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Daily Dirt 09/24/2023 01:22:47

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June 8
Eldora Speedway,
Rossburg, OH
Sanction: DIRTcar Supers (Dream XXIX first semifeature) - $12,000
Information provided by: Todd Turner, Kevin Kovac and track reports (last updated June 9, 10:49 am)
McCreadie tops O'Neal in first Dream prelim
Dream XXIX first semifeature
  1. Tim McCreadie
  2. Hudson O'Neal
  3. Kyle Strickler
  4. Shane Clanton
  5. Ashton Winger
  6. Chris Madden
  7. Mason Zeigler
  8. Carson Ferguson
  9. Kyle Bronson
  10. Tanner English
  11. Dennis Erb Jr.
  12. Dale McDowell
  13. Ricky Weiss
  14. Chris Ferguson
  15. Earl Pearson Jr.
  16. Cory Hedgecock
  17. Johnny Scott
  18. Daulton Wilson
  19. Mike Benedum
  20. Dustin Sorensen
  21. Spencer Hughes
  22. Steven Roberts
  23. Tyler Erb
  24. Casey Noonan
presented by
Josh James/joshjamesartwork.com
Tim McCreadie waves from victory lane after winning $12,000.
What won the race: Eighth-starting Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., took advantage of a late caution, passing race-long leader Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., on the restart with six laps remaining to win Thursday’s first prelim feature for Dream XXIX at Eldora Speedway. McCreadie made an inside pass in turns one and two and pulled away to win by a second over O’Neal, who led the first 19 laps from the pole.
Key notes: Dirt Late Model teams invade Eldora Speedway for the 29th annual Dream, featuring a total purse payout nearing $600,000 across the historic three-day event. … Points are awarded and accumulated on Thursday and Friday, setting the lineup for Saturday’s heat races. … For the first time in its 29-year history, eight-time event winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., is not in competition. … Teams are not permitted to utilize signal sticks at the facility, though hand signals and colored gloves are permitted. … The event’s only three-time consecutive winner, Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., eyes his fourth straight Dream victory. ... Five-time World 100 winner, Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., seeks his second Dream triumph.
On the move: Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., started 20th and finished ninth.
Winner's sponsors: McCreadie’s Paylor Motorsports Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Mega Plumbing & HVAC of the Carolinas, Mega Electrical Services, Racing for Heroes, Armslist.com, New Point Lighting & Design, Baker Mitchell Company, Integrous Risk Solutions, D&E Marine and Bilstein.
Current weather: Broken Clouds, 66°F
Car count: 95
Fast qualifier: Tim McCreadie
Time: 15.317 seconds
Polesitter: Hudson O'Neal
Heat race winners: Mike Benedum, Ashton Winger, Shane Clanton, Hudson O'Neal
Consolation race winners: Cory Hedgecock, Spencer Hughes
Next series race: June 9, Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH) $12,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 8) — In Eldora Speedway’s biggest Late Model races, Tim McCreadie usually has plenty of time to get to the front. While recording four top-five finishes in the last six Dream features — including third last season and second in 2021’s Dream XXVII — McCreadie never started higher than eighth, but had 100 laps to steadily move forward.

Starting eighth in Thursday’s relatively short 25-lap preliminary feature, time was not a luxury the 49-year-old driver from Watertown, N.Y., had. So McCreadie made the most of the start and then closed out the race in a flourish.

After going from eighth to third on the opening lap to put himself in contention to win the night’s opening $12,000-to-win feature, McCreadie took advantage of a late caution to wrap up a great start to his Dream XXIX weekend. McCreadie, the overall fast qualifier among 95 entries, passed race-long leader Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., on a restart with six laps remaining to win the prelim.

“It was weird,” said McCreadie in explaining how he managed to get to the front so quickly. “When we took off the 28 car (Dustin Sorenson, who started sixth), and I knew (fourth-starting Mike) Benedum was on soft tires. So I thought, man, this whole outside row is never gonna go and I think (Benedum) held up (Sorenson) just long enough and he didn’t know where to go. I just kinda shot the middle and I just tried not to slide into the guy in fourth. (I) cleared Benedum and we went down into (turn) three and it just kinda, the seas parted, and I thought, wow, we’re in second without even getting to one full lap.”

McCreadie, winner of the Dirt Late Model Stream Invitational, which replaced the 2020 Dream, moved to second on the second lap and then chased O’Neal for 18 laps before getting the opportunity he needed when Spencer Hughes of Meridian, Miss., slowed to a stop at the end of the front straightaway on lap 19, the result of engine trouble.

On the restart, McCreadie made an inside pass in turns one and two and pulled away to win by a second over O’Neal, who led the first 19 laps from the pole. Debuting a new Rocket Chassis, fifth-starting Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., finished third, while Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who started second beside O’Neal, finished fourth after dropping back to sixth on the opening lap. Third-starting Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., lost two positions and rounded out the top five.

“At the end, I don’t know if we had the best car, but when Hudson took off on that one restart into (turn) three (on lap 14), I didn't really expect it,” McCreadie said. “The next time I thought, well, I'm not gonna get my pants pulled down again. When I stayed on his right rear quarter, he started to go to the wall, so I just tried to hang a left and slide him into (turn) one. I’m sure I cleared him by a country mile, probably too much. I didn't do that deal where you're supposed to make a guy make a choice. I figure race and clear the guy by 20 car lengths and then race on.”

O’Neal didn’t fall far behind, be after losing the lead, he never manage to challenge McCreadie.

“I felt like I was really good,” O’Neal said. “I just made a bad decision getting up into (turn) one and I didn't protect the bottom enough. Then I let him cross me over and slide me and then that was it. I don't know … shoulda, coulda, woulda. I hate it man. I felt like we had a really good race car and even whenever I got behind him I was still right there on him and I felt okay. It’s just hard to get back around somebody like that, so I don't know.

“We got a really good piece, qualified decent for where we went out, then ran good all night, so we got something to build off of (for the rest of the weekend). We'll just see if we can make a couple of small tunes to see if we can just get a little bit better and we'll move on to tomorrow.”

With his newfound speed, Strickler is looking forward to the rest of the weekend as well. Strickler, who once campaigned Bloomquist Race Cars, got a hand from the Hall of Famer and eight-time Dream winner, who is missing the Dream for the first time in it’s 29-year history. Former Bloomquist crew chief Cody Mallory was aiding Strickler as well.

“Pretty pumped to run third,” said Strickler. “You have two house cars (Longhorn and Rocket) in front of us there. It feels awesome to be in contention and run up front first night on a new car. Man, I love Eldora. Hopefully we can keep this thing rolling and get a little bit better. It feels great to be back at Eldora and smiling again because it’s been pretty miserable the last year or two.”

Notes: McCreadie won his third race of the season and first since Feb. 15 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. … The car McCreadie was in Thursday is the same car he raced at Eldora in April when he finished second behind Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., in the Castrol FloRacing Night in America season-opener. “It's an amazing car,” he said. “This is the second race on this car. We came here to the Flo race, basically ran second with it and put it away. Probably should have had it out a little more. This thing’s a bad ass piece of machinery.” … Two cautions slowed the feature. Tyler Erb slowed on lap 14 with a broken motor, giving up the 11th position and Spencer Hughes drew the second yellow when he stopped at the end of the front straightaway on lap 19 with engine trouble. … Three former Dream winners where in Thursday’s first preliminary feature: Dennis Erb Jr. (2016), Dale McDowell (2014) and Shane Clanton (2012).

Feature lineup

(25 laps)
Row 1: Hudson O’Neal, Shane Clanton
Row 2: Ashton Winger, Mike Benedum
Row 3: Kyle Strickler, Dustin Sorenson
Row 4: Chris Ferguson, Tim McCreadie
Row 5: Carson Ferguson, Dale McDowell
Row 6: Mason Zeigler, Tanner English
Row 7: Daulton Wilson, Chris Madden
Row 8: Tyler Erb, Johnny Scott
Row 9: Casey Noonan, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 10: Steven Roberts, Kyle Bronson
Row 11: Cory Hedgecock, Spencer Hughes
Row 12: Earl Pearson Jr., Ricky Weiss

Consolation results

(Top two transfer)
First consolation: Cory Hedgecock, Earl Pearson Jr., Joseph Joiner, Dustin Nobbe, Tim Lance, Josh Putnam, Terry Rushlow, Michael Brown, Sam Seawright, Billy Moyer, Kody Evans, Chad Simpson. Did not start: Chase Frohnapfel, Vic Hill.

Second consolation: Spencer Hughes, Ricky Weiss, Ross Bailes, Chase Junghans, Dakotah Knuckles, Forrest Trent, Jason Jameson, Austin Kirkpatrick, Brent Vosbergen, Kaede Loudy, Mike Bargo, Bryant Dickinson, Benji Hicks, Camaron Marlar.

Consolation lineups

(12 laps, top two transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Dustin Nobbe, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Josh Putnam, Joseph Joiner
Row 3: Michael Brown, Sam Seawright
Row 4: Cory Hedgecock, Chad Simpson
Row 5: Chase Frohnapfel, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 6: Tim Lance, Kody Evans
Row 7: Vic Hill, Terry Rushlow
Second consolation
Row 1: Ricky Weiss, Benji Hicks
Row 2: Forrest Trent, Ross Bailes
Row 3: Dakotah Knuckles, Brent Vosbergen
Row 4: Spencer Hughes, Mike Bargo
Row 5: Jason Jameson, Chase Junghans
Row 6: Kaede Loudy, Camaron Marlar
Row 7: Bryant Dickinson, Austin Kirkpatrick

Heat notes

Mike Benedum flashed a big smile after holding off Tim McCreadie to win the first heat. “It’s great,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve won here — ever — I think.” The 58-year-old West Virginian is bidding this week to make his first Dream finale after falling short of the headliner in six previous appearances (2007, ’14, ’16, twice in ’21, '22). … McCreadie was inverted to the fourth starting spot in the first prelim after earning fast-time honors in qualifying but quickly moved up to second and finished there. … A non-qualifier for the 100-lap finale in each of his two previous Dream appearances (2019 and ’22), Ashton Winger got off to a strong start with a victory in the second heat. “It’s really hard to put yourself in a good spot to be competitive here,” said the driver of the Jeff Mathews’s Rocket Chassis. … Dale McDowell rebounded from power steering trouble during qualifying to grab a third-place finish in Heat 2. … Dennis Erb Jr. slipped past Hall of Famer Billy Moyer for the fifth and final transfer position in the second heat. … Shane Clanton piloted his Capital Race Car to the checkered flag in Heat 3 by 2.125 seconds over Kyle Strickler, who performed well in his first race laps behind the wheel of his new Rocket Chassis. … Hudson O’Neal claimed the fourth heat by 0.766 of a second over Chris Ferguson. “I have a really good race car. I just didn’t if it was ever gonna end,” the Rocket Chassis house car chauffeur said of the caution-plagued race. … First-time Eldora starter Benji Hicks started from the outside pole in the fourth heat but finished sixth and nearly spinning midway through the race. … Camaron Marlar brought out a caution flag on lap three of the fourth heat when he came to a stop against the turn-one wall. … Chase Junghans retired from Heat 4 during a last-lap caution period with right-rear bodywork damage and a flat left-rear tire.

Heat results

(Top five transfer)

First heat: Mike Benedum, Tim McCreadie, Carson Ferguson, Daulton Wilson, Casey Noonan, Dustin Nobbe, Josh Putnam, Michael Brown, Cory Hedgecock, Chase Frohnapfel, Tim Lance, Vic Hill.

Second heat: Ashton Winger, Dustin Sorenson, Dale McDowell, Chris Madden, Dennis Erb Jr., Billy Moyer, Joseph Joiner, Sam Seawright, Chad Simpson, Earl Pearson Jr., Kody Evans, Terry Rushlow.

Third heat: Shane Clanton, Kyle Strickler, Mason Zeigler, Tyler Erb, Steven Roberts, Ricky Weiss, Forrest Trent, Dakotah Knuckles, Spencer Hughes, Jason Jameson, Kaede Loudy, Bryant Dickinson.

Fourth heat: Hudson O’Neal, Chris Ferguson, Tanner English, Johnny Scott,  Kyle Bronson, Benji Hicks, Ross Bailes, Brent Vosbergen, Mike Bargo, Chase Junghans, Camaron Marlar, Austin Kirkpatrick.

Heat race lineups

(10 laps, top five transfer)

First heat
Row 1: Mike Benedum, Casey Noonan
Row 2: Daulton Wilson, Tim McCreadie
Row 3: Carson Ferguson, Josh Putnam
Row 4: Dustin Nobbe, Vic Hill
Row 5: Chase Frohnapfel, Tim Lance
Row 6: Michael Brown, Cory Hedgecock
Second heat
Row 1: Aston Winger, Dustin Sorenson
Row 2: Joseph Joiner, Billy Moyer
Row 3: Dale McDowell, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: Chad Simpson, Sam Seawright
Row 5: Chris Madden, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 6: Kody Evans, Terry Rushlow
Third heat
Row 1: Shane Clanton, Kyle Strickler
Row 2: Steven Roberts, Mason Zeigler
Row 3: Ricky Weiss, Tyler Erb
Row 4: Kaede Loudy, Spencer Hughes
Row 5: Jason Jameson, Forrest Trent
Row 6: Dakotah Knuckles, Bryant Dickinson
Fourth heat
Row 1: Hudson O’Neal, Benji Hicks
Row 2: Tanner English, Chris Ferguson
Row 3: Johnny Scott, Austin Kirkpatrick
Row 4: Chase Junghans, Camaron Marlar
Row 5: Ross Bailes, Brent Vosbergen
Row 6: Kyle Bronson, Mike Bargo

Pre-race notes

Dream XXIX kicks off Thursday under gorgeous weather conditions: sunny with afternoon high temperatures in the mid-70s. … At 95 cars, the field has broken the 90-entry mark for the fourth time since 2012; last year’s event (run in conjunction with Eldora Million) drew 114 cars while there were 98 in ’12 and 92 in ’19. … DIRTcar director Sam Driggers warned teams during Thursday’s drivers’ meeting about the recent DIRTcar rules bulletin that specifies only 14-inch wheels are permitted. “If you don’t got ‘em, get ‘em,” said Driggers, who concluded the gathering by telling the racers to “come see me on the Summer Nationals” that begin June 14 at Peoria (Ill.) Speedway. … To set the first four rows of the twin 25-lap preliminary feature lineups, officials will align the four heat winners in positions 1-4 by lowest-to-highest points totals during qualifying and the heat runners-up in spots 5-8 in the same manner. The remainder of the 24-car field will start straight-up from heat and consolation finishes. … Officials previously announced that teams will not be allowed to use signal sticks to communicate with their drivers all weekend, but they added another wrinkle during the drivers’ meeting by greatly restricting where crew members can relay hand signals to a fenced area just in front of the media center stretching to the World of Outlaws operations trailer parked toward turn four. … Eight-time Dream winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., isn’t entered in the event as a driver for the first time in its 29-year history as he remains sidelined due to lingering injuries related to his March 2019 motorcycle accident. He arrived at the track Thursday afternoon, however, to spend the weekend assisting Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., who is debuting a new Rocket Chassis. “I told him he has one job — to be my driving coach,” Strickler said. … Dustin Sorenson of Rochester, Minn., is making his Eldora competitive debut behind the wheel of retired Wisconsin standout Jimmy Mars’s familiar yellow MB Customs No. 28. Ironically, Sorenson is 22 years old — the same age Mars was when he raced at Eldora for the first time during the inaugural Dream weekend in 1994. … Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., has opted to run his Bloomquist Race Car rather than the Longhorn he’s been campaigning this season. … Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., unveiled a new color scheme for his sponsor Greenlane, adding bright green outlines to the numbers and lettering on his all-black Rocket Chassis. … Joseph Joiner of Milton, Fla., has fresh red, white and blue colors on his car and the slogan “Chasing the American Dream” on its roof. He’s looking to crack the Dream finale lineup for the first time after failing to qualify in his event debut last year. … Steven Roberts of Sylvester, Ga., is parked alongside his buddy Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, as he returns to action for the first time since his only 2023 start in February’s Southern All Star Series show at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. … Making his first career start at Eldora, Brent Vosbergen of Perth, Australia, is one of two Aussie drivers in the field, joining Kye Blight.

Time trials

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

  1. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.317
  2. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 15.494
  3. Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.544
  4. Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 15.601
  5. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 15.683
  6. Joseph Joiner (10), Milton, Fla., 15.690
  7. Steven Roberts (111), Sylvester, Ga., 15.728
  8. Tanner English (96V), Benton, Ky., 15.748
  9. Casey Noonan (1N), Sylvania, Ohio, 15.757
  10. Dustin Sorenson (28s), Rochester, Minn., 15.786
  11. Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 15.789
  12. Benji Hicks (55h), Mount Airy, N.C., 15.820
  13. Michael Benedum (25B), Salem, W.Va., 15.840
  14. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 5.840
  15. Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.876
  16. Hudson O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 15.890
  17. Carson Ferguson (93), Lincolnton, N.C., 15.895
  18. Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 15.909
  19. Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba, 15.924
  20. Josh Putnam (212), Florence, Ala., 15.947
  21. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 15.966
  22. Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas, 16.027
  23. Austin Kirkpatrick (11K), Harrisburg, N.C., 16.037
  24. Dustin Nobbe (5N), Batesville, Ind., 16.042
  25. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 16.074
  26. Kaede Loudy (126), Rogersville, Tenn., 16.113
  27. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.123
  28. Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., 16.153
  29. Sam Seawright (16), Rainsville, Ala., 16.157
  30. Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 16.179
  31. Camaron Marlar (99m), Winfield, Tenn., 16.202
  32. Chase Frohnapfel (145), Canal Winchester, Ohio, 16.205
  33. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 16.213
  34. Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 16.255
  35. Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.278
  36. Ross Bailes (79), Clover, S.C., 16.282
  37. Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 16.317
  38. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.342
  39. Forrest Trent (101), Morristown, Tenn., 16.382
  40. Brent Vosbergen (AUS1), Perth, Australia, 16.387
  41. Michael Brown (24-D), Pageland, S.C., 16.398
  42. Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 16.400
  43. Dakotah Knuckles (21k), Ewing, Va., 16.540
  44. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 16.608
  45. Cory Hedgecock (23), Loudon, Tenn., 16.640
  46. Terry Rushlow (63), Holland, Ohio, 16.655
  47. Bryant Dickinson (5D), Ionia, Mich., no time
  48. Mike Bargo (316), Corbin, Ky., no time

Thursday's schedule

(All times local)
10 a.m.: Ticket office opens (ticket and pit pass sales)
11 a.m.: Grounds cleared and secured
Noon: All gates, suites and concessions open
12:30 p.m.: Technical inspection begins
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps
7:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
Competition
- Late Model time trials
- Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Late Model consolations (12 laps)
- Late Model first feature (25 laps)
- Late Model second feature (25 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: O’Neal, Clanton
Row 2: Winger, Benedum
Row 3: Strickler, Sorenson
Row 4: Ch. Ferguson, McCreadie
Row 5: Ca. Ferguson, McDowell
Row 6: Zeigler, English
Row 7: Wilson, Madden
Row 8: T. Erb, J. Scott
Row 9: Noonan, D. Erb Jr.
Row 10: Roberts, Bronson
Row 11: Hedgecock, Hughes
Row 12: Pearson Jr., Weiss

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