Eckert Ends World of Outlaws Late Model Series Winless Streak With Victory In Ponderosa Speedway’s First-Ever Series Event
Former Series Champion Tops Clanton & Frank in Friday’s A-Main to Earn First WoO LMS Victory in Nearly Two Years
By Joshua Joiner, WoO LMS PR
JUNCTION CITY, Ky. – May 8, 2015 – It took a visit to a track he had never even seen before for Rick Eckert to finally return to World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory lane.
Racing in front of a record crowd at Ponderosa Speedway in the track’s first-ever WoO LMS event, Eckert of York, Pa., overtook race-long leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., amid heavy traffic on lap 30 of Friday’s main event and later survived heavy pressure from Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., in the closing laps of the 50-lap race.
After a lap-45 caution gave him clear track ahead, Eckert pulled away from Clanton and Frank and cruised through the final five laps on his way to earning $10,775 for his first WoO LMS victory since July 9, 2013.
“I was getting tired of hearing about that (winless streak),” said Eckert, the 2011 WoO LMS champion whose most recent series victory came at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway. “I snuck by Darrell there in traffic. When you’re the leader, traffic’s bad. I knew when I got to traffic there I seen Shane’s nose, but thankfully that caution came out.”
Clanton settled for the runner-up spot, 0.707 seconds behind Eckert at the finish. He survived lap-32 contact with Lanigan, who nearly spun while looking low in an attempt to retake the lead from Eckert. The damage to Lanigan’s car forced him out of the race and dropped him to a 21st-place finish.
The 12th-starting Frank finished third, matching his best WoO LMS finish of the season. Three-time WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., finished fourth, moving him ahead of Lanigan for second in the series standings, 96 points behind Clanton. Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., rounded out the race’s top five finishers.
Eckert’s long-awaited victory marks his first triumph since joining forces with Paul Crowl and Shawn and Lisa Martin of Viper Motorsports to field a Cornett-powered MasterSbilt by Huey machine on the WoO LMS tour this season. The new team struggled out of the gates this season, logging just four top 10s and no top fives in the year’s first 10 WoO LMS races. But the team has hit their stride of late with Friday’s victory giving Eckert back-to-back top-five WoO LMS finishes for the first time since August.
“We really struggled at the beginning of the year,” said Eckert, who last season finished second in the final WoO LMS standings while filling in for Richards in the Rocket Chassis house car. “I just couldn’t fit in these cars. We kept working on them, working on them, and the last couple weeks we made some big strides.”
Clanton did all he could to keep pace with Eckert during the race’s final laps, but his Weldbank Energy Capital Race Car was hampered by front-end damage from the contact with Clanton earlier in the race. The second-place result gives Clanton 11 tops fives and 12 top 10s in 13 WoO LMS races this season.
“Overall it was a good night to finish second with a torn-up race car,” said Clanton, who hasn’t won since winning four of seven races to start the WoO LMS season. “Hats off to Eckert. He needed that one as much as we did. We drove our heart out, just come up a little short.”
Looking to end a lengthy winless streak of his own, Frank charged forward during the second half of the race and appeared ready to challenge both Clanton and Eckert before the lap-45 caution gave the front-runners clear track. He was unable to mount a serious challenge on Clanton in the run to the finish, but the third-place result was a major improvement over his finishes of 12th and 17th during last weekend’s WoO LMS doubleheader in North Carolina.
“We had a good pretty good car tonight,” said Frank, who hasn’t won on the WoO LMS since Aug. 22, 2009. “The track actually was pretty racy. It got racy even though it had a little rubber on it and you could race on it pretty good. Restarts were key for us. The car’s back, so we’re looking forward to doing some more racing.”
James Rice of Verona, Ky., advanced from his 14th starting spot to finish in the sixth position, while Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., rallied from 24th to seventh after having to use a provision to start the race. Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., was eighth at the finish with 19th-starting Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky., and 16th-starting Michael Chilton of Salvisa, Ky., rounding out the top 10 finishers.
The race was slowed by five cautions with a spin by Kinzer bringing out the first yellow flag with two laps completed. A lap-11 yellow waved for the slowing machine of Dustin Linville of Bryantsville, Ky., who won a heat race and was running sixth before a broken driveshaft ended his run.
A scramble following Lanigan’s lap-31 troubles led to the race’s third caution and a four-car pileup back in the pack brought out another caution one lap later. The final caution on lap 45 occurred when Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., slowed with a flat right-rear tire.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series concludes its weekend doubleheader on Saturday with a visit to Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. The third annual Mountain Outlaw 50 Presented by NAPA features a complete WoO LMS program with a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Main. Visit www.smokymountainspeedway.com for more information.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook atFacebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series at Ponderosa Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (3) Rick Eckert/50 $10,775
2. (4) Shane Clanton/50 $5,550
3. (12) Chub Frank/50 $3,550
4. (6) Josh Richards/50 $3,150
5. (5) Dale McDowell/50 $2,050
6. (14) James Rice/50 $2,200
7. (24) Eric Wells/50 $1,950
8. (10) Kent Robinson/50 $1,300
9. (19) Brandon Kinzer/50 $1,350
10. (16) Michael Chilton/50 $1,150
11. (9) Gregg Satterlee/50 $1,050
12. (15) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,650
13. (20) Frank Heckenast Jr./50 $1,500
14. (22) Josh Rice/50 $900
15. (23) Morgan Bagley/49 $1,400
16. (1) Mason Zeigler/45 $850
17. (7) Mike Marlar/42 $770
18. (11) Brad Neat/32 $750
19. (18) Chase Junghans/32 $1,280
20. (21) Brandon Overton/32 $1,450
21. (2) Darrell Lanigan/30 $1,350
22. (13) Justin Rattliff/30 $700
23. (8) Dustin Linville/11 $700
24. (18) Steve Francis/10 $800
Time of Race: 29 Mins., 46 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.707 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Five (laps 2, 11, 31, 32, 45)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1-29), Eckert (30-50)
Provisional Starters: Bagley, Wells
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: James Rice ($500)
WoO LMS ‘Rookie of the Race’ Winner: Brandon Overton ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 7v-Rick Eckert,York, Pa., 14.006
2. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 14.205
3. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 14.206
4. 25z-Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, Pa., 14.243
5. 16-Justin Ratliff, Campbelsville, Ky., 14.251
6. 18k-Brandon Kinzer, Allen, Ky., 14.252
7. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 14.287
8. 11R-James Rice, Verona, Ky., 14.307
9. 76-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 14.330
10. 7R-Kent Robinson, Bloomington, Ind., 14.416
11. 15-Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky., 14.465
12. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 14.465
13. c9-Steve Casebolt, Richmond, Ind., 14.497
14. 4-Victor Lee, Danville, Ky., 14.655
15. 7-Brian Smith, Gray, Ky., 14.766
16. 11-Austin Smith, Cedartown, Ga., 14.803
17. 17-Shannon Thornsberry, Martin, Ky., 15.001
18. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 15.157
19. 5T-Timmy Taylor, Harrodsburg, Ky., 16.190
20. 5-Don O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind., no time
1. 16N-Brad Neat, Dunnville, Ky., 14.159
2. 17m-Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, Ga., 14.237
3. D8-Dustin Linville, Bryantsville, Ky., 14.323
4. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 14.348
5. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 14.415
6. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 14.490
7. 157-Mike Marlar, Winfield, Tenn., 14.520
8. 31x-Johnny Wheeler, Campbellsville, Ky., 14.527
9. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 14.558
10. 97-Michael Chilton, Salvisa, Ky., 14.562
11. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 14.564
12. 47-Chris Combs, Isom, Ky., 14.727
13. 15J-Greg Johnson, Bedford, Ind., 14.819
14. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 14.823
15. 11jr-Josh Rice, Verona, Ky., 14.980
16. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 15.094
17. 33-Aaron Hatton, Mt. Sterling, Ky., 15.101
18. 3-J.L. Muse, Monticello, Ky., 15.388
19. 35-Dennis Barton, Corbin, Ky., 16.013
20. 15R-Jeff Rawlings, Harrodsburg, Ky., no time
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Eckert, Satterlee, Rattliff, Francis, Overton, Smith, Thornsberry, Taylor. DNS: Casebolt.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Zeigler, Lanigan, Robinson, Rice, Kinzer, Lee, Briggs, Smith, Bagley. DNS: O’Neal.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Linville, Marlar, Neat, McCreadie, Junghans, Jo. Rice, Johnson, Wells, Hatton. DNS: Hatton.
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McDowell, Richards, Frank, Chilton, Heckenast, Wheeler, Combs, Yaggy, Muse. DNS: Rawlings.
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Francis, Kinzer, Overton, Lee, Briggs, Casebolt, B. Smith, Bagley, A. Smith, Thornsberry, Taylor.
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Junghans, Heckenast, Jo. Rice, Wheeler, Johnson, Combs, Yaggy, Wells, Barton. DNS: Muse, Hatton, Rawlings.
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): Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Eckert
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Eckert
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Eckert
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Eckert
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Kinzer
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): McDowell
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Wells
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Kinzer
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Kinzer
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Chilton
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Zeigler
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Bagley
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Overton
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Lanigan
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Eckert
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): McDowell
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 8 – 13 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 1836
2. Josh Richards 1740 (-96)
3. Darrell Lanigan 1738 (-98)
4. Chub Frank 1706 (-130)
5. Rick Eckert 1646 (-190)
6. Tim McCreadie 1644 (-192)
(tie) Morgan Bagley 1644 (-192)
8. Eric Wells 1610 (-226)
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 1608 (-228)
10. Brandon Overton 1558 (-278)*
11. Chase Junghans 1538 (-298)
12. Boom Briggs 1462 (-374)
13. Jordan Yaggy 1358 (-478)*
*Rookie of the Year contender
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Lincoln Welder (Official Welder), 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, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Club 29 Chassis, Integra Shocks, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, and TNT Rescue.