The Dirt Late Model world assembled at one of the sport’s most revered venues on Wednesday night for preliminary events that will lead into the 51st World 100 that will be held on Thursday evening. The field was split into an A Group and a B Group on Wednesday to contest a pair of $10,000-to-win features. At the end of the first night of competition, it was Johnny Scott who captured the Group A main event. The Longhorn Chassis driver from New Mexico enjoyed the honor of celebrating on Eldora’s famed victory lane stage.
Qualifying, heat race results, and the feature finish from each Group award points for the drivers that go toward setting the heat race lineups for Thursday’s World 100 event.
A combined total of 80 cars were signed in for competition.
Kyle Strickler led qualifying among those drivers placed in Group A with a lap of 15.426 seconds around the half-mile clay oval topping Kyle Larson, Scott Bloomquist, Chris Ferguson, Ricky Thornton Jr., Bobby Pierce, Kyle Bronson, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard and Ryan Gustin.
Brandon Sheppard took the win in the first heat race ahead of Johnny Scott, Kyle Strickler, Ricky Thornton Jr. and Tyler Erb then Bobby Pierce beat out Ryan Gustin, Jimmy Mars, Kyle Larson, Joseph Joiner and Stormy Scott in the second preliminary.
Nick Hoffman was the winner of the third heat over Chris Madden, Kyle Bronson, Scott Bloomquist and Robby Hensley just before Jonathan Davenport defeated Chris Ferguson, Brandon Overton, Dennis Erb Jr. and Zack Dohm.
Stormy Scott took the Last Chance Showdown ahead of Frank Heckenast Jr., Josh Richards and Mason Zeigler.
At the start of the 25-lap feature it was Hoffman who took the initial lead with Johnny Scott, Davenport, Sheppard and Gustin following. On the second circuit, Scott moved to the outside and rolled by Hoffman to take the race lead.
Further back, Pierce entered the top-5 by passing Gustin on lap 3. Soon after, Madden closed in to challenge Gustin for sixth. As Scott began to pull away from Hoffman, Davenport, Sheppard and Pierce found themselves in a three-car fight for positions 3-5.
Scott encountered traffic by lap 11 in a feature that would run caution free.
Davenport closed in on Hoffman as those two mixed it up by exchanging the second spot twice before Hoffman regained the position. Then, Sheppard pulled up on the rear spoiler of Davenport to contest the third spot. On lap 15, Sheppard executed the pass to take that position away from Davenport.
Pierce then engaged in a fight with Davenport for fourth, which he would eventually take.
But up ahead, Scott had the race under control as he would eventually cruise under the checkered flag to score his biggest career victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Johnny Scott, 2. Nick Hoffman, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Bobby Pierce, 5. Jonathan Davenport, 6. Brandon Overton, 7. Chris Madden, 8. Chris Ferguson, 9. Ryan Gustin, 10. Kyle Bronson, 11. Tyler Erb, 12. Kyle Larson, 13. Zack Dohm, 14. Ricky Thornton Jr., 15. Dennis Erb Jr., 16. Scott Bloomquist, 17. Mason Zeigler, 18. Stormy Scott, 19. Joseph Joiner, 20. Frank Heckenast Jr., 21. Jimmy Mars, 22. Josh Richards, 23. Kyle Strickler, 24. Robby Hensley