top of page

Ricky Thornton Jr. Leads Wire To Wire For Lucas Oil Late Model "Great Lakes 50" Victory At Raceway 7

From Jeremy Shields | Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series


CONNEAUT, OH (September 29, 2023) – Ricky Thornton Jr. led wire-to-wire in Friday night’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Great Lakes 50” at Raceway 7. Thornton earned $12,000 for his 22nd series win of the season.

Devin Moran finished in second followed by Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, and Daulton Wilson.

Thornton rolled from his outside front starting spot to take the lead at the drop of the green. After a multi-car accident before a lap was complete resulted in a complete restart, Thornton again would take the lead. Garrett Alberson gave chase in the second spot for the first 17 laps of the race until Hudson O’Neal was able to get by him the on the 18th circuit.

As O’Neal ran in the runner-up position, he was several car lengths back of Thornton, when Logan Roberson, who was running eighth slowed on lap 38 drawing a caution flag. O’Neal would bring out the last caution of the race with a left rear flat tire while running in third. Moran had just passed O’Neal for second when misfortune struck as he pitted for a new tire. O’Neal would then come back through the field to finish in seventh in the final rundown.

Moran could not stay with Thornton in the last 12 laps as Thornton dominated the rest of the way pulling out to a 4.196 seconds advantage at the checkers.

It was Thornton’s second ever appearance at the Northeast Ohio venue, scoring his 27th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.

“It’s pretty cool to come up here in the stands and see everybody. On that one restart I was more worried about Hud [O’Neal]. I saw him back there on the board. My crew guys were letting me know he was closing in before that yellow came out. It stinks that he got that flat, it ruined his night. Overall, it was a good night for us. I felt like we qualified as good as we were going to. For us to be able to win the heat and start on the front row of the feature, it shows how good my guys work, we had a good car all night,” said the Martinsville, Indiana resident who just celebrated his 33rd birthday on Thursday.

“The car was real good through traffic; I think we got stuck once behind somebody. I felt like I was really good. These long straightaways here are so different, by the time you get to the corner you really have to slow down more down the straightaway than the corner, so I had to figure that out a little bit. The racetrack was really good. I have only been here once before and that was a few years ago. I finished like sixth or seventh so to come out and win it tonight is pretty awesome. We look forward to tomorrow at Pittsburgh.”

Moran, with his second-place finish closes to within 15 points of Brandon Overton for the fourth position in the championship standings heading into the Pittsburgher Saturday night. “The pressure is on I love it. I didn’t know how I was going to run tonight. I have been here a couple of times and not done so good. I have never really been that good here. Obviously, I wasn’t that good compared to Ricky tonight, but we just squeezed out that second, so we have given ourselves a shot to get in the final four.”

Davenport rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third as he maintains third place in the championship standings. “It wasn’t too bad tonight. It was a lot better than we have been running here lately. You know we have just been off a little bit this year. We have been working and getting a little better. We still aren’t as good as the 20RT car yet. We just kind of picked our way up through there tonight. We didn’t get a good start there in the heat race and it put us behind. We just capitalized on people’s mistakes when they would make one tonight to come out of here with a top three is good.”

The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns-owned, SSI Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Coltman Farms, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales Company, D&E Outside Services, Certified Inspection Services, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bilstein Shocks, Midwest Sheet Metal, Excel Floor Covering and Murty Farms.

Completing the top ten were Garrett Alberson, Hudson O’Neal, Max Blair, Spencer Hughes, and Boom Briggs.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Race Summary

Great Lakes 50

Friday, September 29, 2023

Raceway 7 – Monroe Center, OH

Great Lakes 50 Feature Finish (50 Laps):

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

See the latest from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series:

Photo's: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series


bottom of page