Photo Finish: Lanigan Passes Clint Smith On Final Lap For Record-Tying Victory At River Cities Speedway
Points Leader Matches World of Outlaws Late Model Series Single-Season Win Record In Dramatic Fashion
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
GRAND FORKS, ND – July 13, 2012 – Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., tied the World of Outlaws Late Model Series single-season win record in dramatic fashion, overtaking race-long pacesetter Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., on the final lap to capture Friday night’s ‘Seven Clans Casinos 50’ at River Cities Speedway.
In another memorable WoO LMS event at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval, Lanigan, 42, chased Smith for the entire distance before finally slipping underneath the leader racing down the backstretch on the last circuit. Lanigan found just enough traction on the bottom of turns three and four to beat Smith back to the checkered flag by a mere 0.024 of a second – likely the closest finish in the history of the WoO LMS.
The $10,650 triumph was Lanigan’s ninth of 2012, matching the national tour’s modern-era (2004-present) single-season record held by Scott Bloomquist and Josh Richards. He will have his first opportunity to establish a new standard on Saturday night (July 14) when the WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ concludes at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn.
“It’s definitely awesome to be able to tie (the single-season win record),” said Lanigan, whose 35th career WoO LMS victory moved him within three of tying Richards atop the circuit’s win list since 2004. “It definitely helps the bank account too. We’ll just keep on chugging and see what we can come up with.”
Smith, 47, started from the pole position and continually repelled Lanigan’s bids until the last-lap drama left him with a runner-up finish. It was his best outing of the season with his Rocket mount, but his WoO LMS winless streak reached 49 races since his last victory, on May 8, 2011, at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, Ga.
Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., who won the first WoO LMS A-Main of his career at River Cities in 2008, finished third in his Team Zero by Bloomquist car. He started eighth and was still mired back in sixth when the race’s third and final caution flag flew on lap 36, but he charged into third on lap 40 and crossed the finish line just one second behind the leaders.
Sixth-starter Terry Casey of New London, Wis., battled inside the top five throughout the distance – even briefly slipping past Lanigan for second on a lap-30 restart – but settled for fourth place in his MasterSbilt car. Defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., completed the top five, advancing from the ninth starting spot in his Team Zero by Bloomquist machine.
Lanigan, who started third but slid into second on the opening lap, actually had mixed emotions after earning a roar from the evening’s large crowd with his final-tour heroics. As much as he wanted a second consecutive triumph on the ‘Wild West Tour’ and a second career win at River Cities (he topped the track’s inaugural WoO LMS event in 2006), he would have loved to congratulate Smith on a slump-busting victory.
“I’d have rather seen ‘Cat’ win it,” said Lanigan, using Smith’s popular nickname. “We’ve been teaming up a little bit here, traveling together. We’ve been trying to help his program too and get him back in the winner’s circle.
“I was pulling for him (while running second), but he gave me a little bit of room (on the last lap)…and we gotta race our program too, so we had to take the win there. He kind of dropped off that cushion on the last lap and I got mine bent pretty hard, and I came down across that bottom and got a pretty good run.”
A brake problem that hampered Smith throughout the race finally bit him with the white flag flying.
“We had air in (the brakes) from last night and didn’t catch it through the night to bleed it out,” said Smith. “I was having to pump the brakes the whole race one time down the straightaway so I’d have a pedal. When I would miss that pump I would push bad getting in the corners and I’d have to really turn it with the fuel.
“Well, down the backstraightaway (on the last lap), with that lapped car ahead as I was trying to beat Darrell off the corner, I must have just missed the pump and it pushed right up to the cushion just enough that I couldn’t get it to rotate to get back to the good stuff leaving (turn four). I had to leave (the corner) outside him – and I almost had enough traction to beat him (to the finish line), but I didn’t.
“I needed to turn the car to come back down (off turn four) like I did the whole end of the race, but I just didn’t get it rotated enough – plus Darrell was already there under me, and we run each other clean so I didn’t want to get into him. He just had the better line and the better maintenance program today.”
Smith found little solace in coming so close to defeating the mighty Lanigan, whose dominant WoO LMS campaign has him leading the points standings by 148 points over Eckert and nearing the $200,000 mark in earnings after 26 events.
“There ain’t nothing good about this,” bottom-lined Smith. “I lost $5,000 by 23-thousandths of a second (actually 24-thousandths) after leading the whole race. I can’t think of nothing good about that.”
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished sixth after making a late surge. Outside-polesitter Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., ran fourth for much of the distance but faded after the race’s final restart, finishing seventh. Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., started fourth and climbed as high as third on lap 35, but an incorrect tire choice caused him to fall to eighth in the finishing order. Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., quietly worked his way forward from the 18th starting spot to place ninth and Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., rounded out the top 10.
Three caution flags slowed the event, all for stopped cars. Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., went off the backstretch on lap 30, while Tim McCreadie, also of Watertown, N.Y., fell off the pace with mechanical trouble on lap 35 – moments after reaching fifth place – and stopped in turn four on lap 36 while trying to return to the track from the pits to trigger another caution.
McCreadie retired shortly after drawing the second caution, leaving him with a 19th-place finish. It was first outing outside the top 10 in his last 17 starts and just his fourth run outside the top five over that span.
Thirty-two cars entered the event, which marked the seventh consecutive year that the WoO LMS has competed at River Cities.
Clanton was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 12.121 seconds. It was his second fast-time honor of 2012.
Heat winners were Clanton, Brady Smith, Clint Smith and McCreadie. The B-Mains were captured by Dustin Strand of Grand Forks, N.D., and Mars.
The night’s lone crash came during time trials when two-time WISSOTA Late Model national champion Ricky Weiss of St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba, jumped the cushion between turns one and two and flipped wildly down the wall-less track’s steep embankment. He escaped the accident without injury and later started the B-Main in the same car and took the green flag in the A-Main thanks to the WoO LMS points provisional starting spot he received.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Seven Clans Casinos 50’ at River Cities Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (3) Darrell Lanigan/50 $10,650
2. (1) Clint Smith/50 $5,600
3. (5) Brady Smith/50 $3,050
4. (6) Terry Casey/50 $3,000
5. (9) Rick Eckert/50 $2,650
6. (12) Chub Frank/50 $2,250
7. (2) Vic Coffey/50 $2,000
8. (4) Shane Clanton/50 $1,850
9. (18) Jimmy Mars/50 $1,250
10. (7) Pat Doar/50 $1,700
11. (20) Kent Robinson/50 $1,850
12. (11) Brad Seng/50 $1,000
13. (16) Jack Sullivan/50 $1,500
14. (10) Don Shaw/50 $900
15. (13) Tim Fuller/50 $1,400
16. (15) Bub McCool/50 $1,350
17. (21) Dustin Strand/50 $820
18. (22) Dustin Hapka/47 $750
19. (8) Tim McCreadie/35 $1,380
20. (24) Steve Anderson/22 $700
21. (17) Steffen Snare/21 $700
22. (14) Joey Pederson/20 $700
23. (19) Jill George/3 $700
24. (23) Ricky Weiss/1 $725
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 18 Mins., 19.660 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.024 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 30, 35, 36)
Lap Leaders: C. Smith (1-49); Lanigan (50)
Provisional Starters: Weiss, Anderson
Rookie of the Race: Robinson ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Casey ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 12.121
2. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 12.160
3. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 12.166
4. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 12.211
5. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 12.263
6. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 12.265
7. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 12.290
8. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 12.350
9. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 12.458
10. 42s-Don Shaw/Alexandria, MN 12.474
11. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 12.486
12. 42-Terry Casey/New London, WI 12.578
13. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 12.587
14. 7P-Joey Pederson/E. Grand Forks, MN 12.653
15. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 12.744
16. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 12.782
17. 17-Lance Schill/Langdon, ND 12.895
18. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 12.899
19. 12s-Brad Seng/Grand Forks, ND 12.935
20. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 12.954
21. 13-Bryan LePier/Bemidji, MN 13.003
22. 71-Steffen Snare/Hallock, MN 13.014
23. 11s-Troy Schill/Grand Forks, ND 13.076
24. 007-Jason Johnson/Karlstad, MN 13.111
25. 71s-Dustin Strand/Grand Forks, ND 13.114
26. 44s-Cole Schill/W. Fargo, ND 13.425
27. z17-Zach Naastad/Hatton, ND 13.552
28. 9-Steve Anderson/Grand Forks, ND 13.629
29. 84x-Josh Johnson/Fargo, ND 13.759
30. 41A-Matt Jarvis/Grand Forks, ND 14.310
31. 7-Ricky Weiss/St. Francois Xavier, MB N/T
32. Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Coffey, Eckert, Fuller, Strand, L. Schill, LePier, Josh Johnson
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Lanigan, Shaw, Pederson, George, Snare, Jarvis, C. Schill
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): C. Smith, Doar, Seng, McCool, Mars, T. Schill, Naastad (DNS) Weiss
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, Casey, Frank, Sullivan, Robinson, Hapka, Anderson, Jason Johnson
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Strand, George, Snare, L. Schill, LePier, C. Schill, Jarvis, Josh Johnson
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mars, Robinson, Hapka, T. Schill, Anderson, Jason Johnson, Naastad, Weiss
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): Dustin Strand
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Brad Seng
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jack Sullivan
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): Clint Smith
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dustin Strand/Dustin Hapka
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Kent Robinson
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Joey Pederson
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Dustin Strand
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ricky Weiss
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Brady Smith
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Dustin Hapka
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Clint Smith
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
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): Jimmy Mars
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): Cole Schill
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jack Sullivan
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
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): Darrell Lanigan
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 13 – 26 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 3688
2. Rick Eckert 3540 (-148)
3. Tim McCreadie 3480 (-208)
4. Chub Frank 3424 (-264)
5. Shane Clanton 3418 (-270)
6. Bub McCool 3274 (-414)
7. Clint Smith 3234 (-454)
8. Vic Coffey 3174 (-514)
9. Pat Doar 3080 (-608)
10. Tim Fuller 3038 (-650)
11. Kent Robinson 2972 (-716)
12. Jack Sullivan 2870 (-818)
13. John Lobb 2300 (-1388)
14. Mike Marlar 1906 (-1782)
15. Jill George 1782 (-1906)
LIVE UPDATES 7/13: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At River Cities Speedway
GRAND FORKS, ND – July 13, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ resumes tonight with the ‘Seven Clans Casinos 50’ at River Cities Speedway, a high-banked, quarter-mile oval that annually produces some of the circuit’s most stirring racing.
A $10,000 top prize will be on the line tonight’s 50-lapper, which marks the seventh consecutive year that the WoO LMS has visited the North Dakota facility.
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.
Record-tying win…with a flourish
11:30 p.m. CT – Darrell Lanigan tied the WoO LMS single-season victory record of nine in dramatic fashion, overtaking race-long pacesetter Clint Smith on the final lap to win by a mere 0.024 of a second.
Lanigan chased Smith for the entire distance before finally sneaking underneath the leader down the backstretch on the last circuit and beating the Georgia driver back to the finish line.
A-Main Finish: 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Clint Smith, 3. Brady Smith, 4. Terry Casey, 5. Rick Eckert, 6. Chub Frank, 7. Vic Coffey, 8. Shane Clanton, 9. Jimmy Mars, 10. Pat Doar, 11. Kent Robinson, 12. Brad Seng, 13. Jack Sullivan, 14. Don Shaw, 15. Tim Fuller, 16. Bub McCool, 17. Dustin Strand, 18. Dustin Hapka, 19. Tim McCreadie, 20. Steve Anderson, 21. Steffen Snare, 22. Joey Pederson, 23. Jill George, 24. Ricky Weiss
9:40 p.m. CT – After some track-surface work, the 410 Sprint Car feature has now taken to the track. The WoO LMS main event will immediately follow the Sprint Car checkered flag.
Field is set
9:20 p.m. CT – Hometown driver Dustin Strand and national star Jimmy Mars took top honors in the pair of 12-lap B-Mains, completing the field for the Seven Clans Casinos 50.
Jill George finished second in the first B-Main, marking the first time in 21 WoO LMS appearances this season that she will start an A-Main without the benefit of a provisional. She has started four previous A-Mains in 2012.
Clint Smith will start from the feature from the pole position and Vic Coffey will go from the outside of the front row after the top-two finishers in each heat redrew in front of the grandstand.
Ricky Weiss, who flipped during time trials, patched up his machine and started the B-Main. He pulled off early because the car wasn’t up to par, but he earned a WoO LMS points provisional to start 23rd in the A-Main. It appears he’ll take out his backup car that is equipped with a WISSOTA spec engine.
Row 1: Clint Smith/Vic Coffey
Row 2: Darrell Lanigan/Shane Clanton
Row 3: Brady Smith/Terry Casey
Row 4: Pat Doar/Tim McCreadie
Row 5: Rick Eckert/Don Shaw
Row 6: Brad Seng/Chub Frank
Row 7: Tim Fuller/Joey Pederson
Row 8: Bub McCool/Jack Sullivan
Row 9: Dustin Strand/Jimmy Mars
Row 10: Jill George/Kent Robinson
Row 11: Steffen Snare/Dustin Hapka
Row 12: Ricky Weiss/Steve Anderson
Old stomping grounds
8:20 p.m. CT – The WoO LMS’s man on the microphone, chief announcer Rick Eshelman, has a special connection to River Cities Speedway. A native of Michigan who now lives in Phenix City, Ala., Eshelman, 50, was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force from 1983-1985 and spent those years announcing the weekly races at River Cities, which was then called Grand Forks County Speedway.
“This is the first dirt track I ever announced at,” said Eshelman, who launched his announcing career at paved speedways in Michigan. “It’s always fun to come back here and relive some memories.”
Heat action complete
8:15 p.m. CT – Tonight’s four 10-lap heat races were spun off in quick succession with victories going to Shane Clanton, Brady Smith, Clint Smith and Tim McCreadie.
The most hard-fought battle came in the second prelim. Lanigan made several attempts to overtake Brady Smith on the outside of the track, but Smith held on to win by 0.357 of a second.
River Cities’ 410 Sprint Car division is sharing tonight’s bill, and the first of three heats for the class is now on the track. One of the entrants in tonight’s 410 Sprint Car competition is River Cities dominator Mark Dobmeier, who won a WoO Sprint Car Series A-Main on July 3 at South Dakota’s Huset’s Speedway.
WoO LMS heat race results can be found here.
Weiss tumbles in time trials
7:30 p.m. CT – Manitoba’s Ricky Weiss, the two-time defending WISSOTA Late Model national champion, rode out a spectacular series of flips on his first time-trial lap. He slid off the wall-less turns one and two and rolled several times down the embankment, coming to rest on his wheels in some mud.
“I just got over the cushion and went off the track,” said a dejected Weiss, who climbed out of his wrecked machine under his own power.
Shane Clanton blazed to his second fast-time honor of 2012 with a lap of 12.121 seconds. He nipped WoO LMS points Darrell Lanigan, who turned a circuit at 12.160 seconds.
Weiss, 23, was one of two drivers who didn’t record a time during qualifying. The other was Dustin Hapka, who was attempting to solve engine trouble while time trials were underway.
For full results from time trials, click here.
Ready to go
6:25 p.m. CT – A 32-car field is signed in for tonight’s action, which will kick off with hot laps in a few minutes. There will be four 10-lap heat races and two 12-lap B-Mains leading into the 50-lap finale.
Testing the waters
6:15 p.m. CT – When a No. 42s car was unloaded from a beautiful white hauler in the pit of Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D., on Tuesday night, WoO LMS observers had to do some investigating to figure out who was driving it. It ended up being Don Shaw (below), a 48-year-old from Alexandria, Minn., who has done most of his dirt Late Model racing over the last 20 years in the WISSOTA spec-engine class.
Shaw decided to head out on the road with his buddy, WoO LMS regular Pat Doar, to run the last four events of the western swing. He’s in the field tonight, hoping to improve upon his WoO career-best finish of 13th earned last night at Red River Co-op Speedway.
The owner of a successful trucking company, Shaw has run winter dirt Late Model events in Arizona for the past seven years and in March won a West Coast Shootout Late Model event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He said he’s entertaining the thought of chasing the WoO LMS in the future to experience the national tour before he’s done racing, but he understands that takes a major commitment.
“I’ve got a large trucking company that’s going real well so I can get away when I want to,” said Shaw. “That’s great, but as a business owner, it’s hard to ever totally get away. You’re always still thinking about the business, and if you’re gonna run with these guys (the World of Outlaws regulars), you have to be totally dedicated and focused.”
6:00 p.m. CT – Reconnecting tonight with some old acquaintances on the WoO LMS is Grand Forks, N.D.’s Dustin Hapka, who traveled the national tour from his remote home base in 2009 and part of 2010. He’s making his first dirt Late Model start of the season.
Hapka, 29, has made a competitive appearance in 2012, but it came on asphalt. He raced on asphalt for the first on June 2, running for Tennessee’s Hixson Motorsports in an ARCA Racing Series event at Elko (Minn.) Speedway. He finished 18th.
Hapka said he plans to run about 15 dirt Late Model shows over the next two months, including the WoO LMS USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., on Aug. 3-4. He also has another ARCA start scheduled for Oct. 19 at Kansas Speedway.
Sleep where you are
5:50 p.m. CT – Chub Frank spent last night with his hauler parked in an interesting spot: right smack dab in the middle of the River Cities Speedway backstretch pit lane.
How did ‘Chubzilla’ end up there, you say? Well, Frank’s mechanic, Derek Gahring, attempted to drive the CFR rig into the open River Cities pit area around 2 a.m. after making the two-and-a-half hour haul to Grand Forks, N.D., following Thursday night’s WoO LMS show at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but he didn’t realize that it rained hard during the evening and the River Cities grounds were soaked. As a result, the Frank hauler and trailer got stuck in the soft mud.
“I made it to the pit shack and sunk,” said Gahring.
Frank was sleeping inside his hauler and “didn’t even know it had rained.” He came up to the driver’s seat and managed to get his hauler moved up to the middle of the pit area, but he couldn’t get it turned into a regular parking spot so they just went to bed there. Track officials towed Frank’s rig out of the muck this morning so he could get parked correctly.
It’s a warm one
5:40 p.m. CT – Temperatures have soared into the low 90s and the air is sticky with humidity for the fourth event of this year’s ‘Wild West Tour.’ With the drivers’ meeting about 20 minutes away, it’s looking like tonight’s car count with be in the low 30s.