48th annual World 100 up next to conclude Doubleheader Saturday
ROSSBURG, OH — Oct. 13, 2018 — The 48th annual World 100 was set to resume after a delay of five weeks and two days with the second of two Prelim Nights at the famed ½ (0.500) mile high-banked dirt oval of Eldora Speedway (OH), located just east of the Indiana/Ohio state line in Rossburg, Ohio on Saturday, October 13. Originally scheduled for September 7, then October 12, Mother Nature was nowhere in sight for “Doubleheader Saturday” as the second of three full nights of racing for the “Granddaddy of them all” featuring the popular “Every Lap Matters” format was highlighted by twin 25-lap features paying $10,000 to win each.
After 101 cars were on hand back in September, 78 returned 37 days later and at the end of the impromptu morning / afternoon show it would be former four-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Champion Josh Richards scoring the victory in the Odd Feature. While in the even Feature, Ricky Thornton Jr., surprised everyone on the property by scoring his first career Super Late Model Feature win and it comes at the famed Eldora Speedway.
In the Odd Feature, Richards started on the outside of the front row and quickly disposed of pole-sitter Duane Chamberlain. From there, it was all Richards who was never seriously challenged en route to his first Feature win at Eldora speedway since May 25, 2008, which came in a Sunoco American Late Model Series race. A span on 10 years, five months & 19 days.
“This feels fantastic. I almost forgot what it feels like to be up here,” stated the 30-year-old driver from Shinnston, WV as he climbed from his #1 Best Performance Motorsports / Rocket XR1 Chassis / Durham Racing Engines entry after ending a personal overall winless streak of eight months and 10 days. “It’s been a bit of a tough year for us. We’ve had some speed, but just haven’t had things go our way. It feels good to finally get one,” he added.
It would be Chamberlain and Richards leading the 24-car field to the green flag to kick off “Doubleheader Saturday” as Richards rocketed out to the lead from his outside front row starting spot. A couple of cautions bunched up the field, but on each restart, Richards was able to pull away from the pack. Chris Madden was able to claw his way into second spot from eighth, but by the time he got to the runner-up spot, Richards had built his lead up and was able to place several lapped cars between himself and Madden and go on to score the $10,000 payday.
With the win, Richards also clinched the “Every Lap Matters” Points title, worth an additional $2,500 after both Prelim Events (September 6 & October 13). Madden settled for second as World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series points leader, Mike Marlar finished off the podium in third. Don O’Neal was fourth as Earl Pearson Jr., completed the top five. 2017 Outlaw Rookie of the Year, Devin Moran was sixth as a pair of former Outlaw Champions, Brandon Sheppard (2017) & Shane Clanton (2015) were seventh and eighth. Shannon Babb finished ninth as Dale McDowell completed the top 10.
In the Even Feature, Chandler, AZ driver, Ricky Thornton Jr., surprised many in attendance on a beautiful fall afternoon in Western Ohio when the 28-year-old started on the pole and would go on to lead all 25 laps for his first career Super Late Model Feature Win of any kind. The driver of the #20rt S.S.I. Motorsports / Club 29 Racecars / Clements Racing Engines ride, who is filling in for the injured Hudson O’Neal, made the most of the opportunity in the car and on the biggest stage in Dirt Super Late Model racing with the upset victory.
“This is just so huge. I have to thank Hudson O’Neal for letting me drive this car. Without him, we wouldn’t be here.” Remarked the elated driver after scoring the biggest win of his career. “I felt pretty good in the center of turns three and four, but I didn’t realize I had to go so slow in turn one. Luckily, my crew guy kept giving me signals that we were ok, and it calmed me down a bit.” He added.
Thornton Jr., and 2006 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Champion, Tim McCreadie brought the field down to the green flag for the Even Feature and it would be Thornton Jr., beating McCreadie and the rest of the field to the first corner to grab the early lead. The Grand Canyon State driver would inch out ahead a little more with each lap that passed while McCreadie would be left to battle with Jimmy Owens for the second spot.
As the laps continued to click off, Thornton Jr., would continue to build his lead in what would be a caution free event. McCreadie was able to get back past Owens and set his sights on Thornton Jr. However, Thornton Jr., had built up a sizable lead and with plenty of lapped traffic between himself and a hard-charging McCreadie, Thornton Jr., was able to hang on to score the biggest victory of his career.
McCreadie settled for second with Jimmy Owens grabbing third. Chase Junghans and Shanon Buckingham, from 10th, completed the final top five finishers. Eldora Speedway Track Points Leader, Devin Gilpin finished in sixth as Mason Ziegler, Brandon Overton, out-going track champion. Kent Robinson from 11th and Scott James would finish off the final top 10 running order.
The 48th annual World 100 concludes later this evening (Saturday, October 13th) as all the points have been tabulated and the Qualifier Heat Race Lineups have been set. Josh Richards was the “Every Lap Matters” points leader after the two Prelim Nights and drew a Three for the inversion in tonight’s Qualifier Heat Races.