Fuller’s Red-Hot Summer Continues With Victory At Grandview Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BECHTELSVILLE, PA – Aug. 13, 2009 – Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., continued his red-hot summer on Thursday night, rolling to a flag-to-flag victory in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Traffic Jam’ A-Main at Grandview Speedway.
It was the second consecutive dominant win on the national tour for Fuller, who picked up right where he had left off in the last WoO LMS event nearly three weeks earlier. He scored his first series triumph of 2009 on July 25 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio.
“We were fast on that whole Northern Tour (in mid- to late-June) but just had some problems that kept us from getting a win,” said Fuller, who earned $7,750 for his fifth career WoO LMS win. “Now we’re getting some breaks and it’s just taking off. Everything is going good and we’re having fun.”
Adding to his enjoyment, Fuller moved to fifth in the WoO LMS points standings and emerged victorious for the first time in front of his car owners John and Laura Wight, who were on hand to watch three of their Gypsum Express team cars in action. Fuller’s teammates, Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., and Larry Wight of Baldwinsville, N.Y. (John and Laura’s 16-year-old son), also entered the event.
Fuller, 41, was never seriously challenged during the first-ever WoO LMS program at the high-banked, one-third-mile oval. Taking advantage of his outside-pole starting spot, the 2007 series Rookie of the Year outgunned polesitter D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa., for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back.
Two caution flags (on laps 16 and 19) and some late-race lapped traffic didn’t hamper Fuller, who smoothly guided his Gypsum Express Rocket car to a 2.683-second margin of victory – nearly a full straightaway – over Ashland, Ky.’s Steve Francis in the Beitler Motorsports Rocket.
Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., registered a season-best finish of third in his J.P. Drilling GRT car, and Myers held on for a career-high WoO LMS placing of fourth in Greg Gunter’s PPM chassis machine to earn the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a WoO LMS A-Main and isn’t in the top 12 in the tour points standings.
Seventeen-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., meanwhile, started and finished fifth in his family’s Seaside Builders Rocket to record his third top-five finish of the season. He slipped by Myers for fourth on lap 14 but lost the spot on a restart two circuits later.
Racing at a 358-Modified track where he won a Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified feature in 2005, Fuller seemed to have a better handle on the tricky speedway than his rivals.
“Me and Billy (Decker, another former Super DIRTcar Series winner at Grandview who was in Thursday’s field) were more familiar with this place from running the Modified here,” said Fuller, the only WoO LMS regular who had previously competed at Grandview. “But is that why we won? I don’t think so.
“It might’ve helped me in time trials (he was sixth-fastest), but once (the surface) turned black-slick it was just another track. I didn’t have any advantage because these (WoO) guys adapt fast.”
Francis, 41, slipped by Smith for second on a restart that followed the lap-16 caution flag for a turn-two tangle involving Scott Haus of Hamburg, Pa., and WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio. But the 2007 tour champion, who started third, never threatened the fleet Fuller and settled for his fourth runner-up finish in the last five series A-Mains.
“We weren’t as good as Fuller was,” said Francis, who grabbed the WoO LMS points lead with his performance. “When we got to lapped cars he could move around better than I could, so obviously his car was just better than mine. He was just rolling around there.”
The 44-year-old Smith ran second behind Fuller from lap six – when he overtook Myers – until Francis used the outside lane to gain control of the position. Smith later blamed himself for giving Francis the opportunity to seize second, but he didn’t complain about his first podium finish of 2009.
“I actually thought we were coming to Fuller before the caution came out (on lap 16),” said Smith, who started fourth. “Then on the restart I chose the bottom (groove) because I thought it was better, and it wasn’t. The next restart (on lap 19 following a turn-three spin by Danny Snyder of Green Lane, Pa.) Francis chose the top again, so he had me.
“We had the third-best car – and that’s better than we have been. I think the new stuff we got going is working pretty well, but we’ll see tomorrow night (Aug. 14 at Pennsylvania’s Bedford Speedway). We’ve gotta back up a good run with another good run to prove we’re getting somewhere.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who couldn’t move forward from his sixth starting spot and lost the WoO LMS points lead to Francis; Rick Eckert of York, Pa.; Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who fell 12 points behind Francis; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis.; and Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y.
A field of 41 cars was entered in the event, including a dozen Grandview 358 Late Model regulars.
And a large crowd packed the track’s bleachers for the historic evening, pleasing event co-promoter Bob Miller. He let out a sigh of relief following the program after watching a day that began with heavy morning rain turn into a picture-perfect night.
Richards was fastest in Ohlins Shock Time Trials with a lap of 15.177 seconds –a mere one-thousandth of a second better than Myers.
Heat winners were Richards, Fuller, Francis and Coffey. The B-Mains were captured by Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., who was scheduled to start third in the first heat but was penalized to the rear of the field because he reported late to the lineup, and Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa.
Coffey also pocketed a $1,000 bonus for winning the BPG Racing Late Model vs. Big-Block Modified Challenge, a six-lap dash that was to pit the WoO LMS and big-block Modified heat winners. Richards and Francis opted to sit out the event, however, putting Eckert and Clint Smith into the field.
Charging off the outside pole, Coffey grabbed the lead from the polesitting big-block Modified driven by Rick Laubach of Richlandtown, Pa., and never looked back. He crossed the finish line with a comfortable advantage over Laubach, who held of Eckert to place second.
Eckert settled for third, followed by Fuller, who started seventh, Clint Smith and Modifieds drivers Billy Pauch of Frenchtown, N.J., and Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, Pa.
The WoO LMS continues a three-race Midwest swing on Friday night (Aug. 14) at Bedford (Pa.) Speedway and Saturday night (Aug. 15) at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Traffic Jam 40’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Tim Fuller/40 $7,750
2. (3) Steve Francis/40 $3,600
3. (4) Clint Smith/40 $2,600
4. (1) D.J. Myers/40 $2,200
5. (5) Austin Hubbard/40 $1,500
6. (6) Josh Richards/40 $1,850
7. (8) Rick Eckert/40 $1,900
8. (10) Darrell Lanigan/40 $1,700
9. (11) Brady Smith/40 $1,500
10. (7) Vic Coffey/40 $2,000
11. (17) Shane Clanton/40 $1,350
12. (14) Chub Frank/40 $1,300
13. (9) Jimmy Bernheisel/40 $750
14. (13) Jordan Bland/40 $1,490
15. (22) Billy Decker/40 $710
16. (12) Chuck Schutz/40 $680
17. (18) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/40 $650
18. (19) Dan Stone/40 $630
19. (23) Russell King/40 $1,120
20. (16) Brent Robinson/39 $1,110
21. (15) Scott Haus/39 $600
22. (20) Tyler Reddick/38 $600
23. (24) Dustin Hapka/38 $600
24. (21) Danny Snyder/38 $600
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 18 Mins., 01.538 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.683 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (Laps 16, 19)
Lap Leaders: Fuller (1-40)
Provisional Starters: King, Hapka
Rookie of the Race: Bland ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Myers ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Darrell (‘Don Vito’) Cooper (Clint Smith)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.117
2. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 15.118
3. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.157
4. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.181
5. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.182
6. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.239
7. 91-Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY 15.261
8. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 15.270
9. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 15.285
10. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.290
11. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.313
12. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 15.342
13. 119-Jimmy Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 15.345
14. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.409
15. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.424
16. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 15.432
17. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 15.448
18. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 15.526
19. 76-Scott Haus/Hamburg, PA 15.612
20. ONE-Chuck Schutz/Pottstown, PA 15.657
21. 22R-Randall Paxton/Factoryville, PA 15.721
22. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 15.746
23. 72-Wayne Pfeil/Mohnton, PA 15.766
24. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 15.792
25. 73-Al Cheney/Hamilton Square, NJ 15.805
26. 4s-Danny Snyder/Green Lane, PA 15.853
27. 80-Bill Henning/Lansdale, PA 15.855
28. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 15.900
29. 19R-Rob Ormsbee/Wall, NJ 15.917
30. 118-Randy Stoudt/Pottstown, PA 16.014
31. 117-Kyle Merkel/Gilbertsville, PA 16.032
32. 33s-Bryan Sipe/Hamburg, PA 16.135
33. 78T-Tracy Gregory/Dalton, PA 16.154
34. 44M-Jason Miller/Germansville, PA 16.275
35. 57-Mike Kellner/Lansdale, PA 16.276
36. 18F-Jonathan Favinger/Birdsboro, PA 16.479
37. 99L-Larry Wight/Baldwinsville, NY 16.524
38. 99z-Dave Zona/Montrose, PA 16.556
39. 3K-Ron Kline/Salford, PA 16.724
40. 51-Dave Garber/Boyertown, PA N/T
41. 13b-James Cornell/Harpersville, PA N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, C. Smith, Bernheisel, Bland, Clanton, Wight, Cheney, Ormsbee, Gregory (DNS) Paxton, Cornell
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Myers, Lanigan, Frank, King, Snyder, Stone, Stoudt, Zona, Miller
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Eckert, B. Smith, Haus, Kellner, Merkel, Henning, Pfeil, Kline, Decker
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Coffey, Hubbard, Schutz, Robinson, Reddick, Briggs, Hapka, Sipe, Favinger (DNS) Garber
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Clanton, Stone, Snyder, King, Cheney, Stoudt, Ormsbee, Miller, Zona, Wight, Gregory (DNS) Paxton
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Briggs, Reddick, Decker, Merkel, Pfeil, Henning, Kline, Kellner, Favinger, Sipe, Hapka (DNS) Graber
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Al Cheney, Wayne Pfeil
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): D.J. Myers
* 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): Vic Coffey
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Steve Francis
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Shane Clanton, Rick Briggs
* Fusion Energy ($50 cash award to Heat 2 winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Josh Richards
* 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): Austin Hubbard
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Billy Decker
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Tim Fuller
* 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): Rob Ormsbee
* 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. 13 – 28 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Steve Francis 3807 (-0)
2. Josh Richards 3801 (-6)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3795 (-12)
4. Rick Eckert 3727 (-80)
5. Tim Fuller 3645 (-162)
6. Shane Clanton 3639 (-168)
7. Brady Smith 3612 (-195)
8. Chub Frank 3567 (-240)
9. Clint Smith 3467 (-340)
10. Russell King 3017 (-790)
11. Jordan Bland 3007 (-800)
12. Brent Robinson 2897 (-910)
13. Dustin Hapka 2710 (-1097)
14. Tyler Reddick 2460 (-1347)
15. Vic Coffey 2239 (-1568)
16. Austin Hubbard 1804 (-2003)
17. Shannon Babb 1470 (-2337)
18. Matt Lux 1351 (-2456)
19. Gregg Satterlee 1064 (-2743)
20. Dan Stone 1063 (-2744)
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.