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Daily Dirt 05/25/2024 06:15:00

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April 17
Hagerstown Speedway,
Hagerstown, MD
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Red Nininger Tribute) - $15,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac and series reports (last updated April 18, 9:13 am)
T-Mac denies Thornton on Hagerstown's last lap
Red Nininger Tribute
  1. Tim McCreadie
  2. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  3. Jonathan Davenport
  4. Gregg Satterlee
  5. Tyler Erb
  6. Josh Richards
  7. Tyler Bare
  8. Chris Ferguson
  9. Kyle Bronson
  10. Hudson O'Neal
  11. Brandon Sheppard
  12. Jimmy Owens
  13. Dylan Yoder
  14. Shane Clanton
  15. Dale Hollidge
  16. Devin Moran
  17. Jason Covert
  18. Stormy Scott
  19. Mike Marlar
  20. Earl Pearson Jr.
  21. Rick Eckert
  22. Mason Zeigler
  23. Matt Cosner
  24. Dan Stone
  25. Gary Stuhler
  26. Michael Norris
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Runner-up Ricky Thornton Jr. (left) congratulates winner Tim McCreadie.
What won the race: Overtaking race-long leader Ricky Thornton Jr. on the final lap, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., earned $15,000 Saturday at Hagerstown Speedway for his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of the season. Thornton, in his Hagerstown debut, settled for second in the 50-lapper, the track's richest Super Late Model race since 2001.
Key notes: McCreadie notched his 23rd career series victory. ... Longhorn Chassis swept the podium. ... The lone caution appeared on the 26th lap for fourth-running Matt Cosner's retirement. ... Fast qualifier Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., suffered terminal engine issues in time trials that sidelined him for the remainder of the evening. … The event honored the late Red Nininger, the track Hall of Famer regarded as one of the top racers in the Mid-Atlantic area for a three-decade career begging in the 1950s. ... Tyler Bare won the Tracy Anderson Determination Bonus worth $2,541 as the top finishing local driver who also competed in Hagerstown’s season opener. Anderson, the wife driver Andy Anderson, died April 5 after a recent bout with health issues.
On the move: Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., started 16th and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: McCreadie’s Paylor Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, New Point Lighting & Design, Mega Electrical Services, Sweeteners Plus, The Aesthetic Haus, D&E Marine and Bilstein.
Points chase: After Hagerstown: 1. Tim McCreadie (1,580); 2. Hudson O'Neal (1,570); 3. Devin Moran (1,495); 4. Kyle Bronson (1,455); 5. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,450); 6. Brandon Sheppard (1,440); 7. Josh Richards (1,430); 8. Tyler Erb (1,405); 9. Jonathan Davenport (1,370); 10. Shane Clanton (1,365); 11. Mike Marlar (1,365); 12. Jimmy Owens (1,340); 13. Earl Pearson Jr. (1,200); 14. Brandon Overton (1155); 15. Billy Moyer Jr. (1,060).
Current weather: Few Clouds, 50°F
Car count: 42
Fast qualifier: Kyle Larson
Time: 17.680 seconds
Polesitter: Dylan Yoder
Heat race winners: Dylan Yoder, Gregg Satterlee, Ricky Thornton Jr., Tim McCreadie
Consolation race winners: Stormy Scott, Devin Moran
Provisional starters: Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Earl Pearson Jr., Gary Stuhler
Next series race: April 18, Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and series reports

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Tim McCreadie's first appearance in a Late Model at Hagerstown Speedway was a bit embarrassing when he spun out while warming up the tires in hot laps nearly 20 years ago.

Ricky Thornton Jr.'s Hagerstown debut was much more impressive as he dominated Saturday's 50-lap Nininger Tribute on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at the half-mile oval — until the last lap.

That's when McCreadie worked under Thornton exiting turn two, edged ahead on the backstretch and completed his winning pass entering turn three for his first series victory of the season and $15,000, the richest Late Model payday at the track in 20 years. The victory also lifted McCreadie into the series points lead over Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who finished 10th.

"It's a cool night," the Watertown, N.Y., driver said after notching his 23rd career Lucas Oil Series victory. "I love this place and I always have."

Thornton settled for second, 0.424 seconds behind the winner after starting outside the front row and leading 49 laps. Three-time series champion Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., rallied from 16th to third while Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., and Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, rounded out the top five finishers.

While Thornton was virtually unchallenged until the race's final lap, McCreadie labored in second, desperately trying to find a groove that would help him make up ground on the Chandler, Ariz., driver.

"It just took me so long to get going, and when that one yellow came out, I think I slid the tires so much that it maybe chunked the right rear or something," McCreadie said.

But with Thornton struggling to get by the slower car of Devin Moran in the closing laps, McCreadie summoned a final charge that carried him into the lead.

"I mean, I had nothing to lose," McCreadie said. "I'm sure Ricky feels terrible because he probably had a better car, and he didn't have to move that much. I'd been (spending) most of the race kind of diamonding this corner a little bit, going into the middle ... it's just a lot of luck. Another lap it might've been all three of us reversed."

McCreadie dedicated his victory to New Jersey's Petruska family, who he'd driven for once previously in big-block modified competition, after the workplace-related death of Jared Petruska last year. Jared's two brothers were in attendance Saturday and spent the night in McCreadie's pit.

"I'm just so happy. A lot of luck. And like I said, this one's for Jared," McCreadie said. "He looked down and helped me the last three laps."

Thornton, looking to drive to victory lane in his first Hagerstown action, didn't see McCreadie until the last lap.

"I could more hear him than anything," he said. "I kind of got (into the corner) and kind of screwed up a little bit. I almost entered too close to Devin. I just couldn't get by him. I needed to be a little bit better, I guess."

Thornton drove a 3-year-old SSI Motorsports car after the team's primary car was damaged in a wreck the previous weekend..

"Congrats to Tim. It sucks to lose it on the last lap, but we've got really good equipment," Thornton said.

Davenport, who came into the event with non-tour victories the previous two nights in West Virginia and Kentucky, rallied from 16th to sixth by the race's lone caution on lap 26, then zipped from sixth to third on the restart and hounded McCreadie the rest of the way.

"Pretty much what got us to third is what killed us late," Davenport said. "(McCreadie and Thornton) had harder left-rear tires, and once we got rolling there, it made me loose (into the corner). And McCreadie got moving around just enough where he'd take just enough air where I couldn't get to the bottom like I had been. So I tried to roll him on the outside and just overheated by left-rear (tire) even more.

"I probably needed a caution with about 10 (laps) to go. That would've lined us all back up there once I got to third."

Two fourth-place finishers fell from contention at the lap-26 yellow. Matt Cosner of Ridgely, W.Va., gave up the fourth spot when an oil line came loose, forcing him to stop at the end of the frontstretch. Rick Eckert of York, Pa., inherited the fourth spot, but when he saw his engine's air cleaner was about to fly off, he pitted to tighten the screw and retired a few laps later.

Notes: Longhorn Chassis swept the top three spots. "We're gaining steam, all of us Longhorns are gaining steam," McCreadie said. ... The series was in action for the first time since March 21 and McCreadie said he spent the break "trying to stay in shape. I'm not getting any younger than these guys." He lifted weights and spent time on the elliptical trainer along with "trying to not drink as much." ... Overall fast qualifier Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., suffered terminal engine issues in time trials that sidelined him for the remainder of the evening. ... Jonathan Davenport survived time trials despite a malfunction that left him with no brakes. ... Seventh-place finisher Tyler Bare won the Tracy Anderson Determination Bonus worth $2,541 as the top finishing local driver who also competed in Hagerstown’s season opener. The award, organized by veteran drivers Alan Sagi and J.T. Spence, honored the wife veteran Hagerstown racer Andy Anderson, who died April 5 after a recent bout with health issues. ... Sixteen drivers completed 50 laps.

Feature lineup

Row 1: D. Yoder, Thornton
Row 2: Satterlee, McCreadie
Row 3: Owens, Erb
Row 4: Cosner, Eckert
Row 5: Richards, Zeigler
Row 6: Stone, Hollidge
Row 7: Ferguson, Clanton
Row 8: Bare, Davenport
Row 9: Scott, Moran
Row 10: O'Neal, Norris
Row 11: Bronson, Covert
Row 12: Sheppard, Marlar
Row 13: Pearson, Stuhler

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