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Owens preaches Volunteer Speedway sermon for ‘Old Fashion Sunday Meeting @ The Gap 50’ $5,000 Super Late Model victory

Volunteer SpeedwayBy Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway Media/Public Relations

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (April 10) — The calendar shows it’s the second weekend of April, but Sunday at Volunteer Speedway felt more like mid-summer as temperatures approached 90 degrees in East Tennessee.

After competing in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday night, Jimmy Owens of Newport made the fast trip back home and the move proved to be a wise financial decision. Owens grabbed the lead from Mark Douglas on lap 23 of the “Old Fashion Sunday Meeting @ The Gap 50” and once out front he was never seriously challenged in pocketing $5,000 for the Super Late Model victory.

Austin Dillon, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racer and grandson of multi-team owner Richard Childress, toured the high-banked 4/10-mile oval at 12.799-seconds to earn the pole position and $300 from Martin’s Roofing Service of Bean Station for the 50-lap main event.

Dillon and Douglas, who timed-in second quickest at 12.804 led the 23-car field to green from row one. With both racing side-by-side down the front straightaway into first turn, Douglas rode the cushion up top to power into the lead over Dillon as they raced off second turn, with Chris Ferguson, Billy Ogle Jr. and Ty Dillon holding down top five in running order back around at the stripe to complete the opening lap.

“The Newport Nightmare” Owens was on the move quickly, overtaking Ty Dillon for fifth on lap 2. One circuit later Owens got around “Billy the Kid” Ogle between turns three and four to take over the fourth spot. All eyes were on Owens, as he was up-on-the-wheel and hustling his way around the track – passing Ferguson to move into third place on lap 4 racing off turn two.

With the race running clean-and-green, Douglas, a two-time Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model competitor, had pulled out to seven car length lead by lap 10 over Austin Dillon, who had Owens riding in his rearview mirror. Douglas caught the tail of the field and began having to work traffic on lap 17.

Having difficulty in maneuvering his way around the traffic directly in front of him, all at once Douglas’ lead evaporated and Austin Dillon and Owens were applying pressure. Coming to the start-finish line to begin lap 18, Douglas was trying to use his front nosepiece to move slower cars aside. Owens saw the top of the track open and he drove his mount in hard on the outside of Austin Dillon, and racing off turn two Owens sped past to move into the runner-up position.

But Owens, driving the Reece Monument Co./Gantte Appraisals/Byrd’s Radiator/Midwest Sheet Metal/Hoosier Racing Tire South/Alwee Trucking/Red Line Synthetic Oil/VP Racing Fuels/Performance Rod & Custom/Wear Development/Cornett Thunder Racing Engines/Bloomquist Race Cars/No. 20 Ford Fusion, was not content to ride in second. Just a few laps prior, Owens had gone up top in getting around Austin Dillon.

In making what would prove to be the race-winning move, Owens drove in hard on the bottom to get inside of Douglas entering turn one on lap 23 to take a lead he would never relinquish. Just two circuits later, good runs for both Ferguson and Jonathan Davenport ended when they spun in turn two to bring out the yellow.

Going back green Owens was riding out front for the Delaware Double File Restart, with Austin Dillon and Ogle behind him. Back up to speed and after working his magic in charging from third row starting position all the way into the lead, Owens began to put distance between himself, Austin Dillon and Ogle during a 22-lap green flag stretch. Owens’ run to victory was temporarily slowed when Bryan Hendrix slowed to a stop high between turns three and four with a flat tire to bring out the event’s final caution.

With a five-lap dash to the checkers, Owens set sail with a clear track ahead of him to easily win over Austin Dillon, Ogle, Ty Dillon and Chip Brindle, who came home with a fifth-place finish after starting 13th.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Tommy Kerr, Eric Wells, Chris Brown, Chad Ogle and Eric Jacobsen.

”This is a good home-track win for us tonight,” said a smiling Owens after climbing from his car on the front straightaway in victory lane before the cheering crowd. “Here at ‘The Gap’ is where I began my racing career. Even though I mainly only get to race here when the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has an event, it’s really special to get the opportunity to get hang out in the pits with people you’ve known many years and to race before fans who’ve cheered for you a long time.

“You can’t race at the level we compete at unless you’ve got good backing, and I really want to thank Mike Reece with Reece Monument Co. in Tazewell, and George Gantte with Gantte Appraisals in Dandridge for all they do for me – along with all other sponsors we have on the car. The way we travel around the country racing, you’ve got to have good financial support and also a good crew helping work on the car. I realize just how fortunate I am to have all the key pieces of the puzzle in place to allow me to race on the national level.”

With a stellar 25-car field of Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Models in attendance, Jerry Broyles and Shanon Buckingham brought the field to green from the front row. Broyles and Buckingham raced door-to-door down the front straightaway into the first turn, but carrying the momentum off the banking exiting turn two up high Buckingham moved into the lead over Broyles, Dale Ball, Bobby Mays and Tim Byrd.

Ball got around Broyles for second on lap 2, closing in on the rear bumper of Buckingham, while Broyles, Mays and Byrd were running nose-to-tail. Just outside the top five in running order, Vic Chandler, Mike Smith, David Smith, Weston Gantte and Brandon Williams were battling for real estate. Caution waved on lap 9 when Andy Ogle and Richard Adkins spun in turn three.

Buckingham was all alone out front for the Delaware Double File Restart, with Ball and Broyles side-by-side behind him. Ball got a good run on Buckingham racing down the front straightaway into first turn to get a nose underneath him, and racing off turn two Buckingham suddenly slowed with a suspected broken fuel pump and Ball moved into the lead. With cars jamming up behind the slowing Buckingham, at end of backstretch Steve Cooke and Joey Steele spun to bring out the caution.

The next attempt to go green had Johnson City chauffeur Ball riding out front, with Broyles and Mays behind him. While Ball began to put a little distance between his Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Luke’s Pizza of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Twin D Auto & Truck Sales of Johnson City/Tri-City Rubber & Gasket Co./Advance Auto Parts/Bilstein Shocks/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Chevrolet Impala and his closest challengers Broyles and Mays during a 10-lap green flag run, he saw a seven car length lead be erased on lap 19 when Jordan Dill spun between turns one and two to bring out the event’s final caution.

Poised for a six-lap run to the finish, Ball, the defending Pro (Crate) Late Model track champion, got a good jump over Broyles and Mays when the green flag waved on the restart and would not be denied a trip to victory lane. Ball was chased to the checkers by Broyles, Mays, Smith and Byrd.

Dustin Shaver set fast-time at 16.045-seconds (89.752 mph) to win the pole position for the “Gunslingers” Hobby Stock 20-lap feature, but it was outside front-row starter Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va., the defending divisional track champion, crossing the start-finish line ahead of Shaver to record the victory after leading flag-to-flag. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Jon Cook, Dale Reed and Dennis Metcalf.

Duke Bare of Meadowview, Va., wrote his name in the record book as the inaugural feature winner of the new Road Warrior division as he captured the victory over Robert Barndt, Jesse Wilder, Kyle Hunter and Bobby Shelton.

Another exciting racing program is scheduled at Volunteer Speedway on Saturday, April 16, which will be highlighted by the $3,000-to-win “Volunteer Clash – Battle of Bulls Gap 50” for Super Late Models. Also racing will be the Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Pro (Crate) Late Model, Hobby Stock and Road Warrior divisions.

Showing Finish Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown

1. (5) Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN

2. (1) Austin Dillon #3-Lewisville, NC

3. (4) Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN

4. (6) Ty Dillon #41-Lewisville, NC

5. (13) Chip Brindle #21-Chatsworth, GA

6. (11) Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN

7. (8) Eric Wells #18-Hazard, KY

8. (9) Chris Brown #21-Houston, TX

9. (14) Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN

10. (12) Eric Jacobsen #5-Seacliffe Beach, CA

11. (15) Ronnie Johnson #5-Chattanooga, TN

12. (18) Jeff Maupin #25-Greeneville, TN

13. (10) Mark Vineyard #4-Powell, TN

14. (22) David Watts #04-Buchanan, VA

15. (20) Kerry Jones #116-Bristol, TN

16. (16) Bryan Hendix #5-Knoxville, TN

17. (21) Josh Henry #B00-Newport, TN

18. (3) Chris Ferguson #22-Mount Holly, NC

19. (17) Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN

20. (2) Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN

21. (7) Jonathan Davenport #49-Blairsville, GA

22. (23) Dempsey Harold Jr. #09-Church Hill, TN

23. (19) Todd Morrow #48-Chattanooga, TN



1) Dale Ball #2; 2) Jerry Broyles #72; 3) Bobby Mays #19; 4) David Smith #11; 5) Tim Byrd #24; 6) Brandon Williams #95; 7) Vic Chandler #88; 8) Weston Gantte #14; 9) Chad Hale #51; 10) Todd Brooks #T1; 11) Ricky Moore #75; 12) Brian Nance #47; 13) Andy Ogle #68; 14) Jordan Dill #22; 15) Hugh Scalf #56; 16) John Broce Jr. #44; 17) Richard Adkins #73; 18) Tim Maupin #2T; 19) Brian Westmoreland #54; 20) Shanon Buckingham #50; 21) Steve Cooke #17c; 22) Joey Steele #97; 23) Mike Smith #4; 24) James Cole #5 – Did Not Start: Keith Helton #5

HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)

1) Jamie Whitt #1; 2) Dustin Shaver #7; 3) Jon Cook #0z; 4) Dale Reed #52; 5) Dennis Metcalf #55; 6) Ricky Gosnell #15; 7) Bud Kelley #B21; 8) Robbie Woods #2; 9) Charlie Bates #27; 10) Roger Hunter #7-11; 11) Josh Adkins #m20; 12) Tracey Wolfe #11; 13) Brian Mock #18; 14) Mike Kilian #94; 15) Eddie Adams #9; 16) Chris Gregg #73; 17) Kaleb Trent #34; 18) Danny Helton #88; 19) Chuck Kilian #96

ROAD WARRIOR (12 laps)

1) Duke Bare #52; 2) Robert Barndt #14; 3) Jesse Wilder #79; 4) Kyle Hunter #7-11; 5) Bobby Shelton #5; 6) Brian Ellis #48


Volunteer Speedway (Recording Only): (423) 235-5020 www.VolunteerSpeedway.com
Track Office – Weekdays Only 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: (423) 378-5942
Phyllis Loven (Track Owner): (423) 676-9081
Robert Walden – Media/Public Relations: (423) 928-9644


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