Owens Grabs $25,000 Hillbilly 100 Victory


RIPLEY, W. Va. — Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point leader Jimmy Owens won his second career Hillbilly 100 on Sunday Night at I-77 Raceway Park.

Owens took the lead on lap 61 and went on to win his eighth series event in 2013 and $25,000 for winning the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned crown jewel event. The massive crowd also saw Owens increase his point lead in the chase for the ASi Crown Jewel Cup-Presented by Dirtondirt.com and the $10,000 bonus.

Steve Francis charged from his eighth starting spot to finish second. Earl Pearson Jr., who started 10th, finished third, followed by 19th starting Billy Moyer and Steve Shaver rounded out the top five.

Dennis Erb Jr. led the first 60 laps of the race and appeared to have one of the strongest cars in the race from the start. But Erb’s machine began smoking heavy during the middle stages of the race allowing Owens to close the gap. Owens then passed Erb for the lead coming off of turn number two on lap 61. Erb finally slowed in turn four on lap 62 bringing out a caution as his night ended abruptly with mechanical failure.

“I saw Dennis smoking for a long time,” Owens said. “I wanted to pull up beside him and tell him to save the motor and not damage it. I feel bad for them, they work so hard, and they had a good car. I am not sure if I could have ever gotten around him. He has led so many of these crown jewel races and he is going to get one soon.”

Francis passed Scott Bloomquist for second after a restart and stayed close to Owens for a while. Owens eventually pulled away for the win.

“I tried my hardest to stay with him. Congrats to Jimmy and his crew! We had a good car to come from where we started, we are pleased with second. We have tried for a long time to win this race; ever since the Pennsboro days to be exact; we hope to get one of these someday,” said Francis.

In preliminary action, Walker Arthur set the overall RED BUCK fast time (Group A) among the 61 entrants, with a lap of 13.268 seconds.

The finish:

Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer, Steve Shaver, Eddie Carrier Jr., John Blankenship, Billy Moyer Jr., Zack Dohm, Donnie Moran, Jason Feger, Jared Miley, Jared Landers, Scott Bloomquist, Mike Marlar, Chris Garnes, Mike Benedum, Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Carpenter, Steve Lucas, Doug Drown, Walker Arthur, Paul Wilmoth Jr., Jared Hawkins, Jacob Hawkins, Brian Birkhofer, Tyler Carpenter, Brad Jarrell.