Brady Smith Sweeps To Victory In First-Ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series Stop At Michigan’s Merritt Raceway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
LAKE CITY, MI – Aug. 20, 2011 – Brady Smith scrawled his name all over Saturday night’s first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series event at Merritt Raceway.
The 34-year-old driver from Solon Springs, Wis., was perfect at the quarter-mile oval, sweeping the program in convincing fashion. He set fast time, won a heat race and dominated the Lane Automotive/All-Star Performance 50 from start-to-finish.
Smith was never seriously challenged en route to his first WoO LMS triumph since Feb. 13, 2010, at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. It was his fourth career triumph overall on the national tour.
“This was our first time here and it couldn’t have gone any better,” said Smith, who earned $10,050 for becoming the 11th different winner in 26 WoO LMS A-Mains this season. “We unloaded pretty fast, set fast time, won the heat, drew the pole and won the feature. That’s a great night.”
Smith pulled off just the second complete sweep of a WoO LMS show in 2011, joining his chassis builder Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who accomplished the hat trick on June 24 in the second Firecracker 100 preliminary program at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
DIRTcar UMP standouts Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., and Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., chased Smith from the second and third positions, respectively, for the entire distance and finished in those spots. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., started and finished fourth and two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., advanced from the 12th starting spot to place fifth.
Richards, who reached fifth on a lap-39 restart when he slipped underneath Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., fell short of a series-record-tying fourth consecutive win but pulled within striking distance of points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa. Eckert’s season-worst 16th-place finish allowed Richards to slice his deficit in the standings from 50 to 28 points with nine events remaining on the ’11 schedule.
Eckert experienced a rare off night on the ’11 tour, qualifying through a B-Main for the first time since March 19 at Columbus (Miss.) Speedway and finding himself a lap down to Smith on lap 12. A caution flag on lap 13 put him back on the lead lap thanks to the ‘Outlaw Pardon,’ but he was unable to take advantage of the break; after stopping on the track to bring out a caution on lap 23 and then pitting, he ran quietly at the back end of the top 20 and needed the final-lap miscue of Watertown, N.Y.’s Tim McCreadie, who slid off the track in turn four and relinquished 11th place, to salvage 16th.
Smith, who parked alongside Eckert – a fellow member of Bloomquist’s Team Zero chassis campaigners – in the pit area, had no such problems. He built leads of as much as three secondsover Erb during the 50-lapper before ultimately crossing the finish line with an 0.878 of a second margin.
“I didn’t really know what anyone else had for tires, so I was trying to conserve yet still set a good pace,” said Smith, who kicked off his 2011 season with back-to-back runner-up finishes in February’s WoO LMS A-Mains at Volusia. “When I got to (lapped) traffic I thought I was getting through it pretty good, but some yellows certainly didn’t hurt me. They got me open track again.
“Everything worked out for us,” he continued. “With the way we’ve been running our program this year we’re not hitting the road as much as we were and the $10,000 wins are hard to come by. It’s been too long since we’ve had one, so we’re happy to be in World of Outlaws Victory Lane. It’s definitely an honor.”
Erb, 38, was unable to pull his Team Zero by Bloomquist machine close enough to threaten Smith.
“I thought I was gonna start closing on him a little bit when we got into lapped traffic, but then a caution came out and opened it up a little bit again,” said Erb, who recorded his best finish in seven WoO LMS starts this season. “He rolled around there good when he got out in open track. I knew my tires were giving out at the end, so I was just holding on for second.”
Clanton settled for a sixth-place finish after hustling from the ninth starting spot to fifth by lap 24. Eighth-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., climbed as high as fifth before slipping back to seventh at the checkered flag, while Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., placed eighth to move past Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., for ninth in the WoO LMS points standings; Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., finished ninth; and Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., who started his career racing Street Stocks at Merritt, rounded out the top 10.
Four caution flags slowed the event, which was run before a near-capacity crowd despite a threat of rain during the afternoon.
Brady Smith paced the 46-car field in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 14.473 seconds. It was his first WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2011 and the sixth of his career.
Heat winners were Brady Smith, Feger, Erb and Frank. The B-Mains were captured by Eric Spangler of Lake City, Mich., and WoO LMS rookie Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis.
Richards kicked off the program with a victory in the 10-lap Merritt Raceway ‘Race of Champions,’ a special event reserved for former WoO LMS and Michigan dirt Late Model champions. He drew the pole position and led the entire distance, beating Lanigan to the checkered flag for a $1,000 bonus.
The WoO LMS is idle until Labor Day weekend when it visits Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., on Sept. 3 for the ‘Black Diamond 125’ and Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg, Pa., on Sept. 4.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Lane Automotive/All-Star Performance 50’ at Merritt Raceway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Brady Smith/50 $10,050
2. (2) Dennis Erb Jr./50 $5,050
3. (3) Jason Feger/50 $3,050
4. (4) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,225
5. (12) Josh Richards/50 $2,650
6. (9) Shane Clanton/50 $2,250
7. (8) Chub Frank/50 $1,950
8. (10) Vic Coffey/50 $1,850
9. (7) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,750
10. (5) Jeep VanWormer/50 $1,100
11. (15) Clint Smith/50 $1,600
12. (6) Tim Fuller/50 $1,550
13. (18) Pat Doar/50 $1,750
14. (17) Eric Spangler/50 $1,400
15. (11) David Hilliker/50 $850
16. (19) Rick Eckert/50 $1,350
17. (21) Dona Marcoullier/50 $770
18. (16) Ron Davies/50 $1,300
19. (22) Richard Neiser/50 $730
20. (13) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,300
21. (23) John Lobb/39 $700
22. (14) Curtis Roberts/20 $700
23. (24) Jill George/13 $725
24. (25) Bob Hammar/11 $700
25. (20) Jimmy Mars/4 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 25 Mins., 25.498Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.878Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 13, 23, 39, 39)
Lap Leaders: B. Smith (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Lobb, George (WoO); Hammar (track)
Rookie of the Race: Doar ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Spangler ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.473
2. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 14.515
3. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 14.529
4. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.536
5. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.541
6. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.591
7. 21H-David Hilliker/Midland, MI 14.595
8. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.623
9. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.634
10. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 14.688
11. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.692
12. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.727
13. 27-Eric Spangler/Lake City, MI 14.745
14. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 14.767
15. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 14.817
16. 91-Adam Thrush/Farwell, MI 14.825
17. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 14.842
18. 9R-Curtis Roberts/Coleman, MI 14.886
19. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.907
20. 87-Joshua Knoll/Lake, MI 14.927
21. 85-Mark Anderson/Blanchard, MI 14.958
22. 0-Kris Patterson Jr./St. Johns, MI 14.958
23. 25b-Chris Brindley/W. Branch, MI 14.997
24. 21s-Tom Sprague Jr./Muskegon, MI 15.021
25. 7-Adam Erickson/Traverse City, MI 15.032
26. 23-Craig Foster/Lake City, MI 15.055
27. 111-Curt Spalding/Hartford, MI 15.059
28. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 15.074
29. 22J-Kevin Jusola/Muskegon, MI 15.078
30. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 15.085
31. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 15.095
32. 1R-Rail Rokos/Traverse City, MI 15.135
33. 21-Bob Hammar/Boone, MI 15.164
34. 92-Dave DeKam/Felmouth, MI 15.221
35. 3-Jeremy Tulick/Cadillac, MI 15.309
36. 28s-Sammy Epling/Perry, MI 15.336
37. 42-Bruce Vance/Midland, MI 15.368
38. 6M-Dona Marcoullier/Houghton Lake, MI 15.481
39. 87N-Richard Neiser/Fruitport, MI 15.572
40. 73-Steve Nieuwenhuis/Copemish, MI 15.661
41. 8-Keith Gentz/Grant, MI 15.760
42. 29H-Dan Hersey/Traverse City, MI 16.088
43. 18-Merv Hudson/Algier, MI 16.774
44. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 16.984
45. 52x-Brad Harden/Ovid, MI N/T
46. 50-Scott Phillips/Marlette, MI N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Fuller, Clanton, McCreadie, Spangler, Anderson, Hammar, Jusola, Vance, Gentz, Erickson (DNS) Harden
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Feger, VanWormer, Coffey, Roberts, Eckert, Marcoullier, Lobb, Patterson, Foster, Hersey, Phillips, DeKam
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Erb, Hubbard, Hilliker, C. Smith, Mars, Doar, Neiser, Spalding, Brindley, Hudson, Tulick
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Frank, Lanigan, Richards, Davies, Epling, George, Thrush, Knoll, Rokos, Nieuwenhuis, Sprague
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Spangler, Eckert, Marcoullier, Lobb, Anderson, Jusola, Hammar, DeKam, Hersey, Phillips, Gentz, Patterson, Vance, Erickson, Foster (DNS) Harden
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Doar, Mars, Neiser, Spalding, Epling, George, Knoll, Thrush, Hudson, Rokos, Brindley, Tulick, Nieuwenhuis (DNS) Sprague
Merritt Raceway Race of Champions Finish (10 laps): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Eric Spangler, 4. Richard Neiser, 5. Curtis Roberts, 6. Bruce Vance, 7. Adam Thrush, 8. Dona Marcoullier, 9. Sammy Epling, 10. Kevin Jusola, 11. Rail Rokos, 12. Tim McCreadie
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): Tom Sprague Jr.
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Dennis Erb Jr.
Comp Cams ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Jason Feger
Comp Cams (certificate to 10th place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dona Marcoullier/Pat Doar
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dennis Erb Jr.
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 11th-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Clint Smith
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 21st-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): John Lobb
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to last-place in A-Main or next lowest w/decal): Jill George
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Brady Smith
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dennis Erb Jr.
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Jason Feger (certificate)
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 7th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner of Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main or next highest w/decal): Adam Thrush
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Brady Smith
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 20 – 26 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 3670
2. Josh Richards 3642 (-28)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3550 (-120)
4. Tim McCreadie 3472 (-198)
5. Chub Frank 3392 (-278)
6. Shane Clanton 3382 (-288)
7. Austin Hubbard 3372 (-298)
8. Clint Smith 3354 (-316)
9. Vic Coffey 3230 (-440)
10. Tim Fuller 3226 (-444)
11. Pat Doar 3124 (-546)
12. Ron Davies 2980 (-690)
13. John Lobb 2842 (-828)
14. Jill George 2122 (-1548)
15. Jason Feger 1552 (-2118)
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.