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Daily Dirt 04/24/2024 00:06:55

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January 28
Golden Isles Speedway,
Brunswick, GA
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Super Bowl of Racing) - $25,000
Information provided by: Kyle McFadden, series and track reports (last updated January 30, 9:19 am)
Overton sneaks by Thornton to win GIS finale
Super Bowl of Racing
  1. Brandon Overton
  2. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  3. Tanner English
  4. Brandon Sheppard
  5. Hudson O'Neal
  6. Tim McCreadie
  7. Jonathan Davenport
  8. Mason Zeigler
  9. Shane Clanton
  10. Kyle Bronson
  11. Earl Pearson Jr.
  12. Brian Shirley
  13. Spencer Hughes
  14. Jimmy Owens
  15. Dennis Erb Jr.
  16. Garrett Alberson
  17. Wil Herrington
  18. Garrett Smith
  19. Blair Nothdurft
  20. Logan Roberson
  21. Daulton Wilson
  22. Jeff Choquette
  23. Ross Robinson
  24. Devin Moran
  25. G.R. Smith
  26. John Henderson
  27. Tyler Bruening
  28. Carson Ferguson
  29. Tyler Erb
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Brandon Overton celebrates Saturday's win, worth $25,000.
What won the race: Swinging wide as they raced toward the checkered flag, Brandon Overton rolled around the top to make a dramatic last-lap pass on Ricky Thornton Jr. to win Saturday’s Lucas Oil Series Super Bowl of Racing finale at Golden Isles Speedway. Overton, of Evans, Ga., bet Thornton, of Chandler, Ariz., to the finish by a scant 0.056 of a second.
Key notes: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series concluded its three-day season-opening weekend at Golden Isles Speedway. … Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., has won four of the last five Lucas Oil features at Golden Isles Speedway, collecting more than $62,000 in the process. … Ricky Thornton Jr. has finishes of third, second and second to open the season. … The series heads to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., on Sunday.
On the move: Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., started 26th and finished 10th at the track he owns with his wife Amber.
Winner's sponsors: Overton’s Wells Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Race Engine and sponsored by Garnto Southern, Muscle Factory, Victory Fuel, Boswell Oil, Penske Racing Shocks, R.W. Powell Construction, CleanWay, Big Dog Stump & Tree, Midwest Sheet Metal, Convenient Lube, Dirt Mafia, Allstar Performance, E-Z-Go, Penske Racing Shocks, Hoosier by Brian and Topnotch Kustom Koncepts.
Points chase: After Golden Isles Saturday: 1. Brandon Overton (740); 2. Ricky Thornton Jr. (690); 3. Tim McCreadie (605); 4. Hudson O’Neal (565); 5. Tanner English (545); 6. Brandon Sheppard (535); 7. Devin Moran (535); 8. Jonathan Davenport (525); 10. Earl Pearson Jr. (510).
Current weather: Clear, 41°F
Car count: 52
Fast qualifier: Brandon Overton
Time: 14.798 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Overton
Heat race winners: Brandon Overton, Devin Moran, Shane Clanton, Hudson O'Neal, Ricky Thornton Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Consolation race winners: Tyler Bruening, Carson Ferguson
Provisional starters: Garrett Alberson, Daulton Wilson, Kyle Bronson, Wil Herrington, Logan Roberson, Jimmy Owens
Next series race: January 30, Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Jan. 28) — It took Saturday’s 60-lap Super Bowl of Racing finale at Golden Isles Speedway a while to get going. Two multicar crashes before an official lap was completed delayed the start of the main event by more than 15 minutes. But once the action got rolling around the 4/10-mile Kyle and Amber Bronson-owned oval, it didn’t disappoint.

Unless, perhaps, you’re Ricky Thornton Jr.

Race by race, Thornton inched closer to a win at Golden Isles during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series three-race opening weekend. After finishing third on Thursday and second on Friday,  the Chandler, Ariz., native appeared to be on the verge of his first Lucas Oil Series win of the season Saturday.

But polesitter Brandon Overton had other ideas. Overton, who won Thursday’s series opener and led the first 22 laps on Saturday until Thornton flashed by to lead lap 23, never gave up. He rode patiently in second as Thornton led 37 laps and on the final circuit he was there to pounce. Swinging wide as they raced toward the checkered flag, Overton, of Evans, Ga., rolled around the top in turns three and four to make a dramatic last-lap pass for the win.

Nosing ahead at the finish, Overton won by a scant 0.056 of a second to complete the improbable last-lap rally and earn the $25,000 to prize. Seventh-starting Tanner English of Benton, Ky., finished third, while Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., improved two positions to finish fourth. Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., completed the top five after starting alongside Overton on the front row.

“I got lucky,” said Overton, who has now won four of the last five Lucas Oil Series races at Golden Isles. “You know I tried to do it (Friday) night and stuffed it in the fence. When I sent it in there today I made sure I had to (rear end) pointed out and on the chip. It just worked out. I hate it for Ricky. That's what it takes man when you're on the track and lapped traffic plays a big part in it. I knew when he passed me, I said, 'Alright I just got to stay in second and I got to do a better job of managing the tires.' I knew like a hail Mary was all I had. Ricky's been really good. Man that was badass. I'm so happy. I love this.”

It was Overton’s second win of the weekend. After winning the opener, he finished third behind NASCAR star Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calf., and Thornton on Friday.

“I can't let Kyle come down here and show us up,” Overton said in victory lane referencing Larson’s victory. “You know (Larson) did a hell of a job last night. They were telling me to do some doughnuts (after the win), but you know I think I used all my talent up running around the top. I better not do no donuts or I’d really junk some (stuff).”

Before thinking about making doughnuts (a reference to Larson’s ill-fated victory celebration Friday that ended with him smacking the wall), Overton was sizing up Thornton, who led by as much as 1.929 seconds after grabbing the top spot from Overton on lap 23.

“I just keep playing it back through my head, just trying to make sure I didn't go too soon,” Overton said. “I seen the white (flag) and I was like, 'Alright here it is. We're either about to knock the motor out of it or I'm going to get him.' it just worked out perfect.”

Not so much for Thornton, however, who rolled the bottom with ease after taking the lead, but made a mistake in trying to rip off the cushion with nine laps remaining and then struggled after catching the slower cars of Dennis Erb Jr. and Garrett Alberson in the waning circuits.

“I got to the traffic and I went to the top and about destroyed the thing,” Thornton said, trying to find a bit of solace in his third straight podium finish. “So I figured I had to just stick around the bottom. I thought I set myself up good. I gave myself a nice gap behind Dennis there and then they just kind of got racing in front of him and slowed my pace down a little bit. I knew (Overton) was going to hail Mary it there in three and four. My crew guy was telling me to move up, but it's like one of those deals where I tried it and about destroyed (the car). Congrats to Brandon. It definitely sucks to lose another one here, but the good part is at least we've got good speed going into Bubba (Raceway Park on Sunday) and we're looking forward to it.”

Finishing 1.785 seconds behind Thornton, English wasn’t close enough to mix things up with the leaders at the finish, but he was plenty close enough to see the action unfold in front of him.

“They're two of the toughest in the business,” English said. “I think they win the award for the two widest cars too. I think I got the skinniest one. It just sucks riding behind them because they put out a wake like you wouldn't believe. It's just hard to go in there behind them because you lose all the air, but that's racing you know.

“We got to figure out how to get better. I just can't say enough about my whole team. It's been a rough, what feels like a month, but I think we've only been down here for two weeks. But we're turning it around. I think we got this thing going.”

Notes: Brandon Overton has won four of the last five Lucas Oil features at Golden Isles Speedway, collecting more than $62,000 in the process. … Overton tied Jeff Purvis, Darrell Lanigan and Earl Pearson Jr. with his 12th career Georgia-Florida Speedweeks victory. … Thornton has finishes of third, second and second to open the season. … Longhorn Race Cars is still unbeaten in January’s 11 features that include the Wild West Shootout in Vado, N.M.; the World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series Sunshine Nationals and the Lucas Oil Series Super Bowl of Racing. … An opening lap melee triggered by Shane Clanton’s contact with Brandon Sheppard also collected Carson Ferguson, Tyler Erb, Garrett Smith, Spencer Hughes, G.R. Smith and Jeff Choquette. Ferguson’s machine suffered major body damage. … Before the first lap was completed a second caution flew when Brian Shirley spun, collecting Tyler Bruening, John Henderson and G.R. Smith. … Cautions during the race appeared for Devin Moran (broken rear end on lap eight) and Daulton Wilson (slowed to a stop on lap 34). … The Lucas Oil Series heads to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., for a pair of races Jan. 29-30.

Feature lineup

(60 laps)
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Hudson O'Neal
Row 2: Devin Moran, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 3: Shane Clanton, Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Tanner English, Tim McCreadie
Row 5: Earl Pearson Jr., Mason Zeigler
Row 6: Brian Shirley, Garrett Smitn
Row 7: Jeff Choquette, Jonathan Davenport
Row 8: G.R. Smith, John Henderson
Row 9: Blair Nothdurft, Spencer Hughes
Row 10: Tyler Bruening, Carson Ferguson
Row 11: Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Erb
Row 12: Garrett Alberson, Daulton Wilson
Row 13: Kyle Bronson, Wil Herrington
Row 14: Logan Roberson, Jimmy Owens
Row 15: Ross Robinson

Consolation results

(10 laps, top two transfer)

First consolation: Tyler Bruening, Dennis Erb Jr., Mark Whitener, Jimmy Owens, Blake Spencer, Kyle Bronson, Garrett Alberson, Mike Benedum, Chase Junghans, Christian Thomas, Steven Roberts, Allen Murray. Scratched: Jason Garver, Dusitn Walker, Danny Snyder, Kale Green.

Second consolation: Carson Ferguson, Tyler Erb, Ryan Gustin,  Max Blair, Boom Briggs, Ross Robinson, Logan Roberson, Dalton Cook, Matthew Brocato, Kyle Strickler, Jack Riggs, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Jordan Koehler, Rece Vaught.

Heat race recap

Georgia’s own Brandon Overton continued his Golden Isles excellence with a breezy win in the first heat that lands him on the pole for the third night in a row. Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., will start to Overton’s outside, eyeing his first win aboard the Rocket Chassis house car. … After missing the previous two nights for not feeling well, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., didn’t appear to miss a beat in the win in the third heat. … Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., took the win in the sixth heat after leader Daulton Wilson of Fayetteville, N.C., suffered an apparent mechanical issue. … Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and Ricky Thornton Jr. of Martinsville, Ind., won their respective heats. … Pennsylvania’s Max Blair, New Mexico’s Garrett Alberson and Virginia’s Logan Roberson were among those involved in heat race wrecks. Neither endured terminal damage. ... Running second midway through the third heat, Allen Murray of San Antonio, Texas, was in position to transfer into his first feature of the week in outright fashion until a penalty for jumping a restart set him back two positions in an eventual eighth-place finish.

Heat race results

(Eight laps, top three transfer)

First heat: Brandon Overton, Tanner English, Jeff Choquette, Tyler Bruening, Jason Garver, Mark Whitener, Wil Herrington, Blake Spencer, Danny Snyder.

Second heat: Devin Moran, Earl Pearson Jr., G.R. Smith, Kyle Bronson, Steven Roberts, Jimmy Owens, Chase Junghans, Dustin Walker. DNS: Kale Green.

Third heat: Shane Clanton, Brian Shirley, Blair Nothdurft, Dennis Eeb Jr., Christian Thomas, Allen Murray, Garrett Alberson, Mike Benedum.

Fourth heat: Hudson O'Neal, Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport, Carson Ferguson, Boom Briggs, Max Blair. Jordan Koehler, Matthew Brocato, Robby Hensley.

Fifth heat: Ricky Thornton Jr., Mason Zeigler, John Henderson, Tyler Erb, Ryan Gustin, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Kyle Strickler, Logan Roberson, Rece Vaught.

Sixth heat: Brandon Sheppard, Garrett Smith, Spencer Hughes, Dalton Cook, Ross Robinson, Jack Riggs, Daulton Wilson, Payton Freeman.

Pre-race notes

The stage is nearly set for Saturday night’s Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing presented by ICON Electric Vehicles, which welcomes slightly warmer weather than the cooler temperatures seen Thursday and Friday: a high of 61 and a low of 43. … Friday night winner Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., is not hand for the event finale because of a prior NASCAR commitment. … Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., is back in action after sitting out the first two nights because he wasn’t feeling well. … Following his nasty rollover on Friday, Waynesboro, Va.’s Logan Roberson is back in the Brodnax Shaker Motorsports No. 89 machine — but mechanical issues kept him from recording a qualifying lap. … Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., rolled to another quick time on Saturday night with a lap of 14.798 seconds — the new fastest time of the week at the 4/10-mile oval. … Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., lost his left-front wheel on his time trial warmup lap and, along with Roberson, failed to post a qualifying time. … Overton, Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio; Allen Murray of San Antonio, Texas; Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; Ricky Thornton Jr. of Martinsville, Ind.; and Daulton Wilson of Fayetteville, N.C. start from the poles in the heats.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown
Group A

  1. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 14.798
  2. Devin Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 14.899
  3. Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 15.020
  4. Jeff Choquette (89J), Loxahatchee, Fla., 15.032
  5. Steven Roberts (111), Sylvester, Ga., 15.059
  6. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.093
  7. Tanner English (96v), Benton, Ky., 15.099
  8. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.110
  9. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.142
  10. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.187
  11. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.190
  12. Brian Shirley (8), Chatham, Ill., 15.200
  13. Wil Herrington (19m), Cochran, Ga., 15.243
  14. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.256
  15. Blair Nothdurft (76), Renner, S.D., 15.275
  16. Jason Garver (01), Starke, Fla., 15.295
  17. G.R. Smith (2), Cornelius, N.C., 15.297
  18. Christian Thomas (773), Wake Forest, N.C., 15.308
  19. Mark Whitener (5), Middleburg, Fla., 15.394
  20. Dustin Walker (14W), Polk, Mo., 15.452
  21. Mike Benedum (25), Salem, W.Va., 15.531
  22. Blake Spencer (6s), St. Augustine, Fla., 15.750
  23. Kale Green (4), Pelion, S.C., 15.826
  24. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.827
  25. Danny Snyder (4), Green Lane, Pa., 16.049
  26. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., no time

Group B

  1. Hudson O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 14.939
  2. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 14.942
  3. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 14.944
  4. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.024
  5. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.027
  6. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 15.029
  7. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.055
  8. John Henderson (2x), North Augusta, S.C., 15.057
  9. Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., 15.074
  10. Max Blair (111v), Centerville, Pa., 15.128
  11. Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 15.147
  12. Payton Freeman (22), Commerce, Ga., 15.151
  13. Carson Ferguson (93), Lincolnton, N.C., 15.173
  14. Jimmy Sharpe Jr. (26jr), Vidalia, Ga., 15.175
  15. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 15.209
  16. Jordan Koehler (114), Mount Airy, N.C., 15.231
  17. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 15.239
  18. Dalton Cook (44D), Columbus, Ga., 15.263
  19. Robby Hensley (21H), Walton, Ky., 15.348
  20. Rece Vaught (20V), Aurora, Neb., 15.364
  21. Jack Riggs (81J), Nolensville, Tenn., 15.369
  22. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa.. 15.378
  23. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 15.378
  24. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 15.431
  25. Matthew Brocato (78), Muscle Shoals, Ala., 15.698
  26. Logan Roberson (89), Waynesboro, Va., no time

Saturday’s schedule

(All times local)
2 p.m.: Pits open
3 p.m.: Grandstands open
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
5:30 p.m.: Hot laps/time trials
- Super Late Models hot laps
- 602 Late Models (group qualifying)
- Super Late Model time trials (2 laps)
- 604 Late Models (group qualifying)
Opening ceremonies
(Updated schedule below)
- Super Late Model heats (8 laps)
- Enduros (group qualifying)
- Super Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- 602 Late Model consolations (8 laps)
- Super Late Model feature (60 laps)
- 604 Late Models consolations (8 laps)
- 602 Late Model feature (20 laps)
- 604 Late Model feature (25 laps)
- Enduro feature

Feature lineup

Row 1: Overton, O'Neal
Row 2: Moran, Thornton
Row 3: Clanton, Sheppard
Row 4: English, McCreadie
Row 5: Pearson, Zeigler
Row 6: Shirley, Ga. Smith
Row 7: Choquette, Davenport
Row 8: G.R. Smith, Henderson
Row 9: Nothdurft, Hughes
Row 10: Bruening, Ferguson
Row 11: D. Erb, T. Erb
Row 12: Alberson, Wilson
Row 13: Bronson, Herrington
Row 14: Roberson, Owens
Row 15: Robinson

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