WAYCROSS, GA (February 1, 2013) – A pair of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series drivers have dominated the racing action “down under” in Australia over the past month. Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN and Steve Francis of Ashland, KY are undefeated in feature competition, with Owens wrapping up his trip this weekend.
Francis captured the Australian National Title a year ago, and won every preliminary and feature event he participated in. He began this season’s trip back in December and ended his trip in late January. In commanding fashion, he led every lap in all of his events. Francis, who will be piloting the Georgia Boot-sponsored, Barry Wright Race Cars #15, for Clint Bowyer Racing on the LOLMDS tour in 2013, drove for both Michael Holmes and Bruce McKenzie in Australia.
The “Kentucky Colonel” kicked off the Wild West Tour on December 26th at Perth Motorplex in Kwinana, Western Australia. He quickly captured the opening preliminary feature event and then followed it up the following night by winning the main event. Francis then ventured to Manjimup Speedway in Middlesex, Western Australia on December 29th. He ended up in victory lane once again after winning the feature event. He wrapped up the Wild West Tour title by winning at Collie Speedway in Collie, Western Australia on January 5th, staying undefeated at that point of his trip.
After taking a break, Francis arrived at Bunbury City Speedway in Bunbury, Western Australia for the Australian National Championship. Again, he won the preliminary feature on January 11th. The next night, he continued to stay “red-hot” by claiming yet another main event triumph. On January 15th, he captured the feature win at Goulburn Speedway in Goulburn, AUS. With the win at Goulburn, he took home the New South Wales State Championship.
His final event was at Sydney Speedway on January 25th and 26th. Francis won the preliminary event on the 25th, and was scheduled to start on the pole of the finale on the 26th, but the race was rained out.
Owens, the 2-time and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, raced at Mountain Dew Ice Raceway in Hobart, Tasmania driving for David Nichols. Owens piloted the USA#1 car and won a preliminary feature on January 26th. He followed that up on January 27th by winning the 50-lap main event.
The “Newport Nightmare” will conclude his trip down under with events at Bendigo Bank Arena in Latrobe, Australia on February 1st and 2nd.
“We’re very proud to have a couple of our series drivers representing the US in other countries and doing well. Both Jimmy and Steve are great ambassadors for our sport and represent our country with great dignity and respect. We’re excited for their success and look forward to having them back with the series again in 2013,” stated Ritchie Lewis, Director, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Francis and Owens will kick-off the 2013 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season with the 37th Annual DART Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL from February 10th-16th.
For more information on the 37th Annual “DART Winternationals”, log onto the track’s website atwww.eastbayracewaypark.com.
For the latest breaking news on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, visit the series’ website at www.lucasdirt.com .
2013 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “37th Annual DART Winternationals” Schedule
East Bay Raceway Park-Tampa, FL
Sunday, February 10th – Open Practice Session – 6-9 PM
Monday, February 11th – $5,000 to win
Tuesday, February 12th – $5,000 to win
Wednesday, February 13th – $7,000 to win
Thursday, February 14th – $7,000 to win
Friday, February 15th – $10,000 to win (points event)
Saturday, February 16th – $10,000 to win (points event)