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Daily Dirt 12/01/2022 04:14:20

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March 21
Atomic Speedway,
Alma, OH
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Buckeye Spring 50) - $12,000
Information provided by: Series reports (last updated March 23, 3:02 pm)
O'Neal wins at Atomic, grabs Lucas points lead
Buckeye Spring 50
  1. Hudson O'Neal
  2. Tim McCreadie
  3. Devin Moran
  4. Jonathan Davenport
  5. Kyle Bronson
  6. Jimmy Owens
  7. Tyler Erb
  8. Josh Richards
  9. Shane Clanton
  10. Mike Marlar
  11. Tanner English
  12. Brandon Sheppard
  13. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  14. Steve Casebolt
  15. Earl Pearson Jr.
  16. Rod Conley
  17. Jeff Roth
  18. Kirk Phillips
  19. Rusty Griffaw
  20. Joe Godsey
  21. Todd Brennan
  22. Ryan Gustin
  23. Tyler Carpenter
  24. Clint Keenan
  25. Kyle Strickler
  26. Kody Evans
  27. Tristan Chamberlain
  28. Billy Moyer Jr.
  29. Josh Rice
presented by
Tyler Carr
Hudson O'Neal celebrates his Buckeye Spring 50 victory at Atomic.
What won the race: Scoring a victory as he grabbed the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points lead for the first time, Hudson O’Neal overtook Devin Moran on a lap-nine restart and led the rest of Sunday’s Buckeye Spring 50 at Atomic Speedway for a $12,000 payday. O’Neal took the checkers 0.563 seconds ahead of Tim McCreadie.
Key notes: O'Neal notched his second series victory of the season and ninth of his career. ... Devin Moran led laps 4-8 but lost second after the lap-19 restart. ... Kyle Strickler was running third when he got into the turn-three wall and blew his right-rear tire.
On the move: Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., started 25th and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: O’Neal’s Double Down Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling, WR1 Sim Chassis and Lucas Oil.
Points chase: After Atomic: 1. Hudson O’Neal (1,390); 2. Devin Moran (1,345); 3. Tim McCreadie (1,330); 4. Kyle Bronson (1,270); 5. Brandon Sheppard (1,265); 6. Josh Richards (1,230); 7. Mike Marlar (1,230); 8. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,220); 9. Tyler Erb (1,200); 10. Shane Clanton (1,195); 11. Jimmy Owens (1,170); 12. Brandon Overton (1,155); 13. Jonathan Davenport (1,150); 14. Earl Pearson Jr. (1,070); 15. Brian Shirley (1,035).
Current weather: Clear, 62°F
Car count: 29
Fast qualifier: Jonathan Davenport
Time: 13.938 seconds
Polesitter: Kyle Strickler
Heat race winners: Kyle Strickler, Hudson O'Neal, Devin Moran, Earl Pearson Jr.
Next series race: April 17, Hagerstown Speedway (Hagerstown, MD) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

ALMA, Ohio — Winning on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is big. Taking the series points lead is even bigger.

Third-starting Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., moved atop the national tour's standings for the first time in his career with a $12,000 Buckeye Spring 50 on Sunday at Atomic Speedway as he led the final 42 laps, topping Tim McCreadie by a half-second at the checkers.

"I've never had a ton of luck here," said the 20-year-old O'Neal, who is in his first season driving for Tennessee-based Double Down Motorsports. "I've always qualified good and started good here but could never seal the deal, but I was able to do that tonight."

McCreadie, the Watertown, N.Y., who started 11th, pressured O'Neal just before a mid-race caution but never got that close again while Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, led laps 4-8 before settling for third. Fast qualifier Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., was fourth and Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., rounded out the top five.

Pole-starting Kyle Strickler led the first three laps before Moran's backstretch move put him out front, but O'Neal took advantage after the race's first restart to take command on the ninth lap. Moran, Strickler and Tanner English mixed it up until Strickler demise against he turn-three wall that forced him out with a flat right-rear tire.

McCreadie began stalking O'Neal on the restart and took a crack at the lead midrace just as the third of five cautions appeared, resetting O'Neal out front. He kept McCreadie in check the rest of the way to move into the series points lead.

"The big key was to make the right changes and stay in clean air. I think we were able to do that all night. What an awesome feeling to take the lead early," said O'Neal, who won his second Lucas Oil victory of the season and ninth of his career. "I know McCreadie was all over me there a couple of times, maybe the whole race.

"Definitely my palms sweated the whole time. All it was going to take was one mistake, so I'm just happy we were able to (win)."

McCreadie knew he lost an opportunity with the lap-25 slowdown.

"I didn't need the yellow there. It looked like he got a little lost on the track, which happens when you're leading — I think it happened (to Moran) earlier," McCreadie said. "You're out there cruising along thinking you're all right, and someone moves around. And that's kind of what I did. I moved around and found something over here that was really good. Of course when the yellow came out, his guys kind of told him I was gaining there, and I just couldn't get through (turns) one and two good. All in all, we passed a lot of cars, a lot of good cars. We've just gotta start further up.

"I wish I could've been a tick better, but that's OK, no shame in finishing second."

Moran, who posted his fifth podium finish in his last six starts, said his Tye Twarog Motorsports car "really, really good. It continues to be good. We're going to get a bunch of wins this year, we've just gotta keep our heads up and keep working hard."

The feature was slowed by five minor cautions, two in the final four laps. Josh Rice drew a lap-eight yellow and a lap-19 slowdown for Strickler. A lap-25 caution appeared when Clint Keenan's car stopped in turn three with a flat right-front tire.

The final yellows appeared on lap 47 when Ricky Thornton Jr. spun on the backstretch and again on lap 48 with Joe Godsey in the turn-four fence.

Atomic's event was the lone completed race of the weekend after Saturday's Indiana Icebreaker at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway was halted mid-program because of high-speed and rugged track conditions that sent three competitors into rollover accidents. The race was rescheduled to be completed on May 2.

The series takes a lengthy break before returning to action April 17-18 at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway and Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.

Notes: Sixteen drivers completed 50 laps With 29 cars, track promoter Brad McCown elected to start all entrants in the main event. ... Clint Keenan made his first Lucas Oil start. ... Tyler Carpenter got into the turn-two wall on the first lap of his heat race while starting outside the front row. ... Tristan Chamberlain lost a driveshaft in the final heat. ... Steering issues in time trials put reigning series champ Jimmy Owens in an early hole in the night's event. He pitted early in the main event and rallied back to finish sixth. ... Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., a regular on the series the last two seasons, skipped the Brownstown-Atomic weekend. ... Three-time series champion Jonathan Davenport also skipped Brownstown, the first series race he hadn't entered since joining Arkansas-based Double L Motorsports for the 2018 season. Davenport won Saturday's $50,000 unsanctioned feature at a dirt-covered Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. … Drivers received 50 showup points for the postponed Brownstown event that's set to be completed May 2. ... Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., led series points heading into the weekend but gave that up with the Well Motorsports electing, as expected, not to follow the complete series schedule.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Strickler, Moran
Row 2: O'Neal, Pearson
Row 3: Davenport, Bronson
Row 4: English, Marlar
Row 5: Sheppard, T. Erb
Row 6: Rice, McCreadie
Row 7: Casebolt, Richards
Row 8: Moyer Jr., Thornton
Row 9: Gustin, Clanton
Row 10: Evans, Brennan
Row 11: Godsey, Rod Conley
Row 12: Keenan, Roth
Row 13: Owens, Griffaw
Row 14: T. Carpenter, Chamberlain
Row 15: Phillips

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