Eckert Sweeps World of Outlaws Late Model Series Program At Black Hills Speedway For Badly-Needed Victory
Defending Champ Snuffs Out Coffey’s Late-Race Bid For First-Ever Win On National Tour
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
RAPID CITY, SD – July 10, 2012 – Something about racing at Black Hills Speedway agrees with Rick Eckert.
Nearly a decade after reaching Victory Lane in his only previous visit to the South Dakota track, Eckert made a triumphant return, completing a sweep of Tuesday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series program by capturing the ‘Black Hills 50.’
“Both times I’ve been here I’ve won, so I love this place,” said Eckert, who won a UDTRA series event in 2003 on the old four-tenths-mile Black Hills layout that was bulldozed over and replaced by the current half-mile oval in ’07. “I’ll tell you what, it’s so far from home, but I have to come back. It sure was worth the trip.”
Eckert, 46, of York, Pa., set fast time, won a heat race and raced off the pole position to reach the checkered flag first, but his second WoO LMS victory of 2012 didn’t come easy.
After grabbing the lead for the first time from series rookie Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., on lap nine, Eckert set the pace until Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., slipped in front amid lapped traffic on lap 47. Eckert fought right back, however, regaining command with an outside power move on lap 48 and then marching on to a badly-needed triumph in his Team Zero by Bloomquist car.
Coffey, 40, settled for a runner-up finish in the Sweeteners Plus Rocket, 0.714 of a second behind Eckert. He matched his personal-best WoO LMS performance as he remained winless in 133 career A-Main starts on the tour.
WoO LMS Rookie of the Year leader Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., finished third in his Victory Circle chassis after charging forward from the 10th starting spot. He reached the show position on lap 40 but never got close to the leaders, ending the race over seven seconds behind Eckert.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the 16th starting position to place fourth – his 13th top-five finish in his last 15 starts – after deciding to switch to his backup Sweeteners Plus Warrior car following time trials, and fourth-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished fifth in his Rocket mount.
Eckert’s triumph, worth $10,700, came after he experienced arguably the most nightmarish trip of his career when the WoO LMS swung through Canada, New York and Pennsylvania from June 22-30. His hauler developed major transmission issues and he broke three engines in a two-race span – a run of bad luck that left his continued pursuit of the WoO LMS an uncertain proposition.
But Eckert’s rig was repaired and he obtained two engines from California dirt Late Model racer Eric Jacobsen, allowing the defending WoO LMS champion to head out on the circuit’s ‘Wild West Tour.’
“If it wasn’t for Eric Jacobsen, I wouldn’t have come out here,” said Eckert, who used his own Jay Dickens-built powerplant at Black Hills but has Jacobsen’s pieces in his trailer as backups. “This is a sport that knocks you down, and fortunately he’s a guy who will help me get back up.”
Eckert thought his misery might roll on with a late-race defeat when Coffey slipped underneath him rounding turns three and four on lap 47, but he refused to let the race escape his grasp.
“I was in a lane that I’m not normally in,” said Eckert, whose 26th career WoO LMS victory was his first since Feb. 18 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. “I was on the top most of the race. That’s where I could just bounce off the traction and keep my speed up.
“Then we got in traffic and I got held up pretty bad for quite a few laps. I knew I was a sitting duck, but they were side-by-side and then they caught four more cars, and I was like, ‘S—.’ I finally slid in there and got into the 7 (Robinson) – we’re traveling buddies, but I had to get him up out of the way so I could get through. Then I got to Jimmy (Mars) and I floated real bad into (turn) three and Vic drove right by.
“But Victor got bit by the same lapped car and we got back by, so I guess it worked out in the end.”
Coffey, who started seventh but moved up one row when WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., relinquished the fifth starting slot because a broken engine lifter forced him to pit during the race’s pace laps, was gracious after coming close to a World of Outlaws victory once again.
“I thought I had him,” Coffey said of Eckert. “I got by him when he got held up a little in traffic, but then I got held up at the other end of the track (turns one and two). I caught the 7 car (Robinson) and I thought he was gonna miss the bottom (groove) and I’d drive right under him, but he didn’t that lap. He caught the bottom better than he’d been catching it and didn’t slide up, so I had to follow him.
“I was gonna drift out going into three, but I didn’t and it’s a good thing because Rick shot by me. He had that momentum and just went right by me.
“It’s frustrating to come so close again,” he continued, “but the car felt like it felt two months ago. We just haven’t had that lately, so we started over from square one and it was back to where it was earlier this season. I think we have something to work with.”
The race was slowed by just a single caution flag, on lap 23 for Dan Henrickson of Rapid City, S.D., who slapped the turn-one wall.
Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., finished sixth, giving him his strongest outing since cracking the top five in February at Bubba Raceway Park. Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., who won the ‘Wild West Tour’ opener on July 7 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., picked the wrong tire combination and struggled to a seventh-place finish. Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., and Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., were eighth and ninth, respectively, and Robinson, who led laps 1-8 off the outside pole, ended the race one lap down in 10th.
Lanigan suffered his first DNF of 2012, retiring during the lap-23 caution period with his car’s engine running hot. He had climbed to eighth place after starting at the back of the pack due to his pace-lap pit stop.
With 26 cars signed in for action, Eckert was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials. His lap of 17.962 seconds gave him his second WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2012.
Heat winners were Eckert, Doar and Lanigan, and Chris Dunn of Great Falls, Mont., captured the B-Main.
The WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ continues with three consecutive nights of competition at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Thurs., July 12; River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., on Fri., July 13; and North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn., on Sat., July 14.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Black Hills 50’ at Black Hills Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Rick Eckert/50 $10,700
2. (7) Vic Coffey/50 $5,550
3. (10) Bub McCool/50 $3,800
4. (16) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,150
5. (4) Chub Frank/50 $2,550
6. (6) Pat Doar/50 $2,250
7. (3) Shane Clanton/50 $1,950
8. (12) Brady Smith/50 $1,300
9. (8) Jimmy Mars/50 $1,250
10. (2) Kent Robinson/49 $1,700
11. (13) Jack Sullivan/49 $1,600
12. (11) Clint Smith/49 $1,550
13. (18) Mike Stadel/48 $1,550
14. (15) Eric Mass/48 $950
15. (19) Chris Dunn/46 $850
16. (21) Chris Johnson/46 $800
17. (23) Jason Snyder/44 $770
18. (5) Darrell Lanigan/22 $1,400
19. (20) Dan Henrickson/20 $730
20. (9) Tim Fuller/14 $1,250
21. (17) John Bey/14 $700
22. (22) Brent Nielson/14 $700
23. (14) Don Shaw/4 $700
24. (24) Marty Erivez Jr./2 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 22 Mins., 15.150 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.714 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 1 (Lap 23)
Lap Leaders: Robinson (1-8); Eckert (9-46); Coffey (47); Eckert (48-50)
Provisional Starters: Snyder, Erivez
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Stadel ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.962
2. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 18.008
3. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 18.066
4. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 18.121
5. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 18.132
6. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 18.215
7. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 18.371
8. 42s-Don Shaw/Alexandria, MN 18.389
9. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 18.411
10. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 18.433
11. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 18.443
12. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.491
13. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 18.590
14. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.608
15. 44M-Eric Mass/Rapid City, SD 18.698
16. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 18.834
17. 82-John Bey/Sturgis, SD 19.346
18. 81-Mike Stadel/Rapid City, SD 19.483
19. 0-Chris Dunn/Great Falls, MT 19.932
20. 97-Dan Henrickson/Rapid City, SD 20.008
21. 47-Lynn Amick/Rapid City, SD 20.268
22. 13-Brent Nielson/Rapid City, SD 20.466
23. 01-Jason Snyder/Gillette, WY 21.087
24. 27J-Chris Johnson/Rapid City, SD 21.167
25. 2-Marty Erivez Jr./Gillette, WY 21.220
26. 4-Chris Larsen/Rapid City, SD 20.263 (DQ)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Eckert, Frank, Coffey, McCool, Sullivan, McCreadie, Dunn, Nielson, Erivez
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Doar, Robinson, Mars, C. Smith, Shaw, Bey, Henrickson, Larsen, Snyder
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Lanigan, Clanton, Fuller, B. Smith, Mass, Stadel, C. Johnson, Amick
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Dunn, Henrickson, Johnson, Nielson, Larsen, Snyder, Erivez (DNS) Amick
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chris Johnson
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Mike Stadel
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Mike Stadel
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Chris Dunn
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Jack Sullivan
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): None
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): none
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): None
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chris Dunn
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): None
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Rick Eckert
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Eric Mass
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jimmy Mars
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal – $30 value): Lynn Amick
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Mike Stadel
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Vic Coffey
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Vic Coffey
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 10 – 24 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 3388
2. Rick Eckert 3268 (-120)
3. Tim McCreadie 3234 (-154)
4. Chub Frank 3150 (-238)
5. Shane Clanton 3138 (-250)
6. Bub McCool 3014 (-374)
7. Vic Coffey 2978 (-410)
8. Clint Smith 2950 (-438)
9. Pat Doar 2810 (-578)
10. Tim Fuller 2792 (-596)
11. Kent Robinson 2714 (-674)
12. Jack Sullivan 2624 (-764)
13. John Lobb 2300 (-1088)
14. Mike Marlar 1906 (-1482)
15. Jill George 1574 (-1814)
LIVE UPDATES 7/10: World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Black Hills 50’ At Black Hills Speedway
RAPID CITY, SD – July 10, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ resumes tonight at Black Hills Speedway, a sprawling half-mile oval in the southwestern corner of South Dakota.
The ‘Black Hills 50’ will mark the first modern-era (2004-present) visit to Black Hills for the WoO LMS, but the tour did previously compete at the track in 1988 during the inaugural season of the circuit’s initial two-year run under late WoO Sprint Car Series founder Ted Johnson.
For live updates of all the news, pit notes and results from tonight’s action, click the ‘Full Story’ link below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to see the latest information.
Get out the broom
11:10 p.m. MT – Rick Eckert pulled off a complete sweep of the night with a victory in the ‘Black Hills 50,’ but his second WoO LMS triumph of 2012 didn’t come easy.
After grabbing the lead for the first time from Kent Robinson on lap nine, Eckert set the pace until Vic Coffey slipped in front amid lapped traffic on lap 47. Eckert fought right back, however, regaining command with an outside power move on lap 48 and marching on to a badly-needed triumph.
A-Main Finish: 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Vic Coffey, 3. Bub McCool, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Chub Frank, 6. Pat Doar, 7. Shane Clanton, 8. Brady Smith, 9. Jimmy Mars, 10. Kent Robinson, 11. Jack Sullivan, 12. Clint Smith, 13. Mike Stadel, 14. Eric Mass, 15. Chris Dunn, 16. Chris Johnson, 17. Jason Snyder, 18. Darrell Lanigan, 19. Dan Henrickson, 20. Tim Fuller, 21. John Bey, 22. Brent Nielson, 23. Don Shaw, 24. Marty Erivez Jr.
10:15 p.m. MT – The Shane Clanton and Bub McCool teams changed radiators after their heat races. Clanton found his radiator broken due to a hit from a clump of mud, while McCool opted to change his radiator “just to be safe” because it was caked with mud after his prelim run.
With the B-Main complete (Chris Dunn of Great Falls, Mont., was the winner), the eight-minute horn for the A-Main field to assemble has been blown.
Row 1: Rick Eckert/Kent Robinson
Row 2: Shane Clanton/Chub Frank
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan/Pat Doar
Row 4: Vic Coffey/Jimmy Mars
Row 5: Tim Fuller/Bub McCool
Row 6: Clint Smith/Brady Smith
Row 7: Jack Sullivan/Don Shaw
Row 8: Eric Mass/Tim McCreadie
Row 9: John Bey/Mike Stadel
Row 10: Chris Dunn/Dan Henrickson
Row 11: Chris Johnson/Brent Nielson
Row 12: Jason Snyder/Marty Erivez Jr.
Eckert’s luck turning
10:10 p.m. MT – After his nightmarish WoO LMS trip through the Northeast from June 22-30 (tranny trouble with his hauler, three broken motors), Rick Eckert came west looking for a turnaround. He’s headed in the right direction tonight after drawing the pole position for the ‘Black Hills 50,’ putting him in line for a complete sweep of the program: fast time, heat win, pole starting spot, A-Main victory.
Eckert will be shooting for his first WoO LMS win since Feb. 18 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.
Rookie Kent Robinson will start from the outside pole. Clanton grabbed the third starting spot, Frank will go from fourth, Lanigan starts fifth and Doar will take the green flag from sixth.
Doar’s rebounding, but…
9:50 p.m. MT – Pat Doar backed up his strong qualifying lap with a victory in the second heat, passing Kent Robinson early in the 10-lapper to take control. His 2.219-second margin of victory was the largest of the three heats, which saw Rick Eckert and Darrell Lanigan also emerge triumphant.
Doar might have a problem, however. His engine ran hot during the prelim and he discovered an oil leak when he took the hood off his No. 11. He was on his cell phone moments ago with engine builder Bill Schlieper, seeking some guidance before redrawing for one of the top-six starting spots in the ‘Black Hills 50.’
For heat results, click here.
Backup for T-Mac
9:15 p.m. MT – After registering the 13th-fastest lap in time trials, the red-hot Tim McCreadie has decided to run his backup car for the remainder of the night. He said there was nothing mechanically wrong with the Warrior machine he qualified aside from some nose and body damage from rough spots in the turns (the track crew is out working the corners with a grader in hopes of smoothing the surface), but he doesn’t want to risk hurting the car that has brought him most of his success over the past month so he’s going to “take my chances” with his backup mount.
McCreadie, who will drop to the rear of the field in the first heat, is now behind the wheel of the car that he crashed during hot laps for last month’s Dream at Eldora Speedway. He hasn’t run the car since then.
8:55 p.m. MT – Rick Eckert found the fast groove around the half-mile in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, blazing to his second fast-time honor of 2012 with a lap of 17.962 seconds. He was the only driver to break into the 17-second bracket during qualifying.
Eckert, of course, was victorious in his last visit to Black Hills Speedway, winning a Hav-A-Tampa/UDTRA series event in May 2003. That race was run on the facility’s former four-tenths-mile oval, which was bulldozed to make way for regular racing on the half-mile in 2007.
Pat Doar was second-fastest with a lap of 18.008 seconds, raising his lagging spirits with his best qualifying effort of the season.
Full results from time trials can be found here.
8:25 p.m. MT – The WoO LMS drivers were given a second set of hot laps to get the track surface run in, and by the end of the session Lanigan had picked up his speed, turning a lap of 18.236 seconds. He’s followed on the practice speed chart by Pat Doar (18.542), Clint Smith (18.551), Jimmy Mars (18.728) and Chub Frank (18.747).
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials are lining up on pit road and will begin momentarily.
8:10 p.m. MT – WoO LMS hot laps hit the speedway on schedule around 7 p.m., but cars were not able to immediately get up to speed due to dusty homestretch conditions accentuated by a setting sun. Officials red-flagged practice and brought all cars to the pit area so the track prep crew could apply additional water to the frontstretch surface.
After some track packing, hot laps have resumed with improved conditions. Darrell Lanigan just ripped off a lap of 18.722 seconds to top the speed charts after two sets of practice.
6:50 p.m. MT – WoO LMS race director just completed drivers’ meeting and tonight’s 26 entered drivers have returned to their trailers to prepare for action. Engines have been fired in the pit area and hot laps will roll onto the racetrack shortly.
6:20 p.m. MT – Chub Frank and Bub McCool — doesn’t ‘Chub & Bub’ sound cool? — have buddied up as traveling partners on the road, and after Deer Creek they rode together to visit Mount Rushmore, just outside Rapid City, on Sunday. They also visited an alpine slide a few miles from Mount Rushmore and several members of the group left the attraction with some battle scars — McCool, his 7-year-old son ‘B2,’ McCool crewman Doug Todd and Frank mechanic Derek Gahring had wipeouts of varying degrees on the concrete track and are sporting scrapes on their arms and legs.
On Monday, the Chub & Bub Show stopped at the Flags & Wheels Indoor Racing complex in Rapid City to race go-karts. They came to find out that the track is owned by Eric Mass, a Rapid City dirt Late Model racer who is in competition tonight — and, of course, parked next to McCool and Frank in the pit area.
Outlaws visit the Old West
6:05 p.m. MT – With two off days between Saturday’s Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., and tonight’s stop at Black Hills, a half-dozen WoO LMS teams — Darrell Lanigan, Tim McCreadie, Vic Coffey, Shane Clanton, Clint Smith and Pat Doar — drove 45 minutes past Rapid City on Sunday night to spend a couple days in Deadwood, S.D., the famed gold-rush town where Wild Bill Hickok was shot.
Deadwood’s main street is filled with small casinos, which is where the Outlaw invaders spent much of their time. There’s no word of anyone hitting it big, though.
5:05 p.m. MT – The 12 drivers with perfect attendance on this year’s WoO LMS have been parked all day in the Black Hills pit area, which is located in the infield of the big track. Other long-distance travelers already on hand include Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith and Don Shaw, a Minneapolis-area racer who caravaned to Rapid City with WoO LMS regular Pat Doar.
Temperatures have risen into the low 90s today, and skies are clear for tonight’s action.