PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Jimmy Owens outdueled Jonathan Davenport over the last 14 laps of the Independence 50 to claim the victory on Saturday night at Portsmouth Raceway Park.
The win was Owens’ fifth out of the last six Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events. The triumph marked the 70th of his career in series competition. Davenport finished a close second followed by Billy Moyer Jr., Kyle Bronson and Tim McCreadie.
Owens went to victory lane on a perfectly prepared racet rack at PRP.
“The race track was really good tonight,” Owens said. “This is the smoothest and the raciest the track has been. We have had some really good shows here in the past, but tonight is probably the best considering how it worked out for us. I want to thank Leon, Becky, and Derek Ramirez this car has been phenomenal in the last year. Tonight was a great night for this team.”
Owens took the lead at the drop of the green flag, but the car on the move early on was Shane Clanton. Clanton started eighth but quickly moved into the second slot in the first seven laps of the race until a flat right rear tire derailed his hopes for his first win of 2020.
Moyer Jr. then picked up the second position. Owens held control of the race ahead of a terrific battle for second place between Moyer Jr. and Davenport. The duo ran side-by-side for several laps with Davenport finally able to clear Moyer Jr. on lap 34.
The last 14 laps were a duel for the lead between Owens and Davenport. The two former series champions went tooth-and-nail for the win as the race came down to the checkers. Owens’ margin of victory over Davenport was just .733 seconds at the finish.
Davenport gave it his all in trying to overhaul Owens.
“I really didn’t want to see that last caution come out. I was going to try and get Jimmy [Owens] caught behind some lapped traffic,” Davenport said. “I figured that was the only chance I had. I was really surprised I could stay with him after that caution. I threw everything I had at him, it seemed like I drove ten different lines on the racetrack. Congrats to Jimmy. We finally got some speed back in our cars. I am just happy to see the back bumper of that 20 car.”
Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Billy Moyer Jr., Kyle Bronson, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran, Tanner English, Shanon Buckingham, Steve Casebolt, Colten Burdette, Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Richards, Hudson O’Neal, Tyler Erb, Shane Clanton, Jason Riggs, Jason Jameson, Jared Hawkins, Tyler Bruening, Kody Evans, Mike Marlar, Stormy Scott, R.J. Conley, Shannon Thornsberry.