Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Ralph Latham Memorial) - $15,000
Information provided by: Bryan Ault, series and track reports (last updated May 7, 7:57 am)
Thornton snares $15,000 Latham Memorial victory
Ralph Latham Memorial
- Ricky Thornton Jr.
- Hudson O'Neal
- Brandon Overton
- Garrett Alberson
- Tim McCreadie
- Cory Hedgecock
- Jonathan Davenport
- Earl Pearson Jr.
- Devin Moran
- Logan Roberson
- Mike Marlar
- Tyler Erb
- Jimmy Owens
- Ross Robinson
- Spencer Hughes
- Max Blair
- Jesse Lay
- Tyler Bruening
- Garrett Smith
- Josh Rice
- Boom Briggs
- Bobby Pierce
- Daulton Wilson
- Trevor Landrum
- Kent Robinson
- Chris Ferguson
- Adam Stricker
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20RT) outran Hudson O'Neal (1) and Brandon Overton (76) to win the Ralph Latham Memorial.
What won the race: Executing a scintillating pass of Hudson O’Neal to grab the lead on lap 23 and then controlling the rest of the 50-lapper, Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., emerged victorious in Saturday’s 37th annual Ralph Latham Memorial at Florence Speedway. The 32-year-old driver beat O’Neal to the finish line by 2.554 seconds to earn $15,000 for capturing the 50-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event.
Quotable: “I thought it was gonna be around the bottom longer than it was,” Thornton said. “I got to third and then Hud moved up top so I knew I had to move up. It just really worked out for us.”
Key notes: Thornton registered his third victory of 2023 and the seventh of his career on the Lucas Oil Series. … O’Neal bolted past Brandon Overton and Jonathan Davenport, who led laps 1-12, to take the top spot on lap 13 before ceding the point to Thornton. After swapping second with Overton several times during the race’s second half, the tour's points leader secured the position heading to the white flag to tally his second straight runner-up finish. … Overton nipped 19th-starter Garrett Alberson for third while Tim McCreadie placed fifth after starting 20th. … Davenport slipped to seventh in the finishing order. … Josh Rice's bid for a third straight Latham Memorial win was dashed on lap 19 when he brought out a caution flag with right-front fender damage. ... Bobby Pierce was up to third when power steering pump trouble ended his night on lap 24. ... Cautions also flew for spins by Max Blair (lap 10) and Tyler Erb (laps 24 and 36). ... The event paid tribute to Ralph Latham of Cincinnati, Ohio, a three-decade standout driver who amassed over 200 victories and several championships. He passed away in 1986.
On the move: Three drivers picked up 15 positions: fourth-place Garrett Alberson of Las Cruces, N.M. (started 19th), fifth-place Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. (started 20th) and 10th-place Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, Va. (started 25th).
Winner's sponsors: Thornton’s SSI Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements engine and sponsored by Dyno One, Hoker Trucking, Certified Inspection Service, High Performance Lubricants, Big River Steel, Van Meter Insurance Group, Murty Farms, D&E Outside Services, West Side Tractor Sales, Bilstein Shocks, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, Barnes Pumps, Performance Bodies, Winters Performance, Strange Oval, Accu-Force, Quickcar, Sunoco Race Fuels and Sub-Surface of Indiana.
Points chase: After Florence: 1. Hudson O’Neal (1,870); 2. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,830); 3. Brandon Overton (1,825); 4. Jonathan Davenport (1,640); 5. Tim McCreadie (1,605); 6. Devin Moran (1,525); 7. Max Blair (1,490); 8. Tyler Erb (1,485); 9. Daulton Wilson (1,415); 10. Earl Pearson Jr. (1,380).
Current weather: Overcast, 66°F
Car count: 41
Fast qualifier: Brandon Overton
Time: 15.398 seconds
Polesitter: Jonathan Davenport
Heat race winners: Jonathan Davenport, Josh Rice, Spencer Hughes, Max Blair
Consolation race winners: Cory Hedgecock, Tim McCreadie
Provisional starters: Tyler Bruening, Ross Robinson, Logan Roberson, Boom Briggs, Jesse Lay
Next series race: May 12, Farmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL) $25,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.