latemodelamerica.com - Apr. 10 - Volunteer Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Jimmy Owens - Mark Douglas - Volunteer Speedway

Jimmy Owens (20) looks under Mark Douglas for the lead in the "Old Fashion Sunday Meeting at The Gap 50". (Randall Perry) 

By Robert Walden
 

BULLS GAP, Tenn. — April 10. The calendar shows it's the second weekend of April, but Sunday at Volunteer Speedway felt more like mid-summer as temperatures approached 90 degrees in East Tennessee.

After competing in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday, Jimmy Owens of Newport made the fast trip back home, and the move proved to be a wise financial decision. Owens grabbed the lead from Mark Douglas on lap 23 of the "Old Fashion Sunday Meeting at The Gap 50" and once out front, he was never seriously challenged in pocketing $5,000 for the Late Model victory.

 

Jimmy Owens VL Volunteer Speedway

Jimmy Owens after a dominant win at his home track at Volunteer Speedway Sunday. (Randall Perry)

 

Austin Dillon toured the high-banked 4/10-mile oval at 12.799-seconds to earn the pole position and $300 from Martin's Roofing Service.

 

Dillon and Mark Douglas, who timed-in second quickest at 12.804 led the 23-car field to green from row one. With both racing side-by-side down the front straightaway into first turn, Douglas rode the cushion up top to power into the lead over Dillon, with Chris Ferguson, Billy Ogle, Jr. and Ty Dillon holding down top five in running order back around at the stripe to complete the opening lap.

 

Austin Dillon - Jimmy Owens - Volunteer Speedway

Austin Dillon and #20 Jimmy Owens race side by side for second before Owens prevailed and ultimately went on to win the $5,000-to-win event at Volunteer Speedway. (Randall Perry)

 

Owens was on the move quickly, overtaking Ty Dillon for fifth on lap two. One circuit later, Owens got around Ogle to take over the fourth spot. All eyes were on Owens, as he was up-on-the-wheel and hustling his way around the track, passing Ferguson to move into third place on lap four.

 

With the race running clean-and-green, Douglas, a two-time Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model competitor, had pulled out to seven car length lead by lap 10 over Austin Dillon, who had Owens riding in his rearview mirror. Douglas caught the tail of the field and began having to work traffic on lap 17.

 

Having difficulty in maneuvering his way around the traffic directly in front of him, all at once Douglas' lead evaporated and Austin Dillon and Owens were applying pressure. Coming to the start-finish line to begin lap 18, Douglas was trying to use his front nosepiece to move slower cars aside. Owens saw the top of the track open and he drove his mount in hard on the outside of Austin Dillon, and racing off turn two Owens sped past to move into the runner-up position.

 

But Owens, driving the Reece Monument Co./Gantte Appraisals/Byrd’s Radiator/Midwest Sheet Metal/Hoosier Racing Tire South/Alwee Trucking/Red Line Synthetic Oil/VP Racing Fuels/Performance Rod & Custom/Wear Development/Cornett Thunder Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars/No. 20 Ford Fusion, was not content to ride in second. Just a few laps prior, Owens had gone up top in getting around Austin Dillon.

 

In making what would prove to be the race-winning move, Owens drove in hard on the bottom to get inside of Douglas entering turn one on lap 23 to take a lead he would never relinquish. Just two circuits later, good runs for both Ferguson and Jonathan Davenport ended when they spun in turn two to bring out the yellow.

 

Going back green, Owens was riding out front for the restart, with Austin Dillon and Ogle behind him. Back up to speed and after working his magic, Owens began to put distance between himself, Austin Dillon and Ogle during a 22-lap green flag stretch. Owens' run to victory was temporarily slowed when Bryan Hendrix slowed to a stop high between turns three and four with a flat tire to bring out the event's final caution.

 

With a five-lap dash to the checkers, Owens set sail with a clear track ahead of him to easily win over Austin Dillon, Ogle, Ty Dillon and Chip Brindle, who came home with a fifth-place finish after starting 13th.

 

"This is a good home-track win for us tonight,"”said a smiling Owens after climbing from his car. “"Here at "The Gap"’is where I began my racing career. Even though I mainly only get to race here when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has an event, it's really special to get the opportunity to get hang out in the pits with people you've known many years and to race before fans who've cheered for you a long time".

 

Dale Ball - Shanon Buckingham - Volunteer Speedway

Dale Ball looks under leader Shanon Buckinham before taking a late lead to the Crate Late Model win at Volunteer. (Randall Perry)

 

With a stellar 25-car field of Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Models in attendance, Jerry Broyles and Shanon Buckingham brought the field to green from the front row. Broyles and Buckingham raced door-to-door down the front straightaway into the first turn, but carrying the momentum off the banking exiting turn two up high Buckingham moved into the lead over Broyles, Dale Ball, Bobby Mays and Tim Byrd.

 

Ball got around Broyles for second on lap two, then raced ahead of Buckingham on a lap nine restart as Buckingham slowed with a suspected broken fuel pump. Ball led the remainder.

 

 

April 10 - Volunteer Speedway
1) Jimmy Owens, 2) Austin Dillon, 3) Billy Ogle, Jr., 4) Ty Dillon, 5) Chip Brindle, 6) Tommy Kerr, 7) Eric Wells, 9) Chris Brown, 9) Chad Ogle, 10) Eric Jacobsen, 11) Ronnie Johnson, 12) Jeff Maupin, 13) Mark Vineyard, 14) David Watts, 15) Kerry Jones, 16) Bryan Hendix, 17) Josh Henry, 18) Chris Ferguson, 19) Vic Hill, 20) Mark Douglas, 21) Jonathan Davenport, 22) Dempsey Harold, Jr., 23) Todd Morrow (23 entries)

PRO (CRATE) LATE MODEL: 1) Dale Ball; 2) Jerry Broyles; 3) Bobby Mays; 4) David Smith; 5) Tim Byrd

Mike Ruefer photo 

 

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