Stone Stops Bloomquist’s Bid For Victory In Friday Night’s Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com Preliminary A-Main
Pennsylvanian Earns Second World of Outlaws Late Model Series Win Of Career
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SARVER, PA – June 29, 2012 – Dan Stone already knew what it felt like to win a World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main. Now he also knows what it feels like to hold off dirt Late Model legend Scott Bloomquist for a checkered flag on the national tour.
The 35-year-old driver from Thompson, Pa., pulled off another major upset on Friday night, turning back a last-lap challenge from Mooresburg, Tenn.’s Bloomquist to capture the second 30-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series preliminary A-Main of the Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com weekend at Lernerville Speedway.
A true underdog racer who is universally well-liked in the pit area, Stone reached Victory Lane on the WoO LMS for the first time since his memorable triumph on Sept. 2, 2007, at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. His first win came behind the wheel of a car owned by his father Warren, but his $6,000 score on Friday was earned in a Rocket machine fielded by Indianapolis’s Leo Milus and maintained outside Binghamton, N.Y., by noted DIRTcar big-block Modified mechanic Randy Kisacky.
“I never, ever drove for anybody before, so it’s pretty awesome when somebody puts their confidence in you to actually pull off something good for them,” said Stone, who is in his second season running selected special events for Milus’s Super Deuce Racing team. “It’s a thrill to run for this team. You’ve got a lot of great minds there and a lot of great people who have been around racing for years.”
Stone, who started third, led the race’s first lap before ceding the top spot to polesitter Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., on the second lap. The friendly racer known as ‘Big Brother’ slipped back in front on lap three and was never headed in an event that ran caution-free from start to finish in just 9 minutes, 37.558 seconds.
Bloomquist, 48, advanced from the ninth starting spot to place second, 0.459 of a second behind Stone at the finish. He was bidding to become the first driver to win both Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Mains since the three-night format was launched in 2010.
Smith, 35, settled for a third-place finish driving a Team Zero car built by Bloomquist. Second-starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was fourth in the Sweeteners Plus Warrior – his 10th top-five finish in the last 12 WoO LMS events – and 16-year-old Tyler Reddick of DuQuoin, Ill., registered a career-best WoO LMS finish of fifth.
Stone survived a frantic late-race charge from Bloomquist, who broke into second with a lap-19 pass of Smith and caught Stone with three circuits remaining. Bloomquist pulled to the outside of Stone rounding turns three and four on lap 28 and again heading toward the white flag, but Stone stayed ahead at the line each tour.
Bloomquist attempted to drive to the inside of Stone exiting turn two on the final lap, but Stone dulled Bloomquist’s momentum just enough on the backstretch to provide the breathing room necessary to reach the finish line first.
“I never actually saw (Bloomquist), but we were in a whole bunch of lapped traffic and all of a sudden I could hear somebody,” said Stone, who began the 2012 season hoping to chase the WoO LMS Rookie of the Year award but was forced to curtail his travel plans after a rash of engine woes during the tour’s February swing through Georgia and Florida. “It sounded like they were on the outside, so I just kind of got wider and used up more of the straightaway – just to try to use up as much real estate as I could.”
The victory assured Stone of a pole position start in one of six heat races scheduled for the Saturday-night (June 30) finale of the Firecracker 100 weekend. A $30,000 first-place prize will be on the line in the sixth annual event.
“We were horrible last night,” said Stone, who finished 20th – the last driver on the lead lap – in Thursday night’s 30-lap A-Main. “Watching us last night you wouldn’t think we’d ever win a race this year, but we made a lot of changes today and they were right. I think we can actually make the car better for (the Firecracker 100).”
Bloomquist, who will also start from the pole in a heat on Saturday night, feels good about his chances of winning the Firecracker 100 for the second time in his career.
“The car was real good again tonight,” said Bloomquist. “I’d like to have had a few more laps out there tonight, but that’s the way it goes. We went with a little different tire combination and it took a little while to come in.
“We played with the car just a little bit tonight – nothing much – and I like what I felt. I think we’re in pretty good shape for tomorrow as long as we don’t have any bad luck.”
Two-time and defending Firecracker 100 winner Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., started and finished sixth. Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., slipped backward from the fourth starting spot to place seventh; WoO LMS rookie Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., finished eighth; Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., was ninth; and defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., had a rare off night in the midst of his spectacular campaign, finishing a season-worst 21st after using a provisional to start the A-Main from the 25th spot.
Fifty-six cars were signed in for the program, which was slowed by a batch of light rain that began falling toward the end of Ohlins Shocks Time Trials. The start of heat racing was delayed an hour-and-a-half to 9:30 p.m., but through the cooperation of officials and racers the entire show was completed by 11 p.m.
Reddick was quickest in qualifying with a lap 16.386 seconds to earn his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time honor. At the age of 16 years, 5 months and 18 days, he’s the second-youngest driver in history to set fast time at a WoO LMS event, falling just short of Josh Richards, who was 16 years, 4 months and 13 days old when he was fastest on Aug. 3, 2004, at I-35 Speedway in Mason City, Iowa.
Heat winners were Reddick, Mars, McCreadie, Stone, Brady Smith and Satterlee. The B-Mains were captured by Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., and Jared Miley of South Park, Pa.
The Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com concludes on Saturday (June 30) with a full day of activities. Following an afternoon of pre-race entertainment that includes driver/fan horseshoes and cornhole tournaments at 12 noon and a huge driver autograph session at 4 p.m., six heat races – lined up using entrants’ best finish from the two preliminary programs – are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s program also includes B-Mains, the $3,000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 Non-Qualifiers’ Race and the Firecracker 100.
Details and ticket information on the Firecracker 100 can be obtained by logging on to www.lernerville.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com Preliminary A-Main No. 2 at Lernerville Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (3) Dan Stone/30 $6,000
2. (9) Scott Bloomquist/30 $3,150
3. (1) Brady Smith/30 $2,000
4. (2) Tim McCreadie/30 $1,900
5. (5) Tyler Reddick/30 $2,050
6. (6) Jimmy Mars/30 $1,250
7. (4) Gregg Satterlee/30 $1,150
8. (7) Bub McCool/30 $1,500
9. (12) Vic Coffey/30 $1,100
10. (14) Rick Eckert/30 $1,150
11. (15) Shane Clanton/30 $950
12. (16) Dale McDowell/30 $875
13. (18) Mike Marlar/30 $750
14. (24) Tim Fuller/30 $825
15. (11) John Garvin Jr./30 $700
16. (22) Austin Hubbard/30 $680
17. (20) Pat Doar/30 $770
18. (8) Jamie Lathroum/30 $660
19. (10) Bump Hedman/30 $690
20. (23) Eddie Carrier Jr./30 $620
21. (25) Darrell Lanigan/30 $750
22. (17) Jack Sullivan/30 $650
23. (19) Ron Davies/30 $600
24. (26) Clint Smith/29 $650
25. (21) Jared Miley/29 $600
26. (13) Chub Frank/21 $650
27. (27) Kent Robinson/20 $160
* Earnings include cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 9 Mins., 37.558 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.459 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Stone (1); B. Smith (2); Stone (3-30)
Provisional Starters: Lanigan, C. Smith (WoO points); Robinson (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Reddick ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 11-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 16.386
2. 6-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 16.416
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 16.491
4. B22-Bump Hedman/Sugar Grove, PA 16.496
5. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 16.550
6. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 16.597
7. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 16.608
8. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 16.621
9. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 16.654
10. 2-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 16.662
11. J4-John Garvin Jr./Sarver, PA 16.694
12. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 16.700
13. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 16.705
14. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 16.716
15. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, Wi 16.811
16. 41M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 16.830
17. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 16.839
18. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 16.854
19. 14-Corey Conley/Wellsburg, WV 16.869
20. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 16.888
21. F1-Coleby Frye/Dover, PA 16.890
22. 37-Jared Hawkins/Fairmount, WV 16.895
23. 72M-John Mason/Millersburg, OH 16.897
24. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 16.913
25. 76-Jason Rider/Clinton, PA 16.937
26. 31-Bryan Force/Indiana, PA 16.959
27. 3-Dan Swartzlander/Freeport, PA 16.997
28. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 17.036
29. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 17.058
30. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 17.096
31. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.099
32. 88-Chuck Sarver/W. Sunbury, PA 17.113
33. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 17.142
34.44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.166
35. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 17.175
36. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 17.192
37. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 17.223
38. 1c-Mike Pegher Jr./Wexford, PA 17.288
39. 28c-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 17.304
40. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 17.306
41. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 17.309
42. C33-Chris Casner/Mifflintown, PA 17.341
43. 29s-Ken Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 17.349
44. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.380
45. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 17.398
46. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 17.407
47. 10-Alex Ferree/Saxonburg, PA 17.426
48. 29K-Garrett Krummert/New Castle, PA 17.427
49. 27-Jeff Jones/Zelionople, PA 17.481
50. 2J-Mike Johnson/Imperial, PA 17.511
51. 41-Derrick Casner/Mifflintown, PA 17.689
52. 72-Michael Norris/Sarver, PA 17.711
53. 21M-Tony Mussolino/Scott Twp., PA 17.832
54. 7x-Herman Bertolini/Creighton, PA 18.049
55. 44s-Derek Stefanick/Oakdale, PA 19.126
56. 23T-Tony Burke/Sarver, PA N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Reddick, McCool, Frank, Conley, Rider, Davies, Bagley, Jones, K. Schaltenbrand, Stefanick
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mars, Lathroum, Eckert, Hubbard, Lanigan, Pegher, Force, M. Johnson, Sarver, Burke
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McCreadie, Bloomquist, Clanton, Doar, Briggs, Frye, Swartzlander, Carrier, D. Casner
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Stone, Hedman, McDowell, Hawkins, C. Smith, Hess, King, Norris, Lobb
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): B. Smith, Garvin, Sullivan, Miley, Fuller, Mason, Lux, Mussolino (DNS) Ferree
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Satterlee, Coffey, Marlar, C. Casner, Krummert, Robinson, George, Bertolini (DNS) D. Johnson
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Davies, Hubbard, Lanigan, Pegher, Conley, Jones, Bagley, Sarver, Force, K. Schaltenbrand, M. Johnson, Rider, Stefanick, Burke
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Doar, Carrier, Briggs, Hawkins, C. Smith, King, Frye, Lobb, Swartzlander, D. Casner, Hess, Norris
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Miley, Fuller, Mason, C. Casner, Lux, Mussolino, Krummert, George, Bertolini, Robinson (DNS) Ferree, D. Johnson
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher I n A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dave Hess Jr.
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dan Stone
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dale McDowell
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dan Stone
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Mike Pegher Jr./Pat Doar/Chris Casner
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Tim Fuller
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Jack Sullivan
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Pat Doar
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Bump Hedman
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tyler Reddick
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): John Garvin Jr.
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tyler Reddick
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Jack Sullivan
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Dan Stone
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Scott Bloomquist
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
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): Davey Johnson
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Tim McCreadie
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): Bub McCool
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Dan Stone
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 29 – 21 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2984
2. Rick Eckert 2854 (-130)
3. Tim McCreadie 2802 (-182)
4. Chub Frank 2740 (-244)
5. Shane Clanton 2710 (-274)
6. Bub McCool 2606 (-378)
7. Clint Smith 2592 (-392)
8. Vic Coffey 2588 (-396)
9. Pat Doar 2454 (-530)
10. Tim Fuller 2420 (-564)
11. Kent Robinson 2348 (-636)
12. Jack Sullivan 2254 (-730)
13. John Lobb 2220 (-764)
14. Mike Marlar 1768 (-1216)
15. Greg Johnson 1390 (-1594)
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), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), 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 Gaskets, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
LIVE UPDATES 6/29: World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com’ Night 2 at Lernerville Speedway
SARVER, PA – June 29, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is ready for preliminary night 2 of the Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway.
After the blockbuster weekend kicked off last night with Scott Bloomquist reaching Victory Lane, another full card of WoO LMS competition — Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, heats and B-Mains leading to a 30-lap A-Main paying $6,000 to win — will be presented tonight. Drivers not satisfied with their performances last night will have a chance to nab a better finish tonight and, in turn, improve their starting position in the heat races for tomorrow night’s $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale.
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.
Big Brother bests Bloomquist
11:45 p.m. – After meeting with the media in the pit-area press room, Dan Stone is talking with fans about his second career WoO LMS A-Main victory. He grabbed the lead from Brady Smith on lap three and was never headed, but he had to withstand a furious last-lap bid from Scott Bloomquist to capture the 30-lap event.
Stone’s initial WoO LMS triumph came in September 2007 at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. He drove his father Warren’s No. 21d in that event, but this weekend he’s behind the wheel of Leo Milus’s Super Deuce Rocket.
A-Main Finish (30 laps): 1. Dan Stone, 2. Scott Bloomquist, 3. Brady Smith, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Tyler Reddick, 6. Jimmy Mars, 7. Gregg Satterlee, 8. Bub McCool, 9. Vic Coffey, 10. Rick Eckert, 11. Shane Clanton, 12. Dale McDowell, 13. Mike Marlar, 14. Tim Fuller, 15. John Garvin Jr., 16. Austin Hubbard, 17. Pat Doar, 18. Jamie Lathroum, 19. Bump Hedman, 20. Eddie Carrier Jr., 21. Darrell Lanigan, 22. Jack Sullivan, 23. Ron Davies, 24. Clint Smith, 25. Jared Miley, 26. Chub Frank, 27. Kent Robinson
10:45 p.m. – After three B-Mains won by Ron Davies, Pat Doar and Jared Miley, the 30-lap A-Main is lining up.
Row 1: Brady Smith/Tim McCreadie
Row 2: Dan Stone/Gregg Satterlee
Row 3: Tyler Reddick/Jimmy Mars
Row 4: Bub McCool/Jamie Lathroum
Row 5: Scott Bloomquist/Bump Hedman
Row 6: John Garvin Jr./Vic Coffey
Row 7: Chub Frank/Rick Eckert
Row 8: Shane Clanton/Dale McDowell
Row 9: Jack Sullivan/Mike Marlar
Row 10: Ron Davies/Pat Doar
Row 11: Jared Miley/Austin Hubbard
Row 12: Eddie Carrier Jr./Tim Fuller
Row 13: Darrell Lanigan/Clint Smith
Row 14: Kent Robinson
10:25 p.m. – With everyone striving to make sure tonight’s show beats Mother Nature, six heats are already completed (winners were Tyler Reddick, Jimmy Mars, Tim McCreadie, Dan Stone, Brady Smith and Gregg Satterlee) and the first of three 12-lap B-Mains is on the track.
Brady Smith redrew the pole position for the 30-lap A-Main. McCreadie will start from the outside pole, followed by Stone, Satterlee, Reddick and Mars.
Full heat results can be found here.
Motors are revving
9:20 p.m. – The skies have cleared over Lernerville Speedway — in dramatic fashion, actually, with some brilliant hues materializing as the clouds lifted just at sunset. A rainbow also appeared over the track.
The rain never fell hard, so the track should be ready for heat action in a short time. The national anthem is being played now, teams are warming up their machines in the pit area, and Heat 1 will be called to the line within minutes.
9:10 p.m. – For virtually all of the time-trial session, Maryland’s Jamie Lathroum sat on top of the speed rankings. He was the first driver out and ripped off a lap of 16.416 seconds, putting him in position to earn his second fast-time honor in as many nights.
But Tyler Reddick — the third-to-last driver to hit the track — stole the spotlight from Jamie the Jet, blasting around the four-tenths-mile oval in 16.386 seconds to earn his first-ever fast time on the WoO LMS. A dive to the bottom of the track paid off big-time for the teenager.
“I knew the top wasn’t very good so I just went to the bottom and said, ‘Let’s see if this works,'” said Reddick, who traveled the WoO LMS in 2009. “It stuck down there and we were fast.”
At 16 years, 5 months and 18 days of age, Reddick is the second-youngest driver ever to set fast time at a WoO LMS event. Josh Richards remains the youngest at 16 years, 4 months and 13 days when he was quickest on Aug. 3, 2004, at I-35 Speedway in Mason City, Iowa.
8:25 p.m. – Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were completed about 7:30 p.m. — with 16-year-old Tyler Reddick topping the speed charts at 16.386 seconds — but sprinkles began falling during the qualifying session and picked up after the final checkered flag, putting the remainder of the program on a temporary hold.
While there has been lightning dancing through the sky and the wind has picked up several times, radar indicates that the bulk of the thunderstorms passing through the region are to the south of the track. Some light rain continues to fall, but it appears that there is clearing coming so if the speedway is not hit hard by precipitation racing should be able to resume without an extremely lengthy track-drying operation.
For full time trials, click here.
Here we go again
6:40 p.m. – Night 2 of the Firecracker 100 weekend is about to begin. Once again 56 cars are signed in for competition, but there’s a slight difference from last night’s field. Shawn Schaltenbrand suffered mechanical trouble last night and is not entered, while Lernerville standout Alex Ferree has joined the fray tonight.
Hot laps are set to hit the four-tenths-mile oval in a few minutes.
Ready for battle
6:20 p.m. – WoO LMS rookie Bub McCool has arrived at tonight’s Drivers’ Meeting looking a bit different. About an hour ago McCool had his hair cut into a mohawk — with some of the shaving work done by his 7-year-old son, who is known as ‘B2.’ Bub’s boy also had his own mohawk touched up, giving both father and son fresh cuts.
McCool has gotten a mohawk with his son several times in the past. Last week, while McCool was on the WoO LMS Canadian swing without his son, ‘B2’ called and said he had just gotten a new mohawk cut and his plan was to buzz his dad’s hair the same way once he arrived at Lernerville.
“Now we both got ’em,” laughed McCool, one of the most affable drivers in the pit area.
Call him Ty
5:50 p.m. – Dale McDowell will take on a new identity tonight. “I’m going to be Ty Dillon,” said McDowell, alluding to the 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion and young, up-and-coming NASCAR racer.
After a final-lap tangle with Dan Swartzlander during a B-Main last night left McDowell’s familiar No. 17M with a “tweaked” front clip, the veteran driver has brought out his Team Dillon backup car: the No. 41 that Ty Dillon drives in selected WoO LMS events.
McDowell failed to qualify for last night’s A-Main, finishing third to miss a transfer spot by one. He was able to cross the finish line despite the hard contact with Swartzlander off turn four that left him limping to the pit area.
5:40 p.m. – Sad news recently began filtering through the Lernerville pit area of the passing of Terry Watson, who served as the WoO LMS chief technical inspector from 2009 until he was forced to leave his post due to health problems last month.
A resident of Pensacola, Fla., Watson, 51, has a long history in short-track racing, working as an inspector for NASCAR and other tracks and series before joining the WoO LMS three years ago. He is survived by his wife, Mary, who often accompanied Terry on World of Outlaws trips during the summer months.
The entire WoO LMS staff sends its condolensces to Watson’s wife, family and friends.
5:25 p.m. – A quartet of local race fans devised the perfect way to beat this weekend’s 90-degree heat here at Lernerville Speedway: by putting up their own pool at their campsite just outside the pit area.
Buddies Tom Berkoben, Clinton Kelly and Bob Harmon, all of Sarver, Pa., and Chris Noble of Matrona Heights, Pa., brain-stormed the idea of accenting their camping area in grand fashion. Kelly had a small above-ground pool that he could transport to the track and erect outside their RV — plus, he used to work for Corey Trucking, an area firm that could hauls loads of water. The guys spent $270 to have a tanker truck come out to the track on Thursday and fill the pool with 5,000 gallons of water.
The pals have been lounging in the pool throughout the day, enjoying themselves before heading inside Lernerville’s gates for tonight’s racing program. Speedway officials also have declared them the winner of this year’s Firecracker 100 Best Campsite trophy, besting contenders that also included a campsite with a small inflatable pool and another that boasts a ‘mobile’ pool (the bed of a pickup lined with plastic and filled with water).
The Firecracker Girls visited Berkoben, Kelly, Harmon and Noble earlier today for a photo opportunity (below).
4:15 p.m. – Jamie Lathroum of Mechanicsville, Md., was a sensation during qualifying for last night’s program, setting fast time and winning his heat race. But everything went downhill — fast — in the 30-lap A-Main for the 33-year-old driver, who tumbled backward from the third starting spot to a finish of 13th.
“When I took off, cars were going by me on both sides and I said, ‘This isn’t gonna be good,'” said Lathroum. “After I tried the outside for a few laps, I just got to the bottom and rode.”
Lathroum is a former WoO LMS A-Main winner (2009 at Delaware International Speedway) and has two fast-time honors on the circuit this season (he was also quickest on May 31 at Delaware International), but he’s still figuring out the nuances of running the DIRTcar UMP Hoosier LM tires that are mandatory for the Firecracker 100. He uses Hoosier rubber on a regular basis, but only runs the LMs at Lernerville, a track he previously visited for the Firecracker 100 in 2009 and 2010.
“We were O.K. (running the tires) when the track was set early in the night,” said Lathroum. “But when the track gets slicker (for the A-Main) you’ve gotta be so much better setting up your car, and we just didn’t make the right adjustments to our car for the way the tires are. We just don’t know these tires enough yet to know how they’ll react when we do certain things to our car.”
Lathroum is hoping to apply what he learned last night for the rest of the weekend. He feels good about his chances tonight after drawing a good early time-trial number for the second straight evening.
Looking them over
3:15 p.m. – On another hot summer day in western Pennsylvania, teams are steadily rolling their cars through a tech line set up alongside the World of Outlaws Late Model Series trailer in the pit area. Overseeing the inspection process are officials Jim Harrah (pictured below) and veteran DIRTcar UMP tech man Roy Faulkner.