Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – CHILLICOTHE, OH – Jimmy Owens passed polesitter Devin Moran to lead lap two and never looked back on his way to victory lane in the Super Clean Buckeye Spring 50 Presented by Protect the Harvest on Sunday Night at Atomic Speedway.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event took just barely over 17 minutes to complete the 50-lap race.
For Owens, it was his second win of the 2022 season and the 79th career victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Moran came into the event as the #1 ranked dirt late model driver in the country and continued his stride by finishing second, just 0.785 seconds behind the winner.
Moving into third in the points with his third-place finish, Tyler Erb finished ahead of Hudson O’Neal, the defending race winner, and Brandon Sheppard, who entered the event as the series points leader.
Only one caution flag slowed the event as Owens held a consistent lead throughout the race, which was postponed to Sunday from Friday. Moran made a last-ditch effort in the final laps but came up short of his fourth series win of the year.
An emotional Owens in Lucas Oil Victory for the first time since his car owner Leon Ramirez’ passing last month thanked the Ramirez family for their continued support. “This says a lot for the Ramirez family to keep pushing and putting us in the best equipment money can buy. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am very blessed to have had him in my life.”
“I could hear someone behind me, and I had a couple of lapped cars coming up in front of me. I knew if I could just hold a good line and keep the car good and straight, I could hold on until the finish. I know Devin has been extremely good this year. I knew if I were going to beat him it would be on the take off. We got a good run there on him on the second lap. I ran him up the backstretch a little bit, I thought I had him cleared. It’s all good racing, there was a bunch of good racers here.”
Moran, who regained the series points lead continued his impressive early season success. “I got the lead on the first lap and then I missed the bottom in three and four and he got underneath me. I was reeling him in and then a lapped car didn’t realize I was there in turn four and it cost me some momentum. I fell back to third and then got back to second. I saw the five to go signal, that late in the race I just tried to stay away from the fence.”
Erb battled with Moran for several laps to round out the podium in third. “If things would have played out differently there, I might have had something for Jimmy. I was trying to figure out a line in three and four to run, it would have been easy to get up there and tear the fence down.”
The winner’s Ramirez Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Reece Monument Company, Tim Short Auto Group, Boomtest Well Service, Georgia Arms, Red Line Oil, Midwest Sheet Metal, Sunoco Race Fuels, Go Lithium Batteries, and Bilstein Shocks.
Completing the top ten were Ricky Thornton Jr., Garrett Alberson, Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Rice, and Dennis Erb Jr.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Super Clean Buckeye Spring 50 Presented by Protect the Harvest
Sunday, March 20th, 2022
Atomic Speedway – Chillicothe, OH
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Devin Moran /13.109 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Garrett Alberson / 13.429 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 4. C9-Steve Casebolt; 5. 89-Ashton Winger; 6. 71R-Rod Conley; 7. 0K-Freddie Carpenter; 8. 03-Matt Isaac
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 1S-Brandon Sheppard; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 3. 11-Spencer Hughes; 4. 7-Ross Robinson; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 6. 20B-Todd Brennan; 7. 6C-Travis Carr
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie; 4. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr; 5. 28C-Tyler Carpenter; 6. 71C-RJ Conley; 7. 511-Chris Lockhart; 8. 32A-Robert Starret
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce; 3. 11R-Josh Rice; 4. 25-Shane Clanton; 5. 95J-Jerry Bowersock; 6. 21K-Kirk Phillips; 7. 13W-Clay Wenzlick
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 6 Transfer): 1. 89-Ashton Winger; 2. 28C-Tyler Carpenter; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 4. 71C-RJ Conley; 5. 71R-Rod Conley; 6. 21K-Kirk Phillips; 7. 511-Chris Lockhart; 8. 20B-Todd Brennan; 9. 6C-Travis Carr; 10. 32A-Robert Starret; 11. 95J-Jerry Bowersock; 12. 13W-Clay Wenzlick; 13. (DNS) 0K-Freddie Carpenter; 14. (DNS) 03-Matt Isaac
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Devin Moran (Lap 1); Jimmy Owens (Laps 2 – 50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Jimmy Owens
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Jimmy Owens
Margin of Victory: 0.785 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Ross Robinson (Lap 31)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: Freddie Carpenter, Todd Brennan
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, Tyler Erb
Penske Shocks Top 5: Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran, Tyler Erb, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Ashton Winger (Advanced 5 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon Sheppard
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Jimmy Owens (49 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Lap 4 – 15.057 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Ross Robinson
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Cory Fostvedt (Jimmy Owens)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Racing Engines
Miller Multimatic Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Ricky Thornton Jr (13.450 seconds)
Time of Race: 17 minutes 07 seconds