By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BULLS GAP, TN – Aug. 21, 2008 – Shane Clanton wasn’t about to suffer the same fate twice.
Twenty-four hours after having a victory slip through his fingers thanks to some problems with lapped traffic, Clanton made all the right moves on Thursday night to capture the 60-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main that closed the fifth annual ‘Scorcher’ presented by Alltel Wireless at Volunteer Speedway.
Clanton, 32, of Locust Grove, Ga., slipped by Chris Madden of Gaffney, S.C., to take the lead on lap 19 and never looked back. He repelled several challenges from Madden and survived some hairy moments racing with slower cars to post his second WoO LMS triumph of the 2008 season.
“I know I should’ve won the race last night, but what do you do?” said Clanton, who settled for a third-place finish in Wednesday night’s ‘Scorcher’ opener after losing the top spot to eventual winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., while negotiating slower traffic on lap 50. “Lapped cars dictate the race most of the time – especially at this place – and if you don’t choose the right line, you’re not gonna win the race.
“Last night we chose the wrong line and tonight we chose the right line. Hopefully tonight pays for last night.”
Clanton certainly picked the best night to win. The booty for his eighth career WoO LMS victory was $11,150, including a $1,000 bonus from Alltel Wireless.
Alltel Wireless put up a total of $4,000 in bonus money on Thursday night, divided evenly between the top-five finishers and five fans paired with them by a random distribution of marked Alltel hats.
Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., finished second, worth a $400 bonus from Alltel. He crossed the finish line 0.930 of a second behind Clanton after sliding into the runner-up spot on lap 57 when Madden slapped the outside wall between turns one and two.
Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., placed a close third, pocketing an extra $300 from Alltel. WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., was fourth ($200 from Alltel) and the polesitting Madden settled for fifth (worth $100 from Alltel) after leading laps 1-18 and running second until three laps remained.
Clanton, who started second, executed his takeover of the lead in much the same way he lost the top spot on Wednesday night, seizing the moment when the pacesetter lost his momentum.
“When (Madden) got to lapped traffic and they wouldn’t move, he slid just a little bit off turn four and pushed,” said Clanton, recalling the 19th lap. “I stuck it in there (on the inside off turn four) and passed him getting into turn one.
“Then I got to lapped traffic and had to let up, and I looked over and saw him beside me again. I was like, ‘Oh, man, I just gotta get back to running my line.”
Memories of a disappointing defeat the previous evening continually flashed through Clanton’s head as he fought to steer his RSD Enterprises Rocket No. 25 past slower cars on the high-banked, four-tenths-mile oval.
“When we got to lapped traffic and I couldn’t get by them, I said to myself, ‘Man, I know he’s gonna roll me on the outside. He’s got to,” Clanton said of Madden. “But I moved up a little bit and got loose, so I figured, ‘If I can’t pass them, I don’t think anybody can pass me.’
“I knew I had an awful good car, so I just said, ‘Keep your rhythm here, keep your pace, and keep your distance from the lapped car. When you get wide open, you just spin the tires.’”
Madden, 33, got his Bloomquist Chassis mount close enough to threaten Clanton several times during the 34-lap stretch of green-flag racing that closed the A-Main. But his last-ditch bid to regain command from Clanton fell short when he skated high between turns one and two on lap 57 and slapped the steel guardrail, costing him three positions.
“I was better than (Clanton) in (turns) three and four, so I thought if I could be on his bumper coming off two I’d have a chance to pass him at the other end,” said Madden, who won last year’s 100-lap ‘Scorcher’ headliner. “I went in one and two as hard as I could to try and get on his bumper, but I got too high, hit the wall, and that was it.
“I didn’t come here to run second, so I tried to do something to win the race.”
It was Clanton who made the winning moves, giving him a milestone triumph at Volunteer Speedway.
“I’ve heard about this racetrack for my whole career,” said Clanton, who reached Victory Lane for the first time at the track. “Everybody’s always said, ‘You gotta win at The Gap,’ so it’s pretty exciting to finally get one here.”
Smith, 31, never had a chance to bid for the lead after sliding his Amsoil Bloomquist Chassis car into second place with three laps remaining. He would have liked a few more circuits to play with.
“I feel like I would’ve been able to give (Clanton) a run,” said Smith, who started fifth. “We were a tenth (of a second) quicker than he was when we got to second, so I think we could’ve gotten up to him in a few more laps.
“But getting to him and passing him would have been two different stories.”
The 40-year-old Fuller started fourth and ran in the top five for the entire distance, quietly chugging to a turnaround finish in his Gypsum Express Rocket car. His third-place run came one night after he dropped out early and finished 24th.
“The only thing we did different from last night was run different compound tires in time trials,” said Fuller, who qualified seventh-fastest and started fourth in the A-Main. “What helped us the most tonight was the track getting black and slick and slowing down.
“I like it when it gets slicker because you need less motor.”
Lanigan, meanwhile, continued his relentlessly-steady march toward the 2008 WoO LMS championship, advancing from the 10th starting spot to finish fourth in his GottaRace.com Rocket. It was his series-best 21st top-five finish in 34 A-Mains this season.
With Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., finishing ninth, Lanigan extended his points lead, to 146 markers, at a track that he doesn’t consider one of his best.
“To come out of here with a top-five, I’m happy,” said Lanigan, 38. “I’ve never been very good here, so to actually run pretty good and gain some more points on Francis is real satisfying.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 were Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., whose charge from the 15th starting spot stalled at sixth place with just over 20 laps remaining; Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., who earned the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who has never won a tour event and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings; ninth-starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who climbed as high as sixth before losing two spots on lap 21 when he became boxed in behind the slower car driven by Vic Hill of Morristown, Tenn.; Francis; and Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., who was behind the wheel of the fourth Bloomquist ‘Team Zero’ chassis in the top 10 at the finish.
Just two caution flags slowed the A-Main – on lap one for Hill’s turn-four spin and lap 26 for the stopped car driven by Chad Ogle of Sieverville, Tenn., who was running sixth when he ran into trouble.
A field of 49 cars was assembled for the evening’s action, which drew a large crowd to The Gap.
Tommy Kerr of Maryville, Tenn., recorded his first career fast time honor with the WoO LMS, leading all qualifiers with a lap of 12.879 seconds. He drove his backup Rocket car after his primary machine was sidelined by mechanical trouble on Wednesday night.
Kerr’s time-trial performance earned his chief mechanic, Gary Winger, the $100 NASCAR Technical Institute ‘Fast Crew Chief’ Award. He went on to win a heat race, but after drawing the eighth starting spot for the A-Main he last only three laps before retiring with a broken left-front suspension.
Joining Kerr as heat winners were Hill, Madden and Brady Smith. The B-Mains were captured by Mark Vineyard of Powell, Tenn., and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Ryan Newman was an addition to Thursday night’s field driving the Alltel No. 12 from the stable of Steve Francis Racing. He was added to the A-Main and finished 21st after managing to continue racing following a 360-degree spin in turn two on lap 44.
Wednesday-night winner Jimmy Owens was unable to duplicate his success. His night ended early when his car was sidelined by a blown motor during his time-trial run.
The WoO LMS makes its next stop on Saturday night (Aug. 23) at K-C Raceway in Alma, Ohio. It will mark the first tour event since 2006 at the three-eighths-mile oval, which had its 2007 scheduled race washed out by rain.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Scorcher’ Night 2 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Shane Clanton/60 $11,150
2. (5) Brady Smith/60 $5,500
3. (4) Tim Fuller/60 $3,300
4. (10) Darrell Lanigan/60 $2,700
5. (1) Chris Madden/60 $2,200
6. (15) Scott Bloomquist/60 $1,700
7. (3) Billy Ogle Jr./60 $1,900
8. (9) Tim McCreadie/60 $1,300
9. (14) Steve Francis/60 $1,200
10. (11) Eric Jacobsen/60 $1,100
11. (18) Chub Frank/60 $1,050
12. (20) Clint Smith/60 $1,000
13. (12) Josh Richards/60 $950
14. (16) Brandon Kinzer/60 $900
15. (17) Mark Vineyard/60 $850
16. (24) John Blankenship/60 $800
17. (23) Rick Eckert/60 $770
18. (21) Shannon Babb/60 $750
19. (27) Vic Coffey/60 $280
20. (13) Rick Rogers/60 $700
21. (25) Ryan Newman/57 $700
22. (22) Shon Flannary/50 $700
23. (19) Mark Douglas/36 $700
24. (7) Chad Ogle/26 $700
25. (26) Shanon Buckingham/25 $700
26. (6) Vic Hill/20 $700
27. (8) Tommy Kerr/3 $700
Time of Race: 21 Mins., 09.879 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.930 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (Laps 1, 26)
Lap Leaders: Madden (1-18); Clanton (19-50)
Provisional Starters: Eckert, Blankenship, Coffey (WoO); Newman, Buckingham (track)
Rookie of the Race: Coffey ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Billy Ogle Jr. ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race ($50): Mark Lloyd (Clanton)
Chick Hawk Racing Hot Lap Award: Madden (half-off tire warmers)
Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’: Madden ($100)
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 4T-Tommy Kerr/Maryville, TN 12.879
2. 201-Billy Ogle/Knoxville, TN 12.900
3. 44M-Chris Madden/Gaffney, SC 12.903
4. 10-Chad Ogle/Sevierville, TN 12.904
5. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 12.912
6. 1VH-Vic Hill/Morristown, TN 12.953
7. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 12.965
8. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 12.973
9. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.019
10. 52d-Mark Douglas/Knoxville, TN 13.041
11. 5H-Bryan Hendrix/Knoxville, TN 13.052
12. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 13.075
13. 44R-Rick Rogers/Knoxville, TN 13.114
14. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.134
15. 5J-Eric Jacobsen/Sea Cliff Beach, CA 13.134
16. 18K-Brandon Kinzer/Allen, KY 13.151
17. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 13.156
18. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 13.176
19. 77-Joe Armes/Petroes, TN 13.180
20. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 13.210
21. 157-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 13.212
22. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 13.225
23. 98-Shon Flannary/Mt. Carmel, TN 13.250
24. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 13.250
25. 4V-Mark Vineyard/Powell, TN 13.261
26. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 13.261
27. 116-Randy Weaver/Crossville, TN 13.268
28. 1JH-Jon Henry/Ada, OH 13.284
29. 32c-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 13.286
30. 9-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 13.291
31. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 13.299
32. 12-Ryan Newman/Statesville, NC 13.303
33. 0M-Jeff Maupin/Greeneville, TN 13.324
34. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 13.327
35. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.328
36. 18W-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 13.346
37. 4s-Michael Smith/Rogersville, TN 13.353
38. 25M-Bobby Mays/Jonesboro, TN 13.416
39. 6J-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY 13.461
40. 11K-John King Jr./Kingsport, TN 13.475
41. 3d-Austin Dillon/Welcome, NC 13.503
42. i4-Damon Eller/Crumpler, NC 13.532
43. 7JR-Jeff Isabell Jr./Pennellville, NY 13.644
44. 6x-Dale Caswell/Central Square, NY 13.973
45. 18J-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 14.056
46. 50-Shanon Buckingham/Morristown, TN N/T
47. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN N/T
48. 54-David Breazeale/Four Corners, MS N/T
49. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Kerr, Clanton, McCreadie, Rogers, Vineyard, Babb, Marlar, Coffey, Dillon, Maupin, M. Smith, Beardsley (DNS) Hubbard
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hill, B. Ogle, Lanigan, Francis, Douglas, Neat, McDowell, Blankenship, Cook, Eller, Mays (DNS) Buckingham
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Madden, Fuller, Jacobsen, Bloomquist, Armes, Flannary, Joe Isabell, Eckert, Jeff Isabell Jr., Hendrix (DNS) Owens, Weaver
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, C. Ogle, Richards, Kinzer, Frank, C. Smith, Newman, Henry, Wells, King, Breazeale, Caswell
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Vineyard, Douglas, Babb, Neat, Marlar, McDowell, Blankenship, Coffey, Dillon, Beardsley, M. Smith, Eller, Cook, Mays (DNS) Maupin, Buckingham, Hubbard
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, C. Smith, Flannary, Armes, Eckert, Joe Isabell, Wells, Hendrix, Caswell, Henry, King, Newman (DNS) Jeff Isabell Jr., Weaver, Breazeale, Owens
2008 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 21 – 34 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/wins/top-5s/top-10s/earnings/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2-21-31-$107,617-4701 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 4-16-27-$140,100-4555 (-146)
3. Josh Richards 4-15-22-$101,060-4529 (-172)
4. Shane Clanton 2-17-25-$88,540-4507 (-194)
5. Chub Frank 1-10-22-$68,530-4475 (-226)
6. Shannon Babb 2-14-23-$93,850-4453 (-248)
7. Rick Eckert 1-9-20-$67,130-4387 (-314)
8. Clint Smith 1-10-18-$58,520-4375 (-326)
9. Tim Fuller 2-7-15-$61,900-4236 (-465)
10. John Blankenship 0-0-6-$33,780-3891 (-810)
11. Vic Coffey 0-0-7-$31,850-3571 (-1130)
12. Joe Isabell 0-0-0-$15,340-3003 (-1698)
13. Sean Beardsley 0-0-0-$10,000-2507 (-2194)
14. Tim McCreadie 1-8-14-$53,100-2263 (-2438)
15. Danny Johnson 0-0-1-$13,620-2187 (-2514)
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including Advance Auto Parts – the official auto parts store of the WoO LMS – and contingency sponsors Wrisco Industries, Chicken Hawk Racing, Crane Cams, Ohlins Shocks, Quarter-Master, Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Qwikliner and Super Clean.