When it seemed that Tim McCreadie’s early season fortune on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series may have slipped away on Tuesday night, he proved otherwise with a gallant performance on the third night of the Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park (FL), becoming the first repeat winner of the season in just the fourth race of the year.
T-Mac’s fortune came at a price for one of his fellow competitors and friends off the track. Jonathan Davenport led the majority of the 40-lap feature, with McCreadie hassling Davenport lap after lap. One particular restart allowed McCreadie to shake off Brandon Overton and take the fight back to Davenport.
Then on Lap 36, it all turned to chaos. Holding a lead off turn four, Davenport hit a deep hole that had formed and was obscured in dust and shadow. The hit bent the front nose under the right front wheel, slowing the No. 49 dramatically. Unable to avoid an impact, Kyle Bronson slammed his nose into the back of Davenport’s car bringing out the red flag and shaking up both drivers, who were able to walk away.
In the end, McCreadie held the lead over Overton in the final five laps for the victory. While satisfied with the victory, McCreadie was some what subdued thinking about what had gone down.
“Always, anytime you get in victory lane with this talent that’s assembled here and the vast car count, it’s a pleasure and a blessing at the same time. I hate it for JD, because like he’d tell you, we’re really tight and we share information. We’ve been trying to build both teams to be really good and race each other a lot,” McCreadie told Speed51.
“I think that’s what we were doing. We raced awesome together the first ten laps, he got away, and I kind of had my little struggles midrace. Then I got to learning how to run the cushion like he was doing and thought we had the same type of car. He didn’t make a mistake, he just stuck it in that hole, the thing is massive, and you can’t see where it is. If you hit it wrong, it just digs in.”
McCreadie was proud of the effort the No. 39 Longhorn Chassis house team had put together, reflecting on their great start, while being cautiously optimistic about the second half of the week to come.
“It’s pretty awesome. Years ago when I came down here with Sweetners Plus we won four or five races in a week. We’ve done it before, but it has been a long time. I wouldn’t of expected it this fast. We’ll see, I’ll just try to run hard every lap and keep adjusting on the car, and we’ll see where the chips fall for us.”
Brandon Overton came home second, holding off Tuesday night winner Brandon Sheppard who finished third.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51