A Rocket Chassis won the first crown jewel race of 2021 when Hudson O’Neal pulled his Double Down Motorsports car into victory lane at Missouri’s Lucas Oil Speedway following the Show-me 100 last month. That chassis builder’s biggest rival on the national Dirt Late Model scene came back with a vengeance on the first of what will ultimately be four night’s of racing at the Eldora Speedway this week with two more crown jewels up for grabs.
Following last year’s cancellation of the 26th annual Dirt Late Model Dream, officials at the Tony Stewart-owned facility in Rossburg, OH decided to host both the 26th and the 27th Dream events within a four-day span. Wednesday and Friday nights have been set aside for preliminary action with the 27th Dream scheduled for Thursday evening and the 26th Dream slated to roll off on Saturday night.
Longhorn Chassis was nothing short of dominating on Wednesday night at the historic track as drivers and teams jockeyed for position in the preliminary events that will set the heat race lineups for the $127,000-to-win contest on Thursday.
The field was broken into two groups with some drivers being slotted into Group A and others into Group B. Everyone would qualifying, heat race, and feature race against those placed within the same group.
Longhorn cars set the fast time in both qualifying sections with Stormy Scott setting the mark in Group A and Jonathan Davenport establishing the fastest time not only for Group B but overall as well. But Longhorn drivers weren’t finished there.
Of the four Group A heat races contested on Wednesday, two were taken by Longhorn drivers. Devin Moran and Brandon Overton won in that brand of race car while Ricky Weiss drove his own Sniper Chassis to a win and Darrell Lanigan steered the last Club 29 Race Car he ever built to victory in another of the heat races.
Brandon Overton went on to win the Group A feature in his Wells Motorsports No. 76 Longhorn after fellow Longhorn driver Stormy Scott slipped too high in turn one and made contact with the wall late in the race.
The North Carolina-based chassis maker was even more dominant in Group B action. All four heats in that group were captured by Longhorns as Jonathan Davenport, Ricky Thornton Jr., Johnny Scott, and Kyle Larson each claimed wins.
Jonathan Davenport then went on to lead all 25 laps to claim the $10,000 first prize in the Group B feature race adding to his already impressive list of accomplishments at the track located in the middle of Ohio’s corn belt.
“This might be the best car I’ve ever drove around here,” Davenport stated after his win. “It was really good. I could run through the middle, I could run on the wall. We put this car up for almost two months and beat on our other one to save this one for here, for this purpose right here, because I knew this was a good piece.”
Then the 2015 Dream winner added when asked about his success during the first half of the 2021 season, “It’s just great race cars, really.”
While success in the prelims in no way guarantees a checkered flag at the end of the main event, Longhorn teams have certainly put themselves in great position for the Thursday night show. But it is worth noting that both of those feature winners were followed by Rockets as Kyle Bronson came home second to Overton and Jimmy Owens finished just behind Davenport so the West Virginia-based builder has not faded away by any means.
Longhorn drivers definitely have to be looked at as favorites to claim the big check on Thursday night but there, of course, will be stiff competition from the others.
Also, NASCAR and pavement racing fans can check out InsideCircleTrack.