Brian Shirley hasn’t scored as many wins in 2023 as is usually the case but on Friday night at Eldora Speedway ‘The Squirrel’ made up for it by passing Ricky Thornton Jr. on the last lap to earn a World 100 Group B preliminary win.
The Team Zero Race Cars driver from Chatham, Illinois earned $12,000 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
Qualifying Results: 1. Chris Madden(15.313), 2. Brian Shirley, 3. Haiden Cowan, 4. Carson Ferguson, 5. Ricky Thornton Jr., 6. Trent Ivey, 7. Stormy Scott, 8. Donald McIntosh, 9. Jason Feger, 10. Brandon Sheppard
Heat 1 Results: 1. Chris Madden, 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Ricky Thornton Jr., 4. David McCoy, 5. Jason Feger
Heat 2 Results: 1. Brian Shirley, 2. Brandon Sheppard, 3. Trent Ivey, 4. Will Roland, 5. Michael Brown
Heat 3 Results: 1. Mike Marlar, 2. Ryan Gustin, 3. Stormy Scott, 4. Kyle Bronson, 5. Haiden Cowan
Heat 4 Results: 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Donald McIntosh, 3. Tristan Chamberlain, 4. Casey Noonan, 5. Seth Daniels
B-main 1 Finish: 1. Tyler Nicely, 2. Garrett Smith
B-main 2 Finish: 1. Kent Robinson, 2. Ross Bailes
Feature Re-cap: At the start of the 25-lap feature it was Thornton who led the first lap over Shirley, Cowan, Ivey and Madden. Shirley passed by Thornton for the race lead on the second lap. Further back, Ivey, Madden and Scott took turns passing by Cowan as the young driver was eventually pushed out of the top-5.
Just as Shirley began to encounter slower traffic a caution came out on lap 12 for the slowing car of Bronson who appeared to have mechanical trouble. Shirley continued to lead after the restart with Thornton, Madden and Scott trailing.
Cowan spun on lap 14 to bring out another yellow flag. Scott jumped past Madden for third on the restart as Shirley and Thornton continued to show the way. However, Madden would regain the spot soon afterwards.
Thornton moved around Shirley for the lead on lap 19 to grab the lead. Shirley fought back but Thornton was able to fend off the challenge. Brandon Sheppard emerged in the top-5 late in the going ultimately making his way to fourth.
The leaders caught up with slower traffic as the laps clicked away. Shirley pulled alongside Thornton on the backstretch during the last lap then the two cars ran side-by-side through turns three and four with a slower car in the mix.
Shirley won the drag race to the finish line to claim the win.
Feature Results: 1. Brian Shirley, 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., 3. Chris Madden, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Stormy Scott, 6. Ryan Gustin, 7. Shane Clanton, 8. Trent Ivey, 9. Mike Marlar, 10. Jason Feger, 11. Donald McIntosh, 12. Garrett Smith, 13. Brandon Overton, 14. Kent Robinson, 15. Seth Daniels, 16. Will Roland, 17. Tristan Chamberlain, 18. David McCoy, 19. Haiden Cowan, 20. Michael Brown, 21. Tyler Nicely, 22. Ross Bailes, 23. Casey Noonan, 24. Kyle Bronson
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