The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made its way to Ponderosa Speedway on Friday night to contest a $12,000-to-win feature event. When all was said and done, it was Eddie Carrier, Jr. who came away from the Junction City, Kentucky track with the win and the top payout after the race was stopped by series officials as light rain fell over the facility.
Kyle Bronson led the way in qualifying by turning a lap of 12.905 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval to beat out Carrier, Tanner English, Earl Pearson, Jr., Jonathan Davenport and Josh Richards.
Bronson earned the pole position for the feature by winning the night’s first heat race ahead of Pearson, Tim McCreadie, Brandon Overton, Gregg Satterlee and Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Carrier would start the main event from the outside of the front row after he won the second heat ahead of Davenport, Michael Chilton, Jared Hawkins, Darrell Lanigan and Bobby Pierce.
English won the third and final heat of the night over Richards, Don O’Neal, Victor Lee, Eric Wells and Shanon Buckingham.
Mike Marlar won the lone B-main of the evening.
At the start of the 50-lap feature it was Carrier who bolted to the early lead with Bronson, Pearson, English and Richards trailing. Pearson moved around Bronson to grab the runner-up position on lap 2 which then opened the door for Richards to wrest third from Bronson on the next circuit.
Pearson began an assault on Carrier for the race lead on lap 5 while McCreadie and Davenport fought over the fifth spot. Pearson, who won last weekend’s Dirt Million event, looked as if he might be on his way to a second consecutive victory when he took over the top spot on the leader board on lap 6.
By lap 8 the lead trio of Pearson, Carrier, and Richards found themselves fighting with slower traffic as well as with each other. Richards closed in and began to hound Carrier for second as both kept Pearson in their sights. Meanwhile, McCreadie and Davenport continued their fierce battle for fifth.
At lap 19 that all changed when McCreadie tangled with the fast rising Overton. When those two cars came to rest, the No. 76 machine of Overton was sitting atop the No. 39 of McCreadie. Both cars suffered significant damage as a result of the melee.
Rain drops began to fall as the cars circulated under caution but series and track officials decided that the racing surface was still suitable for racing.
On the lap 19 restart Carrier fought off a challenge from Richards for the second spot then looked to go after Pearson. Finally on lap 27 the No. 10 regained the lead of the race from Pearson. Just three laps later, Bronson slowed with a flat left rear tire to bring out a caution. As the cars rode around the track, LOLMDS officials looked to the drivers for a thumbs up or thumbs down on the condition of the track as the rain drops continued to fall.
Ultimately, the race was halted five laps passed the halfway mark which made it an official race and Eddie Carrier, Jr. the winner.
Feature Finish: 1. Eddie Carrier, Jr., 2. Earl Pearson, Jr., 3. Josh Richards, 4. Jonathan Davenport, 5. Jared Hawkins, 6. Darrell Lanigan, 7. Jimmy Owens, 8. Gregg Satterlee, 9. Tanner English, 10. Mason Zeigler, 11. Dennis Erb, Jr., 12. Don O’Neal, 13. Ricky Thornton, Jr., 14. Victor Lee, 15. Tim McCreadie, 16. Tommy Bailey, 17. Kyle Bronson, 18. Michael Chilton, 19. Eric Wells, 20. Brandon Overton, 21. Bobby Pierce, 22. Shanon Buckingham, 23. Mike Marlar, 24. Todd Coffman