McCreadie Holds Off Lanigan’s Challenge For Victory At Deer Creek Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SPRING VALLEY, MN – July 7, 2010 – Tim McCreadie celebrated the arrival of his first child the best way possible – with a thrilling victory.
Just two days after McCreadie’s girlfriend Karen gave birth to his son Gavin Chase, the 36-year-old star from Watertown, N.Y., flew halfway across the country and held off a furious late-race challenge from Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to win Wednesday night’s 31st annual NAPA Auto Parts ‘Gopher 50’ at Deer Creek Speedway.
The triumph – worth $11,875, including a $1,000 bonus from NAPA – was McCreadie’s fourth of the 2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series and third in the last five tour events.
“It couldn’t have been a better week,” pronounced a beaming McCreadie, whose 7-pound, 7-ounce baby boy was born at 2:39 a.m. on July 5. “I came home (from the WoO LMS holiday-weekend doubleheader in Tennessee) in time to make it for my son’s delivery. That was an experience in itself, but to top it off with a win in my first race since he was born – man, it’s too cool.”
McCreadie roared off the outside pole to lead every lap of the A-Main in his Sweeteners Plus Rocket car, but he barely beat Lanigan to the finish line in a showdown of former World of Outlaws Late Model Series champions. Lanigan erased McCreadie’s full straightaway advantage during the 30-lap stretch of green-flag racing that closed the event but couldn’t complete a pass in the final frenetic circuits, falling short by a scant 0.047 of a second behind the wheel of his GottaRace.com Rocket.
Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who started 11th, steered his MB Customs mount into third place on lap 34 and stayed there to the finish, running just a few car lengths behind Lanigan down the stretch. Polesitter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., settled for fourth place with a Team Zero by Bloomquist car that he said became “too tight,” and fourth-starter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., completed the top five in the RSD Enterprises Rocket after climbing as high as second early in the event.
In a race that was slowed by seven cautions – all coming during the first 20 laps – McCreadie appeared headed toward a convincing victory. He held a commanding lead shortly after the halfway point was passed.
But Lanigan, who started third but fell to fifth during the race’s early stages, fought back to reach second place with a pass of Eckert on lap 32. He chased down McCreadie without the benefit of a caution flag and spent the last three circuits bidding for the lead all around the three-eighths-mile oval.
Lanigan clearly had the faster car at the end of the event. McCreadie, however, was savvy enough to turn back the challenge.
“I know we pulled away a little over the mid-stretch, but from like lap 30 on I didn’t feel that good,” said McCreadie. “I don’t know if we overheated the right-rear tire, but I just felt like I was hanging in the center of the corners and fading.
“I saw (Lanigan) get under me with a few laps to go, but I couldn’t get down there right to run as low as he was. At that point I’d run 45 some odd laps up on the cushion, so what do you do? You can’t just try to do something different.”
McCreadie did direct his car to the inside groove rounding turns three and four on the final lap – a strategy that likely paid off.
“I just figured that on the last lap I better go to where he is (on the bottom) because if I stayed way wide getting into three I probably would’ve gotten slid,” said McCreadie, who registered his 16th career win on the WoO LMS. “It was the last lap, you know, and it’s 10-grand on the line, so I knew that if I went (into three) where I had been the last three laps, (Lanigan) would’ve done what he had to do and cleared me. He almost had me cleared with one (lap) to go, but he gave me just enough room to get by.”
McCreadie lauded Lanigan’s gentlemanly manner during the race-deciding battle: “He raced me good through three and four. He could’ve slid me twice, and he didn’t. That’s just a professional way to race. I caught him before he left (Victory Lane) and told him I appreciated the way he raced me and I’ll race him the same way in the future. I’ll try to give him every professional courtesy I can.”
Lanigan, a two-time Gopher 50 winner, wasn’t interested in talking about the respect he demonstrated toward McCreadie. He actually wasn’t much interested in talking about the race at all.
Sitting dejectedly in the window of his car just beyond McCreadie’s post-race celebration, Lanigan was asked to describe the final laps. He said only that they were “close,” and when asked whether he would have done anything different if he could re-run the race, he tersely responded, “Nope.”
“We just can’t get a win,” said Lanigan, who has fallen short several times since his lone WoO LMS victory this season, on March 19 at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway. “We were coming, but (McCreadie) moved to the bottom to block me. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re leading the race. I’d would’ve done the same thing.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was 17th-starter Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa; Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who ran in the top five for the race’s first 17 laps; Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.; rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who pitted on lap seven after being collected when Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., spun into the inside berm in turn four; and defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who started fifth but struggled throughout the race.
Richards saw his points lead shrink to 16 points over McCreadie, who shaved 20 markers off the deficit he faced entering the opening event of the four-race ‘Wild West Tour.’
Chad Simpson of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, finished 12th, earning himself the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who has never won a tour A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings.
A field of 38 cars was signed in for the Gopher 50, which was part of the WoO LMS for the sixth consecutive year. A big crowd turned out despite a threat of thunderstorms.
Francis was the fastest qualifier during the Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 14.949 seconds. It was his first fast-time honor of the 2010 season.
Heat winners were Francis, Richards, McCreadie and Eckert, each of whom earned $100 bonuses from NAPA for their efforts. The B-Mains were captured by Birkhofer and Andrew McKay of Edina, Minn.
WoO LMS regular Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., entered the evening’s action just two days after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, but he was too sore to race competitively. He gained entry to the A-Main with a provisional spot but only circled the track during the pace laps to collect last-place points.
The WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ continues on Thursday night (July 8) at Superior (Wis.) Speedway before heading to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., on Fri., July 9, and Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, S.D., on Sat., July 10.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series NAPA Auto Parts ‘Gopher 50’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Tim McCreadie/50 $11,875
2. (3) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,600
3. (11) Jimmy Mars/50 $3,000
4. (1) Rick Eckert/50 $3,100
5. (4) Shane Clanton/50 $2,500
6. (17) Brian Birkhofer/50 $1,700
7. (6) Steve Francis/50 $2,150
8. (7) Chub Frank/50 $1,800
9. (13) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,950
10. (5) Josh Richards/50 $1,800
11. (12) Russell King/50 $1,550
12. (19) Chad Simpson/50 $1,500
13. (24) Clint Smith/50 $1,450
14. (22) Jason Hughes/50 $900
15. (18) Andrew McKay/49 $850
16. (15) Pat Doar/49 $850
17. (8) Brent Robinson/49 $1,270
18. (21) Tyler Breuning/49 $750
19. (20) Zach Johnson/49 $730
20. (16) Adam Hensel/30 $700
21. (25) Joe Ludemann/24 $700
22. (10) Keith Foss/8 $700
23. (9) Brady Smith/6 $700
24. (14) Jason Rauen/2 $700
25. (23) Tim Fuller/0 $1,200
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 31 Mins., 21.209 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.047 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 7 (Laps 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 20)
Lap Leaders: McCreadie (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Fuller. C. Smith
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Simpson ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 14.949
2. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.950
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.980
4. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 14.991
5. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 15.028
6. 95-Keith Foss/Winona, MN 15.037
7. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 15.069
8. 44H-Adam Hensel/Barron, WI 15.070
9. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 15.100
10. 2W-Darryn Waldo/Billings, MT 15.220
11. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.221
12. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.244
13. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.249
14. 98-Jason Rauen/Farley, IA 15.274
15. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.326
16. 17J-John Winge/Rinngold, GA 15.381
17. 25s-Chad Simpson/Mt. Vernon, IA 15.456
18. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.465
19. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 15.474
20. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.578
21. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 15.604
22. 16-Tyler Breuning/Decorah, IA 15.608
23. 73-Zach Johnson/Kensington, MN 15.671
24. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 15.706
25. 33-Joe Ludemann/Grand Meadow, MN 15.774
26. 99L-Larry Wight/Baldwinsville, NY 15.785
27. 44M-Eric Mass/Rapid City, SD 15.815
28. 6-Nick Herrick/Kenyon, MN 15.926
29. 77-Jordan Yaggy/Rochester, MN 15.940
30. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 15.983
31. 71-Andrew McKay/Edina, MN 16.028
32. 40-Nick Kramer/Pine Island, MN 16.417
33. 7-Dennis Hillson/Blooming Prairie, MN 16.577
34. 2P-Lucas Peterson/Grand Meadow, MN 16.603
35. 35-Jerry Bloom/Grand Meadow, MN 16.681
36. 12-Jason Hughes/Westfield, OK N/T
37. 7E-Neal Eckhart/Rochester, MN N/T
38. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Robinson, B. Smith, Hubbard, Simpson, Yaggy, Hillson, Ludemann, Birkhofer (DNS) Eckhart
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Lanigan, Foss, Rauen, Breuning, Wight, Waldo, Peterson, George (DNS) Fuller
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, Clanton, Mars, Doar, C. Smith, Johnson, McKay, Mass, Bloom
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Eckert, Frank, King, Hensel, Hughes, Hapka, Winge, Herrick, Kramer
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Birkhofer, Simpson, Breuning, Wight, Ludemann, Peterson, Hillson, George, Waldo, Yaggy, Eckhart (DNS) Fuller
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McKay, Johnson, Hughes, Hapka, C. Smith, Bloom, Winge, Mass, Kramer (DNS) Herrick
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($50 product certificate): Dennis Hillson
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Chad Simpson
Eibach Springs (one free spring): Larry Wight/Zack Johnson
MSD Ignition ($75 cash award): Tim McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($25 cash award): Brent Robinson
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash award to fastest qualifier w/decal): Steve Francis
Pink Carburetors ($100 product certificate): Rick Eckert
Pink Carburetors ($50 product certificate): Pat Doar
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate): Pat Doar
R2C Performance ($100 cash): Tim McCreadie
STP ($50 cash award): Larry Wight
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Larry Wight
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim McCreadie
2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 7 – 25 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 3396
2. Tim McCreadie 3380 (-16)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3334 (-62)
4. Steve Francis 3286 (-110)
5. Austin Hubbard 3210 (-186)
6. Shane Clanton 3192 (-204)
7. Tim Fuller 3184 (-212)
8. Rick Eckert 3154 (-242)
9. Chub Frank 3080 (-316)
10. Clint Smith 3010 (-386)
11. Russell King 2838 (-558)
12. Brent Robinson 2516 (-880)
13. Brady Smith 2442 (-954)
14. Jill George 1840 (-1556)
15. Brian Birkhofer 1228 (-2168)
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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), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance and Wrisco Aluminum.