Thornton Turns Up The Heat At World Of Outlaws World Finals
Chris Madden led the most laps, but Ricky Thornton Jr. led the one that counted on Friday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Thornton hunted down Madden in the closing stages of the 35-lap World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models feature and made the winning pass to capture the second of three nights of World of Outlaws World Finals action.
Madden, who started from the pole, slipped to third at the finish behind Thornton and Dale McDowell. Tim McCreadie was fourth with Brian Shirley fifth.
Thornton captured his second win of the year.
“I felt like (Madden) was really good in clean air, but the closer we got to lapped cars, the more he came back to me,” Thornton said. “I didn’t know if I needed to get closer to the middle or not. My boys worked their butts off today. We pretty much had this thing destroyed (Thursday) night. Thanks to all the fans for coming out. Hopefully, we can do good (Saturday).”
Drake Troutman, Madden, Thornton, McDowell, Cade Dillard and Garrett Smith won heats.
The second night of Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racing saw Anthony Perrego dominate most of the 30-lap feature, but Tim Fuller caught Perrego in the final laps and cruised to the win by 2.837 seconds over Mat Williamson and Perrego. Erick Rudolph and Matt Sheppard, who won on Thursday, rounded out the top five.
Fuller – a 56-year-old, DIRT Hall of Fame inductee – scored his third victory of the Super DIRTcar Series season.
“When you’re in second, I’ve always said that you’re one in the prime spot,” Fuller said. “(Perrego) made a little mistake and I was there to capitalize at the right moment. … It’s been an incredible year.”
Sheppard, Williamson, Jimmy Phelps and Perrego won heats.
Friday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars feature saw Brent Marks edge Justin Peck by a scant .133 seconds for his second Outlaw win of 2023.
Tyler Courtney, Brad Sweet and James McFadden completed the top five.
“It feels amazing to win in front of this crowd,” Marks said. “That was a really fun race. The track crew did an amazing job there, getting the track to have two lanes of racing and getting it tricky along the top. I just felt like my pace slowed up too much (running the top) and I was getting a little worried about Justin (Peck) closing in on us. Fortunately, we hung on there at the end. I lost my grandmother on Wednesday and winning this race means a lot to my family, and I dedicate this race to her.”
Rico Abreu, Brian Brown, Marks and Courtney claimed heat race victories.
Race fans from 49 states and six foreign countries have descended on The Dirt Track at Charlotte for this weekend’s festivities, with a clear forecast for Saturday’s championship-deciding action. Fans can lock in tickets, plus pit passes and camping, by shopping online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.