WHEATLAND, Mo. — In a battle similar to the DART Show-Me 100 on Memorial Day Weekend at Lucas Oil Speedway, Jimmy Owens and John Blankenship thrilled the large crowd on hand Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Owens held off Blankenship on the final circuit to win the sixth annual CMH Diamond Nationals, earning $10,000 for his win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.
Owens and Blankenship ran one-two from the 12th lap. Blankenship led briefly on laps 20 and 21, but Owens rebounded to retake the point on lap 22. The race was slowed by only one caution flag. The two drivers put on quite a show constantly running side by side around the three-eighths-mile track.
With lapped traffic playing a factor over the last half of the race, Blankenship chose the low line coming off of turn two on the final lap as Owens was up against the outside wall, but Owens changed lanes and went to the bottom heading into turn three. That move shut the door on Blankenship’s attempt for the win. Don O’Neal made a late-race charge and was almost within striking distance of both leaders as they headed to the checkered flag.
Owens has won back-to-back DART Show-Me 100’s at the track and was nearly breathless in victory after a hard-fought 50 laps of racing.
“The last two or three times we have been here, it has been a heck of a race! It’s great for the fans, it keeps them coming back, I want to dedicate this win to Chad Bryant one of our crew guys, whose father just passed away, he is in our thoughts and prayers,” said Owens.
“I am going to have to get on John (Blankenship), he is not supposed to be passing me,” said Owens, who sheepishly grinned toward Blankenship’s direction in victory lane. “Our car was real good tonight, we started off the race really well, every once in a while you will get a track you like. Tonight they worked on it, my hats off to them, they went out and smoothed it out a little bit.”
Blankenship, who finished second to Owens in the DART Show-Me 100 again, was the bridesmaid again tonight in the Coal America’s Energy, Rocket Chevrolet as he held off O’Neal in the Optima Batteries Chevrolet.
Scott Bloomquist and Steve Francis rounded out the top five.
Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Don O’Neal, Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis, Billy Moyer, Brad Neat, Earl Pearson Jr., Tyler Reddick, Chris Simpson, Terry Phillips, Jared Landers, Eric Wells, Dennis Erb Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Stacy Taylor, Tim Rivers, John Mason, John Anderson, Will Vaught, Billy Moyer Jr., Kevin Sather, Eric Turner, Jesse Stovall, David Turner, Brian Birkhofer.
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