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Jimmy Owens Returns to Lucas Oil Victory Lane with East Bay Triumph


Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Jimmy Owens Returns to Lucas Oil Victory Lane with East Bay Triumph

TAMPA, Fla. (February 8, 2024) – Jimmy Owens went to the lead for good on lap 13 after a side-by-side battle with Garrett Smith. The four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion picked up the $10,000 victory on Thursday night during the 48th Annual Wieland Winternationals – Presented by Lucas Oil at East Bay Raceway Park.

For Owens it was his 81st career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win and his first at East Bay since 2013. Jonathan Davenport made a late-race charge to finish second, falling 0.314 seconds at the finish. Garrett Alberson rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third. Ricky Thornton Jr. and Hudson O’Neal rounded out the top five.

Owens and pole-sitter Garrett Smith had a good race for the lead in the first 12 laps until Owens was finally able to get away from the Georgia youngster. Davenport would move into second on lap 18 as he held that spot until Alberson passed him on lap 23. Alberson then was able to challenge Owens for the lead as he closed on him, but Owens kept him at bay.

Davenport then mounted an electrifying run to the outside and appeared to be primed to take over the lead, but a caution with two laps to go forced a single-file restart as Owens would cross the line 0.314 seconds ahead of Davenport at the finish.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time since June of 2022, Owens became the fifth different winner this year in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. “I don’t even remember the last time I won a race at East Bay, I never did win one here in these conditions. The car has been flawless all night and you know it was good from qualifying to the heat race to the feature. Me and Garrett [Smith] had a heck of a race that was fun. It was a good night.”

When reminded that it was 11 years ago for his last win at East Bay, Owens responded with “I can’t remember back that far. You know I have to thank Bobby Koehler for giving us good equipment. I want to give a shout out to everyone back home. It’s good to win a race. It’s very humbling to hear this crowd response tonight. It feels really good. I appreciate all of you guys and thank you all so much.”

Davenport could not regain his momentum with a green-white-checkered finish falling just short at the end. “I never took it off the wood in those final laps. I had a really good car and I had saved enough tire to the very end. It just didn’t work out in our favor and that’s ok, we’ve got a good hot rod. We will continue to work on this thing. We have changed it every night just trying something different. I think we found something a little different for later. It’s obviously not as slick as what it was the first East Bay races we were here.”

Alberson got right up to Owens, but lost ground to the Tennessee native as Davenport got around him late in the race. “I think we have turned the corner. We have really worked hard. Ken [Roberts] has put a lot into this program and my group has just never given up on me. We are really close. I just need to position myself better at the end. It blows my mind still to this day how hard these guys run.”

The winners Bobby and Jessica Koehler-owned, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine is sponsored by Reece Monument Company, Ultimate Towing and Recovery, Tim Short Auto Group, Capital Electric TN, Boomtest Well Service, Red Line Oil, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, 5* Metal Buildings, Fox Shocks, and Sunoco Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten were Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Devin Moran, Garrett Smith, and Tim McCreadie.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
48th Annual Wieland Winternationals | Night 4
Thursday, February 8, 2024
East Bay Raceway Park – Tampa, FL

Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Garrett Smith | 14.164 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Hudson O’Neal | 14.323 seconds

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 14X-Wil Herrington[4]; 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard[3]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar[6]; 5. 111-Max Blair[7]; 6. 174-Ethan Dotson[10]; 7. 20B-Todd Brennan[8]; 8. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[13]; 9. 3-Brennon Willard[11]; 10. 12-Ashton Winger[5]; 11. 6JR-Parker Martin[2]; 12. 21-Kenny Howell[12]; 13. (DNS) 15-Blake McClain

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 5-Mark Whitener[1]; 2. 71C-RJ Conley[5]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[7]; 4. 1Z-Logan Zarin[2]; 5. 4G-Bob Gardner[10]; 6. 82B-Jason Milam[11]; 7. 81L-Jake Little[12]; 8. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[4]; 9. 15K-Jensen Ford[3]; 10. 81-Jason Riggs[6]; 11. 29-Larry Grube[8]; 12. 32-Jason Jack[9]

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[4]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 5. 7T-Drake Troutman[5]; 6. 6T-Tim Dohm[8]; 7. 31-Tyler Millwood[10]; 8. 27-Michael Lake[9]; 9. 51-Dean Carpenter[12]; 10. 33-Jeff Mathews[11]; 11. 81J-Jack Riggs[6]; 12. 69-Brandon Thirlby[7]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 2. 99-Devin Moran[3]; 3. 1-Hudson O'Neal[1]; 4. 96V-Tanner English[5]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[7]; 6. 6H-Ross Bailes[12]; 7. 30-Ryan Gustin[6]; 8. 11C-Trevor Collins[11]; 9. 12R-Ryan Payne[10]; 10. 75-Daniel Adam[8]; 11. S21-Seth Daniels[4]; 12. 21M-Tre Martin[13]; 13. 42-Terry Casey[9]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 6-Clay Harris[2]; 2. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[1]; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson[6]; 4. 18-Chase Junghans[3]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[5]; 6. 99B-Boom Briggs[7]; 7. 7-Ross Robinson[4]; 8. 8-Dillon McCowan[12]; 9. 187-David McCoy[8]; 10. 25B-Mike Benedum[10]; 11. 93-Cory Lawler[9]; 12. 71R-Rod Conley[11]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 19M-Spencer Hughes[4]; 3. 33X-Brandon Overton[2]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 5. 2*-Logan Hitt[7]; 6. 97-Cody Overton[9]; 7. 47W-Brandon Weigle[6]; 8. 9-Levi Yetter[5]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 10. 00-Carson Ferguson[8]; 11. 4S-Danny Snyder[12]; 12. 48-Tim Lance[11]

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 111-Max Blair[3]; 3. 20B-Todd Brennan[7]; 4. 4G-Bob Gardner[4]; 5. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[10]; 6. 174-Ethan Dotson[5]; 7. 82B-Jason Milam[6]; 8. 3-Brennon Willard[11]; 9. 21-Kenny Howell[17]; 10. 32-Jason Jack[18]; 11. 81-Jason Riggs[14]; 12. 15K-Jensen Ford[12]; 13. (DNS) 1Z-Logan Zarin; 14. (DNS) 81L-Jake Little; 15. (DNS) 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 16. (DNS) 12-Ashton Winger; 17. (DNS) 6JR-Parker Martin; 18. (DNS) 29-Larry Grube; 19. (DNS) 15-Blake McClain

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 2. 96V-Tanner English[2]; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman[3]; 4. 66C-Matt Cosner[4]; 5. 6H-Ross Bailes[6]; 6. 6T-Tim Dohm[5]; 7. 30-Ryan Gustin[8]; 8. 31-Tyler Millwood[7]; 9. 27-Michael Lake[9]; 10. 51-Dean Carpenter[11]; 11. 11C-Trevor Collins[10]; 12. 75-Daniel Adam[13]; 13. 69-Brandon Thirlby[16]; 14. S21-Seth Daniels[15]; 15. 21M-Tre Martin[17]; 16. (DNS) 12R-Ryan Payne; 17. (DNS) 81J-Jack Riggs; 18. (DNS) 42-Terry Casey

MyRacePass B-Main Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 2. 99B-Boom Briggs[5]; 3. 18-Chase Junghans[1]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[3]; 6. 97-Cody Overton[6]; 7. 187-David McCoy[11]; 8. 8-Dillon McCowan[9]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[12]; 10. 71R-Rod Conley[17]; 11. 47W-Brandon Weigle[8]; 12. 9-Levi Yetter[10]; 13. 93-Cory Lawler[15]; 14. 4S-Danny Snyder[16]; 15. 33-Jeff Mathews[19]; 16. 00-Carson Ferguson[14]; 17. 2*-Logan Hitt[4]; 18. 48-Tim Lance[18]; 19. (DNS) 25B-Mike Benedum

48th Annual Wieland Winternationals | Night 4 Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Feature Finish

Race Statistics
Entrants: 74
Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Garrett Smith
Lap Leaders: Garrett Smith (Laps 1-4); Jimmy Owens (Laps 5-6); Garrett Smith (Laps 7-12); Jimmy Owens (Laps 13-40)
Wieland Feature Winner: Jimmy Owens
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.314 seconds
Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Mark Whitener (Lap 2); RJ Conley (Laps 2 restart); Boom Briggs (Lap 9); Boom Briggs (Lap 38)
Series Provisionals: Ross Robinson; Brian Shirley
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: Drake Troutman; Ethan Dotson; Cory Lawler; Bob Gardner
Track Provisional: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Garrett Alberson
Penske Shocks Top 5: Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Garrett Alberson, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal
Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Brian Shirley (Advanced 13 Positions)
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Mike Marlar
Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Brian Shirley
MD3 Most Laps Led: Jimmy Owens (30 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Garrett Alberson
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Lap 11 – 14.673 seconds)
Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Jonathan Davenport
Miller Welders Hard Luck Award: Mark Whitener
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Kurt Owens (Jimmy Owens)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Race Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Wil Herrington (15.4666 seconds)
Time of Race: 20 minutes 59 seconds

Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

Submitted By: Jeremy Shields

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