Richards Claims Second Crown
CONCORD, N.C. — Jimmy Owens thwarted Jonathan Davenport’s attempt at a sweep of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series portion of the fourth annual Lowes Foods World Finals in Saturday night’s season finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Meanwhile fourth-finishing Josh Richards clinched his second series championship by four points over third-place Darrell Lanigan to become the first driver to earn consecutive WoO LMS titles.
Starting sixth, Owens worked his way toward the front aboard his No. 20 Reece Monuments Team Zero by Bloomquist car in the early running and challenged outside polesitter Mike Marlar for second, finally getting the spot in turn two on lap 17. He wasted little time tracking down leader Davenport, who won Friday’s postponed 40-lap late model feature earlier in the day at the four-tenths-mile oval, and took the lead on lap 18.
Owens then withstood a rash of six cautions between laps 23-29 for his second Outlaw win of the season and his third trip to the winner’s circle at the Charlotte-area Dirt Track where, for the second-straight year, he shared the spotlight with the newly crowned Richards.
“We had a great car. My hat’s off to the crew; they worked their tails off,” said Owens, who pocketed $10,000 for his fourth-career triumph with the series. “Congratulations to Josh. It looks like this is déjà vu of last year, but I know he’ll take it, and we will, too.
“(Turns) three and four kind of got dominant on the bottom, and one and two was good pretty much every where. We were able to capitalize on the guys early and take home a win.”
Davenport trailed Owens by .715 second at the stripe ahead of Lanigan, Richards and Tim McCreadie, who used a provisional to start after triumphing in the second DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature earlier in the evening.
After finishing 12th in the rain-delayed Friday portion of the World Finals, Richards held a slim six-point lead over Lanigan entering the 50-lap season finale Saturday night. Lanigan, the 2008 series champion, had one final chance to earn the 2010 crown by finishing at least four places ahead of Richards, or two should he win the race.
After winning his B main, Lanigan started the feature mired in 21st but easily dispatched the competition as he moved toward the front of the pack and used a series of restarts to close on Richards, who started seventh after transferring into the main event with a runner-up showing in his heat race. Though Lanigan fought his way to third and bested his rival by one spot on the track, it wasn’t enough to dethrone Richards.
“It’s been a crazy year,” said Richards, who earned his second title on the strength of eight wins, 27 top fives and 36 top 10s. “That black 29 car (Lanigan) has been tough and definitely has made me work for it. Those guys are a championship-winning team and they deserve to be here just as much as I do. To come down to four points and for it to be that close at the end of the race, to come out on top just makes it that more special.
“I don’t know if this has set in yet; I still feel like I’m trying to beat that 29 car.”
Chris Madden, Steve Shaver, Marlar, Steve Francis and Clint Smith completed the top 10.
Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards, Tim McCreadie, Chris Madden, Steve Shaver, Mike Marlar, Steve Francis, Clint Smith, Shane Clanton, Chris Brown, Rick Eckert, Austin Hubbard, Vic Coffey, Will Vaught, Gregg Satterlee, Ken Schrader, Jeff Rine, Scott Bloomquist, Earl Pearson, Jr., Jeep VanWormer, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tim Fuller, Jared Landers, Chub Frank, Tommy Kerr, Billy Decker, John Blankenship.