Waynesville, GA (January 27, 2022) – Devin Moran took over the lead on lap 18 from Brandon Sheppard and pulled away from the field to win the 2022 season opener for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on Thursday Night at Golden Isles Speedway.
The Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing presented by eBay Motors was the first race held at Golden Isles since 2020, as the new promotional team of driver Kyle Bronson and his fiancé Amber Lloyd took over ownership of the track late last year.
The 27-year-old Ohio native was the fourth different leader of the race as he recorded his third career win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Sheppard was looking to celebrate his 29th birthday with his first career win at Golden Isles but came home in second. Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Larson, who won the series’ season-opener last year at All-Tech, finished in third. Tyler Erb and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion, Tim McCreadie rounded out the top five.
Larson grabbed the point at the start of the race after starting on the outside of the front row for the 40-lap main event. Erb challenged Larson for the first seven laps of the race as he saw the Texan move to the point on lap eight. Erb’s lead lasted until Sheppard went to the head of the pack on lap 14. Moran started third and saw the front of the field to his liking as he charged around Sheppard 18 laps into the race to take over the top spot which he held to the finish.
Sheppard had to fight off Larson over the last half of the race to secure the runner-up finish. Moran’s winning margin was 1.370 seconds over Sheppard. It was Moran’s first career win at Golden Isles, but he also has Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wins at his home track, Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Oh, and at East Bay in 2020.
“This is just awesome. I was so nervous before the race because I felt like we were good in our heat race, and I just didn’t know what changes to make. I can’t thank Tye Twarog enough for giving me this opportunity. Ever since last year when we went with the Bilstein Shocks on this car it’s been really good.”
“This is probably the best I have seen this track. Thanks to Kyle Bronson, Amber, and everybody with them for the job they have done with this place. It was racy. This was our second race of the year, and it feels good to come down and win this one. The Longhorn Chassis was on point and the Clements Chevy power was flawless. Thanks to all of my sponsors who have continued their support, and we have added some new ones as well this year.”
Sheppard held off Larson by .3 tenths of a second at the finish. “It was a lot of fun out there tonight. Our car was good. We started sixth and got to the front pretty quick. We got by Terbo for the lead and then Devin got by us. It got to where I couldn’t steer coming off of the corner late in the race. It was a real good race up front between all of us. It’s a good start to Speedweeks for us and we will try to keep up the momentum from this.”
Larson was making his debut at Golden Isles. Leading early on, Larson faded back to fifth at one point during the race but rallied on to round out the podium. “This is a fun track to race on. We haven’t raced that much on this type of dirt, and we really haven’t raced much in Georgia. We were good early on and then went back a bit, but we got going again and had a good race with Sheppard there. It was a good clean race out there; I can’t wait to come back tomorrow night.”
The winner’s Tye Twarog-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by C&W Trucking, Tommy Pope Construction, CarSourceAuto.com, Bilstein Shocks, Tri-Valley Equipment Sales, Accuforce Dynos and Testers Haulin’ Haskell’s, J.R. Hall Property LLC, Igimage.com, McHugh Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat, and Red Oak Pub.
Completing the top ten were Ricky Thornton Jr., Josh Richards, Hudson O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, and Jimmy Owens.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing Presented by eBay Motors
Thursday, January 27th, 2022
Golden Isles Speedway – Waynesville, GA
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Ricky Thornton Jr /15.037 seconds
Fast Time Group B: Kyle Larson / 15.008 seconds (overall)
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 58W-Mark Whitener; 4. 1R-Josh Richards; 5. 11-Spencer Hughes; 6. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 7. 99B-Boom Briggs; 8. 25-Shane Clanton
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 3. 89-Ashton Winger; 4. 44M-Chris Madden; 5. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr; 6. 7-Ross Robinson; 7. 2X-John Henderson; 8. (DNS) 20-Jimmy Owens
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 2. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler; 4. 79-Ross Bailes; 5. 18J-Chase Junghans; 6. 76-Brandon Overton; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner; 8. 48-Colton Flinner
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 6-Kyle Larson; 2. 16-Tyler Bruening; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 10-Garrett Smith; 5. 4A-Michael Arnold; 6. 2D-Dan Stone; 7. 19M-Jason Hiett; 8. (DNS) 2M-Allen Murray
eBay Motors Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 9-Devin Moran; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 3. 3S-Brian Shirley; 4. 111-Steven Roberts; 5. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson; 7. 33X-Jeff Mathews; 8. 6S-Blake Spencer
Super Clean Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1S-Brandon Sheppard; 2. 157-Mike Marlar; 3. 97-Cody Overton; 4. 2S-Stormy Scott; 5. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 6. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 7. 14JR-Trey Mills
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 44M-Chris Madden; 2. 1R-Josh Richards; 3. 76-Brandon Overton; 4. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr; 5. 11-Spencer Hughes; 6. 79-Ross Bailes; 7. 66C-Matt Cosner; 8. 25-Shane Clanton; 9. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 10. 48-Colton Flinner; 11. 99B-Boom Briggs; 12. 2X-John Henderson; 13. 20-Jimmy Owens; 14. 18J-Chase Junghans; 15. 7-Ross Robinson
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith; 2. 111-Steven Roberts; 3. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 4. 2S-Stormy Scott; 5. 4A-Michael Arnold; 6. 76B-Blair Nothdurft; 7. 58-Garrett Alberson; 8. 2D-Dan Stone; 9. 19M-Jason Hiett; 10. 26JR-Jimmy Sharpe Jr; 11. 6S-Blake Spencer; 12. 33X-Jeff Mathews; 13. (DNS) 2M-Allen Murray; 14. (DNS) 14JR-Trey Mills
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (40 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson (Laps 1 – 7); Tyler Erb (Laps 8 –13); Brandon Sheppard (Laps 14 – 17); Devin Moran (Laps 18 – 40)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Devin Moran
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Devin Moran
Margin of Victory: 1.371 seconds
Cautions: Brian Shirley (Lap 8); Ryan Gustin (Lap 19); Steven Roberts (Lap 29)
Series Provisionals: Jimmy Owens, Shane Clanton
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr, Stormy Scott, Spencer Hughes, Garrett Alberson
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Devin Moran, Brandon Sheppard, Kyle Larson
Penske Shocks Top 5: Devin Moran, Brandon Sheppard, Kyle Larson, Tyler Erb, Tim McCreadie
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Josh Richards (Advanced 14 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Tim McCreadie
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Devin Moran (23 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Brandon Sheppard
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Kyle Larson (Lap 4 – 15.133 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Brian Shirley
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Wylie Moran (Devin Moran)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (14.918 seconds)
Time of Race: 21 minutes 26 seconds