Ricky Thornton Jr. Picks Up First Lucas Oil Series Win of the Year

OCALA, FL – Ricky Thornton Jr. came from the 10th starting spot to take the lead on a lap 14 restart on his way to victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned K&N Filters Winter Nationals presented by OPTIMA Batteries. The event was held on Monday Night at Bubba Raceway Park. Thornton Jr. recorded his second career victory in the LOLMDS and he became the seventh different winner in the first eight races of 2021.
Mike Marlar had his best series finish of the season. He took second, with Hudson O’Neal crossing the line in third. Devin Moran was fourth and current series point leader Brandon Overton rounded out the top five.
Brian Shirley grabbed the lead and held it for the first 11 laps of the race until Jonathan Davenport passed him on lap 12. Davenport’s lead was short-lived as he had trouble on a lap 13 restart when his engine stalled heading into turn one. Thornton Jr. took over the lead with O’Neal and Marlar behind him on the Delaware double-file restart. Thornton Jr. carried his momentum to the checkers to take the win by 1.1 seconds over Marlar.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the second time in his career, Thornton was elated with how well his first year was going, attempting the 2021 LOLMDS National Tour. “The cautions helped quite a bit and cleared out traffic for us. We struggled at All-Tech and the first part of East Bay, though it was probably more me than the car. The ending at East Bay was a confidence booster and to come here and run as good as we did tonight definitely feels great and says a lot about our team.”
Marlar, like Thornton Jr. is competing in his first season with the series and came home in second. “That last caution pretty well did me in as far as a chance to win the race. Ricky was good. Congratulations to him, and thank you to my team and everyone that helps us out. We couldn’t do this without all of them.”
O’Neal recorded his fourth top 5 finish of the season with a third. “We’ve had success early and it’s great being up front and competing for wins. Thanks to Roger Sellers for giving me this opportunity and my team for giving me such as great race car.”
The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns-Owned SSI Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engines and sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One, Inc., West Side Tractor Sales, Excel, Floor Covering, Certified Inspection Service Company, Inc., D&E Outside Services, and Shelby Materials.
Completing the top ten were Mark Whitener, Kyle Bronson, Bobby Pierce, Tanner English, and Tim McCreadie.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
K&N Filters Winter Nationals Presented by OPTIMA Batteries
Monday, February 1, 2021
Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, FL
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Brian Shirley / 13.588 seconds
Fast Time Group B: Kyle Bronson / 13.587 seconds (overall)Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer):  1. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 2. 1S-Brandon Sheppard[3]; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 4. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[4]; 5. 1T-Tyler Erb[7]; 6. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[6]; 7. 2D-Dan Stone[5]; 8. 8-Kyle Strickler[9]; 9. 14B-John Baker[8]; 10. 12-Doug Drown[11]; 11. 6H-Clay Harris[12]; 12. 14R-Jeff Roth[13]; 13. 14G-Joe Godsey[10]

Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 81E-Tanner English[2]; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce[4]; 4. 385-Mark Whitener[3]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[5]; 6. 25-Shane Clanton[7]; 7. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[6]; 8. 11H-Spencer Hughes[9]; 9. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[11]; 10. 44-Stewart Friesen[8]; 11. J8-Jadon Frame[10]; 12. 4S-Danny Snyder[12]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[1]; 2. 14-Josh Richards[3]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 4. 9-Devin Moran[6]; 5. 7R-Ross Robinson[5]; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening[7]; 7. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[11]; 8. 2X-Devin Dixon[4]; 9. 20B-Todd Brennan[9]; 10. 48-Colton Flinner[8]; 11. 1ST-Johnny Scott[10]; 12. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr[12]

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal[2]; 3. 76-Brandon Overton[3]; 4. 33-Jeff Mathews[4]; 5. 0E-Rick Eckert[6]; 6. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[5]; 7. 6S-Blake Spencer[7]; 8. 66C-Matt Cosner[9]; 9. 1G-Ryan King[11]; 10. 2S-Stormy Scott[8]; 11. 27J-Joe Denby[10]; 12. 354-Chris Nash[12]

LINE-X B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[2]; 3. 25-Shane Clanton[4]; 4. 8-Kyle Strickler[7]; 5. 2D-Dan Stone[5]; 6. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[3]; 7. 11H-Spencer Hughes[8]; 8. 76B-Blair Nothdurft[10]; 9. 44-Stewart Friesen[12]; 10. 6H-Clay Harris[13]; 11. 12-Doug Drown[11]; 12. 14G-Joe Godsey[17]; 13. 14B-John Baker[9]; 14. 4S-Danny Snyder[16]; 15. 14R-Jeff Roth[15]; 16. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[6]; 17. J8-Jadon Frame[14]

UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 0E-Rick Eckert[2]; 2. 56JR-Tony Jackson Jr[4]; 3. 7R-Ross Robinson[1]; 4. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[5]; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening[3]; 6. 2X-Devin Dixon[7]; 7. 1ST-Johnny Scott[13]; 8. 66C-Matt Cosner[8]; 9. 6S-Blake Spencer[6]; 10. 2S-Stormy Scott[12]; 11. 1G-Ryan King[10]; 12. 27J-Joe Denby[14]; 13. 20B-Todd Brennan[9]; 14. 48-Colton Flinner[11]; 15. 354-Chris Nash[16]; 16. (DNS) 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr


Lucas Oil Feature Finish (40 Laps):

Pos
Start
Car #
Competitor
Hometown
Pay
1
10
20RT
Ricky Thornton Jr
Adel, IA
$10,000
2
3
157
Mike Marlar
Winfield, TN
$5,500
3
8
71
Hudson O’Neal
Martinsville, IN
$3,500
4
14
9
Devin Moran
Dresden, OH
$2,750
5
12
76
Brandon Overton
Evans, GA
$2,250
6
15
385
Mark Whitener
Middleburg, FL
$1,800
7
2
40B
Kyle Bronson
Brandon, FL
$1,500
8
11
32
Bobby Pierce
Oakwood, IL
$1,300
9
7
81E
Tanner English
Benton, KY
$1,200
10
19
39
Tim McCreadie
Watertown, NY
$1,100
11
25
16
Tyler Bruening
Decorah, IA
$375
12
21
25
Shane Clanton
Zebulon, GA
$1,050
13
6
14
Josh Richards
Shinnston, WV
$1,025
14
5
1S
Brandon Sheppard
New Berlin, IL
$1,000
15
24
21
Billy Moyer Jr
Batesville, AR
$950
16
23
1
Earl Pearson Jr
Jacksonville, FL
$925
17
4
49
Jonathan Davenport
Blairsville, GA
$900
18
13
28E
Dennis Erb Jr
Carpentersville, IL
$875
19
22
7R
Ross Robinson
Georgetown, DE
$850
20
20
56JR
Tony Jackson Jr
Lebanon, MO
$825
21
17
1T
Tyler Erb
New Waverly, TX
$800
22
26
8
Kyle Strickler
Mooresville, NC
$100
23
28
14B
John Baker
Norman Park, GA
$100
24
18
0E
Rick Eckert
York, PA
$800
25
27
99JR
Frank Heckenast Jr
Frankfort, IL
$100
26
16
33
Jeff Mathews
Brandon, FL
$800
27
1
3S
Brian Shirley
Chatham, IL
$800
28
9
20
Jimmy Owens
Newport, TN
$800
Race Statistics
Entrants
: 49
Lap Leaders: Brian Shirley (Laps 1 – 11); Jonathan Davenport (Laps 12 – 13); Ricky Thornton Jr. (Laps 14 – 50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Arizona Sport Shirts CJC – Presented by DirtOnDirt Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Margin of Victory: 1.101 seconds
Cautions: John Baker (Lap 3); Brian Shirley (Lap 13); Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Owens (Lap 13); Kyle Strickler (Lap 26); John Baker, Tyler Erb, Kyle Strickler (Lap 26); Tyler Erb (Lap 37)
Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Billy Moyer Jr.
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: Tyler Bruening, Kyle Strickler, Frank Heckenast Jr., John Baker
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton Jr., Mike Marlar, Hudson O’Neal
Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton Jr., Mike Marlar, Hudson O’Neal, Devin Moran, Brandon Overton
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Bruening (Advanced 14 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon Overton
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton Jr. (27 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Overton
Eibach Springs Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Brian Shirley (Lap #1 – 14.877  seconds)
Fast Shafts Tough Break of the Race: Brian Shirley
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Taylon Center (Ricky Thornton Jr.)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Jonathan Davenport
Time of Race: 31 minutes 05 seconds