2023 Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway

Top 10 Active Dirt Late Model Drivers At Eldora Speedway

Top 10 Active Dirt Late Model Drivers At Eldora Speedway

Ranking the top 10 active dirt late models at Eldora Speedway prior to the 2023 Dirt Late Model Dream.

Jun 5, 2023 by Kyle McFadden

With this week's 29th running of the Dirt Late Model Dream approaching at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, we're ramping up our coverage of the $129,000-to-win event as the stage takes shape live on FloRacing. Below, we've ranked Eldora's top-10 active full-time drivers solely based on recent success at the World's Greatest Dirt Track.

Disclaimer: The list below only includes active drivers who are currently planning to compete in the 29th Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway. If you're asking "How is Scott Bloomquist not on this list?" The answer is that Bloomquist has not raced his No. 0 this year, and he's not expected to compete in the Dirt Late Model Dream this weekend. 

1. Jonathan Davenport (Blairsville, Ga.)

No driver has more wins (11) and top-fives (24) at Eldora since 2018 than Superman, who could very well go down as the greatest of all-time at the World’s Greatest Dirt Track. Five World 100 victories, last year’s Eldora Million domination, a 2015 Dream triumph and 2020 Intercontinental Classic (replacement of the World 100 amid Covid-19 pandemic) spearhead J.D.’s towering Big E resume among active full-time drivers.

In-Depth Interview With Eldora Million Winner

VIDEO: Jonathan Davenport captured the Eldora Million victory in 2022. 

2. Brandon Overton (Evans, Ga.)

The Evans, Ga., superstar rolls into this week’s Dream seeking an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the lucrative event. Overton’s three straight Dream wins is unmatched as it is (Scott Bloomquist is the only other repeat winner in 2017-18), the backbone of his nine feature wins at the Big E the past five years. All together, Davenport and Overton have combined to win 20 of Eldora’s 60 main events since 2018.

3. Tim McCreadie (Watertown, N.Y.)

While T-Mac doesn’t have the Eldora crown jewels to measure up with Davenport and Overton (one being 2018’s World 100 victory), he actually has more top-fives (18) than Overton (15) and more top-10s (29) than any driver at the Rossburg, Ohio, half-mile the last five years. Last year he finished third in the Dream, fourth in the Million, and fourth in the World 100. He’ll look for his first career Dream victory this week.

4. Dale McDowell (Chickamauga, Ga.)

Though a handful of different drivers could check in at the No. 4 spot, the Chickamauga, Ga., veteran makes perhaps the strongest case of them all not named Davenport, Overton or McCreadie. McDowell’s 26 top-10 finishes at the Big E are tied for third most in the last five years — right up there with McCreadie (29) and Davenport (28) — with a 2014 Dream victory to boot. His lone Eldora victory the last five seasons came in last year’s World 100 prelim.

5. Brandon Sheppard (New Berlin, Ill.)

Similar to Tim McCreadie, the Longhorn Chassis convert hasn’t manhandled Eldora like Davenport and Overton (his 2019 Dream win being the lone Big E crown jewel), but he certainly has a strong grip of the prestigious half-mile. Sheppard’s 26 top-10s are tied with Dale McDowell for most at Eldora the last five seasons. He finished fifth in last year’s installment of the Dream.


VIDEO: Highlights from the epic 2019 Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora. 

6. Chris Madden (Gray Court, S.C.)

An Eldora crown jewel still missing on Madden’s resume doesn’t disqualify him as one of the half-mile’s best. Last year he finished second in the Dream, second in the Million, and third in the World 100, adding to his 14 top-fives (fourth most the last five years) and 22 top-10s (fifth most) since 2018. Factor in a Dream prelim win last year, and maybe he’s on the cusp of winning Saturday’s $129,000.

7. Chris Ferguson (Mt. Holly, N.C.)

Fergy also lacks a career-cementing Eldora crown jewel victory, but is plenty worthy of being recognized as Eldora’s finest. The Mt. Holly, N.C., driver has 13 top-fives and 21 top-10s at Eldora since 2018 — both among the top seven in the sport — and even won his first Big E feature last summer in a Million prelim. He finished 23rd of 24 starters in last year’s Dream where he wrecked out of the race on lap 15.

8. Bobby Pierce (Oakwood, Ill.)

The youngest winner of the World 100, the Oakwood, Ill., driver has yet to make any signification additions to his Big E resume since that win as a 19-year-old in 2016. Actually his only Eldora win the last five years happened in last fall’s World 100 prelim. Other than that, his nine top-fives and 16 top-10s since 2018 suggest that Pierce is more than a one-time wonder at the Big E. He’ll try for his first Dream win this week.


VIDEO: Bobby Pierce inherited a World 100 prelim win last year after Ricky Weiss' DQ in post-race tech. 

9. Hudson O’Neal (Martinsville, Ind.)

While without a crown jewel, the Martinsville, Ind., native is one of five drivers with three or more Eldora feature wins the last five years, alongside Jonathan Davenport (11), Brandon Overton (nine), Tim McCreadie (three) and Darrell Lanigan (three). Two of those wins are World 100 prelims (2019 and 22) with the third a 2021 American Late Model Series victory. O’Neal’s 16 top-10s are ninth-most in the sport the last five years, too.

10. Kyle Bronson (Brandon, Fla.)

The Brandon, Fla., driver has been sneaky good at Eldora in recent years, so sneaky that he may come as a surprise on this list. In 2021, Bronson won heat races in both Dreams and finished third in one of the lucrative features, Last year, he placed 10th in the event, and his 15 top-10s at Eldora the last five years are tied for 11th most in the sport. 

Honorable mention (stats since 2018): Darrell Lanigan (2018 and '19 Dream prelim wins), Gregg Satterlee (2021 Dream and World 100 prelim wins), Jimmy Owens (2018 Dream prelim win and 15 top-10s), Ricky Thornton Jr. (2018 World 100 prelim win and 13 top-10s), and Ricky Weiss (2019 Dream prelim winner and 18 top-10s).