The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series rolled into the Florence Speedway on Thursday night for the Sunoco North-South Shootout. This race served as the kick-off for the North-South 100 with that $50,000-to-win crown jewel event set to be contested on Saturday night. When the dust settled on Thursday evening, it was Brandon Overton who had claimed the win at the historic facility located in Union, Kentucky. The Longhorn Chassis driver from Evans, Georgia earned $10,000 in a race shown live by MavTV Plus.
A total of 46 cars were signed in for competition.
Ricky Thornton Jr. set the pace in Group A qualifying with a lap of 15.839 around the half-mile clay oval to top Mike Marlar, Zack Dohm, Josh Rice and Josh Richards.
Brandon Overton turned the lap time in Group B time-trials and overall 15.712 to outperform Tim McCreadie, Nick Hoffman, Tyler Erb and Spencer Hughes.
Ricky Thornton Jr. would start the main event from the pole when he bested Zack Dohm, Josh Richards and Jimmy Owens while Mike Marlar took the second preliminary ahead of Josh Rice, Earl Pearson Jr. and Johnny Scott.
Brandon Overton earned a front row starting position for the feature after he was victorious in the third heat ahead of Spencer Hughes, Stormy Scott and Darrell Lanigan then Tim McCreadie outran Tyler Erb, Hudson O’Neal and Scott James.
James Rice, Kyle Bronson and Justin Ratliff were the transferees out of the first B-main race just before Shane Clanton bested Gregg Satterlee and Dustin Linville moved to the big show out of the second B-main.
At the start of the 50-lap feature, it was Thornton who took the early lead over Dohm, Marlar, Overton and McCreadie. Marlar went on the move early when he passed by Dohm for the runner-up position.
Series points leader McCreadie went by Dohm to take third on lap 6 while Marlar moved up to fight with Thornton for the race lead. Overton then wrested the fourth spot from Dohm on lap 9. Then, Overton grabbed third away from McCreadie on lap 11.
Overton’s charge continued on lap 14 when he blasted by Thornton for the top spot on the leaderboard.
Marlar and Thornton exchanged the second position on successive restarts between laps 14 and 21 as Overton continued to lead the way. The No. 76 began to slip away from the battle within the remainder of the top-5 among Thornton, McCreadie, Owens and Marlar as those drivers ran in tight formation during the middle stretch of the race.
The race began to settle into a rhythm after passing the halfway mark following a series of cautions during the first half of the event. Overton showed the way ahead of Thornton, McCreadie, Owens and Marlar with 10 laps remaining.
After experiencing trouble in his heat race and having to use a provisional to start the feature, Jonathan Davenport made his way into the top-10 as the laps clicked away. But Overton would eventually stretch his advantage to more than two seconds as he would eventually cruise under the checkered flag to earn the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Brandon Overton, 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Jimmy Owens, 5. Jonathan Davenport, 6. Mike Marlar, 7. Kyle Bronson, 8. Hudson O’Neal, 9. Spencer Hughes, 10. Zack Dohm, 11. Tyler Erb, 12. Justin Ratliff, 13. Johnny Scott, 14. Shane Clanton, 15. Earl Pearson Jr., 16. Stormy Scott, 17. James Rice, 18. Gregg Satterlee, 19. Darrell Lanigan, 20. Scott James, 21. Josh Richards, 22. Kent Robinson, 23. Josh Rice, 24. Curt Addison, 25. Dustin Linville