Hudson O’Neal Tops In Iowa LM Tussle

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Hudson O'Neal (71) battles Jonathan Davenport Thursday at 34 Raceway. (Brendan Bauman photo)
Jonathan Davenport (49) will lead the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series into a tripleheader weekend. (Brendon Bauman photo)

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — Hudson O’Neal passed Jonathan Davenport on lap 48 and went on to score his second win of the season on Thursday night at 34 Raceway.

O’Neal battled with his father Don for several laps after the 18-year-old charged from the 10th starting position. Then, a single file restart with three laps to go saw O’Neal pass Davenport to score a one-two finish for Longhorn Chassis.

Hudson O’Neal’s fourth career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory came over Davenport, Josh Richards, Kyle Bronson and Earl Pearson Jr.

Don O’Neal took the lead heading the down the backstretch on lap 38, but that lap was never completed as contact between Don O’Neal and Davenport caused the caution flag when O’Neal came to a halt with a left rear flat.

Davenport then went back in front with Hudson O’Neal in second. It was the fateful lap 47 that allowed Hudson O’Neal to saddle up behind Davenport. The three-lap shootout was set, and Hudson O’Neal came out on top. Davenport then held off Richards by half a car length for second.

“Oh my gosh I am out of breath,” said O’Neal. “The surface was bumpy, but it made for some good racing. I was all over this thing. It really widened out there at the end and it gave me a chance to make a move there on JD. We weren’t very good at the beginning, but we continually got better and better. I just put myself in a good position there at the end.

Hudson O'Neal in victory lane. (Brendan Bauman photo)
Hudson O’Neal in victory lane. (Brendan Bauman photo)

“I hate what happened to my dad,” Hudson added. “We were battling hard. I thought for a moment I had a right rear flat under that one caution because it was lying low really bad. It scared me for a little bit. This car was on a rail tonight. We made the right adjustments to get it to the front. It’s good to be back in Victory Lane after not being very good for a couple of months.”

“It was a heck of battle with the O’Neal’s and inside my own race car,” Davenport said. “I am sure it was a heck of a show for the fans. I didn’t know where I was going there sometimes. I want to tell Don [O’Neal] I am sorry. You can’t see out of these things. As soon as he slid me, I ran over his left rear and I tried to get off of him.”

The finish:

Hudson O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Josh Richards, Kyle Bronson, Earl Pearson Jr., Don O’Neal, Chase Junghans, Shanon Buckingham, Tyler Bruening, Devin Moran, Billy Moyer Jr., Jimmy Owens, Stormy Scott, Tyler Erb, Jason Jameson, Billy Moyer, Bobby Pierce, Frank Heckenast Jr., Spencer Diercks, Tim McCreadie, Chad Simpson, Shannon Babb, Chris Simpson, Allen Murray.