Getting Up To Speed With…Jimmy Owen
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Hull Family Photography)
The 2014 season at the Cottage Grove Speedway will see the debut of the Northwest Extreme Modifieds. With the introduction of this class some new drivers are looking to cut their teeth and get some valuable laps under their belts. It will also introduce some new names to the loyal CGS fan base that should create some new stars in the future whether it be for the IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, etc.
Despite the 2014 campaign not being his first time racing Cottage Grove driver, via Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Jimmy Owen looks forward to turning his first laps at the famed ¼-mile clay oval this April when racing is expected to get underway. Despite having a limited background in dirt track racing Owen has spent several seasons competing or crewing on pavement cars specifically Modifieds. During his asphalt tenure Jimmy raced with the Lucas Oil Modified Series in the Southwest running on tracks in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Last season Owen competed at Roseburg’s Douglas County Speedway where he returned to racing after a brief hiatus. This year he will go from the blacktop to the dirt chauffeuring his #27 Northwest Extreme Modified and donating all race winnings to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Now let’s get up to speed with Jimmy Owen.
Driver: Jimmy Owen
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Occupation: Owner of CJ Motorsports
Years Racing: 4
Classification: Northwest Extreme Modified
Team: Owen Racing
Car Number: 27
Sponsors: St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Special Thanks: Cyndi Turner, Johnny Owen (Father), Eagle Racing Graphics
BD: Racing last year in a Modified at Douglas County Speedway on pavement and now transferring to a dirt track how difficult will that be?
JO: I’ve ran dirt a little bit but I hope it won’t be too difficult. I raced at the Mojave Valley Raceway in Arizona several years ago. There is going to be a lot of competition in this class and should be a fun year of racing. The biggest thing for me is going to learn how to set the dirt car up.
BD: You’ve had some racing history back in Arizona. Correct?
JO: Yes. I ran with the Lucas Oil Modified Series on pavement. I ran Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City and Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway in Blythe, California. I then moved up to Oregon in 2008 and didn’t start back racing until 2013.
BD: Do you hope to eventually move from the Northwest Extreme Modifieds into the IMCA Modifieds?
JO: Yes, I really would like to do that. But first I want to get comfortable and learn the setups before I make the jump to the IMCA Modifieds.
BD: What is the story behind your #27?
JO: When I raced on pavement in Arizona I ran with the Gerchman group. They gave me the number 27 because we had two other drivers whose numbers were 25 and 26 on our team. I guess it just stuck with me.
BD: Who are some of your supporters that are going to help you out in 2014?
JO: Well we’re looking at obtaining some sponsors to help us out for this year. But my dad (Johnny Owen) is building my engine and Steve Kerstulovich is going to be crew chief. I first met Steve last year at a race in CG and he offered to help me out. Also Jason Hauge will be helping out on the crew.
BD: You are pretty unique in that your race winnings go straight to charity. That’s pretty cool.
JO: We’re giving all winning that we earn to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in October. We are also going to give fans a chance to sign the car and at the end of the year we’ll auction off the body panels and all of that money will go to them too. St. Jude’s is a great cause it helps a lot of sick children out.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.