Jimmy Owens earned $20,000 Tuesday night at 411 Motor Speedway. (Michael Moats Photo)
Jimmy Owens earned $20,000 Tuesday night at 411 Motor Speedway. (Michael Moats Photo)

Jimmy Owens Collects $20,000 411 Prize

SEYMOUR, Tenn. — Championship-winning dirt racer Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., hauls all over the country for his successful Ramirez Motorsports team, but it’s nice — and profitable — to occasionally make the one-hour drive to 411 Motor Speedway.

“Any time I can take (track owner) Mitch McCarter’s money is awesome,” Owens cracked in victory lane Tuesday night after collecting $20,000 on the Castrol FloRacing Late Model Night in America as he led all 50 laps from outside the front row.

Owens tallied his fifth victory in five starts over the last two seasons at the 3/8-mile oval in dominating the main event, keeping 12th-starting Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., in check over the final 15 laps.

Davenport, the points leader on the first-year tour, finished 2.2 seconds behind at the finish with polesitter Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., third for Scott Bloomquist Racing. Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., was fourth with Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, Tenn., rounding out the top five finishers.

Owens was glad to be starting on the front row, but he knew he had some heat behind him heading into the 50-lapper.

“I watched the Crate race and stuff before, and (the track surface) was a little choppier than it needed to be up top, and there’s a lot of grip up there, but not as much as there is on the bottom. I felt (the bottom) was where I needed to be, but you never know,” Owens said.

“The track looked like it was going to be a groove up top and through the middle. I didn’t know where to be. My crew was telling me I had a good car, and I felt like I had a good car and I could’ve moved wherever I needed to, but you never know. J.D.’s been good this year, (Overton and Hoffman) and all those guys, they’re tough competition to keep behind you, that’s for sure.”

Davenport, who took second from Hoffman on a lap-35 restart, congratulated Owens, who he overtook Sunday at Rome (Ga.) Speedway en route to a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.

“We stole one from him there Sunday and he got us back here,” Davenport said. “I think we was here last time and I (finished) like fifth and he beat us by like 15 seconds, and it don’t take by 14 to go around this place. He’s definitely really good. We could see him this time, so that’s a step in the right direction.”

Davenport had his work cut out for him throughout the night when a deflating right-front tire spoiled his time-trial run and he was forced to start on the tail of his heat because he had to change rubber.

“It’s definitely tough when you spot this field, you know, pretty much the whole (night),” said Davenport, whose car suffered left-front damage in a lap-33 scrape when Hedgecock wrestled the fourth spot from him. (Davenport showed his displeasure with Hedgecock during the ensuing caution period.)

Davenport’s 12th-to-sixth charge on the opening lap set up his rally.

“I guess they didn’t see the green come out,” Davenport cracked. “There was a couple of cars bounce through the holes and push, and I just happened to be in the middle of ’em and got lucky there.

“Once again my guys give me a great car. I’ve gotta say hello to (crew chief) Jason (Durham) back home, he’s still not with his (while battling Covid-19), but he is getting better every day, so that’s definitely a good sign. Vinny (Guliani) and Clint (Campbell), it was just us three, and I think we really had a good car there.”

A self-deprecating Hoffman — “I’m just a half-ass modified racer trying to make it in the Late Model world” — thanked Scott Bloomquist Racing and his supporters for putting him in position to chase a big victory.

“We were a little bit harder on tire than (the first two finishers). Just that last restart, I just timed it wrong a little bit and got kind of in a push off (turn) four, and that allowed J.D. to roll by me,” said Hoffman, who ran second for laps 1-34. “I could keep pace with (Davenport), but couldn’t do nothing with him. Yeah, for sure, to be on the podium with these guys, I’m pumped up about it. We’ve got a pretty cool announcement coming up and I’ll be back in this thing at the (Charlotte’s) World Finals, for sure.”

Four cautions slowed the action, none for serious incidents. The first yellow flag appeared on the second lap when Tod Hernandez got into the outside wall between turns one and two and a lap-29 yellow flew for Christian Hanger’s flat left-rear tire. The third yellow appeared on lap 33 for a slowing Eli Beets and lap-35 caution for fourth-running Mike Marlar’s abrupt departure in turn two.

The finish:

Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Nick Hoffman, Brandon Overton, Cory Hedgecock, Spencer Hughes, Kyle Larson, Ricky Weiss, Chase King, Ryan King, Dalton Cook, Michael Lake, Mike Marlar, Eli Beets, Christian Hanger, Matt Tharp, Joseph Joiner, Jensen Ford, Stormy Scott, Randy Weaver, Tod Hernandez, Justin Owens.

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