Rookie Austin Hubbard Thrills Screven Crowd After Career-First World of Outlaws Late Model Series Win
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SYLVANIA, GA – March 20, 2010 – Austin Hubbard loves Georgia – and Georgia loves him back.
Back in the state where he burst on the national scene with his first major victory two months ago, the 18-year-old sensation from Seaford, Del., thrilled his growing Peach State fan base again by winning his first career World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main on Saturday night at Screven Motor Speedway.
Hubbard passed 2007 WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., for the lead on lap 30 and repelled a late challenge from defending tour titlist Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., to emerge triumphant in the 50-lap event. Then he reached Victory Lane and upped the ante on the wild, clothes-shedding post-race celebration he performed after his O’Reilly Southern All-Stars Series win on Jan. 30 at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga.
With the standing-room-only crowd cheering him on, Hubbard climbed out of his Beitler Motorsports Rocket car, removed his shoes, uniform and fireproof top, and ran down the homestretch wearing only his helmet and long underwear a la Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights. He even added new wrinkles to his performance, rolling several times in the mud and high-fiving fans who stuck their hands through the catch fence.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Hubbard, who became the fourth driver in WoO LMS history to win an A-Main while chasing the Rookie of the Year title. “I’m just glad to be racing with these people. I’m just a country boy from Delaware, and this is all I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid.
“It’s so great that we finally made it. I won a World of Outlaws race and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Hubbard crossed the finish line 0.925 of a second ahead of the 21-year-old Richards, who was unable to take advantage of a final restart on lap 47 to steal the race from the rising young star following in his WoO LMS tire tracks. Richards, who started sixth in his father’s Rocket Chassis house car, chased Hubbard for the final 19 laps en route to padding his points lead after four events.
“He did a heck of a job,” Richards said of Hubbard. “I knew that he was gonna be competitive in that car this year – he has good equipment, he has Robby Allen as a crew chief and he’s an awesome driver, so I’m not surprised he’s doing what he’s doing.
“I was glad to be there for his first win at Brunswick, and to run second to him in his first Outlaw win means a lot to me.”
Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., advanced from the 11th starting spot to finish third in his Rocket mount, backing up his first win of 2010 earned the previous evening at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway. Fifth-starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., placed fourth in the Sweeteners Plus Rocket – matching Richards with his fourth top-five finish in as many events this season – and outside polesitter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., finished fifth in the Gypsum Express Rocket after slipping as far back as eighth midway through the race.
Hubbard, who started third, slid into second place on lap 10 when he passed Ivedent Lloyd Jr. of Ocala, Fla. He ran down Francis, who started from the pole position, and was in the process of overtaking the 42-year-old veteran for the top spot when Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, spun in front of the leaders to bring out a caution flag on lap 26.
Francis, who ironically preceded Hubbard as the driver of Dale Beitler’s familiar No. 19, proved to be no match for the teenager after the restart. Hubbard sailed underneath Francis off turn two and assumed command for good as lap 30 was scored.
“The car was just great tonight,” said Hubbard, hailing his car owner and chief mechanic Robby Allen. “Francis, he just couldn’t quite keep it down off two. He left me about a car length down there so I could get under him.
“We could just get through one and two so well once I found that outside. When I did, I was like, ‘All right, now we’re in business.’ I felt like I had one of the best cars I’ve ever had under me.”
Hubbard earned $10,750 for his victory, which moved him to fifth in the WoO LMS points standings. He scored three top-five finishes last year and one just one day removed from his career-best run on the tour, a third-place finish at Ocala Speedway.
Francis faded to sixth in the final rundown after leading laps 1-29 in his Valvoline Rocket car. He said he was “scared to tighten the car up tonight because that thing was completely stupid last night” in a subpar outing at Ocala – and as a result, his machine became too loose for him to hold a firm line around the three-eighths-mile oval.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., moved forward from the 17th starting spot to finish seventh. Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., recorded a career-best WoO LMS finish of eighth after starting 20th, while 23rd-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., placed ninth after nearly going a lap down midway through the event and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., was 10th after spinning out of fourth place on lap 31 to trigger the third of the race’s fourth caution flags.
Thirty-three cars were entered in the evening’s action.
Hubbard blistered the track in 14.605 seconds during Ohlins Shocks Time Trials to earn his third career fast-time award on the WoO LMS.
Heat winners were Hubbard, Brady Smith, Francis and McCreadie. The B-Mains were captured by Eckert and John Henderson of Aiken, S.C.
The WoO LMS will resume with a doubleheader weekend in Texas, visiting Battleground Speedway in Highlands on Fri., March 26, and Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore on Sat., March 27. Both events will feature 50-lap A-Mains that pay $10,000 to win.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Screven Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Austin Hubbard/50 $10,750
2. (6) Josh Richards/50 $5,600
3. (11) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,600
4. (5) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,600
5. (2) Tim Fuller/50 $2,500
6. (1) Steve Francis/50 $2,300
7. (17) Rick Eckert/50 $1,900
8. (20) Brent Robinson/50 $1,800
9. (23) Chub Frank/50 $1,700
10. (8) Brady Smith/50 $1,600
11. (3) Ivedent Lloyd/50 $1,550
12. (7) Ben Faircloth/50 $1,000
13. (12) Shane Clanton/50 $1,450
14. (13) Monk Gulledge/49 $900
15. (22) Brian Nuttal Jr./49 $850
16. (24) Russell King/49 $1,300
17. (9) Tony Knowles/46 $770
18. (16) Casey Barrow/39 $750
19. (21) Chesley Dixon/29 $730
20. (19) Tyler Ivey/24 $700
21. (18) John Henderson/20 $700
22. (15) Casey Roberts/7 $700
23. (10) Clint Smith/4 $1,200
24. (14) Scott Shirey/1 $700
NOTE: Casey Barrow, Chesley Dixon, Brian Nuttal Jr. and John Henderson were penalized to the rear of the field for reporting late to the staging area prior to the A-Main
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 27 Mins., 06.346 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.925 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 5, 16, 31, 47)
Lap Leaders: Francis (1-29); Hubbard (30-50)
Provisional Starters: Frank, King
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Lloyd ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Robby Allen (Hubbard)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 19-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.605
2. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.751
3. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 14.764
4. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.809
5. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 14.811
6. 27-Ben Faircloth/Swainsboro, GA 14.935
7. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.965
8. 4-Jeremy Faircloth/Swainsboro, GA 15.013
9. 20-Henry Carter/Waycross, GA 15.014
10. 10-Scott Shirey/Swansea, GA 15.111
11. 101-Casey Roberts/Toccoa, GA 15.132
12. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.183
13. 104-Monk Gulledge/Batesburg, SC 15.201
14. 3d-Chesley Dixon/Swainsboro, GA 15.207
15. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.208
16. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 15.226
17. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.241
18. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.242
19. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.267
20. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 15.276
21. 21L-Ivedent Lloyd/Ocala, FL 15.332
22. 47-Tyler Ivey/Tallahassee, FL 15.338
23. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 15.439
24. 98-Casey Barrow/Savannah, GA 15.559
25. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 15.647
26. 8-Shane Walker/Bloomingdale, GA 15.654
27. 22x-John Henderson/Aiken, SC 15.691
28. 16-Brian Nuttal Jr./Claxton, GA 15.764
29. 93-Bo Smith/Sylvania, GA 15.928
30. 14-April Farmer/Livingston, TN 15.944
31. 41-Mark Davis/Savannah, GA 16.195
32. 2d-Bob Robertson/Mooresville, NC 16.639
33. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 20.505
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hubbard, Lloyd, Knowles, Gulledge, Eckert, Carter, Bo Smith, Bland, George
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Brady Smith, B. Faircloth, C. Smith, Shirey, Ivey, Dixon, Farmer, Walker
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Fuller, Lanigan, Roberts, Frank, Henderson, King, Davis
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, Richards, Clanton, Barrow, Robinson, Nuttal, J. Faircloth, Robertson
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Eckert, Ivey, Dixon, Carter, Farmer, George, Bland, Bo Smith (DNS) Walker
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Henderson, Robinson, Nuttal, Frank, J. Faircloth, King, Davis, Robertson
2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of March 20 – 4 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 580 (-0)
2. Tim McCreadie 574 (-6)
3. Brady Smith 556 (-24)
4. Darrell Lanigan 548 (-32)
5. Austin Hubbard 530 (-50)
6. Rick Eckert 520 (-60)
7. Tim Fuller 508 (-72)
8. Chub Frank 502 (-78)
9. Steve Francis 498 (-82)
10. Clint Smith 468 (-112)
11. (tie) Tyler Ivey 438 (-142)
11. (tie) Russell King 438 (-142)
13. Shane Clanton 436 (-144)
14. Brent Robinson 408 (-172)
15. Tony Knowles 396 (-184)
16. (tie) Jordan Bland 352 (-228)
16. (tie) Jill George 352 (-228)
18. Earl Pearson Jr. 292 (-288)
19. Billy Moyer 274 (-306)
20. Dale McDowell 268 (-312)
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 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), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel) and DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis and Wrisco Aluminum.