FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Chris Ferguson made his home-state fans proud on Thursday night, winning his first-career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race in the Dunn-Benson Ford Wayne Gray Memorial presented by Campbell University at Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
The 27-year-old completed a dream night by setting fast time, winning his heat, and leading all the way, becoming the 15th different driver to win a series race this year.
In his first ever appearance at the track, Gregg Satterlee came home in second, followed by G.R. Smith, who recorded his best career LOLMDS finish with a third place.
Josh Richards and Steve Francis rounded out the top five, with Richards assuming the points lead from Scott Bloomquist by just 10 points heading into Cherokee Speedway on Friday night.
Ferguson emerged from his car in victory lane and hugged a multitude of people, to the cheers of the large crowd on hand for the event.
“Man, thank you all so much; thanks to the fans for coming out tonight,” Ferguson said. “I wasn’t sure about passing McCreadie. Once I couldn’t get to his outside I just rode around there. I slowed my pace down there towards the end. It’s taken a lot of hard work and sweat to get here [to Victory Lane].”
“I nearly won a Lucas Oil race at Cherokee back in 2009, but finished second or third. Hats off to my crew, my friends and family, and all my fans for sticking with us. There’s been a lot of ups and downs but they have always stuck with me.”
Ferguson fought off all challenges from Satterlee and Smith to get the win. Despite heavy late-race traffic, he held a manageable lead until the finish.
“I have to thank Mark Richards at Rocket Chassis for his help, and this is a brand-new Clements Racing Engine,” Ferguson added. “Thanks to Lucas Oil and the track for putting this on. I have to actually get up and go work tomorrow, but we will be at Cherokee tomorrow night to try and make it two-in-a-row.”
Satterlee’s second place finish was well-deserved, after he suffered issues on Monday night at Muskingum County Speedway and failed to complete a lap.
“We put a new Durham engine in the car today and it performed very well,” Satterlee said. “This was my first time here and I thought the track was good. Congrats to Chris on the win. I believe that was three Rocket XR1’s in the top three.”
Smith scored his best-career series finish after narrowly losing out to Ferguson for the overall fast time.
“We are extremely happy,” Smith admitted. “That’s our best run with these guys. They are the best in the business and it’s an honor to race with them.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Fayetteville Motor Speedway; July 6, 2017
Feature (50 laps): 1. Chris Ferguson, 2. Gregg Satterlee, 3. G.R. Smith, 4. Josh Richards, 5. Steve Francis, 6. Earl Pearson Jr., 7. Dustin Mitchell, 8. Kyle Pierce, 9. Scott Bloomquist, 10. Jimmy Owens, 11. Boom Briggs, 12. Don O’Neal, 13. Tim McCreadie, 14. Darrell Lanigan, 15. Justin Williams, 16. Donald Bradsher, 17. Hudson O’Neal, 18. Mike Parker, 19. Dennis Erb Jr., 20. Willie Milliken, 21. Zach Cox, 22. Roger Lucas, 23. Dennis Franklin, 24. Doug Sanders, 25. Jonathan Davenport.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications