BYRAM, Miss. — For the second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event in a row, Don O’Neal passed defending series champion Jimmy Owens to deny Owens his first win of the season.
O’Neal took the lead on lap 38 from Owens and then went on for the $10,000 victory in the Southern 50 at Jackson Motor Speedway before the biggest crowd in track history.
Owens finished second followed by Tyler Reddick of Corning, CA who passed Jared Landers on the final lap to take third. Wendell Wallace completed the top five.
Last week at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway Owens held a commanding lead until O’Neal tracked him down and passed him for the win. At Jackson, Owens led the first 38 circuits of the race, despite several laps running in heavy lapped traffic. O’Neal grabbed the lead with 12 laps left to take his fourth LOLMDS win of 2012.
“Wow this is just unbelievable,” said the 47-year-old veteran gunning for his first career series title. He has finished runner-up twice. “Jimmy was solid again, tonight I really didn’t think I could catch him like I did at Brownstown, but he started coming back to me after a couple of cautions and I knew if I stayed right with him, I could make a run for the lead.”
This win is the 23rd of his career in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition. O’Neal has now climbed to second in points, just behind Owens.
“Ever since we started running this series full-time, we have come up just short in winning the points title. The way last year was, I didn’t think we could run any better than we did. To win championships, you have to be consistent and this has just been an awesome start for 2012,” said O’Neal
Don O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Reddick, Jared Landers, Wendell Wallace, Jonathan Davenport, Earl Pearson, Jr., Steve Francis, Bubba Mullins, Timothy Culp, Cliff Williams, B.J. Robinson, Jimmy Cliburn, Dennis Erb, Jr., Ray Cook, Eric Wells, Chris Wall, Klint Byars, Austin Hubbard, John Blankenship, Jeremy Broadus, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Jason Cliburn, Brooks Strength, Scott Bloomquist.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.