FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Jimmy Owens outran the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series regulars at North Carolina’s Fayetteville Motor Speedway win the inaugural First in Flight 100 Saturday night.
The veteran driver of Newport, Tennessee claimed a $25,001 payday, as well as an extra $2,001 on Friday evening after winning the 10-lap “Big C Dash for Cash,” which honored the late Carlton Lamm.
“This works out great because we were kind of up in arms about even coming and Jim (Long, Fayetteville Motor Speedway’s promoter) called and said, ‘Are you coming?’ so I said ‘OK’,” said Owens. “I’m glad he invited us. We just feel really welcomed to come down here. The fans have been awesome and everybody has just been great.”
Owens started on the pole for the 100-lap finale beside Brandon Sheppard, the defending World of Outlaws Champion. Sheppard nabbed the lead position on the first lap, but on lap 16 he succumbed to Owens’ high-side momentum.
“It got rubbered up about halfway but you can’t do nothing in 90-degree weather,” said Owens. “The guys (at Fayetteville Motor Speedway) did their best to give us an awesome racetrack. I was able to pass for the lead there early and maintain it the rest of the race.”
Fourteen separate cautions fell throughout the feature event, the last happening on lap 99 for Dennis Franklin who ran out of fuel exiting turn four. The event went into “overtime” with a green-white-checkers style finish. Even with the late race caution, Owens was able to pull away from Sheppard by 1.128 seconds by the time the checkers fell.
“I was pretty good on the long runs there and (Owens) was definitely slowing down on the long runs to reserve tires and everything, and I was too,” said Sheppard. “In the beginning, I got out front there and was slowing the pace up and off a restart there he just got up on the wheel and did what he had to do and got back by me and that was the end of it for me.”
“Then, we went single file [for restarts]. I’m glad we did go single file though because I know me and Fergy (Chris Ferguson) had the elbows up coming off of (turn) four and we were rubbing paint,” continued Sheppard. “All and all, I was a pretty good night. Second place, not the turn out we wanted but we’ll take it and congratulations to Jimmy and thanks for all of the fans for coming out.”
David Breazeale finished in third, with Shane Clanton in fourth and Chris Madden in fifth.
Mike Marlar, Devin Moran, Rick Eckert, Brandon Overton, and Tyler Erb rounded out the top ten.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to action on May 18-19 at Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio. For more information, visit WoOLMS.com.
World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series
Fayetteville Motor Speedway – Fayetteville, NC
First in Flight 100 – May 12, 2018
1. 20-Jimmy Owens
2. 1-Brandon Sheppard
3. 54-David Breazeale
4. 25-Shane Clanton
5. 44-Chris Madden
6. 157-Mike Marlar
7. 9-Devin Moran
8. 7-Rick Eckert
9. 116-Brandon Overton
10. 91-Tyler Erb
11. 18c-Chase Junghans
12. C8-Timothy Culp
13. 16-Ben Watkins
14. 72-Jason Covert
15. 14m-Morgan Bagley
16. 79-Ross Bailes
17. 2-Dennis Franklin
18. B1-Brent Larson
19. 1p-Bobby Pierce
20. 22-Chris Ferguson
21. 22x-G.R. Smith
22. OO-Jeff Smith
23. 32-Dustin Mitchell
24. 44r-Brent Robinson
25. 421-Anthony Sanders