• Wells Scores First-Ever WoO LMS Win In Wild One At Duck River
042813 DuckRiverVL

Wells Avoids Wild Late-Race Scramble To Capture First-Ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series Triumph At Duck River Raceway Park

Tour Rookie Inherits Lead With Three Laps To Go After Richards, James & Eckert Tangle With Lapped Car

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

WHEEL, TN – April 28, 2013 – Eric Wells will never forget his first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory.

The tour rookie from Hazard, Ky., inherited the lead on lap 47 when the top-three cars were swept up in a tangle with a lapped machine, then outran defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to capture Sunday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Duck River Raceway Park.

“We had a pretty good car from the drop of the green,” said Wells, who earned a career-high paycheck of $10,800. “I don’t think I had the car to win if not for the misfortune of (the top three), but sometimes you gotta have luck on your side and tonight we did. I couldn’t be any happier to win a World of Outlaws race this early in our first season (as a regular).”

Wells, 24, suddenly found himself in the top spot after race-long leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., second-place Scott James of Bright, Ind., and third-place Rick Eckert of York, Pa., crashed together on the homestretch while lapping Mark Gant of Savannah, Tenn. The Bluegrass State driver sidestepped the scramble and never flinched over the final three circuits of the rough-and-tumble race, pulling away in his father David’s Team Zero by Bloomquist mount to defeat Lanigan’s Rocket by 0.696 of a second.

Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished third in the Sweeteners Plus Warrior car, a couple car lengths behind Lanigan. Tyler Reddick, a 17-year-old native Californian who now races out of DuQuoin, Ill., recorded a WoO LMS career-best finish of fourth in a Team Zero by Bloomquist car and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., placed fifth in the Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car after starting 23rd because a broken battery box during heat action forced him to use a provisional to gain entry to the A-Main.

Wells fulfilled the promise he showed in February when he registered a pair of top-five finishes during the season-opening eight-race stretch of WoO LMS competition in Georgia and Florida. His triumph made him the fifth driver in WoO LMS history to win an A-Main while chasing the Rookie of the Year honor, joining Fuller (’07), Brian Shirley (’07), Austin Hubbard (’10) and Bub McCool (’12).

“Coming here today I was pretty down on (racing at Duck River) with the weather conditions and the muddy pits and everything,” said Wells, alluding to a night of action that many doubted would happen due to the heavy rain that saturated the quarter-mile oval and its grounds on Saturday and into Sunday morning. “I definitely have a different outlook on it tonight. I’ve been telling everybody I’m not really sure about this track, but I think it might be alright now.”

Wells, who started 12th, appeared to be in line for a fourth-place until the dramatic turn of events on lap 47. He couldn’t believe his eyes when, about a half-straightaway ahead of him, Richards tangled with Gant off turn four, nosed into the outside wall just past the flagstand and collected James and Eckert.

“I seen a mess here on the frontstretch and the track was blocked,” said Wells, whose previous career-high WoO LMS finish was fourth, on Feb. 21 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. “I got on the brakes and tried to stay out of trouble. I just headed for the infield to try and stay out of it and keep our stuff in one piece. We slipped through that one and ended up with a win.”

While Wells had plenty of time to think about the high-profile challengers behind him during the red flag period that followed the multi-car accident, he was flawless over the race’s final three circuits.

“Being up front I could run my own line,” said Wells, whose victory came in his 20th career WoO LMS A-Main start. “On that restart we fired up good, and the last three laps everything went our way.

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Lanigan, 42, settled for a runner-up finish after starting fifth and spending much of the distance running quietly just outside the top five. He competed just hours after traveling to Duck River from Florence, Ky., where he was by his fiancée Erin Dailey’s side as she gave birth Sunday morning to the couple’s first child, a 7-pound, 14-ounce girl named Liala.

Richards, 25, absorbed the event’s toughest blow, finishing ninth after the lap-47 incident erased his dominant performance. With the exception of a brief challenge from WoO LMR rookie Dillon Wood of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., who reached second place on a lap-29 restart and stayed close to Richards until stopping on lap 37 due to a broken yoke on his car’s transmission, no one threatened the two-time tour champion and current points leader.

“I feel like ee definitely had the best car, but the lapped car got into us,” said Richards, who was seeking his third WoO LMS win of 2013. “I was underneath one of the lapped cars and he kept on turning down, turning down, and we got together and we all crashed.

“It was definitely a bad night. It’s hard to get in position to have a car that good and win a race, but you can’t let it get to you. We’ll go home, fix the front clip and see what we can do at the next races.”

Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who entered Sunday’s program hot off a WoO LMS win on Friday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn., that pulled him within four points of Richards in the WoO LMS standings, stood to benefit greatly from Richards’s late-race problem. He was set to restart in sixth place – even after pitting to change a flat left-rear tire on lap 29 – but a right-rear flat tire forced him to pit again before the final restart and he finished 13th.

Eight caution flags slowed the event, most for slowed or stopped cars.

Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished sixth despite pitting to change a flat tire on laps 17 and 29. WoO LMS rookie Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, advanced from the 17th starting spot to place seventh; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., who switched to his backup car after his primary machine was struck by terminal motor trouble during time trials, survived to finish eighth; Richards was ninth; and Josh Putnam of Killen, Ala., rounded out the top 10.

Thirty cars were signed in for the first-ever WoO LMS event at Duck River, which attracted a near capacity crowd despite rain continuing to threaten the area on Sunday night. A brief shower did hit the track just before the start of the first heat, delaying the program for roughly 90 minutes.

Lanigan set a new track record of 11.970 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials to earn his first fast-time honor of 2013. He eclipsed the previous Duck River standard of 12.171 seconds set last November by Vic Hill of Morristown, Tenn.

Heat winners were Richards, Eckert and Vicksburg, Miss.’s McCool, who went on to run second in the A-Main before dropping out on lap 29 due to a broken oil line. Putnam topped the B-Main.

The WoO LMS will continue a four-weekend stretch of racing in the Southeast with a doubleheader in Georgia, visiting Lavonia Speedway on Fri., May 3, and Swainsboro Raceway on Sat., May 4.

Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series at Duck River Raceway Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (12) Eric Wells/50 $10,800
2. (5) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,650
3. (9) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,650
4. (7) Tyler Reddick/50 $3,000
5. (23) Tim Fuller/50 $2,550
6. (14) Chub Frank/50 $2,400
7. (17) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,950
8. (18) Clint Smith/50 $1,850
9. (2) Josh Richards/50 $1,850
10. (19) Josh Putnam/50 $1,100
11. (3) Scott James/50 $1,600
12. (1) Rick Eckert/50 $1,650
13. (8) Shane Clanton/50 $1,500
14. (10) Mark Gant/45 $900
15. (6) Dillon Wood/36 $900
16. (4) Bub McCool/36 $1,400
17. (16) Brad Skinner/35 $770
18. (13) Ray Cook/21 $750
19. (15) Jay Brinkley/21 $730
20. (22) David Seibers/12 $700
21. (11) Scott Bloomquist/6 $700
22. (20) Mark Fields/4 $700
23. (24) Scott Cook/2 $775
24. (21) Steve Casebolt Jr./2 $700

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 45 Mins., 30.127 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.696 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 8 (Laps 3, 5, 14, 14, 17, 22, 29, 37); 1 Red Flag (lap 47)
Lap Leaders: Richards (1-47); Wells (48-50)
Provisional Starters: Fuller, S. Cook
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Reddick ($500)

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

1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 11.970 (NTR)
2. 1W-Dillon Wood/New Smyrna Beach, FL 12.020
3. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 12.098
4. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 12.142
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 12.155
6. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 12.175
7. 11-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 12.184
8. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 12.285
9. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 12.299
10. 1H-Vic Hill/Morristown, TN 12.356
11. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 12.365
12. 13-Scott Cook/Shelbyville, TN 12.414
13. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 12.446
14. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 12.459
15. 1G-Scott James/Bright, IN 12.489
16. 53-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 12.517
17. c9-Steve Casebolt Jr./Richmond, IN 12.522
18. 212-Josh Putnam/Killen, AL 12.580
19. 17R-Brad Skinner/Spring Hill, TN 12.586
20. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 12.655
21. 10-Jay Brinkley/Shelbyville, TN 12.748
22. F26-Mark Fields/Lawrenceburg, IN 12.797
23. 18s-David Seibers/Petersburg, TN 13.166
24. 27-Joe Denby/Tullahoma, TN 13.210
25. 12-Chad Winkles/Falkville, AL 13.441
26. M31-Tony Morris/Murfressboro, TN 13.586
27. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA N/T
28. 113-Mark Gant/Savannah, TN N/T
29. 16-Daniel Miller/Lynchburg, TN N/T
30. 33-David Brannon/Elora, TN N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Lanigan, Reddick, Gant, R. Cook, Skinner, Fields, Fuller (DNS) Hill, Winkles

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Eckert, Wood, Clanton, Bloomquist, Frank, Bagley, Casebolt, Seibers (DNS) Morris

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): McCool, James, McCreadie, Wells, Brinkley, Smith, Denby, S. Cook, Putnam

B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Putnam, Fields, Casebolt, Seibers, Denby, S. Cook (DNS) Fuller, Hill, Morris, Winkles

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): Bub McCool
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Scott Cook
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Vic Hill
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Eric Wells
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Brad Skinner
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Eric Wells
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner, $50 certificate to 5th-place finish): Eric Wells/Bub McCool
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Eric Wells
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott James
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Dillon Wood
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Dillon Wood
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Bub McCoo
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Cook
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Steve Casebolt Jr.
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Scott Cook
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Cook
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Eric Wells
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Josh Richards
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Darrell Lanigan

2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of April 28, 2013 – 12 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 1698
2. Shane Clanton 1686 (-12)
3. Darrell Lanigan 1626 (-72)
4. Rick Eckert 1610 (-88)
5. Tim McCreadie 1592 (-106)
6. Eric Wells 1532 (-166)
7. (tie) Scott James 1528 (-170)
7. (tie) Tim Fuller 1528 (-170)
9. Chub Frank 1498 (-200)
10. Morgan Bagley 1494 (-204)
11. Bub McCool 1468 (-230)
12. Clint Smith 1392 (-306)
13. Dillon Wood 1316 (-382)
14. Brandon Sheppard 942 (-756)
15. Casey Roberts 912 (-786)

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LIVE UPDATES 4/28: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At Duck River Raceway Park

WHEEL, TN – April 28, 2013 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is set to run its first-ever event tonight at Duck River Raceway Park, a high-banked, quarter-mile oval about an hour’s drive south of Nashville.

A 50-lap A-Main paying $10,000 to win will headline tonight’s program, which is scheduled to kick off with hot laps at about 6 o’clock CT.

For live updates of 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.

Wells wins wild one

12:35 p.m. CT – Eric Wells will never forget his first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory.

The tour rookie from Hazard, Ky., inherited the lead on lap 47 when the top-three cars were swept up in a tangle with a lapped car, then outran defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to capture Sunday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Duck River Raceway Park.

Wells, 24, suddenly found himself in the top spot after race-long leader Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., second-place Scott James of Bright, Ind., and third-place Rick Eckert of York, Pa., crashed together on the homestretch while lapping Mark Gant of Savannah, Tenn. He sidestepped the scramble and never flinched over the final three circuits of the rough-and-tumble race, pulling away to defeat Lanigan by 0.696 of a second.

A-Main Finish: 1. Eric Wells, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Tyler Reddick, 5. Tim Fuller, 6. Chub Frank, 7. Morgan Bagley, 8. Clint Smith, 9. Josh Richards, 10. Josh Putnam, 11. Scott James, 12. Rick Eckert, 13. Shane Clanton, 14. Mark Gant, 15. Dillon Wood, 16. Bub McCool, 17. Brad Skinner, 18. Ray Cook, 19. Jay Brinkley, 20. David Seibers, 21. Scott Bloomquist, 22. Mark Fields, 23. Scott Cook, 24. Steve Casebolt Jr.

Main event approaching

10:35 p.m. CT – A support-division feature is now on the track as a prelude to the 50-lap WoO LMS A-Main. The eight-minute horn to line up the big show will be blown momentarily.

Rick Eckert drew the pole position, putting him in a prime spot to chase his first WoO LMS victory of 2013. He has finished second three times in the first 11 races of the season.

Points leader Josh Richards will start from the outside pole. He’ll bid for his third win of the season but first since Feb. 17 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. (fifth A-Main of ’13).

Josh Putnam won the B-Main, which also transferred Mark Fields, Steve Casebolt Jr. and David Seibers. Tim Fuller will start the A-Main thanks to a WoO LMS points provisional, while Scott Cook received the second provisional spot by virtue of his qualifying time.

A-Main Lineup:

Row 1: Rick Eckert/Josh Richards
Row 2: Scott James/Bub McCool
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan/Dillon Wood
Row 4: Tyler Reddick/Shane Clanton
Row 5: Tim McCreadie/Mark Gant
Row 6: Scott Bloomquist/Eric Wells
Row 7: Ray Cook/Chub Frank
Row 8: Jay Brinkley/Brad Skinner
Row 9: Morgan Bagley/Clint Smith
Row 10: Josh Putnam/Mark Fields
Row 11: Steve Casebolt Jr./David Seibers
Row 12: Tim Fuller/Scott Cook

 

Heat race notes

10:25 p.m. CT – Josh Richards, Rick Eckert and Bub McCool scored heat-race victories…. Richards overtook polesitter Darrell Lanigan to captured the first heat, beating the defending champ to the finish line by 1.106 seconds…. Eckert’s 0.389-second margin of victory over Dillon Wood was the smallest of the heat winners…. Wood’s runner-up finish put him in the feature redraw for a second consecutive night…. Ray Cook slowed with a left-rear flat tire on the opening circuit of the first heat, but he rallied to transfer after pitting…. Tim Fuller retired from the first heat after his car’s battery box broke and dropped onto the track…. Morgan Bagley overtook Steve Casebolt Jr. on the final lap of the second lap to grab the last transfer spot…. Scott Cook and Joe Denby pitted with flat tires during the third heat…. Scott James overtook Warrior Chassis mate Tim McCreadie for second place on a late restart in the third heat to put himself into the redraw….

The heat-race finishes can be seen here.

Take 2

9:35 p.m. CT – Ninety minutes after the first WoO LMS heat was prevented from hitting the track due to rain, prelim No. 1 is fired up and minutes away from heading out. The race will follow a support-division heat that is nearly complete.

Preparing to restart

8:55 p.m. CT – The rain lasted only about five minutes, but track crews spent the past 45 minutes running in the speedway’s surface. The track now seems ready to go and the WoO LMS cars are being given another set of hot laps (divided by heat races) to finish off the track-packing process.

After the quick practice circuits, a support division will run two heats and then the WoO LMS heat races will be contested.

Darn Moter Nature

8:05 p.m. CT – Just as the first heat was preparing to roll out, rain has frustratingly returned to Duck River Raceway Park and forced officials to send the cars back to their trailers.

All indications pointed to the rain being past the area, but it appears that a single, solitary, skinny line of showers suddenly popped up on the radar and is hitting the track now. It has undoubtedly slickened the track, but the hope is that this is just a short delay and racing will be able to resume.

Going racing

8 p.m. CT – The first of three 10-lap qualifying heat races is in the staging area. The top-six finishers will transfer to the A-Main from each prelim, with the top-two earning redraw berths for the first three rows in the feature lineup. One 12-lap B-Main transferring four more drivers will be contested later in the program.

Unexpected visitor

7:55 p.m. CT – Rick Eckert was surprised a short time ago to look up and find his nephew, WoO Sprint Car star Cody Darrah, walking up to his trailer in the pit area.

Darrah, who drives for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, was driving his t-shirt trailer back to his race team’s shop outside Charlotte after competing in last night’s WoO Sprint Car show at Salina (Okla.) Highbanks Speedway when he decided to take a slight detour to catch his uncle in action tonight. He showed up at Duck River unannounced, not informing either Eckert or Eckert’s wife, Kristal, of his intentions.

Darrah, who finished 13th in last night’s WoO Sprint Car show, does have a traveling companion with him: his German Shepherd, Wilson.

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More trouble

7:40 p.m. CT – Clint Smith’s miserable 2013 WoO LMS campaign has continued tonight, with terminal engine woes sidelining his primary car. He lost power on his first time-trial lap, rolled to a stop in turn two and needed a push truck’s help to return to the pits.

Smith has pulled out his backup car (below), which is powered by a battle-tested motor that represents “our last bullet,” the Cat Daddy said.

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Blazing fast

7:10 p.m. CT – Darrell Lanigan made history during Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, ripping off a lap of 11.970 seconds to establish a new Super Late Model track record at Duck River. It was his first WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2013.

Lanigan was one of five drivers to eclipse the existing track record of 12.171 seconds held by Vic Hill, joining Dillon Wood (12.020), Bub McCool (12.098), Josh Richards (12.142) and Rick Eckert (12.155).

Complete results from time trials can be seen here.

Teenage Tyler quick

6:25 p.m. CT – Tyler Reddick showed some speed in hot laps, turning the fastest practice lap at 12.404 seconds. The 17-year-old started his dirt Late Model career in 2009 as a WoO LMS regular.

Bub McCool, who owns two career wins at Duck River, was second-fastest at 12.502 seconds. Eric Wells was third (12.528), followed by Shane Clanton (12.561) and Tim McCreadie (12.566).

The Super Late Model track record at Duck River is 12.171 seconds, set by Vic Hill during last November’s ‘Deep Fried 75’ event.

Ready to race

5:40 p.m. CT – Thirty cars are signed in for tonight’s action, which will begin shortly with hot laps.

Among the challengers for the 13 WoO LMS regulars are Scott Bloomquist, Steve Casebolt, Vic Hill, Tyler Reddick, Ray Cook, Josh Putnam and three-time Duck River champion Daniel Miller, who is debuting a new Gen-X MasterSbilt car tonight.

Out in left field

5:30 p.m. CT – When Warrior Chassis mates Tim McCreadie and Scott James arrived here tonight, they looked over the parking situation in still soggy pit area and decided to set up shop in an unlikely place: the parking lot.

The McCreadie and James haulers are situated just outside the pit gate (photo below), parked on each side of the access road leading into the pits. The figured it would give them the driest working conditions possible, not to mention eliminate the likelihood that their haulers would sink into soft ground and need a tractor-yank to get rolling after the race.

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Daddy Darrell

4:55 p.m. CT – Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan would have preferred an early-morning rainout of tonight’s program — just so he can get some sleep.

Lanigan made an unscheduled round-trip excursion from Tennessee back home to Florence, Ky., overnight when he learned that his fiancee, Erin, had gone into labor with the couple’s first child. Lanigan was with his crew in nearby Shelbyville, Tenn., when he got the call just before midnight. Lanigan’s hauler was parked at the shop of local racer Scott Cook, who was hooked up with Lanigan by Richie Davis, a crew member for 2012 WoO LMS regular Kent Robinson who lives in Shelbyville; Cook let Lanigan borrow his pickup truck so he could race back to Kentucky.

While Lanigan’s four-hour trip included a healthy chunk spent in heavy rain, he made it to Erin’s side at the hospital by 4 a.m. At 8:04 a.m. she delivered Liala, a 7 pound, 12 ounce baby girl.

Lanigan was hoping to hear news of Duck River’s cancelation so he wouldn’t have to immediately return to Tennessee, but the track’s decision to press on with the show forced him to leave the hospital just a couple hours after Liala’s birth. He’s here and ready to race, hopeful of winning one for his new daughter (he has two other daughters, Tiffany, 11, and Brittney, 8) even though he’s a bit sleepy.

“I think I got about 20 minutes of sleep,” said Lanigan.

Major facelift

4:30 p.m. CT – WoO LMS regular Bub McCool has competed at Duck River seven times since 2007 and won twice, capturing a Southern Regional Racing Series show in 2008 and a Tennessee Super Series event in ’11. His last visit was just last November, when he competed in the track’s season-ending ‘Deep Fried 75’ and finished 23rd.

But when he pulled into the pit area today, McCool almost felt like he was at a new track. McCool and his crewmen noted how much different the facility looks following an aggressive off-season improvement project overseen by track owner Bob Harris.

Duck River has been completely refurbished since Harris and his wife, Kathy, purchased the speedway in July 2012. There’s new bathrooms, an expanded tower, new concession stands, a new tech building, new walls, a children’s play area, a fresh racing surface and an expanded pit area.

“We’ve put a lot of work into the place,” said Kathy Harris. “We have more to go, but we’re very proud of what we’ve done so far.”

Let’s get it in

3:45 p.m. CT – After last night’s scheduled WoO LMS event at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway was called off in the morning due to the heavy rain that engulfed the state of Tennessee, most observers expected the same fate for tonight’s program at Duck River. The storm system didn’t spare Duck River, which was saturated by several inches of rain over the past 36-or-so hours.

Duck River owner Bob Harris reported last night that the grounds couldn’t open for business today if it took on much more rain, but when he arrived at the speedway early this morning he found that the facility wasn’t as water-logged as he thought it would be. After deciding that the grounds could be dried sufficiently to allow his staff to park fans and race teams, he consulted with WoO LMS director Tim Christman and said he was prepared to press on with the show. Christman sent off texts to the traveling teams, who had waited out the weather overnight in their haulers at several locations across the state, and told them to head to Duck River.

The original schedule had a drivers’ meeting starting at 4 p.m. CT with hot laps to immediately follow, but when teams began arriving around 12 noon track and series officials decided that program’s commencement should be pushed back slightly (drivers’ meeting at 5:30 p.m.) to allow more time for teams to get situated and the pit area to dry a bit more. The pits are muddy and it took some jockeying to get some haulers parked in suitable spots, but everyone has certainly experienced muddier pit areas and virtually all teams are unloaded and ready to race.