By James Essex
Devin Gilpin of Columbus picked up his ninth late model feature win of 2021 on Aug. 21 at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The third-generation racer collected $5,000 for his victory in the Boone Coleman Memorial Gator 50.
Gilpin, who started eighth, took the win over Josh Rice, R.J. Conley, Jared Hawkins and Colton Burdette. His Rocket Chassis car is owned by his grandfather, Don Fleetwood of Brownstown.
With the win, Gilpin guaranteed himself a spot in the $100,000-to-win Dirt Track World Championship Race in October at Portsmouth. The event will be the final race of 2021 for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
O’Neal wins Topless 100
In a close and dramatic finish, Hudson O’Neal barely edged Jonathan Davenport at the finish line to win the 29th annual COMP Cams Topless 100 presented by Nutrien Ag Solutions on Saturday Night at Batesville Motor Speedway.
The win was his fourth this season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The event was co-sanctioned with the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series presented by Lucas Oil.
For the 20-year-old Martinsville native who now resides in Hope, it was his second crown jewel victory of 2021 to go along with his Show-Me 100 win at Lucas Oil Speedway in May.
O’Neal, who started sixth, took the lead on Lap 39 from Jimmy Owens and raced unchallenged until Davenport with five laps to go started to make a run on him. After taking the white flag, Davenport dove low in Turn 1 for the lead briefly, but O’Neal crossed him over to regain the top spot heading down the backstretch.
Davenport then made one last-ditch effort, sliding in front of O’Neal. As the two headed to the checkers, O’Neal crossed over Davenport as he beat the three-time series champion to the finish line by just .116 seconds.
Brandon Overton, last week’s Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100 winner at Florence Speedway, came home in third, followed by Tim McCreadie and Jimmy Owens.
McCreadie, the current LOLMDS points leader, jumped to the lead at the start of the event with Owens following in second. The two longtime series regulars ran 1-2 until the 10th circuit when Owens took the lead. Owens, who was trying to make Topless 100 history by becoming the first driver to win the event in back-to-back years, led the next 29 laps before he yielded the top spot to O’Neal.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 11th time in his career, the third-generation racer won a career-high $40,000 for his win.
“I was thinking ‘Don’t make any mistakes,’” O’Neal said. “The top was really thin. I knew when I passed for the lead that some other guys were going to move up there, and it was just going to keep dying. We had a Lap 75 caution there, and my guys were pointing me to the bottom. I heard Jimmy picked the top, and I thought I was only going to run this top one lap again because I knew I had some decent speed up there. Whenever I came back around after the restart, they were pointing me back to the top, so I thought I better get back up there.”
Twin Cities winners
Twin Cites Raceway Park in Vernon hosted the W.E. Burton Memorial on Aug. 21.
The division winners were Tyler Collins of North Vernon (crate late models), Keaton Streeval of Edinburgh (pure stocks), Jeffery Cranmer of Memphis (crown vics), Trent Green of Milton, Kentucky (modifieds), Hunter Perry of Columbus (hornets) and Justin Clark of Hamersville, Ohio (305 sprints).
The events scheduled tonight at Twin Cities have been canceled due to a scheduling conflict with the BOSS Series sprints.
Bilbee wins Gaines Memorial
Nick Bilbee won the Dick Gaines Memorial on Aug. 21 at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
Trailing Bilbee across the finish line in the sprint car main event were Thomas Meseraull, Garrett Abrams, Tyler Kendall and Ricky Lewis.
Matt Hamilton won the modified feature over Scotty Kincaid, Cory Skipton, Gage Clark and Zach Bolton.
Will McRoberts won the pure stock feature.
Tonight, Lawrenceburg will host the hornet nationals along with modifieds and school bus racing. For information, visit lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
Kinser wins Bloomington
Jordan Kinser of Bloomington won the sprint car feature Aug. 21 at Bloomington Speedway. Brayden Fox was second, followed by A.J. Hopkins, Brady Short and Shayna Ensign.
Jordan Wever of Bloomington won the modified feature over Jeff Deckard, Dustin Bruce, Chad Combs and Derek Groomer.
Zach Sasser of Bedford won the super stock feature over Brad Frye, Justin Massie, Josh Boller and Justin Phelps.
The next race at Bloomington will be Sept. 4 with the Josh Burton Memorial Race.
Brownstown back tonight
After two weekends off, Brownstown Speedway will be back in action tonight with a hornet special, pro late models, super stocks, pure stocks and crown vics. For information, visit brownstownspeedway.com.
This week in racing history
From 70 years ago in 1951 at Columbus Speedway, Gene Minor won the feature race over Stan Herrod and Harry King.
From 50 years ago tonight in 1971 at Brownstown, Jim Curry won the late model feature over Kenny Simpson, Russ Petro, Dick Brinegar and Larry Wilcox.
From 1971, the Columbus Go-Kart Club winners were Teresa James, Tony Boaz, Dick Phillips, Bill Ault, Bill McCleery, Mike Tobias and Billy Reeves.
Also, from this weekend in 1971 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Bobby Unser won the USAC stock car feature over Roger McCluskey, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Allison and Butch Hartman.
From 40 years ago in 1981 at Charlestown Motor Speedway, Ira Bastin won the late model feature race over Jim Curry, Pete Willoughby, Doug Ault and Terrence Johnson.
From 30 years ago in 1991 at Haubstadt, Kevin Claycomb won the late model feature over Ray Godsey and Terry Woehler. Todd Shields took the sprint car feature over Joey Nash and Mark Cummins. Joe Lucas won the modified street stock feature.