TALLADEGA, AL (June 16, 2007)-For the second night in a row Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN dominated the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series main event leading all 50 laps in winning the Talladega Short Track’s 30th Anniversary Race on Saturday Night. Owens who was front for all 40 laps in winning Friday Night’s series race at North Georgia Speedway has now led 90 consecutive laps in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature competition without ever being challenged. Owens’ third career series victory earned he and car owner Mike Reece $10,000 at Talladega as Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR would finish second to Owens for the second straight night. Brandon Kinzer of Allen, KY scored his best career Lucas Oil finish by grabbing third with two-time and defending series champion, Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL placing fourth ahead of rookie Late Model competitor Jason Wilson of Margaret, AL.
After the redraw for the six heat race winners Kinzer and Owens would start on the front row and that’s when Owens’ reign of terror on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series would begin again. When chief starter Adam Stewart waved the green flag to begin the 50 lap affair at the TST “ Hornets Nest” it was Owens quickly establishing him as the frontrunner taking over the point with Kinzer, Wallace, Scott James and Justin Rattliff the top five with a lap scored.
Pearson who started seventh on the grid moved by Rattliff on the second circuit as James passed Kinzer for the second slot. A torrid pace was being set by the top runners as Owens exploded to an eight car length lead over the field. James after wrestling the second spot from Kinzer would see Wallace enter the fray as those two would race side by side for three laps.
Owens was up to a ten car length lead with ten in the books as and outstanding race for second was going on between James, Kinzer and Wallace. Kinzer would go back into third as the front of the field was about to hit lapped traffic.
Owens picked up the tail end of the field first as his huge lead looked like it might take a plunge but using the top route on the well prepared race track Owens would scoot by lapped cars with very little trouble. James would lose the second spot to the hard running Kinzer on lap 16 as Wallace would displace James the Duck River Speedway winner to fourth.
With 22 laps scored the first and only caution of the race came out for Brad Neat and Ray Cook. Neat was challenging Pearson for seventh when the two make contact with Neat getting into the left side of Pearson’s car as Neat would spin around. At the same time Cook lost a tire and went over the first turn. Neat would return to the race as Cook’s car went off on the back of the wrecker. Both drivers were escaped without injury.
When the race resumed, Owens who has seen his lead cut down slightly before the caution in traffic would have to contend with Wallace on the restart as the ’07 Show-Me 100 winner was knocking on the door for the lead. But Wallace’s bid to overtake Owens was short-lived as Owens would again pull away from the fierce battle for second. Kinzer would start to challenge Wallace for second with James still running fourth followed by rookie Late Model racer Jason Wilson who was running side by side with Pearson.
With five laps to go it was all Owens again as a repeat of Friday Night’s Lucas Oil race at North Georgia Speedway was playing out as Owens was dominate in leading and Wallace was running in second. Kinzer was entrenched in third as fourth place runner Scott James would loose several spots when he slipped off the track in turn four.
In the last few circuits it was Owens who would again go unchallenged to the twin checkers as he picked up his second consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win in the Reece Monuments/Gantt Auctions/Redline Oil/Performance Rod and Custom/Byrd’s Radiators/VP Racing Fuels/Hoosier Tires/Cornett Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars Ford Fusion.
Wallace followed Owens to finish line for the second straight evening in the Garrett Racing/CW Culvert/GRT Ford Fusion. Kinzer in the Jerry Kinzer/Kinzer Well Drilling/GRT GTO was third followed by Pearson in the Bobby Labonte Racing/LifeLong Locks/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger and Wilson in the Peoples Racing/Tommy Pope Construction/TNT Chassis Monte Carlo.
Afterwards in his post race interview Owens talked about his car’s flawless performance over two nights of racing which resulted in two wins. “Yes the car was great, the Hoosier Tires were awesome just hopefully we can keep it up. The (Bloomquist) car it’s a great car, we’ve been good on the heavy in the past, but this year we’ve been a lot better on the slick.” “When things are rolling you’re way you can’t wait to get to the track, I want to thank Mike Reece, he’s been great to me this year and I appreciate all of his efforts, said the 35 year old who also thanked his crew chief and cousin Chris Fox and the rest of the team.
Wallace who finished second to Owens in back to back nights was upbeat about his “Southern Swing” the Lucas Oil Series just completed. “We would have had a great weekend if he hadn’t been here,” smiled Wallace in his pit after the race. “Jimmy’s just on a roll lately, he’s running awful strong, our car was real good last night at North Georgia and just as good tonight, but Jimmy had us covered both nights.”
The driver who turned a lot of heads at Talladega was rookie Late Model driver Jason Wilson who finished fifth after running as high as fourth. Wilson who captured two straight Stormpay.com Crate Late Model titles at Talladega was unaffected to race against some of the top drivers in Dirt Late Model racing on Saturday Night in making his first ever major event. “When I get in that car and buckle up I’ll run with any of them.” Wilson who is married to several time Talladega Short Track Danny Peoples’ daughter said “there is no better feeling to run door to door with guys like Owens, Pearson, James, McDowell and so on, but the competition here is just as tough as anywhere in the country on a regular basis.”
Completing the top ten at Talladega where Danny Peoples, Tim Roszell, Scott James, Steve Casebolt and Terrence Nowell.
In preliminary racing action Jimmy Owens was the LifeLong Locks Fast Time award winner for the 64 entries on hand with a lap of 14.180 seconds. The Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored heat races were taken by Jimmy Owens, Wendell Wallace, Justin Rattliff, Brandon Kinzer, Scott James and Brad Neat. Winners of the Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks B-Mains were Danny Peoples and Terrence Nowell. Defending Talladega Late Model Track Champion Danny Peoples earned the Edelbrock Hard Charger of the Race by advancing 13 positions in the feature event. The K&N Clean Pass Award went to
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back in action this upcoming weekend. On Friday Night, June 22 the series makes a first time visit to Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, NC and on Saturday Night, June 23 a second ever trip to Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is on the schedule. Both events will pay $10,000 to the winner. The cameras of SPEED Channel will be on hand to tape Saturday Night’s event at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday Night, June 16, 2007
Talladega Short Track-Talladega, AL
LifeLong Locks Fast Qualifier: Jimmy Owens 14.180 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson, Jr., Michael England, Tony Knowles, Dan Schlieper, Terry Smith, Terry English, Chris Jones, Ross Martin, Stacy Caldwell, Scott Patterson
Quarter Master Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Wendell Wallace, Randy Weaver, Steve Casebolt, Dale McDowell, Ronnie Johnson, Freddy Smith, Benji Cole, Rod Carroll, Dale Groves, Jr.
Hawk Brake Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Justin Rattliff, Tim Roszell, Garrett Durrett, Danny Peoples, Todd Morrow, James Cline, Randall Walker, Jesse Lay, Lee Sutton, Rusty Harmon
Quarter Master Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Brandon Kinzer, Jason Wilson, Skip Arp, Terrence Nowell, Tim Busha, Billy Drake, Donnie Moran, T.J. Alford, Ricky Williams, Jake Knowles, Dwayne Britton
Hawk Brake Fifth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Scott James, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Dingus Griffin, Earl Smith, Robert Gant, Brandon McCallum, Steve Brasher, Justin McRee, Skip Freeman, Devin Jones, Mike Fields
Quarter Master Sixth Heat (10 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Brad Neat, Ray Cook, Jason Cliburn, Jimmy Cliburn, Damon Eller, Douglas Stewart, Carlton Freeman, William Burton, Chris Thomas, Larry Boutwell, Stacy Holmes
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance): Danny Peoples, Dale McDowell, Tony Knowles, Ronnie Johnson, Todd Morrow, Dan Schlieper, James Cline, Terry Smith, Freddy Smith, Chris Jones, Benji Cole, Jesse Lay, Randall walker, Rod Carroll, Lee Sutton, Stacy Caldwell, Rusty Harmon, Dale Groves, Jr., Ross Martin, Terry English, Scott Patterson
Penske Shocks Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance): Terrence Nowell, Tim Busha, Robert Gant, Brandon McCallum, Damon Eller, Donnie Moran, Justin McRee, Ricky Williams, Douglas Stewart, Steve Brasher, Chris Thomas, Carlton Freeman, Devin Jones, Billy Drake, Jimmy Cliburn, Earl Smith, William Burton, Skip Freeman
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Feature Finish (50 Laps): Jimmy Owens, Wendell Wallace, Brandon Kinzer, Earl Pearson, Jr., Jason Wilson, Danny Peoples, Tim Roszell, Scott James, Steve Casebolt, Terrence Nowell, Justin Rattliff, Michael England, Garrett Durrett, Brad Neat, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Dingus Griffin, Terry Smith, Jason Cliburn, Dan Schlieper, Terry English, Skip Arp, Ray Cook, Tim Busha, Randy Weaver, Dale McDowell
Yellow Flags: 1
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens 1-50
Edelbrock Hard Charger Award: Danny Peoples (Started 19th and Finished 6th-Advanced 13 Positions)
All-Star Performance Performer of the Race: Brandon Kinzer
K&N Clean Pass Award: Wendell Wallace
COMP Cams Rookie of the Race: Justin Rattliff
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Terry English and Dan Schlieper
Track Provisional: Terry Smith
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After June 16, 2007)
1. Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-2065
2. Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN)-2025
3. Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)-2000
4. Terry English (Benton, KY)-1855
5. Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI)-1755
6. Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH)-1615
7. Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY)-1595
8. Don O’Neal (Martinsville, IN)-1525
9. Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL)-1480
10. Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-1450
10. Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY)-1450
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series COMP Cams Rookie of the Year Points Standings (After June 16, 2007)
1. Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY)-1595
2. Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-1450
3. Brad Neat (Dunnville, KY)-1450
4. Garrett Durrett (Simsboro, LA)-870
5. Mike Mataragas (DeKalb, IL)-355
6. Ricky Arms (Moss, TN)-290