Silly Season: Rumor Mill Churns as Drivers and Teams Plan Their Futures


Now that the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has concluded its 2018 campaign the rumors are flying as to who will go where and what will they be driving for the 2019 season. In all likelihood, some of those questions will be answered in the not-so-distant future as teams begin to finalize deals with sponsors, drivers, and crew members. After all, it was just about this time last year when we learned of the formation of the Lance Landers-owned team that would reunite driver Jonathan Davenport and engineer Kevin Rumley.

The upcoming World of Outlaws Late Model Series sanctioned World Finals presents an opportunity for teams to make big announcements with a number of sponsors and other key components of the racing industry located in or near the Charlotte area. If not there, announcements will almost certainly be made at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis during the first full weekend of December.

Please keep in mind that is not privy to any particular inside information beyond the rumors that have floated around the pit areas in recent weeks.

Here are some of the names most caught up in the rumor mill over the past few weeks:

Josh Richards

Josh Richards- It seems to be generally accepted that Richards and Best Performance Motorsports will go their separate ways. That said, the rumor mill seems to be certain that the driver who has won championships on both the World of Outlaws Late Model Dirt Series and the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will make his way to Clint Bowyer Racing during the off-season as a replacement for Darrell Lanigan. If that is indeed the case, it would seem likely that Richards will take his father’s Rocket Chassis brand with him in the move.

Tim McCreadie- Will he stay with the Sweeteners Plus team that he has raced for over the past several seasons? Is he a target of the Dunn Benson Motorsports team? Could he wind up with Best Performance Motorsports? Will his relationship with Longhorn Chassis remain in place? Many seem convinced that there is some sort of pending announcement regarding the future of this year’s World 100 winner. Only time will tell.

Darrell Lanigan- Most observers seem certain that Lanigan’s time with Clint Bowyer Racing has drawn to a close. If that is indeed the case, where will the Union, Kentucky driver land and what will the other details be? Will he field his own cars? Will he continue to employ the Club 29 Chassis? And, what series(if any) will he run?

Obviously, there seem to be more questions than answers regarding Lanigan’s future right now.

Don O’Neal- Indications seem to be that the former Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion will be back with Clint Bowyer Racing next season provided sponsorship is secured. However, there is also a rumor out there that he could join his son Hudson with the SSI team. Both are intriguing possibilities whether he be joined by Richards or team with his son.

Might Don and Hudson O’Neal be paired together in 2019?

Brandon Overton- The Georgia driver stated after the Dirt Track World Championship that he would remember those who have been there for him and that he intends for his 2019 plans to include current team owner Billy Franklin. That said, however, his name has been placed in consideration with various teams including the Dunn Benson Motorsports ride vacated by Bobby Pierce at the end of the 2018 season. No doubt there will be others interested in obtaining the services of this year’s Hillbilly 100 winner.

Will Brandon Overton still be in a Billy Franklin owned car in 2019?

Bobby Pierce- It looks very much like ‘The Smooth Operator’ will be headed back to his family team following a season in the Dunn Benson Motorsports ride that resulted in a couple of $20,000 wins as the season drew to a close. The primary questions surrounding Pierce revolve around whether he will follow a national tour(particularly the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series) or return to a regional slate that has netted multiple feature wins and Summer Nationals championships over the course of his career.

Who will drive for NASCAR star Clint Bowyer in 2019?

Dunn Benson Motorsports- The rumors have circulated since it was announced that Bobby Pierce would not be back in 2019. This team proved it can win big races so there are no doubt any number of interested drivers making inquiries. As is always the case, sponsorship will determine much. And once the driver is decided, other matters such as chassis brand and engine type will no doubt come into focus.

Clint Bowyer Racing- Just like with everything else, sponsorship will determine much of what happens here. Will the NASCAR star’s team narrow down to one car or will it continue as a two-car operation? Will there be changes among the crew members? Will there be chassis changes?

All of these questions will probably become clear once the driver lineup is determined.

Aside from all of those mentioned above there almost certainly be the typical revelations of drivers making chassis and/or engine changes, drivers and teams declaring their intentions to race on a particular series, and the announcements of track and series schedules coming during the months of November and December.

Check in frequently with as details become available.


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