Fuller Returns To Winning Ways On Saturday Night At Georgia’s Screven Motor Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SYLVANIA, GA – Aug. 29, 2009 – It didn’t take Tim Fuller long to get back to his winning ways on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
Just two starts after seeing his record-tying four-race win streak come to an end, Fuller roared back into the spotlight with a victory in Saturday night’s Dorsey Commercial Tire 50 at Screven Motor Speedway.
Fuller, 41, of Watertown, N.Y., inherited the lead when Benji Cole of Canon, Ga., went pitside with a cut left-rear tire during a lap-six caution period and never looked back. He repelled a late-race challenge from WoO LMS points leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., en route to his fifth win in the last seven tour events driving John Wight’s Gypsum Express Rocket car.
“It feels good to get right back on track,” said Fuller, who rebounded from a 23rd-place finish due to a broken engine in the ‘Buckeye 100’ on Aug. 22 at K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio. “Hopefully we can get on another roll.”
Richards, 21, settled for his second consecutive runner-up finish, steering his Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket under the checkered flag 1.072 seconds behind Fuller.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., started and finished third, ending his two-race WoO LMS win streak. He once again drove the 2005-vintage Rocket car that he obtained from western Pennsylvania racer Chad Valone.
Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., placed fourth in the Beitler Motorsports Rocket after surviving a 360-degree spin in a lap-32 incident that also involved defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who was forced to restart at the rear of the field because he spun his car to a stop. Rick Eckert of York, Pa., completed the top five in the Raye Vest Racing Team Zero by Bloomquist car after starting 14th.
Fuller started from the pole position – the third time he’s drawn the number-one spot during his hot streak – and had plenty of racing luck on his side. Not only did he watch Cole develop a flat tire on his Starrette Trucking mount after leading laps 1-6, but he also caught a caution flag at just the right time when Richards was making a serious bid for the lead.
Richards, who started fifth, pulled inside of Fuller and came within inches of leading lap 34. The young sensation was still side-by-side with Fuller when the race’s fourth and final caution flag flew on lap 34 for the spinning car driven by Rookie of the Year candidate Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va.
“If that caution doesn’t come out I was probably gonna be screwed,” said Fuller, who pocketed $10,600 to push his 2009 WoO LMS earnings over the $100,000 mark. “I was running that top, so I had no idea the bottom was taking rubber like it was. When Josh got under us he showed me that rubber was where I needed to be – and fortunately a caution came out before he got ahead of me.
“I might’ve been able to pinch him down (entering turn one) and get into that rubber to stay in front of him, but I’m not sure. I think it was more likely that I would’ve had to fall in behind him and then there would’ve been no way for me to pass him back.
“That’s just the way things are going for us,” concluded Fuller, who registered his eighth career WoO LMS triumph. “We’re getting the breaks.”
Richards was disappointed that the untimely caution cost him his best opportunity to execute a winning pass, but he was still satisfied with a run that pushed his points lead to 18 markers over Francis.
“I found that rubber on the bottom before (Fuller) did,” said Richards. “I used it to get up beside him on the homestretch and I thought we might have him, but once that caution came out I knew he’d get back down in front of us because I showed him where the rubber was.
“But I’m happy to get out of here with a second and the car in one piece. There’s still a long way to go (to secure the $100,000 WoO LMS championship), but we took another step tonight.”
The 47-year-old Frank battled at the front of the pack with Fuller and Richards early in the distance but couldn’t maintain that pace.
“We didn’t have it quite right,” said Frank, who recorded his sixth top-five finish of the season. “We probably could’ve tightened up a little bit more.”
Francis, meanwhile, pulled off the save of the night when he spun completely around in turn two on the 32nd lap and continued. His twirl came after he got sideways in front of Lanigan, causing Lanigan to spin out of fourth place as he took evasive action.
“I just misjudged where Chub was going and started spinning – it was either hit Chub or spin,” Francis said of the incident. “I just hate that Lanigan got the worst of it. I was able to keep my wheels turning as I spun and drove away, but I guess Darrell spun to a stop.”
Lanigan was on the move before the bad break, advancing from the 12th starting spot to battle Francis for fourth. He finished 14th, dropping him 82 points behind Richards in the points standings.
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., who ran fifth for much of the race’s first half; 17-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a WoO LMS A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings; 19th-starter Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.; Jordan Bland of Campbellsville, Ky., who used a provisional to start 23rd but rallied to grab a $250 bonus as the race’s top-finishing rookie; and Rookie of the Year points leader Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio.
Among the early retirees was WoO LMS regular Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., who was running eighth when he exited on lap 26 with rearend problems.
A field of 32 cars was signed in for the event, which followed a rainout the previous evening at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
It appeared that the unheralded John Henderson of Aiken, S.C., had upset the Outlaws in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials to register his first-ever fast-time honor after stopping the clock at 14.398 seconds. But a post-qualifying inspection found that he had used an illegally-treated tire, forcing WoO LMS officials to disqualify him for the remainder of the night and suspend him from further tour competition for a period of 30 days.
Henderson’s disqualification elevated Francis to his series-leading fifth fast-time award of 2009. Francis’s lap of 14.425 seconds earned him a $50 bonus.
Heat winners were Hubbard, Richards, Clanton and Frank.
The B-Mains were captured by defending Screven champion Chesley Dixon of Swainsboro, Ga., and 14-year-old Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif. Both drivers later slowed on the track during the A-Main to bring out caution flags – Dixon on lap six, Reddick on lap 28.
The WoO LMS now heads back north for a big week of action in the Northeast, beginning on Tuesday night (Sept. 1) with the completion of the twice-postponed 50-lap event at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa. The tour then visits Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway on Wednesday night (Sept. 2) before wrapping up the swing on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 5-6) with the Oil Region Labor Day Classic (separate 50-lap programs each evening) at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Screven Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Tim Fuller/50 $10,600
2. (5) Josh Richards/50 $5,500
3. (3) Chub Frank/50 $3,500
4. (7) Steve Francis/50 $3,150
5. (14) Rick Eckert/50 $2,500
6. (8) Shane Clanton/50 $2,200
7. (4) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,900
8. (19) Clint Smith/50 $1,800
9. (23) Jordan Bland/50 $1,950
10. (16) Russell King/50 $1,700
11. (9) Casey Roberts/50 $1,050
12. (10) Jonathan Davenport/50 $1,000
13. (15) Royce Bray/50 $950
14. (12) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,500
15. (25) Jeremy Faircloth/50 $850
16. (20) Scott Shirey/50 $800
17. (11) Steven Howard/50 $770
18. (24) Brent Robinson/50 $1,250
19. (22) Michael Akeson/47 $730
20. (13) Henry Carter/31 $700
21. (18) Tyler Reddick/27 $700
22. (6) Brady Smith/26 $1,200
23. (21) Ben Faircloth/13 $700
24. (2) Benji Cole/6 $700
25. (17) Chesley Dixon/5 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
NOTE: Jonathan Davenport, Henry Carter and Scott Shirey were penalized to the rear of the field for the start after reporting late to the staging area
Time of Race: 28 Mins., 37.365 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.072 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 6, 28, 32, 34)
Lap Leaders: Cole (1-6); Fuller (7-50)
Provisional Starters: Bland, Robinson (WoO); J. Faircloth (track)
Rookie of the Race: Bland ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Hubbard ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Kevin Cox (Bland)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 14.425
2. 1- Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.575
3. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 14.586
4. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.740
5. 101-Casey Roberts/Toccoa, GA 14.743
6. 27-Ben Faircloth/Swainsboro, GA 14.797
7. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.820
8. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.833
9. 3d-Chesley Dixon/Swainsboro, GA 14.843
10. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.859
11. 21H-Steven Howard/Bloomingdale, GA 14.898
12. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.927
13. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.972
14. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 14.994
15. 21b-Royce Bray/Hull, GA 14.995
16. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 15.030
17. 20-Henry Carter/Kite, GA 15.086
18. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.097
19. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 15.137
20. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 15.190
21. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 15.299
22. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 15.317
23. M31-Michael Akeson/Augusta, GA 15.332
24. 10-Scott Shirey/Swansea, GA 15.512
25. 104-Monk Gulledge/Batesburg, SC 15.526
26. 22-Benji Cole/Canon, GA 15.660
27. 2d-Bob Robertson/Mooresville, NC 15.670
28. 07-Wilson Griffis/Homerville, GA 15.940
29. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 16.520
30. 4-Jeremy Faircloth/Swainsboro, GA 16.889
31. 98-Casey Barrow/Savannah, GA N/T
32. 2x-John Henderson/Aiken, SC 14.398 (DQ – tire)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hubbard, Francis, Roberts, Carter, Dixon, Bland, Gulledge, Hapka
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Cole, Davenport, Eckert, B. Faircloth, C. Smith, J. Faircloth, Knowles
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, B. Smith, Howard, Bray, Reddick, Akeson, Robertson
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Frank, Fuller, Lanigan, King, Robinson, Shirey, Griffis
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Dixon, C. Smith, B. Faircloth, J. Faircloth, Bland, Knowles, Gulledge, Hapka
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Reddick, Shirey, Akeson, Robertson (DNS) Robinson, Griffis, Barrow
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Jordan Bland, Brent Robinson
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Austin Hubbard
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Russell King
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Shane Clanton
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Chesley Dixon, Tyler Reddick
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Steve Francis
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Rick Eckert
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Jeremy Faircloth
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Benji Cole
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Tony Knowles
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 29 – 33 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 4515 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 4497 (-18)
3. Darrell Laniga 4433 (-82)
4. Tim Fuller 4343 (-172)
5. Rick Eckert 4335 (-180)
6. Shane Clanton 4299 (-216)
7. Chub Frank 4257 (-258)
8. Brady Smith 4172 (-343)
9. Clint Smith 4073 (-442)
10. Russell King 3615 (-900)
11. Jordan Bland 3566 (-949)
12. Brent Robinson 3350 (-1165)
13. Dustin Hapka 3085 (-1430)
14. Tyler Reddick 2909 (-1606)
15. Vic Coffey 2607 (-1908)
16. Austin Hubbard 2442 (-2073)
17. Matt Lux 1530 (-2985)
18. Shannon Babb 1470 (-3045)
19. Gregg Satterlee 1460 (-3055)
20. Dan Stone 1213 (-3302)
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Points Standings (drivers’ best 30 finishes):
1. Russell King 3390 (-0)
2. Jordan Bland 3341 (-49)
3. Brent Robinson 3125 (-265)
4. Dustin Hapka 2860 (-530)
5. Tyler Reddick 2624 (-766)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]
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), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.