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Ricky Thornton Jr. in victory lane at Golden Isles Speedway. (Mike Ruefer photo)

Thornton Banks $25,000 Super Bowl Prize

WAYNESVILLE, Ga. — 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 .425 seconds over Chris Madden, who finished second with Jonathan Davenport rounding out the 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.

“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,” Thornton said. “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.”

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Ricky Thortnon Jr. (Mike Ruefer photo)

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,” Madden said. “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 finish:

Ricky Thornton Jr., Chris Madden, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Overton, Devin Moran, Mike Marlar, Ryan Gustin, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard, Ross Robinson, Donald McIntosh, Daulton Wilson, Darrett Alberson, Max Blair, Cody Overton, Tyler Erb, Kyle Bronson, Spencer Hughes, Blair Northdurft, Brian Shirley, Garrett Smith, Clay Harris, Earl Pearson Jr., Daniel Adam, Boom Briggs, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Drake Troutman.