River Days Rumble back at PRP

By Chuck Greenslate

Watertown, NY’s Tim McCreadie claimed the Lucas Oil Late Model-sanctioned Pepsi River Days Rumble 50 Saturday at Portsmouth Raceway Park fending off a field comprised of 24 drivers representing 11 different states. While McCreadie captured the night’s big prize, Brian Skaggs and Zack Pendleton continued their dominance in the Modified and Sport Mod Divisions.

The weekend marked the 33rd PRP visit for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Car Series, and there were 29 Late Model Drivers on hand for the $15,000-to-win event. The 50-lap feature was led early on by outside polesittter Kyle Bronson from Brandon, FL, but McCreadie would grab the lead on lap 4 and would never look back. Saturday’s win was the current series’ points leader’s fifth of the season and second straight on the Lucas Oil Series Tour.

McCreadie’s pass to take over the point was quite a move. While Bronson and polesitter Devin Moran of Dresden were going at it wheel to wheel for the lead, McCreadie drove hard and high into turn three, pulled up along the outside the top two, and created a three-wide duel that lasted nearly a full lap.

After claiming the top spot, McCreadie was never seriously challenged, but the race itself proved quite challenging for most drivers in the field. In a battle of attrition, only 10 of the 24 cars that started the race made it to the finish. The event was slowed by 10 cautions and took just over an hour to complete.

The misfortunes of so many did prove advantageous for quite a few. Iowa’s Ricky Thornton Jr advanced 16 positions. Wheelersburg’s Rod Conley came up through the field 12 spots, and Indiana’s Hudson O’Neal moved up eight positions.

Finishing behind McCreadie was Devin Moran, Ricky Thornton Jr, Texas’ Tyler Erb, and Tennessee’s Jimmy Owens. Hudson O’Neal was sixth. Mississippi’s Spencer Hughes placed seventh. Georgia’s Jonathan Davenport finished eighth. Rod Conley was the highest finishing local driver. He climbed from 21st to ninth but got as high up in the field as fourth with 14 laps to go. Pataskala’s Clint Keenan rounded out the top 10.

Saturday’s Late Model Heat Race Winners were Moran, McCreadie, Bronson, and Hughes. Verona, KY’s Josh Rice won the B-Main. Bronson was the fast qualifier turning a lap clocked at 14.496.

In the Local Happenings App Modified Division, Pedro’s Brian Skaggs was totally the man to beat. For the second week in a row, he set fast time in the Dynamic Shock Service Time Trials, led every lap of his heat, and remained out front all 20 laps of the feature. Saturday’s victory was Skaggs’ fifth of the season, but this past weekend’s might have been a little extra special, as it occurred on his mother Tammy’s birthday.

Finishing behind Skaggs were Ervin Vance, Anthony Slusher, Ben Adkins, Jason Montgomery, Derek Richmond, Tyler Smith Justin Cooper, Mike McPherson, and Tony DeHart. Cooper advanced 15 spots to crack the top 10. Skaggs, Slusher, and Vance recorded Saturday’s heat race wins.

While Skaggs has been winning the bulk of PRP’s Modified Features, Vance continues to maintain a 5-point lead over Skaggs in the point standings, making the Modified Division the tightest points battle currently at Portsmouth Raceway Park.

Stout’s Zack Pendleton won for the seventh time this season in the Sport Mods to give him a 50-point advantage over Cody Gifford. Danny Hamilton Jr was Saturday’s runner-up. Jeromy Brady, Branden Colley, and Jason Spillman rounded out the top five. Cody Gifford, Dillon Hamilton, Mike Drake, Alisha Hammond, and Jaylynn Montgomery made up the rest of the top 10.

PRP will be off this coming weekend and will return to action on Saturday, September 18th for Meet The Drivers Night presented by The Southern Ohio Shrine Club. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Car Series will be back at PRP for the 41st Annual Dirt Track World Championship October 15th and 16th, which pays $100,000 to win.

By Chuck Greenslate