Ricky Thornton Jr

Ricky Thornton Jr.
307
11/13/2022

11/13/2022

Castrol FloRacing Night in America


Ricky Thornton Jr. Dominates Castrol FloRacing Night in America Senoia Finale

Ricky Thornton Jr. Dominates Castrol FloRacing Night in America Senoia Finale
Brandon Sheppard Crowned 2022 Miniseries Champion

SENOIA, Ga. (November 12, 2022) — In a cinematic version of Saturday's caution-free, 75-lap domination at Senoia Raceway, the winner might've said something clever like: "How 'bout them peaches?"

But after Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., thoroughly dismantled a top-notch field in the Castrol® FloRacing Night in America finale for a $53,053 victory in the Peach State Classic, there wasn't much left to say about the story Thornton's SSI Motorsports No. 20rt told with his dazzling victory.

In a 20-minute race where Thornton crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of his competition and lapped all but five drivers, Thornton got an unusual signal from a teammate as he motored around car after car from his pole starting spot.

"My crew guy's jumping up and down telling me to slow down," Thornton said, "so I knew I was pretty good."

Pretty good is a $53,053 understatement as Thornton grabbed his richest victory of the season and wrapped up a $15,000 runner-up check on the second-year tour behind tour champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who finished 13th in the finale.

Third-starting Hudson O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., vainly chased Thornton in finishing 10.224 seconds behind while Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, settled for third. Ashton Winger of Hampton, Ga., improved six spots to finish fourth and last year's race winner Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., rounded out the top five.

The outcome was never in doubt. Thornton built a 3.4-second lead after 10 laps, and while that margin was cut to 1.1 seconds seven laps later when he hit his biggest batch of slower cars, once Thornton cleared that traffic he built an insurmountable lead that kept him out of sight of the competition most of the rest of the way.

"I was really good. My crew guy kept telling me I had a good lead, but every time I'd slow down, I'd start getting loose and then really get stuck behind a lapped car," said Thornton, whose crew chief is veteran wrench Anthony Burroughs. "We tried (a suspension setup) that Burroughs wanted to do and it was really good for us."

In Friday's preliminary night, when Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., raced to a $20,000 victory, Thornton rallied but couldn't quite get into contention and ended up getting caught up in one wreck and spinning another time. Things went his way Saturday.

"With the way last night went, I felt like we could've run top-three and then we got caught in that wreck. I didn't know what I needed to do today to stay ahead of (top contender Mike) Marlar. I figured if we went out and won, we wouldn't worry about it."

Down by nearly six seconds just past halfway, O'Neal knew he was running for second unless misfortune befell Thornton.

"He was pretty good. He was just a little bit more maneuverable than I was. I couldn't quite get the (car to) slide quite good enough down there, but we'll take a second," said O'Neal, who was making his second-to-last start with Double Down Motorsports before heading to the Rocket Chassis house car in 2023. "First time ever here and this thing raced pretty awesome. There was lapped cars everywhere and I would have never thought it went 75 green (laps). It was really cool. We had we had to good hot rod all weekend, just obviously needed to be quite a bit better to catch the 20."

Moran, who fielded the JBR Motorsports car of NASCAR Cup crew chief Jeremy Bullins, rebounded from failing to make the starting lineup for Friday's 50-lapper.

"Major turnaround from last night," Moran said. "Man, I got into that (infield tire barrier). I tried running the very bottom off of (turn) two, and them things are pretty hard and they don't move, so I broke the bumper and jacked the left front up."

Despite the damage, Moran was able to pressure O'Neal late in the race and a third-place finish helped him enjoy his Southern journey that might've been spoiled by weather except for massive efforts to dry the facility after Thursday, Friday and Saturday rain.

"They have a great staff, you know, from the gates to the concession stand to everywhere else. I don't get to race down in Georgia a whole lot, but man I love coming down here and hanging out with these guys," Moran said, adding that "this is the heart and soul of Dirt Late Model racing. The best Dirt Late Model racers always come out of Georgia and Tennessee.

"We sucked last night. We stayed up and thought about stuff and talked all morning and we just worked really hard. So I want to thank Jeremy and all these guys that he brought to the races with us. They all worked their butts off."

The 2022 season has now drawn to a close for Castrol® FloRacing Night in America with Brandon Sheppard claiming the $75,000 championship. This year’s campaign saw 11 features contested with 10 different winners and 219 drivers entering at least one event.

The 2023 Castrol® FloRacing Night in America schedule will be released in the coming weeks. Keep your browsers pointed to www.FloSeries.com for the latest news and updates.

For more information on Castrol® FloRacing Night in America sponsors, visit the company websites at www.castrol.com; www.renegaderacefuel.com; www.integrashocksandsprings.com; www.pitstopusa.com; www.k1racegear.com; www.buzzeracing.com; www.hokertrucking.com; www.rocketchassis.com; www.dirtdraft.com; www.hoosiertire.com; and www.fkrodends.com.

For complete Castrol® FloRacing Night in America details, visit the series website at www.FloSeries.com. For other questions, contact Ben Shelton at msrmafia@gmail.com or 901-335-3037.

Castrol® FloRacing Night in America
Senoia Raceway (Senoia, Ga.)
November 12, 2022 Feature Results
A Feature 1 (75 Laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 71X-Hudson O'Neal[3]; 3. 99M-Devin Moran[5]; 4. 12-Ashton Winger[10]; 5. 44-Chris Madden[6]; 6. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[8]; 7. 7W-Ricky Weiss[4]; 8. 157-Mike Marlar[9]; 9. 40B-Kyle Bronson[14]; 10. 58-Garrett Alberson[13]; 11. 19-Ryan Gustin[15]; 12. 1T-Tyler Erb[16]; 13. B5-Brandon Sheppard[17]; 14. 14M-Morgan Bagley[2]; 15. 16-Austin Horton[20]; 16. (DNF) 19M-Wil Herrington[18]; 17. (DNF) 9Z-Mason Zeigler[7]; 18. (DNF) 93-Carson Ferguson[12]; 19. (DNF) 18X-Michael Page[22]; 20. (DNF) 3S-Brian Shirley[19]; 21. (DNF) 66K-Dylan Knowles[21]; 22. (DNF) 11-Spencer Hughes[23]; 23. (DNF) 17M-Dale McDowell[11]; 24. (DNF) 10-Joseph Joiner[24]

DNS: Russell Erwin, Parker Martin, Jordy Nipper, Tyler Millwood, Will Roland, Jim Rogers, Corey Roulette, Cla Knight, Dalton Cook, Payton Freeman, Booger Brooks, Jason Croft, Matt Long, JR Moseley, Bailey Williams, Montie Vaughn, Lamar Haygood, Kyler Haygood, Tanner Collins, Cody Haskins

Entries: 48
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Qualifier Group A (and overall): Garrett Alberson (13.964 seconds)
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Qualifier Group B: Morgan Bagley (14.453 seconds)

Integra Racing Shocks Heat Race #1 Winner: Ricky Thornton Jr.
Pit Stop USA Heat Race #2 Winner: Hudson O’Neal
K1 Race Gear Heat Race #3 Winner: Morgan Bagley
Buzze Racing Heat Race #4 Winner: Ricky Weiss
FK Rod Ends B-Main #1 Winner: Brandon Sheppard
Hoker Trucking B-Main #2 Winner: Wil Herrington
Hoosier Tire Drawing Winners: Carson Ferguson, Chris Madden
$150 Cash Drawing Winners: Parker Martin, Lamar Haygood

2022 Castrol FloRacing Night in America Final Point Standings
1)Brandon Sheppard – 699 points
2)Ricky Thornton Jr. – 609 points
3)Mike Marlar – 560 points
4)Bobby Pierce – 536 points
5)Tyler Erb – 522 points
6)Garrett Alberson – 520 points
7)Hudson O’Neal – 519 points
8)Dennis Erb Jr. – 366 points
9)Devin Moran – 323 points
10)Chris Madden – 312 points

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