Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens, and Brad
Neat share some down time at at Volunteer Speedway before Owens scored another big win
Ultimate Racing Series:
Owens Still Hard to Beat at Home
BULLS GAP, Tenn. — April 23. Jimmy Owens may never want to leave his home area again. For the third time
in as many weeks ‘The O-Show’ took a check and a trophy back to his Newport, Tennessee home from a nearby track.
This week, as was the case two weeks ago, he won at the Volunteer Speedway, following up last weekend's victory at
the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville.
On Saturday, as the Ultimate Super Late Model Series made its inaugural visit to the region with a 75-lap
‘Late Model Showdown at The Gap’ on the high banked, 4/10 mile Volunteer Speedway, Owens wasted little time
assuming command of the event when he bolted from his outside front row starting spot and never relinquished the
lead on his way to claiming the $10,000 first prize.
|Young Carolina Clash regular Chris Ferguson gets ready to
take the track before grabbing a third place finish at Volunteer.(Thomas Hendrickson)
Chris Ferguson started from the pole position after posting a quick time of 12.449 seconds in time trials and then
going on to win his heat race. Owens started second with Scott Bloomquist slated to go off third and Jonathan
Davenport starting from the fourth slot.
Jonathan Davenport dives under leader Jimmy Owens after a restart, but it wasn't
enough to keep Owens from leading every lap and driving to his third East Tennessee win in as many
weeks. (Thomas Hendrickson)
Volunteer not-so-regulars Tyler Reddick and #87 Ross Bailes mix it up on the high
banked Tennessee track. (Thomas
California traveller Eric Jacobsen works under a fading #3 of Steve Smith before
posting a very respectable fifth place at Volunteer. (Michael
However, what had begun as a strange night for Bloomquist only got worse before the
field even commenced its pace laps. The Mooresburg, Tennessee driver had set fast time on his second qualifying
lap, only to have the time disallowed because he was out of place by one car in the qualifying order. Only his
first lap counted for an official time.
Even with that setback, Bloomquist went on to win his heat race and establish himself as one of the pre-race
favorites to take the win. Strangely, however, his car encountered mechanical difficulties (possibly a broken drive
shaft) as the field made their way out to line-up on the front straightaway and Bloomquist never even turned a pace
Eric Wells drives under #101 Casey Roberts before driving to a solid fourth place at
Volunteer. (Thomas Hendrickson)
On the race’s initial start, Owens shot to the lead in turn one and stretched his
advantage out to almost a full straightaway over Ferguson at first, and then Davenport. With a full field of 24
cars on the tight track it did not take long for the front running machines to catch the back of the pack. Rather
than give up ground, Owens seemed to extend his advantage in traffic.
Carolina driver Ricky Weeks came to play at Volunteer. Weeks is challenged low by
local driver Mark Douglas. (Thomas Hendrickson)
Behind Owens, Davenport established himself as the solid second place runner while Ferguson
settled into third for much of the race. From fourth back there was some swapping of positions as Eric Wells, Chris
Madden, Eric Jacobsen, Ray Cook, Billy Ogle, Kent Robinson and Steve Smith traded positions before finishing in
“We had a good car all night long,” Owens declared in victory lane. “We had to work on our shocks before the
feature to get through those humps in the track but we got it pretty good.”
The race was slowed by three cautions for minor incidents.
Brad Neat's disassembled race car after the Kentucky driver took a nasty tumble in
his heat race at Volunteer Speedway. (Michael
Ultimate Racing Series - Volunteer Speedway
1) Jimmy Owens, 2) Jonathan Davenport, 3) Chris Ferguson, 4) Eric
Wells, 5) Chris Madden, 6) Eric Jacobsen, 7) Ray Cook, 8) Billy Ogle, Jr., 9) Kent Robinson, 10) Steve
Smith, 11) Casey Roberts, 12) Tyler Reddick, 13) John Blankenship, 14) Mark Douglas, 15) Chip Brindle,
16) Ross Bailes, 17) Ricky Weeks, 18) Casey Barrow, 19) Chad Ogle, 20) Zack Mitchell, 21) Daniel
Baggerly, 22) Ty Dillon, 23) Petey Ivey.
Heat winners (30 entries): Ferguson, Owens, Bloomquist, Davenport; Consolation winners: Ogle,
Todd Battin photo