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Ricky Thornton, Jr. Shines in Dominant Performance

(June 17, 2023) Ricky Thornton Jr. showed why he has been the hottest driver with a dominating performance in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Mountain Moonshine Classic presented by FK Rod Ends and East Tennessee Auto Outlet. (MRM Racing Photo)

Spencer Hughes started the 60-lap race from the pole position after winning the fast car dash that featured the top 3 finishers from Friday’s features. Chris Ferguson joined Hughes on the front row. It was Ferguson that took the initial lead on the opening lap. Hughes tucked in behind Ferguson. Thornton wasted no time in taking over the third spot.

Ferguson looked dialed in as the early laps clicked off. When Thornton got past Hughes for second, the driver of the 20RT machine ran down Ferguson. Thornton looked under Ferguson for the lead on lap 22, but Ferguson kept his momentum off turn 2 to maintain the lead. As Ferguson hugged the bottom, Thornton looked to the outside of Ferguson and eventually took the lead on lap 26. From there, Thornton pulled away to finish over 6 seconds ahead of Hudson O’Neal, who took second from Ferguson in the closing laps. Thornton's win was worth $50,000.

The sportsman late model feature saw Darren Goins and Terry Poore starting the race from the front row. Poore looked to have the early lead until a caution on lap 1 caused the field to lineup from their starting positions. Another attempted start saw the same result with Poore taking the lead only to be nullified by a caution. Once the race got off to a good start, it was Goins that took the lead and never looked back. Jed Emert passed Poore with a handful of laps to go to finish second.

The SE4MA mini stocks saw plenty of drama with a number of cautions and unapproved driver changes. Hayston Collett won the pole position, but Shane Bullock to the initial lead. Bullock had a tough time shaking Collett in the early laps of the race. Collett would pull alongside Bullock several times but could not complete a pass for the lead. Bullock shook loose of Collett and held on to win the race. Derik Duggan came from 7th to finish third.

Mountain Moonshine Classic (60 Laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[4]; 2. 1H-Hudson O'Neal[7]; 3. 22F-Chris Ferguson[2]; 4. 49-Jonathan Davenport[5]; 5. 8K-Kyle Strickler[6]; 6. 93-Carson Ferguson[3]; 7. 1T-Tyler Erb[12]; 8. 11-Spencer Hughes[1]; 9. 20-Jimmy Owens[9]; 10. 39-Tim McCreadie[10]; 11. 18D-Daulton Wilson[8]; 12. 111B-Max Blair[11]; 13. 23-Cory Hedgecock[17]; 14. 157-Mike Marlar[19]; 15. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[16]; 16. 99-Devin Moran[15]; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs[14]; 18. 58-Garrett Alberson[23]; 19. 7-Ross Robinson[22]; 20. 10-Garrett Smith[20]; 21. 16-Tyler Bruening[18]; 22. 17M-Dale McDowell[13]; 23. 76-Brandon Overton[21]; 24. 83-Jensen Ford[24]

Sportsman Late Model Feature (20 Laps): 1. 2D-Darren Goins[1]; 2. 98-Jed Emert[3]; 3. 2P-Terry Poore[2]; 4. 31-Wes Tilley[4]; 5. 50-Adam Mitchell[5]; 6. C4-Cameron Hawkins[8]; 7. C9-Cody Courtney[10]; 8. 11-Tim Bounds[6]; 9. 44-David Beeler[13]; 10. 33-Warren McMahan[11]; 11. 5-Curtis Thomas[9]; 12. 21H-Tyler Haynes[12]; 13. 15-Bryan Cooper[14]; 14. 32G-Cody Gloyne[7]; 15. J3-Chad McLemore[18]; 16. 2N-Nicky Starnes[16]; 17. 3S-Shane Starnes[15]; 18. 556-Malachi Yarger[21]; 19. 4-Jacob Kelso[19]

Mini Stock Feature (20 Laps): 1. 2B-Shane Bullock[2]; 2. 21-Hayston Collett[1]; 3. 27D-Derik Duggan[7]; 4. 99-Daniel Coffey[5]; 5. D1-Nathan Davis[3]; 6. 87-Bryan Hale[18]; 7. 247-Peyton Merritt[17]; 8. 12-Dustin Stephens[19]; 9. 44-Cordell Collins[20]; 10. 17-Daniel Moody[16]; 11. 5-scott russell[11]; 12. B7-Brandon Phillips[24]; 13. 911-Troy Finley[23]; 14. 94-Matt Jackson[10]; 15. S1-John Smartt[4]; 16. 71-Tim Bristol[13]; 17. 27-Stevie Gannon[22]; 18. 26-Jason Todd[15]; 19. 3-Justin Farless[21]; 20. (DQ) 62-Kyle Todd[14]; 21. (DQ) 25G-Gracie Duggan[8]

The next race at Smoky Mountain Speedway will be on Saturday, July 8 when the Topless Outlaws return for a $3,000 to win race. They will be joined by the Carolina Sprint Cars and the Tennessee Mini Late Models.




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