Chasing the Thrill Alex Owen
Alex Owens has been racing for fifteen years. He's been doing it so long it's almost all he knows. While some racers enjoy having a team or partner, Alex prefers to do things himself.
He has, however, met many friends through the sport and considers them family. He loves the culture created by racers.
Watch this behind the scenes video of Alex at Jefferson County Speedway chasing the thrill.
Alex: I like doing it all by myself. It's tougher, it's more exhausting, but at the end of the day it's just more satisfying for me to do it that way. I put 40 hours in a week at work and then I come home and put another 30 into this car you know. Just because I want everything to be top-notch. I know how I want it to be done and I know the way it needs to be done so I just feel more comfortable if I did it. Yes, it may take longer. Yes, it may be a little bit more difficult to do it on your own, but I'm just more satisfied that way I guess."
Producer: “How long have you been racing?”
Alex: “Since 2005, so 14 or 15 years, I lose track. So it's pretty much all I know how to do."
Producer: “You got a nickname?”
Alex: “Slide Job Owen. I did a slide job for the win one time probably like seven years ago and one of the guys, one of my racing buddies just came over and just started calling me Slide Job. So ever since then it kind of stuck."
Alex: "Throughout the year I usually run out like on Fridays. I run weekly at KAM in Hasting. I try to run at least 25 to 30 shows a year."
Producer: “Where are we racing tonight?”
Alex: “Fairbury, Nebraska. At Jefferson County Raceway. I haven't been to Fairbury yet this year. We're going to go there and give it a shot. It's 250 to win, so 200 dollars would mean a lot. This is a small little track, I mean it doesn't have a whole lot of banking to it. It's a fun track to race on. I'm not really sure what I'm expecting tonight. I just kind of got the base set up on it right now and then we'll go out for hot laps and see how it feels."
Alex: “Well all I got is, I just had that little pocket.”
Race Director (Curtis): "So if you can, zip tie it."
Alex: “Well what if I put it right here.”
Race Director (Curtis): “Well, because it’s got all this, it won’t read it. It has to have direct line of sight. So, try to zip tie it right there.”
Alex: “That's risky. Alright, well if I lose it…oops, careful I don't have a big trailer and I don't have to duck down.”
Alex: “When people ask me like, ‘What are you thinking about?’ Nothing. Since I've been doing it for so long I've learned that it's just better for me to just not think. It seems like when I do that I perform better on the racetrack. I'm a lot more focused, I know what I need to do. I know I'm competitive. I know I can run up front because I believe in that. Just trying to minimize mistakes and focus on my job at hand."
Race Director (Curtis): “A little different format tonight with running the winged outlaw. Order of events. For the heat races we're going to run outlaw first, sportsmod, winged a-class, restrictors, and non-winged. We’ll have that posted. That'll be the order of events for the heat races. For the features we're going to flip that order. We will be redrawing for all classes tonight for the features. Top three finishers from your heat race will come and do a re-draw."
Alex: “I started the season off with the win at KAM, so that was pretty cool. Then over the course of May I kind of had a tough string of luck. I just kind of put my head down and got through that month and just kept on trucking. So far, I got four wins this year. Hoping to make it number five tonight."
“It's still greasy since we were the first ones at the wheel pack. So I'm pretty much right up after a last hot lap session. So I don't have time to do major adjustment that I want to make, so we're going to roll with it."
Announcer: “Your winner is Alex Owen!”
Alex: “Car felt really good compared to the hot lap so I think the tracks going to come towards us. We started fourth but we ended up first. Last lap passed on old Alec Frisell. Going into turn one, just kind of did a little slide job move on him. The re-draw, hopefully we get some luck on our side and get a good number there.”
“It was tricky down there. I can't see it because of the sun. Who finished second?"
Racer 1: “Freisen got by me and pushed me up”
Alex: “Oh you’re outside pole.”
Race official: “61.”
Racer 2: “That was a 19. Come on.”
Alex: “Oh that was a 61? Totally different than what I thought it was.
Race Official: “You finished in the top three?”
Alex: “I finished first. Got to really mix it up good. 64! No!
Race Official: “Car number?”
Alex: “99A. No, no, no, no. 1F.”
Racer 1: “No. He’s lying.”
Race Official: “99! Mess with me and I’ll put you in the back of the field!”
Alex: “No! Hahaha!”
Racer 1: “Trying to mess with Friesen.”
Alex: I need to watch the track. It's going to be a lot different since we were the first out there. Now the next time we're going to be out there, it's going to be for the feature, so, definitely got to be tough. I know how the car felt after that so I just need to figure out what I need to do for the feature.
“See that's the stuff I'm talking about. See how it's rolling up. They're blading it so that's going to be really nice, but it was just like all chunky and it looks like they're blading it pretty deep. I'll for sure make that gear change. They're going to roll it in so hopefully it actually like stays nice and like packed you know.
Racer 3:“The grater's rolling it in pretty good. Just as long as it has a nice cushion."
Alex: “The guys who I raced with, I try to say more friendly with them. We're competitive and we respect each other on the track, and then we respect each other and give each other a hard time in the pits. It depends on the driver you know, like Marcus, he's one of my closer friends. We always go out to Applebee's every Sunday, especially during football season. Me and Trey, you know, I can joke with them and give him a hard time too. You spend more time with them on the weekend and then you guys hang out outside of the racetrack. Then that friendship kind of becomes a little bit tighter. Then it actually becomes a second family basically. The racing family is a lot. It feels a lot deeper and more meaningful than anything else honestly. Everyone’s just real supportive and it's just a really strong healthy community.”
Producer: “What position you got?”
Alex: “I start third. Guess who got the number one spot, the 1F!”
Producer: “That’s karma is what that is. That’s what you get!”
Alex: “I usually don't get nervous until like right before the feature. They call us up but I'm getting ready because the big thing I'm worried about is what's going to happen those first couple laps honestly. I'm not necessarily worried about myself. I'm more worried about where everyone else is going to go. The past like two months, my worst finish has been second. I'm always knocking on door each night so I'm confident on that.”
Announcer: “Your top three; Marcus Kennedy in third, Alex Owen in second, and your A Feature winner of the winged outlaw is the 1F of Mr. Jason Friesen.”
Alex: “I needed a yellow”
Producer: “Yeah, you did”
Alex: “Alright, I ended up second. By the time I got to second, the leader was just too far gone. So I was running a different line than everyone else. I was running kind of like the bottom and then just sliding up in one and two. Then I was just trying to run nothing but the top in three and four, which was barely anything, but I was getting such a good drive off the corner and in carrying my momentum. That what I was wanting. I mean, the car felt good. I can't complain about that. It's tough to beat Friesen. He won the A class and he just has a lot of laps around this place. By the time I got to second, the leader was like a straightaway ahead of me. So, winning the heat race and then finishing second in the feature, I can't complain about that."