Hometrack Star: Hubbard Shines During Friday’s Commonwealth 100 Qualifying Program At Virginia Motor Speedway
Former VMS Champion Among Heat Winners For $25,000-To-Win World of Outlaws Late Model Series Spectacular
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
JAMAICA, VA – April 15, 2011 – Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., kicked off the second annual NAPA of King William Commonwealth 100 weekend at Virginia Motor Speedway just like he hoped – with a powerful heat-race victory during Friday night’s qualifying program.
A rising 19-year-old star who started his dirt Late Model career at Bill Sawyer’s gorgeous half-mile oval, Hubbard stamped himself as a favorite to capture Saturday night’s $25,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series event. He dominated the first of Friday’s four 15-lap qualifying heats and later drew the third starting spot for the Commonwealth 100.
The 100-lap A-Main is scheduled for Saturday night (April 16), but with a wet forecast looming the event’s Sunday raindate could be put into effect. VMS and WoO LMS officials will meet on Saturday morning after analyzing the weather conditions to determine the status of the Commonwealth 100 weekend’s headline show.
A talent-laden field of 43 cars was signed in for Friday night’s action, which set the complete 26-car starting field for the Commonwealth 100. Two 20-lap B-Mains originally scheduled for Saturday evening were added to Friday’s card in an effort to streamline the weekend’s finale whenever it is contested.
Also winning heat races were Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who led last year’s Commonwealth 100 until blowing a tire on lap 91; Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who beat Rick Eckert of York, Pa., by a full straightaway margin; and Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va. Lanigan and Bloomquist are the only A-Main victors so far this season on the WoO LMS, with each boasting two victories.
Hubbard shined brightest during Friday’s competition, winning a preliminary to move one step closer to Victory Lane in a race he considers one of his biggest of the season. After failing to qualify through a heat for last year’s inaugural Commonwealth 100 and finishing a disappointing 23rd, he’s back with a more relaxed approach.
“It’s just another race – that’s what I’m telling myself,” said Hubbard, the 2010 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year and the 2007 Late Model track champion at VMS. “I definitely want to win this one, but I’m just trying to treat every race the same this year and not do anything stupid, and so far it’s working out.”
Hubbard ran unchallenged throughout the first heat, crossing the finish line 3.036 seconds ahead of defending Commonwealth 100 champion Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., who later drew the pole position for Saturday night’s 100-lapper.
“We started on the outside and got a better run into one and it was kind of smooth sailing from there,” said Hubbard, who drove Dale Beitler’s familiar Reliable Painting Rocket No. 19. “(Crew chief) Robby (Allen) definitely had the car right and that new Cornett (engine) we put in was working great, so we’re excited. We got a car and motor combination that’s right so I’m confident about our chances tomorrow.”
Friday’s program wasn’t as good to two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who was forced to make a rare B-Main appearance after missing the cut in the third heat. He won the second B-Main and will start 18th in the Commonwealth 100.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., suffered the worst luck of the WoO LMS regulars. After falling less than a car length short of transferring through his heat, the 49-year-old veteran led most of the first B-Main until falling back and ultimately pitting due to a deflating left-rear tire.
Frank will be one of four provisional starters in the Commonwealth 100, joining fellow tour followers Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who experienced trouble during the first B-Main; Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., who drove Clint Smith’s backup car renumbered with his usual 19; and Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va. McCreadie and Fuller received WoO LMS provisionals, Robinson earned an early entry spot and Frank received a promoter’s option.
Reigning DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., was fastest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, turning a lap of 17.086 seconds. It was his second career WoO LMS fast-time honor and came in his first-ever appearance at VMS.
Feger tumbled backward on the first lap of his heat race, however, due to a tire compound choice that was too hard and was involved in a mid-race tangle with Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., that forced him to make a pit stop. He missed transferring by three spots but came back to take the runner-up position in the first B-Main, which was won by Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg, Pa.
The 30-lap ‘Rumble on the River’ Non-Qualifiers (paying $3,000 to win) and the Commonwealth 100 remain to be run on Saturday or Sunday, pending an update from track and series officials on Saturday morning.
For the latest information log on to www.worldofoutlaws.com and www.vamotorspeedway.com or call the track office at 804-758-1VMS.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 25-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 17.086
2. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 17.189
3. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 17.221
4. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 17.272
5. 19-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 17.355
6. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.377
7. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 17.405
8. 7-Darryl Hills/Great Mills, MD 17.421
9. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 17.449
10. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 17.489
11. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 17.504
12. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 17.515
13. 44M-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 17.602
14. 1M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 17.603
15. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.638
16. 6L-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 17.657
17. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 17.661
18. 44P-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 17.681
19. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 17.690
20. 777-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 17.699
21. 99Jr.-Frankie Heckenast Jr./Orland Park, IL 17.713
22. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 17.718
23. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 17.724
24. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 17.771
25. 55-Roland Mann/Chaptico, MD 17.779
26. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 17.848
27. 87-Walker Arthur/Forest, VA 17.874
28. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 17.898
29. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 17.904
30. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.921
31. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 17.940
32. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.948
33. 88-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE 17.966
34. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 17.968
35. 0H-Dale Hollidge/Mechanicsville, MD 18.015
36. 100-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 18.113
37. K&B-Kerry King/Delmar, DE 18.275
38. 41J-Keith Jackson/Odenton, MD 18.360
39. 8-Jeff Pilkerton/Loveville, MD 18.374
40. 1CR-Chad Ruhlman/Bemus Point, NY 18.417
41. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 18.501
42. 11d-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 18.740
43. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 18.942
Drivers who pre-entered but did not attend event: Dan Stone, Gregg Satterlee, Ross Robinson, Jared Miley, Coleby Frye
Heat No. 1 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hubbard, Madden, Davenport, Heckenast, Elliott, McCreadie, Feger, King, Lobb, McCool, Mann
Heat No. 2 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Covert, Birkhofer, Pearson, Frank, Miller, B. Robinson, Davies, Doar, Jackson (DNS) Owens
Heat No. 3 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bloomquist, Eckert, McDowell, Mars, Richards, Neat, Fuller, Arthur, Hollidge, George, Pilkerton
Heat No. 4 (15 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Shaver, Francis, Landers, Clanton, Lathroum, C. Smith, Hills, Coffey, Ruhlman, Pettyjohn
B-Main No. 1 (20 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Miller, Feger, McCool, B. Robinson, Jackson, Doar, Mann, King, Frank, McCreadie, Davies, Elliott, Lobb (DNS) Owens
B-Main No. 2 (20 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Richards, C. Smith, Lathroum, Neat, Fuller, Arthur, Coffey, Ruhlman, Hollidge, George, Pilkerton, Pettyjohn, Hills
Commonwealth 100 Starting Lineup (Inside/Outside):
Row 1: Chris Madden/Steve Francis
Row 2: Austin Hubbard/Steve Shaver
Row 3: Scott Bloomquist/Darrell Lanigan
Row 4: Jason Covert/Rick Eckert
Row 5: Jonathan Davenport/Brian Birkhofer
Row 6: Dale McDowell/Jared Landers
Row 7: Frankie Heckenast Jr./Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 8: Jimmy Mars/Shane Clanton
Row 9: Jeremy Miller/Josh Richards
Row 10: Jason Feger/Clint Smith
Row 11: Bub McCool/Jamie Lathroum
Row 12: Tim McCreadie/Tim Fuller
Row 13: Brent Robinson/Chub Frank
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), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.