- Sept. 10 - Eldora World 100 by Sam Holbrooks


Jimmy Owens at Eldora Speedway

Jimmy Owens took the lead on lap 13 and dominated the remainder of Saturday's "World 100" at Eldora Speedway. Mike Ruefer

Owens Dominates Eldora For "World 100" Victory

Sam Holbrooks

ROSSBURG, Oh. - Sept. 10. Starting fourth in the most coveted starting field of the season, Jimmy Owens dueled Dale McDowell and early leader Chris Madden until taking the lead on lap 13, then dominated the remaining 87 circuits to win his second career "World 100" at Eldora Speedway, and his third in a major event at the famed Ohio oval.

Owens added the $44,000 crown jewel event to an astounding season of accomplishment that has made him the most consistent driver in racing, with only one non-finish leaving him outside of the top ten in 39 events, and only seven outside of the top five.

Jimmy Owens and Austin Dillon at Eldora Speedway

Jimmy Owens races by #3 Austin Dillon en route to his second career World 100 win. Dillon recovered from tire issues to post a respectable tenth. (Mike Ruefer)

Eddie Carrier, Scott Bloomquist, and Jeep Van Wormer

Starting 12th, #28 Eddie Carrier battles with Scott Bloomquist and Jeep Van Wormer at mid-pack before scooting away to take advantage of a late race shakeup among the front runners and grabbing the runner up spot to add to what has been a banner year for the West Virginia transplant. (Mike Ruefer) 

“I was too aggressive too early,” Owens said after the race. “It was nice to have a straightaway lead at times and hold on at the end.”

On this night, the traditional inversion put Madden and McDowell on the front row, with Owens sitting outside of Darrell Lanigan on row two. Owens slipped into third at the start and pulled away with Madden and McDowell until the trio reached the rear of the field with a dozen laps on the books. Further back, Lanigan and Eldora's "Dream" winner, Don O'Neal, diced for fourth.

 Just as the frontrunners swept through turns three and four and headed for the flagstand to complete lap 13, Owens rolled past both Madden and McDowell and into a lead that he would not relinquish. Having dispensed with O'Neal, Lanigan soon took over third from McDowell, then both Lanigan and

Mike Spatola and Jared Landers at Eldora Speedway

Having made some noise around Illinois during the 2011 season, Mike "Opie" Spatola was successful in his bid for a "World 100" starting berth in a newly reskinned race car. Spatola races young Arkansas standout Jared Landers, who made an impressive run from 21st to sixth before getting caught up in a tangle initiated by teammate Dale McDowell's rendezvous with the wall. (Mike Ruefer) 

McDowell pushed Madden back to fourth by lap 20. Madden continued to slip as O'Neal took fourth place a quarter of the way into the 100-lap grind.

Owens first saw his straight-away lead erased when Steve Shaver slowed to a stop and exited the track, bringing Shannon Babb and Earl Pearson, Jr. with him, each suffering maladies of his own. With the restart, McDowell blasted past Madden to take over second, but Owens was again building his lead when Tim McCreadie produced the next yellow flag period on lap 39.

Darrell Lanigan and Kent Robinson at Eldora Speedway

Darrell Lanigan and early retiree Kent Robinson. Lanigan mixed it up inside the top five throughout and finished fourth. (Mike Ruefer) 

With Owens still comfortably out front, ALMS regular Jon Henry was next to slow and enter the pits with front end damage, while 2010 race winner Billy Moyer also darted into the pits for some quick repair work before returning to the rear. Unable to get up to full speed, Moyer parked his #21 for the night a few laps later when Indiana's Scott James also gave it up for the night. By then, Moyer's fellow Arkansan, Jared Landers, had put onthe most impressive drive of the night by bringing his #777 from 21st to sixth to trail Owens, McDowell, Lanigan, Madden, and O'Neal. By lap 70, however, an equally potent Josh Richards had driven from 19th to transplant Landers in the sixth spot. A few laps later, Richards slipped Madden to enter the top five.

Jimmy Mars and Dustin Neat

Wisconsin's Jimmy Mars and Kentuckian Dustin Neat rumble back at midfield. (Mike Ruefer)

 The most significant caution of the night would fly with 18 laps, however, and two very strong runs would end for young drivers Richards and Landers. As Richards focused on a slide job on O'Neal in his bid for fifth, McDowell tagged the wall just ahead and collected Richards, with Landers also getting into the pair and suffering front end damage. All three were done for the night, while O'Neal remained unscathed to stay in the game.

With three previous constenders out of the way, the door into the top five was opened for West Virginia drivers Eddie Carrier, Jr. and John Blankenship. Carrier then capitalized and advanced to second when Lanigan slid past

Don O'Neal at Eldora Speedway World 100

Sporting some minor body damage from some late-race bumping with Lanigan and the wall, "Dream" winner Don O'Neal brought his #71 home in third. (Mike Ruefer)

O'Neal as the two raced hard for that position, but then checked up to avoid hitting Owens, who's car had begun to lose some handling, and with it, his large lead. As he and O'Neal briefly bounced of each other and the wall, it left an opening for Carrier on the last lap. Carrier from turned up the wick and challenged Owens in as the final lap clicked off, but it was too little too late as Owens crossed the line with a slim lead to claim the prestigious win.

Josh Richards and Shannon Babb at Eldora Speedway

While #18 Shannon Babb made an early exit, #1 Josh Richards was a mover before getting caught up with Dale McDowell after emerging in the top five. The fast time provisional starter had to leave the race with a disappointing 19th. (Mike Ruefer)

Carrier completed the laps with the most prestigious bridesmaid position in racing, and the best of his career to cap the best season of his career, while O'Neal maintained third ahead of Lanigan and Blankenship. The consistent Madden nailed down sixth by holding off a hard charging fast qualifier, Scott Bloomquist, who had finished third in his heat and had been relegated to a 13th place start with the inversion. Tenth starting Jeep Van Wormer also maintained some consist4ency to finish eighth, while Austin Dillon battled back from tire issues to grab ninth ahead of provisional starter Mike Marlar.

Eric Wells and Steve Smith

Early B-Main action finds #3 Steve Smith unable to avoid an out of shape Eric Wells. (Mike Ruefer)

Sept. 10 - Eldora Speedway World 100
1) Jimmy Owens, 2) Eddie Carrier Jr., 3) Don O'Neal, 4) Darrell Lanigan, 5) John Blankenship, 6) Chris Madden, 7) Scott Bloomquist, 8) Jeep Van Wormer, 9) Austin Dillon, 10) Mike Marlar (prov.), 11) Jimmy Mars, 12) Mike Spatola, 13) Dennis Erb, Jr., 14) Dustin Neat, 15) Brandon Sheppard, 16) R.J. Conley, 17) Jared Landers, 18) Dale McDowell, 19) Josh Richards (prov.), 20) Scott James, 21) Billy Moyer, 22) Jon Henry, 23) Chris Ferguson, 24) Tim McCreadie, 25) Gregg Satterlee, 26) Earl Pearson, Jr, 27) Steve Shaver, 28) Shannon Babb, 29) Bub McCool, 30) Kent Robinson.

Fast Time (112 entries): Bloomquist (15.009); Heat winners: McCreadie, Moyer, Owens, Lanigan, McDowell, Madden; B-Main winners: McCool, Landers.
Mike Ruefer photo


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