Owens - Lanigan - May 8

Leader Jimmy Owens gets a mid-race challenge from #29 Darrell Lanigan in the "My Kentucky Home Shootout" at Bluegrass Speedway.  Lanigan suffered some damage from contact with the leader and later dropped to third as Steve Francis took the runner up spot (Michael Moats) 

Owens Shows The Way In 'My Old Kentucky Home Shootout' At Bluegrass Speedway

By Kevin Kovac

BARDSTOWN, Ky. - May 8. Jimmy Owens joined the ever-growing list of 2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series winners on Saturday, rolling to victory in the 50-lap 'My Old Kentucky Home Shootout' at Bluegrass Speedway.

Owens, 38, of Newport, Tenn., grabbed the lead from Steve Francis on lap two and never looked back in the national tour's inaugural visit to the high-banked, half-mile oval. He later survived a stern mid-race challenge from another

Owens - VL - May 8th

Jimmy Owens after his "My Kentucky Home Shootout" win at Bluegrass Speedway. (Michael Moats)

Fuller - O'Neal - May 8

While Don O'Neal set a new track qualifying record and finished fourth, #19 Tim Fuller took sixth place just ahead of fellow New Yorker Tim McCreadie at Bluegrass. (Michael Moats)

Kentuckian, Darrell Lanigan, to become the 11th different victor in 12 WoO LMS events this season.

It was the third career triumph on the WoO LMS for Owens, who has won three times and hasn't finished worse than third in the five starts he's made since late-March.

"It's been a great month for us," said Owens, a four-time DIRTcar UMP Modified national champion and two-time winner of the prestigious UMP-sanctioned World 100. "It takes a team to do this, and right now we're clicking pretty well."

Francis - Oneal - Lanigan - May 8

Steve Francis, #71 Don O'Neal, and #39 Tim McCreadie keep it very close before Francis advanced to second in the final circuits at Bluegrass.  O'Neal garnered fourth, while McCreadie settled back to seventh at the finish. (Michael Moats)

Francis, who started from the pole position but fell back to fifth after a lap-two restart, rallied to finish second. He snatched the spot from Lanigan on lap 43 but never challenged Owens, crossing the finish line 1.725 seconds behind at a track that is promoted by his in-laws David and Anita Ferrell.

Lanigan settled for third place after a lap-21 scrape with Owens damaged the front end of his car, effectively ending his hopes of completing an impressive charge from the 11th starting spot to the lead. Outside polesitter Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., finished fourth in the MasterSbilt house car – and earned the $500 WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn't won a tour A-Main and isn't among the top 12 in series points.

The race's most important moment was the contact between Owens and Lanigan as they raced for the lead on lap 21. Lanigan hugged the bottom of the track to pull alongside Owens through turns one and two, but exiting the corner, Owens came down the track and touched the right-front of Lanigan's car, causing the 2008 WoO LMS champion to get out of shape and fall to third.

Lanigan regained second from O'Neal on a lap-25 restart and briefly threatened Owens after the A-Main's fourth and final caution flag on lap 33, but his car wouldn't allow him to ascend into the lead.

"I don't know if he didn't see me or what, but when I got together with Owens, it messed up the front end a little bit," said Lanigan. "It knocked the toe out on the right front and we weren't as good as we'd been. We went a little softer on tires too, so when the track kind of went away at the end, we were holding on."

Owens directed his apologies for the incident toward Lanigan.

"I was touching the cushion on the high side," said Owens, who earned $10,000 for his fourth career win at Bluegrass. "I rolled off (turn two) and seen Lanigan there (on the inside) about the same time I was done committed to the brown to get around the lapped car. I kind of misjudged – I didn't think Darrell would throw it out as far as he did and we just bumped a little bit.

"It was just a racing deal. I hope he feels the same way."

Darrell Lanigan and #71 Don O'Neal taking different lines as they encounter the slower car of #5 Lee Davasier.  (Michael Moats)

Francis, meanwhile, was satisfied with his second-place finish. It was a marked improvement over his disappointing 10th-place run in the previous night's WoO LMS event at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway.

"I couldn't run with Owens," said Francis, who married the Bluegrass Speedway promoters' daughter, Amanda, on Feb. 27. "But I can't complain about a second. At one point I thought I was gonna be about a 10th place car, so we were fortunate to get back to second."

Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., finished sixth, fading during the race's second half after moving from the 13th starting spot to fourth by lap 20.

Defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards, who entered the event tied for the points lead with McCreadie, finished 12th after pitting to change a cut right-rear tire on lap 25 while running inside the top 10. He left Bluegrass trailing McCreadie by 10 points.

Other caution flags were caused by Jordan Bland of Campbellsville, Ky., who stopped with engine problems on lap one; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., who started sixth but fell to the back of the pack after a scramble sent him against the wall between turns one and two on the second lap; and Dustin Neat, who slid across the track in turn four on lap 33.

Forty cars were entered in the event, but only 39 competed after Matt Miller of Waterville, Ohio, scratched for the night before hot laps.

O'Neal set a new track record in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, blazing around the track in 14.563 seconds (123.601 mph). It was his first career fast-time honor in WoO LMS competition.

Heat winners were O'Neal, Justin Rattliff, Richards and Owens. The B-Mains were captured by Eric Wells and Brad Neat.

(l. to r.)Tim McCreadie, Steve Francis, and Jason Feger compare notes prior to the World of Outlaws final at Bluegrass Speedway. (Michael Moats)

Finish - Bluegrass - May 8

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