ROSSBURG, Ohio (Oct. 13) — Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., has amassed hundreds of modified victories throughout his racing career. And on Saturday afternoon, Thornton captured his richest career Super Late Model victory, winning one of the two 25-lap World 100 preliminary features at Eldora Speedway.
“It’s definitely up there in the top,” Thornton said of his victory. “Especially at a place like this. It’s just so huge. I’ve just got to thank Hudson O’Neal for letting me get in his car. Without him, we wouldn’t be here.”
Running second in his heat race and redrawing to start on the pole, Thornton shot to the lead at the drop of the green flag, successfully navigating mid-race lapped traffic to outrun fellow front-row starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. Filling the seat left vacant by the sidelined Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., the modified ace earned a $10,000 payday.
“I felt pretty good through the middle there in (turns) three and four,” Thornton said. “But then I didn’t realize I had to get slow low getting into (turn) one. Luckily, I had (crewman) T.C. up there kind of giving me signals, kind of calming me down a little bit. Heck yeah.”
McCreadie finished runner-up, with Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who won a World 100 preliminary feature back in September, running third. Fifth-starting Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., finished fourth, with Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, Tenn., advancing from the 10th starting spot to round out the top five.
“We benefited from guys not going to tech, it put us up there,” McCreadie said of his front-row starting spot. “We’ve got to go to work. We were tilling rubber. We’ll take a second. I’ve got to get better on them starts. I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting him to go when he did. It kind of caught the whole field off guard. But more power to him. I would have done the same thing.”
Falling back to third, McCreadie retook second from Owens on lap 15. Despite his runner-up finish, McCreadie said his team still had to go to work before Saturday’s World 100 finale.
“We’re going to go back and we’ll think about it a little bit,”McCreadie said. “We’ll be alright. It was my call to make the one we did. We try to bounce between two or third setups and try to figure out which one is the best. So we sacrificed a little. Hopefully it will pay off later on tonight.”
Running second early, Owens was able to close the gap between himself and Thornton in lapped traffic. But he dropped back to finish third at the checkered flag.
“We ran good in the heat, ran pretty good in the feature there,” Owens said. “The track kind of locked down there toward the end but its been a great track considering the weather and the circumstances. I’ve got to thank my team and Ramierez Motorsports and all those guys for putting us in a good hot rod this weekend.”
Preliminary notes and results:
Even feature lineup
Row 1: Ricky Thornton Jr., Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Scott James, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton
Row 4: Mason Zeigler, Devin Gilpin
Row 5: Nick Hoffman, Shanon Buckingham
Row 6: Kent Robinson, Darrell Lanigan
Row 7: Chris Ferguson, Rod Conley
Row 8: Brian Shirley, Tyler Erb
Row 9: Kyle Bronson, Jeep Van Wormer
Row 10: Scott Bloomquist, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 11: Jimmy Mars, Gordy Gundaker
Row 12: Dennis Erb Jr., Joey Coulter
Polesitter Jeep Van Wormer nearly got into the turn-four wall on the opening lap but still managed to edge ahead of second-starting Frank Heckenast Jr. to take an early lead. With the top-two cars distancing themselves from the field on the fifth lap, it was a tight battle for fourth between Curtis Robert and Joey Coulter. Maintaining his lead in the final laps, Van Wormer won the consolation, with Heckenast finishing runner-up. Gordy Gundaker ran third, with Coulter outdueling Roberts to take the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Jeep Van Wormer, Frank Heckenast Jr., Gordy Gundaker, Joey Coulter, Matt Miller, Curtis Roberts, Jerry Bowersock, Colten Burdette, Kyle Hammer, Blake Spencer, Joey Moriarty.
Polesitter Kyle Bronson charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Scott Bloomquist moving into a transfer spot on the second lap after starting at the tail of the field. It was a three-car battle for second on the four lap, with Greg Johnson maintaining the advantage. Bronson continued to lead at the halfway mark, with Bloomquist overtaking Johnson for second. Rolling around the bottom of the track, Bloomquist been reeling in Bronson on the ninth lap but the lapped car of Rob Anderzack slowed his momentum. Bronson won the consolation, with Bloomquist finishing second. Fifth-starting Jimmy Mars ran third, with Dennis Erb Jr. finishing fourth to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Kyle Bronson, Scott Bloomquist, Jimmy Mars, Dennis Erb Jr., Greg Johnson, Billy Moyer, Robby Hensley, Shannon Thornsberry, Dwight Falcon Sr., Rob Anderzack, Bryant Dickinson, Ernie Cordier.
Even consolation lineups
(12 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Kyle Bronson, Greg Johnson
Row 2: Dennis Erb Jr., Robby Hensley
Row 3: Jimmy Mars, Dwight Falcon Sr.
Row 4: Shannon Thornsberry, Ernie Corider
Row 5: Rob Anderzack, Billy Moyer
Row 6: Bryant Dickinson, Scott Bloomquist
Row 1: Jeep Van Wormer, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 2: Gordy Gundaker, Colten Burdette
Row 3: Joey Coulter, Curtis Roberts
Row 4: Matt Miller, Kyle Hammer
Row 5: Blake Spencer, Joey Moriarty
Row 6: Jerry Bowersock
Shooting ahead out of turns one and two, third-starting Jimmy Owens edged ahead of Ricky Thornton Jr. to take an early lead. At the halfway mark, a three-car battle for the fourth-place spot ensued between Tyler Erb, Frank Heckenast Jr. and Colten Burdette. Stretching his lead to nearly a full straightaway late-race, Owens won the heat, with Thornton finishing second. Darrell Lanigan ran third, with Erb holding off Heckenast to finish fourth and transfer to the feature.
Finish (top four transfer): Jimmy Owens, Ricky Thornton Jr., Darrell Lanigan, Tyler Erb, Frank Heckenast Jr., Colten Burdette, Curtis Roberts, Kyle Hammer, Joey Moriarty.
Polesitter Chase Junghans led the opening lap, with fourth-starting Scott James shooting to second in a single circuit. A yellow flag waved on lap one when Jerry Bowersock got into the frontstretch wall, slowing to a stop in turn one. Junghans maintained his lead on the restart, with Brian Shirley and Jeep Van Wormer battling for fourth on the fourth lap. Rolling around the bottom of the racetrack, James pulled alongside Junghans at the line on lap six but was unable to make the pass for the lead. Junghans won the heat, with James finishing runner-up. Kent Robinson ran third, with Shirley taking the fourth and final transfer spot.
Finish (top four transfer): Chase Junghans, Scott James, Kent Robinson, Brian Shirley, Jeep Van Wormer, Gordy Gundaker, Joey Coulter, Matt Miller, Blake Spencer, Jerry Bowersock.
Polesitter Brandon Overton edged ahead of fellow front-row starter Billy Moyer to lead the opening lap, with sixth-starting Tim McCreadie taking it three-wide with Scott Bloomquist and Shanon Buckingham for third on lap four. Overton stretched his lead at the halfway mark, with third-running Bloomquist closing the gap between himself and Moyer. Overton won the head, with Moyer finishing second. Bloomquist ran third, with McCreadie finishing fourth to transfer to the feature.
Moyer and Bloomquist were disqualified for failing to go through post-race tech, forfeiting their feature transfer spots.
Finish (top four transfer): Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Shanon Buckingham, Rod Conley, Greg Johnson, Robby Hensley, Dwight Falcon Sr., Ernie Cordier. Disqualified: Billy Moyer, Scott Bloomquist.
Polesitter Devin Gilpin shot to an early lead, with Kyle Bronson sliding ahead of second-starting Mason Zeigler to take second on the opening lap. Gilpin maintained a comfortable lead at the halfway point, as Zeigler began reeling in second-running Bronson. Zeigler slid ahead of Bronson in turn two on the eighth lap, with Bronson getting into the turn-two wall to lose another position to Nick Hoffman. Unchallenged through the entire 10-lap distance, Gilpin won the heat, with Zeigler finishing second. Hoffman and Chris Ferguson grabbed the final two feature transfer spots.
Finish (top four transfer): Devin Gilpin, Mason Zeigler, Nick Hoffman, Chris Ferguson, Kyle Bronson, Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Mars, Shannon Thornsberry, Rob Anderzack, Bryant Dickinson.
Even heat race lineups
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Devin Gilpin, Mason Zeigler
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Chris Ferguson
Row 3: Nick Hoffman, Rob Anderzack
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Shannon Thornsberry
Row 5: Jimmy Mars, Bryant Dickinson
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Shanon Buckingham, Scott Bloomquist
Row 3: Greg Johnson, Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Robby Hensley, Rod Conley
Row 5: Dwight Falcon Sr., Ernie Corider
Row 1: Chase Junghans, Joey Coulter
Row 2: Kent Robinson, Scott James
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Jerry Bowersock
Row 4: Gordy Gundaker, Jeep Van Wormer
Row 5: Matt Miller, Blake Spencer
Row 1: Joey Moriarty, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan
Row 3: Tyler Erb, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 4: Colten Burdette, Kyle Hammer
Row 5: Curtis Roberts
Saturday afternoon pre-race notes
A 78-car field is signed in for Saturday’s postponed preliminary program, which began virtually right on schedule with hot laps at 10:30 a.m. Eight heat races plus B-mains and two 25-lap, $10,000-to-win features are on the agenda. … The rain that washed out Friday night’s program continued through the overnight hours; at one point the temperature dipped low enough that snow actually fell over the speedway for a short period. Teams and campers awoke Saturday morning to chilly temps in the high 30s, but sun began breaking through shortly before the start of practice and skies are forecast to remain clear throughout the day with highs climbing into the low 50s. … Seven haulers were parked outside the track in the upper pit area on Friday, but Eldora officials moved all of them into the infield which will help hasten the alignment of the Saturday’s races. … The track surface was extremely quick during hot laps with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., topping the speed charts at 14.899 seconds, putting him just a tick off the track record. Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., also broke into the 14-second bracket with a circuit of 14.998 seconds. … Officials plan to run off the afternoon preliminary action and then immediately begin clearing the grandstands and sweeping the pits while track crews work on track maintenance to prepare for the evening’s World 100 finale. Heat races are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Friday's program postponed
Friday night’s World 100 preliminary program at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, was postponed by rain that arrived during the drivers’ meeting, setting up a doubleheader on Saturday.
Officials will open the track’s gates on Saturday at 10 a.m. and begin hot laps at 10:30 a.m. for Friday’s program, which will include eight heats and four consolations to set the fields for the pair of 25-lap, $10,000-to-win preliminary features. The stands will be cleared following the completion of the afternoon action and then the evening card that features heats, consolations, scrambles and the 48th annual World 100 finale will be run as scheduled.
A total of 77 cars went through inspection on Friday afternoon for the restart of the World 100 weekend, which was stopped on its original Sept. 6-8 date by rain that set in following the completion of the first preliminary program on Thursday night.
Those who purchased a pay-per-view video package for Friday’s program will receive access to watch when it is made up starting Saturday morning.
Time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.761
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 14.821
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.842
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.884
Zack Dohm (17), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 14.928
Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., 15.002
Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 15.014
Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., 15.047
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 15.076
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.079
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.098
Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., 15.102
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.132
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 15.140
Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.144
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.153
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.182
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.192
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 15.192
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 15.197
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.201
Joey Coulter (2), Concord, N.C., 15.233
Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., 15.234
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 15.242
Steven Roberts (111), Jesup, Ga., 15.251
Devin Gilpin (1G), Columbus, Ind., 15.252
Duane Chamberlain (20c), Richmond, Ind., 15.258
Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 15.263
Dustin Nobbe (5N), Batesville, Ind., 15.280
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.285
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.350
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 15.361
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 15.369
Nick Hoffman (2), Mooresville, N.C., 15.371
Michael Chilton (97), Salvisa, Ky., 15.381
Greg Johnson (17J), Bedford, Pa., 15.404
Brian Birkhofer (30), Muscatine, Iowa, 15.418
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 15.419
Donald McIntosh (58), Dawsonville, Ga., 15.422
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 15.428
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 15.443
Rob Anderzack (8a), Swanton, Ohio, 15.456
Austin Smith (84), Rome, Ga., 15.478
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.528
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 15.549
Jerry Bowersock (95j), Wapakoneta, Ohio, 15.569
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 15.569
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 15.574
Casey Noonan (1N), Sylvania, Ohio, 15.586
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.605
Chad Stapleton (32), Edinburgh, Ind., 15.607
Robby Hensley (21H), Walton, Ky., 15.652
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.655
Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 15.682
Jason Hughes (4H), Watts, Okla., 15.707
Colten Burdette (44b), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.727
Steve Casebolt (C9), Richmond, Ind., 15.733
Shannon Thornsberry (17T), Martin, Ky., 15.754
Jon Henry (20H), Ada, Ohio, 15.757
Rod Conley (71R), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.757
Dwight Falcon (995), Pine Grove, La., 15.761
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 15.775
Doug Drown (12D), Wooster, Ohio, 15.799
Kyle Hammer (45), Clinton, Ill., 15.891
Freddie Carpenter (0K), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.938
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 15.961
Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 15.998
Dwight Falcon Sr. (F4), Pine Grove, La., 16.109
Will Roland (22R), Jasper, Ga., 16.144
Matt Miller (3), Whitehouse, Ohio, 16.168
Nick Latham (31), Winchester, Ohio, 16.237
Jason Whitaker (w13), Cincinnati, Ohio, 16.286
Curtis Roberts (9R), Coleman, Mich., 16.300
Blake Spencer (6S), St. Augustine, Fla. 16.443
Jon Hodgkiss (69), Kennedy Township, Pa., 16.998
Bryant Dickinson (5*), Ionia, Mich., 17.225
Nick Fenner (22F), Morenci, Mich., 17.243
Ernie Cordier (4c), Brodhead, Ky., 17.422
Saturday morning schedule
10 a.m..: General admission gates open
10:30 a.m.: Hot laps
Invocation and national anthem
- Eight heat races (10 laps; alternating odd/even with four transferring to main event)
- Four consolation races (12 laps; two for odd, two for even and top four from each transferring to main event)
- Odd feature race (25 laps)
- Even feature race (25 laps)
All spectator and pit areas will be cleared after checkered flag