After spending three days at the Golden Isles Speedway in Georgia over the past weekend, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series headed further south to continue its portion of Georgia-Florida SpeedWeeks. The national touring series hit the track at the Bubba Raceway Park on Monday night for the first of two shows to be contested at that facility. At the end of a fast paced night of racing, it was Tim McCreadie who stood in victory lane at the Ocala, Florida venue after a wild last lap. The Longhorn Chassis driver from Watertown, NY earned $10,000 for his efforts in a race shown live by MavTV Plus.
It was the defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion’s first win of 2022.
A total of 46 cars were signed in for competition.
Brandon Sheppard established the fastest time in Group A qualifying after completing a lap in 13.763 seconds around the 3/8 mile clay oval to better the marks of Earl Pearson Jr., Max Blair, Daulton Wilson and Hudson O’Neal.
It was Tim McCreadie who was fastest in Group B time-trials with a time of 13.727 seconds besting Devin Moran, Shane Clanton, Ricky Thornton Jr. and Ross Robinson.
Brandon Sheppard earned the pole position for the feature by winning the first heat race of the night over Mark Whitener and Johnny Scott then Hudson O’Neal took the second preliminary ahead of Ashton Winger and Earl Pearson Jr.
Kyle Bronson captured the third heat by beating out Max Blair and Tyler Erb.
Tim McCreadie would start the main event from the outside of the front row after winning the fourth preliminary topping Ricky Thornton Jr. and Garrett Alberson while Devin Moran was victor of the fifth heat by outrunning Brian Shirley and Matt Cosner.
Shane Clanton bested Dennis Erb Jr. and Dan Stone in the sixth and final heat.
Chase Junghans and Josh Richards won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting grid for the main event.
At the start of the 40-lap feature it was McCreadie who took the early lead with Sheppard, Moran, O’Neal and Clanton trailing. Clanton moved around O’Neal to gain the fourth position. However, a caution on lap 6 for a flat tire on O’Neal.
On the restart, Moran got by Sheppard who then fell into the clutches of Whitener and Clanton and dropped to fifth position. Moran, who won at Golden Isles on Thursday, kept McCreadie in his sights until another yellow flag was displayed to the field on lap 15 for the slowing car of Dan Stone.
At the midway point, McCreadie continued to lead Moran, Whitener, Clanton and Sheppard. A caution on lap 22 for Shirley regrouped the field.
On the lap 22 restart, Clanton and Sheppard got by Whitener to take third and fourth respectively. But the action was interrupted again when Richards slowed on lap 24 to bring out another yellow flag. Clanton dropped following the restart as Whitener and Thornton rose quickly until Blair slowed to bring out yet another caution on lap 25.
Thornton wrested third away from Whitener on the lap 25 restart as McCreadie continued to lead Moran. Wilson slowed with mechanical issues on lap 30 to bring out a caution. Whitener and Sheppard passed Thornton to move into third and fourth respectively.
Sheppard made a late run as he took third away from Whitener with two laps remaining.
As the laps clicked away, Moran closed in on McCreadie. Just after the white flag was displayed, Moran dove to the inside in turn one and exited turn two with the race lead. McCreadie moved to the inside through three and four as Moran bobbled slightly off of four. The two cars banged doors as they streaked toward the checkered flag with McCreadie just edging Moran of the win.
Feature Finish: 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Devin Moran, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. Mark Whitener, 5. Ricky Thornton Jr., 6. Kyle Bronson, 7. Ashton Winger, 8. Tyler Erb, 9. Ross Robinson, 10. Jimmy Owens, 11. Hudson O’Neal, 12. Garrett Smith, 13. Chase Junghans, 14. Johnny Scott, 15. Dennis Erb Jr., 16. Garrett Alberson, 17. Earl Pearson Jr., 18. Shane Clanton, 19. Stormy Scott, 20. Josh Richards, 21. Matt Cosner, 22. Daulton Wilson, 23. Max Blair, 24. Brian Shirley, 25. Dan Stone, 26. Mike Marlar
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