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Pierce Wins Second Career Sunoco North/South 100 at Florence

UNION, Ky. (August 12, 2023) – Bobby Pierce led the final ten laps of a thriller at Florence Speedway - pulling away from Ricky Thornton Jr. to win his second career Sunoco North/South 100 - Presented by Lucas Oil. Pierce’s fifth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season was worth $75,000.

 

Pierce, who started 13th on the grid was the fifth different leader of the race as he withstood a battle with Thornton, who had started 23rd. Thornton led laps 88 and 89 after taking the lead from Pierce who was out in front on laps 81-87.

 

Hudson O’Neal who led a race high 59 circuits finished in third followed by Jonathan Davenport and Daulton Wilson.

 

Spencer Hughes led the opening lap before yielding the point to three-time North/South 100 winner Jimmy Owens. Owens led 21 laps until O’Neal got by him on lap 23 to become the third different leader in the first quarter of the race. O’Neal would hold down the race lead until lap 81 when Pierce took over the top spot for the first time.

 

A poor restart with 13 laps to go nearly cost Pierce the victory, but he recovered from a side-by-side duel with Thornton and went on to win by just over 2 seconds at the finish. 

 

“Oh man I stepped on it good there on that restart. I thought the top would be great on exit, but I spun the wheels. I would have never had to dirty Ricky up if I hadn’t done that. I’ve got to apologize to him. I wasn’t quite clear, but I didn’t really complete the slider we just got side-by-side there and drag raced down the frontstretch and I had to work for that one. It was tough,” said the 26-year-old Oakwood, Illinois driver who collectively earned $85,000 for his North/South 100 weekend success.

 

“Once he [Thornton] got by me I thought that was it. I didn’t know if the top was still left in turn one, that’s what let me get that bite. The tires were perfect my crew said and to go 100 laps as hard as I was racing it. It is just an awesome car that I get to drive. We knew heading into it about the heat race invert. I think what they did earlier with the heat races made for a great racetrack for the feature. The racetrack was perfect for the feature. It made for a heck of a show. I didn’t think the top was going to be like that. I thought it was going to be on the bottom,” Pierce added.

 

Thornton’s stirring run nearly earned him his first North/South 100 victory. “We will move on and put that one in the memory bank. Congrats to him [Pierce]. He ran a good race. You could tell he was riding in second behind Hud and once I showed my nose, he made sure to get by him [O’Neal]. Once I got by Hud I tried to run him [Pierce] as hard as I could without knocking the fence down. Seems like in a lot of races here lately it gets a big curb against the wall. I think without that we might have had a really good car.”

 

O’Neal, whose father Don won the crown jewel twice in his career, rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third. “I just got a little too tight right there at the end. Really, in the middle of the the race I was tight against the cushion as well. All-in-all we had a good run. We made progress during the weekend. I am looking forward to going to Batesville next week. I am looking forward to going back to the race shop and re-grouping after a long couple of months on the road.” 

 

The winner’s Bobby Pierce Racing LLC, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Fast 1 Speed Shop, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Rio Grande Waste Services, Bloomington-Normal Truck Performance, PureMax Racing Oil, A-Plus Vacuum, Toyota of Danville, Leka Tree Service, Carnaghi Towing and Repair, Bilstein Shocks, VP Fuels, ted Brown’s Quality Paint and Body, Extreme Electric and Cajun Pools.

 

Completing the top ten were Chris Ferguson, Earl Pearson Jr., Devin Moran, Max Blair, and Kyle Bronson.


 

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Race Summary 

41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Florence Speedway – Union, KY


 

Dirt DraftFastest in Hot Laps: Jonathan Davenport (15.924 seconds)


 

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson[3]; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce[4]; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley[7]; 5. 16-Tyler Bruening[1]; 6. H22-Brandon Hardgrove[9]; 7. 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr[6]; 8. 12-Jason Jameson[8]; 9. 58-Garrett Alberson[5]; 10. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[10]


 

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 11-Spencer Hughes[2]; 2. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[5]; 4. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[3]; 5. 8K-Kyle Strickler[6]; 6. 157-Mike Marlar[4]; 7. 15-James Rice[8]; 8. 7R-Kent Robinson[7]; 9. 33AJ-Austin Lay[9]; 10. (DNS) 8A-Curt Addison


 

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1H-Hudson O'Neal[2]; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin[4]; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 4. 97-Michael Chilton[1]; 5. 99B-Boom Briggs[9]; 6. 79-Donald McIntosh[5]; 7. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[8]; 8. 33-Jesse Lay[10]; 9. 33H-Mike Harrison[7]; 10. 31AUS-Kye Blight[6]

 

AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 17M-Dale McDowell[1]; 2. 22F-Chris Ferguson[3]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport[4]; 4. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[2]; 5. 68-Adam Stricker[5]; 6. 1V-Vic Hill[7]; 7. 222-David Breazeale[6]; 8. 317-Blake Creech[9]; 9. 4G-Kody Evans[8]; 10. (DNS) 3:16-Mike Bargo


 

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 11R-Josh Rice[2]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[3]; 3. 111B-Max Blair[1]; 4. 66C-Matt Cosner[4]; 5. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 6. 22C-Brent Cornette[10]; 7. 1Z-Logan Zarin[9]; 8. 54-Dane Dacus[8]; 9. 89-Logan Roberson[5]; 10. 12D-Doug Drown[7]


 

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 23-Cory Hedgecock[4]; 2. 2S-Stormy Scott[2]; 3. 21H-Robby Hensley[6]; 4. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[9]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 6. 18-Trevor Landrum[5]; 7. 41-Jim Couch[8]; 8. 1T-Tyler Erb[1]; 9. (DNS) 55-Jesse Wisecarver

 

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 79-Donald McIntosh[9]; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 4. 157-Mike Marlar[8]; 5. 97-Michael Chilton[3]; 6. 8K-Kyle Strickler[5]; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 8. 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr[10]; 9. 33-Jesse Lay[15]; 10. 15-James Rice[11]; 11. 58-Garrett Alberson[16]; 12. 12-Jason Jameson[13]; 13. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[12]; 14. 31AUS-Kye Blight[20]; 15. H22-Brandon Hardgrove[7]; 16. 33AJ-Austin Lay[17]; 17. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[19]; 18. 16-Tyler Bruening[4]; 19. 7R-Kent Robinson[14]; 20. 8A-Curt Addison[21]; 21. (DNS) 33H-Mike Harrison


 

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[1]; 2. 68-Adam Stricker[4]; 3. 66C-Matt Cosner[2]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[5]; 5. 1V-Vic Hill[7]; 6. 18-Trevor Landrum[9]; 7. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[3]; 8. 222-David Breazeale[10]; 9. 317-Blake Creech[13]; 10. 22C-Brent Cornette[8]; 11. 1Z-Logan Zarin[11]; 12. 41-Jim Couch[12]; 13. 39-Tim McCreadie[6]; 14. 1T-Tyler Erb[15]; 15. (DNS) 54-Dane Dacus; 16. (DNS) 4G-Kody Evans; 17. (DNS) 89-Logan Roberson; 18. (DNS) 12D-Doug Drown


 

Non-Qualifer Race Finish (20 Laps): 1. 8K-Kyle Strickler[5]; 2. 97-Michael Chilton[3]; 3. 66C-Matt Cosner[1]; 4. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[8]; 5. 18-Trevor Landrum[6]; 6. 31AUS-Kye Blight[18]; 7. 1V-Vic Hill[4]; 8. 222-David Breazeale[10]; 9. 33-Jesse Lay[11]; 10. 22C-Brent Cornette[14]; 11. 12-Jason Jameson[16]; 12. 317-Blake Creech[12]; 13. 41-Jim Couch[17]; 14. 33AJ-Austin Lay[20]; 15. 15-James Rice[13]; 16. 1Z-Logan Zarin[15]; 17. (DNS) 157-Mike Marlar; 18. (DNS) 99B-Boom Briggs; 19. (DNS) 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr; 20. (DNS) H22-Brandon Hardgrove

 

41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 – Presented by Lucas Oil Feature Finish (100 Laps):

Race Statistics  

Entrants: 59

Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Jimmy Owens

Lap Leaders: Spencer Hughes (Lap 1); Jimmy Owens (Laps 2-22); Hudson O’Neal (Laps 23-80); Bobby Pierce (Laps 81-87); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 88-89); Bobby Pierce (Laps 90-100) 

Wieland Feature Winner: Bobby Pierce

Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Bobby Pierce 

Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Bobby Pierce

Margin of Victory: 2.019 seconds 

Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Chris Ferguson (Lap 36); Max Blair, Stormy Scott, Adam Stricker, Donald McIntosh, Garrett Alberson (Lap 37); Donald McIntosh (Lap 40); Kyle Bronson (Lap 58); Debris (Lap 83); Debris (Lap 87); Tim McCreadie (Lap 91)

Series Provisionals: Ricky Thornton, Jr.; Tim McCreadie

Fast Time Provisional: n/a

Series Emergency Provisionals: Tyler Erb; Garrett Alberson; Tyler Bruening; Ross Robinson

Track Provisional: Dustin Nobbe

Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Bobby Pierce, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal

Penske Shocks Top 5: Bobby Pierce, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Daulton Wilson

Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Advanced 21 Positions) 

Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Earl Pearson, Jr.

Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Tim McCreadie

Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Hudson O’Neal (59 Laps) 

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

Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr. 

O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Max Blair 

Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Lap 3 – 17.587 seconds) 

MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Tim McCreadie

Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Bob Pierce (Bobby Pierce) 

ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis

Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Race Engines

Time of Race: 56 minutes 23 seconds 

 

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

 


 

Thornton and Pierce Capture Friday Night Preliminaries at Florence

UNION, Ky. (August 11, 2023) – Ricky Thornton Jr. and Bobby Pierce collected Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wins during Friday’s portion of the 41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 - Presented by Lucas Oil at Florence Speedway. 

 

Thornton picked up his 14th Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2023 as the current Big River Steel Chase for the Championship - Presented by ARP points leader passed early race leader Daulton Wilson on lap 12 for the victory. Wilson came home in second followed Ryan Gustin, Mike Marlar, and Chris Ferguson.

 

Pierce was the third different leader of the second 25-lap A-Main as he passed Jonathan Davenport with five laps to go for his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the weekend. Davenport, the reigning event winner was second followed by Stormy Scott, Cory Hedgecock, and Matt Cosner.

 

Thornton stalked Wilson for the first 11 laps for the Group A A-Main before taking over the top spot going  on to a 1.807 second margin of victory over Wilson at the finish line. 

 

“Man, it’s a pleasure to drive this thing all the time,” said the 32-year-old Martinsville, Indiana resident. “Daulton was pretty good there early and I just kind of maintained around the bottom and finally once that middle slowed down a little bit, I felt like I had a good enough pace,” said the winner who has now won three events at Florence in 2023.

 

“A lot of times here I have been married to the top and now I feel like I have a car that’s good enough right now I don’t have to run the top all the time. We have a really good car I don’t know where that puts us at for tomorrow. If we would have had a bad night, we were going to start in the back of a heat race tomorrow night. So hopefully we should be in the first two rows and hopefully we can put on a good show.” 

 

Wilson was left still looking for his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win. “I really feel good about this team we have been progressing and our trajectory is in the right direction. We have really struggled here in the past and to come over here and be up front, leading laps and to run second to him [Thornton] he is the best guy in the country right now. We have 100 laps tomorrow and we will see what we can do.” 

 

Gustin, racing at Florence for the first time in his career this weekend rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in the third. “We were a little bit different on tires on the left rear than what those guys had. I rolled up there I wasn’t sure whether we had picked the right tires. We were kind of aiming for that bottom there, but it was still kind of slimy like it wasn’t really tacked up and then they threw that stuff across the groove, and we got better, but it seems like it takes us a little longer to get going with a hard right rear.”

 

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, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Coltman Farms, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales, Certified Inspection Services, Midwest Sheet Metal, Excel Floor Covering

 

Completing the top ten in the first 25 lapper were Tim McCreadie, Garrett Smith, Earl Pearson Jr., Garrett Alberson, and Max Blair.

In the second 25-lap A-Main of the night Cory Hedgecock jumped to the lead and led the first four laps of the race until Davenport, who started in third, took over the top spot. Davenport would hold the lead until he and Pierce would duel for several laps before Pierce was finally able to take the lead on lap 20. 
 
It was Pierce’s fourth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season as the 2016 Sunoco North/South 100 winner has now won the two preliminary A-Mains he has been in this weekend. “As it got slicker and slicker the car got better. I have raced at Fairbury and Cedar Lake the last two weeks, and this has been the same quarter-panel and spoiler I haven’t had to change it yet and now here we have to change it after getting into the wall a few times. It was a fun night JD [Jonathan Davenport] did a heck of a job. I think we were about even through the middle, and I knew if I was going to catch him and pass him, I was going to have to figure something out,” said the 26-year-old Oakwood, Illinois native.
 
Davenport, the 2022 Sunoco North/South 100 champion said: “He [Pierce] runs the fence better than about anybody. I felt like we made some gains tonight over last night. We just went a little too far. It didn’t drive perfect and to beat somebody running the wall as good as he [Pierce] does you have to be about perfect through the middle. I felt like we got better the longer the race went in those conditions.”
 
Stormy Scott recorded his first Big River Steel Podium finish of the season after starting in seventh. “We had a really good car tonight. We had a good car last night, just our results didn’t show it, hopefully with this invert we can come close to hitting that. We went in the right direction tonight with the car. We got better as that race went on. I feel like we should have a really good 100-lap race car. So, let’s see if we can get it done tomorrow.”
 
The winner’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Fast 1 Speed Shop, Cajun Pools, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Rio Grande Waste Services, Extreme Electric, Bloomington-Normal Truck Performance, Toyota of Danville, A-Plus Vacuum, VP Race Fuels, PureMax Racing Oil, Leka Tree Service, Tire Demon, and Carnaghi Towing and Repair 
 
Completing the top ten in the second 25-lapper were Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Spencer Hughes, and Kyle Bronson.

 
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 
Race Summary 
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Presented by Lucas Oil - Prelim Night 2
Friday, August 11, 2023
Florence Speedway – Union, KY
 
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Ricky Thornton, Jr. / 16.229 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Jimmy Owens / 16.316 seconds
 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 22F-Chris Ferguson[3]; 3. 33H-Mike Harrison[2]; 4. 89-Logan Roberson[5]; 5. 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr[7]; 6. 11R-Josh Rice[6]; 7. 1Z-Logan Zarin[4]; 8. 54-Dane Dacus[8]

 
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[3]; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell[2]; 4. 12-Jason Jameson[4]; 5. 15-James Rice[7]; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb[5]; 7. 33-Jesse Lay[6]

 
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar[2]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[4]; 4. 8K-Kyle Strickler[3]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[5]; 6. 18-Trevor Landrum[6]; 7. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[7]; 8. 8A-Curt Addison[8]
 
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 19R-Ryan Gustin[1]; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley[2]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening[6]; 5. 1V-Vic Hill[4]; 6. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[5]; 7. 22C-Brent Cornette[7]

 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 23-Cory Hedgecock[2]; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens[1]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[4]; 4. 11-Spencer Hughes[5]; 5. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[3]; 6. 7R-Kent Robinson[6]; 7. 3:16-Mike Bargo[7]; 8. 41-Jim Couch[8]

 
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 2S-Stormy Scott[2]; 3. 12D-Doug Drown[4]; 4. 79-Donald McIntosh[5]; 5. 21H-Robby Hensley[3]; 6. 33AJ-Austin Lay[6]; 7. 317-Blake Creech[7]

 
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce[1]; 2. 66C-Matt Cosner[2]; 3. 76-Brandon Overton[5]; 4. 97-Michael Chilton[3]; 5. 99B-Boom Briggs[4]; 6. 222-David Breazeale[6]; 7. 31AUS-Kye Blight[7]
 
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 40B-Kyle Bronson[1]; 2. 1H-Hudson O'Neal[3]; 3. 68-Adam Stricker[2]; 4. 55-Jesse Wisecarver[4]; 5. 4G-Kody Evans[7]; 6. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 7. H22-Brandon Hardgrove[5]
 
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 – Group A Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 11R-Josh Rice[1]; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb[3]; 3. 18-Trevor Landrum[2]; 4. 33-Jesse Lay[7]; 5. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[4]; 6. 1Z-Logan Zarin[5]; 7. 54-Dane Dacus[9]; 8. 22C-Brent Cornette[8]; 9. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[6]; 10. 8A-Curt Addison[10]

 
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 – Group B Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 7R-Kent Robinson[1]; 2. 222-David Breazeale[2]; 3. 7-Ross Robinson[4]; 4. 31AUS-Kye Blight[6]; 5. 33AJ-Austin Lay[3]; 6. H22-Brandon Hardgrove[8]; 7. 41-Jim Couch[9]; 8. 317-Blake Creech[7]; 9. (DNS) 3:16-Mike Bargo

 
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Prelim Night 2 Group A Feature Finish (25 Laps):
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Prelim Night 2 Group B Feature Finish (25 Laps):
Race Statistics  
Entrants: 59
Group A Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Group B Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Cory Hedgecock
Group A Lap Leaders: Daulton Wilson (Laps 1-11); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 12-25) 
Group B Lap Leaders: Cory Hedgecock (Laps 1-4); Jonathan Davenport (Laps 5-19); Bobby Pierce (Laps 20-25) 
Group A Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Group B Wieland Feature Winner: Bobby Pierce
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a 
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a 
Group A Margin of Victory: 1.807 seconds 
Group B Margin of Victory: 1.186 seconds 
Group A Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Debris (Lap 1)
Group B Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Debris (Lap 4)
Series Provisionals: n/a 
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a 
Track Provisional: n/a 
Group A Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Daulton Wilson, Ryan Gustin
Group B Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Bobby Pierce, Jonathan Davenport, Stormy Scott
Group A Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Daulton Wilson, Ryan Gustin, Mike Marlar, Chris Ferguson
Group B Penske Shocks Top 5: Bobby Pierce, Jonathan Davenport, Stormy Scott, Cory Hedgecock, Matt Cosner
Group A Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Tim McCreadie (Advanced 12 Positions) 
Group B Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Ross Robinson (Advanced 6 Positions) 
Group A Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Garrett Smith
Group B Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Hudson O’Neal
Group A Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Kyle Strickler
Group B Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Michael Chilton
Group A Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (14 Laps) 
Group B Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Jonathan Davenport (15Laps) 
Group A Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Group A Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Hudson O’Neal
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr. 
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a 
Group A Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Daulton Wilson (Lap 2 – 17.803 seconds) 
Group B Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Cory Hedgecock (Lap 1 – 17.529 seconds) 
Group A MD3 Tough Break of the Race: n/a
Group B MD3 Tough Break of the Race: n/a
Group A Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.) 
Group B Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Bob Pierce (Bobby Pierce) 
Group A ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Group B ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Race Engines
Group A Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Group B Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt DraftFastest in Hot Laps: Jonathan Davenport (16.243seconds) 
Group A Time of Race: 9 minutes 41 seconds 
Group B Time of Race: 10 minutes 06 seconds

 
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Saturday Line-Ups:

 


 

Pierce and Marlar Take Thursday Night Prelims at Florenc

UNION, Ky. (August 10, 2023) – Bobby Pierce and Mike Marlar each won a 25-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature on Thursday night at Florence Speedway to kickoff to the 41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 - Presented by Lucas Oil.
 
Pierce took the lead from Michael Chilton on the 13th circuit and pulled away for the win in the first 25-lap main event of the night. Ryan Gustin in his first-ever appearance at Florence came home in second followed by Josh Rice, Matt Cosner, and Cory Hedgecock.
 
Marlar came from the 10th starting spot to take the lead on lap 16 from Ricky Thornton Jr. as he powered away for the win over Kyle Bronson, Brandon Overton, Jonathan Davenport, and Spencer Hughes.
 
Chilton, who set overall fast time of the 61 entrants for the night was looking for his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory. Chilton withstood a lap one slider from Pierce to hold the lead for the first 12 laps of the 25-lap affair. Pierce, who started second then took over the top spot-on lap 13 and was pulling away from the field until a caution with one lap to go set up a shootout to the finish.
 
Pierce was able to gain enough of an advantage on the final lap to win for the third time this year with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
 
Pierce’s 15th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win was by a 0.859 second margin. “I wasn’t too worried on that last lap. I didn’t know how good he [Gustin] was. I believe he started sixth, so he had to have come through the field a little bit there. The track got very smooth, and I got a consistent line that I liked. With it just being a green and white together and one lap left it’s not as nerve-racking as a green-white-checkered finish. It was just one lap and I just had to hit my marks. Chilton gave me a run for my money there early in the race. He drove a heck of a race there. I eventually got that bottom to stick, and the car was really good.”
 
Gustin fared well in his debut at Florence, coming home in second to Pierce. “He [Pierce] took off a little earlier than I was anticipating. I wasn’t quite at the right angle, and I shoved and had to check up. I thought I was pretty good there. I mean those guys go out there and beat the deck out of it. You want to be there on the bottom at the end of 100 laps here. I have watched a lot of videos here and it looks like you can race either way up top or way on the bottom, but I think we are pretty good on the bottom here right now.”
 
The winner’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Cajun Pools, Fast 1 Speed Shop, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Bloomington-Normal Truck Performance, Leka Tree Service, Rio Grande Waste Services, PureMax Racing Oil, Toyota of Danville, VP Fuels, Budda Bert Transmissions, Extreme Electric, Ted Brown’s Quality Paint and Body, and A-Plus Vacuum,
 
Completing the top ten finishers in the Group A - A-Main were Chris Ferguson, Tyler Erb, Jimmy Owens, Michael Chilton, and Max Blair.
 
In a wild and wooly second 25-lapper Hudson O’Neal led the first 12 laps until he slowed under caution for a flat left-rear tire. O’Neal dived into the Heartbeat Hot Sauce Hot Pit to change the tire and rejoined the field on the tail. Ricky Thornton Jr. then picked up the lead and he was out in front until he contacted the turn three wall allowing Marlar to dive underneath him to take over the lead. Thornton then headed to the Hot Pit as well for a flat tire with 16 laps complete.
 
Marlar withstood a pair of caution flags before going on to his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season in the State of Kentucky. A tremendous battle for second place came down to the wire with Bronson getting by Overton coming off turn four.
 
Marlar’s 20th career win with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series was well-earned as he came from the outside of row number five to get the victory worth $5,000. “I wish I knew I had the car to beat, but with this kind of competition you just don’t know, sometimes it goes and sometimes it don’t but today it did. I qualified good but we were a little off in the heat race. We stayed pretty close to the game plan there and it came back alive for the feature. It’s cool to win here, it’s a tough field. Everybody’s here and it’s awesome to win these races. I attribute a lot of the good racing to the new tire rule we got there were a lot of comers and goers. My set-up was probably a little unique to some of them.”
 
Bronson had to battle from his sixth starting spot to gain the runner-up position behind Marlar. “It just feels good to run good. We have been struggling the last couple of weeks, but we have been working really hard. The car was pretty good tonight, me and Brandon [Overton] had a little fun out there racing. We made a couple of adjustments that I feel like hurt us on the cushion there, we were bottoming out pretty good there, but overall, we had a pretty good race car, and we’ll take it and learn from it.”
 
Overton rounded of the Big River Steel Podium with his third-place finish. “I was hoping nobody seen that there,” said Overton referring to his wall-riding moment. “It was a good race there; Mikey was checked out on us there and I thought I could hold Bronson off. I was trying to bang off the wall, but I hit the gas too hard and jumped the cushion a little bit.”
 
The winner’s Ronnie Delk-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Delk Equipment, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Petroff Towing, Can-Am Salvage Auto salvage, Bilstein Shocks, Midwest Sheet Metal, VP Fuels, Paulson Stussy Construction, Capital Race Decals, Rick Havenridge Financial Advisor, and Delk-Marlar Racing Development.
 
Completing the top ten finishers in the second feature were Tyler Breuning, Tim McCreadie, Earl Pearson Jr., Dale McDowell, and Hudson O’Neal.

 
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 
Race Summary 
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 - Presented by Lucas Oil - Prelim Night 1
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Florence Speedway – Union, KY
 
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Michael Chilton / 15.229 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Mike Marlar / 15.350 seconds
 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 97-Michael Chilton[1]; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb[4]; 4. 33H-Mike Harrison[5]; 5. 79-Donald McIntosh[6]; 6. 68-Adam Stricker[2]; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs[8]; 8. 12D-Doug Drown[7]

 
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 9H-Nick Hoffman[1]; 2. 11R-Josh Rice[3]; 3. 21H-Robby Hensley[2]; 4. 99-Devin Moran[5]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens[4]; 6. 55-Jesse Wisecarver[7]; 7. 1Z-Logan Zarin[6]; 8. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[8]

 
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce[1]; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin[2]; 3. 54-Dane Dacus[3]; 4. 222-David Breazeale[5]; 5. 22F-Chris Ferguson[4]; 6. 111B-Max Blair[6]; 7. 4G-Kody Evans[7]; 8. 8A-Curt Addison[8]
 
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 – Group A Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 66C-Matt Cosner[3]; 2. 10-Garrett Smith[2]; 3. 23-Cory Hedgecock[4]; 4. 1V-Vic Hill[1]; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley[5]; 6. 15-James Rice[6]; 7. 3:16-Mike Bargo[7]

 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 1H-Hudson O'Neal[1]; 2. 11-Spencer Hughes[2]; 3. 16-Tyler Bruening[3]; 4. 89-Logan Roberson[5]; 5. 17M-Dale McDowell[4]; 6. 66JR-Eddie Carrier Jr[6]; 7. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 8. 317-Blake Creech[8]

 
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[2]; 2. 12-Jason Jameson[4]; 3. 31AUS-Kye Blight[1]; 4. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 5. 18-Trevor Landrum[5]; 6. 22C-Brent Cornette[6]; 7. H22-Brandon Hardgrove[7]

 
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson[5]; 3. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 5. 7R-Kent Robinson[4]; 6. 33AJ-Austin Lay[6]; 7. 33-Jesse Lay[8]; 8. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain[7]
 
AP1 Insurance Heat Race #4 – Group B Finish (8 Laps, Top 5 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton[1]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 3. 8K-Kyle Strickler[4]; 4. 2S-Stormy Scott[3]; 5. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[5]; 6. 9-Josh Dietz[6]; 7. 41-Jim Couch[7]
 
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 – Group A Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 68-Adam Stricker[1]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[2]; 3. 55-Jesse Wisecarver[3]; 4. 15-James Rice[4]; 5. 12D-Doug Drown[9]; 6. 4G-Kody Evans[6]; 7. 3:16-Mike Bargo[8]; 8. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[11]; 9. 1Z-Logan Zarin[7]; 10. 99B-Boom Briggs[5]; 11. 8A-Curt Addison[10]

 
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 – Group B Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 68-Adam Stricker[1]; 2. 111B-Max Blair[2]; 3. 55-Jesse Wisecarver[3]; 4. 15-James Rice[4]; 5. 12D-Doug Drown[9]; 6. 4G-Kody Evans[6]; 7. 3:16-Mike Bargo[8]; 8. 99J-Donnie Jeschke[11]; 9. 1Z-Logan Zarin[7]; 10. 99B-Boom Briggs[5]; 11. 8A-Curt Addison[10]

 
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Prelim Night 1 Group A Feature Finish (25 Laps):
41st Annual Sunoco North/South 100 Prelim Night 1 Group B Feature Finish (25 Laps):
Race Statistics  
Entrants: 61 
Group A Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Michael Chilton
Group B Terminal Maintenance & Construction Pole Sitter: Hudson O’Neal
Group A Lap Leaders: Michael Chilton (Laps 1-12); Bobby Pierce (Laps 13-25) 
Group B Lap Leaders: Hudson O’Neal (Laps 1-12); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 13-15); Mike Marlar (Laps 16-25) 
Group A Wieland Feature Winner: Bobby Pierce
Group B Wieland Feature Winner: Mike Marlar
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a 
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a 
Group A Margin of Victory: 0.859 seconds 
Group B Margin of Victory: 2.510 seconds 
Group A Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Debris (Lap 2); Debris (Lap 13); Nick Hoffman (Lap 24)
Group B Gorsuch Performance Solutions Cautions: Jason Jameson (Lap 12); Kyle Strickler (Lap 16); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 16 Restart); Kyle Strickler (Lap 21) 
Series Provisionals: n/a 
Fast Time Provisional: n/ 
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a 
Track Provisional: n/a 
Group A Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Bobby Pierce, Ryan Gustin, Josh Rice
Group B Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson, Brandon Overton
Group A Penske Shocks Top 5: Bobby Pierce, Ryan Gustin, Josh Rice, Matt Cosner, Cory Hedgecock
Group B Penske Shocks Top 5: Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson, Brandon Overton, Jonathan Davenport, Spencer Hughes
Group A Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Chris Ferguson (Advanced 12 Positions) 
Group B Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Mike Marlar (Advanced 9 Positions) 
Group A Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Tyler Erb
Group B Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Tim McCreadie
Group A Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Garrett Alberson
Group B Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Daulton Wilson
Group A Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Bobby Pierce (13 Laps) 
Group B Earnhardt Technologies Most Laps Led: Hudson O’Neal (12 Laps) 
Group A Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
Group A Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Earl Pearson, Jr.
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr. 
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a 
Group A Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Bobby Pierce (Lap 4 – 16.401 seconds) 
Group B Etchberger Trucking Fastest Lap of the Race: Hudson O’Neal (Lap 1 – 16.643 seconds) 
Group A MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Nick Hoffman
Group B MD3 Tough Break of the Race: Hudson O’Neal
Group A Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Bob Pierce (Bobby Pierce) 
Group B Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Josh Davis (Mike Marlar) 
Group A ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Vic Hill Race Engines
Group B ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Group A Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Group B Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt DraftFastest in Hot Laps: Jonathan Davenport (15.250 seconds) 
Group A Time of Race: 16 minutes 36 seconds 
Group B Time of Race: 18 minutes 19 seconds 

 


 
 

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