WAVERLY, OH – Hudson O’Neal won the Buckeye Spring 50 on Sunday Night at Atomic Speedway for his second series win of 2021. For the first time in his career, the 20-year-old Indiana native is atop the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Point Standings.
O’Neal became the third and final leader of the race after he took the lead on lap nine from Devin Moran. He held off Tim McCreadie to win by .563 seconds. Moran came home in third followed by Jonathan Davenport and Kyle Bronson.
Kyle Strickler started on the pole and took the lead at the start of the race as drivers were running two and three-wide around the 3/8ths mile high-banked track. Strickler led until Moran took over the point on lap five. The top three of Moran, Strickler, and O’Neal, were putting on a spectacular race for the lead when Strickler suffered a right rear flat tire, forcing a caution flag with 19 laps complete. Strickler exited to the pits, which meant that no driver on the series tour this year has won from the pole starting spot.
A caution at the halfway mark set-up a long green-flag stretch of racing for 22 laps until a lap 48 caution set up a race to the finish. O’Neal was able to break away on the restart, and that was enough to send him to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the ninth time in his career.
O’Neal has now joined Tyler Erb as the only 2-time winner so far in LOLMDS competition this season. He previously went to Lucas Oil Victory Lane at East Bay back in January. “I can’t thank these guys enough for their work on this race car. We had one of the University of Northwestern Ohio students on board with us this weekend. Thanks to my family and everybody involved with the race team. This car was awesome from the start. I know McCreadie was all over me a couple of times and all it was going to take was one mistake and he [McCreadie] would get by me.”
McCreadie stayed with O’Neal and was ready to pounce if O’Neal made a mistake, but settled for the second spot. “I didn’t need the yellow at the end. It looked like he [O’Neal] got lost on the track a little bit, which happens sometimes when you are leading. I moved around and found something that was really good. His guys told him that under the caution. We passed a lot of good cars. I wish I could have been a tick better, but it’s no shame finishing second to Hudson.”
Moran was in the hunt for his first series win of the season for most of the race and rounded out the podium in third. “That was a heck of a race. Congratulations to Huddy. He capitalized when I messed up and I feel like we gave that one away. Good job to those guys for winning and to Timmy for second. I feel like we need to keep our heads up and we can get a lot of wins this year.”
The winner’s Roger Sellers owned, Double Down Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling, Lucas Oil Products, 210 Enterprises, and WR1 Sim Chassis.
Completing the top ten were Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, and Mike Marlar.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Buckeye Spring 50
Sunday, March 21st, 2021
Atomic Speedway – Waverly, OH
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Jonathan Davenport / 13.938 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Devin Moran / 14.226 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 8-Kyle Strickler; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 3. 1S-Brandon Sheppard; 4. C9-Steve Casebolt; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 6. 14G-Joe Godsey; 7. 20-Jimmy Owens; 8. 21K-Kirk Phillips
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 81E-Tanner English; 3. 11R-Josh Rice; 4. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 5. 4G-Kody Evans; 6. 29-Clint Keenan; 7. 28C-Tyler Carpenter
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb; 4. 14-Josh Richards; 5. 25-Shane Clanton; 6. 71R-Rod Conley; 7. 16R-Rusty Griffaw
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, All Transfer): 1. 1-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 157-Mike Marlar; 4. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 5. 20B-Todd Brennan; 6. 14R-Jeff Roth; 7. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Kyle Strickler (Laps 1 – 3); Devin Moran (Laps 4 – 8); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 9 – 50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Hudson O’Neal
Arizona Sport Shirts CJC – Presented by DirtOnDirt Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.563 seconds
Cautions: Josh Rice (Lap 8); Kyle Strickler (Lap 19); Clint Keenan (Lap 25); Ricky Thornton Jr. (Lap 47); Joe Godsey (Lap 48)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran
Penske Shocks Top 5: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Bronson
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Advanced 19 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: none
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Hudson O’Neal (42 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
Eibach Springs Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Tim McCreadie (Lap #5 – 15.158 seconds)
Fast Shafts Tough Break of the Race: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Trevor Crittenden (Hudson O’Neal)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Tim McCreadie
Time of Race: 33 minutes 44 seconds