BATAVIA, Ohio – Three of the nation’s top dirt late model drivers are locked in an unprecedented three-man battle for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series national championship.
The tightest points chase in series history will be decided this weekend at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Tim McCreadie enters the weekend leading the Lucas Oil championship standings by 40 points over Josh Richards and 75 points ahead of Scott Bloomquist.
The continued consistency of McCreadie lifted him into the championship points lead for the first time after his third-place finish at Rome (Ga.) Speedway on Oct. 1.
“It feels great to be the point leader going into the season finale, we just need to close it out strong,” said McCreadie. “This team has worked so hard all year and it has come to crunch time. This is what we have all worked so hard for, a championship.”
Richards held the championship points lead from early July through the Oct. 1 event at Rome Speedway.
The 29-year-old is looking forward to the $100,000-to-win Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth, where he won a 50-lap main event earlier this year.
“I can’t believe we’re really in this position at the end of the year because we had some bad runs where I was just trying to figure things out,” said Richards. “After running [Portsmouth] the last couple times, I feel good there. But that’s one of Scott’s best tracks and McCreadie was good there this year, too, so it’s just a crapshoot.”
“With the format in the heat races, that’s going to throw a monkey wrench in it. But we just have to go race. That’s what got us here to begin with.”
Bloomquist saw his hopes for a second consecutive and fourth overall series title take a major hit at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, after contact with the outside wall on lap 13 ultimately resulted in him finishing 24-laps down in 18th place, dropping him to third in the championship standings.
“It’s going to be a tough road after Portsmouth, but it has been a great season and we’re going to keep digging,” Bloomquist said.
The 37th Annual Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship presented by Optima Batteries will get underway on Thursday night, Oct. 19, with preliminary events for the modified division.
On Friday night, Oct. 20 the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will take to the track for hot laps and two rounds of qualifying heat races.
Saturday night’s program will include late model B-Mains, the $4,000-to-win modified feature, the $3,000-to-win DirtonDirt.com Jim Dunn Memorial non-qualifier race, and the 100-lap, $100,000-to-win Dirt Track World Championship main event.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications