- Aug 13-14 - Florence Speedway by Sam Holbrooks

Jimmy Owens - Don O'Neal - Drew England
Jimmy Owens races past Don O'Neal for the lead in the "North-South 100" at Florence Speedway. (Drew England photo) 

Jimmy Owens VL1 - Florence Speedway North-South 100

Owens and Co. after his big win in the "North-South 100".  (George Missita)


Last Lap Surge Gives Owens Second Career "North/South 100"

James Essex

UNION, Ky. – Aug. 14. Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. passed race leader, Earl Pearson Jr. as the pair headed for the white flag, then held off Pearson on the final circuit to win $50,000 in the 28th annual Sunoco Race Fuels "North/South 100" Saturday at Florence Speedway. 

Eddie Carrier, Jr. led the first 18 circuits of the race before Don O’Neal took over after he and Carrier made contact down the backstretch. Owens, who started fifth, climbed into the top five on lap 41. He moved into third by the

Earl Pearson - Jimmy Owens - North South 100 at Florence Speedway

Earl Pearson, Jr. catches Jimmy Owens behind a slower Dan Schlieper to take the lead, one that he would hand back to Owens on the final circuit. (Michael Moats)

 halfway-mark of the race, catching up to O’Neal and Carrier. “The Newport Nightmare” overhauled Carrier for second with 55 laps scored. 

O’Neal kept a steady pace out front, but Owens and Earl Pearson, Jr. started to make some noise with 25 laps remaining.  Pearson climbed to third on lap 73, and O’Neal saw his lead dissolve on lap 78 as Owens passed him for the top spot. Pearson followed suit, and drove around O’Neal with 16 laps to go.  Pearson then used his patented bottom groove to take the lead from Owens on lap 88 and appeared to be on his way to the victory. He got caught behind another car with less than five laps to go, however, and Owens capitalized and made a late-race charge.  

Steve Francis - Ray Cook - Florence Speedway North-South 100

Steve Francis fights to hold off a late bid for his fourth spot from #53 Ray Cook. (Michael Moats)

Eddie Carrer Jr - Don O'Neal - North-South 100

Eddie Carrier led the first 18 laps of the prestigious event before he and #71 Don O'Neal got together in the skirmish for the lead. O'Neal held sway for the next 59 laps, while Carrier backed up to mid-field. (Drew England)

While Pearson was trapped down on the bottom of the track, Owens went to the top side and closed quickly on the leader. Owens made his move as the two exited turn four, heading to the white flag.  Owens cleared Pearson to pick off the lead as the two approached the flag stand and extinguished Pearson's last lap effort to take the victory. Pearson’s second place finish earned him the PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger honor for the event, having advanced 12 spots from his 14th place starting position. Trailing Owens and Pearson to the finish line were O’Neal, Steve Francis, and Ray Cook. 

Jimmy Mars - Scott Bloomquist - Florence Speedway North South 100

Jimmy Mars challenges Scott Bloomquist for sixth place in the closing laps at Florence. (Michael Moats)

Chris Wall and #28 Eddie Carrier, Jr. race for position in the "North-South 100".

(Todd Battin)









 “First off, I want to dedicate this win to Dewayne Hommell,” said Owens, who captured his second win in the event in the last four years.  “I didn’t know if I could catch Earl, he got boxed in behind another car and I decided to run up against the wall, and the car just took off and we were able to track him down.” The elated Owens continued, “I have to thank my car owner, Mike Reece; he hadn’t been at a race since we won at Cleveland back in June. Thanks also to Reece Monument Company, Gantte Appraisals, Hoosier Tires VP race Fuels, Cornett Racing Engines and Bloomquist Race Cars.”

Dale McDowell was the fastest in qualifying among 71 "North-South 100" entries. 

(Drew England) 









Aug. 14 - Florence Speedway "North-South 100"
1) Jimmy Owens, 2) Earl Pearson, Jr., 3) Don O'Neal, 4) Steve Francis, 5) Ray Cook, 6) Scott Bloomquist, 7) Jimmy Mars, 8) Chris Madden, 9) Dale McDowell, 10) Brian Birkhofer, 11) Eddie Carrier, Jr., 12) Brad Neat, 13) Brady Smith, 14) Justin Rattliff, 15) Dan Schlieper, 16) John Blankenship (prov.), 17) Eric Wells, 18) Chris Wall, 19) Greg Johnson, 20) Freddy Smith, 21) Wendell Wallace, 22) Bub McCool, 23) Tim Isenberg (prov.), 24) Steve Casebolt (prov.), 25) Bart Hartman, 26) Josh Williams (prov.)
Fast Time (71 entries): Dale McDowell (17.335 secs.); Heat winners: Madden, Schlieper, Owens, Carrier Jr., O’Neal, Francis.; B-Main winners: Wallace, Rattilff.

Todd Battin photo

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