GREENWOOD, Neb. – Mason Zeigler and Tim McCreadie earned the front row for I-80 Speedway’s Imperial Tile ninth annual Silver Dollar Nationals on Friday evening.
The starting lineup was set via a unique format of heat races, which were run in two rounds.
In the first round, heat one was won by four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion Earl Pearson Jr., who led all the way to pick up the win. Cody Laney finished in the second spot with Corey Zeitner and sixth-place starter Kyle Bronson trailing at the checkers.
In heat two, McCreadie used a restart after a caution flag to take the lead from Allen Hopp as he came from the fourth starting spot to take the victory in the 12-lap race. Hopp came home in second followed by sixth-place starting Tyler Bruening and Jimmy Owens, who came from seventh.
In heat three, it was all Team Zero, as teammates Chris Madden and Scott Bloomquist finished one-two in the 12-lap race. Madden won in his first appearance at I-80 Speedway. Mike Marlar came from the eighth starting spot to secure the third-place finish just ahead of fourth-place finisher Devin Moran who started ninth.
In heat four, current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point leader Jonathan Davenport went uncontested for the victory. Zeigler was the big mover of the heat after coming from seventh to finish in second behind Davenport. Brandon Sheppard snared the third spot with Nick Deal in his Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series debut rounding out the top four.
The final heat in round one saw a terrific race between Nebraska native Bill Leighton Jr., Tyler Erb, and Bobby Pierce. Leighton led Erb and Pierce to the line. Leighton went back-and-forth several times in the race for the lead and scored his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series heat win in front of the home crowd. Josh Leonard finished fourth.
The first heat in round two went to three-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National champion Jimmy Owens, who came from the fourth starting position. Bobby Pierce came from seventh to finish in second, with Sheppard and Dennis Erb Jr. finishing third and fourth.
The second heat in round two was taken by Hall-of-Famer Billy Moyer over Hudson O’Neal. O’Neal stayed close to Moyer for most of the race, finishing one-car length behind at the checkers. Tyler Bruening came from fifth to take third with Nick Deal finishing fourth.
The third heat saw Devin Moran fade to fifth at one point early in the race but recover to capture the victory over Josh Richards, Chad Simpson and Bloomquist.
The fourth heat went to Zeigler. The 2018 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year grabbed the win after starting in fourth. Billy Moyer Jr. led for most of the race before yielding to Zeigler. Moyer Jr. was second with Michael Norris and seventh-place starter McCreadie rounding out the top four.
The final heat of the night went to Ricky Weiss as the defending Sunoco Race Fuels North/South 100 winner cruised to the win by leading every lap. Shanon Buckingham and Tyler Erb had a terrific battle for the runner-up spot with Buckingham taking the spot. Erb was third with Corey Zeitner finishing in fourth.