PRP Press Release
Portsmouth Raceway Park hosted its biggest event ever over the weekend and the largest crowd in the 22-year history of the track was on hand to watch it.
Nearly 200 race teams filed into PRP for the 32nd Annual Red Buck Dirt Track World Championship. The parking lot was filled with motor homes and hotel rooms were booked within a 50-mile radius.
With 94 Late Model entries and 96 Modified teams, it was an atmosphere like no other Portsmouth Raceway Park had ever seen.
Jimmy Owens captured the win and the $50,000 which came with it. Owens took over the lead from Don O’Neal on Lap 2 and led the final 99 circuits.
Scott Bloomquist crossed the stripe as the runner up, O’Neal was third, Josh Richards finished fourth and the highest-placing local driver was West Portsmouth’s Ben Adkins who rounded out the top five. Steve Francis, R.J. Conley and Eddie Carrier, Jr. were other area favorites finishing in the top 10.
In total, 27 cars started the feature. In that field, there were drivers from Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, Wisconsin, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The weekend started Thursday with Modified Time Trials, Heats, and B-Mains. Friday was supposed to be set aside for Late Model Time Trials and Heats, but the evening was a wash due to rain that persisted throughout the night.
To make up for the loss of Friday, PRP started early on Saturday. Late Model Practice laps began at 1 p.m. and were followed immediately by Time Trials.
Then came six 20-lap heat races, which were all like features themselves with the top three transferring into the feature. Saturday’s Heat Race winners were Bloomquist, O’Neal, Dale McDowell, Owens, R.J. Conley and Chub Frank.
After a slight break during which country music band Borrowed Blue performed, racing resumed with a trio of 20-lap B-Mains. One of those was won by 70-year-old Delmas Conley, which resulted in one of the largest ovations of the day.
Three-time PRP Champion Jackie Boggs also got the Portsmouth fans on their feet by winning a B-Main. Mike Marlar captured the other race.
Following the B-Mains, The Jim Dunn Memorial non-qualifiers race took place. Ray Cook went back to North Carolina with the win.
Rather than taking the $3,000 for winning the 30-lap race, he opted to tag the tail of the feature, which paid $2,000 to start. Cook climbed from 27th to 11th in the A-Main.
Rick Aukland was the winner of the Modified Feature as the Big Swede led all 30 laps. Doug “The Buzzard” Adkins finished second.
The rest of the top 10 was made up of Jeremy Berwanger, David McWilliams, Jim Barnett, Jeremy Rayburn, Kenny Johnson, Larry Holbrook, Dave Jamison and Travis Dickson.
The weekend’s spectacle marked the season finale for Portsmouth Raceway Park but thanks to the success of the event, PRP Promoter Donna Rayburn and DTWC Promoter Carl Short announced the 33rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship would return to Portsmouth in 2013.
1. Jimmy Owens (Newport, TN)
2. Scott Bloomquist (Mooresburg, TN)
3. Don O’Neal (Martinsville, IN)
4. Josh Richards (Shinnston, WV)
5. Ben Adkins (West Portsmouth, OH)
6. Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)
7. Steve Francis (Ashland, KY)
8. R.J. Conley (Wheelersburg, OH)
9. Eddie Carrier (Salt Rock, WV)
10. Mike Marlar (Winfield, TN)
11. Ray Cook (Brasstown, NC)
12. Steve Shaver (Vienna, WV)
13. Eric Wells (Hazard, KY)
14. Chub Frank (Bear Lake, PA)
15. Jimmy Mars (Menomonie, WI)
16. Jared Landers (Batesville, AR)
17. Brady Smith (Solon Springs, WI)
18. Jared Miley (South Park, PA)
19. John Blankenship (Williamson, WV)
20. Jackie Boggs (Grayson, KY)
21. Jonathan Davenport (Blairsville, GA)
22. Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, GA)
23. Zack Dohm (Charleston, WV)
24. Josh McGuire (Grayson, KY)
25. Tyler Reddick (Corning, CA)
26. Delmas Conley (Wheelersburg, OH)
27. Shane Clanton (Fayetteville, GA)