IMPERIAL, PA (October 2, 2021) – Hudson O’Neal joined his father, Don as a winner of the Pittsburgher 100, claiming the $20,000 victory in the 33rd annual event on Saturday Night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. The win marked O’Neal’s sixth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2021.
O’Neal tracked down race-long leader Earl Pearson Jr., passing him for the lead on lap 93. O’Neal pulled away for the win. His father Don is a 2-time winner of the race in 2017 and 2019. Pearson had led from the onset of the race as the 4-time series champion was looking for his first series win since last July. Pearson led the first 92 laps the 100-lap event.
Pearson came home in second followed by Tim McCreadie, Spencer Hughes, and Shane Clanton.
Pearson was in control for most of the race, racing unchallenged for the lead even through a lap 50 caution for a fuel-stop. Even after the stoppage Pearson held the lead. O’Neal, who had brought out a lap 54 caution for a shock adjustment, charged from the back using the inside of the half-mile track.
O’Neal caught Pearson coming off turn two. As the duo came off turn four, O’Neal made the pass which turned out to be the winning move, as he went on the win his third 100-lap race of the year.
O’Neal solidified his second spot in the championship point standings behind McCreadie heading into a three-race weekend in Tennessee and Georgia next weekend.
“I’d rather be lucky than good. I wasn’t really good enough to win the race. Spencer (Hughes) had gotten around me on the bottom there one time. He got a monster run down the frontstretch. I thought ‘well all right,’ so I went down there and made the same kind of ground. I just happened to hit it good one time. It took a while to finally hit it. It was really, really easy to miss. I just kept trying and it finally paid off,” said the 21-year-old Indiana native. I was just in a better part of the racetrack than Earl was. He got away from me a little bit on that restart.”
“I knew he (Pearson) was going to get his tires hot before mine, because I was in the brown. After about ten laps I started driving back to him. I can’t believe it. We will take one anyway we can get it. We have got to get a little bit better for the next time. Overall, we are just happy to be here, and we took advantage of the situation. We talked about it under the fuel-stop. I had to stay out for that restart because I was the lucky dog and had to stay out on the racetrack to get it. I ran a couple of laps, and I just wasn’t really good. So, I brought the caution out and I pitted, and my crew made the right adjustments.”
Pearson was seeking his 40th career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win and his first for his car owner, Jason Papich. “The car was really good. The crew has worked their tails off on this whole deal. To lead that many laps and come up short, but I mean that’s part of it. I have won some that way and lost some like that. He (O’Neal) was good around the bottom. I was going as hard as I could there at the end. I was a little too tight around the top and he was better on the bottom. I think that’s four or five top five finishes now in this car.”
McCreadie out dueled first-time Pittsburgher 100 starter Spencer Hughes for third. “We were not too bad tonight. This place has been hard for me. This might have been my best run here. For us to do what we are doing and get this thing over with and lock it down. You have to pick and choose your battles. Congratulations to Hudson on the win. Once he got to that inside I just couldn’t turn down in there so I tried to do the best I could.”
The winner’s Roger Sellers, Double Down Motorsports, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Lazydays RV, O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling, Lucas Oil Products, 2150 Enterprises, WR1 Sim Chassis, Midwest Sheet Metal, and Tarpy Trucking.
Completing the top ten were Devin Moran, Tyler Erb, Jonathan Davenport. Jimmy Owens, and Kyle Bronson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway – Imperial, PA
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Tim McCreadie / 18.324 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Earl Pearson, Jr. / 18.683 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 39-Tim McCreadie; 2. 02-Michael Norris; 3. 37-Jacob Hawkins; 4. 11H-Spencer Hughes; 5. 71-Hudson O'Neal; 6. 14-Josh Richards; 7. 23-Kyle Lukon; 8. 4-Gary Stuhler; 9. 65-Derek Stefanick
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 2. 2S-Stormy Scott; 3. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 4. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 5. 48-Colton Flinner; 6. 1C-Alex Ferree; 7. 2D-Dan Stone; 8. 16-Clinton Hersh
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens; 3. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 4. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 5. 25Z-Mason Zeigler; 6. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 7. 69-Jon Hodgkiss; 8. 91-Tommy Beck; 9. 14M-Reid Millard
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb; 2. 9-Devin Moran; 3. 25-Shane Clanton; 4. 10-Jared Miley; 5. 20F-Trever Feathers; 6. 66C-Matt Cosner; 7. 2T-Kyle Lee; 8. 55-Chuck Kimble
LINE-X B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O'Neal; 2. 1C-Alex Ferree; 3. 23-Kyle Lukon; 4. 16-Clinton Hersh; 5. 2D-Dan Stone; 6. 14-Josh Richards; 7. 4-Gary Stuhler; 8. 48-Colton Flinner; 9. (DNS) 65-Derek Stefanick
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 25Z-Mason Zeigler; 2. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 3. 20F-Trever Feathers; 4. 2T-Kyle Lee; 5. 66C-Matt Cosner; 6. 91-Tommy Beck; 7. 55-Chuck Kimble; 8. 14M-Reid Millard; 9. 69-Jon Hodgkiss
Pittsburgher 100 Feature Finish (100 Laps):