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Daily Dirt 06/20/2024 22:38:40

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August 19
Batesville Motor Speedway,
Locust Grove, AR
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Comp Cams Topless 100) - $50,000
Information provided by: Robert Holman, series and track reports (last updated August 21, 6:10 pm)
After 19 years, McDowell wins Topless 100 again
Comp Cams Topless 100
  1. Dale McDowell
  2. Jonathan Davenport
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Devin Moran
  5. Tim McCreadie
  6. Hudson O'Neal
  7. Stormy Scott
  8. Earl Pearson Jr.
  9. Brandon Overton
  10. Cade Dillard
  11. Daulton Wilson
  12. Tyler Erb
  13. Garrett Smith
  14. Max Blair
  15. Kyle Beard
  16. Logan Martin
  17. Spencer Hughes
  18. Ross Robinson
  19. Garrett Alberson
  20. Hunter Rasdon
  21. Brandon Sheppard
  22. B.J. Robinson
  23. Billy Moyer Jr.
  24. Jeremy Shaw
  25. Scott Crigler
  26. Jared Landers
  27. Morgan Bagley
  28. Boom Briggs
  29. Jon Mitchell
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Dale McDowell takes the checkered flag to win the Topless 100 for the first time since 2004.
What won the race: Returning to glory in a crown jewel event he won for the first time in 2004, Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., grabbed the lead from Jonathan Davenport on lap 35 and was flawless the remainder of the distance to capture Saturday night’s 41st annual Comp Cams Topless 100 at Batesville Motor Speedway. The 57-year-old veteran beat Davenport to the finish line by 0.303 of a second for the $50,000 first-place prize.
Key notes: McDowell's victory came in his 21st career start in the Topless 100 feature. It was his ninth top-five finish in the race. ... McDowell's 10th career Lucas Oil Series triumph was his first since Sept. 29, 2018, at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. ... Davenport, who led laps 2-34, closed up on McDowell on the final lap as the leader paced himself behind a slower car with the track taking rubber but fell short in his bid for a second straight Topless 100 win. ... Ricky Thornton Jr. led the race's first lap but settled for a third-place finish.
On the move: Kyle Beard of Trumann, Ark., started 26th and finished 15th.
Winner's sponsors: McDowell’s Shane McDowell Racing Team Zero Race Car has a Clements Chevrolet engine and sponsorship from E-Z-Go, Cometic Gaskets, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Connected Strategy Advisors, Northeastern Fabrication, Fox Racing Shox, Campbell Insulation Specialists, Shackleford Enterprises and Spring-Pro.
Points chase: After Batesville (Lucas Oil): 1. Ricky Thornton Jr. (5,990); 2. Hudson O’Neal (5,640); 3. Jonathan Davenport (5,365); 4. Tim McCreadie (5,235); 5. Brandon Overton (5,230); 6. Devin Moran (5,175); 7. Daulton Wilson (4,760); 8. Max Blair (4,730); 9. Earl Pearson Jr. (4,715); 10. Tyler Erb (4.705); 11. Spencer Hughes (4,530). After Batesville (Comp Cams): 1. Kyle Beard (856); 2. Billy Moyer Jr. (840); 3. B.J. Robinson (794); 4. Hunter Rasdon (792); 5. Morgan Bagley (760).
Current weather: Clear, 81°F
Car count: 64
Fast qualifier: Jonathan Davenport
Time: 13.615 seconds
Polesitter: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Consolation race winners: Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb
Provisional starters: Boom Briggs, Kyle Beard, Billy Moyer Jr., Morgan Bagley, Ross Robinson, Max Blair
Next series race: August 24, Georgetown Speedway (Georgetown, DE) $18,049
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

LOCUST GROVE, Ark. (Aug. 19) — Dale McDowell couldn’t help becoming a little sentimental after winning Saturday night’s 41st annual Comp Cams Topless 100 at Batesville Motor Speedway.

At the age of 57 and just under two years removed from undergoing successful prostate cancer surgery, the veteran driver from Chickamauga, Ga., was understandably aware that capturing the crown jewel event for the second time — 19 years after his first victory in 2004 — was like pouring some gravy on his superb career.

“First of all, I need to thank the good Lord above for allowing me to get through my health issues a couple of years ago and get back and do this,” said McDowell, a serious tinge in his voice. “Thank goodness it wasn’t my time to get out of the sport.”

As McDowell spoke while receiving his $50,000 winner’s check in victory lane, his interview with pit reporter Ben Shelton was interrupted for a moment by Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who finished second after ceding the lead to McDowell on lap 35. Davenport poured a cup of ice water on McDowell’s head, making the victor cringe in delight.

“The Silver Fox has still got it, ain’t he?” Davenport said, hailing the gray-haired McDowell’s performance on a 3/8-mile oval that took rubber and became largely one lane through the race’s late stages.

And McDowell deserved the praise from the 39-year-old Davenport, who led laps 2-34 but couldn’t stop the relentless inside assault authored by the respected driver known as Mac Daddy. Davenport threatened McDowell a few times in lapped traffic over the race’s final two-thirds and closed to within 0.303 of a second at the checkered flag, but McDowell seemed to be in control once he gained command.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., led the race’s first lap but gave up second to McDowell on lap 13 and settled for a third-place finish. Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, reached fourth place on lap 28 and held the position to the finish while two-time Topless 100 winner Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., completed the top five after taking the fifth spot on lap 40.

Making his 21st career start in the Topless 100 finale since his first appearance in 1996 (a seventh-place finish), McDowell credited his younger brother and car owner, Shane, for making his battle-tested Team Zero Chassis a winner in the event for the first time in nearly two decades.

“Shane made awful good adjustments,” said McDowell, whose 2004 Topless 100 victory was worth $43,000. “We struggled with this car a little bit, but Shane’s worked his tail off. I haven’t really done anything but drive it and complain about it, so he’s made some good changes and it’s just a good night.”

McDowell started fourth and made a typically calm, cool and collected advance to the front. He overtook McCreadie for third on lap eight, passed Thornton for second on lap 13 and stalked Davenport until finally chugging underneath the race’s defending champion for the top spot on lap 35.

“Those guys were running a lane up (early in the distance) and I could maintain, but I was a little tight,” McDowell said. “So I knew I was gonna have to figure out what I needed to do to get a clear line and see where I lacked and where I was shining a little bit. It just worked out. They got a little tight and got to pushing, and my car started rotating good.”

But while McDowell held firm to the lead for the remainder of the distance, he had some anxious moments. With the track surface latching up and becoming a single groove, dealing with slower cars became a real headache.

“Lapped traffic was very, very hairy,” McDowell said. “They were all jammed up so you don’t know whether to root one out of the way or follow them. You haven’t a clue what to do, but everything worked out.”

When McDowell completed his march to victory, he marveled at the event’s jammed grandstand (“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this big of a crowd here”) and reflected on adding another major triumph to his sparkling resume.

“When you get my age and we’re looking at the end of our career, you don’t know how many more times you’re gonna get to come to these places,” McDowell said. “You don’t think about that when you’re younger, but when you get a little older, and you’re able to come to them and be competitive — and more than that, win — it’s very, very special.”

Davenport had no answer for McDowell as he fell short in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner in Topless 100 history.

“We just got too tight, and when that rubber came it made it even worse,” said Davenport, whose car owner, Lance Landers, is from Batesville, Ark.

Davenport made a last-ditch attempt to overtake McDowell, but it actually came a lap too late.

“I thought when I got to Dale there (on the final circuit), the lap before I thought I seen two-to-go, so I never really looked for the white flag because I seen two coming off the corner,” Davenport said. “So I thought I could catch him right at the perfect time and he couldn’t hear me. (But) as soon as I caught him there, I thought I seen the checker, and I was like, ‘Oh, s---, I waited too long,’ but I thought I’d go ahead and blast it off in there anyway.”

Thornton, 32, conceded that McDowell was the class of the field.

“His stuff was a little better once we got to traffic than a lot of us,” said Thornton, who best finish in three previous Topless 100 starts was sixth in 2020. “He could really get close to a guy and still maneuver, where me and J.D. were the same — you’d get close and you really had to allow that guy to miss his line (to make a pass).”

The race's three caution flags flew for slowed cars on laps 27 (Brandon Sheppard), 67 (Spencer Hughes) and 88 (Jeremy Shaw).

Notes: The 100-lapper ended just in time for McDowell, whose car sported a deflated left-rear tire when he reached the post-race inspection area. By rule, officials allowed his team to bolt on a new tire before his car’s rear deck height was measured to make his win official. … McDowell’s victory marked his sixth straight and ninth career top-five finish in the Topless 100. … Eighth-starter Hudson O’Neal, who won the Topless 100 in 2021, reached sixth on lap 72 and ran there for the remainder of the distance. … McCreadie’s fourth-place finish moved him past ninth-place finisher Brandon Overton into fourth in the Lucas Oil Series points standings. … Jared Landers, who made his first competitive start of 2023 racing as a teammate to Jonathan Davenport, ran fifth for laps 2-17, 30-31 and 33-39 before slipping backward and ultimately relinquishing ninth place on lap 67 to pit for a soft right-rear tire. He retired five circuits later. … Following his disqualification after winning Friday's first consolation, Tyler Stevens scratched from Saturday’s competition.

41st annual Comp Cams Topless 100
Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, chassis, earnings
1. Dale McDowell (17M), Chickamauga, Ga., Team Zero, $50,000
2. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., Longhorn, $20,000
3. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20RT), Chandler, Ariz., Longhorn, $10,000
4. Devin Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, Longhorn, $8,000
5. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., Longhorn, $7,000
6. Hudson O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., Rocket, $6,000
7. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., Longhorn, $4,500
8. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., Longhorn, $4,000
9. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., Longhorn, $3,800
10. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., Longhorn, $3,600
11. Daulton Wilson (18d), Fayetteville, N.C., Longhorn, $3,400
12. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, Rocket, $3,200
13. Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., Longhorn, $3,000
14. Max Blair (111b), Centerville, Pa., Rocket, $2,500
15. Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., Black Diamond, $2,400
16. Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., Rocket, $2,300
17. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., Longhorn, $2,200
18. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., Rocket, $2,100
19. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., Longhorn, $2,000
20. Hunter Rasdon (R5), Jonesboro, Ark., Black Diamond, $2,000
21. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., Longhorn, $2,000
22. B.J. Robinson (1R), Bossier City, La., Black Diamond, $2,000
23. Billy Moyer Jr. (21), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,000
24. Jeremy Shaw (1s), Millport, Ala., Capital, $2,000
25. Scott Crigler (12c), Alton, Mo., Capital, $2,000
26. Jared Landers (777), Batesville, Ark., Longhorn, $2,000
27. Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, Rocket, $0
28. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., Rocket, $0
29. Jon Mitchell (5x), Texarkana, Texas, Rocket, $0
Lap leaders: Thornton 1; Davenport 2-34; McDowell 35-100
Preliminary feature winner (among 64 cars): Thornton
Consolation winners: Overton, Erb
Provisional starters: Blair, R. Robinson, Briggs, Beard, Moyer Jr., Bagley, Mitchell

Feature lineup

(100 laps)

Row 1: Ricky Thornton Jr., Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Dale McDowell
Row 3: Devin Moran, Jared Landers
Row 4: Stormy Scott, Hudson O’Neal
Row 5: Earl Pearson Jr., Spencer Hughes
Row 6: Garrett Alberson, Daulton Wilson
Row 7: Garrett Smith, Cade Dillard
Row 8: Brandon Sheppard, Hunter Rasdon
Row 9: Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb
Row 10: Scott Crigler, Logan Martin
Row 11: Jeremy Shaw, B.J. Robinson
Row 12: Max Blair, Ross Robinson
Row 13: Boom Briggs, Kyle Beard
Row 14: Billy Moyer Jr., Morgan Bagley
Row 15: Jon Mitchell

Consolations recap

Brandon Overton and Tyler Erb scored flag-to-flag victories in the pair of 15-lap consolations. … The first race was marred by a wild crash that brought out the red flag on lap four when Curtis Cook was sent spinning off turn four and collected Jamie Elam, whose car vaulted completely over Cook’s machine and then went into a series of barrel-rolls. The incident also saw Derrick Nichols’s car come to rest on Chris Hawkins’s hood near the inside wall of the homestretch, but no injuries were reported. … After the B-mains were completed, the hot laps for drivers already locked into the 100-lap feature proved unusually eventful when Jared Landers spun around twice in turn two and then toss his steering wheel out of his cockpit upon coming to rest. Making his first competitive appearance of the season in a team car to Jonathan Davenport, Landers angrily marched away from his car, which reportedly had its throttle stick for the second straight night.

Consolation results

(15 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Brandon Overton, Scott Crigler, Jeremy Shaw, Morgan Bagley, Max Blair, Jon Mitchell, Cole Wells, Daniel Hilsabeck, Todd Hall, Mason Oberkramer, Jonathan Rowan, Clay Stuckey, David Payne, Henry Gustavas, Tanner Kellick, Jamie Elam, Curtis Cook, Chris Hawkins, Derrick Nicholes.

Second consolation: Tyler Erb, Logan Martin, B.J. Robinson, Kyle Beard, Brian Rickman, Jarrett Stuckey, Kris Lloyd, Ross Robinson, Boom Briggs, Kylan Garner, Jon Kirby, Jeremy Tharp, Jamie Buford, Chandler Moenning, Brandon Ball, Glen Powell, Mike Myers, Billy Moyer Jr.

Consolation race lineups

(10 laps; top three transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Morgan Bagley
Row 2: Brandon Overton, Scott Crigler
Row 3: Mason Oberkramer, Jeremy Shaw
Row 4: Jon Mitchell, Daniel Hilsabeck
Row 5: Max Blair, Todd Hall
Row 6: Curtis Cook, David Payne
Row 7: Clay Stuckey, Tyler Stevens
Row 8: Jonathan Rowan, Cole Wells
Row 9: Jamie Elam, Chris Hawkins
Row 10: Henry Gustavas, Derrick Nichols
Row 11: Tanner Kellick, Travis Ashley
Row 12: Jeff Sloan, Nathan Brown
Second consolation
Row 1: Logan Martin, Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Tyler Erb, Brian Rickman
Row 3: B.J. Robinson, Jarret Stuckey
Row 4: Kris Lloyd, Kyle Beard
Row 5: Boom Briggs, Jon Kirby
Row 6: Jamie Burford, Kylan Garner
Row 7: Chris Jones, Ross Robinson
Row 8: Parker Martin, Kip Hughes
Row 9: Brandon Ball, Jeremy Tharp
Row 10: Glen Powell, Chandler Moenning
Row 11: Joey Smith, Chance Mann
Row 12: Mike Myers, Joseph Long

Saturday’s schedule

(All times local)
3:30 p.m. - Pits close
4 p.m. - Pits re-open
4:30 p.m. - Grandstands open
5 p.m. - Outreach service
7 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
7:30 p.m. - On-track activity
- Late Model hot laps (consolation entrants)
- Modified hot laps
Opening ceremonies
- Modified heat races (8 laps)
- Late Model consolations (15 laps)
- Late Model hot laps (feature entrants)
- Modified consolations (12 laps)
- Modified feature (20 laps)
- Topless 100 Late Model feature (100 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Thornton Jr., Davenport
Row 2: McCreadie, McDowell
Row 3: Moran, Landers
Row 4: S. Scott, O’Neal
Row 5: Pearson Jr., S. Hughes
Row 6: Alberson, Wilson
Row 7: G. Smith, Dillard
Row 8: Sheppard, Rasdon
Row 9: Overton, T. Erb
Row 10: Crigler, L. Martin
Row 11: Shaw, B.J. Robinson
Row 12: Blair, R. Robinson
Row 13: Briggs, Beard
Row 14: Moyer Jr., Bagley
Row 15: Mitchell

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