Brandon Overton’s 2023 season has gotten off to a roaring start. The Wells Motorsports No. 76 Longhorn Chassis picked up two wins along with a third-place effort in the three Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series features held at Georgia’s Golden Isles Speedway including a last-lap pass that netted a $25,000 payday in the Saturday night finale at that Kyle and Amber Bronson-promoted facility.
From there, Overton went on to log finishes of 5th and 8th in the races held at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida. All of that has landed the Evans, Georgia native atop the Lucas Oil Series standings 60 points ahead of Ricky Thornton Jr., 170 over three-time champion Jonathan Davenport, and 205 up on two-time and defending champion Tim McCreadie as well as Devin Moran.
Only five races into the season, it is far too early to make any sort of projections regarding the points standings. However, the Big River Steel ‘Chase for the Championship’ being employed this year by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series may have rendered those types of predictions somewhat obsolete.
Following the Show-me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri on May 27th, the top-15 in the series standings will be entered into an elimination style format that will eventually lead to cuts down to twelve, then eight, and ultimately the four who will go into the $100,000-to-win Dirt Track World Championship at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio with a shot at the crown.
The eventual champion will be awarded $200,000 for his season-long efforts.
So, all a driver has to do to make that first cut is to be in the top-15 of the standings at the end of May. At that point, he is in the mix. But since there is no win-and-advance caveat such as there is in the NASCAR Playoffs, it would be vital for each driver to enter every event on the schedule to build up as many points as possible giving themselves the best possible chance of surviving the next cut.
Overton and his Wells Motorsports team have not really been points chasers over the past few seasons, but rather, have gone after the biggest purses. But a look at the LOLMDS schedule and the slates of the Castrol FloRacing Night in America Series and the XR Super Series, which both pay excellent amounts to participants, reveals that there are no significant conflicts with the more traditional national tour.
One thing to also consider is just how good Overton is at Eldora having won the last three Dirt Late Model Dream races(two in 2021 and one in 2022) along with one of the two World 100s in 2021. If he can make it to that final round, he will certainly be thought of as one of the top contenders for the monster payoff.
Obviously, it’s up to Overton and his team to decide what they want to do past this point. There are more factors to consider than just the money involved. The availability of crew members willing to go on the road for extended periods of time, the availability of the parts and pieces required for such a challenge, and the expense of items such as diesel fuel and other necessities are all matters to consider.
Still, it doesn’t seem like an overly big risk to at least stay on tour through the Show-me 100 to see where Overton stands. As of now, his website schedule only runs through Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks. It will be interesting to see whatever update that may come to that slate.
As far as the Lucas Oil Late Dirt Series schedule goes, ‘Should he stay, or should he go?” is the key question.
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