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June 14, 2019 - Kyle Bronson battles back to capture Lucas Oil barnburner
Kyle Bronson won't soon forget his first visit to Fayetteville Motor Speedway. (Heath Lawson photo)

That's because the 29-year-old racer from Brandon, Fla., fought his way to the front, relinquished the lead, got it right back and sprinted on to a $10,000 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory Thursday night. A full house watched four drivers swap the lead in the 50-lap Dunn-Benson Ford/Wayne Gray Sr. Memorial presented by GETSCO.

Bronson crossed the finish line .721 seconds ahead of Evans, Ga., driver Brandon Overton, who charged into the top spot on lap 43, but could only hold the upper hand for one circuit before Bronson regained the upper hand for the final time.  Polesitter Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, grabbed the final podium spot.

"I've had a real good car for the past few months, we just haven't had the results to show for it with bad luck and stuff," Bronson said after notching his second career victory on the national series. "Tonight we were able how good a car we have."

Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., was the quickest in time trials, circling the 4/10ths-mile dirt oval in 15.970 seconds. But Erb outran him in their heat race to earn the No. 1 starting spot, and he was joined as a winner in the qualifying dashes by Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., and Bronson.

Erb set the early pace, but surrendered the top spot to Jonathan Davenport of Pelzer, S.C., on lap 11. Davenport, the series points leader and reigning champion, led until lap 32, when Bronson erased the gap between them, hit a rut and slammed into the side of his car. That contact was enough to give Bronson the lead, and other than the brief duel with Overton, his No. 40 was unstoppable.

"I feel bad, I hit that hole there (in turn four) and got turned sideways and we got together a little bit," Bronson said. "Then I was just kind of cruising too easy there and let Overton get next to me and throw me the ol' fender there a little bit. ... I had a blast doing this. The track was a little rough, it had a little character."

Overton was visibly disappointed that he couldn't win the race in memory of crewman Billy Vacek, who died Tuesday when the camper in which he was sleeping caught fire. 

"I really wanted to win that one, it's been a rough week for us," Overton said, adding, "He was like my right-hand guy over here, everything was going good. We're going to get him one here soon."

The series moves on to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C., on Friday night, then to Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., on Saturday to wrap up the weekend.

FAYETTEVILLE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Thursday's results
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

1. Kyle Bronson ($10,000), 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Tyler Erb, 4. Hudson O'Neal, 5. Jonathan Davenport, 6. Josh Richards, 7. Devin Moran, 8. Dustin Mitchell, 9. Jimmy Owens, 10. Michael Brown

11. Earl Pearson Jr., 12. Shanon Buckingham, 13. Billy Moyer Jr., 14. Don O'Neal, 15. Tim McCreadie, 16. James Parker, 17. Stormy Scott, 18. Chris Ferguson, 19. Daulton Wilson, 20. Donald Bradsher

21. Dale Arnold, 22. Billy Greenhill, 23. Willie Milliken, 24. Scott Bloomquist

Legends
1. Ryan Shabram, 2. Eddie Daniels, 3. Mason Ford, 4. Tristen Stephenson, 5 Scott Neighbors, 6. Tyler Kussman, 7. Billy Gomez, 8. Tim Neighbors, 9. Joshua Sanoske, 10. Ronnie Long.
11. Joseph Sanoske

Renegades
1. Daniel Johnson, 2. Rick Razillard, 3. Jimmy Capps, 4. Martin Sweatt, 5. Kevin Raynor, 6. Terry Sharp, 7. Steve Loori, 8. Case Daniels, 9. Brandon Carter, 10. Tom Lovett
11. Chris Stephens