By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CONCORD, NC – Nov. 7, 2009 – Jimmy Owens earned plenty of adulation with a powerful drive to victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws World Finals A-Main at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
But the standout racer from Newport, Tenn., shared the post-race spotlight with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who clinched his first career World of Outlaws Late Model Series points championship with a seventh-place finish in the season-ending event.
Richards, 21, entered the evening’s action holding a narrow four-point edge over 2007 WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., and extended it to a final margin of 14 points by making a smooth, steady advance from the 14th starting spot. Francis was never a factor, slipping backward from the 10th starting position and finishing 12th to leave him the tour’s points runner-up for the fourth time in his career.
“This is just a dream come true,” said Richards, who overtook Francis for the points lead on Friday night and held on to secure the prestigious $100,000 crown. “I’ve always watched all these (WoO LMS) guys run and I know how good they are, so being a World of Outlaws champion is just awesome.”
A regular on the WoO LMS since winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2005, Richards became the sixth different series champion since the tour was reincarnated in 2004 under the World Racing Group banner. He has driven his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car throughout his career.
Owens, 37, was certainly an interested observer of the championship showdown. He asked WoO LMS announcer Rick Eshelman who had won the title before beginning his post-race interview.
“Congratulations to Josh and his guys,” Owens said while standing on the winner’s stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd and a national television audience on SPEED. “He had a great season and deserves the championship.”
Owens was the deserving winner of Saturday’s headliner, roaring forward from the eighth starting spot to pass race-long pacesetter Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., for the lead on lap 34. The four-time UMP DIRTcar Modified national champion ran unchallenged for the remainder of the distance in his Mike Reece-owned Team Zero by Bloomquist car.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., overtook Babb on lap 45 and finished second, 2.599 seconds behind Owens at the checkered flag. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., came alive following a lap-40 restart to finish third, 2008 WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., was fourth and Babb fell back to fifth.
Owens made a solid comeback from a forgettable outing on Friday night. He failed to qualify after contact with another car during a heat race broke his machine’s right-rear axle tube.
“We got us a new rearend and got the car put back together,” said Owens, who registered his second career triumph on the WoO LMS. “We were able to pick up where we left off.”
A savvy Hoosier tire choice paid dividends for Owens, who had little trouble moving into contention. He overtook McCreadie for second on lap 23 and spent several circuits battling for the top spot with Babb before gaining control for good.
“As soon as we walked up and watched the consies we had it set in our minds what we were gonna do (with tires),” said Owens. “There were some different combinations out there and we were able to pick the right one I guess. As soon as we fired off it was going good.
“I’m real happy. Winning in front of all these people is a great way to end the weekend.”
McCreadie, 35, likely saw his chances for victory take a major hit when he opted for a different tire compound than Owens.
“He had a harder tire on and that might have been the difference,” said McCreadie, who started third in the Sweeteners Plus Rocket. “I wanted to put that tire on, but I talked myself out of it.
“I was hoping we could get a yellow at the end (after grabbing second from Babb) to see what we could do with Owens, but I’m happy. We haven’t run very good down here in a long time, so it’s fun to run up front again.”
Pearson, 37, came on strong in the final laps, steering the Bobby Labonte Motorsports MasterSbilt around Lanigan and Babb on lap 47 to snare third place. He crossed the finish line more than four seconds behind Owens, however.
“We just picked too hard a tire,” said Pearson, who started sixth but lost several spots on the opening lap when he slid high in turn two. “The right-front (tire) was hard and just wouldn’t steer until it got some heat in it, so it killed me at the start.
“At the end we had that restart (on lap 40) and I just said, ‘I’m going to the top to see what I can do.’ It paid off for me down here in (turns) one and two, so we’ll take third.”
Just two caution flags slowed the event, both for stopped cars in turn four. Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., slowed on lap three and Tommy Kerr of Maryville, Tenn., came to rest on lap 40.
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., who started from the pole position after winning a heat race for the first time in 2009; Richards; Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who started fourth but was unable to move forward; Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.; and Friday-night World Finals winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who never recovered after being penalized one row when officials ruled that he did not fire correctly as the polesitter of the first heat.
Winners of the 10-lap heat races on Saturday night, which were aligned by the results of Thursday’s second-round time trials, were McCreadie, Eckert, Clint Smith, Pearson, Lanigan and Babb. The B-Mains were captured by Jordan Bland of Campbellsville, Ky., Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., and Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., who went on to finish 15th and earn the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a series A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the tour points standings.
Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, entered the program having already clinched the 2009 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year award. The 20-year-old racer finished 20th in Saturday night’s A-Main.
The 2009 WoO LMS campaign will be celebrated – and nearly $400,000 in points-fund cash will be distributed – on Sunday night (Nov. 8) during the tour’s awards banquet at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series World Finals Night 2 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (8) Jimmy Owens/50 $10,100
2. (3) Tim McCreadie/50 $5,100
3. (6) Earl Pearson Jr./50 $3,000
4. (5) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,600
5. (2) Shannon Babb/50 $2,000
6. (1) Clint Smith/50 $1,700
7. (14) Josh Richards/50 $1,400
8. (4) Rick Eckert/50 $1,300
9. (11) Dale McDowell/50 $1,200
10. (13) Scott Bloomquist/50 $1,250
11. (7) Chris Madden/50 $1,050
12. (10) Steve Francis/50 $1,100
13. (17) Tim Fuller/50 $950
14. (9) Brady Smith/50 $900
15. (21) Brad Neat/50 $1,350
16. (12) Shane Clanton/50 $800
17. (22) John Blankenship/50 $770
18. (24) Mike Knight/49 $750
19. (15) Gregg Satterlee/49 $730
20. (25) Russell King/49 $950
21. (27) Dan Schlieper/49 $700
22. (28) Ken Schrader/49 $700
23. (20) Jason Feger/48 $700
24. (26) Brent Robinson/48 $700
25. (18) Tommy Kerr/48 $700
26. (19) Jordan Bland/47 $700
27. (23) Matt Lux/38 $700
28. (16) Chris Ferguson/2 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 22 Mins., 17.752 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.599 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (Laps 3, 40)
Lap Leaders: Babb (1-33); Owens (34-50)
Provisional Starters: King, Robinson (WoO); Schlieper, Schrader (track)
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Neat ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Chris Fox (Owens)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Chris Madden, 3. Scott Bloomquist, 4. Jordan Bland, 5. Eric Jacobsen, 6. Vic Coffey, 7. Booper Bare, 8. Jeremy Miller, 9. Bo Feathers, 10. Al Shawver Jr., 11. Justin Labonte
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Jimmy Owens, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Eric Wells, 5. John Blankenship, 6. Randy Korte, 7. Jared Landers, 8. Dan Stone, 9. Doug Horton, 10. Jeep VanWormer, 11. Ben Faircloth, 12. Spencer Liggon
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Clint Smith, 2. Brady Smith, 3. Gregg Satterlee, 4. Matt Lux, 5. Jeremy Faircloth, 6. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 7. Will Vaught, 8. Petey Ivey, 9. Ricky Elliott, 10. Chuck Harper, 11. Larry Blankenship, 12. Dustin Mitchell
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Earl Pearson Jr., 2. Steve Francis, 3. Chris Ferguson, 4. Jason Feger, 5. Tim Dohm, 6. Russell King, 7. Johnny Pursley, 8. Brian Ruhlman, 9. Donnie Moran, 10. Eddie Carrier Jr., 11. Cruz Pedregon, 12. Jim Yoder
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Dale McDowell, 3. Tim Fuller, 4. Brad Neat, 5. Mike Knight, 6. Ken Schrader, 7. Mike Gault, 8. Jeff Rine, 9. Brent Robinson, 10. Bob Gordon, 11. Trey Martin, 12. Dan Schlieper
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Shannon Babb, 2. Shane Clanton, 3. Tommy Kerr, 4. Tyler Reddick, 5. Austin Hubbard, 6. Dennis Franklin, 7. Austin Dillon, 8. Adam Hensel, 9. Devin Friese, 10. D.J. Wells, 11. Walker Arthur
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Jordan Bland, 2. John Blankenship, 3. Eric Wells, 4. Randy Korte, 5. Vic Coffey, 6. Jeep VanWormer, 7. Eric Jacobsen, 8. Bo Feathers, 9. Booper Bare, 10. Dan Stone, 11. Doug Horton, 12. Al Shawver Jr., 13. Justin Labonte, 14. Spencer Liggon, 15. Jared Landers (DNS) Jeremy Miller, Ben Faircloth
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Jason Feger, 2. Matt Lux, 3. Tim Dohm, 4. Russell King, 5. Brian Ruhlman, 6. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 7. Donnie Moran, 8. Will Vaught, 9. Jim Yoder, 10. Dustin Mitchell, 11. Petey Ivey, 12. Chuck Harper, 13. Jeremy Faircloth (DNS) Johnny Pursley, Ricky Elliott, Eddie Carrier Jr., Larry Blankenship, Cruz Pedregon
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brad Neat, 2. Mike Knight, 3. Austin Hubbard, 4. Tyler Reddick, 5. Austin Dillon, 6. Adam Hensel, 7. Ken Schrader, 8. Mike Gault, 9. Dennis Franklin, 10. Jeff Rine, 11. Bob Gordon, 12. Devin Friese, 13. Brent Robinson, 14. Walker Arthur, 15. Trey Martin, 16. D.J. Wells (DNS) Dan Schlieper
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Vic Coffey, Brian Ruhlman, Austin Dillon
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Brad Neat
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Owens
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Clint Smith
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Jordan Bland, Jason Feger, Brad Neat
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Owens
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Shannon Babb
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Brad Neat
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Jimmy Owens
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Eric Wells
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Jimmy Owens
Final 2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings – 40 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/events/A-Main starts/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 40-40-8-23-34-$186,170-5420 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 40-40-6-25-33-$167,885-5406 (-14)
3. Darrell Lanigan 40-40-2-19-31-$171,326-5340 (-80)
4. Tim Fuller 40-40-7-17-24-$137,150-5240 (-180)
5. Rick Eckert 40-40-3-14-27-$103,275-5220 (-200)
6. Shane Clanton 40-40-1-9-26-$95,420-5156 (-264)
7. Chub Frank 38-37-2-7-23-$96,800-5018 (-402)
8. Brady Smith 40-39-0-12-19-$84,915-4981 (-439)
9. Clint Smith 40-40-0-4-18-$66,350-4918 (-502)
10. Russell King 40-34-0-0-8-$50,480-4428 (-992)
11. Jordan Bland 40-29-0-0-3-$46,160-4229 (-1191)
12. Brent Robinson 40-25-0-0-1-$31,170-4009 (-1411)
13. Dustin Hapka 40-17-0-0-0-$16,540-3647 (-1773)
14. Tyler Reddick 40-14-0-0-0-$14,215-3467 (-1953)
15. Vic Coffey 29-25-0-3-9-$39,260-3346 (-2074)
16. Austin Hubbard 28-22-0-3-8-$29,825-3098 (-2322)
17. Gregg Satterlee 17-17-0-1-5-$19,140-2015 (-3405)
18. Matt Lux 20-13-0-0-1-$15,170-1988 (-3432)
19. Tim McCreadie 15-11-1-6-9-$35,210-1788 (-3632)
20. Shannon Babb 15-12-1-5-8-$44,940-1760 (-3660)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
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 many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.