The Dirt Late Model world assembled at one of the sport’s most revered venues on Wednesday night for preliminary events that will lead into the 51st World 100 that will be held on Thursday evening. The field was split into an A Group and a B Group on Wednesday to contest a pair of $10,000-to-win features. At the end of the first night of competition, it was Tim McCreadie who captured the Group B main event. The Longhorn Chassis driver from Watertown, NY enjoyed the honor of celebrating on Eldora’s famed victory lane stage.
Qualifying, heat race results, and the feature finish from each Group award points for the drivers that go toward setting the heat race lineups for Thursday’s World 100 event.
A combined total of 80 cars were signed in for competition.
Spencer Hughes was fastest in Group B qualifying when he toured the half-mile clay oval in 15.819 seconds besting Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton, John Blankenship, Mark Whitener, Devin Moran, Jimmy Owens and Gregg Satterlee.
Jimmy Owens won the first Group B heat ahead of Shane Clanton, Dale McDowell, Spencer Hughes and Kody Evans after officials penalized McDowell two finishing positions after ruling that he jumped the initial start while Hudson O’Neal took the second preliminary ahead of Gregg Satterlee, Ricky Weiss, John Blankenship and Brian Shirley.
Darrell Lanigan was victorious in the third heat after the beat Tim McCreadie, Michael Chilton, Mark Whitener and Jason Papich just before Devin Moran bested Shannon Babb, Mike Marlar, Ashton Winger and Jensen Ford.
Rick Eckert won the Last Chance Showdown ahead of Chad Simpson, Freddie Carpenter and Boom Briggs.
The green flag waved over the 25-lap feature with Babb leading Lanigan, Chilton, Owens and Clanton. By the second lap, Owens and Clanton had moved around Chilton to stake claim to the third and fourth positions respectively. While further back, McCreadie enter the top-5 when he passed by Chilton on lap 3.
Lanigan stepped up to offer a challenge to Babb for the top spot on lap 7 while McCreadie wrestled with Clanton for fourth. By lap 10, McCreadie had taken the spot away from Clanton looked to continue his march forward.
Lanigan kept the pressure on Babb as those two veteran drivers exchanged positions on laps 12 and 13. One lap later, McCreadie made his way by Owens to take third as his car began to click off the fastest laps on the speedway.
The No. 39 took second away from Lanigan on lap 17 and then wrested the lead away from Babb on lap 18. From that point, McCreadie would not be denied as he pulled away and eventually sailed under the checkered flag to score the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Shannon Babb, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Hudson O’Neal, 5. Jimmy Owens, 6. Devin Moran, 7. Shane Clanton, 8. Gregg Satterlee, 9. John Blankenship, 10. Dale McDowell, 11. Michael Chilton, 12. Mike Marlar, 13. Spencer Hughes, 14. Mark Whitener, 15. Ricky Weiss, 16. Ashton Winger, 17. Brian Shirley, 18. Chad Simpson, 19. Jason Papich, 20. Rick Eckert, 21. Boom Briggs, 22. Kody Evans, 23. Freddie Carpenter, 24. Jensen Ford