Ricky Thornton Jr. Snares Biggest Win of Career in DTWC Triumph

PORTSMOUTH, OH – Ricky Thornton Jr. topped off his first full-year running with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series as he snuck by race leader Brandon Overton on a lap 83 restart on Saturday Night at Portsmouth Raceway Park. The 2021 Eibach Springs Rookie-of-the-Year winner went on to score the biggest win of his racing career by capturing the 41st Annual General Tire Dirt Track World Championship presented by Optima Batteries.

Thornton pulled away from Overton and Jonathan Davenport in the final laps to record a 2.145 second advantage over Overton for the $100,000 victory. Thornton’s previous career high late model wins were both $20,000.

Devin Moran was in charge the first 35 circuits, Overton led laps 36-82. Overton and Davenport rounded out the podium. Mike Marlar and 2021 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Tim McCreadie completed the top five.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time since winning at Bubba Raceway Park in February, Thornton’s win was impressive over a stout field of cars. “I was kind of worried. I didn’t want those yellows, but then I could get a run off of four on the restart and go half a lane better into one. I finally stayed with him (Overton) on the front straightaway, and I thought it’s now or never. It’s 100 grand, I would have wrecked my mom to win.”

Thornton became the 26th different driver to win the crown jewel event that started in 1981. “It’s wild. I can’t really explain it. We were lucky enough to run second last year. To win it this year is amazing. We gambled on tires. This is awesome, I have always wanted to be a late model driver and I think this kind of solidifies it. We have been so excited to run the Lucas Oil series and we look forward to doing it again next year.”




Overton was looking for his first win in the event and his 29th overall this season but lost ground to Thornton in the waning laps. “I guess I just didn’t get going enough on that restart. He had a head full of steam going down in there. It is what it is. Sometimes you just run second. Congrats to those guys, they did a good job. They gambled on tires, and it paid off. Nobody needs to feel bad for me for running second, we have had a great year. We will take our second place and head to the house.”

Davenport, like the top two ahead of him at the finish, was looking for his first win in the richest race on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule. Davenport tried his best to make the top side work in turns three and four. “Me and Brandon pretty much had the thing as far as tires. Ricky went a little different, so he was definitely better late in the race. We just wore ours down and didn’t have much tread left. The top of three and four died just a little too early before I could get up there and surprise them.”

The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns-owned SSI Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One, Inc., West Side Tractor Sales, Excel Floor Covering, Certified Inspection Service Co, Inc., D&E Outside Services, Shelby Materials, Penske Racing Shocks, and VP Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten were Tyler Erb, Earl Pearson Jr., Spencer Hughes, Hudson O’Neal, and Jimmy Owens.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
General Tire Dirt Track World Championship Presented by Optima Batteries
Saturday, October 16th, 2021
Portsmouth Raceway Park – Portsmouth, OH

Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Ricky Thornton, Jr. / 15.254 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Devin Moran / 15.661 seconds

Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 9Z-Mason Zeigler[3]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[2]; 4. 1T-Tyler Erb[4]; 5. 11R-Josh Rice[5]; 6. 11W-Ronnie Whitt[7]; 7. 5M-Ryan Markham[8]; 8. 33K-Kevin Wagner[9]; 9. 1L-Corey Lewis[6]; 10. (DNS) 21H-Robby Hensley

Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 11H-Spencer Hughes[1]; 2. 25-Shane Clanton[2]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin[6]; 4. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[3]; 5. 11J-Jared Hawkins[4]; 6. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[8]; 7. 10-Nathon Loney[5]; 8. 81F-Brandon Fouts[7]; 9. 20B-Todd Brennan[10]; 10. 32A-Robert Starrett[9]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[1]; 2. 81E-Tanner English[2]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport[3]; 4. 14-Josh Richards[4]; 5. 17D-Zack Dohm[5]; 6. 15B-Dean Bowen[6]; 7. 69-Jon Hodgkiss[7]; 8. 144-Anthony Kinkade[8]; 9. 21E-Richie Edwards[9]; 10. (DNS) KC44-KC Burdette

Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 9-Devin Moran[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[2]; 3. 12J-Jason Jameson[4]; 4. D8-Dustin Linville[6]; 5. 2S-Stormy Scott[5]; 6. 17ST-Shannon Thornsberry[8]; 7. 1B-Nick Bocook[9]; 8. CJ1-Charlie Jude[10]; 9. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[3]; 10. 6T-Tim Dohm[7]

Fast Shafts Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 2. 1G-Devin Gilpin[4]; 3. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 4. C9-Steve Casebolt[5]; 5. 44B-Colton Burdette[8]; 6. 111M-Matthew Lux[7]; 7. 71R-Rod Conley[9]; 8. 2M-Allen Murray[10] (DQ) 22F-Chris Ferguson[1]; (DQ) 1S-Brandon Sheppard[2]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 0-Scott Bloomquist[1]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar[3]; 3. 71-Hudson O’Neal[5]; 4. 71C-RJ Conley[8]; 5. 111V-Max Blair[4]; 6. 66C-Matt Cosner[7]; 7. 48-Colton Flinner[2]; 8. 1SB-Shane Bailey[9]; 9. 18C-Chris Carpenter[6]; 10. 145-Chase Frohnapfel[10]

LINE-X B-Main #1 Running Order (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 2. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr[2]; 3. 11R-Josh Rice[4]; 4. 14-Josh Richards[3]; 5. 11J-Jared Hawkins[5]; 6. 17D-Zack Dohm[6]; 7. 11W-Ronnie Whitt[7]; 8. 33K-Kevin Wagner[13]; 9. 10-Nathon Loney[11]; 10. 144-Anthony Kinkade[15]; 11. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[8]; 12. 81F-Brandon Fouts[14]; 13. 20B-Todd Brennan[17]; 14. 21H-Robby Hensley[20]; 15. 5M-Ryan Markham[10]; 16. 32A-Robert Starret[19]; 17. 21E-Richie Edwards[18]; 18. 69-Jon Hodgkiss[12]; 19. 15B-Dean Bowen[9]; 20. 1L-Corey Lewis[16]; 21. (DNS) KC44-KC Burdette

UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. D8-Dustin Linville[1]; 2. 2S-Stormy Scott[4]; 3. C9-Steve Casebolt[2]; 4. 44B-Colton Burdette[5]; 5. 71C-RJ Conley[3]; 6. 111V-Max Blair[6]; 7. 111M-Matthew Lux[8]; 8. 66C-Matt Cosner[9]; 9. 71R-Rod Conley[11]; 10. 18C-Chris Carpenter[17]; 11. 1B-Nick Bocook[10]; 12. 48-Colton Flinner[12]; 13. 17ST-Shannon Thornsberry[7]; 14. CJ1-Charlie Jude[13]; 15. 1SB-Shane Bailey[15]; 16. 145-Chase Frohnapfel[19]; 17. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[16]; 18. (DNS) 2M-Allen Murray; 19. (DNS) 6T-Tim Dohm

Jim Dunn Non-Qualifier Finish (25 Laps)
1. 44B-Colton Burdette[2]; 2. 17D-Zack Dohm[5]; 3. 111V-Max Blair[6]; 4. 11J-Jared Hawkins[3]; 5. 111M-Matthew Lux[8]; 6. 48-Colton Flinner[18]; 7. 71C-RJ Conley[4]; 8. 71R-Rod Conley[12]; 9. 33K-Kevin Wagner[9]; 10. 1SB-Shane Bailey[24]; 11. 10-Nathon Loney[11]; 12. 18C-Chris Carpenter[14]; 13. 11W-Ronnie Whitt[7]; 14. 144-Anthony Kinkade[13]; 15. 5M-Ryan Markham[21]; 16. CJ1-Charlie Jude[22]; 17. 32A-Robert Starret[23]; 18. 1B-Nick Bocook[16]; 19. 20B-Todd Brennan[17]; 20. 17ST-Shannon Thornsberry[20]; 21. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[15]; 22. (DNS) C9-Steve Casebolt; 23. (DNS) 66C-Matt Cosner; 24. (DNS) 21H-Robby Hensley; 25. (DNS) 145-Chase Frohnapfel

General Tire Dirt Track World Championship Presented by Optima Batteries Feature Finish (100 Laps):