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Ricky Thornton Jr. Takes Lead Late To Win Cowboy Classic


Lucas Oil MLRA

Ricky Thornton Jr. Takes Lead Late To Win Cowboy Classic

WHEATLAND, Mo. (May 23, 2024) – Ricky Thornton Jr. took full advantage of a late race caution, passing race leader Garrett Alberson with two laps to go to win the 11th Annual Cowboy Classic on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. The race was co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Lucas Oil MLRA.

Alberson was in control of the 45-lap $10,000 to win event until the only caution of the race came out for second place running Chad Simpson with three laps to go. On the restart Thornton, who was running second, passed Alberson for the lead heading into turn three as the duo headed to the white flag. Thornton went on to earn his seventh Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season.

Alberson had his best career finish with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, coming home in second with Devin Moran rounding out the Big River Steel Podium in third after having one of the fastest cars on the track at the finish. Chris Simpson, who led the first seven laps of the race was fourth with Spencer Hughes completing the top five drivers.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for 35th time in his career, Thornton was also celebrating his 400th overall career victory. “I knew I was the only one on a softer right rear. I didn’t know if we were going to get any yellows or not. Really, he [Alberson] fired off better than I did. He missed the bottom those two laps in a row, and whenever he slid high on the backstraightaway I knew he would be in the slick and I tried to get far enough by him so he knew where I was going to be down there getting into three. I am sure he was watching the board there a little bit. We touched a little bit getting into three. It feels pretty special this is my 400th career win. It’s been a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point of my career.”

Alberson appeared to be on his way to his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory, but Thornton would take the point after the caution with three laps to go and lead the final two circuits to deny Alberson the win.

“To be bummed out with a second-place finish is a good thing. I am super proud of this Roberts Motorsports team; they have been working so hard. We’ve had a really good race car; this is actually our best finish. I kind of needed more speed and momentum and I was a little too tight on the bottom. I didn’t know what to do on that restart. Congrats to Ricky, he did the right things right there when he needed to. This car is really good. I think the long race is gonna fit it better.”

Moran, who won last year’s Show-Me 100 made a late-race charge on the top to take home third. “I don’t know if we will get this exact track again the next two nights. So, we will just see. We learned some stuff on this Double Down Motorsports car. So, we will take that into tomorrow and Saturday and see what happens.”

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

Completing the top ten were Daulton Wilson, Brian Rickman, Max Blair, Jonathan Davenport, and Gordy Gundaker.

Lucas Oil Speedway "Cowboy Classic" Contingencies 5/23/24
Lap Leaders – Chris Simpson (1-9), Garrett Alberson (10-43), Ricky Thornton Jr. (44-45)
Cautions – (1)

MyRacePass “Overall Fast Time Award" – Garrett Alberson (14.443 sec.)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race – Anthony Burroughs
MD3 "Most Laps Led" – Garrett Alberson (34)
Swift Springs “Move of the Race” – Ricky Thornton Jr.
Sunoco Race Fuel “Rookie of the Race” – N/A
PEM Racing "4th Place Finisher" – Chris Simpson
Fluidyne: "5th Place Finisher: – Spencer Hughes
Sunoco "Engine Builders Challenge" – Clements Racing Engine
Midwest Sheet Metal "Points Leader Spoiler Challenge" – Chad Simpson
MSD Performance Holley: “1st B-Main NON-Qualifier” – Carson Ferguson
MD3 Final Finisher: – Hudson O'NealLucas Oil Speedway "Cowboy Classic"

Flo Sports Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 2. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[2]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[4]; 4. 15C-Clayton Stuckey[6]; 5. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[7]; 6. 8-Dillon McCowan[8]; 7. 93-Cory Lawler[5]; 8. 11-Jeff Herzog[9]; 9. 7-Ross Robinson[10]; 10. 21W-Chris Wilhite Jr[11]; 11. 93F-Carson Ferguson[3]

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 36-Logan Martin[2]; 3. 90-Brian Rickman[3]; 4. 74X-Ethan Dotson[4]; 5. 777-Jared Landers[5]; 6. 1S-Jeremy Shaw[6]; 7. 6-Clay Harris[7]; 8. 78S-Steve Stultz[8]; 9. 14R-Jeff Roth[9]; 10. 26P-Glen Powell[10]; 11. (DNS) 96X-Dalton Imhoff

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 21XXX-Neil Baggett[1]; 2. 71-Hudson O'Neal[4]; 3. 12-Scott Crigler[5]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 5. 77-Jeremy Petty[2]; 6. 1X-Aaron Marrant[6]; 7. 20-Jimmy Owens[7]; 8. 128-Kylan Garner[8]; 9. 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[9]; 10. (DNS) 15-Payton Looney

Lucas Oil Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 32X-Chris Simpson[1]; 2. 25C-Chad Simpson[2]; 3. 17SS-Brenden Smith[4]; 4. 49W-Justin Wells[3]; 5. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[5]; 6. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[6]; 7. 3-Brennon Willard[7]; 8. 93O-Mason Oberkramer[9]; 9. 82-Jace Parmley[10]; 10. 0X-Jason Sivils[8]; 11. (DNS) 24-Kenny Green

Midwest Sheet Metal Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 1-Tim McCreadie[6]; 3. 1/4J-Jaxon Ertel[3]; 4. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 5. 7D-Dusty Leonard[2]; 6. 96-Tanner English[8]; 7. 7J-Ryan Johnson[5]; 8. 65-Jon Binning[9]; 9. USA1-Chris Hawkins[10]; 10. 6H-Al Humphrey[7]

Protect The Harvest Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 19M-Spencer Hughes[1]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar[2]; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[7]; 4. 22H-Dustin Hodges[3]; 5. 111-Max Blair[8]; 6. 21-Billy Moyer Sr[6]; 7. 2-Tyler Stevens[5]; 8. 10M-Jacob Magee[4]; 9. 26M-Matt Menzie[10]; 10. (DNS) 7W-Cole Wells

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 74X-Ethan Dotson[2]; 2. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[3]; 3. 93F-Carson Ferguson[15]; 4. 8-Dillon McCowan[5]; 5. 1S-Jeremy Shaw[6]; 6. 6-Clay Harris[8]; 7. 78S-Steve Stultz[10]; 8. 21W-Chris Wilhite Jr[13]; 9. 15C-Clayton Stuckey[1]; 10. 11-Jeff Herzog[9]; 11. 7-Ross Robinson[11]; 12. 93-Cory Lawler[7]; 13. 14R-Jeff Roth[12]; 14. 26P-Glen Powell[14]; 15. 777-Jared Landers[4]; 16. (DNS) 96X-Dalton Imhoff

Wieland B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson[1]; 2. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[4]; 3. 49W-Justin Wells[2]; 4. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[6]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens[7]; 6. 3-Brennon Willard[8]; 7. 128-Kylan Garner[9]; 8. 1X-Aaron Marrant[5]; 9. 15-Payton Looney[14]; 10. 82-Jace Parmley[12]; 11. 77-Jeremy Petty[3]; 12. 67-Jimmy Vanzandt[11]; 13. 0X-Jason Sivils[13]; 14. 93O-Mason Oberkramer[10]; 15. (DNS) 24-Kenny Green

MyRacePass B-Main Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 7T-Drake Troutman[1]; 2. 111-Max Blair[4]; 3. 7D-Dusty Leonard[3]; 4. 96-Tanner English[5]; 5. 2-Tyler Stevens[8]; 6. 10M-Jacob Magee[10]; 7. 7W-Cole Wells[14]; 8. USA1-Chris Hawkins[11]; 9. 7J-Ryan Johnson[7]; 10. 26M-Matt Menzie[12]; 11. 22H-Dustin Hodges[2]; 12. 21-Billy Moyer Sr[6]; 13. (DNS) 65-Jon Binning; 14. (DNS) 6H-Al Humphrey

11th Annual Cowboy Classic Feature Finish (45 Laps): A Feature - 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[6]; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[12]; 4. 32X-Chris Simpson[2]; 5. 19M-Spencer Hughes[5]; 6. 18D-Daulton Wilson[19]; 7. 111-Max Blair[23]; 8. 90-Brian Rickman[14]; 9. 49-Jonathan Davenport[24]; 10. 11G-Gordy Gundaker[22]; 11. 1-Tim McCreadie[9]; 12. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[21]; 13. 25C-Chad Simpson[7]; 14. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 15. 21XXX-Neil Baggett[4]; 16. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[17]; 17. 7T-Drake Troutman[20]; 18. 17SS-Brenden Smith[13]; 19. 12-Scott Crigler[16]; 20. 1/4J-Jaxon Ertel[15]; 21. 36-Logan Martin[8]; 22. 74X-Ethan Dotson[18]; 23. 157-Mike Marlar[11]; 24. 71-Hudson O'Neal[10]

Article Credit: LOLMDS Staff

Submitted By: Billy Rock

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Lucas Oil MLRAas of 6/7/2024
  • 1.Chad Simpson 955pts
  • 2.Chris Simpson 940pts
  • 3.Gordy Gundaker 935pts
  • 4.Trevor Gundaker 865pts
  • 5.Dillon McCowan 860pts
  • 6.Tony Jackson Jr830pts
  • 7.Earl Pearson Jr805pts
  • 8.Jeff Herzog 740pts
  • 9.Clayton Stuckey 685pts
  • 10.Aaron Marrant 665pts
Full Points