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Daily Dirt 05/25/2024 09:23:23

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January 27
Golden Isles Speedway,
Brunswick, GA
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing) - $10,000
Information provided by: Robert Holman (last updated January 28, 7:23 am)
Last of four GIS leaders, Moran tops Lucas opener
Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing
  1. Devin Moran
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Tyler Erb
  5. Tim McCreadie
  6. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  7. Josh Richards
  8. Hudson O'Neal
  9. Jonathan Davenport
  10. Jimmy Owens
  11. Tyler Bruening
  12. Daulton Wilson
  13. Earl Pearson Jr.
  14. Cody Overton
  15. Garrett Alberson
  16. Chris Madden
  17. Kyle Bronson
  18. Shane Clanton
  19. Ashton Winger
  20. Mike Marlar
  21. Spencer Hughes
  22. Garrett Smith
  23. Kyle Strickler
  24. Steven Roberts
  25. Ryan Gustin
  26. Mark Whitener
  27. Stormy Scott
  28. Brian Shirley
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Devin Moran grabbed his third career Lucas Oil Series victory.
What won the race: The fourth of four leaders, fourth-starting Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, overtook Brandon Sheppard on the 18th lap Thursday at Golden Isles Speedway to capture the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season opener. Moran, who won by 1.371 seconds over Sheppard, earned $10,000 in the first round of the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing presented by eBay Motors.
Key notes: Tyler Erb led laps 8-13 and Brandon Sheppard led laps 14-17. ... Kyle Larson led the first seven laps but slipped back on the lap-nine restart before recovering to finish third. … Three cautions slowed the action at the 4/10-mile oval. The first appeared on the ninth lap when 18th-running Brian Shirley shredded a left-rear tire and the yellow flew for the second time on the 20th lap for a slowing Ryan Gustin. The final caution appeared on the 30th lap when Steven Roberts slowed. ... Action continues at Golden Isles for Lucas Oil action on Friday ($12,000-to-win) and Saturday ($15,000-to-win) nights.
On the move: Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., started 21st and finished seventh.
Winner's sponsors: Moran’s Tye Twarog Racing Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Tye Twarog Performance Parts, C&W Trucking, Big D's, Tommy Pope Construction, Accu-Force, M&M Painting & Construction, McHugh Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Red Oak Pub, VP Racing Fuels, Lucas Oil, FK Rod Ends, Hoosier Racing Tire, The Joie of Seating, igimage.com, Eddie's Sunoco and Muskingum County Speedway.
Points chase: After GIS Thursday: 1. Devin Moran (250); T2. Brandon Sheppard (230): T2. Kyle Larson (230) T4. Tyler Erb (210); T4. Ricky Thornton Jr. (2010); 6. Tim McCreadie (205); 7. Josh Richards (195); 8. Hudson O’Neal (190); 9. Jonathan Davenport (185); 10. Jimmy Owens (180).
Current weather: Clear, 43°F
Car count: 47
Fast qualifier: Kyle Larson
Time: 15.008 seconds
Polesitter: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Heat race winners: Ricky Thornton Jr., Tyler Erb, Daulton Wilson, Kyle Larson, Devin Moran, Brandon Sheppard
Consolation race winners: Chris Madden, Garrett Smith
Provisional starters: Garrett Alberson, Stormy Scott, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Shane Clanton, Spencer Hughes
Next series race: January 28, Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, GA) $12,000
Editor's note: Updates winner’s sponsors.
From staff reports

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Four drivers grabbed the lead in Thursday's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series opener at Golden Isles Speedway and tried to keep it. Three of them failed, but Devin Moran got the job done.

The 27-year-old driver from Dresden, Ohio, raced under Brandon Sheppard in turns three and four on the 18th lap and led the rest of the 40-lap feature in the first of three rounds of action at the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing presented by eBay Motors. Moran collected $10,000 for his third career victory on the national tour, which ran the first of 14 scheduled Georgia-Florida Speedweeks events.

"I mean, this is just awesome," Moran said in victory lane after taking the checkers 1.371 seconds ahead of Sheppard at the 4/10-mile oval. "I was so nervous before the race because I felt like we were good in our heat and I just didn't know what changes to make. But (we've) just been working our butts off and trying to get faster and faster and it's awesome to be out here right now."

The other three leaders chased Moran to the checkers with New Berlin, Ill.'s Sheppard (leading laps 14-17) in second, NASCAR champ and Elk Grove, Calif.'s Kyle Larson (leading laps 1-7) in third and New Waverly, Texas's Tyler Erb (leading laps 8-13) settling for fourth. Reigning Lucas Oil Series champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., rounded out the top five finishers.

Moran was complimentary of the track surface at the track purchased by Lucas Oil Series regular Kyle Bronson and his fiancee Amber Lloyd just seven weeks ago.

"This is probably the best I've ever seen this racetrack," Moran said. "I might be a little biased, but it was awesome. And I'm so glad that they're doing this and they're putting their neck out on the line, so hopefully these fans come out the next few nights and support 'em."

Sheppard, the driver of the Rocket Chassis house car searching for his first Golden Isles victory, saw his lead disappear almost as quickly as he grabbed it from Erb.

"The middle stage of race there, I got rolling in the middle of racetrack and was able to get to the lead there," said Sheppard, who was racing on his 29th birthday. "And then I got to where I couldn't steer coming off the corner late in the race, so that kind of left door open for Devin to get underneath me there. And obviously his car was really good, so congratulations to him, and Kyle and Tyler and everybody on a great race. There's a lot of fun out there and hopefully we can keep this thing up front all weekend."

After leading seven laps and losing the point to Erb, Larson slipped back to fifth on a lap-nine restart but finally recovered.

"I felt really good early and then I just didn't do a great job there in traffic and Tyler got by me and then I just, I suck on taking off on restarts and get ate up every time," the driver of the K&L Rumley Enterprises entry said. "There was a point where I thought maybe I'd run like 13th, and then about 10 laps (to go), I was like 'I might still have a shot to win this thing.' So it was interesting how for 40 laps, there was kind of a lot of comers and goers.

"Overall I was pleased with my FloRacing car there. It was good. I think we definitely are close; (we) just got to get a little bit better. Devin was was really strong there. Brandon was really strong in the middle portion, so (we'll) just keep working and try and get a win."

Three cautions slowed the action at the 4/10-mile oval. The first appeared on the ninth lap when 18th-running Brian Shirley shredded a left-rear tire and the yellow flew for the second time on the 20th lap for a slowing Ryan Gustin. The final caution appeared on the 30th lap when Steven Roberts slowed.

The Lucas Oil Series returns to action Friday with a $12,000-to-win event in the second round of Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing action.

Notes: Moran has three career Georgia-Florida Speedweeks victories including a WoO triumph last season at Volusia. ... His first Speedweeks victory came in 2013 Lucas Oil Series action at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla. ... Jimmy Owens got into the fence in time trials and wasn't on the track until the feature while making repairs to his car. He rallied from 23rd to finish 10th. ... With nearly 90 cars between two undercard divisions of Crate Late Models, officials shuffled the announced running order and ran straight through with the Lucas Oil program after time trials were complete for the three divisions.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Ricky Thornton Jr., Kyle Larson
Row 2: Tyler Erb, Devin Moran
Row 3: Daulton Wilson, Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Tyler Bruening
Row 5: Ashton Winger, Ryan Gustin
Row 6: Hudson O’Neal, Mike Marlar
Row 7: Mark Whitener, Kyle Bronson
Row 8: Jonathan Davenport, Brian Shirley
Row 9: Kyle Strickler, Cody Overton
Row 10: Chris Madden, Garrett Smith
Row 11: Josh Richards, Steven Roberts
Row 12: Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton
Row 13: Earl Pearson Jr., Stormy Scott
Row 14: Spencer Hughes, Garrett Alberson

Consolation results

(10 laps; top two transfer)

First consolation: Chris Madden, Josh Richards, Brandon Overton, Dennis Erb Jr., Spencer Hughes,  Ross Bailes, Matt Cosner, Shane Clanton, Johnny Scott, Colton Flinner, Boom Briggs, John Henderson, Jimmy Owens, Chase Junghans, Ross Robinson.

Second consolation: Garrett Smith, Steven Roberts, Stormy Scott, Earl Pearson Jr. Michael Arnold, Blair Nothdurft, Garrett Alberson, Dan Stone, Jason Hiett, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Blake Spencer, Jeff Matthews. Scratched: Trey Mills, Allen Murray.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top three transfer)

First heat: Ricky Thornton Jr., Tim McCreadie, Mark Whitener, Josh Richards, Spencer Hughes, Johnny Scott, Boom Briggs, Shane Clanton.

Second heat: Tyler Erb, Ashton Winger, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Dennis Erb Jr., Ross Robinson, John Henderson. Scratched: Jimmy Owens.

Third heat: Daulton Wilson, Hudson O’Neal, Kyle Strickler, Ross Bailes, Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton, Matt Cosner, Colton Flinner.

Fourth heat: Kyle Larson, Tyler Bruening, Kyle Bronson, Garrett Smith, Michael Arnold, Dan Stone, Jason Hiett, Allen Murray.

Fifth heat: Devin Moran, Ryan Gustin, Brian Shirley, Steven Roberts, Garrett Alberson, Jeff Matthews, Blake Spencer.

Sixth heat: Brandon Sheppard, Mike Marlar, Cody Overton, Stormy Scott, Blair Nothdurft, Jimmy Sharpe Jr., Trey Mills.

Time trials

Both Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., and Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., had their times negated after their Longhorn cars failed to meet the proper deck height measurement (droop rule) following time trials. Both drivers received loud cheers from the crowd after completing their respective laps, Overton for setting what was the overall fast time at 14.838 seconds during the first group’s session and Pearson, the local standout and fan favorite (GIS is about an hour from Jacksonville) who was third overall in the second group. Both drivers will have to tag the tail of their respective heat.

Overton’s disqualification elevated reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., to the overall quick mark with a time of 15.008 seconds. Larson joins Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz.; Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas; upstart Daulton Wilson of Fayetteville, N.C.; Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio; and Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., as Thursday’s heat race polesitters.

Pre-race notes

Welcome to the sunny — but chilly — 2022 Georgia-Florida Speedweeks. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series kicks off its season on a cool Thursday night at Golden Isles near Brunswick, Ga. Drivers and fans looking to dodge old man Winter were somewhat successful. Temperatures hovered around 50 degrees when hot laps got underway with the overnight low dipping into the low 40s. Friday’s weather is expected to be similar, while Saturday’s high is predicted at 45 degrees. … Forty-seven drivers signed in for the first Lucas Oil Series event of the season. … Series director Rick Schwallie said technical inspection — the tour’s first since agreeing to a unified set of rules with a number of other series, including the World of Outlaws, back in December — went relatively smooth. “We’re the second series to do this now. A lot of the guys have already gone through it before, so it wasn’t a very big deal for most,” said Schwallie, adding that series tech director Steve Francis attended the WoO opener at Volusia last week. … Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., is among drivers who had to tweak a few things on his car’s body to pass tech. Winger had to cover three small holes in the filler panel and move the right rear quarterpanel in slightly. “More or less just some little stuff. It wasn’t that big of a deal, just a pain in the a--.” … Josh Richards’s Boom Briggs-backed Rocket needed an adjustment or two also. “We had to knock this down a little right here (pointing to the top of the fender), move our flopper in a little and move the (right side) door in a little,” said a crew member for the Shinnston, W.Va., driver. … After winning the Wild West Shootout championship in Vado, N.M., earlier this month, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., is piloting a Jason Rauen-owned car this weekend. “Unless we have a major problem, we’d like to do all the Lucas Oil Series (speedweeks) races. They wanted to race and we weren’t quite ready. We’re still gathering parts up,” said Marlar. … Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., is Thursday’s first qualifier, a prospect Erb isn’t too keen on. “Well, I’m not dead,” quipped herb crew chief Heather Lyne, who drew the spot for Erb. “He wasn’t very happy.” … After showing a lot of speed during the Wild West Shootout at his home track Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Garrett Alberson is taking in Golden Isles for the first time as a driver. “I came here with Earl (Pearson Jr.) with the Lucas stuff. There’s definitely a little bit of a learning curve because we don’t really have tracks like this, this shape and this driving style. Hopefully I can catch on pretty quick.” … Rumors of Texan Allen Murray’s exit from the sport (again) may have been premature. Murray is among the 47 drivers on hand Thursday. … After spending the last week worrying more about soft drinks and hot dog buns, new track owner Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., looked more at home behind the wheel of his orange and white No. 40B. ... Ross Bailes of Clover, S.C., said he intended to compete in only the Georgia portion of Georgia-Florida Speedweeks (Golden Isles and Screven).

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
Group A

  1. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 15.037
  2. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 15.094
  3. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 15.096
  4. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.096
  5. Ashton Winger (89), Hampton, Ga., 15.101
  6. Ross Bailes (79), Clover, S.C., 15.106
  7. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.107
  8. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.116
  9. Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 15.126
  10. Mark Whitener (58), Middleburg, Fla., 15.140
  11. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.206
  12. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 15.208
  13. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 15.296
  14. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.390
  15. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.421
  16. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.431
  17. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 15.486
  18. Matt Cosner (66), Ridgeley, W.Va., 15.525
  19. Josh Richards (1R), Shinnston, W.Va., 15.568
  20. John Henderson (2x), Aiken, S.C., 15.626
  21. Colton Flinner (48), Allison Park, Pa., 15.665
  22. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 15.690
  23. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., no time
  24. Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 14.838 (disqualified; deck height violation)

Group B

  1. Kyle Larson (6), Elk Grove, Calif., 15.008
  2. Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 15.012
  3. Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 15.203
  4. Garrett Smith (10), Eatonton, Ga., 15.222
  5. Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa, 15.259
  6. Cody Overton (97), Evans, Ga., 15.273
  7. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 15.293
  8. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 15.305
  9. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.330
  10. Dan Stone (2), Thompson, Pa., 15.344
  11. Steven Roberts (111), Jesup, Ga., 15.367
  12. Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.376
  13. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.461
  14. Blake Spencer (6s), St. Augustine, Fla., 15.468
  15. Blair Nothdurft (76), Sioux Falls, S.D., 15.547
  16. Jason Hiett (19m), Oxford, Ala., 15.549
  17. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.659
  18. Trey Mills (14jr), St. Augustine, Fla., 15.661
  19. Michael Arnold (4),  Hattiesburg, Miss., 15.826
  20. Jeff Mathews (33), Apollo Beach, Fla., 15.933
  21. Jimmy Sharpe Jr. (26jr), Vidalia, Ga., 16.113
  22. Allen Murray (2), San Antonio, Texas, 50.314
  23. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 15.076 (disqualified; deck height violation)

Thursday’s schedule

1:30 p.m. - Pit gates closed, pit area cleared
2 p.m. - Pit gates reopen
2 p.m. - Registration/tech inspection
3 p.m. - General admission re-opened
5 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
5:30 p.m. - On-track action begins
- 602 Late Model hot laps
- 604 Late Model hot laps
- Super Late Model hot laps
- 602 Late Model time trials
- Super Late Model time trials
- 604 Late Model time trials
Opening ceremonies
- Super Late Model heats (8 laps)
- 602 Late Model consolations (8 laps)
- Super Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- 604 Late Model consolations (8 laps)
Feature events
- Super Late Models (40 laps)
- 602 Late Models
- 604 Late Models

Feature lineup

Row 1: Thornton Jr., Larson
Row 2: T. Erb, Moran
Row 3: Wilson, Sheppard
Row 4: McCreadie, Bruening
Row 5: Winger, Gustin
Row 6: O’Neal, Marlar
Row 7: Whitener, Bronson
Row 8: Davenport, Shirley
Row 9: Strickler, C. Overton
Row 10: Madden, Smith
Row 11: Richards, Roberts
Row 12: Owens, Clanton
Row 13: Pearson, S. Scott
Row 14: Hughes, Alberson

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