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Daily Dirt 09/25/2022 18:30:04

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October 18
Portsmouth Raceway Park,
Portsmouth, OH
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship) - $100,000
Information provided by: Alli Collis and Kevin Kovac (last updated October 19, 12:59 am)
Ferguson, Clanton share front row of PRP's DTWC
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Chris Ferguson will start on the pole of Saturday's DTWC finale.
Key notes: Portsmouth Raceway Park hosts the 39th annual Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship presented by Optima Batteries. ... Friday's program included time trials and heat races, with consolations and the 100-lap main event set for Saturday. ... Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., were the winners of the previous Lucas Oil Series events at Portsmouth this year. ... Recent DTWC winners include Josh Richards (2018 and '17), Brandon Sheppard ('16) and Scott Bloomquist ('15 and '14).
Who to watch: Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., the two-time and defending DTWC winner.
Points chase: Before PRP: 1. Jonathan Davenport (8,045); 2. Tim McCreadie (7,575); 3. Josh Richards (7,450); 4. Jimmy Owens (7,380); 5. Tyler Erb (7,370); 6. Devin Moran (7,130); 7. Hudson O’Neal (7,050); 8. Earl Pearson Jr. (7,020); T9. Shanon Buckingham (6,345); T9. Kyle Bronson (6,345); 11. Stormy Scott (6,010); 12. Billy Moyer Jr. (5,800).
Current weather: Clear, 41°F
Car count: 66
Fast qualifier: Chris Ferguson
Time: 14.658 seconds
Polesitter: Chris Ferguson
Heat race winners: Scott James, Jonathan Davenport, Scott Bloomquist, Don O'Neal, Shane Clanton, Bobby Pierce
Next series race: January 31, Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, GA) $0
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Alli Collis and Kevin Kovac
DirtonDirt.com staff

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Oct. 18) — Earning the most points in Friday’s preliminaries, Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., will start on the front row of Saturday’s 39th annual Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth Raceway Park.

Clocking the night’s overall fast time and winning the first heat race, Ferguson was the top points earner in Group A, securing the pole position for Saturday’s $100,000-to-win main event. Clanton was also among Friday’s heat race winners, garnering the most points in Group B to start outside the front row.

Sixteen drivers were locked in to Saturday’s feature based on points earned in Friday’s time trials and heat races. A pair of consolations and series and track provisionals will set the remainder of the feature lineup.

Preliminary reports:

Final preliminary points

Group A
1. Chris Ferguson -197
2. Josh Richards - 193
3. Brandon Sheppard- 192
4. Jonathan Davenport - 191
5. Tyler Erb - 189
6. Shanon Buckingham - 188
7. Jason Covert - 184
8. Stormy Scott - 176
Group B
1. Shane Clanton - 197
2. Mike Marlar - 191
3. Jimmy Owens - 191
4. Tim McCreadie - 190
5. Bobby Pierce - 189
6. Dennis Erb Jr. - 189
7. Kyle Bronson - 187
8. Hudson O’Neal - 176

Sixth heat

Rolling around the high side, outside polesitter Jason Jameson took an early lead. Dave Hornikel and Bobby Pierce battled for second in the early running, with Pierce pulling ahead on lap five. After starting sixth, Tim McCreadie advanced to run in fourth by lap six, fighting off Tyler Carpenter. A yellow flag waved on lap seven when McCreadie slowed on the backstretch with a flat right-rear tire. Pierce challenged Jameson on the restart, the pair crossing the line nearly side-by-side on lap eight. Another caution fell on lap 10 when Charlie Jude slowed off the pace. Sliding ahead of Jameson out of turn four, Pierce led the 11th circuit. Jameson lost another spot to Kyle Bronson on the following lap, with McCreadie charging from the tail to run in third. Pierce won the heat, with Bronson and McCreadie finishing second and third.

Finish: Bobby Pierce, Kyle Bronson, Tim McCreadie, Tyler Carpenter, Doug Drown, Jason Jameson, Rod Conley, Boom Briggs, Kirk Phillips, Dave Hornikel, Charlie Jude.

Fifth heat

With outside polesitter Devin Moran slipping in turn one, fellow front-row starter Chub Frank pulled ahead to lead the opening lap. It was a three-car battle for third in the early running, with fifth-starting Shane Clanton overtaking Shannon Thornsberry and Brandon Fouts on the fourth lap. Continuing his charge to the front, Clanton shot ahead of second-running Moran on lap six, edging ahead of Frank at the line to lead the seventh circuit. A yellow flag flew on the eighth lap when Earl Pearson Jr. slowed off the pace, getting a push to the infield. Moran challenged Clanton for the lead on the restart, with another caution falling on lap nine when Fouts spun on the frontstretch. Maintaining his lead, Clanton won the heat, with Moran running second and Frank finishing third.

Finish: Shane Clanton, Devin Moran, Chub Frank, Dennis Erb Jr., Delmas Conley, Kody Evans, Shannon Thornsberry, Austin Rettig, J.T. Conley, Brandon Fouts, Earl Pearson Jr.

Fourth heat

Polesitter Don O’Neal charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Mike Marlar powering from fifth to second on the first lap. Along with Marlar, Jimmy Owens as on the move early, advancing from sixth to run in fourth on lap four. Don O’Neal held a comfortable lead at the halfway point, as Owens attempted to reel in third-running Hudson O’Neal. The top-two cars distancing themselves from the field late-race, Don O’Neal won the head, with Marlar and Hudson O’Neal rounding out the podium.

Finish: Don O’Neal, Mike Marlar, Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Jacob Hawkins, Eric Wells, Jared Hawkins, Ricky Thornton Jr., Josh Hall, Eric Webber.

Third heat

Pulling ahead of fellow front-row starter R.J. Conley out of turn two, polesitter Scott Bloomquist led the opening circuit, quickly extending his lead. Bloomquist held a full straightaway advantage by the fifth lap, with a yellow flag waving vwhen Robert Starett spun in the bottom of turn four. Using the restart to his advantage, Jason Covert shot to second, with Josh Richards advancing from sixth to third by lap seven. Charging the high side, Richards battled Covert, taking the second-place spot on the 11th lap. Holding more than a 4-second lead, Bloomquist won the heat.

Finish: Scott Bloomquist, Josh Richards, Jason Covert, Chase Junghans, R.J. Conley, Dale McDowell, Mason Zeigler, Nick Hoffman, Rick Eckert, Lee Logan, Robert Starett.

Second heat

With outside polesitter Ricky Weiss taking an early lead, a yellow flag flew on the first lap when Blake Naylor came to a stop in turn three. Overtaking polesitter Justin Rattliff in turns one and two, fourth-starting Jonathan Davenport pulled ahead of Weiss out of turn four to lead the second circuit. Fifth-starting Tyler Erb was on the move early, running in second by the fifth lap. A yellow flag waved on lap six when Rattliff slowed off the pace, retiring to the pit area. Davenport continued to show the way out front at the halfway mark, with Erb attempting to reel in the race leader. Erb closed the distance to less than a car’s length late-race, but was unable to seriously challenge for the lead.

Finish: Jonathan Davenport, Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Weiss, Brandon Overton, Drake Troutman, Steve Casebolt, Mike Benedum, Kevin Wagner, Justin Rattliff, Blake Naylor.

First heat

Third-starting Scott James shot ahead the front-row starters Billy Moyer Jr. and Zack Dohm down the backstretch to lead the opening lap, with Shanon Buckingham in tow. As second-starting Dohm slipped to the rear of the field in the early running, Chris Ferguson made his way from the sixth starting spot to run in third by the fourth lap. A yellow flag waved on lap four when Allen Murray slowed off the pace. James held his lead on the restart, with Ferguson overtaking Buckingham for second. The top two cars began pulling away from the field at the halfway mark, with James holding a comfortable lead. James won the heat, with Ferguson and Buckingham rounding out the podium.

Finish: Scott James, Chris Ferguson, Shanon Buckingham, Gregg Satterlee, Stormy Scott, Jackie Boggs, Zack Dohm, Billy Moyer Jr., Jon Hodgkiss, Allen Murray. Scratched: Logan Roberson.

Heat race lineups

(15 laps)
First heat
Row 1: Billy Moyer Jr., Zack Dohm
Row 2: Scott James, Stormy Scott
Row 3: Shanon Buckingham, Chris Ferguson
Row 4: Jackie Boggs, Gregg Satterlee
Row 5: Allen Murray, Jon Hodgkiss
Row 6: Logan Roberson
Second heat
Row 1: Justin Rattliff, Ricky Weiss
Row 2: Mike Benedum, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Brandon Overton, Drake Troutman
Row 5: Kevin Wagner, Blake Naylor
Row 6: Steve Casebolt
Third heat
Row 1: Scott Bloomquist, R.J. Conley
Row 2: Chase Junghans, Dale McDowell
Row 3: Jason Covert, Josh Richards
Row 4: Nick Hoffman, Rick Eckert
Row 5: Lee Logan, Robert Start
Row 6: Mason Zeigler
Fourth heat
Row 1: Don O’Neal, Jared Hawkins
Row 2: Hudson O’Neal, Jacob Hawkins
Row 3: Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens
Row 4: Eric Wells, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 5: Colton Flinner, Josh Hall
Row 6: Eric Webber
Fifth heat
Row 1: Chub Frank, Devin Moran
Row 2: Brandon Fouts, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 3: Shane Clanton, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: Kody Evans, Shannon Thornsberry
Row 5: Austin Rettig, Delmas Conley
Row 6: J.T. Conley
Sixth heat
Row 1: Dave Hornikel, Jason Jameson
Row 2: Tyler Carpenter, Bobby Pierce
Row 3: Kyle Bronson, Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Boom Briggs, Kirk Phillips
Row 5: Rod Conley, Doug Drown
Row 6: Charlie Jude

Pre-race notes

The 39th annual Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth Raceway Park kicks off on a crisp fall day with sunny skies and temperatures peaking in the low 60s but expected to drop steadily during the night. … Friday’s 66-car field is up considerably from the 49 entries for last year’s event, which was contested one week after the rain-postponed completion of the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. … The most eye-catching car in Portsmouth’s packed pit area belongs to Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., who unloaded an orange No. 01 that resembles the famous General Lee machine from the Dukes of Hazard television series. … John Blankenship of Knoxville, Tenn., was scheduled to make one of his rare 2019 starts at Portsmouth, but he informed his car’s crew chief, Tom Buckingham, early Friday afternoon that he would not be able to make the trip. With Blankenship’s No. 23 already at the track, Buckingham tapped his crewman, Eric Webber of Morristown, Tenn., to pilot the car; a Late Model racer at such tracks as Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway, Webber borrowed a uniform from Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., because he did not one of his own along. … Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., is driving a second SSI Motorsports car as a teammate to Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. … Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., is behind the wheel of the No. 18 normally driven by his teammate Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky. … The Wheelersburg, Ohio-based Conley Motorsports team is out in full force with four entries: family patriarch Delmas leads the charge that includes his sons R.J. and Rod and his grandson J.T. (R.J.’s son). … The youngest entrant in the field is 14-year-old Drake Troutman of Hyndman, Pa., who is making his DTWC debut in his grandfather Dave Troutman’s Dirt Late Model. Drake competed in Thursday’s modified program at PRP but failed to qualify after breaking a driveshaft in a B-main.

Pre-race setup

For the eighth straight year, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will wrap up its season at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park. The 39th annual Dirt Track World Championship kicked off on Thursday night with modified time trials, heat races ad consolations, but the Late Model portion of the event gets underway Friday night.

After four seasons of using the double-heat race format and passing points to determine feature starters, the DTWC returns to its more traditional format this year. Friday’s program will include time trials and heat races, with consolations and the 100-lap, $100,000-to-win finale slated for Saturday.

Friday's qualifying program isn't using the typical Lucas Oil Series format, however. Drivers will earn points for their results in time trials (100 for group fast time, 98 for second, 96 for third, etc.) and heat-race finishing positions (105 for first, 97 for second, 94 for third and a three-point decrease thereafter); the top-16 racers in the combined points will lock into Saturday's A-main with the remainder aligning heads-up from points results in Saturday's B-mains. In addition, Friday's heat races will have a six-car invert from time trials.

Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., is the two-time and defending DTWC winner. Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., won the two prior Lucas Oil Series stops at Portsmouth this year.

Along with Super Late Models, modifieds, Limited Late Models and Legends will also be in action on Friday night. Added to the DTWC program this year, Limited Late Models will compete for a $4,000 prize while the modified feature pays $5,000-to-win.

Time trial results

Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Group A
Chris Ferguson (22), Mt. Holly, N.C., 14.658
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.677
Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.760
Shanon Buckingham (50), Morristown, Tenn., 14.788
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas,    14.842
Jason Covert (72), York Haven, Pa., 14.883
Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 14.886
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 14.896
Dale McDowell (18M), Chickamauga, Ga., 14.900
Scott James (83), Bright, Ind., 14.965
Mike Benedum (8b), Salem, W.Va., 14.994
Chase Junghans (18c), Manhattan, Kan., 15.004
Zack Dohm (17d), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 15.012
Ricky Weiss (7w), Headingly, Manitoba, 15.058
R.J. Conley (71c), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.112
Billy Moyer Jr. (21Jr), Batesville, Ark.,  15.141
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 15.143
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.164
Jackie Boggs (4b), Grayson, Ky., 15.170
Brandon Overton (2), Evans, Ga., 15.175
Nick Hoffman (2H), Mooresville, N.C., 15.177
Gregg Satterlee (22), Indiana, Pa., 15.196
Drake Troutman (7T), Hyndman, Pa., 15.246
Rick Eckert (0), York, Pa., 15.310
Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 15.504
Kevin Wagner (33K), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.543
Lee Logan (11L), Ashland, Ky., 15.862
Jon Hodgkiss (69), Pittsburgh, Pa.,  16.014
Blake Naylor (91s), Sardinia, Ohio,  16.191
Robert Starett (32A), Latham, Ohio, 17.439
Logan Roberson (17), Waynesboro, Va., no time
Steve Casebolt (c9), Richmond, Ind., no time
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., no time
Second group
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.727
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.778
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.806
Mike Marlar (01), Winfield, Tenn., 14.868
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 14.885
Kyle Bronson (40b), Brandon, Fla., 14.915
Jacob Hawkins (8), Fairmont, W.Va., 14.951
Earl Pearson Jr. (1P), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.057
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.111
Hudson O'Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 15.144
Brandon Fouts (81), Kite, Ky.,  15.222
Tyler Carpenter (28c), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.246
Jared Hawkins (11H), Fairmont, W.Va., 15.261
Devin Moran (1), Dresden, Ohio, 15.274
Jason Jameson (12J), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 15.294
Don O'Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.299
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 15.318
Dave Hornikel (71H), Mansfield, Ohio, 15.320
Eric Wells (18E), Hazard, Ky.,    15.338
Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 15.354
Boom Briggs (99b), Bear Lake, Pa., 15.357
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20RT), Chandler, Ariz., 15.360
Shannon Thornsberry (17T), Martin, Ky., 15.374
Kirk Phillips (21K), Ashland, Ky., 15.501
Colton Flinner (48), Allison Park, Pa., 15.523
Austin Rettig (94), Sikeston, Mo., 15.600
Rod Conley (71r), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.610
Josh Hall (26), Martin, Ky., 15.633
Delmas Conley (71d), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 15.664
Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 15.680
Eric Webber (23), Morristown, Tenn., 15.780
J.T. Conley (71x), Wheelersburg, Ohio,    16.066
Charlie Jude (CJ1), Inez, Ky., 16.098

Friday’s schedule

5:30 p.m: Drivers meeting
6 p.m.: Hot laps/time trials
- Super Late Model hot laps
- Limited Late Model hot laps
- Legend hot laps
- Limited Late Model qualifying (2 laps)
- Super Late Model qualifying (2 laps)
Opening ceremonies
- Legend heat races (8 laps)
- Super Late Model heat races (15 laps)
- Modified hot laps
- Limited Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Modified feature (30 laps)
- Legend feature (20 laps)
- Limited Late Model consolations (12 laps)

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