BYRAM, MS (March 30, 2012) – For the second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event in a row, Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN passed defending series champion, Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN to deny Owens his first win of the season. O’Neal took the lead on lap 38 from Owens and then went on for the $10,000 victory in the “Southern 50” at Jackson Motor Speedway before the biggest crowd in track history.
Owens finished second followed by Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA who passed Jared Landers of Batesville, AR on the final lap to take third. Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR completed the top five.
Last week at Brownstown (IN) Speedway Owens held a commanding lead until O’Neal tracked him down and passed him for the win. At Jackson, Owens led the first 38 circuits of the race, despite several laps running in heavy lapped traffic. O’Neal grabbed the lead with 12 laps left to take his fourth LOLMDS win of 2012.
“Wow this is just unbelievable,” said the 47-year-old veteran gunning for his first career series title. He has finished runner-up twice before. “Jimmy was solid again, tonight I really didn’t think I could catch him like I did at Brownstown, but he started coming back to me after a couple of cautions and I knew if I stayed right with him, I could make a run for the lead.”
This win is the 23rd of his career in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition. O’Neal has now climbed to second in points, just behind Owens. “Ever since we started running this series full-time, we have come up just short in winning the points title. The way last year was, I didn’t think we could run any better than we did. To win championships, you have to be consistent and this has just been an awesome start for 2012,” said the winner in Lucas Oil Victory Lane.
“I have to thank all the crew: Tader Masters, Cody Mahoney, everybody at the shop. We are just clicking on all cylinders and it’s still only March,” said the veteran wheelman. O’Neal drives the MasterSbilt Chassis House Car sponsored by Optima Batteries, Independence lumber, Jones Core, Seubert Calf Ranches, Tarpy Trucking, Superior Cleaning Services, O’Neal Mulch, and Budda Bert Transmissions. “It’s also great to win here in the home-state of my engine builder Jay Dickens, there’s not another motor better.”
Owens drove the Mike Reece-owned, Reece Monument Company, Bloomquist Race Cars Ford. Reddick had an impressive run from seventh and nabbed third in the Broken Bow records, Stoney Creek Records, Bloomquist Race Cars entry to equal his best finish of the year.
Completing the top ten were Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, GA; Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL; Steve Francis of Ashland, KY; Bubba Mullins of West Monroe, LA; and Timothy Culp also of West Monroe, LA.
In preliminary events Jared Landers was the Red Buck Cigars Fast Qualifier among the 45 entrants with a lap of 15.376 seconds. Heat races were won by Landers, Don O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, and Jimmy Cliburn. Steve Francis and Chris Wall captured the B-Mains.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series now moves to the state of Texas on Saturday Night, March 31st for a visit to Lonestar Speedway in Kilgore, TX for the $10,000 to win “High Banks Havoc” to conclude the month of March.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log onto www.lucasdirt.com or call the series’ office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Friday Night, March 30, 2012 Southern 50 Jackson Motor Speedway – Jackson, MS
Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Jared Landers / 15.376 seconds (Group A and Overall) Jimmy Owens / 15.589 seconds (Group B)
Wiles Driveshafts First Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jared Landers, Wendell Wallace, Timothy Culp, John Blankenship, Rob Litton, Ray Moore, Chris McElhenney, Steve Francis, Morgan Bagley, Henry Cooper, Edmond Jenkins
U. S. Steel Second Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Don O'Neal, Tyler Reddick, Jonathan Davenport, Dennis Erb, Jr., Eric Wells, Brooks Strength, BJ Robinson, Kody Barber, Scott Creel, Dewayne Lott, Brian Rickman
Simpson Performance Products Third Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Klint Byars, Bubba Mullins, Jeremy Broadus, Chris Wall, Scott Bloomquist, Hunter Rasdon, Jeff Chanler, Chad Thrash, Dwight Falcon, Joseph Joiner, Rodney Wing
HAWK Brakes Fourth Heat (10 Laps- Top 4 Advance): Jimmy Cliburn, Earl Pearson, Jr., Austin Hubbard, Jason Cliburn, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Cliff Williams, Duke Whiseant, Ray Cook, Rick Rickman, Leon Henderson, Clint Logan
JRi Shocks First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Steve Francis, Brooks Strength, BJ Robinson, Chris McElhenney, Ray Moore, Scott Creel, Eric Wells, Henry Cooper, Rob Litton, Kody Barber, Morgan Bagley, Dewayne Lott-NR, Edmond Jenkins-NR, Brian Rickman-NR
PAC Racing Springs Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Advance): Chris Wall, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Cliff Williams, Rodney Wing, Ray Cook, Duke Whiseant, Leon Henderson, Rick Rickman, Jeff Chanler, Hunter Rasdon, Chad Thrash, Dwight Falcon, Scott Bloomquist-NR, Joseph Joiner-NR, Clint Logan-NR
Feature Finish – 50 Laps:
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN|
|1||3||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN|
|2||2||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN|
|3||7||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA|
|4||1||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR|
|5||5||6m||Wendell Wallace||Batesville, AR|
|6||11||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA|
|7||8||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL|
|8||17||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY|
|9||10||C11||Bubba Mullins||West Monroe, LA|
|10||9||C8||Timothy Culp||West Monroe, LA|
|11||22||4||Cliff Williams||Star, MS|
|12||21||F5||BJ Robinson||Shreveport, LA|
|13||4||88c||Jimmy Cliburn||Star, MS|
|14||15||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL|
|15||24||53||Ray Cook||Brasstown, NC|
|16||25||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY|
|17||18||71w||Chris Wall||Springfield, LA|
|18||6||5b||Klint Byars||Calhoun City, MS|
|19||12||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE|
|20||13||187th||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV|
|21||14||88b||Jeremy Broadus||Biloxi, MS|
|22||20||18H||Ronny Lee Hollingsworth||Northport, AL|
|23||16||888||Jason Cliburn||Star, MS|
|24||19||444||Brooks Strength||Byram, MS|
|25||23||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN|
Race Statistics Entrants: 45 Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens (Laps 1 – 38); Don O’Neal (Laps 39 – 50) Caution Flags: Brooks Strength (Lap 24); Steve Francis (Lap 30); Austin Hubbard (Lap 30); John Blankenship (Lap 35); Austin Hubbard (Lap 43); Klint Byars (Lap 44) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Scott Bloomquist, Ray Cook Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: Eric Wells Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Cliff Williams (Started 22nd; Finished 11th; Advanced 11 positions) Allstar Performer of the Race: Jimmy Owens Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens ASi Racewear Challenge Finisher: Don O’Neal Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Jonathan Davenport COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Jay Dickens Racing Engines Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: MasterSbilt Race Cars Sweet Mfg Crew Chief of the Race: Chris Fox (Jimmy Owens) Time of Race: 32 minutes 17 seconds Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||POINTS|
|1||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||890|
|2||71||Don O'Neal||Martinsville, IN||845|
|3||15||Steve Francis||Ashland, KY||825|
|4||28e||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||815|
|5||15d||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||795|
|6||11T||Tyler Reddick||Corning, CA||785|
|7||44||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||735|
|8||11h||Austin Hubbard||Seaford, DE||670|
|9||5||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||660|
|10||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||650|
|11||53||Ray Cook||Brasstown, NC||625|
|12||187th||John Blankenship||Williamson, WV||620|
|13||18e||Eric Wells||Hazard, KY||595|
*Points are unofficial until Close of Business on the Tuesday following Race Day*