Darrell Lanigan, Jonathan Davenport capture Dirt Million preliminary wins

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Darrell Lanigan

Lanigan went to Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time in 2018 and became the sixteenth different winner in 38 events this season. Lanigan led all the way en-route to the win over Josh Richards, Mike Marlar, Mason Zeigler and Tyler Erb.

Jonathan Davenport fought off challenges from Ricky Weiss and Don O’Neal to claim Duel Two. Weiss and O’Neal finished second and third respectively. Devin Moran and Shannon Babb completed the top five in the second 30-lap event.

“This pretty cool to start the weekend like this,” said Lanigan. “This hot rod was good tonight. I put the set-up on that Anthony Burroughs had. I told myself just hit my marks and be patient. I could hear somebody (Richards) on that last lap. I didn’t see him there yet, he wasn’t all the way beside me, he gave me plenty of room. He is a true competitor. He wasn’t going to take me out. I can’t thank Clint and Casey Bowyer enough and all of the guys at the shop.”

Richards was pleased with his second-place finish. “I wish I had moved to the top sooner. I ran the bottom in three and four. On that last lap I probably should have went to the top to try and get by him [Lanigan]. I just slammed on the brakes going into one. I didn’t want to take both of us out. It’s a good feeling to be locked into the show tomorrow night.”

The top four finishers in each of the 30-lap duel features are locked into the Dirt Million on Saturday night. Those drivers drew for starting positions in an eight-lap dash that will determine the first eight spots on the grid for the 100-lap main event.

Marlar, who was debuting a new Longhorn Chassis for car-owner, locked into Saturday’s A-Main. “I thought we had a real good shot at winning the race. I was about to get by Darrell for the lead and then we had that caution. I guess Darrell’s guys moved him down on the track. Then I went to the top and got my right front bumper on the cushion.”

Zeigler, who challenged Lanigan for the lead early on in the race, took the fourth and final transfer to tomorrow night’s feature event. “The car was really good tonight. I thought for a second we were going to win it. That second restart I got crowded on the front stretch and it cost me. We all got bottled up down in one and two and I came out of that corner in sixth I think. It is what it is we are in the show tomorrow night and that is all that counts.”

Lanigan’s Clint Bowyer Racing, Club 29 Race Car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by: I-Racing, Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Cometic Gasket, Mobil 1, Ditzfeld Transfer, Clint Bowyer Autoplex, Penske Shocks and Sunoco Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten in Duel One were Chase Junghans, Frank Heckenast Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Earl Pearson Jr., and Kyle Bronson.

Jonathan Davenport

Davenport’s win was hard-fought. “We had a real good car tonight. This is a new car and it’s only the second-race on it. We still have a little bit to tweak on it. It has some different characteristics than my other one. I think I like this one. It definitely turns a little better. We might need to tighten it up a little more for the 100-lapper tomorrow night.”

 

Weiss, the defending Sunoco North/South 100 Champion, was pleased with his performance. “Our team has just been digging. I can’t thank the boys enough. We have been working on this thing hard. It seems every time out it gets better and better. I was happy with fourth, then went got to third. I got under O’Neal. I didn’t want to see that caution. I may kick myself tonight once I see the video on what things I should have done differently.”

 

O’Neal, who won the LOLMDS event at Mansfield last month, claimed another podium finish. “I just didn’t make a good enough arc getting into one on that last restart. It killed me because those other guys got a run on me coming off of two. Other than that, I am pretty happy with the race car and hopefully we can get this Peak car in victory lane tomorrow night.”

 

Moran, one of the homestate favorites heading into the weekend, was happy with his finish. “To get a top-four finish from that race, I will be able to sleep good tonight knowing we are in the show. We weren’t horrible there. We definitely need to get better. We will just go back and put our thinking caps on for tomorrow night and hopefully we can have it tuned in.”

 

Davenport’s Lance Landers-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by: Nutrien Ag Solutions, Spartan Mowers, Valvoline, ASC Warranty, Penske Racing Shocks, Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Midwest Sheet Metal, Sunoco Race Fuels and Hawkeye Trucks.

 

Completing the top ten in the Duel Two were Brian Birkhofer, Dale McDowell, Gregg Satterlee, Chad Simpson and Jared Landers.

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