The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series capped off a huge racing weekend at the Florence Speedway on Saturday night with the 36th running of the North-South 100. In the end, it was Canadian Ricky Weiss who came away from the Union, Kentucky facility with the glory of having captured one of Dirt Late Model racing’s crown jewel events and a winner’s check valued at $50,000.
Much of the starting lineup for the feature was determined on Friday night by a series of passing points heat races that placed Hudson O’Neal on the pole with Brandon Overton, Earl Pearson. Jr., Nick Hoffman, Don O’Neal, Ricky Weiss, Jimmy Owens, Kent Robinson, Jimmy Mars and Jonathan Davenport rounding out the top-10 on the starting grid for the main event.
Gregg Satterlee, Kyle Bronson and Jackie Boggs won the B-main races that set the remainder of the starting lineup for the feature.
Hudson O’Neal grabbed the early lead when the 100-lap feature took the green flag with Overton, Pearson, Don O’Neal and Weiss trailing in his wake.
Pearson moved to second and Weiss grabbed third following a lap 1 restart. Pearson would continue his march forward by wresting the lead away from O’Neal on lap 7.
Pearson would then looked like he was going to dominate the event as he controlled the early laps of the prestigious affair.
Top-10 running Bobby Pierce experienced trouble on lap 16 to bring out a yellow flag. On the ensuing restart, Don O’Neal moved up to fourth while Owens took over sixth in the running order as Pearson and Weiss broke away from the pack while the race ran caution free between laps 18 and 34. During that time Hudson O’Neal fought with Overton for third while Owens and Don O’Neal battled for the fifth position.
Defending North-South 100 winner Tim McCreadie brought out a caution on lap 34 when his No. 39 suffered a flat tire. Just one lap after that restart Owens would assume the third spot when he passed by both O’Neals in one corner of the track.
Meanwhile, Pearson and Weiss continued to show the way until another yellow flag waved on lap 59.
That caution period proved to be a pivotal one as Scott Bloomquist, Mason Zeigler and Jonathan Davenport headed to the hot pit for a tire change. Then, just before the green was set to wave, the leading machine of Pearson also came to the attention of his crew for service.
Pearson then brought out another caution on the restart when he slowed on the track. On the next attempt at a restart, sixth running Jimmy Mars was sent spinning into the outside wall after apparent contact from another car. Pearson, who had been so dominate early, also received damage in that incident.
From that point, Weiss controlled the race pace until Hudson O’Neal made a late attempt to get by. Those two cars ran side-by-side for three consecutive laps as the event passed the ten-to-go mark.
However, Weiss would emerge from that battle with the lead while McCreadie charged forward to claim the runner-up spot just before the white flag waved.
Feature Finish: 1. Ricky Weiss, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Hudson O’Neal, 4. Jimmy Owens, 5. Jonathan Davenport, 6. Dale McDowell, 7. Zack Dohm, 8. Scott Bloomquist, 9. Darrell Lanigan, 10. Mason Zeigler, 11. Eddie Carrier, Jr., 12. Gregg Satterlee, 13. Kent Robinson, 14. Josh Rice, 15. Dennis Erb, Jr., 16. Earl Pearson, Jr., 17. Kyle Bronson, 18. Nick Hoffman, 19. Don O’Neal, 20. Jackie Boggs, 21. Bobby Pierce, 22. Jimmy Mars, 23. Jared Hawkins, 24. Robby Hensley, 25. Brandon Overton, 26. Michael Chilton, 27. Josh Rice