Richards Caps Championship Season With World Finals Victory
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Richards Caps Championship Season With Victory In World of Outlaws World Finals Finale

Celebrates Third World of Outlaws Late Model Series Title In Style At The Dirt Track At Charlotte

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

CONCORD, NC – Nov. 9, 2013 – Josh Richards capped his World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship season in style, scoring a powerful victory in Saturday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws World Finals finale at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

With the pressure of points racing removed after clinching his third career WoO LMS title the previous night, Richards calmly roared off the pole position to lead the A-Main from start-to-finish in his father Mark’s Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car. He turned back challenges from John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., to register his 10th triumph of 2013 and the 49th of his career on the national tour.

Richards, 25, of Shinnston, W.Va., beat Eckert to the finish line by 0.941 of a second for a $12,650 payday that gave him two reasons to celebrate in front of the event’s standing-room-only crowd at the conclusion of the blockbuster program.

“It feels awesome,” said Richards, who became the first driver to win three WoO LMS championships since the WoO LMS was restarted in 2004 under the World Racing Group banner. “It’s definitely icing on the cake (to win the A-Main).”

Sixteen-year-old Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., advanced from the 17th starting spot in his father Bob’s Pierce Race Car to finish third in his first career World Finals A-Main start. He cracked the top five on lap 25 and reached third place with a lap-44 pass of Blankenship.

Blankenship settled for a fourth-place finish – the same position from which he started –in a Rocket machine after running in second place for 29 of the race’s first 30 laps. Fifth was claimed by Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., whose family-owned Rocket sustained heavy left-front damage after the checkered flag when he inadvertently hit Blankenship on the backstretch because he didn’t realize the race had ended.

Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., finished sixth, bringing an end to his streak of capturing the Saturday-night World Finals A-Main in each of the last four years. He had high hopes of registering a fifth straight win after drawing the outside pole starting spot, but he was penalized one row by WoO LMS officials for firing before Richards on the original start and then was forced high in turn one on the ensuing restart and fell to mid-pack.

Richards, who returned to the WoO LMS fulltime this season after spending most of 2012 competing on the NASCAR Nationwide Series, secured the $100,000 championship prize on Friday night when a third-place finish left him with an insurmountable 100-point lead over defending champ Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. The early clinching put him in a nice spot for Saturday night’s finale.

“This is the most relaxed I’ve ever been here at Charlotte,” said Richards, who won a World Finals A-Main in 2008. “To be able to have the (points) cushion we had (entering the weekend) and wrap it up last night – compared to previous years when you’re (battling for the title) right down to the last lap (on Saturday) – was a relief. We were able to just go all-out for the win tonight.”

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Richards had more than enough speed in his familiar blue No. 1 to handle six restarts between laps nine and 30 and threats early in the distance from Blankenship and later from Eckert.

“We were close last night,” said Richards, who chased Lanigan and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., across the finish line on Friday night. “We made some changes to the car today and it was so fun to drive. You could move around. My guys did a great job making adjustments.”

Richards ended the season with a commanding 150-point championship-winning margin over Lanigan, who retired with engine problems on lap nine and finished 25th but held on to place second in the WoO LMS standings by just two points over eighth-place-finisher Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga. His 10 victories on the tour were a personal single-season high.

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Eckert, 47, hustled forward from the 12th starting spot to take second place from Blankenship on a lap-30 restart. He raced within striking distance of Richards for the remainder of the race but had to be satisfied with his sixth runner-up finish of the 2013 WoO LMS season.

“I feel like I was a little better than (Richards) in (turns) one and two and he was a little better than me through them holes in three and four,” said Eckert, who won the 2011 WoO LMS championship when Richards slowed with a flat tire on the last lap of the World Finals finale. “If I could’ve ever stayed with him down the straightaway I might’ve been able to fill the gap to where he couldn’t come back across, but it’s tough do that with these cars because they get rocked up and it’s hard to see guys to the left of you.

“We’re happy with a second though. We started 12th and got up through there, so it’s a good way to end the year.”

Finishing in positions 7-10 was DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals and national champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who started 21st; Clanton; Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., who spent the weekend driving the Todd Wood-owned car (renumbered ‘1CAT’) normally steered by Wood’s son Dillon.

Six caution flags slowed the event, including two for wall-banging incidents involving high-profile drivers. Bloomquist slapped the turn-four concrete on lap 20 while running seventh and Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., hit the turn-one wall on lap 23 after tangling with Tyler Reddick of DuQuoin, Ill., while battling for fifth place.

Other caution flags were brought out by Lanigan, who slowed after losing power on lap nine; Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., whose run in the top five ended on lap 12; Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, who slowed with a right-rear flat tire on lap 29; and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who was sent spinning into the infield in a turn-four jam-up on lap 30.

Heat winners were Owens, Richards, Reddick, Blankenship, McCool and Stone. The B-Mains were captured by Lanigan, Kenny Moreland of Waldorf, Md., and Sheppard.

The stars of the 2013 WoO LMS will be honored – and share in nearly $400,000 in points-fund cash – during the tour’s annual awards banquet on Sunday night (Nov. 10) at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C

The 2014 WoO LMS campaign is scheduled to kick off on Feb. 7-8 with the ‘Winter Freeze’ doubleheader at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.

The 2014 World of Outlaws World Finals, meanwhile, will be held at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Nov. 6-8.

Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series World Finals Night No. 2 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (1) Josh Richards/50 $12,650
2. (12) Rick Eckert/50 $5,650
3. (17) Bobby Pierce/50 $3,550
4. (4) John Blankenship/50 $2,500
5. (5) Dan Stone/50 $2,000
6. (2) Jimmy Owens/50 $1,700
7. (21) Brandon Sheppard/50 $1,500
8. (13) Shane Clanton/50 $2,000
9. (22) Earl Pearson Jr./50 $1,350
10. (23) Clint Smith/50 $1,950
11. (26) Eric Wells/50 $2,100
12. (18) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,750
13. (24) Tim Fuller/50 $1,700
14. (16) B.J. Robinson/50 $1,200
15. (20) Kenny Moreland/37 $1,050
16. (10) Gregg Satterlee/30 $1,000
17. (9) Duane Chamberlain/29 $1,000
18. (25) Tim McCreadie/29 $1,650
19. (15) Ryan Gustin/28 $1,000
20. (7) Chris Ferguson/26 $1,000
21. (6) Tyler Reddick/23 $1,000
22. (8) Steve Francis/23 $1,100
23. (14) Scott Bloomquist/20 $1,100
24. (3) Bub McCool/11 $1,500
25. (19) Darrell Lanigan/9 $1,650
26. (11) Steve Shaver/9 $1,000
27. (27) Jeremy Miller/6 $1,000

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 27 Mins., 19.379 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.941 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 6 (laps 8, 12, 20, 23, 29, 30)
Lap Leaders: Richards (1-50)
Provisional Starters: McCreadie, Wells (WoO); Miller (fastest pre-entered non-qualifier)
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Pierce ($500)

Heat No. 1 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Jimmy Owens, 2. Chris Ferguson, 3. Shane Clanton, 4. Darrell Lanigan, 5. Will Vaught, 6. Billy Decker, 7. Rod Conley, 8. Dale Hollidge, 9. Chris Madden, 10. Kyle Hardy, 11. Chase Junghans, 12. James O’Hara (DNS) Tim Allen

Heat No. 2 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Steve Francis, 3. Scot Bloomquist, 4. Eric Wells, 5. Earl Pearson Jr., 6. Jason Feger, 7. J.T. Spence, 8. Brian Tavenner, 9. Vic Hill, 10. Mike Benedum, 11. Chuck Harper, 12. Kevin Wilson

Heat No. 3 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Tyler Reddick, 2. Duane Chamberlain, 3. Ryan Gustin, 4. Kenny Moreland, 5. Jeff Babcock, 6. Chad Hollenbeck, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Tim McCreadie, 9. Eric Jacobsen, 10. Pancho Lawler, 11. Don Gordon (DNS) Casey Roberts

Heat No. 4 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. John Blankenship, 2. Gregg Satterlee, 3. B.J. Robinson, 4. Mike Marlar, 5. Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin, 6. Clint Smith, 7. Chub Frank, 8. Andrew Reaume, 9. Coleby Frye, 10. Bryan Force, 11. Glenn Elliott, 12. Kerry King

Heat No. 5 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Bub McCool, 2. Steve Shaver, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. Chris Brown, 5. Jeremy Miller, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Devin Moran, 8. Ricky Elliott, 9. Jared Landers, 10. Mason Zeigler, 11. Brian Ledbetter, 12. Jonathan Davenport

Heat No. 6 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Dan Stone, 2. Rick Eckert, 3. Morgan Bagley, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Tim Fuller, 6. Don O’Neal, 7. Dennis Erb Jr., 8. Walker Arthur, 9. John Garvin, 10. Matt Cochran, 11. Billy Ogle Jr.

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Earl Pearson Jr., 3. Jason Feger, 4. Billy Decker, 5. Eric Wells, 6. Chris Madden, 7. Rod Conley, 8. J.T. Spence, 9. Dale Hollidge, 10. Brian Tavenner, 11. Kyle Hardy, 12. Chase Junghans, 13. Mike Benedum, 14. Chuck Harper, 15. Will Vaught, 16. James O’Hara, 17. Kevin Wilson

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Kenny Moreland, 2. Clint Smith, 3. Jeff Babcock, 4. Eric Jacobsen, 5. Chub Frank, 6. Andrew Reaume, 7. Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin, 8. Chad Hollenbeck, 9. Pancho Lawler, 10. Bryan Force, 11. Kerry King, 12. Mike Marlar, 13. Don Gordon, 14. Glenn Elliott, 15. Dale McDowell, 16. Coleby Frye

B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Chris Brown, 4. Don O’Neal, 5. Austin Hubbard, 6. John Garvin, 7. Ricky Elliott, 8. Mason Zeigler, 9. Walker Arthur, 10. Jared Landers, 11. Devin Moran, 12. Dennis Erb Jr., 13. Matt Cochran, 14. Brian Ledbetter, 15. Jeremy Miller, 16. Jonathan Davenport

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): Billy Moyer
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Earl Pearson Jr./Kenny Moreland/Don O’Neal
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Billy Moyer
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Josh Richards
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Rick Eckert
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): B.J. Robinson
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): B.J. Robinson
QuarterMaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Kenny Moreland
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Tim McCreadie
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Bub McCool
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Josh Richards
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Josh Richards
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Eric Wells

Final 2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings – 46 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 6394
2. Darrell Lanigan 6244 (-150)
3. Shane Clanton 6242 (-152)
4. Rick Eckert 6200 (-194)
5. Tim McCreadie 5840 (-554)
6. Eric Wells 5780 (-614)
7. Tim Fuller 5770 (-624)
8. Morgan Bagley 5632 (-762)
9. Chub Frank 5620 (-774)
10. Bub McCool 5598 (-796)
11. Clint Smith 5196 (-1198)
12. Dan Stone 2768 (-3626)

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.

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LIVE UPDATES 11/9: World of Outlaws World Finals At The Dirt Track At Charlotte

CONCORD, NC – Nov. 9, 2013 – The 2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series season concludes tonight with the finale of the seventh annual World of Outlaws World Finals doubleheader at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Heat-race lineups were set by the second round of Thursday night’s Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, and a 50-lap, $12,000-to-win A-Main will top the full-fender division’s card at the four-tenths-mile oval. Josh Richards (above) has already clinched his third career WoO LMS championship.

For live updates of all the news, pit notes and results from tonight’s action, click the ‘Full Story’ link below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to see the latest information.

Great finish for Josh

11:10 p.m. – Josh Richards capped his championship season with a flag-to-flag victory in the 50-lap season finale. He beat Rick Eckert, Bobby Pierce, John Blankenship and Dan Stone to the finish line.

A-Main Finish: 1. Josh Richards, 2. Rick Eckert, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. John Blankenship, 5. Dan Stone, 6. Jimmy Owens, 7. Brandon Sheppard, 8. Shane Clanton, 9. Earl Pearson Jr., 10. Clint Smith, 11. Eric Wells, 12. Morgan Bagleyy, 13. Tim Fuller, 14. B.J. Robinson, 15. Kenny Moreland, 16. Gregg Satterlee, 17. Duane Chamberlain, 18. Tim McCreadie, 19. Ryan Gustin, 20. Chris Ferguson, 21. Tyler Reddick, 22. Steve Francis, 23. Scott Bloomquist, 24. Bub McCool, 25. Darrell Lanigan, 26. Steve Shaver, 27. Jeremy Miller

Richards still on top

11 p.m. – After caution flags on laps 20 (Scott Bloomquist slaps turn four wall) and 23 (Steve Francis wall in turns one and two), Josh Richards leads Blankenship, Eckert, Stone and Reddick….

Trouble for Lanigan

10:50 p.m. – Darrell Lanigan slowed showing smoke on lap eight to bring out the race’s first caution flag. He pitted and has not returned with the race back under green.

Richards leads Blankenship, Francis, McCool and Reddick….

Feature time approaching

10 p.m. – The WoO STP Sprint Car Series A-Main concluded moments ago with Paul McMahan taking the victory. Daryn Pittman finished 12th to claim the 2013 championship by 14 points over Donny Schatz — the closest points finish in the history of the series.

The WoO LMS A-Main field is in the staging area, ready to roll onto the racetrack after the completion of Sprint Car Victory Lane ceremonies.

Tough luck for T-Mac

9:30 p.m. – Tim McCreadie’s bid for a victory in the 40-lap Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modified feature was short-circuited by mechanical woes. He was running in seventh place when he retired on lap 28.

Fellow double-duty racer Billy Decker, meanwhile, finished a quiet ninth for the second consecutive night.

Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., won the very entertaining big-block Modified headliner, passing New Jersey superstar Brett Hearn — the 2013 DIRTcar big-block Modified champion — with three laps remaining to gain command.

The WoO Sprint Car A-Main is up next, with the WoO LMS headliner set to close the evening.

How they’ll line up

9:10 p.m. – With provisional starting spots going to Tim McCreadie and Eric Wells (WoO points) and Jeremy Miller (fastest non-qualified driver who pre-entered), 27 cars will start the 50-lap A-Main. The race will follow the 40-lap big-block Modified feature (currently on the track) and the 30-lap WoO Sprint Car A-Main.

A-Main Lineup

Row 1: Josh Richards/Jimmy Owens
Row 2: Bub McCool/John Blankenship
Row 3: Dan Stone/Tyler Reddick
Row 4: Chris Ferguson/Steve Francis
Row 5: Duane Chamberlain/Gregg Satterlee
Row 6: Steve Shaver/Rick Eckert
Row 7: Shane Clanton/Scott Bloomquist
Row 8: Ryan Gustin/B.J. Robinson
Row 9: Bobby Pierce/Morgan Bagley
Row 10: Darrell Lanigan/Kenny Moreland
Row 11: Brandon Sheppard/Earl Pearson Jr.
Row 12: Clint Smith/Tim Fuller
Row 13: Tim McCreadie/Eric Wells
Row 14: Jeremy Miller

Qualifying complete

9:05 p.m. – Darrell Lanigan, Kenny Moreland and Brandon Sheppard were victorious in the three 12-lap B-Mains. Runners-up Earl Pearson Jr., Clint Smith and Tim Fuller also transferred to the A-Main.

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Earl Pearson Jr., 3. Jason Feger, 4. Billy Decker, 5. Eric Wells, 6. Chris Madden, 7. Rod Conley, 8. J.T. Spence, 9. Dale Hollidge, 10. Brian Tavenner, 11. Kyle Hardy, 12. Chase Junghans, 13. Mike Benedum, 14. Chuck Harper, 15. Will Vaught, 16. James O’Hara, 17. Kevin Wilson

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Kenny Moreland, 2. Clint Smith, 3. Jeff Babcock, 4. Eric Jacobsen, 5. Chub Frank, 6. Andrew Reaume, 7. Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin, 8. Chad Hollenbeck, 9. Pancho Lawler, 10. Bryan Force, 11. Kerry King, 12. Mike Marlar, 13. Don Gordon, 14. Glenn Elliott, 15. Dale McDowell, 16. Coleby Frye

B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brandon Sheppard, 2. Tim Fuller, 3. Chris Brown, 4. Don O’Neal, 5. Austin Hubbard, 6. John Garvin, 7. Ricky Elliott, 8. Mason Zeigler, 9. Walker Arthur, 10. Jared Landers, 11. Devin Moran, 12. Dennis Erb Jr., 13. Matt Cochran, 14. Brian Ledbetter, 15. Jeremy Miller, 16. Jonathan Davenport

Championship front row

8 p.m. – The A-Main redraw among heat winners set up a very noteworthy front row — 2013 WoO LMS champion Josh Richards starts from the pole position, and 2013 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series titlist Jimmy Owens will take the green flag from the outside pole.

Bub McCool will start third, followed by John Blankenship, Dan Stone and Tyler Reddick, who picked the worst spot in the redraw jug for the second consecutive night.

Big Brother shines

7:25 p.m. – Dan Stone’s decision to switch from the Super Deuce machine to his family-owned No. 21d paid off with a victory in the sixth heat. He said this marks the first time he has qualified for a World Finals A-Main.

Stone’s good buddy Rick Eckert finished second and Morgan Bagley placed third.

Heat No. 6 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Dan Stone, 2. Rick Eckert, 3. Morgan Bagley, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Tim Fuller, 6. Don O’Neal, 7. Dennis Erb Jr., 8. Walker Arthur, 9. John Garvin, 10. Matt Cochran, 11. Billy Ogle Jr.

Better night for Bub

7:20 p.m. – After failing to qualify for last night’s A-Main due to a broken rearend, Bub McCool rebounded with a solid victory in Heat 5. He beat Steve Shaver and teenager Bobby Pierce to the finish line.

Jeremy Miller started from the pole position, but he was penalized two spots by WoO LMS officials for firing early on the initial green flag. He could only manage a fifth-place finish.

Heat No. 5 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Bub McCool, 2. Steve Shaver, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. Chris Brown, 5. Jeremy Miller, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Devin Moran, 8. Ricky Elliott, 9. Jared Landers, 10. Mason Zeigler, 11. Brian Ledbetter, 12. Jonathan Davenport

Blankenship blasts ahead

7:15 p.m. – Reigning World 100 champion John Blankenship was unbeatable in the fourth heat as he cruised to an easy victory. Gregg Satterlee finished second and open-wheel Modified graduate B.J. Robinson took the third and final transfer spot.

Heat No. 4 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. John Blankenship, 2. Gregg Satterlee, 3. B.J. Robinson, 4. Mike Marlar, 5. Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin, 6. Clint Smith, 7. Chub Frank, 8. Andrew Reaume, 9. Coleby Frye, 10. Bryan Force, 11. Glenn Elliott, 12. Kerry King

Teen tops ’em

7:05 p.m. – Seventeen-year-old Tyler Reddick won the third heat, emerging victorious in preliminary action for the second consecutive night. He said in his post-race interview that he’s hoping to capitalize on another heat score by working on his car to “cook up something great” for the feature.

Duane Chamberlain finished second and Iowa’s Ryan Gustin made a strong charge forward from the seventh starting spot to claim the third and final transfer spot.

Heat No. 3 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Tyler Reddick, 2. Duane Chamberlain, 3. Ryan Gustin, 4. Kenny Moreland, 5. Jeff Babcock, 6. Chad Hollenbeck, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Tim McCreadie, 9. Eric Jacobsen, 10. Pancho Lawler, 11. Don Gordon (DNS) Casey Roberts

Champ on the attack

7 p.m. – Josh Richards controlled the second heat, rolling to a convincing victory over Steve Francis and Scott Bloomquist. WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Eric Wells missed transferring with a fourth-place finish.

Heat No. 2 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Steve Francis, 3. Scot Bloomquist, 4. Eric Wells, 5. Earl Pearson Jr., 6. Jason Feger, 7. J.T. Spence, 8. Brian Tavenner, 9. Vic Hill, 10. Mike Benedum, 11. Chuck Harper, 12. Kevin Wilson

Another ‘Nightmare’ brewing?

6:55 p.m. – Jimmy Owens has won the Saturday-night finale of the World Finals the last four years. After scoring a dominant victory in the first heat, he’s looking good for a fifth straight triumph.

Owens passed Shane Clanton for the lead on lap five and never looked back in the 10-lapper. He said in an interview afterward that he’s “never had such a good car in a heat race here” — a pronouncement that could spell doom for the field.

There was some wild action behind Owens. Clanton and Lanigan were battling for second on lap seven when Chris Ferguson snuck underneath both of them off turn four to grab the spot and finish there. Then, on the final lap, Clanton overtook Lanigan to finish in the third and final transfer spot.

Heat No. 1 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Jimmy Owens, 2. Chris Ferguson, 3. Shane Clanton, 4. Darrell Lanigan, 5. Will Vaught, 6. Billy Decker, 7. Rod Conley, 8. Dale Hollidge, 9. Chris Madden, 10. Kyle Hardy, 11. Chase Junghans, 12. James O’Hara (DNS) Tim Allen

Spectating

6:30 p.m. – Billy Moyer was scheduled to start from the pole position in tonight’s fourth heat thanks to his fast-time performance on Thursday night, but his hard heat-race accident last night forced him to sit out the remainder of the weekend.

Moyer’s wicked left-side slap of the turn-two wall on the opening lap of last night’s first heat left him dazed and he was transported by ambulance to a local medical center. He underwent several tests and x-ray procedures but no broken bones or other significant injuries were found; he was diagnosed with a slight concussion and returned to the track during the WoO LMS A-Main.

Moyer has remained at the track for tonight’s program, hampered only by a slight headache, a swollen right hand and sore ribs. He sent his hauler home to Arkansas with his crew and will enlist someone to drive his motorhome back; he will return home by plane with his good friend Lance Landers, the father of Clint Bowyer Motorsports Late Model driver Jared Landers.

Standing near Bub McCool’s car earlier this afternoon, Moyer was asked how many times he has had to visit a hospital due to a racing-related crash during his more than 30 years behind the wheel. He could recall just two occasions – both, coincidentally, during trips to The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Nearly a decade ago he was hit in the helmet by a clod of mud during a mid-week Late Model show at the track, knocking him unconscious for a short time and prompting safety crews to take him to the hospital for a check-up.

“This place has been rough on me,” said Moyer, shaking his head. “When I got to the hospital last night, they already had my information from the last time I had to go there. They said, ‘You’re back again?'”

Decker in, Fuller out

6:10 p.m. – The second of the two big-block Modified last-chance qualifiers included two drivers pulling Late Model/Mod double-duty tonight. Billy Decker made the cut for tonight’s 40-lap feature with a second-place finish, but WoO LMS regular Tim Fuller’s fourth-place performance left him a non-qualifier.

The WoO STP Sprint Cars are now taking to the track for five heat races. Tonight’s six WoO LMS heats will follow.

Here we go….

6 p.m. – The evening’s racing action began moments ago with the first of two last-chance qualifiers for the Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modifieds.

The competition followed the traditional World Finals Saturday-night opening ceremonies featuring a ‘parade of states.’ Fans from all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces, Australia, the United Kingdom, Francis, the Neatherlands and Trinidad walked in front of the grandstand with their respective state/country flags; more than two-dozen Late Model, Sprint Car and big-block Modified drivers joined their home-state’s fans for the procession as well.

The champ

4:35 p.m. – With his third career WoO LMS championship clinched last night, Josh Richards has no points worries on his mind tonight. In fact, with his 100-point lead over Darrell Lanigan being large enough that he doesn’t even have to start tonight’s A-Main, he joked that he just might skip the race.

“I thought, Maybe I’ll just watch tonight,” Richards quipped with a smile. “Then when we look at the points at the end of the year we’ll have 45 races listed for us and can say we won the championship missing one race.”

There’s no chance Richards will do that, of course. He wants to end the season on a high note with a victory — a triumph that would give him a career-high 10 WoO LMS wins this season.

“We’re just going for the win tonight,” said Richards.

Last set of heats

4:15 p.m. – Six 8-lap heats will be contested tonight, with the top-three finishers from each moving on to the A-Main and the winners redrawing for the top six starting spots. The WoO LMS will run last in the rotation tonight, followng the Super DIRTcar Series big-block Modifieds and the WoO STP Sprint Car Series.

Officials have pushed the start of hot laps back to 4:45 tonight in an effort to improve track conditions by reducing the number of laps run under the afternoon sun. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Below are tonight’s heat-race lineups:

Heat 1

Row 1: Shane Clanton/Darrell Lanigan
Row 2: Jimmy Owens/Billy Decker
Row 3: Rod Conley/Will Vaught
Row 4: Chris Ferguson/Chris Madden
Row 5: Chase Junghans/Dale Hollidge
Row 6: Kyle Hardy/James O’Hara
Row 7: Tim Allen

Heat 2

Row 1: Josh Richards/Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Steve Francis/Eric Wells
Row 3: J.T. Spence/Mike Bendum
Row 4: Earl Pearson Jr./Chuck Harper
Row 5: Jason Fegers/Vic Hill
Row 6: Brian Tavenner/Kevin Wilson

Heat 3

Row 1: Tyler Reddick/Chad Hollenbeck
Row 2: Duane Chamberlain/Pancho Lawler
Row 3: Tim McCreadie/Casey Roberts
Row 4: Ryan Gustin/Kenny Moreland
Row 5: Jeff Babcock/Dale McDowell
Row 6: Don Gordon/Eric Jacobsen

Heat 4

Row 1: John Blankenship/Gregg Satterlee
Row 2: Mike Marlar/Clint Smith
Row 3: Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin/Coleby Frye
Row 4: B.J. Robinson/Chub Frank
Row 5: Andrew Reaume/Glenn Elliott
Row 6: Bryan Force/Kerry King

Heat 5

Row 1: Jeremy Miller/Steve Shaver
Row 2: Bub McCool/Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Bobby Pierce/Chris Brown
Row 4: Austin Hubbard/Devin Moran
Row 5: Mason Zeigler/Ricky Elliott
Row 6: Jared Landers/Brian Ledbetter

Heat 6

Row 1: Billy Ogle Jr./Dan Stone
Row 2: Morgan Bagley/Rick Eckert
Row 3: Don O’Neal/Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 4: Tim Fuller/Walker Arthur
Row 5: Brandon Sheppard/Matt Cochran
Row 6: John Garvin