In his maiden season competing full-time on the national tour, Ricky Thornton Jr. notched his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2021 Monday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.
After a rough start to the Florida Speedweeks, Thornton returned to form, driving the SSI Motorsports No. 20RT Dyno One Inc./ Excel Floor Covering/ Sub-Surface of Indiana/ Longhorn Chassis/ Clements Racing Engine Super Late Model to a $10,000 triumph.
“We struggled there at All-Tech and early in the week at East Bay. It was probably me more than the car,” said Thornton, who missed the feature lineup in both the Lucas Oil Series season opener Jan. 23 at All-Tech Raceway in Ellisville, Fla., and the Jan. 25 opening round of the six-race Wrisco Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., before picking up momentum by logging four straight top-10 finishes to end his week at East Bay. “The end at East Bay was definitely a confidence booster. To come here and run as good as we did, this place is definitely tricky so it definitely says a lot about our team and how excited we are for the year.”
Thornton followed up the third fastest lap in his time trial group on Monday with a third-place finish in his heat race, locking him into the tenth-starting position for the 40-lap feature.
By lap 10, Ricky had worked his way into the Top-5. Taking advantage of back-to-back cautions that took out multiple contenders ahead of him, Thornton moved from fourth to the lead on lap 14. Leading the remaining distance, Thornton took the checkers 1.101 seconds ahead of Mike Marlar, Hudson O’Neal, Devin Moran, and Brandon Overton.
On Tuesday, Ricky qualified fifth in his group before grabbing the fourth and final transfer spot in his heat race to lock into the 14th spot on the feature grid. Advancing four positions, Thornton registered a tenth-place outing in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Florida Speedweeks finale.
Ricky Thornton Jr. is now seventh in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings. For more information, including the latest results and standings, please visit www.LucasDirt.com.
Next week – February 8-13 – Ricky will enter the 50th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. On Monday and Tuesday, the programs will be headlined by $7,000-to-win, DIRTcar features. Wednesday through Saturday’s races will each feature a $10,000-to-win program with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series.
For more information on the events, please visit www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
Ricky Thornton Jr. would like to thank all of his marketing partners, which include: Dyno One Inc., Excel Floor Covering, Certified Inspection Service Co. Inc., D&E Outside Services, Deines-Nitz Soultions & Powdercoating, West Side Tractor Sales Co., SSI Motorsports, Shelby Materials, Slicker Graphics, Lethal Chassis, Dylan Earven Foundation, Tire Demon, Hoker Trucking, Tanner Racing, High Performance Lubricants, Sub-Surface of Indiana, Midwest Sheet Metal, Dirtvision, Simpson Race Products, JE Pistons, Edelbrock, MSD, iRacing, E-Z-GO, Powers Performance, COMP Cams, Quarter Master, Cometic Gasket, Drydene, Winters Performance Products, Snap-on by Ryan Marsh, NGK Spark Plugs, Schoenfeld Headers, NAPA, Swift Springs, Penske Racing Shocks, Winning Edge Carburetion, Longhorn Chassis, Clements Racing Engines, Dynamic Drivelines, Superior Fuel Cells, Finish Line Body & Parts, Wehrs Machine, Dirt Defender, EMD Wraps, CPD racing Shocks, Bassett, Integra Racing Shocks, and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.
Visit the team’s official website at www.TwentyRT.com often for the latest team information. You can also stay connected with Ricky Thornton Jr. on social media at https://www.facebook.com/rickythorntonjrracing on Facebook, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RThornton20rt.