Hudson O’Neal had never won a World 100. Team owner Mark Richards and the Rocket Chassis house car had never won the World 100. A driver from Indiana had never won the World 100. That all changed in the 53rd edition of this storied race at Eldora Speedway on Saturday night as O’Neal battled Jonathan Davenport for most of the race finally coming home as an emotional winner.
The Rocket Chassis driver from Martinsville, Indiana earned $56,000 from the track located in Rossburg, Ohio in a race aired live by FloRacing.com.
A total of 102 cars were signed in for competition.
Heat race lineups were set by points earned by drivers during the Thursday and Friday night preliminary events.
Heat Race Results:
Heat 1 Finish– 1. Jason Feger, 2. Devin Moran, 3. Bobby Pierce
Heat 2 Finish– 1. Jonathan Davenport, 2. Chris Madden, 3. Shannon Babb
Heat 3 Finish– 1. Kyle Bronson, 2. Brian Shirley, 3. Mike Marlar
Heat 4 Finish– 1. Chris Ferguson, 2. Kyle Strickler, 3. Tyler Erb
Heat 5 Finish– 1. Hudson O’Neal, 2. Jimmy Owens, 3. Earl Pearson Jr.
Heat 6 Finish– 1. Mason Zeigler, 2. Ryan Gustin, 3. Brandon Sheppard
B-main 1 Finish– 1. Josh Rice, 2. Shane Clanton, 3. Tanner English, 4. Dale McDowell
B-main 2 Finish– 1. Stormy Scott, 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Nick Hoffman, 4. Garrett Alberson
Feature Re-cap: The 100-lap feature got underway with Ferguson leading O’Neal, Zeigler, Davenport and Moran. During the first 10 laps it would be Zeigler and O’Neal who engaged in a position swapping battle that saw them exchange that position multiple times.
Eventually, O’Neal would emerge from that fight and chase down Ferguson as the leaders entered slower traffic by lap 15 where O’Neal then passed by for the lead and quickly built a lead of two seconds until a caution slowed the pace on lap 21.
Davenport jumped to third when the green flag waved as he trailed O’Neal and Ferguson. Soon after the restart, a second yellow flag was displayed when Rice got into the wall with Brandon Sheppard also getting a piece of the incident.
Davenport then moved to second on lap 22 trailing only O’Neal. Further back, Ferguson and Zeigler wrestled for the third spot. At the race’s one-third mark O’Neal led by just over one second ahead of Davenport, Zeigler, Ferguson and Madden with the leaders again working through traffic.
On lap 38, Pierce burst into the top-5 when he bolted all the way up to fourth.
A caution on lap 40 for sixth-running Moran into the wall settled the action. O’Neal led Davenport, Zeigler, Pierce and Ferguson.
Pierce moved to third on the restart pushing Zeigler back to fourth. The racing then settled into a rhythm until a caution for a crash involving Pierce slowed the action on lap 47.
At the halfway point, O’Neal continued to lead Davenport, Zeigler, Ferguson and Gustin. Soon after, Davenport passed by O’Neal to grab the race lead. Those two drove away from the rest of the field as they battled for the race lead. Davenport led with O’Neal constantly harassing him.
A caution on lap 69 for top-10 running Owens regrouped the field. Davenport led O’Neal, Zeigler, Ferguson and Shirley. Shirley moved to third by lap 74.
Thornton slowed to bring out the race’s seventh yellow flag on lap 76. With 20 laps remaining, McDowell slipped into the fifth position. Finally on lap 91, O’Neal got by Davenport for the lead eventually breaking away from an intense battle.
O’Neal then pulled away from his pursuers. However, a lap 98 caution for the slowing car of Strickler. At that point, O’Neal led Davenport, Shirley, McDowell, Ferguson and Zeigler.
O’Neal held back all challengers and went on to claim the victory.
Feature Results: 1. Hudson O’Neal, 2. Jonathan Davenport, 3. Dale McDowell, 4. Brian Shirley, 5. Tanner English, 6. Mason Zeigler, 7. Chris Ferguson, 8. Ryan Gustin, 9. Tyler Erb, 10. Brandon Sheppard, 11. Mike Marlar, 12. Ricky Thornton Jr., 13. Nick Hoffman, 14. Kyle Bronson, 15. Kyle Strickler, 16. Jason Feger, 17. Jimmy Owens, 18. Tristan Chamberlain, 19. Earl Pearson Jr., 20. Shane Clanton, 21. Bobby Pierce, 22. Brandon Overton, 23. Devin Moran, 24. Chris Madden, 25. Stormy Scott, 26. Garrett Alberson, 27. Cory Hedgecock, 28. Shannon Babb, 29. Josh Rice, 30. Jason Jameson
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