First of Six Nights Kicks Off Pursuit of DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator
It was all Tim McCreadie on Monday night when the DIRTcar Late Models rolled into Volusia Speedway Park for the 50th DIRTcar Nationals.
T-Mac’s Monday masterclass gave him his 13th career DIRTcar Nationals feature victory in his third different series, extending his honor of being one of the most diverse drivers of his generation. He’s now got six DIRTcar Late Model wins, five Super DIRTcar Series wins, and two World of Outlaws Late Model wins at the #FLinFeb staple.
Starting from the pole position aboard his Longhorn Chassis #39, the Watertown, NY native immediately scooted to the race lead and never let it go. He encountered one close call through lap traffic and had to survive a hungry Mark Whitener in the closing stages, but there was nothing to stop the former World of Outlaws champion from clinching the wire-to-wire win.
“I know of knew what to do, I just had to lay into the cushion until somebody drove by me somewhere else,” McCreadie noted. “I kept seeing Phil and he gave me some great hand signals. It’s always nice to get a win down here during speedweeks.”
Even with all of his success at the Barberville, FL half-mile, McCreadie has yet to score a DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator Championship. That’s a stat he could change this week, especially considering his strong start with a W.
“I’m just lucky to do this, and I just appreciate what everyone does for me,” McCreadie said. “I don’t do as much as I used to, these guys they pick all the slack if I need to take a nap because I’m getting old. It’s not easy. Every one of us is trying as hard as we can out here, but sometimes it’s not your night, so we’ll take this. We know we’ve got another day tomorrow.”
Chasing McCreadie to the line and making it interesting down the stretch was Mark Whitener, who gave it his all in the #5. After starting fourth, Whitener went searching and slid by Devin Moran then Kyle Bronson to get to the runner-up spot. He kept his run alive by tracking down McCreadie, but the clock ran out and the 30-lapper went checkered before he could make a move.
“I had to hunt something down to pass him, I found something when I got to second,” Whitener thought. “I started losing the ass end of the car getting into the corner though, and I just couldn’t hang with him on the top. I never could pull up to his bumper to get a slidejob on him. All in all, a really good finish for us against these guys.
Rounding out the podium on night one of the DIRTcar Nationals was Devin Moran of Dresden, OH.
“I wish we could’ve started on the front row to see what we could’ve given Timmy,” Moran said. “Mark moved around more than I did in the middle part and he just got up there sooner than me.”
Closing out the top ten in Monday’s program, which included a 51-car field, was Kyle Bronson, Bobby Pierce, Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Overton, Josh Richards, Rick Eckert and Tyler Bruening.
The action resumes at Volusia Speedway Park on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with the second night of Late Model Week at the 50th DIRTcar Nationals. The DIRTcar Late Models are again on the docket, this time alongside the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds making their first appearance of the event.
If you can’t be here in person, you can watch all the action LIVE on DIRTVision.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 5-Mark Whitener; 3. 9-Devin Moran; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce; 6. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 7. 76-Brandon Overton; 8. 14-Josh Richards; 9. 0E-Rick Eckert; 10. 16-Tyler Bruening; 11. 3S-Brian Shirley; 12. 58-Ross Bailes; 13. 29V-Darrell Lanigan; 14. 19-Chase Junghans; 15. 97-Cade Dillard; 16. 20-Jimmy Owens; 17. 72-Mike Norris; 18. 2-Dan Stone; 19. 99B-Boom Briggs; 20. 7MM-Michael Maresca; 21. 6JR-Parker Martin; 22. 54-David Breazeale; 23. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 24. 17M-Dale McDowell.