Thornton, Sheppard, and Erb Take Preliminary Features at Muskingum County

ZANESVILLE, OH – Ricky Thornton, Jr., Brandon Sheppard, and Tyler Erb each captured a 20-lap preliminary feature on Saturday night at Muskingum County Speedway. The format allowed all drivers to participate in an A-Main event to set the first nine rows of the feature for the track’s richest race ever on Sunday night for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned $30,000-to-win race.

The first feature that kicked off the night turned into a four-car battle the entire distance. Thornton, who had won the previous night in Portsmouth, Ohio after starting in fifth came from the same starting spot in Saturday’s prelim main event to take the lead on the 11th lap to score the feature win, earning the pole starting spot for the 60-lap main event on Sunday.

Thornton snuck by a tight battle for the lead between Hudson O’Neal and Tim McCreadie. O’Neal was able to secure the second spot at the checkers with Earl Pearson Jr., McCreadie, Tyler Carpenter, and Gregg Satterlee all advancing to the feature on Sunday.

The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns/SSI Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Dyno One, Penske Racing Shocks, Certified Inspection Services Company Inc., Excel Floor Covering, and West Side Tractor Sales Company.

The second 20-lap feature was all Brandon Sheppard as the current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader led from start to finish to dominate the race. The battle for second was entertaining the entire way as five drivers battled as to who would finish second to Sheppard.




Spencer Hughes, who started on the outside front row alongside Sheppard fell back to fourth at one point but recovered and moved back into second in the last five laps of the race. Ashton Winger, who currently leads the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie-of-the-Year chase ran in second for several laps until losing the spot to Hughes. Winger would cross the line in third followed by Ross Robinson, Brandon Overton, and Zack Dohm who all transferred to Sunday night’s finale.

The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, Gunter’s Honey, Sunoco Race Fuels, Keyser Manufacturing, Sallack Well Service, Petroff Towing, Integra Racing Shocks, and Rocket Pre-Owned Motors.

The third and final feature turned out to be another barnburner as Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, and Garrett Alberson raced to the finish line with Erb coming out ahead over Moran and Alberson. Moran and Erb traded sliders in the first two laps as Erb flexed his muscle and was able to slightly pull away from a heated two-car tussle between Moran and Alberson. A caution with four laps to go set up a dash between those three as Moran tried to make his car stick on the outside in turn four but slid too far up the track allowing Erb to secure the win.

Moran settled for the second spot with Alberson coming home in third. The next three finishers would also transfer into Sunday night’s race as Nathon Loney, Daulton Wilson, and Tim Vance will start the Freedom 60.

The winner’s Eric and Kelly Brock/Best Performance Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Bulk Material Lift, M&W Transport, Lucas Oil Products, Midwest Sheet Metal, Bazell Race Fuels, KBC Graphics, Roberts Bee Company, and First-Class Septic.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
Elite Munitions Freedom 60 – Night #1
Saturday, July 2nd, 2022
Muskingum County Speedway – Zanesville, OH

Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Hudson O’Neal / 15.682 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Tim McCreadie / 16.003 seconds

Race Statistics
Entrants: 36
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: n/a
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon Sheppard
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (15.4471 seconds)

Elite Munitions Prelim #1 Feature Finish (20 Laps):

 

 

 

 

Race Statistics
Lap Leaders: Tim McCreadie (Lap 1); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 2-10); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 11-20)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Margin of Victory: 2.294 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr.
Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Tim McCreadie, Tyler Carpenter
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Advanced 4 Positions)
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (10 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 6 –16.133 seconds)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Time of Race: 5 minutes 48 seconds
Elite Munitions Prelim #2 Feature Finish (20 Laps):
Race Statistics
Lap Leaders: Brandon Sheppard (Laps 1-20)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Margin of Victory: 5.200 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Mason Zeigler (Lap 3)
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Brandon Sheppard, Spencer Hughes, Ashton Winger
Penske Shocks Top 5: Brandon Sheppard, Spencer Hughes, Ashton Winger, Ross Robinson, Brandon Overton
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Joe Petyak (Advanced 3 Positions)
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Brandon Sheppard (20 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Brandon Sheppard (Lap 3 – 16.708 seconds)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Danny White (Brandon Sheppard)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Durham Race Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Time of Race: 7 minutes 23 seconds
Elite Munitions Prelim #3 Feature Finish (20 Laps):
Race Statistics
Lap Leaders: Devin Moran (Lap 1); Tyler Erb (Laps 2-20)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Tyler Erb
Margin of Victory: 0.620 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Daulton Wilson, Garrett Alberson, Todd Brennan, Dustin Smith, Tim Vance, Caiden Black (Initial Start); Nathon Loney (Lap 2); Chase Frohnapfel (Lap 2 restart); Todd Brennan (Lap 16)
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, Garrett Alberson
Penske Shocks Top 5: Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, Garrett Alberson, Nathon Loney, Daulton Wilson
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Tim Vance (Advanced 5 Positions)
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Tyler Erb (19 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Tyler Erb
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Garrett Alberson (Lap 2 – 16.949 seconds)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Randall Edwards (Tyler Erb)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Race Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Time of Race: 20 minutes 14 seconds