Thornton wins PRP’s Independence 50

By Chuck Greenslate - Portsmouth Raceway Park

WEST PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Raceway Park welcomed the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Car Series on Friday evening for the Able Air Independence 50 that paid $12,000 to the winner.

Thirty Late Models were on hand for the event, which was won by 2021 Dirt Track World Championship winner Ricky Thornton Jr. from Adel, Iowa.

The race was cut five laps short due to rain, which was fine with Thornton, who picked up his first Lucas Oil win of the season.

The Late Model A-Main had two different leaders and was halted by five different cautions, including the final South Shore Beverage Center yellow flag due to weather.

Polesitter Daulton Wilson from Fayetteville, N.C. dominated early on, leading the first 29 laps, but he got a little high off turn 4 — which opened up the door for Thornton to get by.

Wilson would fade back to fifth, as Thornton would hold on the next 16 circuits until the rain-shortened race came to an end.

With rain pouring down, he was shown the Texas Peach Grill Checkered Flag.

Tim McCreadie, Hudson O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr, and Wilson would make up the top five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Erb, Devin Moran, Rod Conley and Steve Casebolt.

Placing 11th through 20th were Garrett Alberson, Brandon Overton, R.J. Conley, Ashton Winger, Mason Zeigler, Max Blair, Ross Robinson, Spencer Hughes, Brandon Fouts and Nick Bocook.

Completing the 24-car field were Robby Hensley, Tim Vance, Zack Dohm and Kirk Phillips.

Friday’s Lucas Oil Heat Race winners were Wilson, McCreadie, Moran and Overton.

Defending track champion Fouts won the B-Main, while Wilson set quick time.

There were 23 Local Happenings App Modifieds on hand for this kickoff to the July 4 weekend — along with 13 O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Lates.

Unfortunately, their A-Mains were rained out.

Prior to the rainfall, Brian Skaggs set quick time in The Dynamic Shock Service Modified Time Trials.

Skaggs, Jeremy Rayburn and Mitch Thomas were Friday’s Modified Heat Race winners.

Catlettsburg’s (Ky.) Evyian Terry and Vanceburg’s (Ky.) Robbie Lewis prevailed in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Model heats.

Portsmouth Raceway Park will be back in action on Saturday, July 16 — for the “Smoke Out Pizza & BBQ” Jackie Boggs Night For The Kids, presented by 4B Motorsports.

Children ages 12-and-under receive free general admission.

On the card will be Giovanni’s Pizza Wholesale Late Models presented by Impact Race Gear, the Local Happenings App Modifieds, the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Lates, and The Express Oil & Tire Engineers Sport Mods.

Gates open at 4 p.m.

By Chuck Greenslate

Portsmouth Raceway Park