TSN MOTORSPORTS INSIDER
Overton Claims Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Opener
WAYNESVILLE, Ga. (January 26, 2023) – Brandon Overton continued his mastery of Golden Isles Speedway – winning Thursday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season opener. It was the Georgia native’s third consecutive Lucas Oil victory at the 4/10-mile oval after winning the final two nights of the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing in 2022.
Overton held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie on the final lap to secure his 15th career Lucas Oil win. McCreadie, the two-time and reigning Lucas Oil National Champion came from the tenth starting spot to finish just .402 seconds behind Overton. Ricky Thornton Jr. was third, with Devin Moran and Daulton Wilson rounding out the top five finishers.
Overton led the first circuit before the caution flew with just one lap scored. On the restart Overton would maintain the top spot with Thornton moving to second. Hudson O’Neal, the fastest qualifier of the 50 entrants, was on the move early on moving from seventh to third by lap five.
Thornton and O’Neal had a side-by-side duel for several laps until O’Neal cleared his fellow Indiana racer. Overton was setting a steady pace out front as McCreadie was marching through the field from his outside row five starting position. McCreadie climbed to second around O’Neal on lap 18.
The top four with 10 laps remaining were Overton, McCreadie, O’Neal, and Jonathan Davenport. However, a caution for O’Neal and Davenport would fly relegating both to the tail. On the restart, Overton began pulling away from McCreadie as Thornton was commanding the third spot.
Overton would catch the back of the field in the waning laps as McCreadie tried one last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag falling just short at the finish.
Overton in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the fourth time in his career at Golden Isles said: “When you’re out front like that you are just a sitting duck. You don’t know where to go. My crew did a good job of moving me around. I have lost a lot of races when I have been loose, but I was getting too tight because I couldn’t stay on the bottom. This race car is awesome this is the first night on it.”
“I think I was a little rusty qualifying,” Overton added. “I got out and I felt really good, and I found out I was fourth. We made up for it in the heat race and got us a good starting spot and we made the right tire choice. So, everything worked out for us. I hope the fans enjoyed it. We love coming here to race in front of people I grew up with. I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
McCreadie, who will be seeking his third straight Lucas Oil title this year came home in the runner-up slot. “I knew if I was going to try and poke him on the outside I had about a lap or maybe a lap and a half to do it because the good racers they can see their guys. There is no shame in running second. We just have to qualify better I messed up and did a bad job qualifying and it put us behind all night long. We passed a lot of fast cars to finish where we did.”
Thornton, who finished third in last year’s championship standings rounded out the podium. “It’s a good start to the season. I would give it an A+ for us, we didn’t have any luck here last year. With the misfortune to JD [Davenport] and Hud [O’Neal] we were able to capitalize on that.”
The winner’s Wells and Sons Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Garnto Southern, Muscle Factory, Victory Fuel Flavored Electrolyte Water, Clean Way Clearing and Grading, R.W. Construction, Boswell Oil, Penske Racing Shocks, EZ-GO, Dirt Mafia, Convenient Lube, H&A Development, and Earnhardt Technologies.
Completing the top ten were Ryan Gustin, Tyler Bruening, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, and Kyle Bronson.