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Daily Dirt 09/23/2021 13:27:43

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July 20
I-80 Speedway,
Greenwood, NE
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Al Belt Custom Homes I-80 Nationals) - $7,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac (last updated July 21, 1:25 pm)
Sizzling Overton repels O'Neal, wins I-80 opener
Al Belt Custom Homes I-80 Nationals
  1. Brandon Overton
  2. Hudson O'Neal
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Kyle Bronson
  5. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  6. Shane Clanton
  7. Tim McCreadie
  8. Chase Junghans
  9. Ricky Weiss
  10. Jonathan Davenport
  11. Mike Marlar
  12. Stormy Scott
  13. Jimmy Owens
  14. Tyler Erb
  15. Chris Simpson
  16. Brian Shirley
  17. Spencer Hughes
  18. Josh Richards
  19. Scott Bloomquist
  20. Tyler Bruening
  21. Bill Leighton Jr.
  22. Brandon Sheppard
  23. Chad Simpson
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Brandon Overton (76) fights off Hudson O'Neal (71) at I-80.
What won the race: Regaining the lead from Hudson O'Neal on the 19th lap, polesitter Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., led the rest of Tuesday's 30-lap preliminary feature at I-80 Speedway for a $7,000 victory on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. O'Neal, who started outside Overton, went ahead on a mid-race restart and led laps 15-18 but settled for second after fighting off Ricky Thornton Jr.
Key notes: Overton won his ninth feature in his last 10 starts. ... The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series kicked off its lucrative five-night stretch at I-80 Speedway with the first of two nights of $7,000-to-win preliminary features for the $30,000-to-win I-80 Nationals. The two events determine the lineup for Thursday’s $30,000-to-win I-80 Nationals finale. … For the prelim shows, a six-car invert will be used for the heat lineups and passing points plus time-trial points will determine 18 heat transfers to the feature. ... The 11th annual Silver Dollar Nationals kicks off with a prelim night Friday and concludes with a $53,000-to-win finale on Saturday.
On the move: Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., started 11th and finished fourth.
Winner's sponsors: Overton’s Wells Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Race Engine and sponsored by CrossFit Overton, Allstar Concrete, E-Z-Go, Big Dog Stump & Tree, R.W. Powell Construction, Convenient Lube, Allstar Performance and Topnotch Kustom Koncepts.
Points chase: Before Tuesday at I-80: 1. Tim McCreadie (3,630); 2. Jonathan Davenport (3,560); 3. Hudson O’Neal (3,435); 4. Kyle Bronson (3,400); 5. Josh Richards (3,305); 6. Tyler Erb (3,225); 7. Shane Clanton (3,185); 8. Jimmy Owens (3,185); 9. Ricky Thornton Jr. (3,140); 10. Mike Marlar (3,120); 11. Earl Pearson Jr. (2,745); 12. Stormy Scott (2,465).
Current weather: Clear, 75°F
Car count: 43
Fast qualifier: Brandon Overton
Time: 16.644 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Overton
Heat race winners: Jonathan Davenport, Tad Pospisil, Shane Clanton, Bill Leighton Jr.
Consolation race winners: Jimmy Owens, Spencer Hughes
Next series race: July 21, I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE) $7,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

GREENWOOD, Neb. — Heading to I-80 Speedway's stretch of five consecutive nights of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., carried a record of eight victories in his previous nine feature starts.

And while the top-ranked 30-year-old driver won the week's opener, Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., at least delayed Overton's celebration by briefly slipping ahead mid-race in the 30-lap preliminary event for the Al Belt Custom Homes I-80 Nationals.

O'Neal's high-side pass on a lap-15 restart dropped Overton briefly to second, but he never let O'Neal get too far away in regaining the point on the 19th lap and winning by a 3.118-second margin at the 4/10-mile oval promoted by the Kosiski family.

O'Neal regained the second spot from third-finishing Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., on the white-flag lap while 11th-starting Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., and Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill. — who held the second spot from laps 10-14 — rounded out the top five.

The race's key moments came at the midway point when, starting on the high-side of a double-file restart, O'Neal squeezed between Overton and the frontstretch wall on the 15th lap to take command. Overton made sure O'Neal's time out front didn't last too long in winning his ninth race in his last 10 starts as well as his second Lucas Oil victory of the season.

"He snuck around me on the outside there and I was just trying to stay calm," Overton said. "Our car's good, it's really balanced. It ain't all the way right yet, I said I've just gotta keep working on it. But all in all, to come out here and set fast time and win the race, it's pretty cool."

O'Neal did everything he could to grab the lead, but he wasn't able to hold on to it while seeking his fourth victory of the season on the national tour.

"I rolled the top really good on that restart. I mean, I was running as hard as I could. I wasn't going to sustain up there for very long," O'Neal said. "You could tell he was going to drive back around me because I was going to get my tires pretty hot. So I tried to roll off (the top) a little bit and I didn't know if clean air maybe would help me, since I wasn't behind him. And then, obviously, it didn't.

"It's just pretty amazing what he's got going on right now. There's not a whole lot of people that can run as good as he is right now, and he's won a lot of big races. It's definitely somebody good to follow. I'm not disappointed at all. I think we were a second-place car, I think we were a little better than third, but just not quite as good as first. So we've gotta a little bit of work to do. We've got a lot of speed to find if we're going to outrun the 76 car."

With results from Tuesday and Wednesday preliminary features setting up the starting field for Thursday's $30,000-to-win I-80 Nationals — then the two-day $53,000-to-win Imperial Tile Silver Dollar Nationals coming up Friday and Saturday — Overton is licking his chops for more I-80 Speedway action.

"It's such a cool place with a helluva payout, you know, so just glad to be able to be here and support the Kosiskis and everybody at the racetrack and Lucas," he said. "It's kind of unreal for me to just keep going to these races and keep picking 'em off. I don't know what I did to deserve all this, but I don't want it to stop."

Tuesday's race was slowed by two cautions, the first for a slowing Tyler Bruening on the 15th lap (Bruening had gotten into the turn-three fence while running fourth on the sixth lap.) A lap-26 yellow appeared when Brandon Sheppard was stopped against the wall exiting turn four.

Pre-feature notes

With passing points determining the 18 heat-race transfers, the red-hot Brandon Overton’s two-position gain from the sixth starting spot was good enough to earn him the pole position for the 30-lap feature. … Nebraska standout Tad Pospisil won the second heat, but his team found terminal engine trouble after the race and he scratched from the feature. … Starting spots for the other heat winners: Shane Clanton (ninth), Jonathan Davenport (10th) and Bill Leighton Jr. (18th). … Spencer Hughes, who was the fastest qualifier in the first group of time trials, had to run a B-main after he got into the wall between turns three and four early in his heat race. He won the consolation in his PCC Motorsports car to move into the headliner. ... Chris Ferguson fell one spot short of transferring in the second B-main after mechanical trouble during time trials prevented him from logging a qualifying lap and a faulty starter wire forced him out of his heat.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Brandon Overton, Hudson O’Neal
Row 2: Ricky Thornton Jr., Tyler Bruening
Row 3: Frank Heckenast Jr., Brian Shirley
Row 4: Stormy Scott, Chad Simpson
Row 5: Shane Clanton, Jonathan Davenport
Row 6: Kyle Bronson, Tim McCreadie
Row 7: Mike Marlar, Ricky Weiss
Row 8: Chase Junghans, Josh Richards
Row 9: Tad Pospisil, Bill Leighton Jr.
Row 10: Jimmy Owens, Spencer Hughes
Row 11: Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard
Row 12: Chris Simpson, Scott Bloomquist

Consolation results

(10 laps; top 3 transfer)

First consolation finish: Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Chris Simpson, Jake Timm, Matt Cosner, Ben Schaller, Mike Collins, Junior Cover, Al Humphrey, Dusty Leonard.

Second consolation finish: Spencer Hughes, Brandon Sheppard, Scott Bloomquist, Chris Ferguson, Earl Pearson Jr., Corey Zeitner, Charlie McKenna, Daniel Hilsabeck, Brian Kosiski, Boom Briggs, Ross Robinson, Dan Battaglia.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; passing points determine 18 transfers)

First heat finish: Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Jake Timm, Daniel Hilsabeck, Dusty Leonard, Spencer Hughes, Dan Battaglia.

Second heat finish: Tad Pospisil, Josh Richards, Chase Junghans, Ricky Weiss, Tim McCreadie, Kyle Bronson, Ben Schaller, Corey Zeitner, Boom Briggs, Ross Robinson (DNS) Jake Neal.

Third heat finish: Shane Clanton, Matt Cosner, Frank Heckenast Jr., Brandon Overton, Mike Marlar, Chris Simpson, Tyler Erb, Mike Collins, Junior Coover, Andrew Kosiski.

Fourth heat finish: Bill Leighton Jr., Chad Simpson, Stormy Scott, Tyler Bruening, Ricky Thornton Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Charlie McKenna, Brian Kosiski, Al Humphrey, Chris Ferguson, Allan Hopp.

Time trials

First group   

  1. Spencer Hughes (11H), Meridian, Miss., 16.669
  2. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 16.791
  3. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 16.831
  4. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.844
  5. Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill., 16.887
  6. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 16.961
  7. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 16.970
  8. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 17.006
  9. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 17.117
  10. Josh Richards (14), Shinnston, W.Va., 17.195
  11. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 17.231
  12. Tad Pospisil (04), Norfolk, Neb., 17.282
  13. Jake Timm (49), Winona, Minn., 17.347
  14. Ross Robinson (7R), Georgetown, Del., 17.465
  15. Dusty Leonard (7D), Marysville, Kan., 17.576
  16. Ben Schaller (98), Omaha, Neb., 17.617
  17. Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 17.649
  18. Corey Zeitner (26JR), Omaha, Neb., 17.775
  19. Daniel Hilsabeck (22H), Adel, Iowa, 17.926
  20. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 18.287
  21. Dan Battaglia (45), Gretna, Neb., 18.351
  22. Jake Neal (214), Omaha, Neb., no time

Second group   

  1. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 16.644
  2. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 16.854
  3. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.855
  4. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 16.859
  5. Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill., 16.880
  6. Stormy Scott (2), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.890
  7. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 16.987
  8. Chad Simpson (1C), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 17.024
  9. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 17.092
  10. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 17.146
  11. Matt Cosner (66C), Ridgeley, W.Va., 17.155
  12. Bill Leighton Jr. (24), Omaha, Neb., 17.359
  13. Andrew Kosiski (53), Omaha, Neb., 17.492
  14. Charlie McKenna (22M), Ames, Iowa, 17.521
  15. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 17.525
  16. Brian Kosiski (52), Papillion, Neb., 17.545
  17. Mike Collins (3C), New Orleans, La., 17.620
  18. Al Humphrey (6), Giltner, Neb., 18.511
  19. Junior Coover (10C), Norfolk, Neb., 18.706
  20. Allan Hopp (80), Harlan, Iowa, no time
  21. Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., no time

Tuesday’s schedule

6:30 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
7 p.m.: On-track action begins
- Lucas Oil Series hot laps
- Bragging Rights Late Models hot laps
- Lucas Oil Series qualifying
Opening ceremonies
- Lucas Oil Series heat races (8 laps)
- Bragging Rights Late Model heat races
- Lucas Oil Series B-mains (10 laps)
- Bragging Rights Late Model B-mains
Trac prep/intermission
- Lucas Oil Series A-main (30 laps)
- Bragging Rights Late Model A-main (22 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Overton, O’Neal
Row 2: Thornton, Bruening
Row 3: Heckenast, Shirley
Row 4: Scott, Chad Simpson
Row 5: Clanton, Davenport
Row 6: Bronson, McCreadie
Row 7: Marlar, Weiss
Row 8: Junghans, Richards
Row 9: Pospisil, Leighton
Row 10: Owens, Hughes
Row 11: T. Erb, Sheppard
Row 12: Chr. Simpson, Bloomquist
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