Thornton Comes from Eighth for Third Straight Lucas Oil Triumph

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Photo

 It wasn’t an easy win for Ricky Thornton Jr. who from the eighth starting spot to take the lead on the 71st circuit after race leader Shannon Babb slowed on the track. From there, Thornton led the remaining four laps of the Farmer City 74 on Friday night to take the victory.

Thornton was the third different leader of the race as he went on to win his third straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event, earning $25,000 out of the $85,800 feature purse for his 34th career series win. It was the second ever visit to the Illinois bullring for the series as the event drew a stout 55-car field.

Jonathan Davenport came home in the runner-up spot followed by the third straight Big River Steel Podium finish for Garrett Alberson. Dennis Erb Jr. finished fourth followed by 16th-place starter Jimmy Owens, who rounded out the top five finishers.

Davenport jumped to the early lead with former Dirt Track World Championship winner Garrett Smith holding down the second spot. Smith held the runner-up position until Thornton, who started on the outside of the fourth row, moved in second around Smith on lap 24.

Davenport and Thornton dueled it out for the lead until Babb joined the party, as the veteran Illini racer and fan favorite, came from ninth and powered to the lead of the race on lap 55. Thornton moved by Davenport to take over second as he challenged Babb for the lead up until lap 70 when Babb suddenly slowed on the track and headed to the pit area out of the event. Thornton then went on to lead the final four laps for the win.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane, for the sixth time in 2024, Thornton was relieved the race was over where 21 of the 30 starters finished the race as traffic played a huge role in the event.

“I got second to JD and I’m like man it was going to be a real good night for us. We got to traffic, and I closed up on him a little bit and I thought man I‘ve got a shot here, but I don’t want to do something dumb and put myself in the wall in three and four. I moved him up a little bit and it really killed my line. I really wanted to go to the top on those restarts and I‘m like if I give Babb the bottom, he was going to drive right by me and if JD gets the top he was going to get by me. I don’t know but that’s probably the hardest we have drove in a while. I want to thank JD for leaving us a lane every time and the same with Shannon there. It was a wild one.”

Davenport, who is seeking a record-tying fourth Lucas Oil championship came home in the runner-up position after leading the most laps of any driver with 54. 

“That’s the best we have been here by far. It just wasn’t good enough. I probably should have got up and run the top a little bit more. I just couldn’t steer getting in. We changed a few things and went a lot stiffer on the front. I just couldn’t steer good enough to run the top like I wanted to. I just stayed straight and run the middle there. I was pretty good. Man, I hate that for Babb because after he passed me, I was cheering him on.”

Alberson, who won a regular show last Friday night at Famer City got his third straight and fourth of the year Big River Steel Podium finish as he continues to show improvement though the season.

“We have learned some things in the last month or so that seems to have really worked on our car up here. I am just super proud of the team. It’s super cool to run here in front of these fans at a track I love to race on. I hadn’t had a good finish here in a long time before last week and tonight.”  

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, Coltman Farms, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales Company, Bilstein Shocks, EMD Wraps, and Sunoco Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten were Chris Simpson, Hudson O’Neal, Cody Overton, Ryan Gustin, and Tim McCreadie.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Race Summary 

Farmer City 74

Friday, May 10, 2024

Farmer City Raceway – Farmer City, IL

Allstar Performance Time Trials

Fast Time Group A: Jonathan Davenport | 12.578 seconds (overall)

Fast Time Group B: Garrett Smith | 12.639 seconds 

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[2]; 3. 99B-Boom Briggs[4]; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[5]; 5. 75-Daniel Adam[6]; 6. 74-Mitch McGrath[7]; 7. 8L-Jeffrey Ledford[8]; 8. 33 4-Billy Hough[9]; 9. 1T-Tyler Erb[3]; 10. (DNS) 2M-Matthew Mickelson

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 7T-Drake Troutman[1]; 2. 18-Shannon Babb[3]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin[6]; 4. 31-Kye Blight[2]; 5. 89-Mike Spatola[4]; 6. 6-Clay Harris[7]; 7. C8-Cole Perine[5]; 8. 122-Timmy Dick[8]; 9. 27-Colby Sheppard[9]

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 32X-Chris Simpson[2]; 3. 7-Ross Robinson[6]; 4. 3S-Brian Shirley[3]; 5. 33-Mike Harrison[4]; 6. 162-Logan Moody[7]; 7. 51-Matt Furman[8]; 8. 93-Cory Lawler[9]; 9. (DNS) 45-Kyle Hammer

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 3. 25F-Jason Feger[3]; 4. 93F-Carson Ferguson[6]; 5. 71-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 6. 24-Ryan Unzicker[7]; 7. B5-Brandon Sheppard[5]; 8. 81-Jason Riggs[9]; 9. 33H-Roben Huffman[8]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 97-Cody Overton[1]; 2. 9-Nick Hoffman[2]; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens[3]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson[5]; 5. 32P-Bobby Pierce[4]; 6. 96-Tanner English[6]; 7. 11-Gordy Gundaker[7]; 8. 111-Max Blair[8]; 9. 7W-JC Waller[9]

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 2. 99-Devin Moran[2]; 3. 1-Tim McCreadie[3]; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson[5]; 5. 25W-Allen Weisser[7]; 6. 99W-Mckay Wenger[4]; 7. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[6]; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith[8]; 9. M14-David Marlow[9]

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr[1]; 2. 89-Mike Spatola[4]; 3. 31-Kye Blight[2]; 4. 6-Clay Harris[6]; 5. 75-Daniel Adam[3]; 6. 74-Mitch McGrath[5]; 7. 8L-Jeffrey Ledford[7]; 8. 122-Timmy Dick[10]; 9. C8-Cole Perine[8]; 10. 33 4-Billy Hough[9]; 11. 1T-Tyler Erb[11]; 12. (DNS) 27-Colby Sheppard; 13. (DNS) 2M-Matthew Mickelson

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 93F-Carson Ferguson[2]; 2. 3S-Brian Shirley[1]; 3. 24-Ryan Unzicker[6]; 4. B5-Brandon Sheppard[8]; 5. 71-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 6. 33-Mike Harrison[3]; 7. 162-Logan Moody[5]; 8. 81-Jason Riggs[10]; 9. 51-Matt Furman[7]; 10. 93-Cory Lawler[9]; 11. 33H-Roben Huffman[12]; 12. (DNS) 45-Kyle Hammer

MyRacePass B-Main Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 2. 40B-Kyle Bronson[2]; 3. 32P-Bobby Pierce[3]; 4. 99W-Mckay Wenger[6]; 5. 25W-Allen Weisser[4]; 6. 96-Tanner English[5]; 7. 11-Gordy Gundaker[7]; 8. 111-Max Blair[9]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 10. M14-David Marlow[12]; 11. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[8]; 12. (DNS) 7W-JC Waller

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series PR

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