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Daily Dirt 01/30/2023 21:22:19

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July 7
Deer Creek Speedway,
Spring Valley, MN
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 prelim) - $5,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac and series reports (last updated July 8, 11:25 am)
Madden sneaks by for Deer Creek triumph
NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 prelim
  1. Chris Madden
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Jonathan Davenport
  4. Tim McCreadie
  5. Mike Marlar
  6. Brandon Overton
  7. Ricky Weiss
  8. Johnny Scott
  9. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  10. Jimmy Owens
  11. Chad Simpson
  12. Tyler Erb
  13. Ryan Gustin
  14. Brent Larson
  15. Hudson O'Neal
  16. Garrett Alberson
  17. Jared Hawkins
  18. Daulton Wilson
  19. Jesse Glenz
  20. Stormy Scott
  21. Scott Bloomquist
  22. Chase Junghans
  23. Chris Simpson
  24. Cade Dillard
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Chris Madden emerges in victory lane at Deer Creek Speedway.
What won the race: Rallying from 11th, Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., went from third to first on lap 20, passing both Brandon Sheppard and Jonathan Davenport who were trading sliders at the top of the tack. Madden snuck by with the low-side move and led the final six laps for a $5,000 payday at Deer Creek. Sheppard, who led the first 19 laps from the pole, settled for second.
Quotable: “I just figured out a good line right there where I didn’t have to stop entering to get off the corner in the bottom,” said Madden. “My car was good enough to lay out and turn and go back to the bottom and leave the bottom fast as they were at the top.”
Key notes: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for the first time sanctions the historic NAPA Auto Parts Gopher State 50 which was previously a World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series event and before that on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals. ... The weekend purse exceeds $200,000. ... The charity event co-promoted by the Blooming Prairie Lions Club began 43 years ago and has been held at three tracks, shifting to Deer Creek in 2005. ... Last year's event was rained out and 2020's race fell victim to Covid-19 pandemic cancellations. ... This year's event is made up of a pair of $5,000-to-win preliminary nights capped by Saturday's $50,000-to-win finale, a record-setting purse for the race. Driver performances from the first two nights set lineups for Saturday's action ... Active drivers who have won the Gopher State 50: Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Chris Madden, Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan, Shane Clanton, Tim McCreadie, Chub Frank, Rick Eckert, Scott Bloomquist, Shannon Babb and Jay Johnson. ... The weekend event is co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association.
On the move: Winner Chris Madden started 11th.
Winner's sponsors: The Chris Madden Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by an Andy Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Drydene Performance Products, Franklin Enterprises, Henderson Amusement, Millwood Plumbing, Petroff Towing, Century Plastics, Davis Diesel Service, Worley Monument, VP Racing Fuels, Penske Racing Shocks, Hoosier Racing Tire and Cole Perkins Media & Promotions.
Who to watch: Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., the previous Gopher State 50 winner (in 2019) who is coming off a $30,000 victory at Ohio's Muskingum County Speedway.
Points chase: Before Deer Creek: 1. Brandon Sheppard (4,150); 2. Tim McCreadie (4,120); 3. Ricky Thornton Jr. (3,950); 4. Tyler Erb (3,820); 5. Hudson O’Neal (3,735); 6. Earl Pearson Jr. (3,665); 7. Garrett Alberson (3,390); 8. Ashton Winger (3,220); 9. Daulton Wilson (3,185); 10. Spencer Hughes (3,130).
Current weather: Clear, 77°F
Car count: 41
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 14.241 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Sheppard
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Chris Simpson, Jonathan Davenport
Consolation race winners: Chad Simpson, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Next series race: July 8, Deer Creek Speedway (Spring Valley, MN) $5,000
Editor's note: Corrects pass for lead to lap 20.
From staff reports

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. (July 7) — Live updates from Thursday night’s 25-lap, $5,000-to-win preliminary program for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway (results unofficial):


Sneaking by both Brandon Sheppard and Jonathan Davenport as the two swapped sliders at the top of the track, Chris Madden’s lap-20 move around hub proved just enough for the Gray Court, S.C., driver to win Thursday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Deer Creek Speedway. Finishing 0.391 of a second in front of Sheppard, the 11th-starting Madden earned $5,000 for the 25-lap victory, his third of the season with the tour and 16th of this career.

Sheppard, of New Berlin, Ill., led the first 19 laps from the pole position. Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., settled for third after starting fourth, while Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., improved three spots to finish fourth. Third-starting Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., completed the top five in the NAPA Auto Parts Gopher State 50 prelim.

The race was slowed by two cautions. Scott Bloomquist slowed to draw a caution on lap six and second-starting Chris Simpson slowed to bring out the yellow on lap 11 after fading to 14th.

Correction: Fixes pass for lead to lap 20 sted lap 19.

Feature lineup

(25 laps)

Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Chris Simpson
Row 2: Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Brandon Overton, Stormy Scott
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Ryan Gustin
Row 5: Johnny Scott, Scott Bloomquist
Row 6: Chris Madden, Chase Junghans
Row 7: Jimmy Owens, Daulton Wilson
Row 8: Cade Dillard, Tyler Erb
Row 9: Cha. Simpson, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 10: Hudson O'Neal, Ricky Weiss
Row 11: Garrett Alberson, Brent Larson
Row 12: Jared Hawkins, Jesse Glenz

Consolation race results

(10 laps; top four transfer)

First consolation: Chad Simpson, Hudson O’Neal, Garrett Alberson, Jared Hawkins, Blair Nothdurft, Jake Timm, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Stultz, Paul Parker, Tyler Bruening, Larry Grube, Ross Robinson, (DNS) Dustin Sorenson.

Second consolation: Ricky Thornton Jr., Ricky Weiss, Brent Larson, Jesse Glenz, Kolby Vandenbergh, Shane Clanton, Kyle Bronson, Lance Matthees, Daniel Hilsabeck, Spencer Hughes, Kyle Strickler, Chad Mahder.

Heat race results

(8 laps: top four transfer)

First heat: Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Overton, Johnny Scott, Jimmy Owens, Hudson O’Neal, Garrett Alberson, Jake Timm, Jared Hawkins, Earl Pearson Jr., Tyler Bruening, Steve Stultz.

Second heat: Mike Marlar, Tim McCreadie, Chris Madden, Cade Dillard, Chad Simpson, Dustin Sorensen, Ross Robinson, Paul Parker, Blair Nothdurft, Larry Grube.

Third heat: Chris Simpson, Stormy Scott, Scott Bloomquist, Daulton Wilson, Kyle Strickler, Ricky Weiss, Brent Larson, Kyle Bronson, Daniel Hilsabeck, Chad Mahder.

Fourth heat: Jonathan Davenport, Ryan Gustin, Chase Junghans, Tyler Erb, Ricky Thornton Jr., Shane Clanton, Spencer Hughes, Jesse Glenz, Kolby Vandenbergh, Lance Matthees.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
First group

  1. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.241
  2. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 14.277
  3. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 14.322
  4. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 14.368
  5. Johnny Scott (1ST), Las Cruces, N.M.,    14.447
  6. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 14.456
  7. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 14.520
  8. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.556
  9. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.696
  10. Dustin Sorenson (19), Rochester, Minn., 14.711
  11. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 14.748
  12. Larry Grube (29), Maulten, S.C., 14.779
  13. Jake Timm (49), Winona, Minn., 14.783
  14. Blair Nothdurft (76), Sioux Falls, S.D.,14.792
  15. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.868
  16. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 14.871
  17. Jared Hawkins (77), Fairmont, W.Va., 14.879
  18. Paul Parker (10), Kaukauna, Wis., 14.889
  19. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 14.901
  20. Ross Robinson (7R), Georgetown, Del., 14.984
  21. Steve Stultz (78s), Peoria, Ariz., 15.485

Second group   

  1. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 14.669
  2. Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 14.686
  3. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.704
  4. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 14.761
  5. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 14.846
  6. Spencer Hughes (11H), Meridian, Miss., 14.886
  7. Chad Mahder (55C), Eau Claire, Wis., 14.941
  8. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 14.969
  9. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.975
  10. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 14.995
  11. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 15.037
  12. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.082
  13. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.105
  14. Kolby Vandenbergh (15), Ashland, Ill., 15.134
  15. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 15.136
  16. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 15.183
  17. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 15.394
  18. Jesse Glenz (7x), Chippewa Falls, Wis., 15.524
  19. Daniel Hilsabeck (22H), Adel, Iowa, 15.615
  20. Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn., 15.829

Feature lineup

Row 1: Sheppard, Chr. Simpson
Row 2: Marlar, Davenport
Row 3: Overton, S. Scott
Row 4: McCreadie, Gustin
Row 5: J. Scott, Bloomquist
Row 6: Madden, Junghans
Row 7: Owens, Wilson
Row 8: Dillard, T. Erb
Row 9: Cha. Simpson, Thornton Jr.
Row 10: O'Neal, Weiss
Row 11: Alberson, Larson
Row 12: Hawkins, Glenz
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