Thornton Sweeps Night One of Mountain Moonshine Classic at Smoky Mountain

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Photo

The current Big River Steel Chase for the Championship presented by ARP points leader, Ricky Thornton, Jr. led all the way to win Friday night’s $10,000 to win Mountain Moonshine Classic opener at Smoky Mountain Speedway.

Thornton collected his ninth series win of the 2024 as he crossed the finish line 1.240 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Tim McCreadie. Dale McDowell rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third followed by Devin Moran and Daulton Wilson.

With his 37th career win Thornton has now tied McCreadie for sixth on the series’ all-time win list as he now sets his sights on his second consecutive Mountain Moonshine Classic win paying $50,000 on Saturday night.

“I didn’t mind seeing that yellow,” said Thornton referring to the only caution of the race for Drake Troutman’s flat tire with 25 laps scored. Thornton was racing in heavy traffic as McDowell had closed to within a car length of Thornton before the yellow flag waved.

“I was running too hard trying to get by the lapped cars there. I was really beating my tires. So, the yellow came out and I saw T-Mac get back to second and I knew he didn’t pass Dale on the bottom, so I knew I had to move up and just try and keep some speed there. Me and Ross [Robinson] hit a little bit there when I was lapping him. He was just trying to race, and he had no idea I was there so luckily it wasn’t too bad. Overall, it was a really good night for us, I think we broke the track record in qualifying. Hopefully the car is this good tomorrow.”

McCreadie, who was coming off a second-place finish in the Show-Me 100 claimed the runner up spot again Friday night at Smoky Mountain.

“Yeah, we will take it. I mean these guys went to work everyday this week after Eldora trying to make this car more suitable to me as a driver and it came right out of the box tonight and was fast from the get-go. This is the first night we probably put together a whole night where we have been good all night.”

McDowell was putting the pressure on Thornton as the two maneuvered through traffic, but the caution flag did not help McDowell’s cause in trying to pass Thornton for the race lead.

“I just didn’t want to see that caution; Ricky really didn’t know where to go when you’re leading. I could get right there and work around, but when the caution came out, I didn’t really know where to choose. I felt the top and I was a little tight. Shane [McDowell] didn’t really have time with the track conditions. It was a good night; it is good anytime you can finish in the top three or five with these guys.”

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, Bilstein Shocks, EMD Wraps, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Murty Farms.

Completing the top ten were Mike Marlar, Brandon Overton, Nick Hoffman, Garrett Alberson, and Jonathan Davenport.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 

Race Summary 

Mountain Moonshine Classic | Night 1

Friday, June 14, 2024

Smoky Mountain Speedway – Maryville, TN

Allstar Performance Time Trials

Fast Time Group A: Ricky Thornton, Jr. | 13.661 seconds (overall)

Fast Time Group B: Devin Moran | 13.892 seconds 

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[2]; 3. 71-Hudson O’Neal[4]; 4. 111-Max Blair[3]; 5. 1G-Rusty Ballenger[7]; 6. 83-Jensen Ford[9]; 7. B5-Brandon Sheppard[6]; 8. 7-Ross Robinson[8]; 9. 11-Jimmy Johnson[11]; 10. 93-Cory Lawler[10]; 11. 40B-Kyle Bronson[5]

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 2. 9-Nick Hoffman[4]; 3. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 4. 19R-Ryan Gustin[3]; 5. 126-Kaede Loudy[6]; 6. 7T-Drake Troutman[5]; 7. 101-Forrest Trent[8]; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 9. J27-Jay Scott[7]; 10. B00-Josh Henry[9]

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 1-Tim McCreadie[2]; 2. 99-Devin Moran[1]; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens[4]; 4. 25B-Mike Benedum[6]; 5. 29-Larry Grube[9]; 6. 22-Chris Ferguson[5]; 7. 93F-Carson Ferguson[3]; 8. 11B-Stacy Boles[7]; 9. (DNS) 15-Noah Phillips; 10. (DNS) 79-Josh Sneed; 11. (DNS) 45-Billy Denby

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 17M-Dale McDowell[1]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 3. 157-Mike Marlar[3]; 4. 7W-Ricky Weiss[5]; 5. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 6. 6-Clay Harris[4]; 7. 55H-Benji Hicks[8]; 8. 18-Trevor Landrum[7]; 9. 14-Haiden Cowan[9]; 10. (DNS) 05-Corey Roulette

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 126-Kaede Loudy[2]; 2. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 3. 1G-Rusty Ballenger[1]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 5. 11-Jimmy Johnson[9]; 6. B00-Josh Henry[12]; 7. 17SS-Brenden Smith[8]; 8. 83-Jensen Ford[3]; 9. 93-Cory Lawler[11]; 10. J27-Jay Scott[10]; 11. B5-Brandon Sheppard[5]; 12. (DNS) 101-Forrest Trent; 13. (DNS) 40B-Kyle Bronson

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 99B-Boom Briggs[2]; 2. 22-Chris Ferguson[3]; 3. 93F-Carson Ferguson[5]; 4. 55H-Benji Hicks[6]; 5. 6-Clay Harris[4]; 6. 14-Haiden Cowan[9]; 7. 11B-Stacy Boles[7]; 8. 18-Trevor Landrum[8]; 9. 29-Larry Grube[1]; 10. (DNS) 15-Noah Phillips; 11. (DNS) 79-Josh Sneed; 12. (DNS) 45-Billy Denby; 13. (DNS) 05-Corey Roulette

Race Statistics  

Entrants: 42

Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Ricky Thornton, Jr.

Lap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-40)

Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.

Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a

Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a

Margin of Victory: 1.241 seconds 

Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Drake Troutman (Lap 25)

LOLMDS Series Provisionals: Ross Robinson; Clay Harris

Fast Time Provisional: n/a

LOLMDS Emergency Provisionals: Brenden Smith; Cory Lawler

Track Provisional: n/a

Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Tim McCreadie, Dale McDowell

Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Tim McCreadie, Dale McDowell, Devin Moran, Daulton Wilson

Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Mike Marlar (Advanced 6 Positions) 

PEM 4th Place Feature: Devin Moran

Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Brandon Overton

Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Jimmy Owens

MD3 Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (40 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: Carson Ferguson

Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 3 | 15.063 seconds)

Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Tim McCreadie

Miller Welders Hard Luck Award: Drake Troutman

Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.)

ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines

Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis

Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Garrett Alberson (14.1774 seconds)

Time of Race: 14 minutes 34 seconds

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series PR

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