Devin Moran wasted no time proving his new venture with Double Down Motorsports would be a winning combination.
In his first race driving for car-owner Roger Sellers, the Dresden, OH driver thundered to the lead past Tim McCreadie on Lap 20 and held on to win the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Season opener Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
However, Sunshine Nationals wasn’t only the debut of Moran’s new team but also his return to the #99—a number his dad drove throughout his Late Model career.
“All smiles tonight,” Moran said. “The 99 is back. I really hope this is going to be a long-term thing with me and Roger.”
McCreadie stormed to the lead when the 25-lap CASE Construction Equipment Feature began, quickly pulling away from outside pole-sitter Chris Madden.
The Watertown, NY driver built up more than a half-straightaway lead before the caution flew for Jordan Koehler on Lap 9.
That’s when Moran’s climb to the lead began, as he powered past Nick Hoffman and Madden to pull into second on Lap 10, setting his sights on McCreadie.
As “T-Mac” worked through slower traffic, he got loose in Turn 4 on Lap 19, allowing Moran to close within inches of his spoiler.
From there, Moran’s momentum propelled his Longhorn Chassis underneath McCreadie in Turn 1, as he slid in front of McCreadie’s nose to take the lead for good in Turn 2 on Lap 20.
Moran held on for the final six laps to score his 10th career World of Outlaws triumph—one worth $8,000.
“This track was just really tricky tonight,” Moran said. “I just went in there and did what I thought I could do to get by [McCreadie]. I felt like I was pretty clear. I don’t know if I was or not.
“But Timmy is a really good racer, and I drove hard when I got by him because I was sure he was on my heels.”
McCreadie crossed the line second after leading the first 19 laps. He said tire choice played a factor in the handling of his car later in the race.
“We just got super tight in,” McCreadie said. “We had different tire combos than those guys ran. I kind of thought that was maybe the direction to go, but I thought, man, we should be OK. We ran the same right rear as we did in the Heat Race, but as the track kind of got a little shinier and broke open, I just got super tight.”
Chris Madden finished third—his second straight podium at Volusia Speedway Park.
Like McCreadie, the Gray Court, SC driver’s Rocket Chassis tightened up due to his tire choice.
“We tightened up a little bit too much tonight,” Madden said. “Just learning these tires here, I’d have done a little different tire combination, I think. I feel like we had a good long-run race car, but for a short 20 laps, we weren’t where we needed to be, and those guys were just a tick better.”
Ryan Gustin, from Marshalltown, IA, crossed the line fourth after starting 10th. An exciting three-wide pass on Lap 10 highlighted “The Reaper’s” rise to the front.
Gustin’s Rocket Chassis loosened in Turn 2, allowing Hudson O’Neal and Brian Shirley to pull even with him. That’s when he regained his momentum on the backstretch, setting his right rear on the cushion in Turns 3 and 4, moving past both drivers and Hoffman by the time they reached the flag stand.
The Iowa competitor said he had a good car but needed to be better during Qualifying.
“The car was really good all night,” Gustin said. “We were just a little bit too tight there in Qualifying, and after that, I think we raced really good. We’ll get our Qualifying deal fixed tomorrow, and I think we’ll have a shot.”
Ricky Thornton Jr. rounded out the top five.
Four-time Series champion Brandon Sheppard finished 10th, earning Thursday’s Fox Factory Hard Charger after taking a provisional and starting 23rd.
Devin Moran only needed one race to find the winning combination for him and Roger Sellers at Double Down Motorsports. It’s a combination he hopes continues for a long time as the partnership thrives in its early stages.
“This is the perfect way to get it started,” Moran said.
UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models return to action on Friday, Jan. 20, for night two of Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. For Tickets: CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.
CASE Construction Equipment Feature (25 Laps): 1. 99-Devin Moran; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 44-Chris Madden; 4. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 5. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 6. 8-Brian Shirley; 7. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 8. 9-Nick Hoffman; 9. 1-Hudson O’Neal; 10. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 11. 111-Max Blair; 12. 22*-Payton Freeman; 13. 96V-Tanner English; 14. 5-Mark Whitener; 15. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 16. 97-Cade Dillard; 17. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 18. B1-Brent Larson; 19. 20-Jimmy Owens; 20. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs; 22. 25-Shane Clanton; 23. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 24. 22-Will Roland; 25. 32-Bobby Pierce; 26. 114-Jordan Koehler FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Brandon Sheppard [+13]