By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
FRANKLIN, PA — Sept. 5, 2010 – Tri-City Speedway is no longer a thorn in Darrell Lanigan’s side.
The red-hot driver from Union, Ky., finally ended years of World of Outlaws Late Model Series frustration at the half-mile oval, driving to a convincing victory in Sunday night’s 50-lap Oil Region Labor Day Classic A-Main.
Lanigan, 40, roared off the outside pole to assume command at the initial green flag and never looked back in his GottaRace.com Rocket car. He controlled the entire distance, keeping Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., at bay en route to his seventh win of the season on the national tour and his long-awaited first-ever at Tri-City.
Smith, 45, settled for second place, steering his Rocket mount under the checkered flag 1.547 seconds behind Lanigan. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., finished third in his Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket to maintain his WoO LMS points lead by a scant two points over Lanigan, Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., placed fourth in the RSD Enterprises Rocket and polesitter Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg, Pa., was fifth in his own MasterSbilt car.
“We’ve been good here and we’ve been close (to winning), but we’ve just had a lot of bad luck,” said Lanigan, whose bouts with misfortune at Tri-City include a last-lap tangle with a lapped car while leading in 2006 and a time-trial problem that prompted him to angrily pull out of the 2007 Classic finale without racing. “Tonight we had an awesome car and got ‘er done.”
Lanigan allowed himself no flashbacks to his especially heartbreaking loss in 2006 – even as he dealt with slower cars with the white flag flying.
“I was kinda concentrating out there,” said Lanigan, who earned $10,600 for his 19th career triumph on the WoO LMS. “I thought I felt Clint closer than he was, so I was just worrying about making my best lap at the end. I didn’t have any time to think about what happened in the past here.”
Smith never did, in fact, draw close enough to seriously challenge Lanigan. He stayed within sight of the leader and even cut the gap late in the race, but the veteran needed a bit more speed from his machine to end his long absence from Victory Lane.
“I made just one slight chassis adjustment wrong and it made me too tight across the middle (of the corners),” said Smith, whose winless streak on the WoO LMS reached 110 races since his last score, on June 17, 2008, at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway. “That’s where I was getting beat.
“At the end the track slicked up enough where I could charge in the corners and I came back to (Lanigan), but then those lapped cars came into play. I couldn’t get by them fast enough to make a run at him.”
The $5,500 outing didn’t disappoint Smith, however. It was his second runner-up finish in the last four WoO LMS events, pointing to an upswing in his program.
“We’re tickled to death with the way we’re running,” said Smith, who has three bridesmaid finishes this season. “We’re going in the right direction. We just have to keep at it.”
The 22-year-old Richards, meanwhile, escaped an early tangle and pulled off a dramatic final-lap pass to keep himself atop the WoO LMS points standings. He entered the weekend with an eight-point advantage over Lanigan after winning his first-ever 100-lap A-Main on Sept. 1 at Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne, N.Y.
Richards, who started eighth, nearly was swept up in a chain-reaction pileup on lap two that occurred after Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., and Robbie Blair of Titusville, Pa., tangled and spun between turns three and four while battling for fourth place. The defending WoO LMS champion managed to slither away from the accident scene and restarted in fourth place.
It appeared that Richards was headed toward a fourth-place finish that would have left him tied for the points lead with Lanigan, but he slid around the outside of Clanton rounding turns three and four on the last lap to steal the show position.
“There was a lapped car there and Clanton was on the bottom behind it (on the last circuit),” said Richards, who is once again tied for the 2010 WoO LMS win lead with Lanigan. “I decided to just banzai it in there on the outside and see if it would stick. It did, and I was able to roll around Clanton and beat him back to the flagstand.
“I’m just happy to get all I could get. Maybe I should have gone up there and tried that outside earlier.”
The lap-two incident that dive-bombed the efforts of Davies and Blair – both pitted after the accident and later dropped out – also brought an early end to the nights of Watertown, N.Y., drivers Tim Fuller and Tim McCreadie. Fuller, who slammed the right side of his car into the tractor tire in front of the turn-three wall, retired on lap nine while McCreadie, who couldn’t avoid Davies and Blair, was lapped on the 19th circuit and pulled out on lap 24 after blowing a right-front tire due to the mangled front bumper on his car.
McCreadie’s 22nd-place finish dealt a crushing blow to his WoO LMS championship hopes. He remained third in the points standings but fell 86 points behind Richards with just four events left on the 2010 schedule.
Nick Dickson of Lewistown, Pa., finished sixth, earning the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a WoO LMS A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings. Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., advanced from the 16th starting spot to place seventh; Rick Eckert of York, Pa., quietly moved up from the 12th starting position to finish eighth; 14th-starter Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., was ninth; and 17th-starter Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
Blair was quickest of 34 cars in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 17.766 seconds. It was the second time he’s registered a WoO LMS fast-time honor during the Oil Region Labor Day Classic but first since 2006.
Heat winners were Blair, Lanigan, Smith and Davies. The B-Mains were captured by Covert and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del.
The WoO LMS will be idle until traveling to the Midwest for the Pepsi Nationals on Sept. 18 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Oil Region Labor Day Classic’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Darrell Lanigan/50 $10,600
2. (4) Clint Smith/50 $5,500
3. (8) Josh Richards/50 $3,600
4. (5) Shane Clanton/50 $3,000
5. (1) Jeremy Miller/50 $2,000
6. (11) Nick Dickson/50 $2,200
7. (16) Steve Francis/50 $2,000
8. (12) Rick Eckert/50 $1,800
9. (14) Gregg Satterlee/50 $1,200
10. (17) Jason Covert/50 $1,100
11. (13) Dan Stone/50 $1,050
12. (7) Russell King/50 $1,500
13. (20) Mike Knight/50 $950
14. (18) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,650
15. (24) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/49 $850
16. (21) Chub Frank/48 $1,300
17. (22) John Garvin/48 $770
18. (23) Jill George/47 $750
19. (19) Jared Miley/46 $730
20. (6) Robbie Blair/34 $700
21. (15) Brent Rhebergen/30 $700
22. (10) Tim McCreadie/24 $1,300
23. (9) Tim Fuller/9 $1,200
24. (3) Ron Davies/7 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 29 Mins., 26.626 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.547 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 2, 2, 26)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1-50)
Provisional Starters: George, Briggs
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Nick Dickson ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. won11-Robbie Blair/Titusville, PA 17.766
2. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.931
3. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 18.001
4. 1M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 18.077
5. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 18.132
6. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 18.152
7. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.223
8. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 18.224
9. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 18.256
10. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 18.261
11. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 18.287
12. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 18.326
13. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.379
14. 21L-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 18.382
15. 56B-Denton Boyer/Punxsutawney, PA 18.398
16. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 18.476
17. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 18.484
18. 33-Chris Hackett/Erie, PA 18.525
19. 07R-Brent Rhebergen/Clymer, NY 18.552
20. 9K-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 18.554
21. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 18.580
22. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 18.598
23. 17-Nick Dickson/Lewistown, PA 18.654
24. 29x-Garrett Krummert/New Castle, PA 18.785
25. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 18.816
26. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 18.854
27. 53-John Volpe/Lakewood, NY 18.868
28. J4-John Garvin/Sarver, PA 18.877
29. 16*-Dereck Frank/Jamestown, NY 19.110
30. 8L-Scott LeBarron/Dover, PA 19.198
31. 9G-Scott Gurdak/Bear Lake, PA 19.280
32. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 19.284
33. 03-Doug Eck/Corry, PA 19.293
34. J19-Jason Fosnaught/Creighton, PA 20.078
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Blair, Clanton, Fuller, Stone, C. Frank, Covert, Eck, D. Frank, Briggs
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Richards, McCreadie, Satterlee, Miley, Lux, Hackett, Fosnaught, LeBarron
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Smith, King, Dickson, Rhebergen, Hubbard, Boyer, Volpe, Gurdak
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Davies, Miller, Eckert, Francis, Knight, Garvin, George, Krummert
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Covert, Miley, C. Frank, Lux, Briggs, Eck, D. Frank (DNS) Hacket, Fosnaught, LeBarron
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hubbard, Knight, Garvin, Boyer, Volpe, Krummert, Gurdak, George
2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Sept. 5 – 40 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 5352
2. Darrell Lanigan 5350 (-2)
3. Tim McCreadie 5266 (-86)
4. Steve Francis 5138 (-214)
5. Shane Clanton 5058 (-294)
6. Rick Eckert 5042 (-310)
7. Austin Hubbard 4984 (-368)
8. Tim Fuller 4926 (-426)
9. Chub Frank 4836 (-516)
10. Clint Smith 4800 (-552)
11. Russell King 4462 (-890)
12. Brent Robinson 3470 (-1882)
13. Jill George 3236 (-2116)
14. Brady Smith 2992 (-2360)
15. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs 1820 (-3532)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance and Wrisco Aluminum.