The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series took to the dirt surface of Volusia Speedway Park on Friday night for night five of the DIRTcar Nationals. At the end of a long night brought on by a rain delay at the beginning of the evening, it was Jimmy Owens who, for the second consecutive night, left the Barberville, FL track with the winner’s trophy and a check valued at $10,000.
Owens had never won a feature in the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia until Thurday evening and now he has collected two of the famed gator-shaped trophies from the Florida track.
Scott Bloomquist was fastest in Group A qualifying by turning a lap in 15.861 seconds around the .425 mile clay oval to beat out Jimmy Owens, Michael Norris, Darrell Lanigan and Chris Madden.
Brandon Sheppard led the way in Group B time-trials with a time of 16.042 seconds to better the efforts of Ashton Winger, Mark Whitener, Chase Junghans and Cade Dillard.
The top-3 from each heat transferred to the feature.
Jimmy Owens won the first heat race of the night by besting Darrell Lanigan and Dennis Erb Jr. while Michael Norris took the second preliminary ahead of Chris Madden and Scott Bloomquist.
Mark Whitener led the field to the checkered flag in the third heat race of the night over Brandon Sheppard and Brandon Overton with Chase Junghans won out in the fourth heat ahead of Ashton Winger and Ricky Weiss.
Josh Richards took the first Last Chance Showdown by beating out Tyler Erb and Matt Cosner with Cade Dillard getting the win in the second LCS over Logan Martin and Kyle Strickler.
The DIRTcar redraw placed Owens on the pole with Whitener, Junghans and Norris lining up in order on the starting grid.
Whitener shot to the early lead at the start of the 40-lap main event with Owens, Junghans, Norris and Madden following. Norris took third from Junghans on the second circuit before the top-5 of Whitener, Owens, Norris, Junghans and Madden spread out.
On lap 7 the action really picked up as Weiss began a charge forward when he passed Sheppard for seventh. Two laps later, Junghans took third back away from Norris.
Weiss continued moving up on lap 10 as he grabbed the fourth position and set off in pursuit of the lead trio. Meanwhile at the front of the field Owens pulled to the inside of Whitener to issue a challenge for the lead of the race.
Owens took the top spot away from Whitener on lap 14 as Weiss and Sheppard swapped the fourth and fifth positions multiple times with Weiss eventually coming out on top for the moment.
Whitener moved to the high lane and issued a challenge for the lead on lap 16. That challenge would pay dividends. Just behind the leaders Weiss continued his drive toward the front by taking third from Junghans.
Owens went back to the lead just before halfway and the first caution of the night. On the lap 19 restart, Whitener fell back after jumping the cushion as Weiss stepped up to take on Owens for the lead.
On a lap 23 restart Sheppard got by Weiss for the runner-up position. On another restart two laps later it would be Bronson who would take his turn at second place when he went around Sheppard.
Overton, Bloomquist and Weiss engaged in a tough fight for positions 5-7 just after lap 30 while Owens tried to slip away from his pursuers.
A final yellow flag on lap 35 set up a final restart. Owens again got away from the pack as Lanigan passed by Sheppard for the final podium finishing position. But over the closing laps Owens showed the way before sailing under the checkered flag to score the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Jimmy Owens, 2. Kyle Bronson, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Brandon Overton, 6. Scott Bloomquist, 7. Ricky Weiss, 8. Chase Junghans, 9. Dennis Erb Jr., 10. Josh Richards, 11. Rick Eckert, 12. Cade Dillard, 13. Matt Cosner, 14. Kyle Strickler, 15. Brent Larson, 16. Boom Briggs, 17. Ashton Winger, 18. Chris Madden, 19. Kody Evans, 20. Blake Spencer, 21. Tyler Erb, 22. Mark Whitener, 23. Brian Shirley, 24. Michael Norris, 25. Logan Martin, 26. Ivedent Lloyd Jr.