Longhorn Chassis had a weekend to remember this past Friday and Saturday. Tim McCreadie won the $20,000 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at the Batesville(Ark) Motor Speedway while Brandon Overton scored another victory worth that same amount in the Ultimate Super Late Model Series sanctioned event at the Virginia Motor Speedway. Other drivers who flew the “Horns Up” banner into victory lane this past weekend included Casey Roberts when he picked up $7,500 for a Southern All Star win at Cochran(GA) Motor Speedway and Kenny Collins who added an Iron-Man Championship Series triumph at Tennessee’s I-75 Raceway.
Dave Dunlap serves as the general manager for the Trinty, NC chassis manufacturer founded by former NASCAR champions Bobby and Terry Labonte. He says that a great deal of effort led to this past weekend’s success.
“We’ve put a lot of work in over the off-season to get to this point,” Dunlap declared in a telephone interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “We’re trying to stay on top of this sport.”
The early season wins already amassed by Longhorn racers have been somewhat reminiscent of the 2015 season in which drivers such as Jonathan Davenport and Randy Weaver piled up race victories and championships in record numbers for the chassis builder. While those memories remain fresh in the minds of the people employed in the Longhorn shop, those who work there also realize that they must continue to develop their product.
“Anytime you have a good year like this it’s great,” Dunlap asserted. “Like I said, we’ve put a lot of effort into it this year and not just with the national guys. We’re trying to help get the guys who just run regional deals running good. It’s better for business that way.”
But just because they have experienced success to this point does not mean the company will rest on its laurels.
“Now we’ve got a full-time engineer here and a pull down rig,” Dunlap explained. “We’re going testing tonight even though we won at Batesville. We’ve got to stay ahead of it.”
McCreadie essentially drives what could be considered a house car for Longhorn. The veteran driver and former World of Outlaws Late Models champion provides those who build his cars a talented driver who has driven in several chassis brands before, which allows for excellent feedback from the driver’s seat.
The Watertown, NY pilot has already taken three checkered flags in 2017, including the lucrative Bad Boy 98 in Batesville.
“We’re very comfortable with him,” Dunlap said of McCreadie. “He’s a heck of a driver. He does a real good job.”
Dunlap stated his belief that input from all of the drivers who steer his company’s cars is the key to putting cars in victory lane. And all information, whether it be from veteran racers or newcomers, goes into the Longhorn notebook for future reference.
“Feedback is pretty much the thing,” the general manager said. “When they’re good at it, it makes our job pretty easy. The guys that are talented, whether they’re young or old, can give you information you can work with right away. We’ve got people here who have experience and know how to use that information. Real racers are racers.”
And using that feedback helps Longhorn achieve its ultimate goal.
“We’d like to win as many as we can. It helps sell more cars when you win on Saturday.”