WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 27) — The 31st annual Show-Me 100 Presented by Missouri Division of Tourism was wild and crazy, rough and tumble and had post-race controversy.
They’ll certainly be talking about this one for a while.
Devin Moran, second under the checkers, was declared the victor when apparent race winner Ricky Thornton Jr. was penalized four spots to fifth in the finishing order in post-race inspection.
“What the hell?” Moran asked in victory lane after claiming a career-high $50,000 first-place prize for his first-ever Show-Me 100 triumph. “This is like the best, worst win of my life. I just won the frickin’ Show-Me 100 and $50,000, but Ricky was the best car in the field.”
Moran, 28, of Dresden, Ohio, claimed the win in his Double Down Motorsports Longhorn chassis after he finished just under one second behind Thornton. But a few moments later, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series officials announced that Thornton’s car was in violation of the “droop rule” regarding the height of the rear deck.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., wound up officially in second with Spencer Hughes of Meridian, Miss., third and defending champion Chris Ferguson of Mt. Holly, N.C., fourth. Thornton was moved back to fifth while local favorite 19-year-old Dillon McCowan of Urbana, Mo., was sixth.
Martinsville, Ind.’s Thornton led the final 43 laps in a race that turned into survival of the fittest with 13 caution flags and a track surface that had plenty of character — especially over the final half of the event.
Asked how long it was going to take for it to set in that he was a Show-Me 100 champion, Moran shook his head.
“I have no idea,” Moran said. “There might be an asterisk by it, but it’s gonna pay 50-grand one way or the other, so we’re gonna take it. And we’re gonna drink some beer tonight.”
The Ricky Thornton Jr. Facebook page posted afterward of his heartbreaking fate: “3/8th of an inch high on droop after the left-rear chain broke. A $50,000 win taken away for less than half an inch after a parts failure on THAT track. sickening.”
The biggest question coming into the event was if anyone could beat Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., this week at Lucas Oil Speedway. The 39-year-old star started alongside Thornton on the front row and led the first 58 laps — after leading every lap in winning preliminary features on Thursday and Friday.
Davenport survived nine caution flags to lead the first 58 laps in a race that took 50 minutes to complete 50 laps. Thornton pulled alongside Davenport on lap 54, but couldn’t complete the pass. The duo traded sliders the next time around with Davenport still hanging onto the point as Hughes watched from third.
Finally, for the first time during the weekend, Davenport lost the lead as Thornton edged past on the inside out of turn four on lap 58. This was after Davenport had led 142 of 142 laps in the two preliminary night features.
Thornton, by contrast, had picked up 29 positions on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday he was able to weave through lapped traffic to open a nearly one-second lead over Davenport by lap 66.
Then came caution No. 10 for a slowing Hudson O’Neal in turn two. O’Neal, the 2021 Show-Me 100 winner, had rallied from 20th to as high as sixth and was in eighth when he lost power in his Rocket Chassis house car.
Thornton was able to open up a 2.7-second lead by lap 72 as Davenport had a similar cushion over third-place Hughes. Davenport started to close the gap in lapped traffic, getting within one second by lap 79.
Davenport slipped way high in turn four on lap 83, almost hitting the wall. That cost him dearly as Thornton’s lead expanded to 5.3 seconds, or about a full straightaway’s margin.
By lap 90, it was a runaway as Thornton led by seven seconds as Davenport’s handling went away. Brandon Overton rode into second, but it appeared all Thornton’s race. Then Chad Simpson hit the backstretch wall on lap 96, however, to bring out the caution and wipe out Thornton’s 5.3-second lead over Overton, setting up a four-lap shootout to determine the outcome.
They were unable to get a lap finished after the restart as Overton hit the wall while battling with Moran out of turn four.
“I drove like an idiot and wrecked the 76,” Moran said of Overton. “I’ll probably get a black eye when we get back to the pits, but the hell with it. We won the race, I guess.”
That sent Davenport back to second for the restart with Moran third and Hughes fourth. Davenport slowed on lap 98, apparently running out of fuel to bring out the 13th caution. Davenport, the 2015 winner, limped to the pits and settled for a 11th-place finish.
Thornton was able to hold on during the green-white-checkered finish and beat Moran to the checkers by .904 of a second in a race that took one hour, 19 minutes to complete.
Then came the fateful trip to the tech building and Moran’s unsuspecting trip to victory lane.
“I want to thank Kevin Rumley and all of Longhorn,” Moran said of the renowned engineer from North Carolina and the chassis he was driving. “Our crew has worked their (butts) off. We’ve worked as many hours as you could imagine this week.”
McCreadie, 49, said he felt fortunate to end up second and pocket $20,000. His car jumped the cushion and he fell back to eighth on the restart that saw Moran and Overton’s incident bring out the caution.
“Another hip check and there it was, another guy stuck in the boards,” McCreadie said, using a hockey analogy. “We just do our best. We got some luck and we’ll take it. It’s a shame what happened to Ricky.”
McCreadie’s runner-up finish was his career-best in the Show-Me 100, topping his third-place runs in 2017 and ’22. Third-place Hughes also registered a career-high finish in the Show-Me 100, which he started for the first time in 2022 and finished 22nd.
Ferguson rallied from 16th to fourth, finding a different sort of racetrack than in his victory a year ago. He also was able to walk away feeling good all things considered.
“We’re pretty happy. The crew has worked their butts off this weekend after we threw this car together in a couple of days,” Ferguson said. “We’d have loved to have seen that cushion go down a lot faster. I’m just blessed to be up here on the frontstretch again.
“Congratulations to Devin. I know he’s been looking for a win like this for a while. I’m happy to see him get it. I hate it for Ricky. Any time the track is rough like that, you’re gonna have stuff happen. It was a good race, though. I know the fans thought it was exciting coming out of four there a couple of times.”
McCowan, who was a Show-Me 100 spectator sitting in the grandstand two years ago and competing in a USRA Modified at the event in 2022, was overjoyed with his finish. He started sixth, fell back to 13th for a time and rallied late while staying out of trouble.
“It was awesome,” McCowan said of his weekend. “I couldn’t have scripted it out any better. I just wanted to make the show and not get lapped. This is pretty crazy It was a fun race. The track had a lot of character.”
Among other cautions were single-car yellows between laps 20-22 for Chris Simpson, Boom Briggs and Larry Ferris; a lap-35 caution for Ross Robinson pointing the wrong way in turn two; a lap-38 caution for a multi-car scramble including Robinson, Tyler Erb, Daulton Wilson and others; Chris Simpson slowing on lap 42; Ferris and Robinson tangling exiting turn four on the 45th lap; sixth-running Jimmy Owens slowing on lap 48; Jeff Herzog spinning at halfway; and MLRA points leader Chad Simpson pounding the backstretch wall on lap 97.
With the heavy racing surface causing drivers to use their helmet tearoffs at a fast clip, officials allowed them to replace helmets during a caution just before halfway to improve their vision.
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Devin Moran, Dillon McCowan
Row 4: Brandon Overton, Spencer Hughes
Row 5: Chris Simpson, Garrett Alberson
Row 6: Tyler Bruening, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 7: Chad Simpson, Max Blair
Row 8: Tyler Erb, Chris Ferguson
Row 9: Mason Zeigler, Ricky Weiss
Row 10: Daulton Wilson, Hudson O'Neal
Row 11: Kylan Gardner, Justin Duty
Row 12: Daniel Hilsabeck, Payton Looney
Row 13: Ross Robinson, Boom Briggs
Row 14: Tyler Stevens, Jeff Herzog
Row 15: Trevor Gundaker, Dustin Hodges
Row 16: Larry Ferris
Trevor Gundaker of St. Charles, Mo., broke a driveshaft on the first lap of the third consolation race and it struck his right leg after coming up through the floorpan. He was limping in the pits but otherwise OK. “A track medic looked at my calf and said it hit the meat rather than the bone and said I should be fine,” said Gundaker, who didn’t require stitches. He received a provisional starting spot in the main event. "Now I have to figure out how to run 100 laps around here,” he said. … Last year’s 100-lap winner Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., is set to start 16th in gunning for his second straight crown jewel victory in Missouri. “My goal is to be in the top 10 by halfway and the top three by 25 to go,” Ferguson said. “This place changes so much throughout the race, it’s crazy. It’s not about being good at the start; you have to be there in the end. I feel good going into this; we’ve worked hard all week and finally got our issues behind us.” ... After breaking a lift arm on his car in consolation action, Tyler Stevens will drive Mason Oberkramer's No. 93 in the feature. ... Said first-time Show-Me starter Dillon McCowan: “Loving life right now. This is awesome; soaking in every minute. I just hope to not get lapped but dad (Charlie) said if I finish in the top-10, we’re racing the Dream" at Ohio's Eldora Speedway.
Midwest Sheet Metal Show-Me Challenge
Non-qualifers' race results: Kolby Vandenbergh, Morgan Bagley, Mason Oberkramer, Chris Hawkins, Dustin Hodges, Dalton Imhoff, Dusty Leonard, Jeremy Shaw, Matt Johnson, Bryon Allison, Brennon Willard, Cole Wells, Jeff Roth, Glen Powell, Kaeden Cornell, Colby Moore, Kayden Clatt, Tony Jackson Jr., Jace Parmley, Aaron Marrant, Jon Kirby. Scratched: David Breazeale, Justin Wells.
(15 laps; top two transfer)
First consolation: Daulton Wilson, Justin Duty, Cole Wells, Kaeden Cornell, Jeff Herzog, Mason Oberkramer, Lerry Ferris, David Breazeale, Brennon Willard, Glen Powell, Bryon Allison, Justin Wells. Scratched: Austin Rettig, Steve Stultz.
Second consolation: Hudson O'Neal, Daniel Hilsabeck, Tony Jackson Jr., Dustin Hodges, Morgan Bagley, Jeremy Shaw, Dalton Imhoff, Jace Parmley, Jon Kirby, Kayden Clatt, Colby Moore, Jeff Soth, Chandler Moenning. Scratched: Tad Pospisil.
Third consolation: Kylan Garner, Payton Looney, Kolby Vandenbergh, Chris Hawkins, Matt Johnson, Aaron Marrant, Dusty Leonard, Tyler Stevens, Boom Briggs, Trevor Gundaker, Ross Robinson. Scratched: Neil Baggett, Reid Millard, Mark Daye.
Just like the prelims on Thursday and Friday, picture-perfect weather illuminates this evening’s 31st running of the Show-Me 100 (high of 78 and low of 63 with 0 percent chance of rain). … Two of the sport’s hottest drivers the last calendar year, Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., and Ricky Thornton Jr. of Martinsville, Ind., will lead the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win crown jewel to green. … Davenport, who swept the prelims for the first time in Show-Me history, eyes a second Show-Me crown that’d add to his 2015 event title. … After going to a backup car in Friday’s 24th-to-third prelim charge, Thornton has a fresh powerplant back under the hood of his primary race machine and is primed capitalize on recent momentum (two wins, four podium runs, seven top-fives and 59 cars passed in last seven races). … Last season's Show-Me winner Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., said he lost power steering with 10 laps left of Friday’s sixth-place prelim run but has rectified the issues ahead of his 16th-place feature start. … Missouri's own Dillon McCowan (starting sixth), Brandon Overton (seventh) and Ricky Weiss (18th) are first-time Show-Me starters among the top 18 lock-ins.
(15 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Daulton Wilson, Cole Wells
Row 2: Jeff Herzog, Justin Duty
Row 3: David Breazeale, Mason Oberkramer
Row 4: Larry Ferris, Kaeden Cornell
Row 5: Justin Wells, Austin Rettig
Row 6: Brennon Willard, Bryon Allison
Row 7: Glen Powell, Steve Stultz
Row 1: Hudson O’Neal, Daniel Hilsabeck
Row 2: Morgan Bagley, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Jace Parmley, Jeremy Shaw
Row 4: Dustin Hodges, Jon Kirby
Row 5: Jeff Roth, Dalton Imhoff
Row 6: Kayden Clatt, Colby Moore
Row 7: Chandler Moenning, Tad Pospisil
Row 1: Payton Looney, Tyler Stevens
Row 2: Neil Baggett, Trevor Gundaker
Row 3: Kylan Garner, Dusty Leonard
Row 4: Matt Johnson, Kolby Vandenbergh
Row 5: Boom Briggs, Chris Hawkins
Row 6: Ross Robinson, Aaron Marrant
Row 7: Reid Millard, Mark Daye
(Accrued during May 25-26 events; the top 18 are locked into Saturday’s main event)
- 510 - Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga.
- 450 - Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz.
- 440 - Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y.
- 385 - Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn.
- 380 - Devin Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio
- 370 - Dillon McCowan (8), Urbana, Mo.
- 365 - Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga.
- 365 - Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss.
- 360 - Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa
- 340 - Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M.
- 335 - Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa
- 335 - Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla.
- 330 - Chad Simpson (25c), Mount Vernon, Iowa
- 325 - Max Blair (111b), Centerville, Pa.
- 305 - Tyler Erb (1t), New Waverly, Texas
- 300 - Chris Ferguson (22f), Mount Holly, N.C.
- 295 - Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa.
- 285 - Ricky Weiss (7w), Headingley, Manitoba
- 280 - Daulton Wilson (18d), Fayetteville, N.C.
- 275 - Hudson O’Neal (1h), Martinsville, Ind.
- 260 - Payton Looney (15L), Republic, Mo.
- 260 - Cole Wells (45), Aurora, Mo.
- 260 - Daniel Hilsabeck (22), Earlham, Iowa
- 260 - Tyler Stevens (2), Searcy, Ark.
- 250 - Jeff Herzog (11h), Festus, Mo.
- 245 - Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas
- 240 - Neil Baggett (21xxx), Columbus, Miss.
- 230 - Justin Duty (15), Molalla, Ore.
- 230 - Tony Jackson Jr. (56jr), Lebanon, Mo.
- 225 - Trevor Gundaker (14g), St. Charles, Mo.
- 220 - David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss.
- 220 - Jace Parmley (82), Neosho, Mo.
- 220 - Kylan Garner (usa28), Diamond, Mo.
- 215 - Mason Oberkramer (93), Broseley, Mo.
- 205 - Jeremy Shaw (1s), Millport, Ala.
- 205 - Dusty Leonard (7d), Maryville, Kan.
- 200 - Larry Ferris (51), Nevada, Mo.
- 195 - Dustin Hodges (22h), Centralia, Mo.
- 195 - Matt Johnson (15t), Archie, Mo.
- 195 - Kaeden Cornell (50), Willard, Mo.
- 190 - Jon Kirby (11k), Russellville, Ark.
- 190 - Kolby Vandenbergh (15v), Ashland, Ill.
- 190 - Justin Wells (49j), Aurora, Mo.
- 185 - Jeff Roth (14r), Bentonville, Ark.
- 185 - Boom Briggs (99b), Bear Lake, Pa.
- 180 - Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo.
- 180 - Dalton Imhoff (96), Jamestown, Mo.
- 180 - Chris Hawkins (usa1), Neosho, Mo.
- 165 - Brennon Willard (3), Lebanon, Mo.
- 165 - Kayden Clatt (50c), Edina, Mo.
- 160 - Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del.
- 160 - Bryon Allison (1a), Marshall, Mo.
- 160 - Colby Moore (19m), Springtown, Texas
- 155 - Aaron Marrant (1x), Richmond, Mo.
- 150 - Glen Powell (26), Nixa, Mo.
- 125 - Chandler Moenning (29), Willard, Mo.
- 85 - Reid Millard, Jefferson City, Mo.
- 75 - Steve Stultz (78s), Peoria, Ariz.
- 80 - Mark Daye (36), Webb City, Mo.
- 50 - Tad Pospisil (04), Norfolk, Neb.
2:30 p.m. - Pit gates close
3 p.m. - Pit gates reopen
3:15 p.m. - Outreach service
4 p.m. - General admission gates open
5 p.m. - Pre-race concert
6 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
Opening ceremonies (FloRacing stream begins)
6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
- Super Late Model (consolation) hot laps
- USRA modified (consolation) hot laps
- Super Late Model consolations (15 laps)
- Super Late Model (feature) hot laps
- USRA modified consolations (12 laps)
- USRA modified (feature) hot laps
- Super Late Model Show-Me Challenge (20 laps)
Pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions
- Super Late Model Show-Me 100 feature (100 laps)
- USRA modified feature (30 laps)