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Thornton Takes Final Night of the Super Bowl of Racing at Golden Isles

WAYNESVILLE, Ga. (January 27, 2024) – Ricky Thornton Jr. picked up his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season on Saturday night at Golden Isles Speedway on the final night of the General Tire Super Bowl of Racing. Thornton earned $25,000 for his 29th career series win.


Thornton won by 0.425 seconds over Chris Madden, who finished second with Jonathan Davenport rounding out the Big River Podium in third. Brandon Overton came home in fourth followed by Devin Moran.


Thornton grabbed the early lead in the 60-lap feature with Mike Marlar tucking in behind him. Those two ran first and second and as they raced through heavy traffic. Marlar made a move for the lead as he drove to the outside of Thornton in turn four on lap 37. The two made contact as they exited turn four side-by-side and Davenport would sneak by both of them to take the lead on lap 37.


Davenport, who started fifth, then held the lead until lap 48 when Thornton regained the top spot. It appeared Thornton’s time back in front again would be short-lived however as both Madden and Davenport challenged for the position. One circuit later, a slowing Tim McCreadie exiting turn four would bring out the first caution of the race before the lap was officially scored, putting Thornton out front again.


The race would go green for three more laps when tenth running Tyler Erb slowed with a flat tire bringing out the second and final caution of the race. 


The final restart with eight laps remaining saw Thornton maintain his grip on the bottom to hold off Madden for the win.


In Lucas Oil Victory Lane, Thornton voiced his displeasure with a couple of his fellow competitors. “When I got passed, I didn’t think I was going to get back to the front. I am not quite sure why the 49 and the 157 kept racing there. Mikey drove across my right front in three and is mad at me, and with JD I tried to cross him, and I probably shouldn’t have tried to stuff it in there. Everyone is already counting us out after one night, maybe the rest of the week will be elbows up.”


Madden, who climbed from the sixth spot was in position to take the lead in the race when the caution flew. “I saw Timmy [McCreadie] up there slowing down, but he was still rolling and still going so I felt like we shouldn’t have had the caution thrown yet, but it is what it is. At that time, we were just getting what we could get, but they [Thornton and Davenport] had slipped up and I had a chance to go for the lead. I just want to thank Lucas Oil for getting this race in tonight with the weather upon us and they rushed us on through here.”


Davenport came home in third and gave his opinion on what happened between the front runners. “The 20RT and the car running second, the 157 they got together, and I passed them both I thought clean and then we come down the back straightaway and the 20RT jacked me up and about spun me out getting into three. I then ran the rest of the race there and kind of protected the bottom and then obviously he [Thornton] got a big run on me and took the left side of the car off and knocked us up the track and Madden got by us that time.”


The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns, SSI Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Coltman Farms Racing, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales, Bilstein Shocks, and Sunoco Race Fuels.


Completing the top ten were Mike Marlar, Ryan Gustin, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard, and Ross Robinson.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Race Summary 

General Tire Super Bowl of Racing | Night 3

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Golden Isles Speedway – Waynesville, GA

Allstar Performance Time Trials

Fast Time Group A: Garrett Smith | 15.146 seconds (overall)

Fast Time Group B: Hudson O’Neal | 15.328 seconds

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 7-Ross Robinson[2]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[4]; 4. 97-Cody Overton[5]; 5. 17M-Dale McDowell[3]; 6. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[7]; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 8. 93-Cory Lawler[8]; 9. (DNS) 388-Jackson Hise

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. B5-Brandon Sheppard[3]; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson[4]; 4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[5]; 5. 75-Daniel Adam[6]; 6. 17SS-Brenden Smith[7]; 7. 81J-Jack Riggs[8]; 8. (DNS) 96V-Tanner English

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[4]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 4. 111-Max Blair[2]; 5. 81-Jason Riggs[7]; 6. 19M-Spencer Hughes[5]; 7. 214-Haiden Cowan[6]; 8. 4G-Bob Gardner[8]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 1-Hudson O'Neal[1]; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[3]; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner[5]; 6. 14JR-Trey Mills[4]; 7. 16-Tyler Bruening[7]; 8. 3-Brennon Willard[8]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[1]; 2. 6-Clay Harris[2]; 3. 79-Donald McIntosh[3]; 4. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[7]; 6. 111R-Steven Roberts[8]; 7. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[6]; 8. 28B-Carson Brown[5]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 44-Chris Madden[2]; 2. 99-Devin Moran[1]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin[4]; 4. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[5]; 5. 5-Mark Whitener[6]; 6. 14X-Wil Herrington[3]; 7. 174-Ethan Dotson[8]; 8. 8-Dillon McCowan[7]

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 97-Cody Overton[1]; 2. 111-Max Blair[3]; 3. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[2]; 4. 17M-Dale McDowell[4]; 5. 75-Daniel Adam[5]; 6. 214-Haiden Cowan[12]; 7. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[7]; 8. 81-Jason Riggs[6]; 9. 19M-Spencer Hughes[9]; 10. 93-Cory Lawler[13]; 11. 81J-Jack Riggs[11]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner[15]; 13. 99B-Boom Briggs[10]; 14. (DNS) 17SS-Brenden Smith; 15. (DNS) 96V-Tanner English; 16. (DNS) 388-Jackson Hise

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[1]; 2. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[3]; 3. 3S-Brian Shirley[5]; 4. 7T-Drake Troutman[2]; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening[10]; 6. 174-Ethan Dotson[12]; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner[4]; 8. 5-Mark Whitener[6]; 9. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[11]; 10. 14JR-Trey Mills[7]; 11. 8-Dillon McCowan[15]; 12. 3-Brennon Willard[13]; 13. 14X-Wil Herrington[9]; 14. (DNS) 111R-Steven Roberts; 15. (DNS) 28B-Carson Brown

General Tire Super Bowl of Racing | Night 3 Feature Finish (60 Laps):

Race Statistics  

Entrants: 49

Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Garrett Smith

Lap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-37); Jonathan Davenport (Laps 38-48); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 49-60)

Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.

Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a

Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton Jr.

Margin of Victory: 0.425 seconds 

Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Tim McCreadie (Lap 49); Tyler Erb (Lap 52)

Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson, Jr.; Spencer Hughes

Fast Time Provisional: n/a

Series Emergency Provisionals: Boom Briggs; Drake Troutman; Daniel Adam, Brian Shirley

Track Provisional: n/a

Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport

Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Devin Moran

Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Ryan Gustin (Advanced 11 Positions) 

Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Ryan Gustin

Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Garrett Alberson

MD3 Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (49 Laps) 

Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.

Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Hudson O’Neal

O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a 

Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 4 – 16.024 seconds) 

Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Jonathan Davenport

Gorsuch Performance Max Air Cool Move of the Race: Devin Moran

Miller Welders Hard Luck Award: Tyler Erb

Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.) 

ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines

Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis

Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Garrett Smith (15.442 seconds)

Time of Race: 24 minutes 40 seconds 

Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

Story - Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series



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