• Richards Starts Firecracker 100 Weekend With Prelim Win
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Richards Outduels Shaver For Victory On Opening Night Of Firecracker 100 by GottaRace.com Weekend At Lernerville Speedway

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Star Captures First Preliminary A-Main For Third Time In Last Four Years

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

SARVER, PA – June 27, 2013 – Josh Richards was a man on a mission Thursday night at Lernerville Speedway.

Rebounding from a frustrating subpar performance two nights earlier, the 25-year-old superstar from Shinnston, W.Va., grabbed the lead from Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., on lap 18 and marched on to win the first 30-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series preliminary A-Main of the Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com weekend.

The $6,150 victory was Richards’s fourth of the 2013 WoO LMS season and marked the third time in the last four years that he has captured the opening-night feature of the Firecracker 100 extravaganza. It also got him back on track after a winless four-race swing through New York and Canada that he ended with an uncharacteristic 13th-place finish on June 25 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

“We struggled a lot this past week,” said Richards, who scored just one top-five finish during the northern trip with his father Mark’s Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car operation. “It was actually kind of embarrassing. It wasn’t common for this team to be running the way we were, so we made some changes, swapped cars today and tried to get our heads together to make the right decisions.

“We were good tonight, but we still have a long weekend ahead of us and I’m sure everybody is gonna work on their stuff.”

Shaver settled for a runner-up finish after leading laps 1-17, flashing under the checkered flag 1.113 seconds behind Richards. WoO LMS rookie Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., finished third after starting from the pole position – earning him a career-best finish at Lernerville in just his second visit to the track – while eighth-starter Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa., challenged Wells late in the distance but placed fourth.

Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., took fifth after coming out on top of a last-lap battle with Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Richards, who has recorded four of his 43 career WoO LMS victories at Lernerville, mastered the four-tenths-mile oval that was tacky and fast after being doused by heavy rain earlier in the day.

After bursting forward from the fifth starting spot to second by lap four, Richards immediately began to challenge Shaver, who started second in the Rumley Enterprises/Bobby Labonte Racing Longhorn chassis. They swapped the top spot off turn four on lap nine – without an official lead change at the line – and did the same off turn on lap 17, but Richards slid in front for good as lap 18 was scored.

“I tried to move around to see where I could make the move and where it would be the best place,” said Richards, whose triumph assured him of a pole position starting spot in a Firecracker 100 heat race on Saturday night (June 29). “I just tried to get where I got a run and could hug the bottom off of (turn) two or slide (Shaver) through three and four. We raced really hard.”

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Shaver, 49, hailed Richards’s effort while expressing satisfaction with a second-place finish in his first WoO LMS start of the season.

“Seconds sucks, but helluva job by Josh,” said Shaver. “We just weren’t near as good as him. We had a heck of a race for the lead though, and I don’t believe we ever touched.

“We’re happy with our run. To be able to come out here and run with these guys like that is a tribute to Kevin Rumley, who’s designed this chassis. He’s done a real good job with it. I’m proud of him.”

Finishing in positions 8-10 were 14th-starter Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., whose deficit to Richards in the WoO LMS standings expanded from eight to 24 points; 16th-starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y.; and 13th-starter Rick Eckert of York, Pa.

Two caution flags slowed the event. The first came on lap 10 after Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., tangled underneath the flagstand, and Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., triggered the second when he stopped in turn two on lap 28.

A 57-car field was entered in the event, which started precisely on schedule despite the significant showers that saturated the area through the early afternoon. With rain threatening throughout the evening, officials spun off the program quickly, completing all racing just before 10 p.m.

Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for starting positions in heats one and two and the second half racing against the clock to align heats three and four. Fuller’s lap of 15.368 seconds in Group B was the quickest overall time of the night, giving him his first WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2013.

Fuller’s promising evening took a turn for the worse during the fourth heat when he relinquished the lead due to terminal motor trouble, forcing him to pull out a backup car and use a points provisional to start the A-Main.

Heat winners were Stone, Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., Richards, Shaver, Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., and Wells. The three 12-lap B-Mains were won by Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., and Davies.

The Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com continues on Fri., June 28, with another WoO LMS program topped by a 30-lap A-Main paying $6,000 to win. Drivers will use their best finish from the Thursday and Friday competition to align themselves in the heat races for Saturday night’s headlining Firecracker 100, which pays $30,000 to win.

Details and ticket information on the Firecracker 100 can be obtained by logging on to www.lernerville.com.

Results of WoO Late Model Series Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com Preliminary A-Main No. 1 at Lernerville Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (5) Josh Richards/30 $6,150
2. (2) Steve Shaver/30 $3,000
3. (1) Eric Wells/30 $2,350
4. (8) Davey Johnson/30 $1,800
5. (12) Darrell Lanigan/30 $1,650
6. (9) Dale McDowell/30 $1,250
7. (6) Dan Stone/30 $1,150
8. (14) Shane Clanton/30 $1,200
9. (16) Tim McCreadie/30 $1,200
10. (13) Rick Eckert/30 $1,200
11. (15) Austin Hubbard/30 $900
12. (23) John Garvin Jr./30 $1,325
13. (10) Jonathan Davenport/30 $750
14. (18) Brian Birkhofer/30 $725
15. (25) Tim Fuller/30 $950
16. (27) Morgan Bagley/30 $160
17. (17) Bub McCool/30 $720
18. (28) Clint Smith/30 $160
19. (22) Steve Francis/30 $740
20. (7) Russ King/29 $620
21. (20) John Blankenship/27 $600
22. (3) Jared Landers/15 $600
23. (26) Chub Frank/12 $650
24. (19) Brady Smith/10 $600
25. (11) Mike Marlar/10 $625
26. (21) Ron Davies/10 $600
27. (4) Dave Hess Jr./9 $600
28. (24) Jared Miley/1 $600

* Earnings include cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 18 Mins., 53.208 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.113 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (laps 10, 28)
Lap Leaders: Shaver (1-17); Richards (18-30)
Provisional Starters: Fuller, Frank (WoO points); Bagley, C. Smith (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Garvin ($500)

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

Group ‘A’

1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.376
2. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 15.385
3. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 15.403
4. 2s-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 15.512
5. 5-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 15.605
6. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 15.626
7. 18c-Ross Camponovo/Clarksdale, MS 15.629
8. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 15.636
9. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.672
10. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.676
11. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.686
12. J4-John Garvin Jr./Sarver, PA 15.690
13. 56-Russ King/Bristolville, OH 15.711
14. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.718
15. 11-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 15.765
16. 72-Michael Norris/Sarver, PA 16.047
17. 1c-Mike Pegher Jr./Cranberry Twp., PA 16.055
18. 04-David Watts/Buchanan, VA 16.143
19. 66-Todd Bachman/Natrona Heights, PA 16.202
20. 88-Andrew Reaume/Blenheim, ONT 16.280
21. 66K-Justin Kann/Hesston, PA 16.328
22. C33-Chris Casner/Mifflintown, PA 16.425
23. 41-Derrick Casner/Mifflintown, PA 16.432
24. B1-Brandon Wearing/Callery, PA 16.449
25. CR9-Chris Rhodes/Windber, PA 16.554
26. 37-Brian Tavenner/Winchester, VA 16.792
27. 32-Jim Rasey/Southington, OH 16.810
28. 44G-Derek Stefanick/Oakdale, PA 17.817
29. J19-Jason Fosnaught/Creighton, PA 17.955
30. 7x-Herman Bertolini/Creighton, PA 18.027

Group ‘B’

1. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.368
2. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 15.393
3. 15B-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 15.396
4. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.396
5. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 15.420
6. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 15.424
7. 10-Alex Ferree/Saxonburg, PA 15.425
8. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 15.450
9. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 15.482
10. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 15.491
11. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 15.506
12. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.512
13. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.545
14. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 15.549
15. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 15.563
16. 25z-Mason Zeigler/Chalk Hill, PA 15.564
17. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.594
18. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.763
19. 29K-Garrett Krummert/New Castle, PA 15.806
20. 14-Dan Angelicchio/Greensburg, PA 15.813
21. 76-Jason Rider/Clinton, PA 15.848
22. 8-Craig Vosbergen/Perth, W. Australia 15.878
23. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 15.880
24. 29s-Ken Schaltenbrand/Sarver, PA 15.996
25. 23T-Tony Burke/Sarver, PA 16.019
26. 91-Michael Holmes/Perth, W. Australia 16.153
27. 1-Tommy Beck/Murraysville, PA N/T
28. 15-Christian Hendrix N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Stone, King, Eckert, B. Smith, Bachman, Camponovo, Norris, C. Casner, Stefanick, Rhodes

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Landers, Johnson, Clanton, C. Smith, Pegher, Francis, Reaume, Tavenner, D. Casner, Fosnaught

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Richards, McDowell, Hubbard, Garvin, Blankenship, Watts, Wearing, Kann, Bertolini, Rasey

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Shaver, Davenport, McCreadie, Ferree, Burke, Fuller, Zeigler, Krummert, Vosbergen, Hendrix

Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hess, Marlar, McCool, Davies, Briggs, Miley, Angelicchio, Mars, Holmes

Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Wells, Lanigan, Birkhofer, Bagley, Rider, Frank, Satterlee, Schaltenbrand, Beck

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): B. Smith, Francis, C. Smith, Norris, Reaume, Pegher, D. Casner, Bachman, C. Casner, Tavenner, Fosnaught, Stefanick, Camponovo (DNS) Rhodes

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Blankenship, Garvin, Watts, Wearing, Kann, Burke, Bertolini, Rasey (DNS) Ferree, Fuller, Zeigler, Krummert, Vosbergen, Hendrix

B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Davies, Miley, Bagley, Briggs, Rider, Angelicchio, Frank, Holmes, Schaltenbrand (DNS) Mars, Beck, Satterlee

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:

Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Rick Eckert
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Michael Norris/David Watts/Ron Davies
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Alex Ferree
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Josh Richards
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Davey Johnson
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner, $50 certificate to 5th-place finish): Eric Wells/Tim Fuller
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Davey Johnson
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Morgan Bagley
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Steve Francis
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Russ King
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Jared Landers
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Mike Marlar
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Josh Richards
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Steve Shaver
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Darrell Lanigan

2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 27 – 23 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 3240
2. Shane Clanton 3216 (-24)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3184 (-56)
4. Rick Eckert 3142 (-98)
5. Tim Fuller 2980 (-260)
6. Tim McCreadie 2970 (-270)
7. Eric Wells 2966 (-274)
8. Bub McCool 2938 (-302)
9. Morgan Bagley 2914 (-326)
10. Chub Frank 2912 (-328)
11. Clint Smith 2786 (-454)
12. Scott James 1958 (-1282)
13. Dillon Wood 1426 (-1814)
14. Dan Stone 1406 (-1834)
15. Gregg Satterlee 1308 (-1932)

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), 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, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.

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LIVE UPDATES 6/27: World of Outlaws Late Model Series Firecracker 100 by GottaRace.com Night 1 At Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA – June 27, 2013 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series has set up shop at Lernerville Speedway for the the seventh annual running of the Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com.

Three full nights of racing begin tonight with the first of two preliminary program. Drivers will compete in a full show of Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, heat races, B-Mains and a 30-lap A-Main paying $6,000 to win.

For live blog-style updates including news, notes and results from tonight’s action, click the ‘Read More’ button below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to read the latest information.

Josh back on track

10:25 p.m. – Josh Richards is now at his trailer in the middle of a large crowd, conducting post-race interviews with media and meeting with fans after capturing the 30-lap Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main.

Richards slid by Steve Shaver for the lead on lap 18 and never looked back en route to his fourth win of the 2013 season. He also assured himself of a pole position starting spot in a Firecracker 100 heat race on Saturday night.

Shaver settled for second place after leading laps 1-17. WoO LMS rookie finished third, Davey Johnson was fourth and Darrell Lanigan grabbed fifth by coming out on top of a last-lap battle with Dale McDowell and Dan Stone.

A-Main Finish: 1. Josh Richards, 2. Steve Shaver, 3. Eric Wells, 4. Davey Johnson, 5. Darrell Lanigan, 6. Dale McDowell, 7. Dan Stone, 8. Shane Clanton, 9. Tim McCreadie, 10. Rick Eckert, 11. Austin Hubbard, 12. John Garvin Jr., 13. Jonathan Davenport, 14. Brian Birkhofer, 15. Tim Fuller, 16. Morgan Bagley, 17. Bub McCool, 18. Clint Smith, 19. Steve Francis, 20. Russ King, 21. John Blankenship, 22. Jared Landers, 23. Chub Frank, 24. Brady Smith, 25. Mike Marlar, 26. Ron Davies, 27. Dave Hess Jr., 28. Jared Miley

Speeding to the feature

9:30 p.m. – The six 10-lap heat races were spun off quickly with victories claimed by Dan Stone, Jared Landers, Josh Richards, Steve Shaver, Dave Hess Jr. and Eric Wells. The three 12-lap B-Mains were won by Brady Smith, John Blankenship and Ron Davies.

The most notable casualty of the heats was WoO LMS regular Tim Fuller, who was cruising out front midway through heat three when engine problems forced him to retire. He’ll use a provisional to start the A-Main.

WoO LMS rookie Eric Wells, who is making just his second career start in Firecracker 100 competition, drew the pole position for the A-Main. Steve Shaver will take the green flag from the outside pole.

The hurry-up mode continues with a threat of rain, so the eight-minute horn to line up the A-Main was blown as soon as the third B-Main took the checkered flag. The 28-car feature field (WoO points provisionals went to Fuller and Chub Frank and emergency provisionals to Morgan Bagley and Clint Smith) is now rolling into place.

A-Main Lineup:

Row 1: Eric Wells/Steve Shaver
Row 2: Jared Landers/Dave Hess Jr.
Row 3: Josh Richards/Dan Stone
Row 4: Russ King/Davey Johnson
Row 5: Dale McDowell/Jonathan Davenport
Row 6: Mike Marlar/Darrell Lanigan
Row 7: Rick Eckert/Shane Clanton
Row 8: Austin Hubbard/Tim McCreadie
Row 9: Bub McCool/Brian Birkhofer
Row 10: Brady Smith/John Blankenship
Row 11: Ron Davies/Steve Francis
Row 12: John Garvin Jr./Jared Miley
Row 13: Tim Fuller/Chub Frank
Row 14: Morgan Bagley/Clint Smith

Eckert, Fuller quick

8:05 p.m. – Rick Eckert and Tim Fuller were fastest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, which were split into two groups. Drivers in the first group will race in heats 1-3 and those in the second will run in heats 4-6.

Fuller was the overall fastest qualifier at 15.368 seconds. Eckert’s top lap was 15.376 seconds.

For full results from qualifying, click here.

We’re rolling

7:20 p.m. – As Ohlins Shocks Time Trials begin (the field has been split into two groups), the car count has grown to 58 with a couple late arrivals.

Missing from the pit area tonight is two-time and defending Firecracker 100 champion Scott Bloomquist, who reportedly encountered mechanical trouble with his motorhome en route to Pennsylvania. He is expected to be on hand tomorrow night.

Saturday night’s Firecracker 100 heat races, of course, will be lined up using each driver’s best finish from the two preliminary programs, so Bloomquist will have to rely on tomorrow night’s show to earn a prime starting spot on Saturday.

Brian Tavenner of Winchester, Va., was quickest in hot laps, ripping off a 15.153-second lap as one of the first cars on the track. Steve Francis was second-fastest at 15.274 seconds, followed by Dan Stone (15.313), Josh Richards (15.367) and Shane Clanton (15.413).

Radar indicates that the threat of rain remains tonight, so officials are in hurry-up mode to push the show along.

Sunny skies, strong field

6:15 p.m. – With the start of tonight’s drivers’ meeting just moments away, there are 55 cars signed in for action.

And quite notable is the blue sky and bright sunshine that has been peeking out from behind puffy clouds (photo below), helping to dry both the pit area and the racetrack. It appears tonight’s program will be just about on schedule to start with hot laps at 6:15 p.m.

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No drama

5:35 p.m. – WoO LMS veteran Rick Eckert is parked in the same spot in Lernerville‘s lower pit area that he occupied during last year’s Firecracker 100 weekend, but he’s in a much better place this time.

Last year, of course, Eckert’s trailer sat in the pit area without its orange hauler attached. His orange rig was still at a Freightliner shop in Syracuse, N.Y., because it had broken down during the WoO LMS northern swing leading into the Firecracker 100, forcing Eckert to use his father’s toter-home to get his trailer to Lernerville.

This year Eckert had no pre-Firecracker travel problems. He’s hoping he never has that type of experience again.

“When I’m done racing I want to look back and say last year was the worst thing that I ever had happen to me on the road,” said Eckert, who rode back to Syracuse with New Yorker Tim Fuller after last year’s Firecracker 100 to retrieve his hauler. “Because if something’s gonna top that, it’s gonna have to be real bad.”

Eckert is hoping to become the first Pennsylvania driver to win the Firecracker 100 this weekend. He owns a top finish of third, in 2011.

Foreign flair

4:10 p.m. – There’s an international element to this weekend’s action as Canadian Andrew Reaume and Aussies Craig Vosbergen and Michael Holmes have arrived to compete.

A top dirt Late Model driver from Down Under, Perth, Western Australia’s Vosbergen is in the midst of one of his almost annual summer-time racing trips to the United States. He has entered WoO LMS events in the past but has not qualified for an A-Main.

This year Vosbergen is being accompanied on his American excursion by Holmes, another full-fender racer from Western Australia. He’ll make his first-ever WoO LMS start tonight.

Blenheim, Ont.’s Reaume, meanwhile, is a rising DIRTcar UMP Late Model star. He ran last Thursday night’s WoO LMS event at Brighton (Ont.) Speedway and finished a solid ninth in the A-Main after becoming just the second Canadian in the history of the national tour to win a heat race.

The talented young Reaume has developed a very beneficial relationship with defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan. In fact, not only did Reaume travel to several WoO LMS races with Lanigan as a crewman last year, he’s also driving one of Lanigan’s old cars. Reaume’s ‘Club 29’ machine is a 2009-vintage Rocket that Lanigan drove to seven feature wins in 2011.

“It’s pretty worn out — we’re welding on it all the time,” said Reaume, who this weekend is making his first-ever start at a track in Pennsylvania. “But it still works good.”

All systems go

3:20 p.m. – Thursday dawned wet and dreery at Lernerville Speedway as a line of showers meandered its way across western Pennsylvania, but the rain ceased at about 1 p.m. and the skies have brightened. A threat of rain remains, but the weather outlook for the remainder of the day is much more positive and Lernerville and WoO LMS officials are going full steam ahead with tonight’s first Firecracker 100 preliminary program.

Shortly after 2 p.m. the first equipment rolled onto the four-tenths-mile oval, and now the track-prep crew is stepping up work on the clay. Lernerville general manager Gary Risch Jr. said that, barring additional precipitation, the racetrack could very well be ready for racing by the scheduled 6:50 p.m. start time of hot laps.

“The weather is throwing us a curveball but we have the right team and people in place to make everything work,” said Risch. “The fans and teams are here for a big weekend of racing and we’re going to do everything we can to give it to them.

Haulers are steadily pulling into the pit area, which are muddy but not overly soft. The pit gates will officially open at 4 p.m., while the front gates will be unlocked at 4:30 p.m. for fans who purchased advance-sale tickets.