EASTABOGA, Ala. — Jimmy Owens won his fourth straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Saturday night, leading all the way in the EZ-GO 50 at the Talladega Short Track.
It was the first event for the series at the quarter-mile track in 12 years.
Owens extended his lead in the championship standings with his 69th career series victory.
Josh Richards finished second in the Clint Bowyer Racing entry and Kyle Hardy recorded his best career finish in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series as he rounded out the Big River Steel podium in third. Michael Page came home in fourth followed by former series rookie-of-the-year Billy Moyer Jr. in fifth.
Owens took the lead at the start of the race with Hudson O’Neal quickly moving from his fourth starting spot to second. O’Neal ran in second behind Owens until he slowed on lap 8 and exited the race. Jonathan Davenport moved into second place where he would stay until a caution flew for him with 31 laps scored.
Richards became the third different driver to run in the second spot behind Owens. A caution with ten laps to go bunched the field up, but for the fourth series race in a row, Owens went on to the victory in the richest race ever ran at TST.
“Once again, the car was flawless all weekend,” said the 48-year-old three-time series champion. “My hats to the crew and Dale McDowell for prepping the track this week. They watered the track and gave us a racy track for a long time. It’s great to come home with a win for Pope Construction, they are just up the road from here. He has helped us for years. I am just glad he could be a part of it and be here with us. I don’t think I have ever been here where I haven’t run off the corner in one and two. I am glad the fans stuck it out and I’m glad the weather held out. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Richards tried his best to stay with Owens in the closing laps but settled for second.
“Those guys have a done a good job,” said Richards in reference to Owens and his crew. “Whatever he has going on, he’s been riding it. It doesn’t seem like he has to hustle it very much. Compared to last night, tonight, we got the car more dialed in. We ran the race we feel like we came to win. We were right there on him. He beat us in certain parts of the track, but we feel like we can run with him in other parts. Our balance is good, and we will just keep on digging.”
Hardy was pleased with his run.
“We came here with our backs against the wall. We had a tough night last night. I wish It didn’t end like it did. Hats off to the track crew. They worked hard on it this week and they gave us a track to race on. That’s what it’s all about. It means a lot to come here and finish behind Jimmy Owens and Josh Richards.”
Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Kyle Hardy, Michael Page, Billy Moyer Jr., Cory Hedgecock, Dillon Tidmore, Tanner English, Tyler Erb, Stormy Scott, Devin Moran, Dalton Cook, Kyle Bronson, Shanon Buckingham, Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Bruening, Earl Pearson Jr., Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Heath Hindman, Zach Leonhardi, Joseph Joiner, Hudson O’Neal, Shane Clanton.