Red-Hot Eckert Dominates Thursday Night’s Fulton Bank 50 At Delaware International Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
DELMAR, DE – May 12, 2011 – Rick Eckert is partying like it’s 2006.
Recapturing some of the magic of his career-best season on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Eckert stormed to his second win in the last three tour events, capturing Thursday night’s ‘Fulton Bank 50’ at Delaware International Speedway.
Eckert, 45, of York, Pa., dominated the race, rolling off the outside pole starting spot to lead the entire distance. He was never seriously challenged en route to his 23rd career WoO LMS victory, tying him for third on the win list since 2004 with Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who finished 1.945 seconds behind Eckert in second place.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished third, giving him a season-best outing on the series. Two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., placed fourth after running in second for nearly half the distance and Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., marched forward from the 15th starting spot to take fifth.
The $10,625 triumph helped Eckert pad his WoO LMS points lead, which he ascended to last week for the first time since his spectacular 2006 campaign. He won eight of the first 17 races contested that season.
“I don’t know if we’re all the way back to that level yet,” Eckert said of his ’06 performance, “but we’re getting better and better. We’ve made some changes to our car that it’s really responded to.”
Driving his self-owned Team Zero by Bloomquist machine, Eckert outgunned pole sitter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., for the lead at the initial green flag of the Fulton Bank 50 and never looked back. His run to the big check was assisted by two caution flags that flew at just the right time during the race’s second half.
“Traffic was treacherous,” Eckert said of the slower cars he had to deal at mid-race and again with the checkered flag nearing. “I guess (Lanigan) was catching me there (with less than 10 laps remaining) when I got held up by some traffic, (so) I was liking when the caution would come out and get us a little air in front of us.
“When you get behind lapped cars you get a little bit freer, so after the cautions (on laps 27 and 44) gave us clear track I could get out there and use a little more of the racetrack. I didn’t have to pin myself down behind anybody.
“We made some big strides tonight,” added Eckert, who ended the night with a 28-point edge over Richards in the WoO LMS standings. “Our car wasn’t very good when we unloaded, but we kept knocking away at it and during the race we had a really good car.”
Eckert had the opportunity to celebrate his victory with a large contingent of family and friends, including his wife Kristal and daughter Courtney, both of whom missed Eckert’s WoO LMS win on May 7 at Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway because Courtney graduated from Millersville (Pa.) Speedway that same day. Eckert’s mother and father also attended Thursday’s program and joined their son for the post-race photos.
Lanigan, 40, was only able to draw within striking distance of Eckert at the end of the green-flag stretch from lap 27 to 44. But just as it appeared Lanigan, who started sixth and slipped by Richards for second on the lap-27 restart, would mount a challenge, the race’s fourth and final caution flag flew with six laps remaining for the steaming car driven by Dale Lingo IV of Millsboro, Del.
“Our car was better there in traffic and Rick was better in open track,” said Lanigan, who registered his series-leading seventh top-five finish this season. “Rick had a good car tonight and we just wound up second.”
McCreadie, 37, enjoyed a confidence-building third-place finish in his first start behind the wheel of the Sweeteners Plus team’s 2008 Victory Circle car. The machine still sported his teammate Vic Coffey’s colors and No. 32c.
“I think for pulling a car out of mothballs that was just sitting on jackstands since ’08, it was pretty good,” said McCreadie, who started ninth and needed 27 laps to climb up to third. “I think I might have hurt a motor a little bit at the end because it got hot, but I can’t remember what the top-three (finish) feels like so I’m happy.
“This car was comfortable to drive. We gotta work on it, but after driving up to third from where we started, I think we’re making strides.”
Richards, who won last year’s WoO LMS A-Main at the half-mile Delaware oval, fell from second to fourth when he slipped over the turn-two cushion on the lap-27 restart. He never recovered and remained uncharacteristically winless through 10 events on this year’s tour.
Fuller faded out of the top five during the race’s second half but still recorded a season-high finish of sixth. Caledonia, N.Y.’s Coffey started eighth and finished seventh; Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg, Pa., placed eighth; Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., was ninth in his first start driving for the Leo Milus-owned team that won a WoO LMS event last year with Ricky Elliott of Seaford, Del., behind the wheel; and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., round out the top 10 after starting third.
Teenage WoO LMS sensation Austin Hubbard, who lives in nearby Seaford, Del., experienced a frustrating evening in front of his local supporters. He made a sterling charge from the 17th starting spot to eighth place by lap 27, but during a caution period that circuit he pitted to change a left-front tire that was cut by a broken body brace. The tour’s 2010 Rookie of the Year pitted again on lap 44 but salvaged an 11th-place finish.
A field numbering 38 cars participated in the event, which brought the WoO LMS to DIS for the fifth consecutive season and seventh time in the last eight years. The crowd was the biggest to ever see a full-fender World of Outlaws show at the track.
Lanigan continued his red-hot qualifying efforts, topping Ohlins Shocks Time Trials for the third straight race with a lap of 18.897 seconds.
Heat winners were Coffey, Clint Smith, Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., and Miller. The B-Mains were captured by Hubbard and Ricky Elliott of Seaford, Del.
The occasion of Robinson’s first-ever WoO LMS heat-race victory was tempered by the fact that his car’s engine overheated during the prelim due to a broken radiator bracket that created a hole in the radiator. He was unable to use his fifth starting spot for the A-Main.
The WoO LMS will swing back into action on Saturday night (May 14) with the running of the Gunter’s Honey Spring 50 at Winchester (Va.) Speedway. A $10,000 top prize will be on the line in the one-third-mile track’s inaugural tour event.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Fulton Bank 50’ at Delaware International Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $10,625
2. (6) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,650
3. (9) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,650
4. (4) Josh Richards/50 $3,150
5. (15) Jason Covert/50 $2,500
6. (1) Tim Fuller/50 $2,250
7. (8) Vic Coffey/50 $2,000
8. (7) Jeremy Miller/50 $1,300
9. (11) Dan Stone/50 $1,200
10. (3) Clint Smith/50 $1,650
11. (17) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,600
12. (13) Pat Doar/50 $1,800
13. (21) Shane Clanton/50 $1,500
14. (23) Chub Frank/50 $1,450
15. (24) John Lobb/50 $850
16. (14) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 $800
17. (19) Ron Davies/50 $1,320
18. (22) Darryl Hills/50 $750
19. (10) Russell King/50 $730
20. (16) Dale Lingo IV/42 $700
21. (25) Jill George/42 $25
22. (12) Jamie Lathroum/26 $700
23. (18) Ricky Elliott/26 $700
24. (20) David Hill/21 $700
25. (5) Brent Robinson/0 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 31 Mins., 37.206 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.945 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 4, 5, 27, 44)
Lap Leaders: Eckert (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Frank, Lobb, George (emergency)
Rookie of the Race: Doar ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Frank ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 18.897
2. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.999
3. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 19.001
4. 1M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 19.015
5. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 19.099
6. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 19.143
7. 680-Richard Jarvis Jr./Powellville, MD 19.239
8. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 19.259
9. 32x-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 19.261
10. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 19.305
11. 2-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 19.319
12. 7H-Darryl Hills/Great Mills, MD 19.389
13. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 19.403
14. 100s-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 19.410
15. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 19.420
16. 6-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 19.430
17. 11d-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 19.442
18. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 19.457
19. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 19.470
20. K&B-Kerry King/Delmar, DE 19.486
21. 20-Staci Warrington/Milton, DE 19.509
22. 55W-David Williams/Avenue, MD 19.602
23. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 19.613
24. 88-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE 19.614
25. 80-David Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 19.652
26. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 19.678
27. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 19.697
28. 99L-Dale Lingo IV/Millsboro, DE 19.699
29. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 19.724
30. F1-Coleby Frye/Dover, PA 19.794
31. 7R-Ross Robinson/Georgetown, DE 19.874
32. 75-David Hill/Trappe, MD 19.927
33. 8-Mark Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 20.015
34. 45-Mark Byram/Georgetown, DE 20.027
35. 96-Lou Johnson/Georgetown, DE 20.041
36. 12-Kevin Scott Jr./Laurel, DE 20.076
37. 100-Hal Browning/Seaford, DE 20.469
38. 44W-Amanda Whaley/Millsboro, DE N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Coffey, Lanigan, McCreadie, Doar, Hubbard, Frank, M. Pettyjohn, Browning, D. Pettyjohn, Warrington
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): C. Smith, Fuller, R. King, K. Pettyjohn, Clanton, Davies, Byram, Williams (DNS) Frye, Whaley
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Robinson, Eckert, Stone, Covert, Jarvis, R. Robinson, Lobb, Johnson, George
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Miller, Richards, Lathroum, Lingo, Elliott, Hills, K. King, Hill, Scott
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hubbard, Davies, Clanton, Frank, D. Pettyjohn, M. Pettyjohn, Byram, Warrington (DNS) Browning, Williams, Frye
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Elliott, Hill, Hills, Johnson, George, Jarvis, R. Robinson, Lobb (DNS) K. King, Scott, Whaley
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): John Lobb
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Kenny Pettyjohn
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 cash 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): Lou Johnson
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
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): Austin Hubbard
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): Jill George
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
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): Richard Jarvis Jr.
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Jason Covert
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): John Lobb
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Rick Eckert (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): Vic Coffey
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner of Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
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): Hal Browning
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 12 – 10 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 1502
2. Josh Richards 1474 (-28)
3. Darrell Lanigan 1442 (-60)
4. Austin Hubbard 1432 (-70)
5. Tim McCreadie 1406 (-96)
6. Chub Frank 1390 (-112)
7. Clint Smith 1384 (-118)
8. Shane Clanton 1370 (-132)
9. Tim Fuller 1292 (-210)
10. Vic Coffey 1260 (-242)
11. Pat Doar 1222 (-280)
12. Ron Davies 1166 (-336)
13. John Lobb 1098 (-404)
14. Jill George 1072 (-430)
15. Jason Feger 1010 (-492)
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.