Owens Stays Hot With Latham Memorial Victory

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Jimmy Owens, shown at 411 Motor Speedway, earned his fourth straight Lucas Oil Late Model Series victory Saturday at the Talladega Short Track. (Michael Moats photo)
Jimmy Owens, shown at 411 Motor Speedway, won Friday's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Batesville Motor Speedway. (Michael Moats photo)

UNION, Ky. – Jimmy Owens continued his strong season by picking up the victory in the 34th annual Ralph Latham Memorial race on Wednesday at Florence Speedway.

It was Owens’ fourth win in one of the track’s most prestigious races. The current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship leader extended his lead to 400 points over second place Jonathan Davenport with the win.

Clanton wound up in second in Wednesday’s race followed by Ricky Weiss, who finished third. Tim McCreadie came from 19th to finish fourth. Hudson O’Neal, who was making his debut with the new PCC Race Team, came home in fifth.

Owens was dominant in the first 36 laps of the race that went caution free until back-to-back cautions flew for debris on the track and then a multi-car accident involving several drivers. Clanton, in his first season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series now has three runner-up finishes. Owens’ margin of victory over Clanton was .643 seconds.

“We knew we had a really good car at the start of the night,” said Owens. “To kick off the weekend like this is a big morale booster for the team. It’s just an awesome deal. We have had good steady consistent runs this year. We’ve got some good momentum for the rest of the week now.”

Clanton, who finished second to Owens in the Clash at the Mag in June, took the runner-up spot again to the three-time series champion.

“I was just saving some tires and was hoping for a caution early on,” Clanton said. “We got a good restart there and got by him [Owens], but I just couldn’t get all the way back to the top in time to stay there. It’s tough to come to a place where you’ve struggled so much. We have changed a lot of things in the two weeks and it seems to have helped.”

Weiss charged through the field to finish in third.

“I just put the guys behind in qualifying. We were able to salvage a good night out of it. Coming from the back we just had too much ground to make up. That caution sure helped, but we learned a lot for the rest of the weekend,” Weiss said.

The finish:

Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton, Ricky Weiss, Tim McCreadie, Hudson O’Neal, Tyler Erb, Mike Marlar, Scott Bloomquist, Kyle Bronson, Brandon Overton, Chris Ferguson, Zack Dohm, Shanon Buckingham, Jonathan Davenport, Billy Moyer Jr., Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Richards, Devin Moran, Billy Green, Tanner English, Tyler Bruening, Bobby Pierce, Kyle Strickler, Josh Rice, Dale McDowell.