Hudson O'Neal outruns LOLMDS foes at Atomic, grabs LOLMDS lead
Hudson O’Neal raced to his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) victory of the season on Thursday night with a $12,000 triumph in the Buckeye Spring 50 aboard his Rocket1 Racing / Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works / XR1 Rocket Chassis / Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model.
The win was his fifth overall triumph of the season, and he had to outduel Jonathan Davenport to get the job done.
“What a race man, that cushion was really treacherous and I made a bunch of mistakes on it, but it was just so big and built up on the wall, it was real forgiving. You could make a little mistake and it not hurt you,” said O'Neal, who has 20 career Lucas Oil victories. “To be able to come back after a long break, you know we’ve had speed and that break was killing us, sitting around and we were ready to get going.”
Returning to the track after Mother Nature axed the scheduled LOLMDS events in both March and April, Rocket1 Racing and Hudson O’Neal invaded Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, Ohio) on Thursday evening for the ninth running of the Buckeye Spring 50.
Drawing 42 competitors for the opener of the three-race swing, O’Neal topped his 21-car group in time trials before placing first in his heat race. With preliminary results placing him on the pole for the feature, Hudson surrendered the lead on the second circuit but stayed within striking distance as fellow-front starter Jonathan Davenport defended the top spot through lapped-traffic.
Regaining the lead from Davenport on lap 27, O’Neal fended off Brandon Overton’s late charge to secure his fifth win of the season and 20th-career LOLMDS triumph. He collected a $12,000 prize ahead of Overton, Mike Marlar, Kyle Larson, and Jonathan Davenport.
The following night at Ponderosa Speedway (Junction City, Ky.) for the John Bradshaw Memorial, Hudson outran Max Blair in his heat to pick up the eight-lap victory. Chasing race-long pacesetter Mike Marlar across the line in the 50-lap feature, O’Neal recorded a second-place finish with Brandon Overton coming in third.
The weekend drew to a close on Saturday at Florence Speedway (Union, Ky.) with O’Neal racing his way into the $15,000-to-win Ralph Latham Memorial via a second-place finish in his heat. Starting the feature in sixth, Hudson stole the lead on lap 13 but was unable to hold off Ricky Thornton Jr. as he capped off the weekend with another second-place finish.
On the heels of a win and two runner-up finishes, O’Neal now holds a 40-point advantage atop the LOLMDS point standings.
Full results from the events are available at www.LucasDirt.com.
The team now prepares for a Land of Lincoln invasion for the second annual Illinois Speedweek. Action opens with a pair of $23,023-to-win Castrol FloRacing Night in America events on Wednesday and Thursday at Spoon River Speedway (Banner, Ill.) and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway.
On Friday and Saturday the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will sanction a $25,000-to-win program at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway and a $30,000-to-win event at Fairbury (Ill.) Speedway.
For more information on the weekend, please visit www.FloSeries.com and www.LucasDirt.com .
Article Credit: Heath Lawson image