Chris Ferguson fights off Jonathan Davenport for Lucas Oil win

Chris Ferguson scored an impressive win at Lucas Oil Speedway

For the second consecutive night the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series took on the Lucas Oil Speedway, this time for the Diamond Nationals. Chris Ferguson took the checkered flag to gain the second Lucas Oil victory of his career at the end of the night in Wheatland, MO. The Mt. Holly, NC driver earned $12,000 from a race televised by MavTV and Lucas Oil Racing TV.

Chris Ferguson set quick time in Group A qualifying with a lap of 14.838 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval beating out Billy Moyer Sr., Jonathan Davenport and Shane Clanton.

Shanon Buckingham topped the competition in Group B time-trials with a lap of 15.095 seconds to outperform Billy Moyer Jr., Payton Looney and Earl Pearson Jr.

Chris Ferguson earned the pole position for the feature by winning the first heat ahead of Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport and Chad Simpson while Billy Moyer Sr. outran Shane Clanton, Jesse Stovall and Devin Moran in the second heat.

Shanon Buckingham would start the feature from the outside of the front row by virtue of his win in the third preliminary over Mike Marlar, Johnny Scott and Will Vaught just before Billy Moyer Jr. won the fourth and final heat by besting Earl Pearson Jr., Rick Eckert and Cody Laney.

Kyle Bronson and Time McCreadie won the two B-main races used to set the starting grid for the main event.

After a two hour rain delay, the green flag finally waved over the 50-lap feature. It was Ferguson went to the lead right away with Moyer Sr, Owens, Buckinham and Moyer Jr. trailing. Marlar made an early move when he passed by Pearson for sixth on lap 8 and was followed through by Clanton.

Ferguson continued to lead in traffic but Moyer Sr. moved in to challenge on lap 10. However, a slip by the legendary driver allowed Owens to grab the runner-up position on lap 11. Buckingham followed to take third away from the elder Moyer on lap 13.

Buckingham took second away from Owens just before a caution came out for the slowing car of Pearson on lap 13.

The lap 13 restart allowed Owens to return to second and he then pulled up to work on Ferguson for the lead. However, Buckingham was able to slip back by Owens on lap 16.

Moyer Sr. slowed to bring out a caution on lap 19. Owens again regained second on the restart while Clanton moved up to assume the fourth position. By the halfway point, Owens began to close in on Ferguson for the top spot.

Further back, Stovall, Simpson and Eckert engaged in a tough fight for positions 8-10.

A lap 29 restart saw a major incident causing significant damage to the cars of Simpson, Stovall and Vaught. Under that caution period, series officials opted to allow crew members to provide a new helmet or tear-offs to drivers who had been racing on a very heavy and fast track.

The car of the second-running Owens was discovered to have a tire going down which sent him to the hot pit and to the rear of the pack for the ensuing restart. Also, top-5 runner Moyer Jr. had to go to the hot pit area for service and to the tail for the restart.

On the lap 29 restart, Clanton took second. One lap later Davenport passed by Buckingham for third just before Erb slowed to bring out a caution on lap 30.

Davenport swept into second on lap 31 then moved in on Ferguson to challenge for the lead. Marlar then slowed from the fifth spot to bring out a caution on lap 33.

Ferguson and Davenport separated from the pack in an attempt to settle the issue among themselves with just over 10 laps remaining until another yellow flag waved when Owens slowed on lap 39.

Davenport and Ferguson swapped the lead on lap 41 with Ferguson holding the spot. The next several laps were spent with Davenport pursuing Ferguson looking for another chance to take the lead.

On the final lap Davenport swung to the inside as they cars roared out of turn four but Ferguson won the drag race to the checkered flag.

Feature Finish: 1. Chris Ferguson, 2. Jonathan Davenport, 3. Shane Clanton, 4. Rick Eckert, 5. Shanon Buckingham, 6. Kyle Bronson, 7. Kyle Strickler, 8. Tyler Bruening, 9. Josh Richards, 10. Tim McCreadie, 11. Billy Moyer Jr., 12. Tanner English, 13. Devin Moran, 14. Jesse Stovall, 15. Jimmy Owens, 16. Mike Marlar, 17. Tyler Erb, 18. Will Vaught, 19. Chad Simpson, 20. Johnny Scott, 21. Cody Laney, 22. Ricky Thornton Jr., 23. Billy Moyer Sr., 24. Mason Oberkramer, 25. Earl Pearson Jr., 26. Jeremiah Hurst, 27. Payton Looney

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