Neal (representing Barry Wright), Rodney Sanders (Club 29), Wendell Wallace (Black Diamond), Jeremy Payne (GRT), Billy Moyer (Longhorn), Garrett Alberson (MasterSbilt), Jason Feger (Pierce), Ryan Gustin (Rocket), Scott Bloomquist (Sweet/Bloomquist), Jesse Stovall (Victory Circle) and Will Vaught (Warrior). The drivers will draw for starting positions before the start of the race.
The Race of Champions, meanwhile, includes former Show-Me 100 champions Billy Moyer, Terry Phillips, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Brian Birkhofer and Wendell Wallace; Lucas Oil Series titlists Earl Pearson Jr. and John Anderson; and MLRA champs Tony Jackson Jr. and Shannon Babb.
Five-time Show-Me 100 winner Scott Bloomquist led the entire distance, but 17-year-old sensation Bobby Pierce made things interesting late in the distance. Pierce sliced into Bloomquist’s near straightaway, drawing within about three car lengths of the leader when Bloomquist approached two lapped cars. But Bloomquist split the two slower machines rounding turns one and two on lap 17, snuffing out Pierce’s threat. Pierce settled for second and third place went to Eddie Carrier Jr., who passed Brian Shirley on lap 15.
Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Bobby Pierce, Eddie Carrier Jr., Brian Shirley, Jeremy Payne, Jason Papich, Tommy Weder, Dennis Erb Jr., Kyle Beard, Jeff Roth.
Mike Marlar overtook Robert Baker for the lead on the second lap and never looked back. The Winfield, Tenn., driver steered Ronnie Delk’s machine to a comfortable victory over Baker, who continued his breakout weekend by transferring to his first-ever Show-Me 100. Three-time Show-Me 100 winner Billy Moyer grabbed the third and final transfer spot, while Earl Pearson Jr. advanced from the ninth starting spot to finish fourth.
Finish: Mike Marlar, Robert Baker, Billy Moyer, Earl Pearson Jr., Jason Hughes, Chad Simpson, Jared Landers, Brantlee Gotschall, Brian Birkhofer, J.C. Wyman.
Three-time and defending Show-Me 100 champion Jimmy Owens absolutely obliterated the field, leading the entire distance and crossing the finish nearly a half-lap ahead of Billy Moyer Jr. Moyer reached second with a lap-seven pass of Brady Smith and ran alone there for the remainder of the distance. Shannon Babb, meanwhile, came from the seventh starting spot to finish third, taking the position from Smith on lap 15.
Finish: Jimmy Owens, Billy Moyer Jr., Shannon Babb, John Blankenship, Chris Simpson, Brady Smith, Travis Dickes, Jack Sullivan, Bill Koons, David Deetz (DNS) John Anderson.
Don O’Neal went to the outside of the track to pass Matt Furman for the lead on lap three and never looked back en route to a caution-free triumph. Polesitter Rodney Sanders finished second and Will Vaught placed third after some physical racing with Furman. Vaught and Furman came together at the start/finish completing lap 19 and again exiting turn four for the final time; Vaught held on to take third, but Furman lost momentum and Bub McCool stole fourth place.
Finish: Don O’Neal, Rodney Sanders, Will Vaught, Bub McCool, Matt Furman, Timothy Culp, Mark Dotson, Raymond Merrill, Jon Driskill, Scotty Bough (DNS) Justin Asplin.
Tony Jackson Jr. cruised to victory, leading the entire caution-free distance with nary a challenge. The home-state standout crossed the finish line nearly a straightaway ahead of Garrett Alberson, with Jason Bodenhamer farther back in third to take the final transfer spot. Jason Feger started second but slipped back to fourth nearly a straightaway behind Bodenhamer at the finish.
Finish: Tony Jackson Jr., Garrett Alberson, Jason Bodenhamer, Jason Feger, Austin Siebert, Chris Brown, Austin Rettig, Junior Coover, Gavin Landers, Rick Kimberling, Joey Smith.
Jesse Stovall slid underneath Ryan Gustin to gain command on lap eight and dominated the remainder of the distance. Gustin held on to finish a solid second and former Show-Me 100 winner Terry Phillips advanced from the sixth starting spot to place fourth. Steve Francis came alive late to reach fourth place on the final lap, but he wasn’t close to Phillips when the checkered flag flew. The race’s only caution flag flew on lap two when Dustin Walker spun in turn four.
Finish: Jesse Stovall, Ryan Gustin, Terry Phillips, Steve Francis, Wendell Wallace, Steve Casebolt, Dave Eckrich, Randy Roth, Scott Lewis, Reid Millard, Dustin Walker.
Rising star Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, turned the overall fastest circuit in time trials, lapping the 3/8-mile oval in 15.142 seconds during Group A. He also set fast time during last year’s Lucas Oil Series Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Heat-race polesitters will be Gustin, Tony Jackson Jr., Rodney Sanders, Jimmy Owens (fastest in Group B), Robert Baker and Scott Bloomquist. The top three finishers from each will move on to Saturday's Show-Me 100.
Temperatures reached the 80s for the second consecutive day with skies remaining overcast. A few drops of rain fell just before the start of hot laps at 6:45 p.m. CT but the precipitation quickly halted. A chance of showers continues through the night. … The only driver who entered Thursday night’s MLRA program but didn’t return is Sonny Findling of Pikesville, Mo. … New additions for Friday are Jon Driskill of Belle Vista, Ark., and Jeff and Randy Roth, both of Bentonville, Ark. … Thursday night’s track surface left many teams scratching their heads to figure it out. One crew member reported that “tire wear was different than it ever has been”; as a result, teams are carefully considering their tire prep, including how deeply they will sipe their rubber.
A field of 65 cars is signed in for action Friday as qualifying for the 22nd annual Show-Me 100 begins on the 3/8-mile oval.
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., won Thursday night’s Midwest LateModel Racing Association-sanctioned Cowboy Classic, which served as a tuneup for the weekend’s headline event. He will be seeking his record sixth Show-Me 100 victory but first since the race moved in 2010 to Lucas Oil Speedway from West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway.
Time trials — split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups — will kick off Friday’s program. Six 20-lap heat races will then be contested transferring three drivers from each to Saturday night’s Show-Me 100. The card will be rounded out by two 10-lap, $1,000-to-win dashes — the annual Hot Rod Tracker Chassis Manufacturers’ Dash and the Crawford Supply/Traeger Grills Race of Champions for past Show-Me 100, Lucas Oil Series and MLRA champions.
Hot laps are scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. CT, with time trials set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Heat race lineups
Row 3: Chad Simpson, J.C. Wyman
Time trial results
Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 15.142
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 15.21
Rodney Sanders (20x), Happy, Texas, 15.326
Dave Eckrich (58), Oxford, Iowa, 15.397
Jason Feger (25F), Bloomington, Ill., 15.515
Matt Furman (51), Columbus, Ohio, 15.564
Garrett Alberson (43), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.628
Jesse Stovall (00), Galena, Mo., 15.628
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.636
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., 15.649
Jason Bodenhamer (2b), Centerview, Mo., 15.708
Bub McCool (57J), Vicksburg, Miss., 15.709
Scott Lewis (99L), Henderson, Colo., 15.767
Austin Siebert (16), Grandview, Mo., 15.784
Mark Dotson (85d), Cameron, Mo.,15.792
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 15.797
Chris Brown (21b), Spring, Texas, 15.908
Will Vaught (1v), Crane, Mo., 15.964
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 16.072
Junior Coover (10c), Norfolk, Neb., 16.085
Timothy Culp (c8), W. Monroe, La., 16.13
Wendell Wallace (1), Batesville, Ark., 16.151
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 16.3
Jon Driskill (88), Belle Vista, Ark., 16.367
Dustin Walker (14w), Peculiar, Mo., 16.418
Joey Smith (13), Pomona, Mo., 16.444
Raymond Merrill (12m), Salisaw, Okla., 16.482
Gavin Landers (77), Batesville, Ark., 16.755
Scotty Bough (47), Nevada, Mo., 16.801
Randy Roth (26R), Bentonville, Ark., 17.229
Reid Millard (14m), Jefferson City, Mo., 17.248
Rick Kimberling (1k), Slater, Mo., 17.284
Justin Asplin (77a), Birch Tree, Mo., N/T
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.442
Robert Baker (17m), Bryant, Ark., 15.616
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.619
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 15.762
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.804
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va., 15.827
Brian Shirley (81), Chatham, Ill., 15.827
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 15.864
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.87
Travis Dickes (6T), Madison, Neb., 15.882
Brantlee Gotschall (4G), Nevada, Mo., 15.92
Jason Papich (91p), Nipomo, Calif., 15.96
Billy Moyer Jr. (21Jr), Batesville, Ark., 15.97
Chad Simpson (25c), Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 15.974
Jeremy Payne (186), Springfield, Mo., 16.065
Chris Simpson (32x), Oxford, Iowa, 16.076
J.C. Wyman (4w), Griswold, Iowa, 16.101
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.114
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 16.249
Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., 16.258
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 16.361
Jack Sullivan (18), Greenbrier, Ark.,16.452
Brian Birkhofer (15b), Muscatine, Iowa, 16.467
Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 16.577
Bill Koons (29), Omaha, Neb., 16.654
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.7
Tommy Weder (02), Woodward, Okla., 16.701
Dave Deetz (12A), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.705
Jason Hughes (12), Watts, Okla., 16.797
Jeff Roth (14R), Bentonville, Ark., 17.267
John Anderson (21x), Omaha, Neb., N/T
Bryon Allison (1A), Marshall, Mo., N/T
6 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:45 p.m.: Hot laps
7:30 p.m.: Invocation and national anthem
7:35 p.m.: Racing begins
Late Model time trials
Modified heats (8 laps)
Late Model heats (20 laps)
Hot Rod Tracker Manufacturers’ Dash for Cash (10 laps)
Modified pole dash (10 laps)
Crawford Supply Race of Champions (12 laps)