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Daily Dirt 09/27/2023 16:28:13

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August 21
Batesville Motor Speedway,
Locust Grove, AR
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Topless 100) - $40,000
Information provided by: Series reports (last updated August 23, 10:30 am)
O'Neal nips Davenport for Topless 100 triumph
Topless 100
  1. Hudson O'Neal
  2. Jonathan Davenport
  3. Brandon Overton
  4. Tim McCreadie
  5. Jimmy Owens
  6. Josh Richards
  7. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  8. Shane Clanton
  9. Mike Marlar
  10. Kyle Bronson
  11. Brian Rickman
  12. Billy Moyer Jr.
  13. Timothy Culp
  14. Cade Dillard
  15. Stormy Scott
  16. Tyler Erb
  17. Earl Pearson Jr.
  18. Scott Crigler
  19. Kyle Beard
  20. Spencer Hughes
  21. Morgan Bagley
  22. B.J. Robinson
  23. Logan Martin
  24. Billy Moyer
  25. Nick Hoffman
  26. Terry Phillips
presented by
Rick Schwallie/rickschwalliephotos.com
Hudson O'Neal celebrates his $40,000 Topless 100 victory.
What won the race: Sixth-starting Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., turned back late-race challenges from Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., to emerge triumphant in Saturday night's 29th annual Topless 100 at Batesville Motor Speedway. He grabbed the lead from Jimmy Owens on lap 39 and never relinquished it en route to earning $40,000 for his first-ever victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.
Key notes: The event was co-sanctioned by the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series. ... After Thursday's first preliminary program was rained out, Jimmy Owens won the 30-lap feature on Friday.
On the move: Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., started 23rd and finished eighth.
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 Batesville: 1. Tim McCreadie (4,910); 2. Jonathan Davenport (4,725); 3. Hudson O’Neal (4,665); 4. Kyle Bronson (4,520); 5. Jimmy Owens (4,470); T6. Tyler Erb (4,340); T6. Ricky Thornton Jr. (4,340); 8. Josh Richards (4,265); 9. Shane Clanton (4,105); 10. Mike Marlar (4,050); 11. Earl Pearson Jr. (3,645); 12. Stormy Scott (3,500).
Current weather: Clear, 82°F
Car count: 47
Polesitter: Jimmy Owens
Consolation race winners: Billy Moyer, Kyle Bronson
Provisional starters: Shane Clanton, Spencer Hughes, Logan Martin, B.J. Robinson
Next series race: August 26, Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series reports

LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (Aug. 21) — Hudson O’Neal knew what was coming. He just had to make the right moves to survive it.

And the 20-year-old sensation from Martinsville, Ind., did, turning back a furious last-lap challenge from Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., with the savvy of a veteran to capture Saturday night’s 29th annual Comp Cams Topless 100 presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions at Batesville Motor Speedway.

Well aware that Davenport would throw a do-or-die slider in an attempt to steal the $40,000 top prize, O’Neal positioned himself perfectly to maintain the lead that he had held since passing Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., on lap 39. Twice on the final circuit Davenport surged ahead of O’Neal — through turns one and two and again at the other end of the track — but both times O’Neal calmly pulled a crossover move to bolt back in front.

O’Neal ultimately beat Davenport to the checkered flag by a mere 0.116 of a second in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event, narrowly giving the ever-rising young star his first-ever Topless 100 triumph, a second crown jewel victory this season (he previously won the Show-Me 100 on May 29) and a career-high payday.

“This is just awesome,” the sky-high O’Neal said after wildly celebrating his fourth Lucas Oil Series win of 2021 and the 11th of his career.

Davenport settled for a $20,000 runner-up finish, leaving him one spot short of adding a Topless 100 victory to his already sparking resume. The red-hot Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., placed third — one spot better than he started — while 2008 Topless 100 champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished fourth after starting second and leading laps 1-9 and Owens, who led laps 10-38, completed the top five as he failed to become the first driver to win the Topless 100 in consecutive years.

O’Neal, who started sixth, picked up two spots on the race’s opening circuit and worked his way to third on lap 11. He patiently settled into the position with his Roger Sellers-owned Double Down Motorsports XR1 Rocket car until a lap-37 restart when he suddenly turned up the wick and overtook McCreadie and Owens in a span of two laps to assume command.

While O’Neal used Batesville’s outline lane to grab the lead, he sensed that the groove would soon give out. But it didn’t, and O’Neal found himself running the fine line near the concrete wall for most of the remaining circuits.

“The top was really thin,” O’Neal said. “I knew when I passed for the lead that some other guys were going to move up there and it was just going to keep dying. (Then) we had a lap-75 caution there and my guys were pointing me to the bottom. I thought I was only going to run this top one lap again because I knew I had some decent speed up there, (but) whenever I came back around after the restart (his crew members) were pointing me back to the top so I thought I better get back up there.”

O’Neal managed to race largely unthreatened through much of the race’s second half until Davenport, who reached second place on lap 69, began to close the gap over the final five circuits. With two laps to go Davenport had his Double L Racing Longhorn Race Car within striking distance of O’Neal, and after flashing under the white flag the three-time Lucas Oil Series champion launched his first slider on O’Neal to lurch ahead through turns one and two. O’Neal fought off Davenport’s bid with a crossover move down the backstretch and executed a nearly identical maneuver off turn four that got him to the checkered flag just a bit before J.D.

“I knew he was close,” O’Neal said of Davenport. “They told me was kind of running a little bit of a diamond line in turn one. I knew the line I was running, it was going to be subject to a slider down here … I was actually expecting him to slide me with two to go (so) I knew I had to be ready the next lap. He was going to slide me.

“I was just kind of prepared and turned down the racetrack (to counter Davneport’s first attempt on the last lap) to get a good run down the backstretch, and then he slid me again (in turns three and four). I knew I had to grab that traction early in three to be able to get a run to beat him back to the line.”

Davenport, 37, couldn’t quite execute either of his sliders in a manner that would allow him to snatch the race from O’Neal’s grasp.

“That was just kind of a Hail-Mary there,” said Davenport, who topped his previous best Topless 100 finish of third, in 2014. “I got just a little bit of a run on him off of four. He went in just low enough in three that I couldn’t really get a momentum run on him. I was a little bit better running crooked than he was around the top there, but I just couldn’t quite get up there early enough. I probably slid too far, and then he got back by me earlier than what I anticipated.

“He raced me clean. I was just trying to catch a little of grip up there at the checkered flag. He done an awesome job, he never made a mistake.”

The 30-year-old Overton was unable to back up his $50,000 North-South 100 victory on Aug. 14 at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky., with a second crown jewel triumph in as many weeks. He slipped from fourth to seventh just two laps into the race and didn’t climb back to third until lap 84.

“We just fell too far back early on,” said Overton, who added a third-place finish to his previous Topless 100 results of second (2019) and seventh (’20). “We got it rolling there at the end (and) we could have run them down there (with more time).”

The event was slowed by three caution flags: on lap 37 for Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, lap 67 for Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., and lap 75 for four-time Topless 100 champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.

Notes: O’Neal’s triumph came in just his third career Topless 100 feature start. He previously finished 22nd in 2017 and 10th in ’19. … O’Neal’s father, Don, appeared in nine Topless 100 headliners from 2000-2017 with a top finish of fifth in ’09 and ’14. … O'Neal made history with his win, becoming the first driver to win the Show-Me 100 and Topless 100 in the same season. ... McCreadie left Batesville leading the Lucas Oil Series standings by 185 points over Davenport. … First-time Topless 100 feature starters were Cade Dillard (finished 14th), Scott Crigler (18th) and Nick Hoffman (25th).

29th annual Comp Cam Topless 100
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Hudson O'Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., Rocket, $40,000
2. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., Longhorn, $20,000
3. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., Longhorn, $10,000
4. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Longhorn, $5,000
5. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., Rocket, $4,000
6. Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., Rocket, $3,750
7. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., Longhorn, $3,500
8. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., Capital, $3,000
9. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., Rocket, $2,800
10. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., Rocket, $2,700
11. Brian Rickman (90), Columbus, Miss., Rocket, $2,500
12. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,400
13. Timothy Culp (c8), Prattsville, Ark., GRT, $2,350
14. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., MB Customs, $2,300
15. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., Longhorn, $2,250
16. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, Rocket, $2,200
17. Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., Black Diamond, $2,150
18. Scott Crigler (12), Alton, Mo., Capital, $2,125
19. Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., Capital, $2,100
20. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., Longhorn, $2,075
21. Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, Black Diamond, $2,050
22. B.J. Robinson (1), Shreveport, La., Black Diamond, $2,025
23. Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., Rocket, $2,000
24. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Capital, $2,000
25. Nick Hoffman (0H), Mooresville, N.C., Team Zero, $2,000
26. Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., Capital, $2,000
Lap leaders: McCreadie 1-9; Owens 10-38; O'Neal 39-100
Preliminary feature winners (among 47 cars): Owens
Consolation winners: Moyer Sr., Bronson
Provisional starters: Clanton, Hughes, Martin, Robinson

Topless 100 feature lineup

Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Nick Hoffman, Brandon Overton
Row 3: Ricky Thornton Jr., Hudson O'Neal
Row 4: Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Erb
Row 5: Billy Moyer Jr., Josh Richards
Row 6: Cade Dillard, Mike Marlar
Row 7: Scott Crigler, Stormy Scott
Row 8: Timothy Culp, Brian Rickman
Row 9: Billy Moyer Sr., Kyle Bronson
Row 10: Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Beard
Row 11: Morgan Bagley, Terry Phillips
Row 12: Shane Clanton, Spencer Hughes
Row 13: Logan Martin, B.J. Robinson

Consolation race results

(12 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Billy Moyer Sr., Earl Pearson Jr., Morgan Bagley, Spencer Hughes, Wendell Wallace, Hunter Rasdon, Neil Baggett, Kylan Garner, Rayce McCord, Robbie Stuart, Chad Mallett, Jason Miles, Rick Rickman, Michael Arnold. Scratched: Steve Stultz, Cole Farmer.

Second consolation: Kyle Bronson, Kyle Beard, Terry Phillips, Shane Clanton, Shannon Babb, Johnny Scott, Logan Martin, B.J. Robinson, Brayden Proctor, Derrick Nichols, Austin Vincent, Dustin Holmes, Travis Ashley. Scratched: Chris Jones, Jadon Frame

Consolation race lineups

(12 laps; top three transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Wendell Wallace, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Kylan Gardner, Morgan Bagley
Row 3: Rick Rickman, Spencer Hughes
Row 4: Earl Pearson Jr., Hunter Rasdon
Row 5: Michael Arnold, Neil Baggett
Row 6: Chad Mallett, Jason Miles
Row 7: Steve Stultz, Robbie Stuart
Row 8: Rayce McCord, Cole Farmer
Second consolation
Row 1: Kyle Bronson, Kyle Beard
Row 2: Terry Phillips, Shane Clanton
Row 3: Shannon Babb, Johnny Scott
Row 4: Chris Jones, Logan Martin
Row 5: Brayden Proctor, Austin Vincent
Row 6: B.J. Robinson, Jadon Frame
Row 7: Derrick Nichols, Dustin Holmes
Row 8: Travis Ashley

Saturday's schedule

3 p.m. - Pit gates open
4 p.m. - Grandstand gates open
6:30-7:15 p.m. - Lucas Oil series driver autograph session
7:30 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
8 p.m. - On-track activity
- Late Model hot laps (B-main cars)
- Modified hot laps
Opening ceremonies
- Modified heats (8 laps)
- Late Model consolations (15 laps)
- Late Model hot laps (A-main cars that transferred via points)
- Modified consolation (12 laps)
- Modified feature (20 laps)
Intermission/track prep (as needed)
- Topless 100

Feature lineup

Row 1: Owens, McCreadie
Row 2: Hoffman, Overton
Row 3: Thornton, O'Neal
Row 4: Davenport, Erb
Row 5: Moyer Jr., Richards
Row 6: Dillard, Marlar
Row 7: Crigler, S. Scott
Row 8: Culp, B. Rickman
Row 9: Moyer Sr., Bronson
Row 10: Pearson Jr., Beard
Row 11: Bagley, Phillips
Row 12: Clanton, Hughes
Row 13: Martin, Robinson

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