Eckert Finally Breaks Into Victory Lane At The Dirt Track At Charlotte In Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 10, 2012 – Rick Eckert of York, Pa., finally conquered The Dirt Track at Charlotte, breaking into Victory Lane at the four-tenths-mile oval with a powerful performance in Wednesday night’s 50-lap Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown.
The defending World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion streaked into the lead on lap 31 when Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., slowed with a blown right-rear tire and never looked back. He kept Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., at arm’s length over the remaining distance to register his second consecutive and fifth overall triumph of 2012 on the national tour.
“We won Charlotte!” exclaimed the 46-year-old Eckert after emerging from his victorious Team Zero by Bloomquist car. “It’s a great feeling because this is an awesome place. We’ve been here a bunch (over the past decade) and we’ve run second, we’ve run third, we’ve run fourth – and we’ve run terrible here too. I’ve always wanted to win here, so now I can take this place off my bucket list.”
Smith, 47, finished 0.725 of a second behind Eckert in second place – after starting 24th because he used a provisional spot to gain entry to the A-Main. It was the third runner-up placing of 2012 for Smith, whose last WoO LMS victory came 61 races ago on May 8, 2011, at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, Ga.
Chub Frank, 50, of Bear Lake, Pa., quietly moved forward from the 11th starting spot to finish third, his 10th top-five outing of 2012. He moved to fourth in the WoO LMS points standings, overtaking Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who started sixth but retired after just nine laps.
Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., advanced from the 21st starting spot to add a fourth-place finish to his 2012 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year campaign, and points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., salvaged a rare off night (he used a provisional to start 23rd in the A-Main) with a fifth-place run that marked his 31st top-five finish in 38 starts this season.
Lanigan, 42, left Charlotte leading the WoO LMS points standings by 194 points over Eckert. He will officially clinch his second career championship when he enters the qualifying program of the Peak Motor Oil World of Outlaws World Finals presented by NAPA Auto Parts on Nov. 1 at The Dirt Track, assuring himself 60 show-up points for each of the event’s two shows.
Eckert will lock up second place in the ’12 points standings on qualifying night of the Peak World Finals as well, allowing him to focus on extending his season-ending win streak. With a sweep of the two-feature extravaganza, he would match his personal-best standard of four consecutive WoO LMS victories in 2006.
Eckert’s first-ever checkered flag at The Dirt Track came after he vaulted from the ninth starting spot to third in just two laps. He took second on lap 13 when Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who led the race’s first 12 laps from the outside pole, lost momentum as Richards sailed into the top spot.
For the next 18 circuits Eckert chased Richards, who had run the rough-and-tumble track’s ragged edge to advance from the eighth starting spot and continued to charge hard once in command. Richards’s bid for a fourth consecutive victory in the Circle K WoO LM Showdown effectively ended, however, when he slowed with a flat right-rear tire on lap 31, leaving Eckert in front for good.
Richards returned to the track after getting a new tire, but he retired two circuits later after tangling with Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky. McDowell, who drove NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ty Dillon’s No. 41 after parking his own Team Dillon No. 17M following time trials, also did not finish the race, retiring on lap 16 after bringing out a caution flag.
“I got up through there fairly well without hurting my tires, but when I got (to third) Josh was rolling and Dale was rolling,” said Eckert, whose 29th career WoO LMS win moved him into sole possession of third place on the tour’s victory list since 2004. “Then those two touched each other (in turn one on lap 13) and I snuck by Dale, and then I just got to where I started creeping back in on Josh when we ran a long enough green. On those short greens he was like a rabbit – he’d get out there – but once we got going I finally could change my line into three and I started moving in on him.
“If he didn’t break I think we would’ve had a helluva race at the end because I started getting better and he started getting worse.”
Eckert, whose night began in difficult fashion when his car’s lift bar dug into the track during hot laps and caused its driveshaft to break, survived a final caution flag on lap 48 (for a blown right-rear tire on the third-place car of Richards’s Rocket Chassis teammate Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill.) to pocket a $10,650 paycheck.
Smith, who steered his Rocket car into second place on a lap-33 restart, wasn’t able to offer Eckert a serious challenge. But the veteran driver was pleased with his unexpectedly strong performance.
“We broke a shock in hot laps and a shock in qualifying and then folded the nose in the heat,” said Smith, who dropped out of his heat race when the nosepiece damage caused its mount to break off the car’s frame. “I guess I got all three of my breakages out of the way before the feature.
“We spent the whole time (between the heats and the A-Main) getting the nosepiece back welded on the car, and we just set it up baja-style just to try to keep (the car) on the ground with the rough track. I told (his crew) I was just gonna try to ride around (starting deep in the field), but I moved up top to try it and about four boulders (of clay) about knocked my head off so I said, ‘The heck with this. I’m gonna move to the bottom.’
“I married myself to the bottom after that,” he continued, “and fortunately, every restart they lined up me up on the bottom and I’d get me about one or two cars on the straightaway. Next thing you know, I’m up there in second.
“As the end the bottom got good and I thought I had something for Eckert. I drove up there too him, but then (Pa) Doar was running around there slow and I had to jump up there to get around him and I lost about a half-straightaway in one lap. We didn’t really have anything left after that last restart either.”
Ten cars were running at the finish of the race, which was slowed by seven caution flags.
Forty-five cars were signed in for the event, which was run on a gorgeous autumn day.
Richards was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 14.997 seconds. It was his third WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2012 and the 30th of his career.
Heat winners were Richards, Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., McCreadie and Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif. The B-Mains were captured by Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., and Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark.
The WoO LMS will return to The Dirt Track at Charlotte to end the 2012 season on Nov. 1-3 with the Peak Motor Oil World of Outlaws World Finals presented by NAPA Auto Parts.
Results of WoO Late Model Series Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (9) Rick Eckert/50 $10,650
2. (24) Clint Smith/50 $5,550
3. (11) Chub Frank/50 $3,600
4. (21) Bub McCool/50 $3,300
5. (23) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,650
6. (12) Shane Clanton/50 $2,250
7. (4) Eric Jacobsen/50 $1,900
8. (25) Steve Shaver/50 $1,300
9. (15) Donnie Moran/50 $1,250
10. (26) Pat Doar/49 $1,100
11. (7) Brandon Sheppard/47 $1,050
12. (14) Austin Dillon/41 $1,000
13. (18) Jared Landers/33 $1,000
14. (16) Tyler Reddick/33 $900
15. (13) Steve Francis/33 $950
16. (8) Josh Richards/33 $1,050
17. (10) Jeff Rine/30 $770
18. (20) Eddie Carrier Jr./26 $750
19. (19) Kenny Pettyjohn/26 $780
20. (2) Dale McDowell/15 $700
21. (5) Tim Fuller/9 $1,250
22. (1) Eric Wells/9 $700
23. (6) Tim McCreadie/9 $1,350
24. (17) Kent Robinson/9 $1,200
25. (3) Jimmy Owens/2 $750
26. (22) Vic Coffey/1 $1,250
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 49 Mins., 32.417 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.725 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 7 (laps 2, 7, 9, 16, 31, 33, 48)
Lap Leaders: McDowell (1-12); Richards (13-30); Eckert (31-50)
Provisional Starters: Lanigan, C. Smith (WoO); Shaver (track); Doar (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Jacobsen ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.997
2. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.130
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.154
4. 1b-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 15.171
5. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 15.259
6. 44M-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 15.291
7. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.296
8. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.310
9. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.344
10. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 15.355
11. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.366
12. 5J-Eric Jacobsen/Sea Cliff Beach, CA 15.388
13. 87-Walker Arthur/Forest, VA 15.399
14. 24M-Kenny Moreland/Waldorf, MD 15.406
15. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 15.410
16. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 15.449
17. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.453
18. 2J-Jeff Rine/Danville, PA 15.473
19. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.519
20. 11R-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 15.522
21. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 15.534
22. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 15.578
23. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.595
24. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 15.623
25. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 15.659
26. 3-Austin Dillon/Welcome, NC 15.662
27. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 15.669
28. 5-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 15.739
29. 55-Duane Treadwell/LaGrange, GA 15.750
30. 201-Billy Ogle Jr./Knoxville, TN 15.768
31. 15d-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 15.825
32. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 15.920
33. 2-Joey Coulter/Miami Springs, FL 15.930
34. 21-Trevor Bayne/Knoxville, TN 16.109
35. 22-Chris Ferguson/Mt. Holly, NC 16.442
36. 31-Brian Force/Indiana, PA 16.488
37. 41-Ty Dillon/Welcome, NC 16.670
38. 50-Larry McDaniels/Mooresville, NC 17.104
39. 1T-Tre Martin/Charleston, WV 17.703
40. 07-Brian Ledbetter/Dallas, NC N/T
41. 01-Robbie Bailey/Portsmouth, OH N/T
42. 64-Billy Workman/Portland, OR N/T
43. 25b-Mike Benedum/Salem, WV N/T
44. 16-Justin Rattliff/Campbellsville, KY N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Owens, Eckert, Francis, Arthur, McCool, Pettyjohn, Treadwell, Coulter, Bailey, Ty Dillon
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Wells, Fuller, Rine, A. Dillon, Ogle, Robinson, Moreland, Madden, Bayne, McDaniels, Workman
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, McDowell, Frank, Moran, Davenport, Lanigan, Coffey, Benedum, C. Smith, Martin (DNS) Ferguson
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Jacobsen, Sheppard, Clanton, Reddick, Landers, Carrier, Force, Doar, Shaver (DNS) Ledbetter, Rattliff
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Robinson, Pettyjohn, McCool, Madden, Ogle, Treadwell, Bayne, Workman, Bailey, Coulter, Arthur, Moreland, McDaniels (DNS) Ty Dillon
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Landers, Carrier, Coffey, Davenport, Doar, Benedum, Force, Shaver (DNS) Lanigan, C. Smith, Martin, Ledbetter, Ferguson, Rattliff
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): Pat Doar
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Steve Shaver
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jared Landers
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
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): Bub McCool/Pat Doar
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Brandon Sheppard
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Vic Coffey
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Kenny Pettyjohn
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Jimmy Owens
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): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kenny Pettyjohn
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Eric Wells
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): Chub Frank
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Donnie Moran
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): Chris Madden
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value):
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Clint Smith
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Oct. 10 – 38 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 5340
2. Rick Eckert 5146 (-194)
3. Shane Clanton 4948 (-392)
4. Chub Frank 4864 (-476)
5. Tim McCreadie 4826 (-514)
6. Clint Smith 4780 (-560)
7. Bub McCool 4740 (-600)
8. Vic Coffey 4622 (-718)
9. Tim Fuller 4516 (-824)
10. Pat Doar 4402 (-938)
11. Kent Robinson 4266 (-1074)
12. Jack Sullivan 3474 (-1866)
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 Gasket, 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 10/10: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At The Dirt Track at Charlotte
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 10, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series makes its first visit of 2012 to The Dirt Track at Charlotte tonight for the running of the Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown.
The four-tenths-mile oval’s traditional mid-week event kicking off Bank of America 500 week at Charlotte Motor Speedway across the street has been dominated for the last three years by two-time WoO LMS champion Josh Richards, who vacated his World of Outlaws throne this season to chase a pavement career on the NASCAR Nationwide Series but will be in tonight’s field to bid for a fourth straight victory in this event.
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.
It’s Eckert again
11:40 p.m. – Rick Eckert continued his late-season surge, capturing the Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown for his fifth WoO LMS win of 2012 and his first-ever at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Eckert inherited the lead on lap 31 when Josh Richards slowed with a blown right-rear tire and never looked back. The defending WoO LMS champion kept Clint Smith at arm’s length over the remainder of the distance to win by 0.725 of a second over the Georgia driver.
A-Main Finish: 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Clint Smith, 3. Chub Frank, 4. Bub McCool, 5. Darrell Lanigan, 6. Shane Clanton, 7. Eric Jacobsen, 8. Steve Shaver, 9. Donnie Moran, 10. Pat Doar, 11. Brandon Sheppard, 12. Austin Dillon, 13. Jared Landers, 14. Tyler Reddick, 15. Steve Francis, 16. Josh Richards, 17. Jeff Rine, 18. Eddie Carrier Jr., 19. Kenny Pettyjohn, 20. Dale McDowell, 21. Tim Fuller, 22. Eric Wells, 23. Tim McCreadie, 24. Kent Robinson, 25. Jimmy Owens, 26. Vic Coffey
10:15 p.m. – Kent Robinson won the first B-Main over Kenny Pettyjohn and Bub McCool and Jared Landers topped the second B-Main over Eddie Carrier Jr. and Vic Coffey. Provisional spots go to Darrell Lanigan and Clint Smith (WoO LMS) and Steve Shaver (track); Pat Doar also started the A-Main using a WoO LMS emergency provisional.
The eight-minute horn to line up the A-Main has been blown.
Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown Lineup:
Row 1: Eric Wells/Dale McDowell
Row 2: Jimmy Owens/Eric Jacobsen
Row 3: Tim Fuller/Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Brandon Sheppard/Josh Richards
Row 5: Rick Eckert/Jeff Rine
Row 6: Chub Frank/Shane Clanton
Row 7: Steve Francis/Austin Dillon
Row 8: Donnie Moran/Tyler Reddick
Row 9: Kent Robinson/Jared Landers
Row 10: Kenny Pettyjohn/Eddie Carrier Jr.
Row 11: Bub McCool/Vic Coffey
Row 12: Darrell Lanigan/Clint Smith
Row 13: Steve Shaver/Pat Doar
9:55 p.m. – If Josh Richards is going to win the Circle K World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown for the fourth consecutive year, he’s going to earn.
Richards picked the worst possible spot — eighth — in the A-Main redraw. Kentucky’s Eric Wells drew the pole, with Dale McDowell going from the outside pole. Jimmy Owens will start third, followed by Eric Jacobsen, Tim Fuller, Tim McCreadie and Rocket Chassis teammates Brandon Sheppard and Richards.
The first of two 12-lap B-Mains is now on the track. The top-three finishers in each will move on to the A-Main.
9:15 p.m. – The four heats — won by Josh Richards, Eric Wells, Tim McCreadie and Eric Jacobsen — were anything but uneventful.
The first prelim was a demonstration of speed by Richards, who tore around the four-tenths-mile oval in blistering fashion. He beat Jimmy Owens by a commanding 2.888 seconds and clicked off a fast lap of 14.664 seconds — more than a half-second faster than the second-fastest circuit of the heats (15.233 by Wells in heat two).
The second heat was problematic for WoO LMS traveler Kent Robinson (stopped on lap three, pitted and returned) and Chris Madden, who slowed with a flat left-rear tire on lap six while leading and failed to qualify. Tim Fuller, meanwhile, pulled off a dramatic last-lap pass of Jeff Rine exiting turn four to finish second and grab a feature redraw spot.
The third heat saw WoO LMS regulars Clint Smith and Vic Coffey run into trouble. Smith had to pit midway through the event with nose damage and didn’t continue (he also broke a shock in both hot laps and qualifying), while Coffey was running second when ignition woes caused him to slow over the final two laps. Darrell Lanigan, meanwhile, was surprisingly off his usual pace, falling out of a transfer spot on a mid-race restart and settling for a sixth-place finish.
The big mover in the third heat was Dale McDowell, who started from the rear in Ty Dillon’s No. 41 after his own machine was sidelined by mechanical trouble after qualifying. McDowell charged forward to finish second and make the redraw.
In the fourth heat, Brandon Sheppard outdueled Shane Clanton for the runner-up spot. Steve Shaver was the race’s casualty, stopping in turn three on lap two with right-front damage and getting towed off.
Full heat results can be seen here.
8:10 p.m. – With opening ceremonies complete, track-prep crews are doing some final packing of the speedway before the start of tonight’s WoO LMS heat races. Four 10-lap prelims will be run with the top four finishers in each advancing to the A-Main and the top two redrawing for starting spots in the first four rows of the 50-lap headliner.
Right back on top
8 p.m. – Josh Richards soared around The Dirt Track once again in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, setting fast time with a blistering lap of 14.997 seconds. It’s his third fast-time honor of 2012 and the 30th of his career on the WoO LMS.
Tim Fuller was second-fastest at 15.130 seconds, followed by Tim McCreadie (15.154), Brandon Sheppard (15.171) and Jimmy Owens (15.259).
For full results from qualifying, click here.
7:25 p.m. – Time trials are back underway after being red-flagged following a crash involving Brian Ledbetter of Dallas, N.C., whose car tumbled spectacularly between turns three and four after he apparently clipped an infield marker tire. His heavily-damaged machine came to rest on its roof, but he escaped without serious injury.
Cherokee Speedway photographer Zach Kloosterman snapped the picture below of Ledbetter in mid-flight, shedding pieces of bodywork and other parts as he flipped.
Josh looks good
7 p.m. – As WoO LMS time trials begin, Josh Richards has established himself as the driver to watch after timing in fastest during hot laps with a lap of 15.038 seconds. Eric Wells was second-quick at 15.104 seconds, followed by Clint Smith (15.161), Chris Madden (15.173) and Eric Jacobsen (15.189). Darrell Lanigan was 27th at 15.900 seconds.
Trouble for Eckert
6:55 p.m. – Rick Eckert’s run of good luck ended soon after he stepped on the gas for hot laps. His car was stricken with a broken driveshaft and was towed off, sending him and his crew scrambling to get ready for time trials.
Coming in hot
6:42 p.m. – WoO LMS regulars Rick Eckert and Bub McCool enter tonight’s action riding a wave of momentum thanks to off-tour victories over the past weekend.
After winning last Thursday night’s WoO LMS A-Main at New York’s Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, Eckert added another $5,000 check to his bank account with a triumph in Saturday night’s unsanctioned 30-lap Fall Classic at his homestate’s Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway. It was the second consecutive year that Eckert won an Outlaw show at Rolling Wheels and the Selinsgrove special in a span of three days.
McCool, meanwhile, flew back to Mississippi from New York last Friday morning — leaving behind his crew members and hauler — to drive his sponsor and friend Klint Byars’s second car in the Gumbo Nationals last weekend at Greenville (Miss.) Speedway. The 2012 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year won the event for the second straight year, earning $7,500.
Tim McCreadie also is racing tonight after pocketing some hefty change last weekend, albeit not in dirt Late Model competition. One of three WoO LMS regulars who entered DIRTcar big-block and 358-Modifieds in the Oct. 3-7 NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week extravaganza at the one-mile New York State Fairgrounds and other nearby tracks (Vic Coffey and Tim Fuller also competed), McCreadie captured a pair of 358-Modified events, winning on Oct. 3 at Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y. (worth $4,000) and bagging a $20,000 payday for topping the Gander Mountain 358-Modified Championship 150 on Oct. 6 at the Syracuse Mile. He also finished seventh in the rain-shortened big-block Modified VP Small Engine Fuels 200 on Oct. 7 at the ‘Moody Mile.’
6:32 p.m. – The start of WoO LMS hot laps for 44 cars (Tennessee’s Billy Ogle Jr. just pulled in to join the field) has been delayed slightly by a practice crash during an NDRA crate Late Model practice. The car hit the turn-four wall hard and flames burst out under its hood, but the driver scooted out uninjured.
A total of 50 NDRA crate Late Models are on hand. The support class will time trials and run two last-chance events before capping the night’s feature action.
6:25 p.m. – Five NASCAR stock-car drivers are in tonight’s field, including Outlaw-turned-Nationwide Series racer Josh Richards.
The others: 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who has been running selected dirt Late Model events (mostly around his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn.) since August; brothers Austin and Ty Dillon, who are currently regulars on the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, respectively, and have both won crate Late Model features here at The Dirt Track; and Truck Series regular Joey Coulter, who is making his fifth career Super Late Model start (the 22-year-old driver decided to try his hand at dirt racing thanks to some prodding from veteran dirt Late Model mechanic Danny Meyers, who is friendly with Coulter’s Truck crew chief chief Harold Holly).
Pictured below is Bayne (center), signing autographs under the grandstand earlier today alongside World of Outlaws regulars Pat Doar and Tim Fuller.
5:40 p.m. – A total of 43 cars have signed in for tonight’s action, including late arrival Billy Workman, a native of Portland, Ore., who just moved to the Charlotte area.
WoO LMS race director is now conducting the drivers’ meeting, setting the stage for tonight’s program.
Perfect day, great field
3:50 p.m. – With gorgeous 70-degree weather prevailing, more than 30 dirt Late Models are already unloaded in The Dirt Track’s pit area. The field includes 11 WoO LMS regulars plus such challengers as Josh Richards and Brandon Sheppard, who will both run Rocket Chassis house cars; several NASCAR racers dabbling on the dirt for the night, including 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, Nationwide Series regular2011 Camping World Truck Series champion Austin Dillon, and Truck Series regulars Ty Dillon and Joey Coulter; and such dirt Late Models notables as Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell, Steve Shaver, Eddie Carrier Jr., Donnie Moran, Eric Jacobsen, Tyler Reddick, Jeff Rine, Kenny Pettyjohn, Chris Ferguson and Walker Arthur.