Jimmy Owens with "Bimbo", who competes
with the Pillsbury Doughboy as the whitest guy in America, after a big win in the "World Finals" at Charlotte Motor
Speedway. (Barry Lenhart)
World of Outlaws:
Owens Rolls To Victory in "World Finals Nightcap"; Richards Clinches
Second Series Title
|Josh Richards earned his second World of Outlaws Late
Model Series title by the narrowest of margins. (Barry Lenhart)
CONCORD, NC - Nov. 6. Jimmy Owens closed the Lowes Foods World of Outlaws "World Finals" with a victory
for the second consecutive year on Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
And for the second year in a row, the standout racer from Newport, Tenn., shared the post-race spotlight with Josh
Richards of Shinnston, West Viginia, who secured his second straight World of Outlaws Late Model Series
championship with a fourth-place finish in the evening’s 50-lap A-Main.
Owens, 38, took note of the similar circumstances after rolling to a $10,000 triumph in front of a chilled sell-out
crowd of over 14,000 and a national television audience. He marched forward from the sixth starting spot to take
the lead for good on lap 18 with a inside pass of Jonathan Davenport, who was bidding for an unprecedented clean
sweep of the "World Finals" after winning Friday's postponed 40-lap A-Main earlier in the day.
"It's kind of like déjà vu,"”Owens said after his second WoO LMS win of 2010 and the fourth of his career. "Every
time we win here, Josh wins something big here. He's probably glad to see us win."”
Richards, 22, captured the weekend's most important prize, outdueling Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who
made a furious charge from the 21st starting spot to finish third, in a dramatic season finale. The young sensation
defeated his friendly rival by just four points - two finishing positions - to collect a $100,000
champion's check and become the first repeat titlist of the tour's modern era (2004-present).
Final World of Outlaws
1. Josh Richards 5908
Lanigan 5904 (-4)
3. Tim McCreadie 5790 (-118)
4. Steve Francis 5682 (-226)
5. Rick Eckert 5576 (-332)
6. Shane Clanton 5534 (-374)
7. Austin Hubbard 5464 (-444)
8. Tim Fuller 5368 (-540)
9. Clint Smith 5328 (-580)
10. Chub Frank 5294 (-614)
11. Russell King 4882 (-1026)
12. Jill George 3590 (-2318)
13. Brent Robinson 3470 (-2438)
14. Brady Smith 3226 (-2682)
15. Vic Coffey 1918 (-3990)
"To come out on top again, words can't really describe it,"”said Richards, who started seventh and briefly peaked
at second place following a lap-26 restart. "This means the world to me, all my family, my sponsors and my crew.
It's gonna' take a little bit to settle in."”
Richards engaged in a down-to-the-wire thriller for the points crown with Lanigan, the 2008 champion who entered
the World Finals trailing Richards by 22 points and put himself in a hole with poor qualifying times in both rounds
of Thursday's time trials. Lanigan came back strong on Saturday, however, finishing fourth, versus Richards' quiet
12th-place run in the matinee event to pull within six points entering the nightcap.
Lanigan, 40, was relegated to the 21st starting spot in Saturday's A-Main after winning a B-Main, but he tore
through the field and landed in fifth place behind Richards on lap 24 when he picked up several spots by escaping a
scramble between turns three and four surrounding the spinning car of Dennis Erb, Jr., who lost control of his
machine while battling for sixth place with Rick Eckert.
Shortly thereafter, on lap 32, Lanigan overtook Richards for third and immediately began to pressure Davenport for
second. Lanigan knew he needed to beat Richards by at least four positions - or two if he was able to win the
race - in order to steal the championship, but he was unable to climb higher while Richards calmly held the
fourth spot to the checkered flag.
Lanigan crossed the finish line in third just over one second behind Davenport, who settled for second place after
leading laps 15-17 in the Barry Wright house car. Richards was a half-second behind Lanigan in fourth and Tim
McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the 25th starting spot to finish fifth and cap a season that saw him
place third in points standings.
"I still feeling like I'm trying to run away from that 29 car (of Lanigan)," a relieved Richards said after
climbing from his father Mark's Kentucky Fuel Corporation Rocket and lifting the WoO LMS championship trophy in
Victory Lane. "Darrell definitely made it tough this year. We went right down to the last lap and it came down to
"Hat's off to Darrell and his guys. They did a heckuva job this year and deserve to be up here as much we do."”
Owens also held his high after reaching the winner's circle. He improved from an eighth-place finish in the
"We were O.K. the first race, but we were just a little bit freer than we needed to be,"”said Owens. “We came back
(to the pits) and pretty much put last year’s setup on the car and it was good. I really felt my car getting better
and better as the race went on. The harder we ran, the better it was.”
Preventing Davenport's sweep of the "World Finals", the 27-year-old driver also set fast time in both ends of
Thursday's qualifying session and won his two heat races, leaving Owens with a dose of satisfaction.
"He's been pretty tough this weekend, so it feels good to beat him,"”Owens said of Davenport. "We're probably about
the only one who passed him today. I'm kind of proud of that."”
Six caution flags slowed the event, all coming between laps 23 and 29. There were no serious incidents.
Chris Madden of Grey Court, S.C., finished sixth after briefly reaching fifth place. Steve Shaver was seventh,
followed by polesitter Mike Marlar, who led laps 1-14 in the Warrior house car, Steve Francis, and Clint Smith.
Heat winners were Davenport, Marlar, Erb, Eckert, Owens and John Blankenship, who retired after spinning
out of seventh place to bring out the first caution flag of the A-Main on lap 23.
Charlotte Motor Speedway "World Finals" Race No.
1) Jimmy Owens, 2) Jonathan Davenport,
3) Darrell Lanigan, 4) Josh Richards, 5) Tim McCreadie, 6) Chris Madden, 7) Steve Shaver, 8) Mike
Marlar, 9) Steve Francis, 10) Clint Smith, 11) Shane Clanton, 12) Chris Brown, 13) Rick Eckert, 14)
Austin Hubbard (prov.), 15) Vic Coffey, 16) Will Vaught, 17) Gregg Satterlee, 18) Ken Schrader, 19)
Jeff Rine, 20) Scott Bloomquist, 21) Earl Pearson, Jr., 22) Jeep VanWormer, 23) Dennis Erb, Jr.. 24)
Tim Fuller (prov.), 25) Jared Landers, 26) Chub Frank (prov.), 27) Tommy Kerr (prov.), 28) Billy
Decker, 29) John Blankenship.
Fast Time 76 entries: Davenport (15.130); Heat winners:
Davenport, Marlar, Erb, Eckert, Owens, Blankenship; B-Main winners: Coffey, Pearson, Lanigan.
Ron Mitchell photo