WAYNESVILLE, Ga. — Brandon Overton continued his mastery of Golden Isles Speedway, winning Thursday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season opener.
It was the Georgia native’s third consecutive Lucas Oil victory at the four-tenths-mile oval after winning the final two nights of the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing in 2022.
Overton held off a hard-charging Tim McCreadie on the final lap to secure his 15th career Lucas Oil win. McCreadie, the two-time and reigning Lucas Oil National Champion came from 10th starting spot to finish .402 seconds behind Overton.
Ricky Thornton Jr. was third, with Devin Moran and Daulton Wilson rounding out the top five.
Overton led the first circuit before the caution flew with just one lap scored. On the restart Overton would maintain the top spot with Thornton moving to second. Hudson O’Neal, the fastest qualifier of the 50 entrants, was on the move early on moving from seventh to third by lap five.
Thornton and O’Neal had a side-by-side duel for a several laps until O’Neal cleared his fellow Indiana racer. Overton was setting a steady pace out front as McCreadie was marching through the field from his outside row five starting position. McCreadie climbed to second around O’Neal on lap 18.
The top four with 10 laps remaining were Overton, McCreadie, O’Neal, and Jonathan Davenport. However, a caution for O’Neal and Davenport would fly relegating both to the tail. On the restart Overton began pulling away from McCreadie as Thornton was commanding the third spot.
Overton would catch the back of the field in the waning laps as McCreadie tried one last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag falling just short at the finish.
“When you’re out front like that you are just a sitting duck. You don’t know where to go,” Overton said. “My crew did a good job of moving me around. I have lost a lot of races when I have been loose, but I was getting too tight because I couldn’t stay on the bottom. This race car is awesome this is the first night on it.”
McCreadie, who will be seeking his third straight Lucas Oil title this year came home in the runner-up slot.
“I knew if I was going to try and poke him on the outside I had about a lap or maybe a lap and a half to do it because the good racers they can see their guys,” he said. “There is no shame in running second. We just have to qualify better I messed up and did a bad job qualifying and it put us behind all night long. We passed a lot of fast cars to finish where we did.”
Thornton, who finished third in last year’s championship standings rounded out the podium. “It’s a good start to the season. I would give it an A+ for us, we didn’t have any luck here last year. With the misfortune to JD [Davenport] and Hud [O’Neal] we were able to capitalize on that.”
Brandon Overton, Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton Jr., Devin Moran, Daulton Wilson, Ryan Gusin, Tyler Bruening, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard, Kyle Bronson, Carson Ferguson, Wil Herrington, Tanner English, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Jonathan Davenport, Mason Zeigler, Logan Roberson, Hudson O’Neal, Ross Robinson, Spencer Hughes, Earl Pearson Jr., Garrett Smith, Jordan Koehler, Garrett Alberson, G.R. Smith.