IMPERIAL, PA (October 2, 2021) – Hudson O’Neal joined his father, Don as a winner of the Pittsburgher 100, claiming the $20,000 victory in the 33rd annual event on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. The win marked O’Neal’s sixth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2021.
O’Neal tracked down race-long leader Earl Pearson Jr., passing him for the lead on lap 93. O’Neal pulled away for the win. His father Don is a 2-time winner of the race in 2017 and 2019. Pearson had led from the onset of the race as the 4-time series champion was looking for his first series win since last July. Pearson led the first 92 laps in the 100-lap event.
Pearson came home in second followed by Tim McCreadie, Spencer Hughes, and Shane Clanton.
Pearson was in control for most of the race, racing unchallenged for the lead even though a lap 50 caution for a fuel stop. Even after the stoppage, Pearson held the lead. O’Neal, who had brought out a lap 54 caution for a shock adjustment, charged from the back using the inside of the half-mile track.
O’Neal caught Pearson coming off turn two. As the duo came off turn four, O’Neal made the pass which turned out to be the winning move, as he went on to win his third 100-lap race of the year.
O’Neal solidified his second spot in the championship point standings behind McCreadie heading into a three-race weekend in Tennessee and Georgia next weekend.
“I’d rather be lucky than good. I wasn’t really good enough to win the race. Spencer (Hughes) had gotten around me on the bottom there one time. He got a monster run down the front stretch. I thought ‘well all right,’ so I went down there and made the same kind of ground. I just happened to hit it good one time. It took a while to finally hit it. It was really, really easy to miss. I just kept trying and it finally paid off,” said the 21-year-old Indiana native. I was just in a better part of the racetrack than Earl was. He got away from me a little bit on that restart.”
“I knew he (Pearson) was going to get his tires hot before mine because I was in the brown. After about ten laps I started driving back to him. I can’t believe it. We will take one anyway we can get it. We have got to get a little bit better for the next time. Overall, we are just happy to be here, and we took advantage of the situation. We talked about it under the fuel stop. I had to stay out for that restart because I was the lucky dog and had to stay out on the racetrack to get it. I ran a couple of laps, and I just wasn’t really good. So, I brought the caution out and I pitted, and my crew made the right adjustments.”
Pearson was seeking his 40th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win and his first for his car owner, Jason Papich. “The car was really good. The crew has worked their tails off on this whole deal. To lead that many laps and come up short, but I mean that’s part of it. I have won some that way and lost some like that. He (O’Neal) was good around the bottom. I was going as hard as I could there at the end. I was a little too tight around the top and he was better on the bottom. I think that’s four or five top-five finishes now in this car.”
McCreadie outdueled first-time Pittsburgher 100 starter Spencer Hughes for third. “We were not too bad tonight. This place has been hard for me. This might have been my best run here. For us to do what we are doing and get this thing over with and lock it down. You have to pick and choose your battles. Congratulations to Hudson on the win. Once he got to that inside I just couldn’t turn down in there so I tried to do the best I could.”
The winner’s Roger Sellers, Double Down Motorsports, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling, Lucas Oil Products, 2150 Enterprises, WR1 Sim Chassis, Midwest Sheet Metal, and Tarpy Trucking.
Completing the top ten were Devin Moran, Tyler Erb, Jonathan Davenport. Jimmy Owens, and Kyle Bronson.
The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC competed in night two of the 11th annual “Bill Hendren Memorial” presented by FK Rod Ends in conjunction with Pro Fabrication on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway as part of the 33rd annual “Pittsburgher 100” with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. It was the fourth and final appearance of the season to “Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile” by the Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series as a total of 38 different race teams from seven different states participated during the weekend. The following helped make the “Bill Hendren Memorial” the two-day purse structure that it was: FK Rod Ends, Pro Fabrication, Hendren Racing Engines, CrateInsider.com, Miley Motor Sports, the RUSH Racing Series, and Branden Lockwich.
Super Late Model standout Michael Norris passed Kyle Lukon on lap 11 and then drove a masterful race through lapped traffic to keep Kyle Hardy at bay over the final 17 caution-free laps to capture the 30-lap “Bill Hendren Memorial” night two $3,200 feature win. Norris has now won two straight Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series events at Pittsburgh this year as he also pocketed $7,010 in the “Jook George Steel City Classic” on August 7, and three of the last four thanks to the 2020 “Jook George” $7,010 victory!
“I wish we could have done better in the other car (Super Late Model), but this made up for it,” acknowledged the 29-year-old Sarver, Pa. racer. “Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace. I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of. Fortunately, I was able to get by him following that restart, got up on the top, and didn’t let off the gas very much. He (Lukon) gave me a pretty good slider and there was room, but I figured after that it was game on. He’s fun to race with; all these guys are fun to race with. We kept it clean and tried to keep it entertaining for you fans. I’m really happy for my brother-in-law (Nico Dabecco) and sister (Mindy). I think this car makes a better crate car than a super for me. It means a lot to win these memorials. Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”
Norris took off in the lead following his Sunoco Dash victory over Lukon, Joe Martin, Hardy, and Daryl Charlier. After a caution for a spin by Kassidy Kamicker, Lukon took command on the lap two restart with Hardy moving into second; however, one lap later, Norris put a slider on Hardy in turn two for second. Hardy fell back to fourth when Martin put the identical move on him on lap four. For the second straight night, Colton Flinner was on the charge as he cracked the top five on lap seven after starting 13th.
Lukon caught traffic on lap 10 and had a 1.7 second lead on Norris, but the caution was displayed when Lukon’s teammate slowed to bring out the caution. When racing resumed on lap 10, Lukon continued to lead over Norris, but Hardy was able to grab third back. Norris then made the winning move on lap 11 with a slide job in turn two, while Martin and Hardy continued their battle for third this time with Martin taking the spot.
Lukon’s night ended prematurely when he got into the fence running second with 13 laps completed, which awarded him the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”. Almost simultaneously, Cole Petrelle came to rest in turn four ending his night. When racing resumed on lap 14, the final 17 laps would go caution-free. Hardy and Martin swapped positions for the sixth time in the first 14 laps, but this would be the final time as Hardy took control of second place.
Hardy kept Norris within striking distance; however, on lap 23 Hardy had to get on the brakes when the lapped car of Tom Klein got into the turn four fence. That sealed the deal for Norris as Hardy had to make a three-wide move on the front stretch to clear lapped traffic; by then Norris was long gone. Hardy did chew into Norris’ lead in the closing laps, but the 13-time Pittsburgh Super Late Model winner and 2012 track champion was still able to take the checkered flag first by 2.402 seconds in the A&M Norris Enterprises-owned, Millertown Pic-A-Part/Dob’s Automotive/Ingram Engines-sponsored #51.
After a $3,000 win on Friday night, Hardy added $1,500 for his runner-up finish giving him 14 podium finishes in 16 Tour starts as he looks to close out the $12,000 Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Tour Championship with one event remaining.
“Not a bad weekend at all,” stated the 28-year-old Linden, Virginia driver. “Michael and Joe do a great job racing these Late Models period whether it’s a super or a crate. I thought Joe was going to have something for Michael when he started on the outside of that one restart. It’s fun racing Joe like that. I didn’t have anything for Michael. We’ll just have to get a little better for the next one. It’s been pretty unbelievable this season. We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. We’re excited to get back to Lernerville for the second time then have some Super Late Model races to run. It’s going to be a good end of the year; just can’t wait to get to the next one.”
Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings. “It’s fun to race with these Lucas (Oil Late Model Dirt Series) guys and in front of a big crowd- it makes us feel special. We had a fun race with these guys in front of me. The track was great. After the 100 lapper, we were worried about it streaking up and not being able to race, but we were good top-to-bottom. If they have the track like this all the time it would be great.”
Logan Zarin had raced from ninth to fourth by lap 14, but Flinner and Charlier were able to get back by on laps 21 and 22 respectively. Flinner crossed the line in fourth over Charlier, who was runner-up on Friday night. Zarin dropped back sixth at the finish. Last year’s night two “Bill Hendren Memorial” winner, Levi Crowl, went 18th to seventh to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card. Michael Duritsky, Jr. was eighth for his eighth top 10 of the season. Jacob Gunn and Garret Paugh recorded their second top 10 finishes of the weekend with ninth and 10th place respectively. Tom Duratz qualified for his first career Tour feature and finished 16th to earn a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic.
RUSH Late Model rookie Philip Bubeck had quite the weekend for himself. One night after winning the $1,200 “One to Remember” Non-Winners race presented by Hendren Racing Engines and CrateInsider.com and qualifying for the main event, Bubeck went out and led from green-to-checkered over Dave Goble in the $500 Non-Qualifier. Bubeck became the amazing 51st different Non-Qualifier winner in 62 races run all-time. In addition to the $1,975 of weekend winnings, Bubeck received a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for being the first feature non-qualifier part of the “Nosed Out” contingency also was the lucky recipient of the $100 Sunoco gift card as part of the “Fill’er up with Sunoco Bucks” program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto. In total, Bubeck won $2,175 in cash and contingencies driving the 20-year-old Bill Tennant-owned #2 car sponsored by B&J Performance, Bob’s Trucking, Jim’s Towing, and Lukon Racing.
“It kind of sucked we didn’t get in the show but we held our heads up high, came out here and did the best we could and moved on,” explained the 19-year-old Collier, West Virginia racer. “It was an awesome weekend. We did very well and I hope we can come back next year. I have to thank Bill and April Tennant along with Phil and Kyle Lukon, who took me under their wing this year, helped me learn a new car- I couldn’t do it without them. Also have to thank my mom and dad, my grandparents, the Quaigs, and everyone else that helps out. We won the Non-Winners race last night without power steering.”
For the second straight night and leading fifth time of the season, Joe Martin set fast time in FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying with a lap of 19.771 to earn $100 over the 32-car field. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends heat race wins were Martin, Lukon, Charlier, and Norris. Fifth starting Bud Watson won the last chance B main and the Tour regular made his way from 21st to 12th in the feature. Norris won his second Sunoco Dash of the season for a $100 Sunoco gift card.
Racing resumes at Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile this coming Saturday, October 9, 2021, for the final race of the season. PPMS will be featuring the Falconi’s 410 Outlaw Winged Sprint Car Series, the RUSH Sprint Car Series, the RUSH Sportsman Modified Series, the Rohrich RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the PPMS Penn Ohio Pro Stocks, the Priority Equipment Rental Hobby Stocks, the Crawford Auto Repair Four Cylinders, and the All Ways Safe Young Guns. Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps begin at 6 p.m., and the racing action will commence at 7 p.m. Visit our website for pricing and tickets. PPMS has a GPS address of 170 Kelso Rd, Imperial, PA, 15126.
33rd Annual Pittsburgher 100 Feature (100 Laps)
Finishing Spot – Starting Spot – Driver Name (Car Number) – Hometown
1 – 17 – Hudson O’Neal (71) – Martinsville, IN
2 – 2- Earl Pearson Jr. (46) – Jacksonville, FL
3 – 1 – Tim McCreadie (39) – Watertown, NY
4 – 13 – Spencer Hughes (11H) – Meridian, MS
5 – 12 – Shane Clanton (25) – Zebulon, GA
6 – 8 – Devin Moran (9) – Dresden, OH
7 – 4 – Tyler Erb (1T) – New Waverly, TX
8 – 3 – Jonathan Davenport (49) – Blairsville, GA
9 – 6 – Jimmy Owens (20) – Newport, TN
10 – 14 – Kyle Bronson (40B) – Brandon, FL
11 – 11 – Chris Ferguson (22F) – Mt Holly, NC
12 – 15 – Ricky Thorton Jr (20RT) – Adel, IA
13 – 7 – Stormy Scott (2S) – Las Cruces, NM
14 – 23 – Josh Richards (14) – Shinnston, WV
15 – 21 – Kyle Lukon (23) – Burgettstown, PA
16 – 9 – Jacob Hawkins (37) – Fairmont, WV
17 – 16 – Jared Miley (10) – Pittsburgh, PA
18 – 24 – Matt Cosner (66C) – Ridgley, WV
19 – 20 – Logan Zarin (1Z) – Moon, PA
20 – 18 – Mason Zeigler (25Z) – Chalk Hill, PA
21 – 10 – Gregg Satterlee (22) – Indiana, PA
22 – 22 – Trever Feathers (20F) – Winchester, VA
23 – 19 – Alex Ferree (1C) – Saxonburg, PA
24 – 5 – Michael Norris (2) – Sarver, PA
RUSH Late Model Bill Hendren Memorial Number 2 (30) – Laps
Finishing Spot – Starting Spot – Driver Name (Car Number) – Hometown
1 – 1 – Michael Norris (51N) – Sarver
2 – 3 – Kyle Hardy (99) – Linden, VA
3 – 4 – Joe Martin (10S) – Punxsutawney
4 – 13 – Colton Flinner (5X) – Allison Park
5 – 5 – Daryl Charlier (114) – Midway
6 – 9 – Logan Zarin (1Z) – Moon
7 – 18 – Levi Crowl (5C) – Clear Spring, MD
8 – 7 – Michael Duritsky Jr (90J) – Masontown
9 – 12 – Jake Gunn (14G) – McDonald
10 – 8 – Garret Paugh (03) – Elkins, WV
11 – 6 – Tony Musolino (42D) – Carnegie
12 – 21 – Bud Watson (225) – Conneaut, OH
13 – 20 – Ray Love Jr (08) – LaPlata, MD
14 – 23 – Zach Gunn (17G) – McDonald
15 – 19 – Tom Klein (77) – Rochester
16 – 15 – Tom Duratz (55D) – Carnegie
17 – 11 – Ryan Frazee (11F) – Addison
18 – 16 – Bill Kessler (09) – Freedom
19 – 24 – Kassidy Kamicker (72B) – Aliquippa
20 – 17 – Zachary Kane (10) – Washington
21 – 22 – Dan Lepro (2L) – Midway
22 – 2 – Kyle Lukon (184) – Burgettstown
23 – 14 – Cole Petrelle (84P) – Follansbee, WV
24 – 10 – Eddie Carrier Jr. (184X)
RUSH Late Model Non-Qualifiers Race (6) – Laps
- Philip Bubeck (2) – Colliers, West Virginia
- Dave Gobel (20G) – Aliquippa