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Daily Dirt 04/15/2024 20:43:54

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February 3
All-Tech Raceway,
Ellisville, FL
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Winter Nationals) - $15,000
Information provided by: Kyle McFadden, series and track reports (last updated February 4, 1:15 am)
Ending slow start, T-Mac wins $15,000 at All-Tech
Winter Nationals
  1. Tim McCreadie
  2. Daulton Wilson
  3. Ryan Gustin
  4. Tyler Bruening
  5. Clay Harris
  6. Ashton Winger
  7. Kyle Bronson
  8. Brandon Sheppard
  9. Dennis Erb Jr.
  10. Devin Moran
  11. Hudson O'Neal
  12. Jimmy Owens
  13. Chris Madden
  14. Jonathan Davenport
  15. Tanner English
  16. Tony Jackson Jr.
  17. Cody Overton
  18. Garrett Alberson
  19. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  20. Blair Nothdurft
  21. Max Blair
  22. Earl Pearson Jr.
  23. Trey Mills
  24. Tyler Erb
  25. Mike Marlar
  26. Ethan Dotson
  27. Spencer Hughes
  28. Dillon McCowan
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Tim McCreadie flashes under the checkered flag for a $15,000 victory on Saturday at All-Tech Raceway.
What won the race: Shaking off a slow start to Georgia-Florida Speedweeks, outside polesitter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., controlled Saturday night’s 50-lap Winternationals finale at All-Tech Raceway from start-to-finish for a $15,000 victory. The 49-year-old star mastered lapped traffic late in the distance to beat Daulton Wilson by 2.456 seconds for his 35th career triumph in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competition.
Key notes: McCreadie’s win was his first full-field score on the Lucas Oil Series since Oct. 8, 2022, at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Ala. His two checkered flags last year came in semifeatures. … Defending Lucas Oil Series champion Hudson O'Neal started the feature in his backup Rocket Chassis house car after engine trouble in his heat forced him to use a provisional. He finished 11th.
On the move: Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., started 27th and finished eighth.
Winner's sponsors: McCreadie’s Paylor Motorsports Longhorn Chassis was powered by a Cornett engine and carries sponsorship from Mega Plumbing & HVAC, Brad Benton Trucking, Baker Mitchell Company, ArmsList.com, Fluid Logic, Walker Performance Filters, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bilstein, Swift Springs, Midwest Sheet Metal and Dirt Car Lift.
Points chase: After All-Tech Saturday: 1. Ricky Thornton Jr. (1,315); 2. Hudson O'Neal (1,305); 3. Devin Moran (1,225); 4. Jonathan Davenport (1,160); 5. Brandon Sheppard (1,100); T-6. Tim McCreadie (1,065); T-6. Daulton Wilson (1,065); 8. Kyle Bronson (1,060); 9. Clay Harris (1,000); 10. Tyler Erb (985); 11. Garrett Alberson (940); T-12. Mike Marlar (930); T-12. Jimmy Owens (930).
Current weather: Overcast, 57°F
Car count: 47
Fast qualifier: Tim McCreadie
Time: 17.141 seconds
Polesitter: Daulton Wilson
Heat race winners: Daulton Wilson, Ashton Winger, Tim McCreadie, Jonathan Davenport
Consolation race winners: Clay Harris, Tony Jackson Jr.
Provisional starters: Hudson O'Neal, Tyler Erb, Max Blair, Earl Pearson Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Garrett Alberson
Next series race: February 5, East Bay Raceway Park (Gibsonton, FL) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

ELLISVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 3) — Tim McCreadie might be closing in on his 50th birthday, but he can still power around a rugged dirt track like his younger self when necessary.

The Watertown, N.Y., star showed his Topside Timmy skills on Saturday night as he dug hard around an unruly All-Tech Raceway to score a flag-to-flag victory in the 50-lap Winternationals finale.

“Hopefully it’s just the beginning,” McCreadie said during a joyous post-race celebration, “because this used to be where I couldn’t drive much anymore and now I’m feeling pretty saucy out here in the rough stuff.”

Controlling the entire distance after shooting off the outside pole to grab the lead from front-row mate Daulton Wilson of Fayetteville, N.C., at the initial start, McCreadie beat Wilson to the finish line by 2.456 seconds for the $15,000 top prize. The triumph snapped McCreadie out of a slow start to Georgia-Florida Speedweeks and marked his first full-field win on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series since Oct. 8, 2022, at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, Ala.

Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, made a strong charge around the half-mile oval’s outside lane to finish third after starting 15th. Tyler Bruening of Decorah, Iowa, finished fourth for the second consecutive night while Clay Harris of Jupiter, Fla., steadily rose from the 17th starting spot to complete the top five.

Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., who won Friday’s 50-lapper, advanced from the 10th starting spot to third by lap 23, but he climbed no higher before seeing his race end on lap 42 because he limped to the infield with a broken J-bar and driveshaft from catching the outside wall.

McCreadie entered the night with just a single top-five finish in his seven Speedweeks starts — fifth in Jan. 19’s World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series feature at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. — and a top finish of sixth in the first five events of the 2024 Lucas Oil Series campaign. He experienced an especially uncharacteristic run in Friday’s 50-lapper at All-Tech as he was lapped on his way to a 14th-place finish.

Conceding that he and his Paylor Motorsports team “overreacted” with their Longhorn Chassis’s setup on Friday after promising midweek outings of sixth and eighth at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway, McCreadie rebounded by refusing to let the disappointing performance put them further into a hole.

“Like I said earlier, I watched Jimmy’s (Owens) interview from the other day and he was just gonna kind of not outsmart himself, and that’s kind of what we did tonight,” McCreadie said. “It was a small couple of changes and obviously the track stayed fast … and we’re gonna be happy tonight.”

McCreadie spent most of the race with a comfortable advantage, but the 26-year-old Wilson did draw close enough to present a threat on a few occasions. In fact, Wilson was within striking distance of McCreadie before the race’s lone caution flag flew on lap 26 for Mike Marlar’s slowing car and came within a few car lengths of the leader again with 10 laps remaining.

But Wilson lost ground dealing with a lapped car over the final circuits as McCreadie sailed away in his Donald and Gena Bradsher-owned machine, handling the rough-and-tumble cushion with aplomb to register his 35th career full-field victory on the Lucas Oil Series.

“I was watching Hudson (O’Neal) and I thought, Damn, he’s gaining on me if he hits (the top line) right, so I knew that I’d better never move off that cushion because it was just so sticky all night,” said McCreadie, who was able to gauge how to run the track as he closed in to lap O’Neal during the race’s first half. “And honestly, I actually eased up getting in and backed my corner up a little bit and it got me through the hole (in turn one) a little better.

“I feel like tonight I probably drove a little smoother than what I drove the night before,” he added. “If you watched me the night before, I was way more wore out than I am right now. It’s about the car, and it’s about following your driver, whether good or bad, he’s your guy, and that’s what these guys do for me. Donald, Gena, no matter who it is, I’m their guy, and no matter how bad I get, they’re picking me up. So onward and upward.”

Indeed, the victory proved to be uplifting for McCreadie, who turns 50 on April 12.

“It’s a pleasure to be out here with these guys,” said McCreadie, whose two Lucas Oil Series triumphs in 2023 came in preliminary night semifeatures. “You take it for granted and 20 years flies by. I’m just happy to get to do it. I thank Donald and Gena for giving me great equipment. (Crew chief) Scott (Fegter) and everybody, they built this car at Wesley Page’s. It’s amazing to drive a car like this that does what you want it to do and maneuvers great.”

McCreadie was especially proud to add another Speedweeks win to his resume. It was the 17th victory of his career during the annual early-season stretch of competition and marked the fifth straight and 11th year overall that he’s captured at least one feature.

“Speedweeks is tough,” McCreadie said. “It’s as rewarding as winning the biggest races in the country because everybody’s here, the equipment’s fresh. You’ll see things in the pit area with extra motors getting bought, things you just don’t see throughout the country because everybody’s on kill down here.”

Wilson fell short of his elusive first-ever Lucas Oil Series victory as he tallied his seventh runner-up finish over the past two years on the national tour.

“I had just got to Timmy there when the caution come out (on lap 26) and lapped traffic was gonna maybe help me out,” said Wilson, who is in his third season driving James Rattliff’s Longhorn Chassis on the Lucas Oil Series. “And there at the end (with 10 laps to go), you know, I was with Timmy and we … I don’t know what was going on there, but a lapped car was racing us pretty hard. If that wouldn’t have happened I think we might’ve at least made it interesting.

“But hat’s off to Timmy. Them guys have been busting their butts. My guys have busting their butts. We got (team manager Jeff) Gullett down here this week and he got us together for a little motivational speech so thanks to him. Maybe we’ll get one next week at East Bay (Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla.).”

Gustin, 33, found speed around the outside of the track with his Todd Cooney-owned Longhorn car to reach third place on lap 45.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t even realize we was up that far until they called me to droop (rule measurement) there,” Gustin said. “It was an elbows up kind of deal, just like what we usually good at.

“It just got super rough down there on the bottom and I about tipped it over one time getting into one, so I figured I’d try to float through that middle but there really wasn’t a whole lot there. I knew we was getting down to time to get up on the wheel and that’s what we did. I wish we would’ve seen a caution there at the end and maybe we would’ve had something for ‘em.”

Feature lineup

(50 laps)
Row 1: Daulton Wilson, Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Ashton Winger, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Tyler Bruening, Cody Overton
Row 4: Dennis Erb Jr., Chris Madden
Row 5: Blair Nothdurft, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 6: Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson
Row 7: Tanner English, Jimmy Owens
Row 8: Ryan Gustin, Spencer Hughes
Row 9: Clay Harris, Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 10: Dillon McCowan, Devin Moran
Row 11: Trey Mills, Ethan Dotson
Row 12: Hudson O'Neal, Tyler Erb
Row 13: Max Blair, Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 14: Brandon Sheppard, Garrett Alberson

Consolation results

(10 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation finish: Clay Harris, Dillon McCowan, Trey Mills, Max Blair, Jackson Hise, Tyler Erb, Bob Gardner, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Joseph Joiner, Chris Hawkins, Danny Snyder, Daniel Adam, Kylan Garner. Scratched: Cory Hedgecock, Drake Troutman

Second consolation finish: Tony Jackson Jr., Devin Moran, Ethan Dotson, Garrett Alberson, Earl Pearson Jr., Chase Junghans, Seth Zacharias, Cory Lawler, Brenden Smith, Hudson O'Neal, Ross Robinson, Boom Briggs. Scratched: Donald McIntosh, Chad Tuten, Austin Smith

Heat race recap

Fourth-starting Daulton Wilson used an inside move to take the point from early leader Blair Nothdurft on lap three and paced the final six laps to win the first heat race by 1.773 seconds over Tyler Bruening. The second-starting Nothdurft, of Renner, S.D., faded to finish third after pacing the first two laps, with fifth-starting Tanner English grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot into Saturday’s $15,000-to-win finale. The lone caution flew on the second lap when Drake Troutman slowed from sixth, leaving Cory Hedgecock with nowhere to go and creating heavy contact in turn four; Hedgecock continued and finished seventh while Troutman required a tow back to the pits. Daniel Adam pulled off before taking the green with a dead battery. … Ashton Winger led all eight laps from the pole to win heat two by 2.087 seconds over fourth-starting Dennis Erb Jr. Mike Marlar finished third and Ryan Gustin placed fourth, joining Winger and Erb in Saturday’s feature. … Tim McCreadie led green-to-checkered to win heat three by 2.102 seconds over second-starting Cody Overton. Ricky Thornton Jr. started fourth and finished third, while sixth-starting Jimmy Owens claimed the fourth and final transfer position. … After trading opening lap sliders for the lead, second-starting Jonathan Davenport prevailed to lead the entire distance of the fourth and final heat race, winning by 0.820 of a second over Chris Madden. Kyle Bronson and Spencer Hughes both held serve, finishing third and fourth. Devin Moran finished sixth and Hudson O’Neal slowed from fifth on lap seven before pulling off; Moran and O’Neal will need to transfer through a consolation or rely on a series provisional to start Saturday’s Winter Nationals finale. ... Engine trouble forced O'Neal to switch to a backup car.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top four transfer)

First heat finish: Daulton Wilson, Tyler Bruening, Blair Nothdurft, Tanner English, Clay Harris, Bob Gardner, Cory Hedgecock, Jackson Hise, Joseph Joiner, Chris Hawkins, Drake Troutman, Daniel Adam.

Second heat finish: Ashton Winger, Dennis Erb Jr., Mike Marlar, Ryan Gustin, Dillon McCowan, Trey Mills, Max Blair, Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard, Brian Shirley, Danny Snyder, Kylan Garner.

Third heat finish: Tim McCreadie, Cody Overton, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jimmy Owens, Tony Jackson Jr., Garrett Alberson, Earl Pearson Jr., Boom Briggs, Chase Junghans, Donald McIntosh, Cory Lawler, Chad Tuten.

Fourth heat finish: Jonathan Davenport, Chris Madden, Kyle Bronson, Spencer Hughes, Ethan Dotson, Devin Moran, Ross Robinson, Seth Zacharias, Brenden Smith, Hudson O'Neal. Scratched: Austin Smith

Heat race lineups

First heat
Row 1: Tyler Bruening, Blair Nothdurft
Row 2: Daniel Adam, Daulton Wilson
Row 3: Tanner English, Clay Harris
Row 4: Bob Gardner, Drake Troutman
Row 5: Jackson Hise, Cory Hedgecock
Row 6: Chris Hawkins, Joseph Joiner
Second heat
Row 1: Ashton Winger, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Ryan Gustin, Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Trey Mills, Dillon McCowan
Row 4: Tyler Erb, Max Blair
Row 5: Brandon Sheppard, Kylan Garner
Row 6: Brian Shirley, Danny Snyder
Third heat
Row 1: Tim McCreadie, Cody Overton
Row 2: Tony Jackson Jr., Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 3: Garrett Alberson, Jimmy Owens
Row 4: Earl Pearson Jr., Boom Briggs
Row 5: Chase Junghans, Cory Lawler
Row 6: Donald McIntosh, Chad Tuten
Fourth heat
Row 1: Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Spencer Hughes
Row 3: Devin Moran, Hudson O'Neal
Row 4: Ross Robinson, Ethan Dotson
Row 5: Seth Zacharias, Austin Smith
Row 6: Brenden Smith 

Time trials

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
1. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 17.259
2. Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 17.542
3. Blair Nothdurft (76n), Renner, S.D., 17.688
4. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 17.803
5. Daniel Adam (75), Wade, N.C., 17.808
6. Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 17.839
7. Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 17.869
8. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 17.930
9. Tanner English (96v), Benton, Ky., 18.182
10. Trey Mills (14jr), St. Augustine, Fla., 18.211
11. Clay Harris (6), Jupiter, Fla., 18.223
12. Dillon McCowan (8), Urbana, Mo., 18.228
13. Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 18.358
14. Tyler Erb (1T), New Waverly, Texas, 18.487
15. Drake Troutman (7T), Hyndman, Pa., 18.520
16. Max Blair (111), Centerville, Pa., 18.525
17. Jackson Hise (388), Ocala, Fla., 18.536
18. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 18.571
19. Cory Hedgecock (23), Loudon, Tenn., 18.613
20. Kylan Garner (128), Neosho, Mo., 18.909
21. Chris Hawkins (usa1), Neosho, Mo., 19.240
22. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 19.439
23. Joseph Joiner (10), Milton, Fla., 19.661
24. Danny Snyder (4s), Green Lane, Pa., 19.703
Group B
1. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 17.141
2. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 17.240
3. Cody Overton (97), Evans, Ga., 17.474
4. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 17.507
5. Tony Jackson Jr. (25), Lebanon, Mo., 17.530
6. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 17.551
7. Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 17.608
8. Spencer Hughes (19m), Meridian, Miss., 17.617
9. Garrett Alberson (58), Las Cruces, N.M., 17.650
10. Devin Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 17.706
11. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 17.769
12. Hudson O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 17.817
13. Earl Pearson Jr. (46), Jacksonville, Fla., 17.819
14. Ross Robinson (7), Georgetown, Del., 17.886
15. Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa., 17.932
16. Ethan Dotson (174), Bakersfield, Calif., 17.985
17. Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 18.002
18. Seth Zacharias (17z), Oswego, N.Y., 18.006
19. Cory Lawler (93), Hanover, Pa., 18.066
20. Austin Smith (11), Rome, Ga., 18.094
21. Donald McIntosh (79), Dawsonville, Ga., 18.335
22. Brenden Smith (17ss), Dade City, Fla., 18.888
23. Chad Tuten (51), Blackshear, Ga., 18.945

Saturday’s schedule

(All times local)
2 p.m. - Pits open
2-4:45 p.m. - Tech and registration
3 p.m. - Grandstands open
5 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
5:30 p.m. - On-track activity
- Late Model hot laps
- Late Model qualifying (2 laps)
- 604 Crate B-main hot laps
- Crown vic hot laps
Opening ceremonies
- Late Model heats (8 laps)
- 604 Crate consolations (10 laps)
- 604 Crate A-main hot laps
- Crown vic heats (8 laps)
- Late Model consolations (10 laps)
Feature events
- 604 Crates (40 laps)
- Late Models (50 laps)
- Crown vics (20 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Wilson, McCreadie
Row 2: Winger, Davenport
Row 3: Bruening, C. Overton
Row 4: D. Erb Jr., Madden
Row 5: Nothdurft, Thornton
Row 6: Marlar, Bronson
Row 7: English, Owens
Row 8: Gustin, Hughes
Row 9: Harris, Jackson
Row 10: McCowan, Moran
Row 11: Mills, Dotson
Row 12: O'Neal, T. Erb
Row 13: Blair, Pearson
Row 14: Sheppard, Alberson
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