WHEATLAND, Mo. — Jimmy Owens successfully defended his DART Show-Me 100 presented by ProtectThe Harvest.com crown on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. Owens earned $30,000 for his second consecutive series victory. In a hard-fought race that went down to the final lap, Owens held off 27th-starting John Blankenship and Dennis Erb Jr. for the win.
The event was co-sanctioned with the Lucas Oil MLRA.
With high-flying passes on nearly every lap of the entire event, it was anyone’s race to win. Owens started from the pole and took the lead at the start of the race. Billy Moyer challenged Owens for the lead early on. Tyler Reddick, the 16-year-old phenom, made his presence known early. He was going to a contender for the win as he came from his seventh starting spot to pass both Moyer and Scott Bloomquist to take over the second spot.
Reddick then put the heat on Owens for the lead, diving to the bottom of the track Reddick gained ground on Owens and was gunning for the lead when his engine popped with 16 laps scored. Bloomquist inherited the second position after Reddick’s night ended.
Jared Landers quickly became one of the wild cards of the race. Landers started 25th and powered through the field, running third by lap 19. The top three of Owens, Bloomquist, and Landers then pulled away from Erb, who was fourth at this point. The leaders experienced heavy traffic with 30 laps in the books and ten circuits later they were nose-to-tail.
A caution on lap 48 for Will Vaught bunched the field up. On the restart, Landers went for the lead and took over the top spot, passing Owens on lap 49. Landers then led two more laps until his power steering started to go out. Owens regained the point from Landers on lap 53.
Landers then started to fade as several cars passed him. Bloomquist moved into second and he and Erb started to challenge Owens for the lead. Owens began to push in the turns as the cushion became a bit treacherous. He had trouble entering turn two and exiting turn four, allowing both Bloomquist and Erb to stay close.
Cautions for Kevin Sather on lap 74 and Bloomquist on lap 76, only added to the mix of exciting restarts. Erb picked up the challenge for the lead, racing Owens hard until the final caution of the race came out for Eric Wells with 89 laps scored. The field was set-up for the final free-for-all, with everyone gunning for the top spot with only 11 laps to go.
On the restart Blankenship; who had surged through the field, slid up in turn two, directly in front of Owens to briefly take the lead. But Owens dove down beneath Blankenship, and the two went door to door down the backstretch. Owens hung on to just edge out both Blankenship and Erb at the finish line.
“That was an awesome race, I think maybe we broke something on the left rear, I don’t know, the car was a handful all night! If I could stay up on that cushion, I knew I couldn’t let those guys get by me, I couldn’t even take off good on the restarts,” said the 40-year-old who won for the 31st time in his LOLMDS career.
“They could get a good run on me on the restarts, and luckily we were able to hang on. John (Blankenship) passed me there after that last restart, and I thought, well we have got to cross back over and kind of return the favor. My hat’s off to John he had a great car, and made a great run.”
Blankenship earned the title of Hard Charger of the Race. Erb bounced back with a solid third place finish.
Austin Hubbard also made a strong run. He started dead last in 29th place and worked his way up to a fourth place finish in his first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway. Moyer completed the top five.
Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Dennis Erb Jr., Austin Hubbard, Billy Moyer, Steve Francis, Jonathan Davenport, Earl Pearson Jr., Eric Turner, John Anderson, Eric Jacobsen, Eric Wells, Scott Bloomquist, Kevin Sather, Jared Landers, Billy Moyer Jr., Will Vaught, Wendell Wallace, Duke Whiseant, Tony Jackson Jr., Jesse Stovall, A.J. Diemel, Jimmy Mars, David Turner, Tyler Reddick, Don O’Neal, Chad Simpson, Shannon Babb, Terry Phillips.
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