Owens Banks $26,000 Jani-King Prize
Owens, known as the "Newport Nightmare," lined up 16th in the 26-car field and steadily worked through traffic in the 50-lap run for the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series late models. The victory was the biggest of Owens' young career.
"This is a great race track, but it was a tough race," said Owens. "The crew was great. They kept telling me on the rado to stay clam and that helped more than anything."
Moran, who lives in Dresden, Ohio, led laps 21 to 45 and appeared en route to victory before Owens made his late charge. He was able to stay with Owens over the final four trips around the four-tenths-mile clay oval but had to settle for second.
"Tonight, this was dirt-track racing at its finest," said Moran. "The car ran really well, but Jimmy did a great job and congratulations to him and his crew."
Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., started third, took the lead on the opneing lap and set the pace until Moran assumed command. Pearson Jr. said a mechanical problem caused him to fade to third at the checkered flag.
"We broke something in the rear end and it got awfully loose," he explained. "Jimmy did a great job and I couldn't hold him off. We are proud to come home third and look forward to coming back next year."
Chuck Harper started fourth and finished fourth while Gary Stuhler charged from the 13th starting spot to round out the top five as only two caution flags for stalled cars slowed the action.
The 10-lap late model heat races were won by Owens, Dennis Franklin, Tim McCreadie and Jeff Smith while Moran and Harper topped the eight-lap last chance races.
Ken Deese, driving the black No. 3 Big Show car, recorded his first dirt-track victory of the season in the 15-lap finale for the Circle K CRASHCars presented by Full Throttle. The Monroe, N.C., driver held off repeated challenges from Gene Loden's Salvage machine to claim the victory. Marty Williams brought the No. 16 Full Throttle entry home third in the entry-level division that features stock American automobiles with character themes.
Next up at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway is the Domino's Pizza Grassroots Nationals on Sunday night, July 3. The program includes IMCA Modifieds, Stock 4-Cylinders and CRASHCars with a giant fireworks extravaganza rounding out the evening. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
The Jani-King Southern Showdown results:
First Heat (10 laps): 1. Jimmy Owens; 2. Ken Schrader; 3. Stacy Holmes; 4. Mark Vineyard; 5. Jeremy Miller; 6. Dick Shiltz; 7. Billy Hicks; 8. Mike Duvall; 9. Larry Blankenship.
Second Heat (10 laps): 1. Dennis Franklin; 2. Earl Pearson Jr.; 3. Kyle Scheer; 4. Ricky Weeks; 5. Donnie Moran; 6. Mike Balzano; 7. Raymond Brown; 8. Rodney Martin; 9. Doug Sanders.
Third Heat (10 laps): 1. Tim McCreadie; 2. Dan Breuer; 3. Petey Ivey; 4. Gary Stuhler; 5. Patrick Sheltra; 6. Randle Chupp; 7. Jeff Cooke; 8. Jason Altiers; 9. Chuck Harper.
Fourth Heat (10 laps): 1. Jeff Smith; 2. Jackie Boggs; 3. Chirs Madden; 4. Steve Shaver; 5. Bo Shirley; 6. Roger Pate; 7. Royce Bray; 8. Steve Lucas; 9. Buckshot Miles.
First Last Chance (8 laps): 1. Donnie Moran; 2. Jeremy Miller; 3. Mike Duvall; 4. Dick Shiltz; 5. Billy Hicks; 6. Mike Balzano; 7. Raymond Brown; 8. Doug Sanders; 9. Rodney Martin; 10. Larry Blankenship; 11. Bruce Hall.
Second Race (8 laps): 1. Chuck Harper; 2. Randle Chupp; 3. Steve Lucas; 4. Jason Altiers; 5. Bo Shirley; 6. Royce Bray; 7. Roger Pate; 8. Doug Sanders; 9. Jeff Cooke; 10. Patrick Sheltra.
Feature (50 laps) 1. Jimmy Owens; 2. Donnie Moran; 3. Earl Pearson Jr.; 4. Chuck Harper; 5. Gary Stuhler; 6. Randle Chupp; 7. Steve Shaver; 8. Ken Schrader; 9. Dan Breuer; 10. Stacy Holmes; 11. Kyle Scheer; 12. Ricky Weeks; 13. Dennis Franklin; 14. Chris Madden; 15. Jeremy Miller; 16. Mike Vineyard; 17. Rodney Martin; 18. Jeff Cooke; 19. Petey Ivey; 20. Tim McCreadie; 21. Mike Duvall; 22. Dick Shiltz; 23. Steve Lucas; 24. Jeff Smith; 25. Jackie Boggs; 26. Jason Altiers.
Feature (15 laps): 1. Ken Deese; 2. Gene Loden; 3. Marty Williams; 4. Pete Kenney; 5. Randy Spivey; 6. Jeff Blackwelder; 7. Rusty Drye; 8. Terry Plott; 9. Larry Henderson; 10. Bob Dillner; 11. Stephen Runion; 12. Matt Fernandez; 13. Brian Spivey; 14. Paul Grimsley; 15. Tony Springer; 16. Dale Drye; 17. Eddie Harwell; 18. Chris James; 19. Kristi Springer; 20. Jerry White; 21. Cotton Spry; 22. James Crider; 23. Marc White.