Ricky Thornton Jr. finds Lucas Oil victory lane on Sunday at Bubba

Ricky Thornton Jr. earned his first win of 2023

Ricky Thornton Jr. had scored three podium finishes in the first three Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series features to start the 2023 season but none of those runs had ended in victory lane. That changed on Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park as the No. 20RT car overcame a deflating left front tire to beat the field to the checkered flag.

The Longhorn Chassis driver who now hails from Martinsville, Indiana earned $10,000 for his efforts on the 3/8-mile track located in Ocala, Florida in a race shown live by FloRacing.com.

A total of 39 cars were signed in for competition

Qualifying Results:

Group A Results- 1. Devin Moran(14.083), 2 Brandon Overton, 3. Ashton Winger, 4. Tyler Bruening, 5. Tanner English, 6. Shane Clanton, 7. Jack Riggs, 8. Mike Benedum, 9. Garrett Smith, 10 Daulton Wilson

Group B Results- 1. Max Blair(14.101), 2. Dennis Erb Jr., 3. Ricky Thornton Jr., 4. Earl Pearson Jr., 5. Tim McCreadie, 6. Jimmy Owens, 7. Garrett Alberson, 8. Hudson O’Neal, 9. Brandon Sheppard, 10. Blair Nothdurft

Heat 1 Results: 1. Devin Moran, 2. Tanner English, 3. Ashton Winger, 4. Garrett Smith

Heat 2 Results: 1. Tyler Bruening, 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Mike Benedum, 4. Boom Briggs

Heat 3 Results: 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., 2. Max Blair, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. G.R. Smith

Heat 4 Results: 1. Earl Pearson Jr., 2. Dennis Erb Jr., 3. Hudson O’Neal, 4. Jimmy Owens

B-main 1 Finish: 1. Daulton Wilson, 2. Jonathan Davenport, 3. Tyler Erb

B-main 2 Finish: 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Blair Nothdurft, 3. Wil HerringtonĀ 

Feature Re-cap: At the start of the 40-lap feature it was Thornton who took advantage of his outside front row starting position to grab the lead ahead of Moran, Pearson, Bruening and Blair. But Moran wasted no time going on the offensive as he threw a slide job on Thornton for the lead on lap 3.Ā 

The lead cars began to encounter slower traffic on the lightning fast track which tightened the front runners.

A lap 14 caution for the slowing car of Wilson slowed the pace and regrouped the field.

Moran fell back to fourth on the lap 14 restart as Thornton, Pearson and Blair got by just before the race was again slowed by a yellow flag when Moran slowed with a right front issue.

When the race resumed on lap 15 Winger burst into the top-5 behind Thornton, Pearson and Blair. Thornton began to pull away until Robinson spun on lap 19 to bring out another caution. An incident involving Bruening, McCreadie and Dennis Erb Jr. caused another caution before a lap could be completed.

The race was red flagged as crews worked to separate the cars which included Erb’s car on top of that of McCreadie.

When the race went back to green flag conditions, Thornton stormed away from the pack until lap 26 when a caution came out for the slowing second-place runner in Pearson, who had suffered a flat tire.

Thornton continued to lead with a left front tire that appeared to be going flat. In the meantime, Blair, Winger and O’Neal closed in traffic. Even with the deflating tire, Thornton again pulled away. Ultimately, Thornton would not be deined as the No. 20RT machine scored the win and earned its fourth consecutive podium finish.

Feature Results: 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., 2. Max Blair, 3. Ashton Winger, 4. Hudson O’Neal, 5. Brandon Overton, 6. Tanner English, 7. Brandon Sheppard, 8. Jonathan Davenport, 9. G.R. Smith, 10. Devin Moran, 11. Tyler Erb, 12. Boom Briggs, 13. Spencer Hughes, 14. Ross Robinson, 15, Mike Benedum, 16. Earl Pearson Jr., 17. Tyler Bruening, 18. Garrett Alberson, 19. Eil Herrington, 20. Garrett Smith, 21. Dennis Erb Jr., 22. Tim McCreadie, 23. Kyle Bronson, 24. Jimmy Owens, 25. Blair Nothdurft, 26. Daulton Wilson, 27. Logan Roberson

Please consider also reading:

Rich’s Ramblings: Re-capping the Lucas Oil weekend at Golden Isles

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