VanWormer Thrills Home-State Fans With Victory In Friday’s NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing

Michigan Star’s Second Career World of Outlaws Late Model Series Wins Comes In Front Of Partisan Crowd At Winston Speedway

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

MONTAGUE, MI – Aug. 16, 2013 – Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., gave his home-state fans a reason to cheer with a convincing victory in Friday night’s NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing at Winston Speedway.

After becoming the first – and still only – driver from Michigan to win a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event on Sept. 16, 2007, at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway, VanWormer turned up the excitement level with his second career checkered flag. The $10,000 triumph came at a track that is a three-and-a-half-hour drive across the Wolverine State from his residence.

“It felt good to go out there and perform and actually do what I always want to do – win in your home state,” said VanWormer, who became the 14th different winner in 35 events on this year’s WoO LMS. “It feels great to win in front of my home crowd. A lot of fans came out to support us.”

VanWormer, 38, steered his Dickens-powered Rocket car past 2011 WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., for the lead on lap 14 and never looked back. He beat another former World of Outlaws titlist, Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., to the finish line by 2.120 seconds in one of the most memorable performances of his career.

Eckert, 47, who won last year’s WoO LMS event at Winston, settled for a third-place finish after starting from the outside pole and leading laps 1-13. Mike Spatola of Manhattan, Ill., equaled his career-best WoO LMS finish with a solid fourth-place run and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the 14th starting spot to finish fifth.

A former DIRTcar Summer Nationals stalwart, VanWormer has cut back his racing schedule in recent years due to work commitments. Friday night’s event marked just his 13th start of the season – and first since July 23-24 at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway – but he showed no rustiness while smoothly negotiating the three-eighths-mile oval.

“We haven’t been racing a whole bunch,” said VanWormer, who emerged victorious in his first WoO LMS appearance of 2013. “Somebody made a comment to me today, ‘How am I ever gonna get good if I don’t race?’ Well, I’m not saying this happens (regularly), but we did well tonight. We had the right tires, the right car.”

VanWormer started third in the 50-lapper, but he immediately moved to second when the race began. He chased Eckert until making his winning pass by ducking to the inside exiting turn four and surging ahead as lap 14 was scored.

“We got into lapped traffic and there and (Eckert) kind of was running that middle and I just stayed down on the bottom,” said VanWormer, the fourth non-Outlaw regular to win on the tour in the last six events. “It just worked out that I had a good run coming off of four and got next to (the lapped) Rich Neiser there. I might have roughed him up a little bit, but it was for ten-grand.”

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The A-Main’s two caution flags, on lap 16 (for a turn-one tangle involving Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., and John McDonald of Muskegon, Mich.) and lap 33 (for a turn-two spin by Tom Sprague Jr. of Muskegon, Mich.), kept the pressure on VanWormer. But he handled both restarts with little problem.

Richards came closest to threatening VanWormer, pulling up to the leader’s rear bumper shortly after the lap-16 restart. But VanWormer gradually inched away over the ensuing circuits and again after the lap-33 caution period.

“I was keeping my tires warm – and the car was just so good honestly,” said VanWormer, whose only previous feature win this season also came at Winston in an American Late Model Series event on April 27. “We were just making smooth laps and not spinning our tires.”

Richards conceded that VanWormer was the class of Friday night’s field. The young superstar had to satisfy himself with a runner-up finish that pushed his lead in the WoO LMS standings to 58 points over Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who finished seventh, and 72 points over defending champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who placed sixth.

“He was good,” Richards said of VanWormer. “On that (lap-16) restart we fired off that middle (groove) real well and stayed with him for a few laps. I couldn’t keep running there, though. Me and Eckert were talking after the race about how you could run four or five laps good there, and then the tires would get greasy and you couldn’t move around as much.

“Jeep was really good on the long greens. His car was just rolling through the corners so well.”

Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., finished eighth, steadily moving forward from the 19th starting spot. Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., slipped to a ninth-place finish after running in the top five for most of the race’s first half and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., faded to 10th at the finish after starting from the pole position.

Twenty-six cars were entered in the event, which was run on a clear and refreshingly cool summer day.

Spatola was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, turning a lap of 14.182 seconds to earn his first career WoO LMS fast-time honor.

Heat winners were Frank, Eckert and Brady Smith, and McCool captured the B-Main.

The WoO LMS will conclude its Michigan doubleheader on Saturday night (Aug. 17) at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, which hosts the $10,000-to-win NAPA Auto Parts Merritt 50 Presented by Allstar Performance.

Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing at Winston Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (3) Jeep VanWormer/50 $10,000
2. (5) Josh Richards/50 $5,650
3. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $3,700
4. (6) Mike Spatola/50 $3,050
5. (14) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,650
6. (8) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,350
7. (9) Shane Clanton/50 $1,950
8. (19) Bub McCool/50 $1,950
9. (4) Brady Smith/50 $1,250
10. (1) Chub Frank/50 $1,650
11. (12) Tim Fuller/50 $1,600
12. (16) Eric Wells/50 $1,800
13. (20) Jason Feger/50 $950
14. (7) Clint Smith/50 $1,450
15. (17) Brandon Thirlby/50 $900
16. (11) Andrew Reaume/50 $800
17. (15) Rich Neiser/50 $820
18. (10) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,300
19. (22) Sammy Epling/49 $730
20. (23) John McDonald/48 $700
21. (18) Tom Sprague Jr./47 $700
22. (24) Andy Galguci/40 $700
23. (13) Dona Marcoullier/33 $700
24. (21) Ryan VanderVeen/10 $725

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 25 Mins., 27.965 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.120 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (laps 16, 33)
Lap Leaders: Eckert (1-13); VanWormer (14-50)
Provisional Starters: McDonald, Galgocci
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Spatola ($500)

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

1. 89-Mike Spatola/Manhattan, IL 14.182
2. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.235
3. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 14.237
4. 18W-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 14.244
5. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.299
6. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.325
7. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.326
8. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.33
9. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.463
10. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.465
11. 88-Andrew Reaume/Blenheim, ONT 14.477
12. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 14.535
13. 6-Dona Marcoullier/Houghton Lake, MI 14.565
14. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.586
15. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 14.711
16. 25-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 14.925
17. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 15.034
18. 115-Matt Pickard/Corant, MI 15.113
19. 23v-Ryan VanderVeen/Six Lakes, MI 15.224
20. 28-John McDonald/Muskegon, MI 15.237
21. 28e-Sammy Epling/Bancroft, MI 15.326
22. 13-Andy Galguci/Mt. Pleasant, MI 15.338
23. 81-Alex Kazmarski/Ludington, MI 15.854
24. 87-Rich Neiser/Fruitport, MI 14,657
25. 21-Tom Sprague Jr./Muskegon, MI 14,938
26. m14-Brandon Thirlby/Traverse City, MI N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Frank, Spatola, C. Smith, Bagley, Marcoullier, Wells, McCool, McDonald, Kazmarski

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Eckert, Richards, Lanigan, Reaume, McCreadie, Thirlby, Feger, Pickard, Epling

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): B. Smith, VanWormer, Clanton, Fuller, Neiser, Sprague, VanderVeen, Galguci

B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCool, Feger, VanderVeen, Epling, Pickard, McDonald, Galguci, Kazmarski (DQ – unsportsmanlike conduct) Pickard

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:

Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Rick Eckert
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Bub McCool
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Matt Pickard
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Josh Richards
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Jeep VanWormer
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Rick Eckert
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Mike Spatola
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Brady Smith
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Brandon Thirlby
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
QuarterMaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Brandon Thirlby
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Andrew Reaume
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Rich Neiser
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Sammy Epling
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Sammy Epling
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): John McDonald
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Tom Sprague Jr.
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Ryan VanderVeen
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Ryan VanderVeen
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Jeep VanWormer
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Jeep VanWormer
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Darrell Lanigan

2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 16 – 35 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 4840
2. Shane Clanton 4782 (-58)
3. Darrell Lanigan 4768 (-72)
4. Rick Eckert 4690 (-150)
5. Tim McCreadie 4502 (-338)
6. Tim Fuller 4438 (-402)
7. Eric Wells 4436 (-404)
8. Chub Frank 4370 (-470)
9. Bub McCool 4330 (-510)
10. Morgan Bagley 4302 (-538)
11. Clint Smith 4090 (-750)
12. Scott James 2046 (-2794)

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), 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, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.

081613 WinstonLive

LIVE UPDATES 8/16: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At Winston Speedway

MONTAGUE, MI – Aug. 16, 2013 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series kicks off a doubleheader weekend in the Wolverine State tonight with a visit to Winston Speedway, a three-eighths-mile clay oval near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.

A $10,000 top prize is on the line in tonight’s NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing. Josh Richards (2011) and Rick Eckert (2012) won the track’s two previous WoO LMS A-Mains.

For live blog-style updates including news, notes and results from tonight’s action, click the ‘Full Story’ button below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to read the latest information.

Jeep jumps for joy

10:10 p.m. – Jeep VanWormer gave his home-state fans a reason to party with a convincing victory in the NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing.

VanWormer passed Rick Eckert for the lead on lap 14 and never looked back. He beat Josh Richards to the finish line by 2.120 seconds for his second career WoO LMS triumph.

After becoming the first — and still only — driver from Michigan to win a WoO LMS event on Sept. 16, 2007, at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway, VanWormer turned up the excitement level with his second checkered flag. It came at a track that is just over a three-hour drive across the state from his home.

A-Main Finish: 1. Jeep VanWormer, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Rick Eckert, 4. Mike Spatola, 5. Tim McCreadie, 6. Darrell Lanigan, 7. Shane Clanton, 8. Bub McCool, 9. Brady Smith, 10. Chub Frank, 11. Tim Fuller, 12. Eric Wells, 13. Jason Feger, 14. Clint Smith, 15. Brandon Thirlby, 16. Andrew Reaume, 17. Rich Neiser, 18. Morgan Bagley, 19. Sammy Epling, 20. John McDonald, 21. Tom Sprague Jr., 22. Andy Galgoci, 23. Dona Marcoullier, 24. Ryan VanderVeen

Chub will lead ’em

8:45 p.m. – Chub Frank couldn’t be better positioned to make a run at his first WoO LMS victory in almost exactly four years. He drew the pole starting spot for the NAPA 50 by Keyser.

Frank enters tonight’s A-Main riding a 156-race winless streak on the WoO LMS. He last triumph came on Aug. 22, 2009, at the then K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio.

Rick Eckert will take the green flag from the outside pole as he bids to win Winston’s WoO LMS event for the second consecutive year.

Bub McCool won the 12-lap B-Main over Jason Feger, Ryan VanderVeen and Sammy Epling. Provisional starting spots went to John McDonald and Andy Galgoci by virtue of their qualifying times.

A short intermission is now taking place with the track’s Street Stock feature to follow. The WoO LMS A-Main will roll onto the speedway after the checkered flag flies in the stocker event.

A-Main Lineup:

Row 1: Chub Frank/Rick Eckert
Row 2: Jeep VanWormer/Brady Smith
Row 3: Josh Richards/Mike Spatola
Row 4: Clint Smith/Darrell Lanigan
Row 5: Shane Clanton/Morgan Bagley
Row 6: Andrew Reaume/Tim Fuller
Row 7: Dona Marcoullier/Tim McCreadie
Row 8: Rich Neiser/Eric Wells
Row 9: Brandon Thirlby/Tom Sprague Jr.
Row 10: Bub McCool/Jason Feger
Row 11: Ryan VanderVeen/Sammy Epling
Row 12: John McDonald/Andy Galgoci

 

Heat Race Notes

8:05 p.m. – Chub Frank, Rick Eckert and Brady Smith were victorious in the three 10-lap heat races…. Frank used the inside groove to bolt forward from the third starting spot and take the lead on the opening lap of the first heat. He beat fast-timer Mike Spatola to the finish line by just over a half-second…. Eckert, who won last year’s WoO LMS A-Main at Winston, turned the fastest lap of the heat winners (14.945 seconds) and had the largest margin of victory (1.632 seconds)…. Darrell Lanigan broke into third place in the second heat race with a couple circuits remaining…. Brady Smith’s triumph in the third heat came with Jeep VanWormer drawing closer to him in the final laps….

Complete results from the heat races can be found here.

Speedy Spatola

7:15 p.m. – Mike Spatola of Manhattan, Ill., was quickest during Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, recording his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time honor with a lap of 14.182 seconds. The young talent does have two career heat-race wins on the tour, however.

Rick Eckert was second-fastest at 14.235 seconds, followed by track record-holder Shane Clanton (14.237), WoO LMS rookie points leader Eric Wells (14.244) and Josh Richards (14.299).

Tonight’s three 10-lap heat races (top two finishers to the A-Main redraw, top six finishers to the feature) are scheduled to begin the night’s racing action at 7:30 p.m.

Complete results from time trials can be seen here.

Clanton looks good

6:45 p.m. – Shane Clanton, who holds the one-lap track record at Winston (13.347 seconds, set last year), turned the quickest lap in practice with a clocking of 13.740 seconds. Eric Wells was second-fastest at 13.937 seconds, followed by Brady Smith (13.956), Mike Spatola (14.024) and Darrell Lanigan (14.027).

Ohlins Shocks Time Trials are now underway….

Go-time approaching

5:55 p.m. – With tonight’s drivers’ meeting just moments away, 26 cars are signed in for action. Among the Michigan drivers who have joined the field in the last hour are Jeep VanWormer (the only racer from the Wolverine State to ever win a WoO LMS A-Main), Brandon Thirlby, Rich Neiser, Dona Marcullier and Tom Sprague Jr., whose father, Tom Sr., promotes Winston Speedway. Canadian Andrew Reaume, who in June scored his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time award and heat-race win, is also ready for action.

Back behind the mic

5:40 p.m. – One week after being inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame as an Outstanding Contributor to the Sport, WoO LMS race director Bret Emrick is taking on a different — albeit familiar — role during this weekend’s doubleheader.

Tonight and tomorrow at Merritt Speedway Emrick will put down the RaceCeiver radio he customarily uses to communicate with drivers during WoO LMS events and pick up a microphone instead. The Ohio native will serve as the WoO LMS announcer this weekend, returning him to his announcing roots for the first time since he ended his stint as one of the voices of Eldora Speedway’s World 100 in 2010.

Picture Perfect

5 p.m. – You couldn’t ask for a better summer day in western Michigan than the one that has greeted the WoO LMS teams today. Just some puffy white clouds are floating around a brilliantly blue sky and temperatures are in the 70s.

Haulers continue to roll into the Winston pit area, but already unloaded are the 11 WoO LMS regulars plus such challengers as Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Mike Spatola and Michigan’s Ryan VanderVeen.