Owens Holds off Thornton and Sheppard for I-80 Win

GREENWOOD, NE – Jimmy Owens got back on track on Thursday Night as he captured the caution-free Optima Batteries Dirt Track Bank Go 50 – Presented by K&N Filters at I-80 Speedway.  Owens had to fend off late challenges from both Ricky Thornton, Jr. and Brandon Sheppard for his series-leading seventh win of the season. Ricky Weiss came home in fourth followed by Josh Richards in fifth.
Richards took the lead at the start of the race and held the point for the first four laps of the race. Owens started fifth on the grid and charged to the lead on lap five surpassing Richards for the top spot, but the 2017 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Champion [Richards] roared back to the lead around Owens on lap 11.
Richards led until lap 27 when Owens caught back up to him to regain the lead for good. Owens then saw Thornton Jr. and Sheppard close the gap on him in the last five laps. Owens, the 3-time series champion held off the challengers for his 71st career LOLMDS victory.
“I could hear him [Thornton], he got a run off of four and left me plenty room on the high side, and I appreciated that. It’s good to race with guys like that, but man thanks to Leon Ramirez, he’s here and it’s great to get a win in front of him. Thanks to my crew for busting their rear ends in this heat. This car is rolling pretty good; we are looking forward to tomorrow and Saturday. I was concerned a little bit when Josh got around me. He has been really good the last few weeks. I know there was a lot more talent behind us as well. I was able to move around the racetrack and I was hardly losing any time. Then finally he [Richards] started moving back towards me and we were able to capitalize,” said the 48-year-old Tennessee native.
Thornton was in the hunt for his first career LOLMDS victory but came home in second. “He [Owens] started to get into one and cut across. I was just a little too tight when I got to him. I probably could have done a slide job in turn three, but I didn’t want to wreck us both. Jimmy’s been my hero growing up and to win this race would have been awesome. We had a really good car. I don’t know how much of a cushion we left; we were scrapping the wall there. About halfway through the race we got going good.”
Sheppard entered the race with three LOLMDS wins in 2020 and made it close in the final stages. “In the heat race everybody was hurting tires, especially the left rear. I was trying to save as much as I could in the feature. Towards the end, we really got it going. We felt really comfortable at the end, we passed some cars so hopefully I will give us some momentum for Friday and Saturday.”
The winner’s Ramirez Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Reece Monument Company, Tommy Pope Construction, Boomtest Well Service, General Tire, Red Line Oil, Ohlins Shocks, Champion Spark Plugs, and Midwest Sheet Metal.
Completing the top ten were Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Strickler, Chad Simpson, Chris Ferguson, and Earl Pearson Jr.

 

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Optima Batteries Dirt Track Bank Go-50 – Presented by K&N
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
I-80 Speedway – Greenwood, NE
Lucas Oil Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Stormy Scott / 16.836 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Josh Richards / 17.070 seconds

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer):  1. 2S-Stormy Scott[1]; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler[6]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[7]; 5. 75-Terry Phillips[5]; 6. 57-Mike Marlar[3]; 7. 50-Shanon Buckingham[4]; 8. 32B-Cody Laney[8]; 9. 6D-Cory Dumpert[10]; 10. 49T-Jake Timm[9]; 11. 1D-Dylan Schmer[11]; 12. 112-Tyler Smith[12]

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer):  1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 22F-Chris Ferguson[2]; 3. 16-Tyler Bruening[4]; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[3]; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce[7]; 6. 18-Shannon Babb[6]; 7. 04-Tad Pospisil[5]; 8. 39-Tim McCreadie[8]; 9. 53-Andrew Kosiski[11]; 10. F15-Jeremy Conaway[10]; 11. 52-Brian Kosiski[9]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 14-Josh Richards[1]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 3. 1C-Chad Simpson[3]; 4. 62-Justin Zeitner[7]; 5. 1ST-Johnny Scott[4]; 6. 40B-Kyle Bronson[11]; 7. 56C-Colton Horner[10]; 8. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[8]; 9. 40-Joel Callahan[9]; 10. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[5]; 11. 0-Scott Bloomquist[6]; 12. (DNS) 10C-Junior Coover

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 2. 7W-Ricky Weiss[3]; 3. 9-Devin Moran[1]; 4. 98-Ben Schaller[11]; 5. 18J-Chase Junghans[7]; 6. 14J-Jake Neal[5]; 7. 32S-Chris Simpson[6]; 8. 24X-Bill Leighton[9]; 9. 80-Allan Hopp[10]; 10. 81E-Tanner English[8]; 11. 25-Shane Clanton[4]




Tiger Rear Ends B-Main #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer):  1. 50-Shanon Buckingham[5]; 2. 75-Terry Phillips[1]; 3. 18-Shannon Babb[4]; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce[2]; 5. 57-Mike Marlar[3]; 6. 04-Tad Pospisil[6]; 7. 6D-Cory Dumpert[9]; 8. 39-Tim McCreadie[8]; 9. F15-Jeremy Conaway[12]; 10. 53-Andrew Kosiski[10]; 11. 32B-Cody Laney[7]; 12. 49T-Jake Timm[11]; 13. 112-Tyler Smith[15]; 14. 52-Brian Kosiski[14]; 15. (DNS) 1D-Dylan Schmer

FAST Shafts B-Main #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 18J-Chase Junghans[2]; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson[3]; 3. 1ST-Johnny Scott[1]; 4. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[7]; 5. 14J-Jake Neal[4]; 6. 25-Shane Clanton[14]; 7. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[11]; 8. 32S-Chris Simpson[6]; 9. 24X-Bill Leighton[8]; 10. 56C-Colton Horner[5]; 11. 80-Allan Hopp[10]; 12. 40-Joel Callahan[9]; 13. 81E-Tanner English[12]; 14. 0-Scott Bloomquist[13]; 15. (DNS) 10C-Junior Coover

Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):

Pos
Start
Car #
Competitor
Hometown
Pay
1
5
20
Jimmy Owens
Newport, TN
$12,000
2
3
20RT
Ricky Thornton Jr
Adel, IA
$5,500
3
6
1S
Brandon Sheppard
New Berlin, IL
$3,500
4
8
7W
Ricky Weiss
Headingley, MB
$2,750
5
2
14
Josh Richards
Shinnston, WV
$2,250
6
4
49
Jonathan Davenport
Blairsville, GA
$1,800
7
9
8
Kyle Strickler
Mooresville, NC
$1,500
8
10
1C
Chad Simpson
Mt. Vernon, IA
$1,300
9
7
22F
Chris Ferguson
Mt. Holly, NC
$1,200
10
26
1
Earl Pearson Jr
Jacksonville, FL
$200
11
1
2S
Stormy Scott
Las Cruces, NM
$1,075
12
18
18J
Chase Junghans
Manhattan, KS
$1,050
13
20
40B
Kyle Bronson
Brandon, FL
$1,025
14
15
21
Billy Moyer Jr
Batesville, AR
$1,000
15
25
81E
Tanner English
Benton, KY
$100
16
17
50
Shanon Buckingham
Morristown, TN
$1,000
17
24
25
Shane Clanton
Zebulon, GA
$1,000
18
12
9
Devin Moran
Dresden, OH
$1,000
19
13
1T
Tyler Erb
New Waverly, TX
$1,000
20
21
18
Shannon Babb
Moweaqua, IL
$1,000
21
23
39
Tim McCreadie
Watertown, NY
$1,000
22
22
1ST
Johnny Scott
Las Cruces, NM
$1,000
23
11
16
Tyler Bruening
Decorah, IA
$1,000
24
19
75
Terry Phillips
Springfield, MO
$1,000
25
16
98
Ben Schaller
Omaha, NE
$1,000
26
14
62
Justin Zeitner
Malvern, IA
$1,000
Race Statistics
Entrants
: 46
Lap Leaders: Josh Richards (Laps 1 – 4); Jimmy Owens (Laps 5 – 9); Josh Richards (Laps 10 – 27); Jimmy Owens (Laps 28 – 50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Jimmy Owens
Margin of Victory: 0.718 seconds
Cautions: n/a
Series Provisionals: Tim McCreadie, Shane Clanton
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: Tanner English, Earl Pearson Jr.
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Jimmy Owens, Ricky Thornton Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr. (Advanced 16 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Jimmy Owens
Allstar Performance Most Laps Led: Jimmy Owens (28 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
Eibach Springs Rookie of the Race: Tanner English
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Jeff Strope (Jimmy Owens)
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Lap #6 – 18.365 seconds)
STEEL-IT Tough Break of the Race: Tanner English
PFC Brakes Pole Award: Stormy Scott
Time of Race: 15 minutes 59 seconds