Late Caution Helps Fuller Steal ‘Dirt Demon 50’ Victory From Coffey At Brewerton Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
BREWERTON, NY – Sept. 2, 2009 – Tim Fuller had a bunch of reasons to smile after winning Wednesday night’s inaugural World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Dirt Demon 50’ at Brewerton Speedway.
It continued his torrid summer on the national tour. It came at a one-third-mile oval that he used to call home during his days as a DIRTcar big-block Modified regular. His car owner, John Wight, was looking on from the tower of the track he purchased earlier this year.
And Fuller, 41, of Watertown, N.Y., happened to earn his $10,600 victory in truly dramatic fashion.
Battling forward from the eighth starting spot in the Gypsum Express Rocket, Fuller took advantage of a late caution flag to grab the lead from Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., on lap 45 and hold on for his sixth triumph in the last nine WoO LMS events.
“It’s just incredible to win one at my car owner’s track in front of a crowd like this,” said Fuller, gesturing toward the bleachers that were filled to capacity for Brewerton’s first-ever WoO LMS program. “For awhile it seemed like I could only win (dirt Late Model) races in the West, so it’s a nice change to win close to home.”
In a showdown of former DIRTcar big-block Modified regulars who have won the last two WoO LMS Rookie of the Year awards, Fuller beat Coffey’s Sweeteners Plus Rocket car to the finish line by a scant 0.833 of a second to record his ninth career win on the tour – and deny Coffey a coveted first career Outlaws victory.
Polesitter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., placed third in the Raye Vest Racing Team Zero by Bloomquist mount, just a couple car lengths behind Coffey at the finish. Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., advanced from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth in his Team Zero by Bloomquist machine – his first top-five since July 24 at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park – and 21st-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., made a late charge to snare a fifth-place finish in his Rocket.
Former WoO LMS champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who competed in Brewerton’s big-block Modified ranks before going full-fender racing, finished sixth after being overtaken by Frank in the final laps.
Coffey, 38, appeared headed to a milestone victory after racing forward from the seventh starting spot to take the lead on lap 13 from Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga. He pulled away when green-flag conditions prevailed for an extended period – as evidenced after Fuller came on following a lap-31 caution flag to lead lap 36 but then dropped back, losing the top spot to Coffey on lap 37 and falling nearly a straightaway behind by lap 44.
Moments later, however, a busted driveshaft from the car driven by 17-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., was spotted on the inside of the homestretch, bringing out the race’s fourth and final caution flag. The turn of events gave Fuller new life and proved to be Coffey’s undoing.
Fuller fired off quickly on the restart, pulling to the outside of Coffey and taking the lead on lap 45. One lap later Fuller surged ahead of Coffey to snatch the inside line that Coffey had been using so successfully throughout the race.
“Under a long green (flag) he was supersonic – I couldn’t run with him,” Fuller said of Coffey. “As his tires got hot he got better, and as mine got hot I got slower.
“It all played out in my favor when that caution came out with six (laps) to go. I got one more shot at him and I felt my chances were pretty good. My tires were so good cold.
“I wasn’t positive I could pull it off (a pass) after the caution because I didn’t make it work 15 laps prior to that,” added Fuller, who owns 26 career DIRTcar big-block Modified feature wins at Brewerton. “But my car stuck in that center (lane) and I was able to clear him and get to the bottom. Then I was just hoping I could last to the end.”
The caution flag came out at the worst possible time for Coffey, who couldn’t match Fuller’s speed over a short sprint.
“I definitely didn’t want to see that caution because I knew (Fuller) was good for three, four, five laps, maybe a tick better than me,” said Coffey. “He got alongside me the restart before that and I was able to fight him off, but I knew when the caution came out with six to go that if he could stick (the center lane) twice and drop down in front of me, there’s nothing I would be able to do about it. And that’s what he did.
“Obviously he’s on a roll right now, there’s no doubt about it. He’s getting the breaks he needs and taking advantage of them.”
While Coffey scored a career-best WoO LMS finish and earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a tour A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings, he was disappointed to remain winless at Brewerton during his career. He had previously absorbed heartbreaking late-race losses on at least three occasions in big-block and 358-Modified events at the track.
Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., maintained his WoO LMS points lead despite being forced to restart at the rear of the field following an incident on the race’s original start. The 21-year-old sensation started fifth but he got sideways between turns one and two and was nicked by Coffey, cutting Richards’s left-rear tire.
With a caution flag thrown for the multi-car, chain-reaction stack-up that occurred behind Richards, the young driver was able to pit for a tire change. He rallied to finish eighth – just one spot behind his closest pursuer in the points standings, Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who ran quietly just outside the top five throughout the A-Main and left Brewerton trailing Richards by 12 points.
Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., a Brewerton big-block Modified regular and another member of Wight’s Gypsum Express team, finished ninth, while Clanton faded to a 10th-place finish (after starting second and leadings laps 1-12) thanks to a broken right-front fender flare that hampered his car’s handling.
A field of 30 cars assembled for the event, which was run on a cool, crystal-clear evening.
Richards registered his fourth fast-time award of 2009 with a lap of 14.324 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials.
Heat winners were Richards, Francis and Eckert, and Greg Oakes of Franklinville, N.Y., captured the B-Main.
With his preliminary triumph, Francis became the first driver to reach 100 career heat-race wins since the WoO LMS was launched under the World Racing Group banner in 2004.
The WoO LMS closes out a busy week with the Armstrong Cable Oil Region Labor Day Classic on Saturday and Sunday nights (Sept. 5-6) at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. Complete shows both evenings will be topped by 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Mains.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Dirt Demon 50’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (8) Tim Fuller/50 $10,600
2. (7) Vic Coffey/50 $5,500
3. (1) Rick Eckert/50 $3,500
4. (14) Brady Smith/50 $3,000
5. (21) Chub Frank/50 $2,500
6. (4) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,800
7. (6) Steve Francis/50 $2,000
8. (5) Josh Richards/50 $1,850
9. (3) Billy Decker/50 $1,200
10. (2) Shane Clanton/50 $1,700
11. (9) Dan Stone/50 $1,050
12. (10) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,600
13. (16) Russell King/50 $1,700
14. (13) Brent Robinson/50 $1,400
15. (11) Clint Smith/49 $1,350
16. (12) Matt Sheppard/49 $800
17. (15) Jordan Bland/48 $1,270
18. (18) James Cornell/47 $750
19. (23) Dustin Hapka/47 $730
20. (17) Austin Hubbard/44 $700
21. (24) Tyler Reddick/44 $700
22. (19) Greg Oakes/26 $700
23. (22) Tony Knowles/15 $700
24. (20) Jimmy Bernheisel $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 24 Mins., 46.475 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.833 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 0, 16, 31, 44)
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-12); Coffey (13-35); Fuller (36); Coffey (37-44); Fuller (45-50)
Provisional Starters: Hapka, Reddick
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Coffey ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Brandon Bender (Brady Smith)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.324
2. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.355
3. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.380
4. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 14.385
5. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.495
6. 91-Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY 14.541
7. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 14.571
8. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 14.578
9. 9s-Matt Sheppard/Waterloo, NY 14.579
10. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.581
11. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.581
12. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 14.594
13. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 14.606
14. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.630
15. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 14.638
16. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 14.649
17. 22-Greg Oakes/Franklinville, NY 14.831
18. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 14.834
19. 99z-Dave Zona/Montrose, PA 14.848
20. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 14.864
21. 13b-James Cornell/Harpersville, NY 14.915
22. 119J-Jimmy Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 14.938
23. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.944
24. 9k-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 14.970
25. R19-Dale Caswell/Central Square, NY 15.070
26. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.073
27. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 15.107
28. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 15.123
29. 99L-Larry Wight/Baldwinsville, NY 15.301
30. 16-Aaron Jacobs/Frankfort, NY 16.044
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Clanton, Coffey, Lanigan, Robinson, King, Bernheisel, Zona, Reddick, Caswell
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Francis, McCreadie, Fuller, C. Smith, B. Smith, Hubbard, Oakes, Frank, Wight, Hapka
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Eckert, Decker, Stone, Sheppard, Bland, Cornell, Knowles, Briggs, Jacobs, Knight
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Oakes, Bernheisel, Frank, Knowles, Zona, Knight, Briggs, Reddick, Wight, Caswell, Hapka, Jacobs
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Dave Zona
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Vic Coffey
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Shane Clanton
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Rick Eckert
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Greg Oakes
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Josh Richards
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Chub Frank
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Clint Smith
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Shane Clanton
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Sept. 2 – 35 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 4791 (-0)
2. Steve Francis 4779 (-12)
3. Darrell Lanigan 4691 (-100)
4. Tim Fuller 4637 (-154)
5. Rick Eckert 4629 (-162)
6. Shane Clanton 4553 (-238)
7. Chub Frank 4535 (-256)
8. Brady Smith 4432 (-359)
9. Clint Smith 4329 (-462)
10. Russell King 3869 (-922)
11. Jordan Bland 3757 (-1034)
12. Brent Robinson 3547 (-1244)
13, Dustin Hapka 3272 (-1519)
14. Tyler Reddick 3092 (-1699)
15. Vic Coffey 2828 (-1963)
16. Austin Hubbard 2674 (-2117)
17. Matt Lux 1605 (-3186)
18. Shannon Babb 1470 (-3321)
19. Gregg Satterlee 1460 (-3331)
20. Dan Stone 1341 (-3450)
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Points Standings (drivers’ best 30 finishes):
1. Russell King 3,494 (-0)
2. Jordan Bland 3,382 (-112)
3. Brent Robinson 3,172 (-322)
4. Dustin Hapka 2,897 (-597)
5. Tyler Reddick 2,717 (-777)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
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 many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.