Owens Remains Red Hot in Lucas Oil Return to Racing

Jimmy Owens won in the return to racing Lucas Oil event Tuesday night at Golden Isles Speedway. (Micheal Boggs Photo)

May 20, 2020 at Golden Isles Speedway ($7,000 to win)

Recap by Tyson Graves

It had been 100 days since the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series had been on track since Speedweeks. Last night at Golden Isles Speedway the series resumed in an event dubbed Return to Racing. It was a very different feel for drivers and crews as there were no fans in attendance and those who were interviewed for TV seen a Dave Argabright in a mask. But despite the different feel drivers were ready to get back at. Fans tuned in LIVE on Lucas Oil TV or the series Facebook page for a free feed to the action on the track.

Over forty cars entered the nights event as Brandon Sheppard came into the night as the series points leader. In qualifying it was Brandon Overton who showed speed to start off the night setting fast time with a lap of 14.779 seconds. Josh Richards was the fast qualifier in the other group during qualifying with a lap of 15.006 seconds. This set the field for exciting heat race action as drivers looked to secure their spot in the feature event.

Josh Richards ran away in heat race number one. Northeastern driver Max Blair flexed his muscle and came home runner up to transfer easily into the feature event. Mason Zeigler and Rick Eckert kept the Northeastern United States trend in heat one as they also transferred to the feature event. All drivers moving on from heat one make their home in the Northeastern part of the country.

In heat race two was a dandy as Brandon Sheppard and Tim McCreadie battled for the race lead in this one early. Tim McCreadie started the season off hot in Speedweeks and kept that up as he held off Sheppard for the win. Tyler Erb and Billy Moyer Jr also transferred to the main event. Brian Shirley, Dennis Erb Jr and Shanon Buckingham all missed transferring after being involved in a early race pile up before the start finish line.

Brandon Overton showed the speed he has shown over the past few weeks as he took the win in heat race three. Capital Race Car teammates Tyler Bruening and Shane Clanton finished second and third respectively. Steven Roberts held off defending series champion Jonathan Davenport to nab the last spot moving on to the feature event.

The four and final heat race was a battle early as eventual winner Jimmy Owens battled with second place finisher Devin Moran. Jason Fitzgerald and Riggs Motorsports driver Tanner English took the other two transfers into the main event. Kyle Bronson did not finish due to drive line issues at the start of the race and was looking at a provisional to make the feature event if repairs could be made.

With a stout field of cars on hand at Golden Isles it made the B-Mains very interesting as many series regulars and nationally known drivers had to complete for the last spots into the nights main event. In B-Main one Mark Whitener drove from the third starting spot to the win. Mount Holly, NC driver Chris Ferguson took the other transfer spot. B-Man two was won by Jonathan Davenport after starting on the pole and Micheal Norris from the state of Pennsylvania took the other spot into the main. This left series regulars fighting for series provisional's and emergency starting spots in the series points paying event.

With the provisonal's 28 cars took to the front stretch as they lined up for the forty lap feature event paying $7,000 to win. Josh Richards and Brandon Overton led the field to green. Brandon Overton looked to be the man to beat as he led early and his only challenge early was from Josh Richards who took the lead for one lap around the lap 10 mark. But as the race went on Jimmy Owens started to make his presence known. Starting fourth Jimmy quietly bided his time until he took over the lead with eight laps remaining. Jimmy drove on to a convincing victory.

The excitement in the closing laps came from Mason Zeigler as he muscled his way from the ninth starting spot and took the runner up spot away from Brandon Overton. Overton would hold off Josh Richards for the final podium spot. Devin Moran rounded out the top five. Kyle Bronson started 23rd and was able to rebound all the way up to ninth place and was the nights hard charger. Defending series champion Jonathan Davenport rebounded from starting deep in the field to finish 11th and after damage to his nose series point leader Brandon Sheppard held on to the points lead despite the fourteenth place finish.

The series will resume action again on Wednesday night at Golden Isles for another $7,000 to win event. The event can be seen on Lucas Oil TV or on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Facebook page.

Lucas Oil Feature Finish (40 Laps):

Pos Start Car # Competitor Hometown Pay

1 4 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $7,000

2 9 25Z Mason Zeigler Chalk Hill, PA $3,500

3 2 76 Brandon Overton Evans, GA $2,500

4 1 14 Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $2,000

5 8 9 Devin Moran Dresden, OH $1,500

6 10 25 Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA $1,400

7 11 1T Tyler Erb New Waverly, TX $1,300

8 13 0E Rick Eckert York, PA $1,200

9 23 40B Kyle Bronson Brandon, FL $1,150

10 16 81E Tanner English Benton, KY $1,100

11 18 49 Jonathan Davenport Blairsville, GA $1,050

12 3 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY $1,000

13 21 50 Shanon Buckingham Morristown, TN $975

14 7 1S Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL $950

15 17 5W Mark Whitener Middleburg, FL $925

16 5 111B Max Blair Centerville, PA $900

17 25 28E Dennis Erb Jr Carpentersville, IL $175

18 28 89 G.R. Smith Statesville, NC $150

19 14 111 Steven Roberts Sylvester, GA $825

20 15 21 Billy Moyer Jr Batesville, AR $800

21 6 16 Tyler Bruening Decorah, IA $800

22 27 1 Earl Pearson Jr Jacksonville, FL $100

23 12 7F Jason Fitzgerald Middleburg, FL $800

24 26 71 Hudson O'Neal Martinsville, IN $100

25 20 72 Michael Norris Sarver, PA $800

26 22 1G Ryan King Seymour, TN $800

27 19 22F Chris Ferguson Mt. Holly, NC $800

28 24 3S Brian Shirley Chatham, IL $800

Lucas Oil Time Trials

Fast Time Group A: Josh Richards / 15.006 seconds

Fast Time Group B: Brandon Overton / 14.779 seconds (overall)

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 14-Josh Richards[1]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[2]; 3. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[3]; 4. 0E-Rick Eckert[5]; 5. 22F-Chris Ferguson[4]; 6. 5W-Mark Whitener[7]; 7. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[8]; 8. 1B-Ross Bailes[6]; 9. 1V-Vic Hill[9]; 10. 00-Russell Brown Jr[11]; 11. 8-Mike Benedum[10]

FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie[1]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[2]; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb[3]; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[5]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[6]; 6. 50-Shanon Buckingham[4]; 7. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[9]; 8. 6S-Blake Spencer[10]; 9. 2W-Pearson Williams[7]; 10. 0R-Ryan Scott[11]; 11. 89-GR Smith[8]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening[2]; 3. 25-Shane Clanton[4]; 4. 111-Steven Roberts[3]; 5. 49-Jonathan Davenport[5]; 6. 72-Michael Norris[6]; 7. 1G-Ryan King[7]; 8. KB0-Kerry King[8]; 9. F15-Jeremy Conaway[9]; 10. (DNS) 71-Hudson O'Neal; 11. (DNS) 91S-Blake Naylor

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 2. 9-Devin Moran[1]; 3. 7F-Jason Fitzgerald[5]; 4. 81E-Tanner English[7]; 5. 25DC-Donnie Chappell[4]; 6. 311-Ken Monahan[9]; 7. 14B-John Baker[10]; 8. 5T-John Tweed[8]; 9. 2S-Stormy Scott[6]; 10. (DNF) 40B-Kyle Bronson[2]

Tiger Rear Ends B-Main #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 5W-Mark Whitener[3]; 2. 22F-Chris Ferguson[1]; 3. 50-Shanon Buckingham[4]; 4. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[5]; 5. 1B-Ross Bailes[7]; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley[2]; 7. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[6]; 8. 00-Russell Brown Jr[11]; 9. 0R-Ryan Scott[12]; 10. (DNS) 6S-Blake Spencer; 11. (DNS) 1V-Vic Hill; 12. (DNS) 2W-Pearson Williams; 13. (DNS) 8-Mike Benedum; 14. (DNS) 89-GR Smith

FAST Shafts B-Main #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 72-Michael Norris[3]; 3. 1G-Ryan King[5]; 4. 14B-John Baker[6]; 5. F15-Jeremy Conaway[9]; 6. 91S-Blake Naylor[13]; 7. 311-Ken Monahan[4]; 8. 2S-Stormy Scott[10]; 9. KB0-Kerry King[7]; 10. 71-Hudson O'Neal[11]; 11. (DNS) 5T-John Tweed; 12. (DNS) 25DC-Donnie Chappell; 13. (DNS) 40B-Kyle Bronson

(Results via Lucas Oil Series)