One Dirt Late Model racing’s most successful drivers will be pairing with a new operation in 2023. Four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Jimmy Owens will be driving Longhorn Chassis by Wells Motorsports cars powered by Vic Hill Race Engines owned by Bobby and Jessica Koehler of Mt. Airy, NC. The plans are to run all 23 events planned for Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks then decide whether or not to follow a series or take on a pick-and-choose type of schedule such as that Owens ran last year.
Owens found himself looking for a ride at the end of the 2022 campaign due to the death of team owner Leon Ramirez. The ‘Newport Nightmare’ has won virtually every major Dirt Late Model race including the World 100, Dirt Late Model Dream, North-South 100 and Show-me 100, but with few seats available, the announcement of this new opportunity came literally just days before the season is set to begin.
The Koehlers have two sons, Jordan and Evan, who have raced Crate Late Model machines for their parents’ team. Jordan, who is the older of the sons, will begin his Super Late Model career under the watchful eye of Owens.
“All of this has come together pretty quickly, but I couldn’t be any more excited and pumped up about the start of the season with Koehler Motorsports,” quoted Owens, who will maintain the equipment at his Newport, Tennessee race shop. “We’ve got an empty race hauler right now and no cars in the shop, but with a lot of hard work we will be ready to go to Volusia in a few weeks. When Leon (Ramirez) unfortunately passed away early last year, we knew that we would probably have to do something different for 2023. I can’t thank the entire Ramirez family enough for their support and they are still going to be on board with us as we transition over to Koehler Motorsports. I look forward to racing for Bobby and Jessica (Koehler) and helping their son Jordan all I can, as he starts his Super Late Model career.”
The Koehler Motorsports car will carry the driver’s familiar No. 20.
In a press release, Bobby Koehler expressed his excitement about being paired with one of the sport’s biggest stars.
“I’m just really excited for this new venture and for the opportunity to work with someone the caliber of Jimmy Owens,” Koehler declared. “His resume speaks for itself and for him to be able to help my son Jordan as he starts his Super Late Model career is really invaluable. We plan to run both Jordan and Jimmy the entire month of Speedweeks and see how the points shake out – maybe one or both of them will follow a national tour this year. Someone I’ve got to really thank is Eric Wells at Wells Motorsports for getting two new Longhorn cars out for us. All of this came together so quickly and at kind of the last minute, but it’s just a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait for the season to get underway!”
The World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series will begin its season on January 19th at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park while the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will begin on January 26th at Georgia’s Golden Isles Speedway.
Quotes taken from a press release provided by Delph Communications.
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