Winning Moment: Ricky Thornton Jr. passed Max Blair on a lap 30 restart and never looked back, holding off defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Tim McCreadie to score the win and the series points lead at All-Tech Raceway Saturday night (Feb. 4)
Of note though, Thornton’s $15,000 victory wasn’t the richest of the weekend. That went to Dry Ridge, Ky.’s Brandon Gibson Jr., who won the $19,000 season opener for the Sport Compact Dirt Racing Association at Screven Motor Speedway in Georgia.
Dramatic Moment: And the dramatic moment of the weekend came in that race. John Windham, who drove from outside the top 20 back to the front in 20 laps after spinning from the lead, appeared to door leader Gibson in turn 4. Racing side by side down the frontstretch, the two again made contact, with Windham going for a ride into turn 1.
The video was inconclusive as to whether Windham made contact with Gibson in turn 4, and if the spin was a result of Gibson driving dirty or Windham pinching him up the frontstretch. Fortunately, race control left the incident alone, even if Windham’s wife didn’t on Facebook.
In a Nutshell: Sport compact racing. Half the cylinders, twice the drama.
What They’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
Remember a few seasons back in NASCAR-land where we all got used to hearing “Stage winner – MTJ?” Well, late model fans this year may want to get used to hearing “Feature winner – RTJ.” Thornton is as red-hot this Speedweeks as Devin Moran was a year ago.
After watching how long the race took to run and how much drama unfolded as a result of it, thank God 4-cylinder cars don’t race for five figures that often. Big money and hobby racing classes shouldn’t mix.
Screven’s Winter Freeze ran approximately 11 hours on Saturday night, which frankly should amount to kidnapping of paying race fans by race organizers that insisted on an eight-class program.
But, I have to say I feel bad for the race control officials at the track, who had to endure a number of disasters not of their making during the program, including a 602 late model field that restarted their own race despite race control audibly telling them five times “yellow yellow yellow” and a crash during their sport compact race that saw a stopped car get clobbered ARCA brakes styled more than five seconds after the caution was called.