By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BULLS GAP, TN – Aug. 20, 2008 – One year after coming oh-so-close to victory in World of Outlaws Late Model Series action at Volunteer Speedway, Jimmy Owens got the job done on Wednesday night.
The standout from Newport, Tenn., shined in front of his hometrack fans, passing Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., late in the distance to register his career-first tour triumph in the 60-lap A-Main that opened the fifth annual ‘Scorcher’ presented by Alltel Wireless.
Owens, 36, erased the memories of his heartbreaking defeat in the 2007 ‘Scorcher,’ which was run over the 100-lap distance at the high-banked, four-tenths-mile oval. Problems in lapped traffic with just five laps remaining in last year’s event cost him dearly, allowing Chris Madden of Gaffney, S.C., to slip by him for a dramatic triumph.
This time it was Owens who benefited from slower cars. When Clanton had trouble lapping Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., Owens grabbed the lead on lap 50 and sped to a victory worth $10,750.
“For once, lapped traffic worked in our favor here,” said Owens, who finished second in last year’s ‘Scorcher’ headliner. “I usually get in big trouble when I get to lapped traffic, but tonight all the breaks went our way.
“Clanton was being pretty patient behind those (slower) guys, taking his time and trying not to make any mistakes. But then he lost his momentum (behind Jacobsen in turn two) at the same time I got some good drive off the corner, and I just shot right by him on the bottom.”
Three of the race’s four caution flags flew during the final 10 laps, but Owens mastered each restart. He drove his Mike Reece-owned Bloomquist Chassis across the finish line with a 3.113-second advantage over 2006 WoO LMS champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who snatched second place by overtaking Clanton’s slowing car racing to the white flag.
“I was exceptionally glad to see the restarts inside 10 laps to go because that kept the lapped traffic out of the equation for us,” analyzed Owens, who scored his second win of the season at Volunteer. “We had a clear track, so it was my race to lose then.”
Clanton settled for third place after leading laps 35-49 in the RSD Enterprises Rocket. Fourth place was claimed by Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., who led laps 1-16 after starting from the pole position in NASCAR Sprint Cup star Clint Bowyer’s Traeger Grills Rocket, and third-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., completed the top five in his Lester Buildings Rocket.
Owens, who started fifth, was excited to finally add a WoO LMS checkered flag to his ever-growing resume. A four-time UMP DIRTcar Modified national champion, Owens became a true dirt Late Model star during a 2007 season highlighted by a victory in the prestigious UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Wednesday night’s program marked his sixth WoO LMS start of 2008. He had finished as high as fourth twice, on Feb. 16 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., and April 19 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
“It seems like we’ve just come up a little short when it comes to the Outlaw events, so it feels great to finally win one,” said Owens, who earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who had never won a WoO LMS A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 of the points standings. “It’s a real privilege to race with these guys and to bring home a win is real special.
“It’s especially cool to win here with the Outlaws because it’s my hometrack,” he added after becoming the 18th different winner this season on the WoO LMS. “But we’re supposed to run good here, so I’d like to win one at Babb’s racetrack or Clanton’s racetrack, someplace like that.”
McCreadie, 34, hustled his Sweeteners Plus Rocket to the front quickly, advancing from the fourth starting spot to the lead by lap 17. But he lost the top spot to Clanton’s turn-two slider on lap 35 and spent the remainder of the distance battling to secure a podium finish.
Owens drove by McCreadie for second with a powerful outside move on lap 45, but McCreadie regained the position on the final circuit when he snuck by Clanton. He conceded that Owens was the class of the field.
“I saw Owens a couple times below me and I tried to stay on the bottom, but he baited me and just drove right by me on the top,” said McCreadie. “I might’ve stayed ahead of him a little longer if I stayed on the top, but I think the outcome was still gonna be the same.
“I probably should’ve had a different tire on. We were a little soft (with Hoosier compound choice) – and the only reason I went that way was because I didn’t know if you’d be able to pass. The track actually got pretty wide, though, probably the raciest I’ve seen it in the four or five times I’ve been here in the last couple years.”
Clanton, 32, could only mourn his latest missed opportunity for a second 2008 victory on the WoO LMS.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Clanton, who started from the outside pole. “I took the lead and didn’t win the race. I can’t really complain about another top five, but once again we couldn’t finish it off and get a win.”
“Jacobsen wouldn’t get out of the way, but you’re running so fast here, how do you know the leader’s there?” he continued. “I guess he went to the bottom (on lap 49) and I went around the top, and then he met me at the back gate (in turn two) and I was like, ‘Oh, no!’ I lost my momentum for a second and that’s when Jimmy stuck it in there to pass me.”
Clanton actually felt fortunate to hang on for a third-place finish after sliding high on lap 55 and contacting the cushion between turns one and two.
“I think I bent the bottom of the right-front A-frame when I jumped that cushion with a few laps to go,” said Clanton, who registered a career-best finish at Volunteer. “It might have broken a right-front shock too, and for the last few laps I was terrible. The car wouldn’t steer in. It was bottoming out. I was just hoping to get to the finish.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 were Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis.; local standout Jeff Maupin of Greenville, Tenn.; Vic Hill of Morristown, Tenn.; defending WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.; and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.
Francis gained six points in the WoO LMS championship battle on points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., whose quiet 12th-place finish marked just his third time finishing outside the top 10 in 33 events this season. Lanigan now leads Francis by 136 points.
The 40-year-old Francis had to recover from a jumping penalty he received from WoO LMS officials during the night’s second heat race. He started from the pole position but was deemed to have stepped on the gas too early at the initial green flag, so officials set him back to third for the restart. A fourth-place finish left him saddled with the 14th starting spot for the A-Main, during which he was unable to climb higher than ninth.
The event’s four caution flags were all caused by minor incidents. Jacobsen brought out cautions with spins on laps 50 and 51, while Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., slowed on lap 25 with a right-rear flat tire and Rick Rogers of Knoxville, Tenn., lost a wheel on lap 54.
A field of 53 cars was signed in for the event.
Hill was fastest in qualifying, blistering his hometrack with a lap of 12.265 seconds. His performance earned his chief mechanic Shawn Gage, who has been working with Hill for the past month, the $100 NASCAR Technical Institute Fast Crew Chief Award.
Heat winners were McCreadie, Maupin, Clanton and Babb. The B-Mains were captured by Vic Coffey of Leicester, N.Y., and Mark Vineyard of Powell, Tenn.
The ‘Scorcher’ presented by Alltel Wireless continues on Thursday night (Aug. 21) with another complete $10,000-to-win program. Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman will be on hand to sign autographs in the Alltel FanZone from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. before getting behind the wheel of his Alltel No. 12 dirt Late Model to compete in the evening’s action.
Fans in attendance on Thursday night will have a chance to share in $4,000 in bonus money that Alltel Wireless has posted for the A-Main. After 24 spectators are paired with drivers in the A-Main starting field by a random distribution of Alltel hats, the fans holding the hats marked with the numbers and names of the drivers who finish in the top-five at the end of the headline race will be invited to participate in the Alltel ‘My Circle 5’ Victory Lane ceremonies and receive cash prizes.
The A-Main’s winning driver and the fan paired with him for the event will receive $1,000 apiece from Alltel Wireless. The remaining driver/fan pairings will earn payoffs of $400 each for second place, $300 each for third, $200 each for fourth and $100 each for fifth.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Scorcher’ Night No. 1 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (5) Jimmy Owens/60 $10,750
2. (4) Tim McCreadie/60 $5,100
3. (2) Shane Clanton/60 $3,000
4. (1) Shannon Babb/60 $2,500
5. (3) Chub Frank/60 $2,000
6. (8) Brady Smith/60 $1,700
7. (7) Jeff Maupin/60 $1,400
8. (6) Vic Hill/60 $1,300
9. (14) Steve Francis/60 $1,200
10. (16) Dale McDowell/60 $1,100
11. (9) Shanon Buckingham/60 $1,050
12. (11) Darrell Lanigan/60 $1,000
13. (13) Josh Richards/60 $950
14. (21) Billy Ogle Jr./60 $900
15. (18) Vic Coffey/60 $1,100
16. (22) Eric Jacobsen/60 $800
17. (20) Chris Madden/54 $770
18. (10) Rick Rogers/54 $750
19. (23) Rick Eckert/50 $730
20. (19) Clint Smith/40 $700
21. (12) Shon Flannary/36 $700
22. (15) Randy Weaver/24 $700
23. (17) Mark Vineyard/23 $700
24. (24) Tim Fuller/19 $700
Time of Race: 26 Mins., 27.369 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 3.113 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 25, 50, 51, 54)
Lap Leaders: Babb (1-16); McCreadie (17-34); Clanton (35-49); Owens (50-60)
Provisional Starters: C. Smith, Fuller
Rookie of the Race: Coffey ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Owens ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race ($50): Chris Fox (Owens)
Chick Hawk Racing Hot Lap Award: Babb (half-off tire warmers)
Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’: Owens ($100)
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1VH-Vic Hill/Morristown, TN 12.265
2. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 12.339
3. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 12.393
4. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 12.431
5. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 12.432
6. 0M-Jeff Maupin/Greenville, TN 12.473
7. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 12.475
8. 98-Shon Flannary/Mt. Carmel, TN 12.544
9. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 12.545
10. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 12.551
11. 5J-Eric Jacobsen/Sea Cliff Beach, CA 12.554
12. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 12.560
13. 4T-Tommy Kerr/Maryville, TN 12.561
14. 44R-Rick Rogers/Knoxville, TN 12.573
15. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 12.577
16. 52d-Mark Douglas/Knoxville, TN 12.578
17. 77-Joe Armes/Petroes, TN 12.581
18. 157-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 12.590
19. 116-Randy Weaver/Crossville, TN 12.610
20. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamaga, GA 12.612
21. 50-Shanon Buckingham/Morristown, TN 12.648
22. 9-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 12.665
23. 44M-Chris Madden/Gaffney, SC 12.669
24. 54-David Breazeale/Four Corners, MS 12.678
25. 10-Chad Ogle/Sevierville, TN 12.705
26. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 12.710
27. 18K-Brandon Kinzer/Allen, KY 12.764
28. 32c-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 12.779
29. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 12.780
30. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 12.781
31. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 12.786
32. 4s-Michael Smith/Rogersville, TN 12.791
33. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 12.791
34. 5H-Bryan Hendrix/Knoxville, TN 12.795
35. 3d-Austin Dillon/Welcome, NC 12.808
36. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 12.830
37. 4V-Mark Vineyard/Powell, TN 12.834
38. 25M-Bobby Mays/Jonesboro, TN 12.850
39. 6J-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY 12.901
40. 6J-Kerry Jones/Bristol, TN 12.923
41. 201-Billy Ogle Jr./Knoxville, TN 12.923
42. 3s-Steve Smith/Powell, TN 12.977
43. Q-Mike Jackson/Greenville, TN 13.014
44. 22-Herman Goddard/Knoxville, TN 13.019
45. 11K-John King Jr./Kingsport, TN 13.027
46. 18W-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 13.038
47. i4-Damon Eller/Crumpler, NC 13.271
48. 7JR-Jeff Isabell Jr./Pennellville, NY 13.273
49. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 13.409
50. 1JH-Jon Henry/Ada, OH 13.526
51. 6x-Dale Caswell/Central Square, NY 13.877
52. J1-Brandon James/Newport, TN N/T
53. 18J-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 13.355 (DQ – light)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, Hill, Buckingham, Richards, Bloomquist, Vineyard, C. Ogle, Neat, Armes, B. Ogle, Beardsley, King, Hubbard (DNS) Kerr
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Maupin, Frank, Rogers, Francis, Marlar, C. Smith, Cook, Fuller, Mays, Wells, S. Smith, Hendrix, Henry
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, B. Smith, Lanigan, Weaver, Jacobsen, Madden, Kinzer, Blankenship, Dillon, Eller, Joe Isabell, Jackson, Caswell
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Babb, Owens, Flannary, McDowell, Coffey, Jones, Douglas, Eckert, M. Smith, Jeff Isabell Jr., Goddard, Breazeale (DNS) James
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Coffey, Madden, Jacobsen, Kinzer, Eckert, M. Smith, Blankenship, Caswell, Eller, Joe Isabell, Breazeale, Jones, Douglas, Jackson, Jeff Isabell Jr. (DNS) Dillon, Goddard, James
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Vineyard, C. Smith, B. Ogle, Neat, Hendrix, C. Ogle, Wells, Mays, Henry, Hubbard, Marlar, Cook, Beardsley, Fuller (DNS) Bloomquist, Armes, S. Smith, King, Kerr
2008 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 20 – 33 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2-20-30-$104,917-4559 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 4-16-26-$138,900-4423 (-136)
3. Josh Richards 4-15-22-$100,110-4405 (-154)
4. Shane Clanton 1-16-24-$77,390-4357 (-202)
5. Chub Frank 1-10-22-$67,480-4347 (-212)
6. Shannon Babb 2-14-23-$93,100-4339 (-220)
7. Rick Eckert 1-9-20-$66,360-4271 (-288)
8. Clint Smith 1-10-18-$57,520-4249 (-310)
9. Tim Fuller 2-6-14-$58,600-4092 (-467)
10. John Blankenship 0-0-6-$32,980-3773 (-786)
11. Vic Coffey 0-0-7-$31,570-3459 (-1100)
12. Joe Isabell 0-0-0-$15,230-2928 (-1631)
13. Sean Beardsley 0-0-0-$9,890-2432 (-2127)
14. Danny Johnson 0-0-1-$13,620-2187 (-2372)
15. Tim McCreadie 1-8-13-$51,800-2129 (-2430)
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including Advance Auto Parts – the official auto parts store of the WoO LMS – and contingency sponsors Wrisco Industries, Chicken Hawk Racing, Crane Cams, Ohlins Shocks, Quarter-Master, Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Qwikliner and Super Clean.