WAYNESVILLE, GA – Brandon Overton continued his mastery of Golden Isles Speedway – winning Thursday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season opener. It was the Georgia native’s third consecutive Lucas Oil victory at the 4/10-mile oval after winning the final two nights of the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing in 2022.
Overton held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie on the final lap to secure his 15th career Lucas Oil win. McCreadie, the two-time and reigning Lucas Oil National Champion came from the tenth starting spot to finish just .402 seconds behind Overton. Ricky Thornton Jr. was third, with Devin Moran and Daulton Wilson rounding out the top five finishers.
Overton led the first circuit before the caution flew with just one lap scored. On the restart Overton would maintain the top spot with Thornton moving to second. Hudson O’Neal, the fastest qualifier of the 50 entrants, was on the move early on moving from seventh to third by lap five.
Thornton and O’Neal had a side-by-side duel for a several laps until O’Neal cleared his fellow Indiana racer. Overton was setting a steady pace out front as McCreadie was marching through the field from his outside row five starting position. McCreadie climbed to second around O’Neal on lap 18.
The top four with 10 laps remaining were Overton, McCreadie, O’Neal, and Jonathan Davenport. However, a caution for O’Neal and Davenport would fly relegating both to the tail. On the restart Overton began pulling away from McCreadie as Thornton was commanding the third spot.
Overton would catch the back of the field in the waning laps as McCreadie tried one last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag falling just short at the finish.
Overton in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the fourth time in his career at Golden Isles said: “When you’re out front like that you are just a sitting duck. You don’t know where to go. My crew did a good job of moving me around. I have lost a lot of races when I have been loose, but I was getting too tight because I couldn’t stay on the bottom. This race car is awesome this is the first night on it.”
“I think I was a little rusty qualifying,” Overton added. “I got out and I felt really good, and I found out I was fourth. We made up for it in the heat race and got us a good starting spot and we made the right tire choice. So, everything worked out for us. I hope the fans enjoyed it. We love coming here to race in front of people I grew up with. I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
McCreadie, who will be seeking his third straight Lucas Oil title this year came home in the runner-up slot. “I knew if I was going to try and poke him on the outside I had about a lap or maybe a lap and a half to do it because the good racers they can see their guys. There is no shame in running second. We just have to qualify better I messed up and did a bad job qualifying and it put us behind all night long. We passed a lot of fast cars to finish where we did.”
Thornton, who finished third in last year’s championship standings rounded out the podium. “It’s a good start to the season. I would give it an A+ for us, we didn’t have any luck here last year. With the misfortune to JD [Davenport] and Hud [O’Neal] we were able to capitalize on that.”
The winner’s Wells and Sons Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Garnto Southern, Muscle Factory, Victory Fuel Flavored Electrolyte Water, Clean Way Clearing and Grading, R.W. Construction, Boswell Oil, Penske Racing Shocks, EZ-GO, Dirt Mafia, Convenient Lube, H&A Development, and Earnhardt Technologies.
Completing the top ten were Ryan Gustin, Tyler Bruening, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, and Kyle Bronson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Golden Isles Speedway – Brunswick, GA
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Hudson O’Neal / 14.921 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Devin Moran / 15.131 seconds
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton; 2. 1H-Hudson O’Neal; 3. 16-Tyler Bruening; 4. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 5. 96V-Tanner English; 6. 8K-Kyle Strickler; 7. 114-Jordan Koehler; 8. 4-Kale Green; 9. (DNS) 01-Jason Garver
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 3. 93-Carson Ferguson; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb; 5. 11-Spencer Hughes; 6. 773-Christian Thomas; 7. 2X-John Henderson; 8. 76B-Blair Nothdurft
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 25Z-Mason Zeigler; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 3. 2-GR Smith; 4. 78-Matthew Brocato; 5. 14W-Dustin Walker; 6. 99B-Boom Briggs; 7. 111B-Max Blair; 8. 2V-Allen Murray
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 99-Devin Moran; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 3. 89-Logan Roberson; 4. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 5. 111-Steven Roberts; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson; 7. 6-Blake Spencer; 8. 21H-Robby Hensley; 9. 25B-Mike Benedum
Super Clean Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 8-Brian Shirley; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 19M-Wil Herrington; 4. 22*-Payton Freeman; 5. 7-Ross Robinson; 6. 18-Chase Junghans; 7. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 8. 81J-Jack Riggs
Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 10-Garrett Smith; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens; 4. 5-Mark Whitener; 5. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 6. 20V-Rece Vaught; 7. 89J-Jeff Choquette; 8. 4S-Danny Snyder
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb; 3. 96V-Tanner English; 4. 11-Spencer Hughes; 5. 8K-Kyle Strickler; 6. 773-Christian Thomas; 7. 114-Jordan Koehler; 8. 78-Matthew Brocato; 9. 2X-John Henderson; 10. 14W-Dustin Walker; 11. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 12. 4-Kale Green; 13. (DNS) 99B-Boom Briggs; 14. (DNS) 111B-Max Blair; 15. (DNS) 2V-Allen Murray; 16. (DNS) 01-Jason Garver
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 7-Ross Robinson; 3. 5-Mark Whitener; 4. 22*-Payton Freeman; 5. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 6. 111-Steven Roberts; 7. 18-Chase Junghans; 8. 58-Garrett Alberson; 9. 20V-Rece Vaught; 10. 89J-Jeff Choquette; 11. 6-Blake Spencer; 12. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 13. 81J-Jack Riggs; 14. 21H-Robby Hensley; 15. 25B-Mike Benedum; 16. 4S-Danny Snyder
Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing- Night #1 Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. 76-Brandon Overton; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 99-Devin Moran; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 6. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 7. 16-Tyler Bruening; 8. 8-Brian Shirley; 9. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 10. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 11. 93-Carson Ferguson; 12. 19M-Wil Herrington; 13. 96V-Tanner English; 14. 20-Jimmy Owens; 15. 1T-Tyler Erb; 16. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 17. 25Z-Mason Zeigler; 18. 89-Logan Roberson; 19. 1H-Hudson O’Neal; 20. 7-Ross Robinson; 21. 11-Spencer Hughes; 22. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 23. 10-Garrett Smith; 24. 114-Jordan Koehler; 25. 58-Garrett Alberson; 26. 2-GR Smith
Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Brandon Overton
Lap Leaders: Brandon Overton (40 Laps)
Wieland Feature Winner: Brandon Overton
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.402 seconds
Stop-Tech Brakes Cautions: GR Smith (Lap 2); Jonathan Davenport, Hudson O’Neal (Lap 30); Ross Robinson, Hudson O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Garrett Alberson, Jordan Koehler (Lap 30 restart)
Series Provisionals: Garrett Alberson, Spencer Hughes
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: Tanner English, Jordan Koehler
Track Provisional: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Devin Moran, Daulton Wilson
Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Tanner English (Advanced 12 Positions)
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Finisher: Tyler Bruening
Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Brandon Overton (40 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Tim McCreadie
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Brandon Overton (Lap 32 – 15.769 seconds)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Kent Fegter (Brandon Overton)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Sheppard (15.256 seconds)
Time of Race: 20 minutes 38 seconds