What A Holiday: Seven World of Outlaws Late Model Series Regulars Bag Feature Wins Over Memorial Day Weekend
Veteran Clint Smith (above) Leads Tour Stars’ Off-Weekend Assault With Pair Of Victories In Home State
CONCORD, NC – May 31, 2011 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series was idle over the Memorial Day weekend, but the national tour’s regulars didn’t spend the holiday at family barbeques.
All 14 drivers with perfect attendance on this year’s season went racing last weekend – and seven of them bagged feature wins.
Free to fan out to tracks across the country after a scheduled holiday weekend tripleheader in the Mountaineer State was canceled recently due to weather-related delays in the reconstruction of West Virginia Motor Speedway, the World of Outlaws travelers shined on multiple stages. The victors included:
* Clint Smith, who stuck close to his home in Senoia, Ga., and scored back-to-back triumphs on Saturday night at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., and Sunday night at Rome Speedway. He earned $2,000 for each of his 30-lap wins – the 42nd Anniversary Super Late Model Championship event at Dixie and the season opener at Rome.
Adding even more luster to his weekend, Smith, 46, won both races after watching his 18-year-old daughter, Jenna, graduate with honors from East Coweta High School. He attended the commencement ceremonies on Saturday morning and then headed to Dixie.
“Jenna wasn’t at the race on Saturday night, but she came to Rome on Sunday so I gave her the win trophy,” said Smith, who won the lidlifter at Rome for the third consecutive year. “I dedicated the win to her.”
The postponement of the WoO LMS weekend in West Virginia was a godsend to Smith, who might have been absent from the Saturday-night show at WVMS if it had run as scheduled. He pledged that he would not miss Jenna’s graduation, so he would have had to arrange a flight in order to make it to West Virginia in time to race.
Smith, whose daughter plans to study speech therapy at West Georgia University in the fall, continued a resurgent month with his pair of wins. He snapped a frustrating 122-race winless streak on the WoO LMS with a victory on May 8 at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, Ga.
“We got the program going pretty good,” Smith said of his self-owned team. “I’m down to just (mechanic) Brad (Baum) helping me – me and (crewman) Darrell (Cooper) parted ways (after Needmore) – so I have just one ‘Stray Cat’ now, but we’re doing O.K.”
Smith also registered a fourth-place finish in Monday’s Memorial Day Championship event at Tri-County Speedway in Brasstown, N.C.
* Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. The 2008 WoO LMS champion and four-time winner on this year’s tour pulled off a dramatic victory on Saturday night at his hometown’s Florence Speedway, passing Greg Johnson on the final lap.
The 40-year-old star, who also finished fourth in Sunday evening’s American Late Model Series ‘Johnny Appleseed Classic’ at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, was triumphant at Florence exactly one week after the death of his father, Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Porter Lanigan.
* Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. The 19-year-old sensation finally broke through for his first win of 2011 in Monday night’s Memorial Day special at Bedford (Pa.) Speedway. He pocketed $2,000 after steering Dale Beitler’s No. 19 forward from the ninth starting to take the lead on lap 24 of the 30-lap event.
Hubbard’s busy weekend also included finishes of 10th in Friday night’s 35-lap Three State Flyers Series feature at Winchester (Va.) Speedway; second in Saturday’s 35-lap Three State Flyers show at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway; and seventh and third in Sunday’s twin 25-lap UFO Super Late Model Series A-Mains at Hesston (Pa.) Speedway.
* Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga. Shaking out of his early-season doldrums, the 35-year-old piloted his Capital Race Cars machine to a $5,000 victory in Saturday night’s Southern All-Stars Late Model Series feature at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss. It was his first win since capturing the SAS season opener on March 12 at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway.
* Ron Davies of Warren, Pa. The 53-year-old WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender – and father of Clanton’s fiancée Michelle – flashed his speed on the local scene with a cushion-riding run to a $3,000 checkered flag in Sunday night’s 35-lap Super Late Model feature at Little Valley (N.Y.) Speedway.
* Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis. The current leader in the 2011 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year points battle, Doar, 47, earned $2,000 for winning a 25-lap Northern Late Model Racing Association feature on Saturday night at Viking Speedway in Alexandria, Minn. He dominated the event but couldn’t sweep the two-day show, finishing third in Sunday night’s 25-lapper.
* Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. The struggling WoO LMS follower returned to his DIRTcar Big-Block Modified roots and got a sorely-needed boost, winning the 60-lap ‘All-Star Weekend’ Super DIRTcar Series season opener on Sunday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y. Fuller, 43, drove the J&S Racing No. 74 machine to the $6,000 triumph at the five-eighths-mile oval and in Monday night’s Victoria 100 event at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y., where he was an early retiree and finished 32nd.
The other WoO LMS regulars in action last weekend were:
* Rick Eckert of York, Pa. The tour’s current points leader made two starts, finishing eighth on Saturday night at Hagerstown and second behind Hubbard in Monday night’s special at Bedford.
* Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. Making his first-ever start at Little Valley Speedway, the 49-year-old veteran was overtaken for the lead by Davies but held on to finish second – his fourth runner-up finish in his last five starts.
* Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. The two-time defending WoO LMS champion experienced a relatively quiet weekend, driving the Ernie Davis No. 25 to finishes of sixth on Friday at Winchester and fourth (from 14th) on Saturday at Hagerstown and his father Mark’s No. 1 to a 10th-place finish in Sunday’s Johnny Appleseed Classic at Eldora. Richards was stout at the ‘Big E,’ but after setting fast time he was forced to pit with a flat tire following the initial start of the feature.
* Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. The 2006 WoO LMS titlist suffered through a miserable weekend, failing to qualify his Sweeteners Plus Victory Circle Chassis for Saturday’s Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo. (he missed transferring through a B-Main by three spots) and dropping out of Big-Block Modified events on Sunday at Rolling Wheels (finished 23rd) and Utica-Rome (24th) behind the wheel of a New York-based Four-Star Racing mount.
* Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y. His unspectacular outings in the Sweeteners Plus Big-Block Modified brought him a 26th-place finish at Rolling Wheels and a 16th at Utica-Rome.
* John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y. One week removed from a topless Late Model feature win on May 20 at Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa., the WoO LMS rookie registered finishes of seventh on Saturday night at Stateline Speedway in Hammett, Pa., and fifth on Sunday evening at Little Valley.
* Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa. The first female regular on the WoO LMS made two starts in the Midwest, highlighted by a solid ninth-place finish in an IMCA Late Model feature on Saturday night at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, Iowa (she started 20th and climbed as high as sixth). She also entered Sunday night’s ‘Alphabet Soup’ event at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., but missed a transferring through a B-Main by one spot after advancing from 14th to sixth.
UP NEXT: The WoO LMS is off until the running of the rescheduled Gunter’s Honey Spring 50 on Sat., June 18, at Winchester (Va.) Speedway. That 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event will be followed by the fifth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com, a three-day spectacular that includes 30-lap, $6,000-to-win preliminary shows on Thurs., June 23, and Fri., June 24, and the $30,000-to-win 100-lap finale on Sat., June 25.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
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), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.