Monday March 27th, 2023 12:39PM

Ricky Thornton, Jr. tops Lucas Oil Late Models at Ocala

By Series PR
  Contact Editor

OCALA, Fla. - Ricky Thornton, Jr. found redemption on Sunday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida – winning the 40-lap Winter Nationals main event for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

The 32-year-old led the last 25 laps of the race to score his first win of the 2023 season after recording two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish at Georgia’s Golden Isles Speedway. With the win, Thornton becomes the third different winner in four events this season.

Max Blair recorded his best career series finish by coming home in second, with Senoia, Georgia’s Ashton Winger in third, Hudson O’Neal in fourth, and Evans, Georgia’s Brandon Overton in fifth.

Thornton, who started on the outside front row, led the first two laps until yielding the point to pole sitter Devin Moran. Moran then led until he suffered a right front flat tire after a lap 15-restart. Moran would pit to change the tire and rejoin the field.

Thornton would pick up the lead again with Earl Pearson, Jr. moving into second place and Blair in third. A red flag came out for a multi-car incident in turn two with 19 laps complete. After the extended stoppage of action, the race resumed with Thornton still holding the point.

Pearson, who was celebrating his 51st birthday, had his hopes of getting by Thornton for the win end when he suffered a right rear flat tire on lap 26. Blair then picked up the runner-up spot which he held to the finish.

“It’s pretty awesome to win here,” said Thornton. “I love coming to this place. It’s so technical and different compared to all the other places we go to. I got the jump on the start on Devin (Moran). I felt like I was running as hard as I needed to and then he slid me. He was running way harder than I wanted to go and I thought let him go and I will just keep pace with him. I don’t know what happened to him on that restart he went down into one and it didn’t turn.”

“I got the lead back and just kind of held on, under that red my left front went flat,” Thornton added. “Luckily it didn’t put me in the fence. Overall, it was a good night. I had big time flashbacks from the last two nights. My crew guy was telling me that Max (Blair) was getting closer and I thought here we go again. On the last lap I screwed up off two and four. I felt like I was going to put it in the fence and give it away again. Overall, I am good, and we are happy we really have had a good Speedweeks so far.”

Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Blairsville, Georgia’s Jonathan Davenport, G.R. Smith, and Devin Moran rounded out the top 10.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is in action again at Bubba Raceway Park on Monday, January 30. For more information, visit LucasDirt.com.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Bubba Raceway Park – Ocala, FL
Winter Nationals – January 29, 2023

1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton, Jr.
2. 111B-Max Blair
3. 12-Ashton Winger
4. 1H-Hudson O’Neal
5. 76-Brandon Overton
6. 96V-Tanner English
7. B5-Brandon Sheppard
8. 49-Jonathan Davenport
9. 2-G.R. Smith
10. 99-Devin Moran
11. 1T-Tyler Erb
12. 99B-Boom Briggs
13. 11-Spencer Hughes
14. 7-Ross Robinson
15. 25B-Mike Benedum
16. 46-Earl Pearson, Jr.
17. 16-Tyler Bruening
18. 58-Garrett Alberson
19. 19M-Wil Herrington
20. 10-Garrett Smith
21. 28-Dennis Erb, Jr.
22. 39-Tim McCreadie
23. 40B-Kyle Bronson
24. 20-Jimmy Owens
25. 76B-Blair Nothdurft
26. 18D-Daulton Wilson
27. 89-Logan Roberson

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, Dirt Track, Stock Car, Short Track, Dirt Late Model, Lucas Oil Dirt Racing Series
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