Tim McCreadie delivers first punch of 2020 Lucas Oil season

Tim McCreadie led all 50 laps to capture the first Lucas Oil feature of the season

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series opened its 2020 season on Saturday night at Golden Isles Speedway. Following a Friday night rainout, the track ran its regularly scheduled show with cool conditions prevailing. At the end of the night it was 2019 series runner-up Tim McCreadie who left the Brunswick, GA facility with the first win of the season and a payout of $12,000.

It was McCreadie’s first start for a new team owned by Donald and Gena Bradsher.

Tim McCreadie led the way in Group A time-trials by timing in at 14.844 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. That time beat out Jonathan Davenport, Billy Moyer, Jr., Kyle Bronson, Mark Whitener and Shane Clanton.

Devin Moran was quickest in Group B qualifying and overall with a lap of 14.782 topping the efforts of Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Dennis Erb, Jr., John Blankenship and Ross Bailes.

Tim McCreadie earned the pole for the feature by winning the first heat race of the night ahead of Mark Whitener, Tyler Bruening and Billy Moyer Jr. while Jonathan  Davenport took the second preliminary over Kyle Bronson, Shane Clanton and GR Smith.

Devin Moran would start from the outside of the front row after he won the third heat in front of Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Owens and Josh Richards just before Mike  Marlar won the fourth and final heat of the night by beating out Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley and Ross Bailes.

Johnny Scott and Mason Zeigler won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting lineup.

At the start of the 50-lap feature it would be McCreadie who would bolt to the early lead ahead of Davenport, Moran, Whitener and Marlar. Whitener used his familiarity with the south Georgia track to move by Moran and grab the third position on the second circuit. Marlar quickly followed suit and went by Moran one lap later.

The first yellow flag of the night waved on lap 5 when G.R. Smith had trouble at the entrance of turn one. On the ensuing restart, Whitener swept into the second spot while Moran regained one of the positions he had lost earlier by passing Marlar for fourth.

2019 World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series champion Brandon Sheppard made his first appearance of the night in the top-5 when he took fifth from Marlar on the ninth lap.

McCreadie began to work his way through slower traffic on lap 13. And it was in that slower traffic on lap 15 that the leader almost found disaster. Going into turn one the car of Ross Bailes climbed the outside wall then spun around just in front of McCreadie. Quick action by the veteran driver allowed to get by the spinning car without incident.

During the race’s middle stretches, McCreadie got out to a relatively comfortable advantage while Whitener, Davenport and Sheppard engaged in a fierce battle for positions 2-4 further back. However, a lap 30 caution erased McCreadie’s lead and briefly calmed the fight that had been going on behind him.

McCreadie continued to lead as the race drew closer to its finish. But the action just behind gained in intensity. And more, the fast rising Overton joined the fray as the checkered flag loomed in the distance.

Contact between Whitener and Sheppard as they battled for second on lap 45 opened the door for Overton to seize third. The No. 76 machine quickly grabbed second when Whitener went high and jumped the cushion in turn 2 on lap 46. At the same time, Sheppard also moved around Whitener to take third.

And finally, contact between Davenport and Whitener sent the No. 5 car well off the pace and out of the groove in turn three. Meanwhile, McCreadie sped under the checkered flag to claim victory.

Feature Finish: 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Mike Marlar, 5. Jonathan Davenport, 6. Devin Moran, 7. Kyle Bronson, 8. Jimmy Owens, 9. Dennis Erb, Jr., 10. Shane Clanton, 11. Tyler Erb, 12. Brian Shirley, 13. Josh Richards, 14. Mason Zeigler, 15. Chase Junghans, 16. Tyler Bruening, 17. Rick Eckert, 18. Hudson O’Neal, 19. Earl Pearson, Jr., 20. Shanon Buckingham, 21. Billy Moyer Jr, 22. Mark Whitener, 23. Johnny Scott, 24. Stormy Scott, 25. Ross Bailes, 26. GR Smith

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