Story By: MIKE WARREN / DIRTCAR – ROSSBURG, OH – Hudson O’Neal took his first step toward conquering “The World” Thursday night at Eldora Speedway.
After 107 cars entered night one of the 52nd World 100, O’Neal stood tall earning one of the $12,000 preliminary Feature victories and gained valuable momentum toward Saturday’s main event. He had one goal in his World 100 preliminary Feature—get in clean air quick.
The Martinsville, IN driver, accomplished that goal immediately, thundering around Shane Clanton in Turn 2 to take the lead.
O’Neal dominated the Group B Feature at Eldora to earn the $12,000 triumph.
“I got a really good start there, and I knew I just needed to get the lead there and get to clean air as fast as I could,” O’Neal said. “The first [Feature] went caution-free, so I figured the second one would, too.
“The air plays such a big factor here. I swear it felt like I slowed down two seconds when I caught lap traffic.”
Clanton, from Zebulon, GA, crossed the line second after winning a Heat Race earlier in the night.
The “Georgia Bulldog” stated he’s optimistic about the rest of the weekend.
“Our car was good, we had a good starting spot, and I hope we can do it again tomorrow,” Clanton said. “This Capital Race Car is pretty good right now. Hopefully, we can just keep it up.”
Chris Ferguson rounded out the podium one night after making an early exit in the Dirt Late Model Dream.
The Mount Holly, NC driver was forced to switch to a backup car and stated he was thrilled with how well the car ran.
“I just want to give a special thanks to my crew for all the hard work,” Ferguson said. “The car was really good. I could just kind of hang with Shane and Hudson but couldn’t get momentum going like we needed to.
“I’m tickled to death; this is the first time I’ve raced this car here since 2018.”
Tim McCreadie finished fourth, and Garrett Smith rounded out the top five.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 25-Shane Clanton; 3. 22-Chris Ferguson; 4. 39-Tim McCreadie; 5. 10S-Garrett Smith; 6. 9-Devin Moran; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce; 9. 9Z-Mason Zeigler; 10. 19M-Wil Herrington; 11. 11R-Josh Rice; 12. 2S-Stormy Scott; 13. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 14. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 15. 18-Shannon Babb; 16. 97-Michael Chilton; 17. 17-Zack Dohm; 18. 16-Tyler Bruening; 19. 18C-Chase Junghans; 20. 21-Billy Moyer Sr; 21. 23H-Cory Hedgecock; 22. 11K-Austin Kirkpatrick; 23. C9-Steve Casebolt; 24. 57-Zack Mitchell