Ricky Thornton Jr

Thornton Makes History - Winning Second Straight Firecracker 100


Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Thornton Makes History - Winning Second Straight Firecracker 100

SARVER, PA (June 22, 2024) – No one in the 18-year history of the Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel had ever won the crown jewel event in back-to-back years until Saturday night. Ricky Thornton Jr. led the last 55 laps to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event earning $50,000 for his 11th series win of the season.

In a race that saw six lead changes among three different drivers, Thornton dominated the last half of the race finishing over 12 seconds ahead of Devin Moran who ran second. Moran earned the Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race coming from his 16th starting spot - passing Mike Marlar on lap 97 to gain the runner-up position.

Marlar came home in third followed by Jonathan Davenport and Drake Troutman, who ran inside the top three until the waning laps of the race.

Thornton grabbed the lead at the start of the race - leading the first two laps as he and Troutman ran door-to-door until Troutman, who was starting his first Firecracker 100 cleared Thornton to take over the lead for two circuits.

Troutman’s spot at the top was short-lived as Marlar went to the lead on lap five. Marlar held off Troutman and Thornton as back-to-back cautions slowed the field on laps 10 and 11. On what would be the final restart of the race Thornton cleared Troutman for second and set his sights on regaining the lead from Marlar.

Marlar held the point until lap 38 when Thornton edged ahead, but a lap later Marlar would retake the lead which he held until lap 45 when Thornton again got by Marlar for the lead that he never relinquished.

In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 39th time in his career Thornton led 59 laps to make Firecracker 100 history by winning the event in consecutive seasons for the first time since it started in 2007.

“There was a few times I would get to a lapped car and could never drive hard enough to get by him, and it would really slow my pace down. One time I tried to slow down in three and four and actually about went off the top, so I got into a good rhythm from there on. When this track is fast it’s really fast, but once it’s slick it’s probably slicker than East Bay. It kind of reminds me of All-Tech, where for some reason we are really good there. I think our package suits this style of racetrack once it gets super clean and really slick and it got it done for us.”

Moran’s brilliant charge needed to include a caution flag to have any shot at Thornton, but that never happened as the race went the final 89 laps without a yellow flag.

“I was mainly just bummed when I messed up in the heat race and that’s why we had to start 16th and when Ricky’s on the front row it makes it almost impossible. Good job and congrats to those guys. Good job to my crew I shouldn’t be bummed that I ran second, but I just know how good of a race car we had, and I didn’t give ourselves a chance. They did an awesome job with the racetrack, I didn’t expect it to be that wet I ran out of tearoffs after about ten laps. We didn’t have that many cautions and to come up there without many cautions is pretty cool and we will take it.”

Marlar, who was seeking his first career Firecracker 100 victory after two runner-up finishes in the event rounded out the Big River Steel Podium in third.

“I just can’t complete the corner. Ricky and Devin’s cars from the center out can turn left and get the straight line down the straightaway better than me and I am headed the wrong way all the time in that area. I have to bend the car and manipulate it too much. I knew I was in trouble. I just tried to do what I could do, but I was struggling pretty bad there, and those guys were just better. Ricky raced me really good, and Devin did too, and it was fun racing on this track.”

The winner’s Todd and Vickie Burns, SSI Motorsports, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Big River Steel, Hoker Trucking, Coltman Farms, Dyno One Inc., West Side Tractor Sales, Bilstein Shocks, EMD Wraps, Sunoco Race Fuels, Murty Farms, and Strange Oval.

Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Garrett Alberson, Mason Zeigler, Hudson O’Neal, and Gregg Satterlee.

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Race Summary
18th Annual Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Lernerville Speedway – Sarver, PA

Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 7T-Drake Troutman[1]; 2. 93F-Carson Ferguson[3]; 3. 6-Clay Harris[5]; 4. 19M-Spencer Hughes[4]; 5. 1*-Chub Frank[2]; 6. 10-John Garvin Jr[6]; 7. 17SS-Brenden Smith[7]; 8. 57-Bo Lockwood[8]; 9. 11P-Joshua Powell[9]

Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[1]; 2. 1-Tim McCreadie[2]; 3. 111-Max Blair[3]; 4. 48-Colton Flinner[4]; 5. B22-Bump Hedman[8]; 6. 9Y-Levi Yetter[6]; 7. 101-Forrest Trent[5]; 8. 12R-Ryan Payne[7]; 9. (DNS) 10K-Zachary Kane

Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 2. 71-Hudson O'Neal[2]; 3. 24-Tyler Wyant[3]; 4. 93-Cory Lawler[5]; 5. 15K-Jamie Lathroum[6]; 6. 9-Breyton Santee[7]; 7. 1C-Alex Ferree[8]; 8. 75-Jared Miley[4]; 9. (DNS) H22-Eric Hohol

Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson[3]; 3. 99-Devin Moran[2]; 4. 1Z-Logan Zarin[5]; 5. 11C-Trevor Collins[4]; 6. 10L-Gary Lyle[7]; 7. 88-Chad Green[8]; 8. 00-Tyler Dietz[6]; 9. (DNS) 44-Joe Petyak

Lucas Oil Heat Race #5 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[2]; 2. 22-Gregg Satterlee[4]; 3. 72-Michael Norris[3]; 4. 7-Ross Robinson[1]; 5. 2-Dan Stone[6]; 6. 40-Michael Duritsky Jr[5]; 7. 555-Brock Pinkerous[7]; 8. (DNS) 184-Kyle Lukon; 9. (DNS) 24X-Randy Wyant

Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 3. 99B-Boom Briggs[6]; 4. 14-Dan Angelicchio[4]; 5. 27T-Tony White[8]; 6. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand[3]; 7. (DNS) 5L-Jon Lee; 8. (DNS) 56-Dennis Fenton

Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 19M-Spencer Hughes[1]; 2. 48-Colton Flinner[2]; 3. 10-John Garvin Jr[7]; 4. 1*-Chub Frank[4]; 5. 93-Cory Lawler[3]; 6. B22-Bump Hedman[5]; 7. 57-Bo Lockwood[13]; 8. 75-Jared Miley[15]; 9. 9Y-Levi Yetter[8]; 10. 15K-Jamie Lathroum[6]; 11. 11P-Joshua Powell[16]; 12. 17SS-Brenden Smith[10]; 13. 9-Breyton Santee[9]; 14. (DNS) 101-Forrest Trent; 15. (DNS) 1C-Alex Ferree; 16. (DNS) 12R-Ryan Payne

UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 7-Ross Robinson[2]; 2. 1Z-Logan Zarin[1]; 3. 11C-Trevor Collins[4]; 4. 2-Dan Stone[5]; 5. 40-Michael Duritsky Jr[8]; 6. 14-Dan Angelicchio[3]; 7. 10L-Gary Lyle[7]; 8. 88-Chad Green[10]; 9. 00-Tyler Dietz[12]; 10. (DNS) 27T-Tony White; 11. (DNS) 29-Ken Schaltenbrand; 12. (DNS) 555-Brock Pinkerous

18th Annual Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel Feature Finish (100 Laps):
Feature Finish

Race Statistics
Entrants: 53
Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Drake Troutman
Lap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-2); Drake Troutman (Laps 3-4); Mike Marlar (Laps 5-37); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 38); Mike Marlar (Laps 39-44); Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 45-100)
Wieland Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Margin of Victory: 12.335 seconds
Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Trevor Collins (Lap 3); Colton Flinner (Lap 10); Logan Zarin, Jimmy Owens, Cory Lawler, Boom Briggs, Tyler Wyant, Spencer Hughes (Lap 11)
LOLMDS Series Provisionals: Brenden Smith; Cory Lawler
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
LOLMDS Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisional: Tyler Dietz; Ken Schaltenbrand
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Devin Moran, Mike Marlar
Penske Shocks Top 5: Ricky Thornton, Jr., Devin Moran, Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Drake Troutman
Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Devin Moran (Advanced 14 Positions)
PEM 4th Place Feature: Jonathan Davenport
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Garrett Alberson
Deatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Ross Robinson
MD3 Most Laps Led: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (59 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Drake Troutman
Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 1 | 16.916 seconds)
Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Devin Moran
Miller Welders Hard Luck Award: Jimmy Owens
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Anthony Burroughs (Ricky Thornton, Jr.)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Devin Moran (15.363 seconds)
Time of Race: 48 minutes 32 seconds

Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

Submitted By: Jeremy Shields

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