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Jimmy Owens Conquers The World for The Second Time
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Rossburg, OH – Jimmy Owens survives damage and a late race charge by Eddie Carrier Jr. to capture his second World 100 globe trophy. Ask any Dirt Late Model driver what race they want to win more than any other, and you’ll get the same answer every time. The World 100. Each year on the second weekend of September, the best Dirt Late Model pilots in the world converge on the famed 1/2 mile clay oval at Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, Ohio) for the annual World 100. While there are races that pay more money in the Dirt Late Model world, there is no race that has more prestige. More than one driver has been quoted as saying that they would still come to the race even if it paid nothing, because they want the coveted ``globe trophy`` more than anything. The 2011 edition of the event was held on September 9th-10th, and 112 Dirt Late Model drivers representing seventeen states, three countries and two continents entered the 41st Annual World 100. The event began inauspiciously, as Mother Nature intervened on the scheduled technical inspection day, slated for Thursday. The persistent showers subsided on Friday morning, allowing the haulers to fill the infield at the half-mile monster. By 7:00 p.m. on Friday technical inspection was complete and hot laps were underway. In hot laps it was Batesville, Arkansas` driver, Jared Landers, who is the current track record holder, who led the way with the fastest lap times around the high-banked oval. With hot laps completed qualifications commenced, which are conducted differently at the World 100 than at any other major Dirt Late Model event. Instead of just drawing one qualifying number, drivers draw two numbered pills at registration, and receive the opportunity to qualify in two separate rounds of one-lap qualifying, with their best lap between the two rounds being used to determine their heat race lineups for Saturday night. Another hitch is thrown at the competitors each year with an inversion wheel being spun by the fast qualifier to determine the number of cars that will be inverted for Saturday night`s heat races. The wheel presents the chance to see zero, two, three, four, five or even six cars inverted for heat race action, and more times than not the inversion wheel is regarded with dismay by the fast qualifier, who knows that the outcome of a simple spin of the wheel could ultimately determine his or her chances of winning the event. Three-time World 100 Champion, Scott Bloomquist from Mooresburg, Tennessee, blazed to the fastest qualifying lap on Friday night with a lap of 15.009 seconds (less than two tenths shy of the track record). On the spin of the wheel he received a ``3,`` which meant that the top three cars in each heat race would be inverted. With the spin of the inversion wheel completed, Friday night`s event came to an end as competitors and fans began to look ahead to Saturday night`s festivities. Racing in general is known for the excitement and enthusiasm that it generates, but perhaps the most electric part of the Dirt Late Model World comes to life between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night each year at the World 100. It`s during this time that pre-race festivities get underway and the first heat races are called to the grid as a massive crowd of more than 30,000 fans waits anxiously. On this night the anxious fans would not be disappointed as a full throng of six heat races were held, which were overflowing with intense racing action, drama, insane wrecks and overall incredible racing. Via the slate of six heat races and two consolation events, a talent-laden field of thirty competitors was assembled for the 100 lap finale. South Carolina`s Chris Madden and 2005 event champion Dale McDowell from Georgia brought the field to the green flag for the $44,000-to-win race. As the race went green it was Madden who jumped to the lead in pursuit of his first triumph in the coveted event. McDowell, Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Owens and Billy Moyer pursued the leader during the early stages of the event. As the race approached the lap 10 mark Madden maintained the lead, but former event champion and current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader Jimmy Owens was on the move, and Owens used lapped traffic to his advantage to claim the lead on lap 13. Once out front, Owens would power his #20 Bloomquist/Cornett Racing Engine Super Late Model to a commanding advantage over the pack. After enduring a series of cautions Owens continually motored away from the pack on the restarts, but that all changed as the event`s final caution flew on lap 82 for a Dale McDowell and Josh Richards tangle in turn four. At the time of the caution Owens was followed by Lanigan and O`Neal. The ensuing restart saw Owens initially return to his customary lead in the event. One lap after returning to green flag conditions, however, he jumped the cushion in turn one causing the right-side door brace to break. In turn this allowed the door panel to buckle, resulting in a very ill-handling mount due to poor aerodynamics. At times Owens was as much as a second slower than his pursuers and looked to be a sitting duck in the closing laps. Despite Owens` woes, the battle for the second position presented the would-be contenders with their own issues as O`Neal and Lanigan began an intense battle that was full of questionable slide jobs and heavy contact. This allowed Owens to narrowly extend his lead, but he would not be in the clear yet, as fourth-running Eddie Carrier Jr., took advantage of the full-contact battle for the second spot to shoot past the duo on lap 98 and set his sights on the leader. Carrier Jr. was a full straightaway behind Owens as the pair took the white flag, but he quickly closed on the leader`s wounded car down the back straightaway. Heading into turn three on the final lap Owens headed to the cushion, while Carrier Jr. made a banzai move to the bottom of the track. He desperately tried to slide in front of Owens exiting turn four, but his bid fell just short as he crossed the finish line in the second position in front of a cheering crowd. O`Neal, Lanigan, and fourteenth starting John Blankenship rounded out the top five at the finish line. The win was the second World 100 title for Jimmy Owens, who has been competing in the Dirt Late Model division for less than ten years. “Tonight was a whole lot more sentimental than the first [World 100 win],” said Owens in victory lane, who ended a string of 10 consecutive first-time World 100 winners. “The first time we won we were still more of a Modified racer and when we won the Dream it just didn’t hit home to what we had done.`` COMP Cams® had a dominant presence at the 41st Annual World 100, as all of the drivers who finished in the top five were utilizing power plants with COMP Cams® camshafts. Cornett Racing Engines led the way with an impressive three of the top five finishers, including race winner Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan, and John Blankenship. All three employed the use of COMP Cams® products. West Virginia-based Grover Racing Engines powered Eddie Carrier Jr. to a second place finish, while a Jay Dickens Racing Engine was present in the car of third place finisher, Don O`Neal. COMP Cams® is the leader in valve train technology and performance, further evidenced by its products dominating the biggest Dirt Late Model event of the year. For more information, please visit www.compcams.com.

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