Strickler Bags a Wild One at Volusia – DTD Exclusvie

By DTD STAFF

BARBERVILLE, FL – Ricky Thornton, Bobby Pierce, and Devin Moran battled for the lead almost all of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park, but none of those three won. With some late race drama, Kyle Strickler snuck by them all one way or another, holding off Hudson O’Neal for the victory.

Last night’s winner Pierce led Tim McCreadie through the first handful of circuits in the 40-lap main, but a broken left rear slowed McCreadie with just five laps in. Inheriting second was Thornton trailed by Moran, and Thornton instantly went to work on Pierce. By lap nine, Thornton was looking under Pierce for the top spot.

On lap 12, Thornton got the run he needed to take the lead. After falling to second, Pierce didn’t let Thornton run away, remaining locked on the rear deck of Thornton with Moran in tow. At halfway, the top three were under a blanket, with Moran and Pierce taking turns trailing Thornton.

Thornton held a steady but slim lead over Pierce of about three-quarters of a second for the next phase of the race, but a lap 33 yellow reset everything. On the restart, Moran shot a slider from third, nearly took the lead, but broke within a lap and was out of the event. On the restart with seven laps left, Pierce shot a slider and it stuck, with Thornton falling to second. Then, Thornton shoved up the track, allowing O’Neal and Strickler to pass.


As O’Neal and Strickler battled for second, Pierce was steady out front, but a right rear flat for Pierce forced him into the wall with four laps left. Strickler inherited the lead for the restart, holding off O’Neal in the final laps for his second World of Outlaws win of the season.

“We took the green and went straight backwards,” Strickler said. “I figured we did something really wrong, like tire or adjustments, but the leaders all went to the top in traffic and the car started to come to us. I told myself I wasn’t going to let the other Modified guy beat me, Thornton had a real good car but he was a sitting duck on the restarts. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, we went back to eighth, smoked the fence, then went to the front. It’s probably my favorite race ever, it’s awesome going back and forth like that.”

O’Neal backed up his podium run from Tuesday night with another on Wednesday. One spot better was O’Neal, upping his third to a second for night two.

“We were just a little too free right from the get-go on that one,” O’Neal stated. “I wasn’t really a second place car, but took advantage of quite a few situations to get up there. We salvaged a good night after a bad qualifying run, a third and a second means we’re trending in the right direction.”

Thornton looked poised for his first Volusia win, but ultimately fell to third at the checkered after leading much of the event.

“We just didn’t need that yellow,” said Thornton. “We were good, but I just don’t have any experience here so I didn’t know what to do to defend on restarts. I let Pierce by, and just wasn’t able to get my line back from there.”

Owens finished in fourth followed by Brian Shirley in fifth.

Morton Buildings Feature (40 Laps) – 1. 8-Kyle Strickler [4][$10,000]; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal [8][$6,000]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton [3][$3,500]; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens [15][$2,800]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley [12][$2,500]; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening [5][$2,300]; 7. 58-Ross Bailes [10][$2,200]; 8. 19R-Ryan Gustin [18][$2,100]; 9. 7-Ricky Weiss [20][$2,050]; 10. 14-Josh Richards [16][$2,000]; 11. O-Scott Bloomquist [19][$1,600]; 12. 56-Tony Jackson [23][$1,400]; 13. OE-Rick Eckert [22][$1,200]; 14. 99B-Boom Briggs [27][$110]; 15. 40B-Kyle Bronson [13][$1,050]; 16. 7R-Ross Robinson [17][$1,000]; 17. 2-Dan Stone [24][$1,000]; 18. 97-Cade Dillard [25][$1,000]; 19. 29V-Darrell Lanigan [21][$1,000]; 20. 1-Brandon Sheppard [11][$1,000]; 21. 28-Dennis Erb [14][$1,000]; 22. 14B-John Baker [26][$1,000]; 23. 72-Mike Norris [9][$1,000]; 24. 18-Chase Junghans [30][$110]; 25. 25-Shane Clanton [33][$110]; 26. 6-Blake Spencer [32][$110]; 27. 12-Ashton Winger [29][$110]; 28. 54-David Breazeale [28][$110]; 29. OS-Ryan Scott [34][$110]; 30. 32-Bobby Pierce [1][$1,000]; 31. 9-Devin Moran [6][$1,000]; 32. 76-Brandon Overton [7][$1,000]; 33. 39-Tim McCreadie [2][$1,000]; Hard Charger Award: 99B-Boom Briggs[+13]

Qualifying Flight-A – 1. 76-Brandon Overton, 15.956; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens, 16.131; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie, 16.241; 4. 32-Bobby Pierce, 16.252; 5. O-Scott Bloomquist, 16.369; 6. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 16.374; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson, 16.394; 8. 72-Mike Norris, 16.452; 9. 7R-Ross Robinson, 16.493; 10. OE-Rick Eckert, 16.536; 11. 31-Tyler Millwood, 16.611; 12. B1-Brent Larson, 16.656; 13. 25-Shane Clanton, 16.671; 14. 16-Tyler Bruening, 16.673; 15. 11-Josh Rice, 16.679; 16. 54-David Breazeale, 16.711; 17. 25C-Donnie Chappell, 16.737; 18. 5-Mark Whitener, 16.789; 19. 44-Chris Madden, 16.814; 20. 76N-Blair Nothdurft, 16.92; 21. 33-Jeff Mathews, 16.977; 22. 18-Chase Junghans, 16.995; 23. 89-G.R. Smith, 17.092; 24. 6-Blake Spencer, 17.113; 25. 11H-Spencer Hughes, 17.161; 26. 3-Mike Collins, 17.872

Qualifying Flight-B – 1. 8-Kyle Strickler, 16.185; 2. 9-Devin Moran, 16.238; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton, 16.317; 4. 7-Ricky Weiss, 16.344; 5. 58-Ross Bailes, 16.365; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley, 16.391; 7. 97-Cade Dillard, 16.416; 8. 14G-Joe Godsey, 16.447; 9. 21-Billy Moyer, 16.503; 10. 28-Dennis Erb, 16.522; 11. 29V-Darrell Lanigan, 16.56; 12. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 16.575; 13. 71-Hudson O’Neal, 16.588; 14. 14-Josh Richards, 16.591; 15. 14B-John Baker, 16.686; 16. 12-Ashton Winger, 16.708; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs, 16.713; 18. 6JR-Parker Martin, 16.8; 19. 56-Tony Jackson, 16.892; 20. 14M-Trevor Gundaker, 16.977; 21. 42-Chad Finley, 16.997; 22. 3W-Brennon Willard, 17.049; 23. 2-Dan Stone, 17.275; 24. 6H-Clay Harris, 17.476; 25. OS-Ryan Scott, 17.615