Jimmy Owens - Will Vaught

Jimmy Owens (#20) overtook Missouri's Will Vaught (#1) a quarter of the way through Friday's "Bedford Petroleum 50" at Bedford (Pa.) Speedway and raced to his second straight Lucas Oil Series win. (Rick Schwallie)

Birkhofer - Davenport

Brian Birkhofer keeps a slight edge on Jonathan Davenport before running down Will Vaught for second at Bedford. His one effort to overtake leader Jimmy Owens with two laps to go feel shy.  Davenport finished strong in fifth. (Rick Schwallie)

Owens Two Straight On Lucas Tour After "Bedford Petroleum 50"

 By James Essex

BEDFORD, Pa. – April 23. Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. scored his second straight Lucas Oil Model Dirt Series victory winning Friday's "Bedford Valley Petroleum" $10,000 to win event at Bedford Speedway.  Owens took the lead on lap 13 from Will Vaught and managed to hold off Brian Birkhofer in the waning laps to take the victory.

Jimmy Owens

With the win Owens closed to within five points of series leader, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenjn., who finished 11th.  

Owens and Vaught, racing at Bedford for the first time in his career, made up the front row for the 50 lap main event, with Vaught taking the lead at the start. Vaught began to enter traffic by lap ten and Owens closed right on his bumper as the top five remained the same for the first 12 laps. Vaught relinquished the lead to Owens on lap 13.

Vaught and Birkhofer stayed close to Owens as lap 20 clicked off, and by the halfway mark, the top ten cars were all on the straightaway as Owens tried to pass Dan Schlieper, the last car on the lead lap. 

Birkhofer decided that it was time to make a pass on the second place running Vaught as the two came off of turn four on lap 34, and Pearson got by Davenport with ten laps to go to take fourth, but all eyes were up front to see if Birkhofer was going to be able to pass Owens and with less than five laps to go. Birkhofer put himself in a position to do so and with two circuits to go,

Rick Eckert - Jamie Lathroum

Neither regional standout Jamie Lathroum or Pennsylvania touring pro Rick Eckert could find any regional advantage at Bedford Speedway as they raced deep in the field. (Rick Schwallie)

Birkhofer took a stab at Owens in turn two, but had to back out of the gas, allowing Owens to get away and race unchallenged to his 15th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win and his first at Bedford Speedway in the Mike Reece owned, Reece Monument Company, Gantte Appraisals, Red Line Oil, Hoosier Tires, VP Racing Fuels, Byrd’s Radiator, C&C Trucking and Ohlins Shocks. 

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the second consecutive series event after his dominating win at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway last month. Owens complimented his crew for making the right tire choice.  

“I have to thank my crew chief Chris Fox for choosing the right tires again tonight, the car was just perfect from the get-go. We knew it would be tough for anybody to pass us, Will (Vaught) got a good jump on us at the start and he drove a heck of a good race tonight, but fortunately for us we were able to get by him and then passing became difficult, the track was fast all night, it was a shame it rubbered up like that, but we’ll take the win.” 

With the win, Owens, who trailed defending series champion Scott Bloomquist by 90 points heading into the event, earned the maximum points for the night to close within five of Bloomquist, who was fortunate to finish 11th after blowing a tire at the finish line. 

Birkhofer finished second in his first Lucas Oil Series start of 2010.  Vaught's third place marked his best ever finish with the series.

Finish - Bedford Lucas Oil

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