Late Model racers set to take track in 2013 ShamRock
by Special to the Banner
Mar 06, 2013 | 457 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saturday, dirt track racing fans will get to see a Champions Revival for the great ShamRock event beginning with the defending and two-time ShamRock champion Jimmy Owens, of Newport. The O-Show will bring his Team-Zero beast to center-stage Saturday night seeking his third $10,000 March payday. Owens first won the ShamRock in 2008 before continuing on a few years later to become a back-to-back Dirt Late Model National Champion.

Then there's the ShamRock's only three-time Champion, leader of Team-Zero Scott Bloomquist. The Mooresburg Late Model warlord has laid claim to every known crown jewel event there is and for years was an almost unstoppable force on dirt. "Black Sunshine" first won the ShamRock in only its second year (1995). Though he doesn't race the event annually, when he does he's rarely a disappointment. His other ShamRock titles came in 1997 and then nine years later.

Most recent previous champions to Owens four-year reign include Shane Clanton and Jonathan Davenport. Clanton debuted a Capital Racecar with his 2011 ShamRock victory, giving former Dirt Track World Champion Marshall Green his first major "W" as manufacturer. Davenport backed up his ShamRock victory being the only driver in 18 years to win a Gobbler and a ShamRock back to back.

Other than Owens, Cleveland Speedway's Fan Favorite Dale McDowell, the legend Billy Moyer and Tennessee's Duane Hommel all have a pair of green trophies for their display cases. The only still active touring racer that will be in contention Saturday seeking his second ShamRock is "Smokey" Chris Madden. The South Carolina standout won in 2007 and is always a threat as one of the heavy hitters of Team-Zero.

Wisconsin's Dan Schleiper holds the honor of the only Northerner to capture a ShamRock. In 2001 leader McDowell lifted after receiving the white flag to hand the "Wildman" a steep pay increase.

The only local racer to ever win a ShamRock was Ooltewah's Ricky Holland when he held off McDowell in 2000. Rex Richey won the inaugural event in 1994.

Another driver to take the ShamRock is East Tennessee standout Patrick Duggan who just happens to share a distinct honor with five others. McDowell, Clanton, Madden, Davenport and Richey are the only drivers to have won both Cleveland Speedway's signature events; the Gobbler and the ShamRock.