Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – GRANITE CITY, IL – Hudson O’Neal continued his successful run in the month of July in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by winning the NAPA Know How 50 on Friday night at Tri-City Speedway.
O’Neal has now won three series events in the last eight days to go along with his victories at Davenport, IA on July 6 and Thursday night at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, MO.
O’Neal went toe-to-toe with Spencer Hughes early in the race until taking the lead for good on the 11th lap after an exciting lead swapping battle with Hughes. O’Neal, who started third led the rest of the way for the victory.
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point leader Tim McCreadie finished in second followed by Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, and Brandon Sheppard.
O’Neal took the lead on the opening lap from his inside row two starting spot. O’Neal led the first three circuits until Hughes, who started on the outside of the front row took over the lead, but it was short lived as O’Neal retook the point on lap six and led the rest of the way.
Erb got by Hughes to run in second for several laps until McCreadie got by him on lap 37. McCreadie closed the gap on O’Neal in lapped traffic, but O’Neal held off the reigning series champion for the 16th career series victory for the 21-year-old Indiana native.
O’Neal was joined in victory lane by his team and family as he celebrated his win in the first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race at Tri-City since 2020. “This is awesome to go back-to-back with the year we have had. It’s pretty cool. I just told myself before it went green, I was going to give this bottom a good shot. I then rolled to the lead on the bottom and then Spencer gave me a good run up there. I was just trying to stay calm and make sure I hit my marks down there. I was hoping that the bottom was going to prevail. Thank you to the Gundaker family and everybody for an awesome facility here at Tri-City. This place races cool every time we come here.”
McCreadie with his second-place finish will maintain the series point lead heading into the series’ next event on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO. “I tried once on the outside to pass him (O’Neal) and lost some spots. I wanted to get to the bottom quicker, but I just got stuck up there and couldn’t. We have a second-place car tonight. Give Tyler (Erb) credit he was giving it his all on the top and that’s all you can ask of us drivers is to do our best. My hats off to Hudson and those guys I know they work hard, and I appreciate my guys as hard as they work as well.”
Owens, who ran second to O’Neal on Thursday night at I-70 rounded out the podium. “I have just got to thank Becky and Dereck Ramirez and the guys. We keep getting the car a little better maybe we will get it into victory lane a little more consistently. I just wanted it to stay green tonight. We were throwing crumbs up there. It was cleaner on the bottom, and it made it hard to run the high side.”
The winner’s Roger Sellers/Double Down Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage, Lucas Oil Products, Smoky Mountain Speedway, WR1 Sim Chassis, VP Fuels, Integra Racing Shocks, and Dynamic Drivelines.
Completing the top ten were Ricky Thornton Jr., Spencer Hughes, Earl Pearson Jr., Jason Feger, and Garrett Alberson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
NAPA Know How 50
Friday, July 15th, 2022
Tri-City Speedway – Granite City, IL
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Earl Pearson, Jr. / 15.018 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Spencer Hughes / 15.098 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens; 3. 2S-Stormy Scott; 4. 25-Jason Feger; 5. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler; 7. 3-Brennon Willard; 8. 16C-John Clippinger; 9. F1-Payton Freeman
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson; 3. 36-Logan Martin; 4. 33-Rickey Frankel; 5. 1S-Jeremy Shaw; 6. 7-Ross Robinson; 7. 11T-Trevor Gundaker; 8. 16W-Tony Wolf
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 11-Spencer Hughes; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 26M-Brent McKinnon; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley; 6. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 7. 18H-Nick Hoffman; 8. 80-Rich Dawson
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 3. 18-Shannon Babb; 4. 82-Billy Laycock; 5. 11H-Jeff Herzog; 6. 16R-Rusty Griffaw; 7. 81J-Jack Riggs; 8. 44-Blaze Burwell
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 7-Ross Robinson; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 3. 11T-Trevor Gundaker; 4. 8-Kyle Strickler; 5. 3-Brennon Willard; 6. 16C-John Clippinger; 7. 1S-Jeremy Shaw; 8. 16W-Tony Wolf; 9. (DNS) F1-Payton Freeman
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 3S-Brian Shirley; 2. 18H-Nick Hoffman; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 80-Rich Dawson; 5. 16R-Rusty Griffaw; 6. 11H-Jeff Herzog; 7. (DNS) 81J-Jack Riggs; 8. (DNS) 44-Blaze Burwell
NAPA Know How 50 Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Hudson O’Neal (Laps 1-3); Spencer Hughes (Laps 4-5); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 6-50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Hudson O’Neal
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.588 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Stormy Scott (Lap 12)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: Payton Freeman; Jeff Herzog
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: Rusty Griffaw
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens
Penske Shocks Top 5: Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Brandon Sheppard
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Advanced 4 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Tim McCreadie
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Hudson O’Neal (48 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Spencer Hughes
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Hudson O’Neal (Lap 1 – 17.042 seconds)
Feature DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Payton Freeman
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Trevor Crittenden (Hudson O’Neal)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Tyler Erb (14.9448 seconds)
Time of Race: 17 minutes 51 seconds