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O'Neal Scores Second Career Lucas Win in Monday Night Thriller

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Quincy, MI (January 26, 2020) - Persistence paid off for second-generation driver Hudson O'Neal during night two of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Speedweeks. A total of 76 cars checked in to East Bay Raceway Park for the Monday night show, the first of six total race nights expected to unfold, and the first 30 lap feature of the week did not disappoint many fans, but some drivers came out on the losing end.

After the field of 30 cars was set following two B-Mains of over 25 cars each and the iconic Strawberry Dash, many felt as though the winner of Monday night's race may come from within the first couple of rows, as the extremely slick surface didn't appear to be conducive to passing. Shortly after the drop of the green flag, that assumption proved to be incorrect, when the first caution flag of the night flew after a multi-car incident on the backstretch when drivers fanned out nearly four wide.

Kyle Bronson and Brandon Overton led the field back to the complete restart, with Bronson jumping out to the early lead. Bronson's lead wouldn't be compromised until after a lap six caution for Frank Heckenast, Jr who stopped in turn two. Bronson jumped to the top of the race track to defend a charging Brandon Sheppard, opening up the bottom of the track for O'Neal and Tyler Erb.

O'Neal slid into the top spot off of turn four officially leading lap seven - he blew the car into turn one and quickly relinquished the lead again to Bronson, before charging back to the inside into turn three, and seemingly crossing the stripe at the front for lap eight. Then, Erb threw his name into the hat along with 'BShep', making it a four-car battle for the top spot with less than ten laps in the book.

Into turn one, Erb took an aggressive line into the corner, and found himself leading the pack down the backstretch, fending off O'Neal and Sheppard. But, before Terbo could get back to the line, a caution was called for a slowing Chase Junghans on the front stretch. Because of the incident, the field was lined up by the last lap scored, which put Bronson at the point who was scored as the leader of lap eight. On the restart, Erb left no question as to who was going to lead the race, when he powered around the outside of turn four and set sail with O'Neal and Sheppard in tow.

After the lap 10 mark, Bronson's car began to fade quickly, and it wasn't long before Bronson was a caution car himself, picking up a massive push and slamming the outside turn two wall on lap 12. On the ensuing restart, Erb, O'Neal and Sheppard went at it, going three-wide into turn three. No change, though, as yet another caution flew when Johnathan Davenport and Wil Harrington got together in turn three.

On the lap 13 restart, 22nd starting Devin Moran suddenly became a challenger for the lead. Using the bottom of the track, Moran dismissed Sheppard for the second spot, and by lap 18 was side-by-side with Erb going into turn three. Moran had edged his number 9 machine into the lead coming off turn four, but was again greeted with a caution flag, sending him back to the second spot for the restart, which set up a dramatic race at the front.

The drivers settled into the spots on the restart but were reracked again after a lap 20 caution when Jimmy Owens went up in smoke. On the restart, Sheppard, Moran and O'Neal were all over a struggling Erb. Sheppard shot out as the leader exiting turn two, and the other three drivers all attempted to enter turn three using the same line, with Erb attempting to 'diamond' the corner. When Erb put the squeeze on Moran, the number 9 made contact with O'Neal, bumping Moran back into Erb, spinning him in the center of turns three and four. Erb would be sent to the tail, and the last completed lap had Moran in second, giving him the lead with 10 laps remaining.

Moran, who had a decent start, struggled to pin his car to the bottom, which ultimately opened the door for O'Neal, who had been committed to that part of the track most of the evening. Coming back around to cross the stripe, O'Neal was officially scored as the leader with Moran fading. O'Neal had to work through two more restarts, including one with just two laps to go, and held off a hard charge from Sheppard to get the win. Brandon Overton completed the podium, with Moran and Earl Pearson, Jr rounding out the top five.

Tonight, drivers return to East Bay Raceway Park for the final battle for $5,000. After tonight, the winner takes home $7,000 for two nights, with the Friday night show paying $12,000 and Saturday handing out $15,000 to the winner.


Speedweeks - Results

Week 2 - Monday, January 25th

East Bay Raceway Park - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

A-Main: 1. 71 Hudson O'Neal, 2. 1S Brandon Sheppard, 3. 76 Brandon Overton

B-Main: 28E Dennis Erb Jr.

B-Main: 20 Jimmy Owens

Strawberry Dash: 99Jr Frank Heckenast Jr.

Heat 1: 40B Kyle Bronson

Heat 2: 1S Brandon Sheppard

Heat 3: 1T Tyler Erb

Heat 4: 76 Brandon Overton

Heat 5: 71 Hudston O'Neal

Heat 6: 81E Tanner English

Fast Qualifier: 76 Brandon Overton

Race Entries: 76

Complete Results Available at -

#HPHpodcast Regional Racer Results

#8 Rob Anderzack (OH) - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series - BMain #2 - P23

#12 Doug Drown (OH) - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series - Strawberry Dash P12

#36 Matt Irey (OH) - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series - BMain #1 - P15


Speedweeks - Racing Tonight

Week 2 - Tuesday, January 26th

East Bay Raceway Park - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Dirt Super Late Models

🕖 Hot Laps 5:30pm


Race Highlights

Week 2 - Monday, January 25th

East Bay Raceway Park - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series



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