Eckert Breaks Through For First Of ’13 At Gillette
070913 GilletteVL

Eckert Downs Lanigan For First World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory Of 2013 At Gillette Thunder Speedway

Wild West Tour Event In Wyoming Ends Pennsylvanian’s Season-Long Pursuit Of Checkered Flag

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

GILLETTE, WY – July 9, 2013 – Rick Eckert’s turn to lead the World of Outlaws Late Model Series pack finally came on Tuesday night at Gillette Thunder Speedway.

The 47-year-old star from York, Pa., broke into Victory Lane for the first time this season on the national circuit, passing defending series champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., for the top spot on lap 18 and then holding on to capture the Wild West Tour’s ‘Cowboy 40.’

After registering four runner-up finishes in 2013 without grabbing a checkered flag, Eckert was excited to at long last bag his milestone 30th career win on the WoO LMS. His last victory came on Oct. 10, 2012, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C.

“We’ve been so close so many times this year and haven’t got it done,” said Eckert, who ranks third on the alltime WoO LMS win list. “You come to win every race, and when you don’t get it done for like 27 races (entering Tuesday night’s action) it’s not very good on your morale or your team. They’ve worked very hard to try and get us a win, they’ve done their job – and I just haven’t got my job done.

“Finally tonight we had all the pieces together and got the job done. Hopefully there will be some more to come.”

Lanigan, 43, started from the pole position and led laps 1-17, but he had to settle for second place after being unable to regain command from Eckert. The circuit’s winningest driver this season fell short in his bid for two straight victories on the Wild West Tour, crossing the finish line 0.884 of a second behind Eckert.

Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., marched forward from the ninth starting spot to finish a strong third, nearly five seconds behind Eckert. Seventh-starter Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., placed fourth after climbing as high as third early in the distance and WoO LMS rookie Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., who started 11th, slipped into fifth place in the final laps and finished there for his second consecutive top-five outing.

Eckert, who earned $8,700, started third in his self-owned Team Zero by Bloomquist car – a welcomed position for the green flag after he picked the worst starting spot possible in the feature redraw at the first two events on the Wild West Tour. He immediately snatched second place when the race began and chased Lanigan’s Rocket machine until surging by for the lead off the inside of turn four on lap 18.

“He got to rolling that middle (lane) in (turns) one and two and I just got to him,” Eckert said of his pursuit of Lanigan. “It got a slippery spot out and in (the corners), and there was one spot of brown through the middle – and that was the key thing. I just started aiming for those brown spots, and as it got more technical it got more into my favor.

“I think (Lanigan) was a little too tight to hit the brown spots. He ran a good wide, hustle line, but he couldn’t cross back to the brown spots like I could.”

Eckert’s pace was slowed by just one caution flag once he gained command, on lap 25 when David Karst of Casper, Wyo., spun into an inside marker tire in turn two just a short distance in front of Eckert. He handled the restart and smoothly negotiated lapped traffic down the stretch to become the 10th different WoO LMS A-Main winner this season.

{vimeo}70022008{/vimeo}

Lanigan, who won the 2009 WoO LMS event at the one-third-mile Gillette oval, felt he let a golden opportunity to score his eighth win of the season slip through his fingers.

“I just gave him the bottom (groove),” said Lanigan. “It’s my own fault. When we were lapping cars (early) we were running a groove in the middle and coming off the bottom and I thought we were pretty good, but it was definitely better around the very bottom.”

Smith, 48, briefly challenged Lanigan for second on the lap-25 restart before settling into the third position for the remainder of the distance. It was just the second top-five finish of the season for ‘Cat Daddy,’ who reached third place on a lap-16 restart following a caution flag for a blown right-rear tire on the car driven by Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.

“My car was good,” Smith said of his Rocket mount. “We’ve been working hard and again Lanigan helped me with some setup tips. We’re making up ground – and if I can get my motor program straightened out a little bit better, I think we got something to compete. I had my RaceTek 412 (engine) back in tonight and it’s good on these short tracks, but we need a little more for the big tracks.”

Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., started and finished sixth, but he had to rally after slipping out of the top 10 on the opening lap when he took evasive action between turns one and two to avoid the sideways Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga. Clanton, who started fourth, maintained control of his car and spent much of the distance running in fifth before settling for a seventh-place finish.

Finishing in positions 8-10 was rookie Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, who survived a slide over the backstretch berm on lap four; fifth-starter Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., whose points lead shrank to 30 points over Clanton and 32 over Lanigan; and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis.

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.

Lanigan’s lap of 13.641 seconds during Group ‘B’ was the quickest overall, earning him not only his fourth WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2013 – tying him with Richards for the lead in the category – but also a new track record. He bested the standard of 13.971 seconds set by Doar in 2009.

Heat winners were Clanton, Bagley, Lanigan and Doar. The B-Mains were captured by Scott Lewis of Henderson, Colo., and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.

The WoO LMS Wild West Tour will be idle on Wednesday for teams to travel to the swing-ending doubleheader on Thursday night (July 11) at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Friday night (July 12) at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D.

Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Cowboy 40’ at Gillette Thunder Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (3) Rick Eckert/40 $8,700
2. (1) Darrell Lanigan/40 $4,650
3. (9) Clint Smith/40 $3,250
4. (7) Jimmy Mars/40 $2,350
5. (11) Eric Wells/40 $2,900
6. (6) Tim McCreadie/40 $2,250
7. (4) Shane Clanton/40 $1,950
8. (8) Morgan Bagley/40 $1,850
9. (5) Josh Richards/40 $1,850
10. (15) Brady Smith/40 $1,150
11. (16) Bub McCool/40 $1,550
12. (12) Chub Frank/40 $1,450
13. (18) Tim Fuller/40 $1,400
14. (10) Eric Mass/39 $1,300
15. (2) Pat Doar/39 $750
16. (20) John Mason/39 $700
17. (14) Bumper Jones/39 $760
18. (13) John Winge/39 $640
19. (23) David Karst/38 $620
20. (19) Scott Anderson/37 $610
21. (24) Chris Dunn/35 $600
22. (17) Scott Lewis/25 $600
23. (21) Mike Stadel/17 $600
24. (22) Dan Henrickson/13 $625

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 17 Mins., 43.315 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.884 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (laps 16, 25)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1-17); Eckert (18-40)
Provisional Starters: Karst, Dunn
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Mass ($500)

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

Group ‘A’

1. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 13.708
2. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 13.822
3. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.837
4. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 13.902
5. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.317
6. 44M-Eric Mass/Rapid City, SD 14.318
7. 17J-John Winge/Sioux Falls, SD 14.522
8. 99-Scott Lewis/Henderson, CO 14.633
9. F16-Scott Anderson/Spearfish, SD 14.703
10. 19-Bumper Jones/Mesill Park, NM 14.868
11. 81-Mike Stadel/Rapid City, SD 15.264
12. 27J-Chris Johnson/Rapid City, SD 15.587
13. 01-Jason Snyder/Gillette, WY 15.971
14. 33A-Austin Long/Gillette, WY 16.106
15. 27H-Stewart Hayward/Calgary, Alberta 16.749
16. 23DB-Maklain Harrison/Gillette, WY 17.499

Group ‘B’

1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.641 (NTR)
2. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 13.698
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.843
4. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 13.972
5. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 13.981
6. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.079
7. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.123
8. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 14.137
9. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.191
10. E5K-Eddie Kirchoff/Gillette, WY 14.352
11. 72-John Mason/Millersburg, OH 14.499
12. 97-Dan Henrickson/Rapid City, SD 14.639
13. 33-David Karst/Casper, WY 14.722
14. 0-Chris Dunn/Great Falls, MT 15.413
15. 12s-Jason Schierkolk/Casper, WY 15.516
16. 71-Morris Oberle/Lead, SD 15.979

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Eckert, C. Smith, Winge, Anderson, Stadel, Snyder, Hayward, Harrison

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bagley, Richards, Mass, Jones, Lewis, Johnson, Long, Robertson

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, McCreadie, Wells, B. Smith, Fuller, Mason, Karst, Schierkolk

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Doar, Mars, Frank, McCool, Henrickson, Orberle, Dunn (DNS) Kirchoff

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lewis, Anderson, Stadel, Johnson, Snyder, Hayward, Harrison, Long

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Fuller, Mason, Henrickson, Karst, Schierkolk, Oberle, Dunn

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): Scott Lewis/John Mason
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Eddie Kirchoff
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Darrell Lanigan
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Eric Mass
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Rick Eckert
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner, $50 certificate to 5th-place finish): Rick Eckert/Pat Doar
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Rick Eckert
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
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): Brady Smith
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Josh Richards
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Bumper Jones
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Mass
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Bumper Jones
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Bumper Jones
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): David Karst
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): David Karst
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Anderson
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Chris Dunn
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Lewis
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Dan Henrickson
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Rick Eckert
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Rick Eckert
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Darrell Lanigan

2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 9 – 28 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 3938
2. Shane Clanton 3908 (-30)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3906 (-32)
4. Rick Eckert 3836 (-102)
5. Tim McCreadie 3638 (-300)
6. Tim Fuller 3624 (-314)
7. Eric Wells 3622 (-316)
8. Morgan Bagley 3560 (-378)
9. Bub McCool 3552 (-386)
10. Chub Frank 3526 (-412)
11. Clint Smith 3392 (-546)
12. Scott James 1958 (-1980)

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.

070913 GilletteLive

LIVE UPDATES 7/9: World of Outlaws Late Model Series Wild West Tour ‘Cowboy 40’ At Gillette Thunder Speedway

GILLETTE, WY – July 9, 2013 – The six-race World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ continues tonight, visiting Gillette Thunder Speedway for Race No. 3 of the week-long swing.

After a rainout last night at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D., the WoO LMS hits the one-third-mile Gillette oval for the first time in two years. The series will run for the fourth time at the eastern Wyoming track; previous winners were Tim Fuller (2008), Darrell Lanigan (2009) and Shane Clanton (2011).

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

Finally, it’s Scrub

11:20 p.m. MT –Rick Eckert finally broke through on the 2013 WoO LMS, capturing the Cowboy 40 for his first win of the season.

Eckert passed polesitter and race-long pacesetter Darrell Lanigan for the lead on lap 18 and never looked back. He smoothly negotiated lapped traffic late in the distance to keep Lanigan at bay.

Lanigan settled for second. Clint Smith placed third, Jimmy Mars was fourth and rookie Eric Wells came on late in the race to claim fifth.

A-Main Finish: 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Clint Smith, 4. Jimmy Mars, 5. Eric Wells, 6. Tim McCreadie, 7. Shane Clanton, 8. Morgan Bagley, 9. Josh Richards, 10. Brady Smith, 11. Bub McCool, 12. Chub Frank, 13. Tim Fuller, 14. Eric Mass, 15. Pat Doar, 16. John Mason, 17. Bumper Jones, 18. John Winge, 19. David Karst 20. Scott Anderson, 21. Chris Dunn, 22. Scott Lewis, 23. Mike Stadel, 24. Dan Henrickson

A-Main set

10:20 p.m. MT –The twin 12-lap B-Mains spun off quickly with Scott Lewis defeating Scott Anderson and Mike Stadel in the first and Tim Fuller outdistanced John Mason and Dan Henrickson in the second.

The provisional starting spots reverted back to the fastest drivers in time trials who didn’t qualify, with David Karst and Chris Dunn taking the positions. Eddie Kirchoff was was the fastest non-qualified driver from time trials, but he opted to decline the provisional because his car was not repaired from time trials.

A 20-lap B-Modified feature will be heading out momentarily and then the WoO LMS ‘Cowboy 40’ will hit the racetrack.

A-Main Lineup

Row 1: Darrell Lanigan/Pat Doar
Row 2: Rick Eckert/Shane Clanton
Row 3: Josh Richards/Tim McCreadie
Row 4: Jimmy Mars/Morgan Bagley
Row 5: Clint Smith/Eric Mass
Row 6: Eric Wells/Chub Frank
Row 7: John Winge/Bumper Jones
Row 8: Brady Smith/Bub McCool
Row 9: Scott Lewis/Tim Fuller
Row 10: Scott Anderson/John Mason
Row 11: Mike Stadel/Dan Henrickson
Row 12: David Karst/Chris Dunn

Heat Race Notes

9:55 p.m. MT – Shane Clanton, Morgan Bagley, Darrell Lanigan and Pat Doar were victorious in the four 10-lap heat races, which were slowed by just a single caution (during heat four)…. Clanton was the most dominant winner, capturing the first prelim by 3.641 seconds over Rick Eckert…. After winning his first-ever WoO LMS heat race on Saturday night at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., Morgan Bagley made it two in-a-row with a score in heat two…. Eddie Kirchoff was a scratch from the fourth heat after busting a water pump during time trials. His crew is working on the car in hopes of getting him out for the second B-Main…. Lanigan drew the pole position for the second consecutive WoO LMS A-Main. He will share the front row with 2011 tour Rookie of the Year Pat Doar, who has enjoyed success at Gillette in WISSOTA spec-engine competition in the past….

Full heat-race results can be seen here.

Darrell’s on the gas

8:55 p.m. MT – Darrell Lanigan was the overall quickest qualifier in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, establishing a new track record with his lap of 13.641 seconds in Group ‘B.’ He topped the existed one-lap standard of 13.971 seconds set by Pat Doar in the 2009 WoO LMS event.

Shane Clanton led the Group ‘A’ qualifying session with a lap of 13.708 seconds.

Four 10-lap heat races will hit the track shortly. The top-four finishers from each will transfer to the A-Main, with the top-two redrawing for the first four rows in the headliner.

Complete results from time trials can be seen here.

Fast track

8:15 p.m. MT – After some extra track-packing laps to whip the surface into shape, drivers were turning progressively faster circuits with each hot-lap group that hit the speedway. Tim Fuller led practice speed chart at 13.802 seconds, followed by Chub Frank(13.979), Pat Doar (14.004), Tim McCreadie (14.033)  and Darrell Lanigan (14.087).

Ohlins Shocks Time Trials are now on the track. Qualifying is being split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for positions in heats one and two and the second half going for spots in heats three and four.

Closing in

7:05 p.m. MT – With 33 cars signed in for tonight’s action, WoO LMS race director Bret Emrick is currently conducting the drivers’ meeting at the series trailer. 

Expectant Dad

5:55 p.m. MT – The top hometown hope for an upset victory in tonight’s Cowboy 40, Gillette’s Eddie Kirchoff, has some extra incentive to turn back the World of Outlaws invaders. He’ll be racing as his wife sits on the verge of giving birth to the couple’s third child.

“I’m gonna try to win one for the baby,” smiled Kirchoff, who wouldn’t be surprised if he got a call tonight with news that his wife is going into labor — though he obviously would like that to come after the racing program is completed.

One of the biggest dirt Late Model stars in the Rocky Mountain region, Kirchoff has earned up-front starting spots in the three previous WoO LMS events at Gillette (sixth in ’08, fifth in ’09, 10th in ’09), but he wasn’t a factor in any of the A-Mains. He picked the wrong tire compound in ’08 and finished 15th; in ’09 he faded immediately after the green flag was thrown due to a “tight” setup and was credited with a 24th-place finish after he retired because his car’s front end was damaged in a tangle; and in ’11 he finished one lap down in 16th after starting his night by turning the second-fastest lap in time trials and then later spinning to bring out a caution flag on lap six of the feature.

Chamber of Commerce day

5:45 p.m. MT – After last night’s frustrating rain at Black Hills Speedway, WoO LMS teams have been greeted with absolutely perfect weather here at Gillette. Temperatures are in the 80s under sunny skies — and forecasts list no chance of rain.

Twenty-fivecars are currently sitting in the pit area, including 11 WoO LMS regulars; well-known challengers Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, Pat Doar and John Mason; and regional/local racers such as Eddie Kirchoff of Gillette, Wyo., Eric Mass of Rapid City, S.D., Chris Dunn of Great Falls, Mont., John Winge of Sioux Falls, S.D., Bumper Jones of Mesill Park, N.M., Stewart Hayward of Calgary, Alberta, Austin Long of Gillette, Wyo., and Scott Lewis of Henderson, Colo.

Tonight’s drivers’ meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT, with hot laps set to begin at 7:30 p.m. MT.