COLUMBUS, Miss. — Tim McCreadie is rarely satisfied. To think that he’d rest on his laurels after winning three of his last eight feature starts shows a complete lack of understanding of the Watertown, N.Y., driver. Rather than being content with his stellar second half of the year, the 2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series runner-up, was instead trying to find even more speed during Thursday’s open practice session at Magnolia Motor Speedway ahead of this weekend’s Magnolia State Cotton Pickin’ 100.
He was clearly successful. Debuting a new Longhorn Chassis in Friday’s 30-lap, $4,000-to-win main event at The Mag, McCreadie took the lead from polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., midway through the feature and pulled away to win by a comfortable 5.936 seconds. Moyer held on to finish second ahead of sixth-starting Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., while Gray Court, S.C.’s Chris Madden charged from 11th to finish fourth. Spencer Hughes of Meridian, Miss., completed the top five after slipping two spots from his inside row two starting spot.
“This (car) is brand new. We only hot lapped this one last night,” said McCreadie after wrapping up his 11th win of the season. “We thought, well, we’ll just run it and see how it stacks up and if it’s comfortable we’ll run it again and if not we’ll bring the car out that we’ve been running the second half of the season. I can’t argue with how it was. I gotta thank (crew members) Phil and J.C., and obviously Bilstein Shocks.
“We’ve really been working hard on shocks to get better and better and I think it’s starting to really show the last half of the year. The Longhorn Chassis, Cornett power, this whole program, it’s a dream to drive right now and I’m very lucky. I had to come from New York and these guys came from (North) Carolina and I haven’t seen them since Charlotte (on Nov. 5), so all the hard work is the guys down there and I get to drive it. So it’s a pretty neat deal for me.”
Moyer darted into the lead on the opening green, with McCreadie, Hughes, Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Marlar in tow.Taking advantage of the good bit of traction still present along the inside groove of the 4/10-mile oval, Moyer pulled away to lead by a couple of car lengths. But after two early cautions slowed the pace, a lengthy green flag run gave McCreadie plenty of time to run the leader back down.
He caught Moyer in traffic and made his winning move near the halfway mark.
“It was tough because we thought (the track) might have been rubbering in the (consolation race) because the times leveled off,” said McCreadie. “Usually that’s a sign. Once the times stop getting slower and slower and slower they start getting equal and then they start coming the other way. But it didn’t really. It just took a little streak there, a little streak into (turn) three. For me, Billy was where I wanted to be, but once we got by him, I didn’t dare move. Like the middle where he was arcing was the spot to be I thought.”
Moyer struggled to keep up with McCreadie, though he didn’t have too much of an issue keeping Marlar behind him. When asked what it would have taken to have won the race, a good-spirited Moyer jokingly quipped, “(If) Timmy probably stayed in New York.”
Indeed, McCreadie managed to find a distant southern zip code to get lost in.
“I didn’t have nothing for him,” said Moyer. “The start, I seen the strip down there. I could get the jump. I figured I’d get the jump as long as I didn’t buzz the tire because the front straightaway had a lot of grip down low. I was just trying to be wide without trying to wreck him to. That guy doesn’t get enough credit for all the races he’s won and the different types of sports. (Kyle) Larson’s a heck of a driver, but that guy right there doesn’t get near enough credit for the versatility he is.
“He doesn’t run nobody over, so I didn’t want to put him in a yuke tire or nothing like that, so I was just trying to be wide. Then once he got by me, I don’t even know where he went. I couldn’t see him and I knew Marlar was probably on me. He’s a friend of mine too and I knew he wasn’t gonna rough you up. I just tried to not miss that bottom and go from there.”
Moyer was plenty fast enough to keep Marlar at bay. A three-time Magnolia State Cotton Pickin’ 100 winner, Marlar improved three spots in finishing on the podium.
“I wasn’t hardly as fast as Timmy or Junior there,” said Marlar. “Junior just got held up a little bit in traffic and I took a look, but when I didn’t get him, he was gone after that. Them guys did a good job. Timmy was really fast, so he’s gonna be really tough to beat (Saturday) night. But it was a fun race. I love it when the track’s like that. It’s really technical and easy to overdrive your car and be doing stupid stuff (that) you don’t even realize out there.”
Notes: Tim McCreadie was quick to give thanks to his car owners as well as Kevin Rumley and Rumley’s ailing father Lee Roy. “This whole deal this year with (car owners) Donald and Gena (Bradsher) … they’re watching and Kevin (Rumley) is watching, Rumley, his dad (Lee Roy) is unfortunately in poor health,” said McCreadie. :”We’ve had a lot of people in poor health this year. But Lee Roy, he’s one of the best that’s ever done it and one of the greatest owners that’s been around and his son’s not far off. I just wanted to give a shot out to them because it’s never easy to deal with any of us getting old.” … Tanner English of Benton, Ky., blew a motor in hot laps and loaded up for a return trip to the Bluegrass State. … The race was slowed by two cautions: a spin by Rick Rickman after the hometown driver got into an infield tire barrier and Dane Dacus, of Lakeland, Tenn., who slowed with a flat on lap four. … There were 18 races between McCreadie’s fourth win of the season — the inaugural Dirt Late Model Steam at Eldora Speedway on June 6 — and his fifth victory of 2020 — the 37th North-South 100, but only eight or less between each of his victories since. … Jeremy Conaway of Springfield, Ill., experienced mechanical trouble and called it a weekend.
Row 1: Billy Moyer Jr., Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Spencer Hughes, Dane Dacus
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Mike Marlar
Row 4: Tyler Erb, Scott Dedwylder
Row 5: Shane Clanton, Chad Thrash
Row 6: Chris Madden, Josh Putnam
Row 7: Rick Rickman, Jason Hiett
Row 8: Chris Ferguson, Cade Dillard
Row 9: Brian Rickman, Myles Moos
Row 10: Morgan Bagley, Parker Martin
Row 11: Jason Elam, Ross Camponovo
Row 12: Kenny Collins, Dalton Cook
First consolation (top four transfer): Brian Rickman, Morgan Bagley, Jamie Elam, Kenny Collins, B.J. Robinson, Dean Carpenter, Austin Franklin, Rusty Schlenk.
Second consolation (top four transfer): Myles Moos, Parker Martin, Ross Camponovo, Dalton Cook, Noah Daspit, Jonathan Rowan, Blake McClain.
(10 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Morgan Bagley, Brian Rickman
Row 2: Jamie Elam, Austin Franklin
Row 3: Dean Carpenter, Kenny Collins
Row 4: B.J. Robinson, Rusty Schlenk
Row 5: Tanner English
Row 1: Parker Martin, Myles Moos
Row 2: Ross Camponovo, Blake McClain
Row 3: Jonathan Rowan, Jeremy Conaway
Row 4: Dalton Cook, Noah Daspit
Row 5: Jeff Young
Heat race results
First heat (top four transfer): Billy Moyer Jr., Dennis Erb Jr., Shane Clanton, Rick Rickman, Morgan Bagley, Jamie Elam, Dean Carpenter, B.J. Robinson. Scratched: Tanner English.
Second heat (top four transfer): Spencer Hughes, Tyler Erb, Chris Madden, Chris Ferguson, Brian Rickman, Austin Franklin, Kenny Collins, Rusty Schlenk.
Third heat (top four transfer): Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar, Chad Thrash, Jason Hiett, Parker Martin, Ross Camponovo, Jonathan Rowan.
Fourth heat (top four transfer): Dane Dacus, Scott Dedwylder Josh Putnam, Cade Dillard, Myles Moos, Blake McClain, Jeremy Conaway, Noah Daspit.
Heat race lineups
(10 laps, top four transfer)
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer Jr.
Row 2: Shane Clanton, Jamie Elam
Row 3: Rick Rickman, B.J. Robinson
Row 4: Morgan Bagley, Dean Carpenter
Row 5: Tanner English
Row 1: Chris Madden, Spencer Hughes
Row 2: Chris Ferguson, Tyler Erb
Row 3: Brian Rickman, Kenny Collins
Row 4: Austin Franklin, Rusty Schlenk
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Parker Martin, Chad Thrash
Row 3: Jason Hiett, Ross Camponovo
Row 4: Dalton Cool, Jonathan Rowan
Row 5: Jeff Young
Row 1: Cade Dillard, Scott Dedwylder
Row 2: Josh Putnam, Noah Daspit
Row 3: Myles Moos, Jeremy Conaway
Row 4: Dane Dacus, Blake McClain
Time trials (unofficial)
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.026
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 14.090
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 14.098
Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 14.135
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 14.175
Chris Ferguson (22F), Mount Holly, N.C., 14.182
Jamie Elam (12), Senatobia, Miss., 14.192
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 14.230
Rick Rickman (86), Columbus, Miss., 14.290
Brian Rickman (90), Columbus, Miss., 14.398
B.J. Robinson (1), Haughton, La., 14.524
Kenny Collins (48), Colbert, Ga., 14.536
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 14.637
Austin Franklin (22), Montevallo, Ala., 14.689
Dean Carpenter (51), Coldwater, Miss., 14.800
Rusty Schlenk (91), McClure, Ohio, 14.801
Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., no time
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.066
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 14.372
Mike Marlar (57), Winfield, Tenn., 14.446
Scott Dedwylder (33), Vossburg, Miss., 14.448
Parker Martin (6jr), Milledgeville, Ga., 14.461
Josh Putnam (212), Florence, Ala., 14.477
Chad Thrash (1c), Meridian, Miss., 14.482
Noah Daspit (34), Picayune, Miss., 14.503
Jason Hiett (1H), Oxford, Ala., 14.676
Myles Moos (84), Lincoln, Ill., 14.744
Ross Camponovo (18c), Clarksdale, Miss., 14.832
Jeremy Conaway (F15), Springfield, Ill., 14.857
Dalton Cook (44D), Columbus, Ga., 15.081
Dane Dacus (54), Lakeland, Tenn., 15.120
Jonathan Rowan (56R), Whiteville, Tenn., 15.205
Blake McClain (15), Coldwater, Miss., 15.351
Jeff Young (1J), Tutwiler, Miss., 15.465