Lanigan Returns To World of Outlaws Late Model Series Winning Ways With Dominant Victory At Red River Co-op Speedway
Triumph Moves Kentucky Star Within One Checkered Flag Of National Tour’s Single-Season Win Record
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
WINNIPEG, MB – July 12, 2012 – Darrell Lanigan put himself at the doorstep of World of Outlaws Late Model Series history with a convincing victory in Thursday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Red River Co-op Speedway.
Roaring back from his first DNF of 2012 two nights earlier, the 42-year-old star from Union, Ky., took advantage of an outside pole starting spot to lead the entire distance. His triumph in the tour’s first-ever visit to the Canadian province of Manitoba was his eighth of the season and moved him within one checkered flag of tying the circuit’s modern-era (2004-present) single-season win record held by Scott Bloomquist and Josh Richards.
“We had a good car (on Tuesday night at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D.), but we just had some problems and got a DNF,” said Lanigan, whose 18th-place run at the half-mile oval marked just his third finish outside the top 10 in 24 events. “We knocked a hole in the radiator and had to pull out, but we came back strong tonight. We had a brand-new (Cornett) motor – that thing was awesome.”
Lanigan was briefly challenged early in the distance by polesitter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., but the tour’s current points leader steered his Rocket machine away from the pack with ease after the race’s lone caution flag flew on lap 13 for the stopped car driven by track regular Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He beat Clanton’s Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car to the finish line by 2.479 seconds.
Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., was on the move late but settled for a third-place finish in his Team Zero by Bloomquist car, less than a half-second behind Clanton at the checkered flag. WoO LMS Rookie of the Year leader Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., placed fourth in his Victory Circle mount and Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., registered a season-best finish of fifth in his Mars car.
Lanigan’s key moment at the four-tenths-mile Red River oval came at the initial green flag. He outgunned Clanton, who won the ‘Wild West Tour’ opener on July 7 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., with a sweeping outside charge through turns one and two and never looked back.
“I knew that was gonna be the pass for the win there,” said Lanigan, whose $10,650 victory snapped his modest five-race winless stretch and pushed his already commanding points lead to 138 points over ninth-place finisher Rick Eckert of York, Pa. “The bottom was definitely the preferred groove, but I just got in on the top and got around him on the first lap.”
Clanton, 36, didn’t have quite enough staying power to prevent Lanigan from recording the 34th WoO LMS triumph of his career.
“We still gotta pick it up a little bit to keep pace with Darrell,” said Clanton, who earned his first runner-up finish on the 2012 WoO LMS. “At least we can run with him. I almost had him there for a little bit, but then we got in lapped traffic and he could (the slower cars) a little bit better than I could on the top of one and two.”
Smith, 35, might have been the only driver with a chance to threaten Lanigan had a caution flag been needed late in the distance. He overtook Doar for third on lap 36 and drew close to Clanton without losing any ground to Lanigan.
“I don’t know if we had anything for Darrell, but we did run down Clanton once we finally got to third and I could see Darrell up there ahead of me too,” said Smith. “We were good here all night. Unfortunately, we drew the eight (starting spot) in the redraw. It’s kind of tough to come from back there against these guys.”
Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., started and finished sixth, but he slipped back to seventh at the start and didn’t regain the sixth spot until passing Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., on lap 34. Frank faded to a seventh-place finish after starting third, while Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., fell from the fifth starting spot to an eighth-place finish – just his third placing outside the top five in the last 16 WoO LMS A-Mains. Eckert was a quiet ninth and rookie contender Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., was 10th for his second straight top-10 finish.
Thirty-three cars entered the event, which was spun off in rapid-fire fashion by WoO LMS officials because dark clouds surrounding the track signaled the threat of rain.
Terry Casey of New London, Wis., was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 16.218 seconds. It was his first career WoO LMS fast-time honor.
Heat winners were Clanton, Lanigan, Brady Smith and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. WoO LMS rookie Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., and Scott Greer of East Saint Paul, Manitoba, topped the B-Mains.
The WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ will continue on Fri., July 13, at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., and Sat., July 14, at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Red River Co-op Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Darrell Lanigan/50 $10,650
2. (1) Shane Clanton/50 $5,600
3. (8) Brady Smith/50 $3,000
4. (10) Bub McCool/50 $3,300
5. (4) Pat Doar/50 $2,550
6. (6) Clint Smith/50 $2,250
7. (3) Chub Frank/50 $1,950
8. (5) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,950
9. (11) Rick Eckert/50 $1,850
10. (12) Kent Robinson/50 $1,650
11. (15) Brad Seng/49 $1,550
12. (7) Tim Fuller/49 $1,550
13. (14) Don Shaw/49 $1,000
14. (17) Jack Sullivan/49 $1,450
15. (22) Ward Imrie/48 $850
16. (18) Scott Greer/47 $800
17. (13) Ricky Weiss/22 $870
18. (16) Mike Balcaen/14 $750
19. (19) Kevin Sexton/14 $730
20. (20) Dustin Strand/11 $700
21. (21) Joey Pederson/9 $700
22. (9) Terry Casey/1 $750
23. (23) Jill George/1 $700
24. (24) Shane Edginton/0 $725