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Daily Dirt 12/08/2022 17:19:45

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May 22
34 Raceway,
West Burlington, IA
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (CRST Transportation Solution 50) - $15,000
Information provided by: Staff and series reports (last updated May 23, 12:22 am)
McCreadie half-tracks Lucas Oil field at 34
CRST Transportation Solution 50
  1. Tim McCreadie
  2. Brandon Sheppard
  3. Earl Pearson Jr.
  4. Garrett Alberson
  5. Hudson O'Neal
  6. Bobby Pierce
  7. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  8. Billy Moyer Jr.
  9. Tyler Erb
  10. Jimmy Owens
  11. Spencer Hughes
  12. Chad Simpson
  13. Daulton Wilson
  14. Ross Robinson
  15. Ashton Winger
  16. Tim Simpson
  17. Jay Johnson
  18. Chris Simpson
  19. Brandon Rothzen
  20. Ed Hollenbeck
  21. Amanda Robinson
  22. Ray Raker
presented by
Mike Ruefer/mikerueferphotos.photoreflect.com
Tim McCreadie celebrates Sunday's Lucas Oil Series win at 34 Raceway.
What won the race: Leading flag-to-flag in a 50-lap caution-free main event, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., dominated Sunday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race at 34 Raceway. Starting from the outside front row, McCreadie pulled away from Brandon Sheppard on the opening lap and cruised to a 9.272-second victory over Sheppard, who held off a charging Earl Pearson Jr. on the final lap for the runner-up spot.
Key notes: Originally scheduled for Saturday, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series made a Sunday stop at 34 Raceway following a rain-caused postponement. ... It was the fourth visit to 34 Raceway in series history. … McCreadie joined Hudson O’Neal (2019), Brian Birkhofer (2011) and Earl Pearson Jr. (2010) as a Lucas Oil Series winner at 34. … It was the second night of a series doubleheader in the Hawkeye State. Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, won Friday's race at 300 Raceway in Farley.
On the move: Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., started 10th and finished seventh.
Winner's sponsors: McCreadie’s Paylor Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas, Mega Electrical Services, Racing for Heroes, Armslist.com, New Point Lighting & Design, Baker Mitchell Company, D&E Marine and Bilstein.
Points chase: After 34 Raceway: 1. Brandon Sheppard (2,340); 2. Tyler Erb (2,210); 3. Tim McCreadie (2,175); 4. Jimmy Owens (2,025); 5. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,980); 6. Earl Pearson Jr. (1,955); 7. Hudson O’Neal (1,935); 8. Ashton Winger (1,905); 9. Devin Moran (1,855); 10. Garrett Alberson (1,790).
Current weather: Clear, 64°F
Car count: 22
Fast qualifier: Brandon Sheppard
Time: 15.974 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Sheppard
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Tim McCreadie, Earl Pearson Jr.
Next series race: May 26, Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO) $6,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — Tim McCreadie has finally got his season pointed in the right direction, but the reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion is far from satisfied. There were 19 races between McCreadie’s first victory of the season Jan. 31 at Bubba Raceway Park on Ocala, Fla., and his second victory of 2022 on April 22 at All-Tech Raceway in Ellisville, Fla.

But after winning just once in his first 23 starts, McCreadie now has three victories in his last 12 starts, the latest coming Sunday in the rain-postponed CRST Transportation Solution 50 at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. McCreadie, of Watertown, N.Y., led flag-to-flag in the caution-free 50-lapper for his fourth overall triumph of the season and second with the Lucas Oil Series.

“We just gotta keep improving and tonight this car was spot on,” said McCreadie, while thanking car owners Donald and Gena Bradsher.

Earning $15,000 for the win, McCreadie and his Paylor Motorsports team left little room for improvement on Sunday. Starting from the outside front row after winning the second heat, McCreadie pulled away from polesitter Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., on the opening lap and cruised to a dominating 9.272-second victory over the reigning World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series champion who has decided to chase the Lucas Oil Series title this season.

While McCreadie steadily pulled away after the halfway mark to lead by as much as a half lap, Sheppard had to hold off a charging Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., on the final circuit. The third-starting Pearson settled for third, while Garrett Alberson of Las Cruces, N.M., started and finished fourth and Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., improved one spot to complete the top five.

While there was little passing in the event that started in the daytime and drew just 22 entrants, McCreadie was complimentary of the track surface, which track officials reworked for close to an hour prior to the feature.

“Early I could roll through the middle there. Unfortunately the top was just really slimy over there most of the night,” McCreadie said. “It’s kinda crowned off over there now, but the track, they did a good job for what we were working with. We’ve had so many tracks this year that have just been rough.

“Listen, I don’t mind the rough, but I know the money’s a lot more to fix this stuff when the car looks like it’s out there (in) an off-road truck race. I appreciate that they had it smooth. I know they’re trying. I didn’t think it raced bad, but I won, so it’s always better when you win. You love rubbered-up racetracks when you’re winning."

Sheppard was still within three seconds of McCreadie with 15 laps remaining but as the leader continued to cruise out front, Sheppard struggled to keep pace.

“I was moving around trying everything and I think I got my tires overheated up in the top trying to hustle up there and then I moved down and it didn’t feel good in the bottom after that,” Sheppard said. “So I was moving around all over the place trying to figure out where I needed to be at on the track.”

While Sheppard experimented with his line, Pearson finally found one that suited him. He was 2.4 seconds behind Sheppard with seventh laps remaining, but quickly closed the gap. He managed to get to Sheppard’s quarterpanel on the final lap before finishing 0.233 behind in third.

“I felt (Pearson) underneath of me there on the last lap in (turns) three and four,” Sheppard said. “I really didn’t know where I needed to be at at that point ‘cause I felt OK in the bottom and I felt OK getting in in the top in (turn) three and I was just kinda trying to hold my own at that point. I knew I wasn’t going to catch Timmy without a caution for sure, so I was just trying to hold my own and see if I could find any speed.”

As Sheppard maintained, Pearson, winner of the first Lucas Oil Series race at 34 Raceway in 2010, closed in.

“I did find a different line there in traffic,” Pearson said. “I could come in high down here and get a run down the back straightaway. But all-in-all, 50 laps with no cautions, I can’t say enough about what the track prep people here did.”

Neither of them, however, had anything for McCreadie, who said he’s hardly had time to catch his breath after winning his first Lucas Oil Series championship last season.

“When (Jonathan Davenport) left (as a series regular) I thought man this might get a little bit lighter for a change. You never know what Jimmy (Owens) wanted to do this year,” said McCreadie. “So of course, here comes (Devin) Moran and Brandon Sheppard over and it’s like, man, I was hoping that for once maybe I could be the guy with the most experience. You know they keep you on your toes. They’ve come out and they’ve been strong. Maybe we have a small glimmer to try to chip away.”

Notes: McCreadie notched his 30th career Lucas Oil Series wins, good for seventh on the tour’s all-time win line, three victories behind Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. … Nine cars finished on the lead lap. McCreadie had closed in on ninth-running Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, with three laps remaining, but didn’t attempt to lap him. … Amanda Robinson, Ross Robinson’s wife and crew chief, unloaded the team’s backup car and made a rare series start. She finished 21st after completing four laps. … In victory lane, McCreadie got in a plug for car owners Gena and Donald Bradsher’s Mega Plumbing of the Carolinas. “If anybody’s interested in moving to the Carolinas, they’re hiring,” he said. “They’re hiring plumbers, they’re hiring all kinds of people. They go all over. It’s just like anything, you know the old saying is, if you want to work, they pay great. You can go to work man. Pull your pants up and get to work. That’s what we all need to do.”

Feature lineup

Row 1: Sheppard, McCreadie
Row 2: Pearson, Alberson
Row 3: Moyer Jr., O'Neal
Row 4: Pierce, Owens
Row 5: Hughes, Thornton
Row 6: T. Erb, Wilson
Row 7: R. Robinson, Chr. Simpson
Row 8: Cha. Simpson, Johnson
Row 9: T. Simpson, Winger
Row 10: Rothzen, Raker
Row 11: Hollenbeck, A. Robinson

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