Mark Owens drove by the spinning duo of David Garber and Alex Lessor with Bodie Morton in tow for a wild finish in the Mike's Hard Lemonade 100 at Montana Raceway Park.
For Immediate Release: Montana Raceway Park Media Relations
KALISPELL, Mont. (May 15, 2010)-David Garber and Alex Lessor battled literally to the end of the Mike’s Hard Lemonade 100 at Montana Raceway Park, making contact as the checkered flag flew sending both drivers spinning to the infield which allowed Mark Owens, Bodie Morton and Wrango West to clear with Owens taking an unexpected victory in the 2010 season opener at the Flathead Valley’s high-banked oval.
Garber led the field to the green flag and held the point through the race’s first 37 circuits before the first yellow of the evening flew for Chad Clampitt’s spin in turn No. 2. Using the cone rule for double-file restarts, Garber took the low line as did most of the top-5 with Calgary’s Brian Levant choosing the high side on the restart.
Morton pressured Garber through the race’s midway point as a second yellow came out on lap 54 for Cory Wolfe’s contact with Chris Skelton in turn No. 3.
Making a bold move around Garber, Morton briefly held the lead with Garber in hot pursuit. Lessor and Owens kept the front pair in sight then moved closer for a four-way battle for the lead at lap 69. Owens found Lessor to his right on the backstretch and gave chase as the duo moved by Garber and Morton for the front two positions.
Lessor went by Owens at lap 71 and stayed in front for seven laps until Garber reappeared for the top position on lap 78. Lessor retook the lead at lap 83 moving Garber to second with Owens and Morton locked in a battle for third with the final laps winding down.
With ten laps to go all four of the front running drivers were side-by-side and nose to tail for the victory. Lessor cleared Garber and stretched a lead to three car lengths with two laps to go. Garber reeled up Lessor in turn No.3 on lap 100 but contact between the leaders ended both drivers’ chances at victory.
A stunned Owens smiled in victory lane, thankful for the win.
“We battled hard there at the end and we’ll take the win after starting off tough in Canada a few weeks ago (where Owens damaged his primary car in an ARCA West qualifying incident). We had a little luck and sometimes that’s not all bad. For sure I know he (Lum Owens, Mark’s father who passed away in 2008) was along for the ride,” said the winning driver.
Morton, like Owens, needed a few moments to collect his thoughts on a wild night of late model racing but once he realized the significance of his runner-up finish, was happy to follow Owens to the stripe.
“I wasn’t even sure what had happened there at the end but I know I saw Garber and Alex going around in the grass and knew I just had to keep going,” Morton said.
West, who had a pair of top-3 finishes on the night after running second in the Westward Bound Construction/Keller Williams Realty Legends main, was hopeful that his third place late model run is a sign of things to come.
“This was a good start for us and hopefully we can keep working to make our car better each week,” he noted.
Tyler Corpron held off West by .16-seconds for that Legends series victory and gave the capacity crowd quite the donut show with a smile.
“That’s not a bad way to start 2010,” he said upon exiting the car. “I knew Wrango was coming and it was all I could do to hold him back there off (turn No.) four.”
Tim Corbett, Don Sanderson and Spike Schultze rounded out the top-5 finishing order.
Tim Davis picked up a win in the Crusin’ Compact division over Bill Mitchell, Marvin Stone, Fran Rehn and Danella White.
Mitchell drove from the back to the front of the pack over the final 20 laps after being caught in an incident on lap five and just missed a chance to get Davis at the stripe.
“Wow he was a coming on strong,” Davis told the crowd. “That boy gave it all he had and to get a win with him closing in like that is pretty cool.”
Jared White picked up the win in the Hornets 20-lap main event with Kyle Basler and Jackson Spooner rounding out the top-3
Scott Lee, the 2009 Thunder Roadster drivers’ points runner-up, started his new season off on a high note with a victory over Zach Havens and Larry Gerek in the group’s 25-lap finale.
Racing resumes at Montana Raceway Park on May 22 as First Interstate Bank sponsors the Flathead Beacon Bombers, Hobby Stocks, Thunder Roadsters, Bandoleros and the Super Stocks.
Kids Nights is on tap for next weekend with ride along offered during intermission. To learn more call (406) 257- RACE (7223), log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com or text MTRACE to 91011.
Main Event Unofficial Results
Lucas Oil Super Late Models
Westward Bound Construction/Keller Williams Realty Legends
Flathead Beacon Crusin’ Compacts
MRP Thunder Roadsters