Rick Eckert Wins Circle K Late Model Showdown; Brandon Overton Claims NDRA Victory
Wednesday night, defending World of Outlaws Late Models Series champion Rick Eckert won the Circle K Late Model Showdown in a 50-lap shootout that came down to the final lap at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Dale McDowell took control of the race at the start, jumping to the lead in the first turn. He held on to the top spot through three cautions before Josh Richards got to his bumper. Richards passed him on lap 9, but a caution on the same lap gave the spot back to McDowell.
Richards officially gained the lead on lap 12, distancing himself from the field for nearly 20 laps. It looked like no one would catch him, but Richards suffered a flat right rear tire on lap 31, bringing out the caution and putting him at the back of the pack. The new leader would be Eckert, who was running in second behind Richards.
On the restart, Eckert pulled away while Richards started his march towards the front. Charging through the field, Richards made contact with Steve Francis, sending them both to the pits and ending the night for the two drivers.
Late in the race, Clint Smith, who climbed 22 spots to take over the second position, began putting pressure on leader Eckert. Smith got loose and lost ground, but a caution after third place Brandon Sheppard slowed gave him renewed hope. The race came down to a two-lap showdown between the two, but it would be Eckert who came out on top, clinching the victory. Smith settled for second and Chub Frank finished third.
“This is starting to be one of my favorite places,” said Eckert. “You had to have your elbows up and you had to take care of your tires too. It was actually a really good race.”
This was the York, Penn., native's first win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and his fifth victory of the 2012 season.
It was a tough night for the NASCAR drivers who came out to run the Circle K Late Model Showdown. Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, and Ty Dillon, current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader, wouldn’t make it into the field for the 50-lap feature. Austin Dillon, 2011 Camping World Truck Series champion and current NASCAR Nationwide Series championship contender, started 14th, but limped off the track with eight laps to go.
In NDRA late model action, Brandon Overton, of Appleton, Ga., passed polesitter Chris Ferguson on lap 18 and held off a hard-charging Dennis “Rambo” Franklin in the final laps to claim his first win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Overton, who started in third, survived six caution flags to claim the win. Franklin earned the runner-up spot after starting from 12th place. David Smith finished third, followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular David Gilliland and Ferguson.
Tickets for Friday’s Dollar General 300 and Saturday’s Bank of America 500 are still available and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets for the Bank of America 500 start at just two for $99, with great views of pit road and the world’s largest HDTV.
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The unofficial results:
World of Outlaws Late Models
Qualifying Results: 1. Josh Richards; 2. Tim Fuller; 3. Tim McCreadie; 4. Brandon Sheppard; 5. Jimmy Owens; 6. Chris Madden; 7. Clint Smith; 8. Steve Shaver; 9. Steve Francis; 10. Eric Wells; 11. Vic Coffey; 12. Eric Jacobson; 13. Walker Arthur; 14. Kenny Moreland; 15. Dale McDowell; 16. Shane Clanton; 17. Rick Eckert; 18. Jeff Rine; 19. Darrell Lanigan; 20. Tyler Reddick; 21. Kenny Pettyjohn; 22. Kent Robinson; 23. Chub Frank; 24. Pat Doar; 25. Bub McCool; 26. Austin Dillon; 27. Donnie Moran; 28. Jared Landers; 29. Duane Treadwell; 30. Billy Ogle Jr.; 31. Jonathan Davenport; 32. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 33. Joey Coulter; 34. Trevor Bayne; 35. Chris Ferguson; 36. Brian Force; 37. Ty Dillon; 38. Larry McDaniels; 39. Tre Martin; 40. Brian Ledbetter; 41. Robbie Bailey; 42. Billy Workman; 43. Mike Benedum; 44. Justin Rattliff .
First Heat (10 laps): 1. Josh Richards; 2. Jimmy Owens; 3. Rick Eckert; 4. Steve Francis; 5. Walker Arthur; 6. Bub McCool; 7. Kenny Pettyjohn; 8. Duane Treadwell; 9. Joey Coulter; 10. Robbie Bailey; 11. Ty Dillon.
Second Heat (10 laps): 1. Eric Wells; 2. Tim Fuller; 3. Jeff Rine; 4. Austin Dillon; 5. Billy Ogle Jr.; 6. Kent Robinson; 7. Kenny Moreland; 8. Chris Madden; 9. Trevor Bayne; 10. Larry McDaniels; 11. Billy Workman.
Third Heat (10 laps): 1. Tim McCreadie; 2. Dale McDowell; 3. Chub Frank; 4. Donnie Moran; 5. Jonathan Davenport; 6. Darrell Lanigan; 7. Vic Coffey; 8. Mike Benedum; 9. Clint Smith; 10. Tre Martin.
Did Not Start: Chris Ferguson
Fourth Heat (10 laps): 1. Eric Jacobson; 2. Brandon Sheppard; 3. Shane Clanton; 4. Tyler Reddick; 5. Jared Landers; 6. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 7. Brian Force; 8. Pat Doar; 9. Steve Shaver.
Did Not Start: Brian Ledbetter, Justin Rattliff
Last Chance Qualifier 1 (12 laps): 1. Kent Robinson; 2. Kenny Pettyjohn; 3. Bub McCool; 4. Chris Madden; 5. Billy Ogle Jr.; 6. Duane Treadwell; 7. Trevor Bayne; 8. Billy Workman; 9. Robbie Bailey; 10. Joey Coulter; 11. Walker Arthur; 12. Kenny Moreland; 13. Larry McDaniels.
Did Not Start: Ty Dillon
Last Chance Qualifier 2 (12 laps): 1. Jared Landers; 2. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 3. Vic Coffey; 4. Jonathan Davenport; 5. Pat Doar; 6. Mike Benedum; 7. Brian Force; 8. Steve Shaver.
Did Not Start: Darrell Lanigan, Clint Smith, Tre Martin, Brian Ledbetter, Chris Ferguson, Justin Rattliff
Feature (50 laps): 1. Rick Eckert; 2. Clint Smith; 3. Chub Frank; 4. Bub McCool; 5. Darrell Lanigan; 6. Shane Clanton; 7. Eric Jacobson; 8. Steve Shaver; 9. Donnie Moran; 10. Pat Doar; 11. Brandon Sheppard; 12. Austin Dillon; 13. Jared Landers; 14. Tyler Reddick; 15. Steve Francis; 16. Josh Richards; 17. Jeff Rine; 18. Eddie Carrier Jr.; 19. Kenny Pettyjohn; 20. Dale McDowell; 21. Tim Fuller; 22. Eric Wells; 23. Tim McCreadie; 24. Kent Robinson; 25. Jimmy Owens; 26. Vic Coffey.
National Dirt Racing Association Late Models
Qualifying Results: 1. Chris Ferguson; 2. Brandon Overton; 3. Brent Glastetter; 4. Matt Long; 5. David Smith; 6. Timbo Mangum; 7. Greg Clark; 8. Donnie Austin; 9. David Gilliland; 10. Ross Bailes; 11. Corey Gordon.; 12. Adam Yarbrough; 13. Alex Krohn; 14. Dennis “Rambo” Franklin; 15. Justin Hudspeth; 16. Daniel Tucker; 17. Ryan Atkins.; 18. Ben Watkins; 19. Jay Sessom; 20. Jimmy Schiltz; 21. Gig Gibbons; 22. Jeff Graves; 23. Dan Breuer; 24. Steve Banal; 25. Brian Ligon; 26. Matt Lawson; 27. Banjo Duke; 28. Jonathan Edwards; 29. Jason Palermo; 30. Anthony Sanders; 31. JR Moseley; 33. London Mitchel; 34. Dale Barneycastle; 35. Mark Crowe; 36. Tony Ayers; 37. Matthew Nance; 38. Wesley Cadwallader; 39. Jeff Smith; 40. Andrew Wylie; 41. Greg Barker; 42. Mark Robinson; 43. Pat Lindsay; 44. Bryan Nance; 45. Dillon Brown; 46. Scott Neighbors; 47. Tyler Piercey; 48. Frank Wilson Jr.; 49. “Downtown” Michael Brown.
Last Chance Qualifier # 1 (10 laps): 1. Alex Krohn; 2. Ryan Atkins.; 3. Justin Hudspeth; 4. Corey Gordon; 5. Dan Breuer; 6. Jay Sessom; 7. Banjo Duke; 8. Gib Gibbons; 9. JR Moseley; 10. Mark Crowe; 11. Brian Ligon; 12. Jason Palermo; 13. “Downtown” Michael Brown; 14. Matthew Nance; 15. London Mitchel; 16. Tyler Piercey; 17. Jeff Smith
Did Not Start: Dillon Brown, James Plemmons, Greg Barker, Pat Lindsay
Last Chance Qualifier # 2 (10 laps): 1. Dennis “Rambo” Franklin; 2. Adam Yarbrough; 3. Ben Watkins; 4. Jimmy Schiltz; 5. Jonathan Edwards; 6. Daniel Tucker; 7. Keith Jacobs; 8. Mark Robinson; 9. Wesley Cadwallader; 10. Frank Wilson Jr.; 11. Andrew Wylie; 12. Jeff Graves; 13. Dale Barneycastle; 14. Matt Lawson; 15. Anthony Sanders; 16. Tony Ayers; 17. Scott Neighbors.
Did Not Start: Bryan Nance, Steve Banal, Steve Cooke
Feature (30 laps): 1. Brandon Overton; 2. Dennis “Rambo” Franklin; 3. David Smith; 4. David Gilliland; 5. Chris Ferguson; 6. Timbo Mangum; 7. Donnie Austin; 8. Corey Gordon; 9. Justin Hudspeth; 10. Jonathan Edwards; 11. Adam Yarbrough; 12. Daniel Tucker; 13. Anthony Sanders; 14. Alex Krohn; 15. Jay Sessoms; 16. Jeff Smith; 17. Greg Clark; 18. Dan Breuer; 19. Jimmy Schiltz; 20. Ryan Atkins; 21. Brent Glastetter; 22. Ben Watkins; 23. Ross Bailes; 24. Matt Long.