TAZEWELL, Tenn. — Shanon Buckingham took over the lead on a lap-44 caution after Tyler Erb and Dale McDowell both suffered flat tires and went on to claim his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory.
For the 46-year-old Tennessee native, the Toyota Knoxville/Secret City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram/Ted Russell Ford 50 on Friday night at Tazewell Speedway marked the biggest win of his career.
Buckingham held off first-time Tazewell visitor Jared Hawkins for the victory to become the eleventh different winner this season on the tour.
Earl Pearson Jr. finished in third place, with Hudson O’Neal and Jimmy Owens completing the top five.
Josh Richards and Jimmy Owens led the field to the start of the race before a huge crowd of fans. Richards took the lead on lap one ahead of Owens before the first caution of the race flew on lap eight for Moyer Jr., who had a flat tire. Jonathan Davenport subsequently suffered a drive-line failure, putting him out of the race.
The field was slowed again on lap ten for Owens, who suffered a flat tire along the frontstretch while running in second. When the race resumed, Richards continued to show the way until Erb took the lead. Richards then slowed on lap 42 with a flat tire while running in second.
Buckingham was emotional in Lucas Oil Victory after winning in his home state.
“We have worked so hard for this,” said Buckingham. “When we set out to do the Lucas Oil Series this year, we had a goal of winning some races. To do it here at Tazewell, in front of all of these people is just fantastic. I want to say thank you to everybody who got us to victory lane tonight.”
Hawkins earned the hard-charger of the race, coming from 15th to finish second behind Buckingham and was pleased with the Tim Logan Racing entry.
“I have heard a lot about this place,” Hawkins said. “Trust me, I was on YouTube a lot this week to check it out. It was fun out there tonight. We just stayed out of trouble and came home in second. Congratulations to Shanon on the win.”
Pearson’s third-place finish moved him to second place in the standings.
“We just stayed out of trouble tonight,” Pearson said. “There were guys wrecking in front us, some had flat tires as well, but we stayed up there and had a solid finish.”
Shanon Buckingham, Jared Hawkins, Earl Pearson Jr., Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Kyle Strickler, Vic Hill, Devin Moran, Ryan King, Tyler Erb, Josh Richards, Dale McDowell, Billy Moyer Jr., Kyle Bronson, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Jeff Neubert, Stormy Scott, Dakotah Knuckles, Michael Norris, David Payne, Jonathan Davenport, Jason Trammell, Steve Smith.