Lanigan Prepares For World of Outlaws Late Model Series Great Northern Tour & Lernerville’s Firecracker 100
Three-Time WoO LMS Champion Hopes to End Season-Long Winless Streak & Gain Ground in Title Chase During New York & Canada Races & Lernerville’s Big Weekend
By Joshua Joiner, WoO LMS PR
CONCORD, N.C. – June 17, 2015 – Darrell Lanigan knows that time for him to make up ground in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship chase is running out. Luckily for Lanigan, 45, of Union, Ky., the next two weeks set up nicely for the three-time and defending WoO LMS champion to begin a mid-season push for his record fourth series title.
Lanigan, who has yet to win on this year’s WoO LMS campaign and is currently 110 points behind leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., in third in the series standings, will join the rest of the WoO LMS regulars in a stretch of seven series races over the final two weeks of June. With the majority of those races taking place at tracks where Lanigan typically runs well, he knows he needs to take advantage of the upcoming events if he’s going to have any shot at challenging Clanton and second-place Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for the $100,000 WoO LMS championship.
“If we’re gonna make a run at this points deal, we definitely gotta get going soon and make some headway,” said Lanigan, whose 70 career WoO LMS victories tops the national tour’s all-time wins list. “We dug ourselves a bit of a hole and now every time we kind of get back in it, we keep having troubles. This is definitely the time to get going.”
Lanigan will begin his attempt at a points-battle comeback when the WoO LMS heads to New York and Canada for four races during the Great Northern Tour. The 2015 version of the traditional northern trek features stops at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway on Thurs., June 18, Brighton (Ontario) Speedway on Sat., June 20, Cornwall (Ontario) Motor Speedway on Sun., June 21 and Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway on Tues., June 23. The four Great Northern Tour events lead into one of the year’s biggest races in the ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., June 25-27.
For Lanigan, the two Canadian events are especially appealing. Besides being a location that he doesn’t get to visit very often, trips north of the border have been good to Lanigan in the past. The last time the WoO LMS visited Canada it was a two-race trip to Brighton and Cornwall in 2013 with Lanigan sweeping both events.
“They’re good tracks for us, so I definitely look forward to going back up there,” Lanigan said of Brighton’s third-mile oval and Cornwall’s quarter-mile track. “It’s always good to go back to places where you’ve won before, plus it’s neat to go to places like that where it’s kind of a different atmosphere. You’re in a completely different country. It’s definitely interesting to go up there and see something you don’t get to see every day.”
Of course, Lanigan always looks forward to visiting Lernerville. The 4/10-mile oval has always been one of his better tracks, especially during the Firecracker 100 weekend. In eight Firecracker 100 A-Mains, Lanigan has an average finish of fourth. He notched four runner-up finishes in the event from 2008 through 2012 and added a third-place effort in 2013 before finally breaking through for his first Firecracker 100 triumph last season.
Last year’s Firecracker victory was a momentous accomplishment for Lanigan, not only because of the event’s prestige and $30,000 winner’s paycheck, but also for the relief he felt after finally overcoming his repeated close-but-no-cigar runs in the race.
Lanigan’s Firecracker 100 performance, which also included a preliminary night victory, was part of an unbelievable 2014 season that saw Lanigan score a single-season record 17 WoO LMS victories on his way to his third series championship.
Stuck in one of his longest winless droughts in recent memory – Lanigan hasn’t gone more than three races into a season without winning a WoO LMS race since 2009 – Lanigan is far from his 2014 performance level, but he’s confident he and his Club 29 Race Cars house car team can get there soon.
“Lernerville is a place we always seem to run well at and it’s always exciting to go to a big race like the Firecracker,” Lanigan said of Lernerville’s blockbuster weekend that features separate complete preliminary night programs June 25-26 that determine the lineups for June 27’s Firecracker 100 heat races. “Things were really clicking (last season) and we felt like we could win any race we ran. We still can do that, we just gotta get our program turned around a little bit and get going with it.”
Part of Lanigan’s excitement toward the upcoming busy stretch is the sheer number of opportunities it offers to race without the distractions that can occur during time off. While other race teams may find challenges in extended road trips, that’s where Lanigan and his crew thrive. That has been especially true over the past two years since Lanigan launched Club 29 Race Cars. Getting out of the shop and racing every few days gives Lanigan the chance to focus on his own equipment.
“It definitely helps our racing to be on the road and racing more,” said Lanigan, whose traveling crew is led by 2014 WoO LMS Crew chief of the Year Jason Jameson. “It hurts us at the shop some, but our main goal is to go out and win races. We definitely need to get our butts in gear and go out and do that.”
Even though he’s struggled to find his rhythm so far in 2015, Lanigan hasn’t changed his approach or given up on his chances at another championship. Just like his successful 2014 season, Lanigan still goes to every race with the goal of winning.
“I think there’s still a chance,” Lanigan said of his title hopes. “Our goal is to win races and if you win races, the points will come.
“We’ve got a good team. If we can get on the road and get some racing under us, I think we’ll be alright and get things turned around pretty quick. We’re gonna go out to win races here on this trip and see what we can come up with.”
Fonda’s WoO LMS program on Thurs., June 18 features a complete slate of action, highlighted by a 40-lap, $8,000-to-win A-Main. Pit gates for the event will open at 4 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 5. On-track action is scheduled to kick off at 7. For more information on Fonda Speedway, visit the track’s website at www.fondaspeedway.com.
The Great Northern Tour moves to Brighton Speedway in Brighton, Ontario, on Sat., June 20 for the Dibbits Excavating and Vanderlaan Building Products Mud Slinger 50 presented by Excel Tower Service. The event features another complete WoO LMS program capped by a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win main event. The program is scheduled to get under way at 7 p.m. Advanced tickets for the Brighton event are available now atwww.dirtcar.ticketforce.com. Visit www.brightonspeedway.com for more information on Brighton Speedway.
Twinleaf Stores sponsors the Great Northern Tour stop at Cornwall Motor Speedway in Cornwall, Ontario, on Sun., June 21. The WoO LMS program features another 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Main. Action kicks off at 7 p.m. Visit www.cornwallspeedway.com for more information.
The Great Northern Tour wraps up on Tues., June 23 at Weedsport Speedway with the $8,000-to-win Finger Lakes 40. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 5 and racing starting at 7. Visit www.weedsportspeedway.com for more information.
The Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com kicks off on Thurs., June 25 with a complete preliminary WoO LMS program featuring a 30-lap, $6,000-to-win A-Main. Another preliminary program is set for Fri., June 26 with another 30-lap, $6,000-to-win main event. The two prelim events determine the lineups for Firecracker 100 heat races on Sat., June 27, which also features $3,000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 for non-qualifiers and the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale.
For more information on the Firecracker 100 and Lernerville Speedway, visit http://www.lernerville.com/firecracker-100-presented-by-gottaracecom. Tickets for the event can be purchased now at https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Lincoln Welder (Official Welder), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Club 29 Chassis, Integra Shocks, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, and TNT Rescue.