GIBSONTON, Fla. — After vainly chasing Jonathan Davenport in the second half of Wednesday’s Wrisco Winternationals feature at East Bay Raceway Park, Tim McCreadie was prepared to congratulate the defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion in victory lane.
Instead, after Davenport rolled his car’s nosepiece under and was smashed in a violent frontstretch crash with five laps remaining, it was McCreadie standing atop the podium with a $7,000 payday and his second victory on the national tour in four 2020 starts.
“I love winning, but you want to get it by passing the best,” the 45-year-old Watertown, N.Y., driver said after leading the last five laps in the 40-lap main event. “Tonight we had some luck, and we’ll take it and go on to tomorrow.”
McCreadie took the checkers 0.925 seconds ahead of Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., while Tuesday’s winner Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., rallied from 12th to finish third. Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, came from 22nd to fourth and Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., who pitted under a lap-seven caution, rounded out the top-five.
Davenport, the Blairsville, Ga., driver and reigning series champion, led all but one of the first 35 laps when his race came to a car-crushing end. When his Double L Motorsports entry bounced in the air in turn four, his car’s nosepiece folded under at the top of the frontstretch and he lost control, striking the frontstretch wall and coming to a virtual stop in front of the onrushing field. Fourth-running Kyle Bronson, under a full head of steam, smashed the rear of Davenport’s car at the flagstand in a violent crash.
Both drivers climbed out unharmed, but their cars suffered heavy damage that required a red-flag cleanup. Davenport’s car, which rolled toward the infield after impact, was towed away while the machine of Bronson, a series regular from nearby Brandon, Fla., required a rollback removal.
“It’s such a pleasure to race with J.D. We became real close last year and I was fully prepared to shake his hand here, because it looked like he had us just covered enough,” said McCreadie, who slipped by his fellow Longhorn Chassis driver to lead the fourth lap but held the second or third spots most of the race.
“We’re tickled to be here, but we also gotta get better, because J.D.’s going to be foaming tomorrow,” McCreadie added.
The Longhorn Chassis house car driver scored his second Lucas Oil victory in four series starts, along with his $12,000 victory Saturday at Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Ga. But he knows things aren’t easy on the national tour.
“The first night (at East Bay) we started on the pole and fell back to seventh was a big shock, you know? Not that we were overconfident, but everything had come so easy (at Golden Isles), and then that night came really easy, too,” McCreadie said. “Then all these guys showed us where we belonged that night, which was seventh. So we went to work, and last night I thought we had a real big change for the feature that helped, and that transferred to today.”
Davenport, looking for his first Lucas Oil victory since August, appeared to have things in hand until everything went awry in turn four.
“I was just trying to save my tires there and not go 100 percent until there at the end,” he said. “I just started going harder and harder and just hit that hole wrong through (turns) three and four there, and bent the nose under and then I couldn’t steer.
“I couldn’t do nothing once I hit the wall. It knocked the wheel out of my hands and I was just along for the ride. I knew — (series director Rick Schwallie) is pretty good on the Raceceiver (driver communication system), but it’s just hard to slow down here. I hope Kyle’s OK. I just hate it for my guys … we had a really good race car right there, and we just ruined it.”
Overton posted his third runner-up finish in his fourth Lucas Oil start of the season.
“As long as we stay up here, these top-three runs, the wins will come. The first one’s the hardest to get,” he said. “I probably didn’t have a second-place car tonight, for sure. I couldn’t get through the holes and I’d get to bouncing and the thing was kind of shutting off and blubbering … just lucky to hang on to second. I hate that for J.D. and Bronson — that didn’t look too good.”
Sheppard, Tuesday’s $5,000 winner, wasn’t seriously in contention until the demise of Davenport and Bronson, but he improved nine positions overall to finish third.
“It was getting better the longer the race was going,” the Rocket Chassis house car driver said. “When the track was faster, (the car) was a little bit snug, especially in traffic there where we were slicing and dicing. The top was the most dominant and the bottom was going away in a hurry, so we got stuck down in the bottom on about every restart, which really hurt us a lot, especially early in the race.
“Hat’s off to my guys. I put us behind there qualifying a little bit, and we were able to manage for a second place in the heat race. But with six heat races, that still started us 12th, so we’ve gotta try and win the heat race tomorrow and get up there in the top six.”
Besides the red flag for the Davenport-Bronson incident, the 40-lapper was slowed by six cautions, most significantly for a pileup under the flagstand that included Mike Marlar, Jadon Frame, Tyler Bruening and twin brothers Stormy and Johnny Scott.
Other slowdowns came when McCreadie jumped the original start (first lap), turn-three spins for Trever Feathers (seventh lap) and Billy Moyer Jr. (lap 15) and for a slowing Boom Briggs (lap 24), who dumped oil on the track. The final yellow appeared when Tim Dohm spun inside turn three trying to leave the race.
The Winternationals continue on Thursday with another $7,000-to-win event with hot laps scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and racing at 7:10. The week wraps up with a pair of $12,000-to-win events on Friday and Saturday.
Notes: McCreadie has 17 career Lucas Oil victories and four at East Bay. … He’s never won two Lucas Oil races in such close proximity and only once before (2017) has he won two series races in a four-race span. … Twenty-one of 30 starters completed 40 laps. … Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., ran among the top five for 25 laps but faded from contention and ended up 11th. … Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., would’ve restarted third on the lap-35 restart, but the 14th-place starter pitted under the red flag to replace deflating rear tires and gave up his spot; he finished 17th. … Jadon Frame of Decherd, Tenn., made the feature in his East Bay debut, transferring with a consolation race victory and retiring in 28th. … Chris Garnes would’ve been offered an emergency provisional starting spot, but officials couldn’t find a team member before the race and Tyler Bruening got the spot. … Tail-starting Mike Marlar switched to a backup car for the main event and rallied from 29th to finish ninth.
Correction: Fixes finish for Josh Richards.
Preliminary results and notes:
Main event lineup
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Brandon Overton, Boom Briggs
Row 4: Mason Zeigler, Jimmy Owens
Row 5: Billy Moyer Sr., Tim Dohm
Row 6: Shanon Buckingham, Brandon Sheppard
Row 7: Devin Moran, Josh Richards
Row 8: Ken Monahan, Shane Clanton
Row 9: Chase Junghans, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 10: Jadon Frame, Brian Shirley
Row 11: Logan Roberson, Tyler Erb
Row 12: Hudson O'Neal, Johnny Scott
Row 13: Trever Feathers, Allen Murray
Row 14: Earl Pearson Jr., Stormy Scott
Heat 1 winner Tim McCreadie will start from the pole in the feature for the second time in three nights. … After contending Monday and Tuesday from double-digit starting spots (10th and 11th), Kyle Bronson will take the green flag in a much better spot (third) thanks to his heat win. … Boom Briggs wore a big smile after his Heat 6 triumph. “Got redemption,” the Pennsylvanian said, referring to his last-lap slip that cost him a victory in his Tuesday heat. He also outran Tuesday feature winner Brandon Sheppard to grab the checkered flag. “Brandon Sheppard, that’s the best kid in the country, and I probably ran harder than I needed to because I knew he was behind me,” he added. “I blistered a tire because of that, but the (Barry Wright car) is real good.” … When first consy winner winner Jadon Frame stopped at the scales, four of the lugnuts on his car’s left-rear wheel, which was equipped with a wheel spacer, had come loose to just one remaining thread. The 21-year-old Tennessee driver — making his East Bay debut after missing the first two nights because he had college classes to attend — didn’t realize he had a problem while racing; his crew was cleaning up the threads to make sure the lugs stay tight for the feature, which he made despite not getting hot laps due to mechanical issues. … Lucas Oil Series rookie Tyler Bruening broke an engine in time trials, prompting him to scratch from heat action. His Skyline Motorsports crew was in the process of changing the engine as the consolations began and he took an emergency provisional. … Vic Hill scratched from his consy after a last-place finish in his heat; he didn’t want to risk damaging his new MB Customs car starting at the rear of the consolation. “I wanna have this thing to race in March,” Hill quipped with a laugh.
Consolation race results
(12 laps; winner transfers)
First consolation: Jadon Frame, Mike Marlar, Trever Featehrs, Rick Eckert, Jason Miller, Pearson Lee williams, Brent Larson, Charles Powell, David Seibers, Jeff Mathews, Kerry King, Stormy Scott. Scratched: John Tweed, Donald McIntosh, Joe Denby, Tyler Bruening.
Second consolation: Brian Shirley, G.R. Smith, Tanner English, Jason Rauen, Johnny Scott, Justin Rattliff, Stacy Boles, Joel Callahan, Kyle Lear, Blake Spencer, Chris Garnes, Blair Nothdurft, Austin Burns, Hudson O'Neal. Scratched: Greg Oakes, Todd Brennan.
Third consolation: Logan Roberson, Allen Murray, Jesse Stovall, Coleby Frye, David Breazeale, Tyler Erb, Matt Cosner, Joey Moriarty, Colton Flinner, Dan Stone, Freddie Carpenter, Earl Pearson Jr., Allen Weisser. Scratched: Jason Riggs, Vic Hill.
Berry Barn Strawberry Dash (two transfer): Trever Feathers, Allen Murray, G.R. Smith, Rick Eckert, Tanner English, Pearson Lee Williams, Justin Rattliff, Jason Miller, Coleby Frye, Jason Rauen. Scratched: Mike Marlar, Jesse Stovall.
Heat race recap
Fast qualifier Tim McCreadie cruised in the first heat; Donald McIntosh slowed running fifth at halfway with a flat right-rear tire. … In the second heat, Billy Moyer rallied from fifth to second, nearly tracking down winner Kyle Bronson in the closing laps. … In a beautiful setup in the third heat, Brandon Overton worked leader Shanon Buckingham on the low side for five laps before going around him in turns one and two on the seventh lap and grabbing the victory.. … In the fourth heat, side-by-side lead battle between Jonathan Davenport and Jimmy Owens was spoiled on the last lap — nearly disastrously — when Todd Brennan ended up crossways at the top of the frontstretch. Davenport and Owens ducked underneath and Davenport held to lead every lap. … In the fifth heat, Dennis Erb Jr. overtook fellow front-row starter Tim Dohm on the sixth lap and pulled away. … In the final heat, Tyler Erb cut down a right-rear tire running fourth on lap four; he ended up sixth in the prelim won by Boom Briggs over Brandon Sheppard.
Heat race results
(10 laps; top three transfer)
First heat: Tim McCreadie, Mason Zeigler, Devin Moran, Mike Marlar, Rick Eckert, Jason Miller, Pearson Lee Williams, Kerry King, John Tweed, Donald McIntosh. Scratched: John Tweed.
Second heat: Kyle Bronson, Billy Moyer, Ken Monahan, Jadon Frame, Trever Feathers, Stormy Scott, Jeff Mathews, Brent Larson, David Seibers, Charles Powell. Scratched: Tyler Bruening.
Third heat: Brandon Overton, Shanon Buckingham, Chase Junghans, Brian Shirley, G.R. Smith, Chris Garnes, Justin Rattliff, Joel Callahan, Hudson O'Neal, Greg Oakes, Austin Burns.
Fourth heat: Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Tanner English, Johnny Scott, Jason Rauen, Stacy Boles, Blair Nothdurft, Kyle Lear, Blake Spencer, Todd Brennan.
Fifth heat: Dennis Erb Jr., Tim Dohm, Shane Clanton, Allen Murray, Coleby Frye, David Breazeale, Joey Moriarty, Matt Cosner, Dan Stone, Freddie Carpenter, Vic Hill.
Sixth heat: Boom Briggs, Brandon Sheppard, Billy Moyer Jr., Logan Roberson, Jesse Stovall, Tyler Erb, Colton Flinner, Jason Riggs, Allen Weisser, Earl Pearson Jr.
Time trials (unofficial)
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.579
Ken Monahan (311), Lakeland, Fla., 14.841
Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., 14.874
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 14.951
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 14.982
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.010
Pearson Lee Williams (2), Dublin, Ga., 15.096
Jadon Frame (J8), Decherd, Tenn., 15.111
Joel Callahan (40), Dubuque, Iowa, 15.174
Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 15.215
Trever Feathers (20), Winchester, Va., 15.224
Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 15.225
David Seibers (18), Chapel Hill, Tenn., 15.225
Jason Miller (94), Winchester, Va., 15.230
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 15.262
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 15.315
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.351
Jeff Mathews (33), Brandon, Fla., 15.375
Chris Garnes (42), Evans, W.Va., 15.402
Rick Eckert (0), York, Pa., 15.418
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.434
Donald McIntosh (7), Dawsonville, Ga., 15.480
Greg Oakes (22), Franklinville, N.Y., 15.557
Joe Denby (27), Tullahoma, Tenn., 15.563
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 15.570
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 15.614
John Tweed (5), Greeneville, Tenn., 15.656
Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.834
G.R. Smith (89), Cornelius, N.C., 15.843
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 15.937
Kerry King (KB0), Delmar, Del., 16.144
Charles Powell (94), Brookville, Pa., 16.157
Austin Burns (22), Morgantown, Ind., 16.345
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 14.826
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.869
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.887
Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.953
Tim Dohm (6T), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 14.958
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.959
Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.965
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.043
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 15.076
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.112
Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 15.124
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 15.129
Tanner English (81e), Benton, Ky., 15.152
Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 15.168
Colton Flinner (48), Allison Park, Pa., 15.172
Jason Rauen (98), Farley, Iowa, 15.186
Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., 15.197
Logan Roberson (17), Waynesboro, Va., 15.236
Blake Spencer (6), St. Augustine, Fla., 15.247
Freddie Carpenter (K), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.295
Allen Weisser (25w), Peoria, Ill., 15.313
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 15.319
Coleby Frye (F1), Dover, Pa., 15.342
Jason Riggs (81r), Harrisburg, Ill., 15.368
Blair Nothdurft (76), Sioux Falls, S.D., 15.371
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 15.398
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.399
Todd Brennan (20), Zanesville, Ohio, 15.428
David Breazeale (10), Four Corners, Miss., 15.530
Jesse Stovall (00), Billings, Mo., 15.541
Kyle Lear (000), Severna Park, Md., 15.897
Matt Cosner (66c), Ridgeley, W.Va., no time
Wednesday’s pre-qualifying notes
East Bay’s weather remains superb for Night 3 of the Wrisco Winternationals with partly cloudy skies and a high temperature reaching 80. … The week’s biggest field so far is set for action with 65 cars registered. … Making first starts of the week: Rick Eckert of York, Pa., Jason Rauen of Farley, Iowa, and Jadon Frame of Decherd, Tenn. … Eckert, who has been at East Bay all week helping Allen Murray of San Antonio, Texas, will race at the third-mile oval for the first time since 2011. A three-time Winternationals winner (last in 2003), Eckert is running Murray’s second car. … Rauen will climb in the seat of his machine this evening and then step aside for Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, to turn laps Thursday. … Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., was in the mix for victory again Tuesday before slapping the backstretch and wall and spinning on lap eight after charging from 11th to fourth. He accepted the blame for his untimely demise. “I just got behind (Tim Dohm) there and thought I had it judged right and was coming up, and then we got to a point where he was gonna drift all the way up to the wall and I had to let off the gas. When I let off the gas, I just lost the nose and hit his right-rear to my left-front and I put myself in the wall. It’s nothing but racing. I did it to myself. I should’ve calmed down. My car was really damn good and I just blew it.” … Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, also saw a shot at Tuesday’s checkered flag evaporate; he ran second from lap five until losing the spot to Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., on lap 16, then slowed with a left-rear flat on lap 23. Erb said the blown tire was the result of several hits he took his car’s left-rear corner from drivers fighting for the lane of rubber that developed on the inside of the track. … Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., started strong on Tuesday by recording the overall fastest lap in qualifying but couldn’t put a complete night together. He ended up qualifying through a consolation race and then spun on the backstretch on the feature’s opening because his car’s right-rear tire went flat, possibly from running over something and cutting it before the start. … Among the drivers planning to depart East Bay to run this weekend’s unsanctioned Winter Freeze at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., are Overton and Coleby Frye of Dover, Pa. Both expect to head north after Thursday’s program.
Wednesday's prerace setup
The third round of Winternationals action is set to roll Wednesday after victories by Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., in the opening two rounds of action.
More than 60 drivers are again expected to enter the action with hot laps, time trials, six heat races (three transfers), three consolation races (one transfer) and a 40-lap main event paying $7,000-to-win. The starting field could swell to as large as 30 cars with provisionals and transfers from the Berry Barn Strawberry Dash for non-qualifiers.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., leads Lucas Oil points using a special Speedweeks format. Series drivers’ five best finishes will be counted toward points standings provided they maintain perfect Speedweeks attendance; all other drivers will be awarded 50 points per night.
2 p.m. - Pit gates reopen
5 p.m. - Grandstands open
5 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
5:30 p.m. - On-track action
7 p.m. - Opening ceremonies
7:10 p.m. - Racing begins
- Heat races (10 laps)
- Consolation races (12 laps)
- Berry Barn Strawberry Dash (8 laps)
- Main event (40 laps)