BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Tim McCreadie’s pass for the lead came not a moment too soon. Using a high-to-low move on a lap-25 restart, McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., passed both second-running Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and leader Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., in one fell swoop, grabbing the lead of Wednesday’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series opener at Volusia Speedway Park in just the nick of time.
McCreadie then paced just one circuit of the main event before a caution for a crash in turn three — and an eventual red flag for weather — slowed the field again on lap 26. The race was never restarted, as World of Outlaws officials deemed conditions unsafe when swift-moving fog settled over the half-mile layout.
McCreadie, the 2006 series champion, was declared the winner of the event trimmed to 26 laps from its scheduled 50. The sixth-starting Richards, who swapped the lead with Junghans, finished second, while Junghans started third and finished third after leading a handful of laps.
Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., finished fourth, just head of Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga. McCreadie earned $10,000 for his 30th career World of Outlaws victory and sixth DIRTcar Nationals feature win at Volusia. Reigning series champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., rallied 19th to finish 12th.
It marked the second time in as many years that a DIRTcar Nationals event was shortened because of fog. Last season it was McCreadie who finished third behind winner Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., and runner-up Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., when the Feb. 24 event was cut to just 23 laps.
“Nobody wants it to end like this. Not one person,” McCreadie said. “I know I got paid and it’s great and we’re happy. But you want to race. It sucks that it ended the way it did. Us three guys up there, man, it was slicey and dicey out there.
“Last year I sat here, I think it was Monday or Tuesday when we ran (third), thinking man, it’s pretty foggy, but if we go maybe we’ll (win). But Shane (Clanton) got a ‘W’ that way. (The weather) kinda dictated our tire choice, the fact that it probably wouldn’t make it (50 laps). We had that deal last year where Shane (Clanton) won, so you just go, go, go. I had some struggles early just in traffic and then I got that bottom working because I was way to tight to run the cushion.
“Sometimes you get lucky on a restart. The sea kinda parted and I thought, well, if I’m gonna get beat, it ain’t because I’m running around the infield, it’s gonna be because I’m gonna get up into that lip, and I only had to lead one.”
Richards certainly hoped to see the event go the distance. He set the pace in the middle stage after working his way into the lead by Junghans on lap seven.
“We’ll certainly take (second),” Richards said. “Timmy did a good job there. We spun our tires a little bit on that one start and I pushed and he got a run. I think we might could have got him back. Our car was pretty good when I hit my marks right. I was missing it there a little bit trying to get through lapped traffic. The track got so greasy in spots. We’d be really good and then we’d lose the right front tire. It’s unfortunate that the weather is doing this. I’d rather race it out, you know. But we still had a good car tonight.
“(The track) changed a lot. Early you could actually feel the right front move around a little bit. Then it got to where you’d just get in some pretty bad slides. Our car was really fast when I’d hit it right through (turns) three and four. In (turns) one and two I was trying to figure out what was faster. But Timmy got up there and did what he needed to do on that start. Like I said, I wish we could have ran another 24 laps.”
McCreadie, the overall fast qualifier among 51 entries, worked his way into contention when he took the second spot from Junghans on lap 15. Richards slipped up the track in turn two, allowing McCreadie to close the gap. With Richards on the extreme high side and McCreadie in the bottom, the New Yorker drove to the lead on lap 22, only to have the pass negated by a caution. It was Junghans who went back into the lead two laps later, however.
“I wish they would’ve called it a lap before, or a lap and half before, but it is what it is,” said Junghans. “It’s definitely a big turnaround from what we’ve had in Speedweeks down here. It was definitely fun, especially (racing) with those (McCredie and Richards). Them guys are the best in the business. To be able to run with them makes me feel really good.”
The victory was a noted turnaround for McCreadie, whose Georgia-Florida Speedweeks had been forgettable at best before Wednesday’s victory. From handling issues with his new Longhorn Chassis, to engine woes — he qualified for one of East Bay’s features on seven cylinders — it’s been a rough start. His troubles continued when he crashed the backup car — the same car he drove to victory on Wednesday — that Longhorn’s Justin Labonte sent him midweek last week. During five starts at East Bay, McCreadie had to use a provisional four times.
Few drivers needed to hit the reset button more than he did.
“To come here and have that rainout (Tuesday) may have been the best thing to happen to us, just so we could go as a team and relax a little bit, because the cars were done,” McCreadie said. “Nobody had to get up and 8 in the morning. We’ve been getting up so early and working late and there’s a lot of volunteers here that come down on their own dime. It’s the same for everybody in this pit area.
“This car we brought down is what I was used to last year. Not that the cars are way different, but there are some subtle changes that we decided to try and they must just not suit the way I feel. This car feels just like I did last year. Bill (Schlieper) from Pro Power, we changed engine programs and we put a Ford in, and a lot of it is just new. It’s just new. I got back in this style car and it is exactly what I had last year and it just feels comfortable.”
Preliminary results and notes:
With fog beginning to roll over the track, officials went into hurry-up mode and did the feature redraw in the pit area. The field for the 50-lap feature went onto the racetrack at 9:35 p.m. ... Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., is hoping to flip the script on his miserable Georgia-Florida Speedweeks after setting the overall fastest time, winning the first heat. “We’ve had a terrible two-week stretch,” said McCreadie, who starts fifth in the A-main. “We worked for two days straight (to regroup) … we’re hungry, we want to win races.” Pulling double-duty, T-Mac is also seeking a DIRTcar big-block modified victory. “If we can be down here (in victory lane) twice at the end of the night, that would be pretty special.” … Opening-night winner Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who starts 10th in the feature, will attempt to become just the fourth driver to register four victories in a five-race period during Speedweeks, joining Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. (2016), Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga. (’15) and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. (1989, ’90 and 2008). What’s more, J.D. would be just the second driver to tally his 4-for-5 burst over three different tracks; Moyer’s ’89 hot streak encompassed races at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Tampa’s Florida State Fairgrounds and Jax Raceway in Jacksonville. … Heat 4 winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who drew the third starting spot, has never won at Volusia and in winless in Speedweeks competition overall since a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series score on Feb. 16, 2013, at East Bay. … Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., transferred to the feature through his heat but had right-rear bodywork damage to repair from a late-race slap of the homestretch wall. … Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., was forced to pull out his second car after his primary machine was sidelined by a broken push-rod during qualifying. He also went to work on his cousin Boom Briggs’s car after heat action, changing the carburetor of Briggs’s machine. … WoO rookie hopeful Colton Flinner of Allison Park, Pa., didn’t start his heat race after experiencing problems in qualifying. His car bottomed out entering turn one, causing a chunk of mud to come up and knock the belts off his engine and the radiator into the fan. ... The 50-lap feature includes an enormous eight provisionals starters — two from last year's WoO points (Tyler Erb and Chub Frank) and six "emergency" provisionals, including '17 regular Morgan Bagley and five prospective 2018 regulars. Drivers using emergency provisionals forfeit their start money.
Mason Zeigler won the third B-Main from the pole. Zeigler finished 1.104 seconds in front of Earl Pearson Jr., who grabbed the second spot from Joey Coulter midway through the race. Zack McMillan brought out a caution when he got into the wall in turn three.
Finish (top 2 transfer): Mason Zeigler, Earl Pearson Jr., Joey Coulter, Austin Smith, Stacy Boles, Colton Flinner, Boom Briggs, Rusty Schlenk, Chub Frank, Zack McMillan.
Devin Moran came out in front of a first-lap, turn-two jumble to lead all 10 laps of the second B-main. Moran win, with Brian Shirley topping Timothy Culp to grab the second and final transfer spot. Culp was third, with fellow World of Ouylaws hopeful Brandon Overton fourth.
Finish (top 2 transfer): Devin Moran, Brian Shirley, Timothy Culp, Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb, Michael Norris, Jeff Mathews, David Breazealle, Jeff Beyers, Ivedent Lloyd Jr. Scratch: Reid Millard.
Reigning series champion Brandon Sheppard controlled the first B-main from the opening lap, winning ahead of Mike Maresca. Ricky Weiss, piloting Scott Bloomquist’s No. 0 finished third.
Finish (top 2 transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Mike Maresca, Ricky Weiss, Morgan Bagley, Brent Larson, Tyler Millwood, Dale McDowell, Donny Schatz, Coleby Frye, Nick Hoffman,
(10 laps; top 2 transfer)
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Mike Maresca
Row 2: Tyler Millwood, Ricky Weiss
Row 3: Coleby Frye, Morgan Bagley
Row 4: Jason Jameson, Dale McDowell
Row 5: Nick Hoffman, Brent Larson
Row 6: Blake Spencer, Donny Schatz
Row 1: Devin Moran, Brian Shirley
Row 2: Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Michael Norris
Row 3: Brandon Overton, Tyler Erb
Row 4: Timothy Culp, David Breazealle
Row 5: Jeff Mathews, Jeff Beyers
Row 6: Reid Millard
Row 1: Mason Zeigler, Joey Coulter
Row 2: Rusty Schlenk, Austin Smith
Row 3: Earl Pearson Jr., Stacy Boles
Row 4: Zack McMillan, Chub Frank
Row 5: Boom Briggs, Colton Flinner
Winning by nearly half a straightaway, Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., topped Iowan Tyler Bruening. Bruening held the second position in front of Don O’Neal in a relatively uneventful sixth heat. Erb won by 1.266 seconds. O’Neal took the third and final transfer spot from Joey Coulter late in the run.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Bruening, Don O’Neal, Joey Coulter, Austin Smith, Stacy Boles, Chub Frank. Scratch: Colton Flinner.
Third-starting Josh Richards used a slide job in turn two to get by leader Billy Moyer Jr. on the second lap. Moyer Jr. settled into second after he had to get on the brakes to keep from making contact with Richards. Fifth starting Hudson O’Neal moved forward, catching Moyer Jr. on the final lap, but was unable to get by. Moyer finished second, while O’Neal was third. Rusty Schlenk started on the front row, but struggled on the outside grove early, losing several spots.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Josh Richards, Billy Moyer Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Mason Zeigler, Rusty Schlenk, Earl Pearson Jr., Zack McMillan, Boom Briggs.
Using momentum from a high-side charge, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., grabbed the lead from polesitter Mike Marlar as they raced off of turn two on the opening lap. Owens opened up a sizable lead as Marlar battled Jonathan Davenport. Davenport took second on lap four and chased Owens to the checkered flag, trailing by 2.802 seconds at the finish. Marlar finished third ahead of Brian Shirley. Reid Millard and Tyler Erb tangled on the front stretch on the opening lap, leaving both cars parked against the inside wall, bringing out the night’s first caution before a lap could be completed in the heat. Millard’s car suffered significant cosmetic damage.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Mike Marlar, Brian Shirley, Michael Norris, Tyler Erb, David Breazealle, Jeff Beyers, Reid Millard.
Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., won the third heat easily in front of Chris Ferguson and Kyle Bronson. Junghans started from the pole and took the lead in front of fellow front row starter Brandon Overton, who slid high and slipped all the way back to sixth. Ferguson battled Bronson for the runner-up spot in the opening laps before securing the position. Devin Moran started fifth and finished fourth, with Ivedent Lloyd Jr. fifth.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Chase Junghans, Chris Ferguson, Kyle Bronson, Devin Moran, Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Brandon Overton, Timothy Culp, Jeff Mathews.
Continuing a solid start to the week, polesitter Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., dominated the second heat, winning by 1.079 seconds ahead of Shane Clanton. The third-starting Clanton used a last lap pass to rally by Jason Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald settled for third, with Mike Maresca fourth.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Chris Madden, Shane Clanton, Jason Fitzgerald, Mike Maresca, Ricky Weiss, Morgan Bailey, Dale McDowell, Brent Larson, Donny Schatz.
Overall fast qualifier Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., pulled ahead of Brandon Sheppard on the opening lap and drove away to win the first heat by 3.447 second over Darrell Lanigan. Lanigan took the second spot when Sheppard drifted up the track in turn two on the first lap. Rick Eckert took the third spot from Tyler Millwood on lap seven. Sheppard settled into fourth, where he finished ahead of Millwood.
Finish (top 3 transfer): Tim McCreadie, Darrell Lanigan, Rick Eckert, Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Millwood, Coleby Frye, Jason Jameson, Nick Hoffman. Scratch: Blake Spencer.
Going out 25th among 26 cars in the first group, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., set the overall fast time at 15.635 seconds. McCreadie, the 2006 World of Outlaws champion, bumped Chris Madden (15.684 seconds) of Gray Court, S.C., from the top spot. Chase Junghans (15.689) of Manhattan, Kan., was third quick in the first group.
Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., turned a 15.748-second lap to set the quick time in the second group, with Billy Moyer Jr. (15.761) of Batesville, Ark., and Dennis Erb Jr. (15.869) of Carpentersville, Ill., next.
After showers caused the cancellation of Tuesday night’s UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned program, skies have steadily become clearer throughout the day. Cooler temperatures in the lower 70s prevail. … Wednesday’s field has swelled with the addition of several drivers who had haulers in the pit area but opted to sit out Monday’s action, including Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., Don and Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa. … Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who spent Monday at fellow racer Ivedent Lloyd Jr.’s shop in Ocala, Fla., reworking the Longhorn car he crashed last Saturday night at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., has the machine ready for his DIRTcar Nationals debut. His hauler is parked in the lower Gator Pond pit area so he can be close to the Sweeteners Plus big-block modified that he is also driving this week to pull nightly double-duty. … Ivedent Lloyd will also make his first start of the week at Volusia driving fellow Floridian Jeff Mathews's backup car. ... With Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., leaving the track to attend a Living Legends racing affair in which his longtime friend and partner, Randy Sweet, is being honored (“I told him I’d be there,” Bloomquist said of Sweet), the Hall of Famer driver is turning over the seat of his 1-race-old Sweet-Bloomquist car to Ricky Weiss of Headingley, Manitoba, for the evening’s competition. Weiss, who drove a Sweet-Bloomquist machine to a pair of victories in Arizona last month, has spent Speedweeks working on Bloomquist’s team and was told only on Tuesday night that he would have a chance to drive the iconic No. 0. What’s on Weiss’s mind as he hits the track in Bloomquist’s mount? “Don’t wreck it,” Weiss said. … WoO Rookie of the Year hopefuls Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., and Colton Flinner of Allison Park, Pa., will make their first starts of the DIRTcar Nationals. … Briggs’s car sports new bodywork sides and a purple No. 99b on its doors. One of his crewmen found a nearby graphics shop to get number decals printed out to stick on the machine. … Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, and his crew chief, Zach Frields, are on hand offering pit-area help to Jason Fitzgerald of Middleburg, Fla. … Wednesday’s program marks the official debuts of Matt Curl and Erik Grigsby as WoO series director and race director, respectively. Curl handled the evening’s drivers’ meeting. … The tire rule for the event: Hoosier LM-20 and LM-30 compound tires on all corners of the car except for an LM-40 option on the right-rear.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps; top 3 transfer)
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Brandon Sheppard
Row 2: Rick Eckert, Darrell Lanigan
Row 3: Tyler Millwood, Coleby Frye
Row 4: Jason Jameson, Blake Spencer
Row 5: Nick Hoffman
Row 1: Chris Madden, Jason Fitzgerald
Row 2: Shane Clanton, Mike Maresca
Row 3: Morgan Bagley, Ricky Weiss
Row 4: Dale McDowell, Brent Larson
Row 5: Donny Schatz
Row 1: Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton
Row 2: Chris Ferguson, Kyle Bronson
Row 3: Devin Moran, Ivedent Lloyd Jr.
Row 4: Timothy Culp, Jeff Mathews
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, David Breazealle
Row 3: Michael Norris, Brian Shirley
Row 4: Tyler Erb, Jeff Beyers
Row 5: Reid Millard
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Rusty Schlenk
Row 2: Josh Richards, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 3: Hudson O’Neal, Boom Briggs
Row 4: Zach McMillan, Mason Zeigler
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Bruening
Row 2: Austin Smith, Joey Coulter
Row 3: Don O’Neal, Stacy Boles
Row 4: Chub Frank, Colton Flinner
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.635
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.684
Chase Junghans (18c), Manhattan, Kan., 15.689
Brandon Sheppard (1s), New Berlin, Ill., 15.718
Jason Fitzgerald (7F), Middleburg, Fla., 15.731
Brandon Overton (116), Evans, Ga., 15.754
Rick Eckert (7), York, Pa., 15.782
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.793
Chris Ferguson (22), Mt. Holley, N.C., 15.923
Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., 15.931
Mike Maresca (7mm), Potsdam, N.Y., 15.941
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.976
Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 16.036
Morgan Bagley (14M), Tyler, Texas, 16.086
Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 16.088
Coleby Frye (0F1), Dover. Pa., 16.094
Ricky Weiss (0), Headlingley, Manitoba, 16.179
Ivedent Lloyd Jr. (33L), Ocala, Fla., 16.240
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 16.274
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 16.423
Timothy Culp (C8), Prattsville, Ark., 16.574
Blake Spencer (6), St. Augustine, Fla., 16.602
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 16.608
Jeff Mathews (33), Apollo Beach, Fla., 16.669
Nick Hoffman (2), Mooresville, N.C., 16.853
Donny Schatz (15), Fargo, N.D., 17.083
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.748
Billy Moyer Jr. (21JR), Batesville, Ark., 15.761
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.869
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.939
Rusty Schlenk (cj1), McClure, Ohio, 15.973
Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.992
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.012
Josh Richards (1R), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.036
Austin Smith (84), Rome, Ga., 16.092
David Breazealle (54), Four Corners, Miss., 16.172
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.177
Joey Coulter (2C), Miami Beach, Fla., 16.189
Michael Norris (72), Sarver, Pa., 16.265
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 16.277
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 16.329
Brian Shirley (22*), Chatham, Ill., 16.336
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.387
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 16.509
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 16.540
Zach McMillan (14Z), Gladewater, Texas, 16.581
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.582
Jeff Beyers (27), Pana, Ill., 16.596
Mason Ziegler (25Z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 17.230
Colton Flinner (75), Allison Park, Pa., 17.931
Reid Millard (14m), Jefferson City, Mo., 18.021
After rain washed away Tuesday night’s scheduled UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned event, action resumes Wednesday night at Volusia Speedway Park with the first of four consecutive World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series programs to close the DIRTcar Nationals. The race also kicks off the 2018 WoO campaign.
While Volusia is hosting four WoO cards, drivers will count their two best finishes toward the tour’s points standings.
Wednesday night’s WoO card includes split-group qualifying, six heat races, three B-mains and a 50-lap headliner paying $10,000 to win. The heat victors will redraw for the top-six starting spots in the feature.
The first evening of competition for the Northeast’s DIRTcar big-block modifieds comprises the other half of Wednesday's doubleheader.
10 a.m.: Pit gate opens for team entry
1 p.m.: Pit pass sales begin
3 p.m.: Pit area secured; pit passes required after 3 p.m.
5 p.m.: Grandstands open
5:30 p.m.: Fan pit pass gate opens
6 p.m.: Hot laps
- SDS Big Block Modifieds
- WoO Late Models
6:30 p.m.: Time trials
- SDS Big Block Modifieds
- WoO Late Models
7:20 p.m.: Opening ceremonies