BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Tim McCreadie and his new team, Paylor Motorsports, are on a roll.
McCreadie won for the third time this month, claiming Tuesday night’s DIRTcar late model feature at Volusia Speedway Park as part of the 49th DIRTcar Nationals presented by Bozard Ford.
“I owe a lot to [car owners] Gena and Donald Bradsher,” McCreadie said. “They didn’t have to do this, and we’re reaping the benefits of it as a team. We’ve got a really, really good team, everybody gets along.”
McCreadie joined the Burlington, N.C.-based team this past December after more than 15 years behind the wheel of his well-known Sweetners Plus Racing ride. On Tuesday night, he and the new team never missed a beat, besting the 48-car field by leading all 30 laps of the feature for the $7,000 top prize.
McCreadie had won a pair of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races during the previous 10 days.
From the pole, McCreadie jumped to the lead right away and began playing tough defense from a streaking Brandon Sheppard, who had won the previous five late model races contested at the DIRTcar Nationals.
A late restart gave Sheppard a final chance at McCreadie, but he was ultimately unable to catch the leader and crossed the line in second. Kyle Bronson held off a hungry Dennis Erb Jr. for the final podium spot, and Jonathan Davenport raced his way up to complete the top five from 10th.
McCreadie seemed to have a better car right in the middle of the race track and he said it was all about what he learned from watching Sheppard drive to victory on Monday night.
“I watched the night before, I ran the bottom, following Brandon for a little bit and he got away,” McCreadie said. “I just saw what he was doing. He started arching really wide and clipping the track in half.”
At multiple points during the race, Sheppard was good enough on the bottom to nose his way into the lead, but only for a turn or two. When done correctly, McCreadie would power back around Sheppard, using that momentum in the high-middle groove.
The two battled back-and-forth for multiple laps at a time before getting spread out as they eclipsed the halfway point. Kyle Bronson had made significant efforts on the top side, battling with Erb Jr. for third, and the two soon began to catch the leaders before the race’s only caution flag flew with 10 laps remaining.
“The high line was definitely good for me, I’m comfortable up there racing,” Bronson said. “But when I moved down in the last couple of laps, I actually felt better on the bottom, really. It’s good to know our car is maneuverable.”
On the restart, McCreadie said he could feel the pressure to get separation from Sheppard.
“I’ve been around a long time, and there’s like a money restart. And with under 10 [laps to go], it’s like, you better do something. Just something that gives you a little bit of room to breathe, and I feel like it happened, because the sticks were fairly wide when I went by.”
Leading the field back to the checkered flag, McCreadie snapped Sheppard’s five-race win-streak at Volusia in style, doing something very rarely seen at Volusia, let alone at all – outrunning the Rocket1 Racing car.
“We had a good car, and we put ourselves in the right position early in the night,” Sheppard said. “[McCreadie] just got the jump on me at the start and it was pretty much over after that.”
Feature (30 Laps) 1. 39-Tim McCreadie ; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard ; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson ; 4. 28-Dennis Erb ; 5. 49-Jonathan Davenport ; 6. 157-Mike Marlar ; 7. 17M-Dale McDowell ; 8. 29v-Darrell Lanigan ; 9. 7-Ricky Weiss ; 10. 72-Michael Norris ; 11. 20-Jimmy Owens ; 12. 76-Brandon Overton ; 13. 3s-Brian Shirley ; 14. 0M-Chris Madden ; 15. 97-Cade Dillard ; 16. 2s-Stormy Scott ; 17. 18-Chase Junghans ; 18. 0e-Rick Eckert ; 19. 14-Josh Richards ; 20. 8-Kyle Strickler ; 21. 25-Shane Clanton ; 22. 15-Donny Schatz ; 23. 31-Tyler Millwood ; 24. 36-Logan Martin ; 25. 5-Mark Whitener ; 26. 25w-Allen Weisser  Hard Charger: 20-Jimmy Owens[+11]