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Hudson O’Neal Takes Night One of the Rumble by the River at Port Royal Speedway

Courtesy of Port Royal Speedway

By- Justin Snyder

Port Royal Speedway – PORT ROYAL, Pa. (August 27, 2021) – Hudson O’Neal picked up his fifth win of the season and first career Port Royal Speedway victory Thursday night as part of night one of the Rumble by the River presented by Line-X with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

The win came over Jonathan Davenport and Ricky Thornton Jr. and was worth $10,000. It also made O’Neal the series’ first driver on the Lucas Oil tour to
surpass $200,000 in earnings during the 2021 racing season.

“Man this race car has just been awesome and I can’t thank my whole team enough for everything they do for me and this opportunity,” said O’Neal. “My guys work so hard and they at times have a better mindset than I do and that is why I’m here to tonight. They never give up and I’m grateful to be able to give them a win at Port Royal.”

Davenport and O’Neal led the 27-car field to the green flag and at the completion of lap one, both were practically dead even at the start-finish line and it was Davenport credited with the top spot. However, Davenport slipped up in turn two the following lap, which allowed O’Neal to slide into the lead.

The top of the Speedway was the dominant line throughout the race and early on it was 10th-place starter Chris Ferguson turning heads as he cracked the top-five on lap five. Fifth-place starter Thornton Jr. was also on the move as he slid into a podium spot on lap 11.

Meanwhile, O’Neal was daringly dicing his way in and out of lapped traffic and focused on the task at hand of holding off Davenport.16th-place starter and a winner last year during Rumble by the River competition at the Speedway, Tim McCreadie, had cracked the top ten and was up to ninth, however the caution flew on lap 12 for a slowing Rick Eckert to bunch the field back together.

Utilizing a Delaware restart, O’Neal blasted back out to the lead at the return to green and Davenport positioned himself back into the second spot. Both one and two in position stayed glued on the top of the speedway and Davenport was within a few carlengths with 10 laps remaining as O’Neal again approached lapped traffic.

Just as it appeared Davenport might have an opportunity with O’Neal struggling with the lappers, the caution flew again to halt racing action. Fifth-place running Ferguson slowed in turn’s three and four to bring out the yellow and it also handed a top-five spot to McCreadie, who was running sixth at the time.

Sensing he was going to have to make his move on the restart, Davenport threw a slider at O’Neal after the return to green in turn’s one and two and nearly made it stick coming out of turn two. However, O’Neal was not to be denied as he powered back around him for the lead again.

Davenport again settled into second and nearly got an opportunity late in the race when O’Neal made contact with the outside guardrail in turn one, but the caution flew one last time with three to go for debris and set up a three-lap dash.

“I made a huge mistake before that last caution when I planted it in the wall pretty good,” said O’Neal. “I didn’t get the right front, but I got the right rear pretty hard. I knew we were knocking the spoilers off them, but didn’t know how much. Once I saw everyone else was too, it made me feel a little better about the situation.”

Now utilizing single file restarts, O’Neal just needed to hit his marks after the return to green and that he did as he pulled away with ease form Davenport. Davenport tried over the final laps to reel in the leader, but O’Neal was not to be denied as he cruised home to the checkered flag unchallenged by a margin of .961 seconds.

Davenport, Thornton Jr., Shane Clanton and McCreadie rounded out the top five. Kyle Hardy, Gregg Satterlee, Michael Norris, Colton Flinner and Mike Marlar completed the top-ten.11th-place finisher Kyle Bronson earned the $400 Hard Charger award courtesy of Lauver’s Concessions after starting 23rd on the grid.

“Anytime you can come here and win, it gives us huge confidence and maybe we found something here at the end of the year,” said O’Neal. “After tonight you’ve got to feel good about the next two nights. We’ve got to do a little work on the spoiler and they’ll probably make me fix that. But overall, I’m pretty speechless and this is an amazing feeling.”

For Davenport, it was his second consecutive race finishing second to O’Neal. He knew that he needed to be able to capitalize in lapped traffic if he wanted to get to the lead.

“I just need to get to the lead there as I knew he’d be really good in clean air,” said Davenport. “He really only messed up one time and it was when I was searching around. I threw him a slider, but I knew I wasn’t close enough to make it work and overall I’ll take a second and try again tomorrow.”

Rumble by the River Night 1 Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal[2]; 2. 49-Jonathan Davenport[1]; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[6]; 4. 25-Shane Clanton[4]; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie[16]; 6. 45-Kyle Hardy[5]; 7. 22-Gregg Satterlee[11]; 8. 72-Michael Norris[9]; 9. 48-Colton Flinner[13]; 10. 157-Mike Marlar[3]; 11. 40B-Kyle Bronson[23]; 12. 1T-Tyler Erb[12]; 13. 11H-Spencer Hughes[8]; 14. 20-Jimmy Owens[18]; 15. 14-Josh Richards[24]; 16. 1ST-Johnny Scott[22]; 17. 2J-Jeff Rine[15]; 18. 2D-Dan Stone[14]; 19. 1-Earl Pearson Jr[25]; 20. 76H-Andy Haus[17]; 21. 2S-Stormy Scott[20]; 22. 0E-Rick Eckert[21]; 23. 66C-Matt Cosner[26]; 24. 22F-Chris Ferguson[10]; 25. 86B-Austin Berry[19]; 26. 72C-Jason Covert[7]; 27. 24Y-Dylan Yoder[27]

While the Rumble by the River event took center stage, the Selinsgrove Ford Limited Later Models made sure nobody forgot they were in attendance Saturday night with a feature event for the ages.

Andrew Yoder held off Trent Brenneman’s late charge to pick up the feature win for his first win of the 2021 racing season at Port Royal. The win was worth $1500 and came by .215 of a second at the checkered flag.

A pair of No. 33’s led the field to the green flag with points leader Devin Hart and Trent Brenneman sharing the front row. Hart got the early advantage to lead lap one, but his momentum would be stalled for a caution on lap two.

On the restart, Yoder was getting everybody’s attention. Starting from the fifth position, Yoder was hooked to the extreme high side of the Speedway and he moved into a podium spot at the completion of lap four. However, the battle up front was heating up as Brenneman moved into the top spot on the bottom of the track the same lap.

With the leaders all using three different lines, the top three drivers stayed nose to tail and dang near three-wide at times over the next five laps. Yoder was able to get by Hart for second coming to the start-finish line and the caution would fly then with 11 laps to go.

The restart was just what the doctor ordered for Yoder, as he powered around the outside of Brenneman to take the top spot with 8 laps to go. It appeared Yoder was going to be in cruise control, but over the next six laps Brenneman steadily reeled him back in and with two to go the pair were side by side at the flagstand.

Brenneman got a run exiting turn two on the white flag lap and seemed poised to steal a win late as he nosed ahead of Yoder down the backstretch. However, his momentum entering turn three caused him to slip up the Speedway slightly from his preferred bottom line to the middle and allotted Yoder the momentum needed to power ahead out of turn four to grab the victory and brought the fans to their feet.

Behind Brenneman, Hart, Jim Yoder and Todd Snook rounded out the top-five. Greg Moore, Jim McBee, Kenny Yoder, Joey Hoffer and Shawn Shoemaker completed the top-ten.

Selinsgrove Ford Limited Late Model Results- 1. Andrew Yoder 2. Trent Brenneman 3. Devin hart 4. Jim Yoder 5. Todd Snook 6. Greg Moore 7. Jim McBee 8. Kenny Yoder 9. Joey Hoffer 10. Shawn Shoemaker 11. JR Toner 12. Eric Irvin 13. Chad Myers 14. Matt Cochran 15. Casey Steinhoff 16. Frankie Gordan 17. Matt Parks 18. Dan Zechman 19. Steve Todorow 20. Bruce Kane 21. Mike Smith 22. Matt Murphy 23. Benjamin Scott 24. Jared Fulkroad

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