Home State Hero: Mars Runs Away With World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main At Superior Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SUPERIOR, WI – July 8, 2010 – Jimmy Mars left no doubt on Thursday night that he has Superior Speedway figured out.
Continuing his recent mastery of special events at the three-eighths-mile oval in his home state, Mars rocketed from the fourth starting spot to the lead on the opening lap and never looked back en route to a convincing victory in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Mid-States Hydraulics 50.’
Mars, 38, of Menomonie, Wis., earned $10,100 for his second career win on the WoO LMS, which stopped at Superior for the first time in the tour’s modern era and attracted a standing-room-only crowd to the fairgrounds track. His previous triumph on the national tour came in the 2009 Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
After winning at least one World Dirt Racing League (WDRL) series event at Superior in each of the last four years, Mars surprised no one with a performance that saw him steer his Deppe Enterprises MB Customs car around the red-clay surface virtually unchallenged from start-to-finish.
“Experience here doesn’t hurt by any means,” said Mars, who lives just under 150 miles south of the track. “These (WoO LMS) guys travel all over the country and are so good, I thought, ‘If I can have any advantage on them at all at a track, this might be one where I did.’
“We kind of had an idea of what to do. I said, ‘Let’s just go back and get on the hard tires and get back to what we’ve done here in the past.’ Basically our setup for the feature was identical to what we’ve had success with here.”
Mars put his Superior Speedway knowledge to work with his tire choice, picking harder compound Hoosier rubber that propelled him to a runaway win. He spent most of the distance with a commanding straightaway edge over polesitter Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who kept his Rocket car solidly in second place for the entire 50-lap A-Main and finished 2.793 seconds behind Mars.
Defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who started from the outside pole, padded his tour points lead with a quiet third-place finish in his father Mark’s Rocket house car. Fifth-starter Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis. – a former regular at Superior who lives about 30 miles from the facility – finished fourth in his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount after outdueling Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, who settled for fifth in his MB Customs machine after starting seventh.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished sixth, salvaging a decent run on a night that he struggled with his setup. He lost only six points to Richards, sending him to the next ‘Wild West Tour’ event with a manageable 22-point deficit in the standings.
Mars didn’t exactly snooker his competition, but he did use his outsider status as a reason to roll the dice a bit with his tire-compound selection.
“I’m not running for points so I got a little bit of an advantage,” said Mars. “I could gamble a little bit more. We can ‘go big or go home’ a little bit, where those guys running for points kinda have to be on the same tires because they’re racing each other for the championship.
“Before the race Darrell (Lanigan) and I were just joking about my tire choice. I said, ‘Hey, if we suck, the beer’s still cold after the race.’ The hard tires worked, though, so I guess we get to drink in celebration tonight instead of in sorrow.”
Mars knew he had made the right decision even before taking the initial green flag.
“I fired up (the car) before the start and it felt real good on the straightaway traction,” said Mars. “They threw the green and I was like, ‘We got a pretty good piece here,’ but then we ran down into turn one and I said, ‘Whoa.’ The right-rear wasn’t quite hot enough yet, so I slid up up the track a little bit. Then it instantly got warmed up and I was able to run down into three and four and pass Darrell there for the lead.”
That opening-lap move by Mars was, for all intents and purposes, the story of the race. No driver understood that more than the 40-year-old Lanigan, who used a more conservative “medium” tire-compound combination and simply couldn’t keep pace with Mars.
“I knew he had on harder tires than us, so when he took off like that (at the start) I said, ‘Oh man, this is gonna get ugly,'” said Lanigan, who registered his second runner-up finish in as many nights after falling short of victory by a nose to McCreadie in Wednesday night’s Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn. “If he was that good at the start, I knew it was gonna be tough to beat him. All we could do was run second again.”
Finishing in positions 7-10 were Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who lost sixth to McCreadie on lap 24; Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., who climbed forward from the 17th starting spot; Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., who earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a WoO LMS A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the tour points standings; and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who rallied after drawing a caution flag on lap 16 and pitting to bolt two harder tires on his car.
In a race slowed by just two caution flags on lap 16, the most significant incident was the second yellow that circuit. Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., went spinning in turn four while battling for sixth with rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del.; while he twirled 360 degrees and continued without stopping, a caution was displayed and Francis pitted moments later to change a flat left-rear tire.
Francis, who went on to finish one lap down in 12th place, began his night by recording the fastest lap in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials for the second straight event. He turned a circuit of 17.005 seconds to pace the 28-car qualifying session.
Heat winners were Lanigan, Richards and Hubbard, and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., captured the B-Main.
WoO LMS regular Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., once again used a provisional starting spot to gain entry to the A-Main as he continues recovering from the emergency appendectomy he underwent on Monday afternoon. But this time he felt strong enough to at least attempt to race, running 15 laps before deciding to pull in.
The WoO LMS continues the ‘Wild West Tour’ on Friday (July 9) at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., and Saturday (July 10) at Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, S.D.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Mid-States Hydraulics 50’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Jimmy Mars/50 $10,100
2. (1) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,600
3. (2) Josh Richards/50 $3,675
4. (5) Brady Smith/50 $2,500
5. (7) Brian Birkhofer/50 $2,000
6. (9) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,300
7. (6) Chub Frank/50 $1,900
8. (17) Shane Clanton/50 $1,800
9. (12) Pat Doar/50 $1,700
10. (16) Rick Eckert/50 $1,600
11. (3) Austin Hubbard/49 $1,800
12. (10) Steve Francis/49 $1,650
13. (13) Jason Hughes/49 $950
14. (19) Clint Smith/49 $1,450
15. (11) Russell King/49 $1,350
16. (8) Brent Robinson/49 $1,300
17. (15) Keith Foss/49 $770
18. (18) Eric Mass/49 $750
19. (14) Zach Johnson/48 $730
20. (21) Larry Wight/48 $700
21. (24) Jill George/47 $700
22. (20) Aaron Lillo/32 $700
23. (22) Adam Hensel/31 $725
24. (23) Tim Fuller/15 $1,200
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 23 Mins., 31.959 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.793 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (Laps 16, 16)
Lap Leaders: Mars (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Fuller, George
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Doar ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 17.005
2. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 17.079
3. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 17.091
4. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.124
5. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 17.138
6. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 17.174
7. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 17.237
8. 73-Zach Johnson/Kensington, MN 17.287
9. 44M-Eric Mass/Rapid City, SD 17.370
10. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 17.418
11. 8-Gregg Hill/Eveleth, MN 17.456
12. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 17.467
13. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.566
14. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.646
15. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 17.659
16. 99L-Larry Wight/Baldwinsville, NY 17.773
17. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 17.799
18. 95-Keith Foss/Winona, MN 17.903
19. 44H-Adam Hensel/Barron, WI 17.932
20. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 17.943
21. 18-Chris Olson/Hibbing, MN 17.954
22. 12-Jason Hughes/Westfield, OK 17.963
23. 17J-John Winge/Ringgold, GA 17.972
24. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 18.035
25. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.067
26. 24A-Aaron Lillo/Duluth, MN 18.221
27. 2w-Darryn Waldo/Billings, MT 18.301
28. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Lanigan, Mars, Birkhofer, Francis, Hughes, Eckert, C. Smith, Wight, Hensel
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Frank, Robinson, King, Johnson, Clanton, Lillo, Hill, Winge
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Hubbard, B. Smith, McCreadie, Doar, Foss, Mass, George, Olson, Waldo
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): C. Smith, Lillo, Wight, Hensel, George, Hill, Fuller, Waldo, Winge, Olson
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($50 product certificate): Jill George
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Pat Doar
Eibach Springs (one free spring): Larry Wight
MSD Ignition ($75 cash award): Josh Richards
MSD Ignition ($25 cash award): Adam Hensel
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash award to fastest qualifier w/decal): Steve Francis
Pink Carburetors ($100 product certificate): Pat Doar
Pink Carburetors ($50 product certificate): Adam Hensel
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate): Pat Doar
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate): Zach Johnson
R2C Performance ($100 cash): Jimmy Mars
STP ($50 cash award): Clint Smith
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): None
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards
2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 8 – 26 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 3540
2. Tim McCreadie 3518 (-22)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3480 (-60)
4. Steve Francis 3412 (-128)
5. Austin Hubbard 3338 (-202)
6. Shane Clanton 3326 (-214)
7. Tim Fuller 3286 (-254)
8. Rick Eckert 3284 (-256)
9. Chub Frank 3216 (-324)
10. Clint Smith 3132 (-408)
11. Russell King 2958 (-582)
12. Brent Robinson 2634 (-906)
13. Brady Smith 2584 (-956)
14. Jill George 1948 (-1592)
15. Brian Birkhofer 1368 (-2172)
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 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), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance and Wrisco Aluminum.