Lanigan Spoils McCreadie’s Hometrack Party With Powerful Drive To Victory At Canandaigua Motorsports Park
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Leader Has Tour’s Single-Season Win Record In Sight After Seventh Triumph
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CANANDAIGUA, NY – June 26, 2012 – Darrell Lanigan spoiled Tim McCreadie’s home-track party on Tuesday night, driving to a convincing victory in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
In a mid-week event carrying sponsorship from Sweeteners Plus – the nearby business owned by McCreadie’s team owner Carl Myers – and Ballantyne RV & Marine, Lanigan sailed his Rocket car around the half-mile oval’s outside lane to take the lead from race-long pacesetter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., on lap 23 and never looked back. The 42-year-old star from Union, Ky., ran unchallenged for the remainder of the caution-free race, beating Watertown, N.Y.’s McCreadie to the finish line by 2.971 seconds.
The triumph was Lanigan’s fifth in the last eight WoO LMS events and his seventh overall of 2012. He moved within two victories of matching the tour’s modern-day (2004-present) single-season win record of nine – with 24 A-Mains still left on the schedule – and pushed his commanding points lead to 150 markers over defending champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who salvaged a ninth-place finish after using a provisional spot to start 23rd because engine problems at the start of his heat forced him to switch to his backup car.
Tim Fuller – like McCreadie, a resident of Watertown, N.Y., and a former DIRTcar big-block Modified regular at Canandaigua – finished third despite running the A-Main on seven cylinders because his engine sustained a broken engine lifter during heat action. It was his second straight third-place outing on the WoO LMS.
Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., advanced from the eighth starting spot to place fourth, giving him consecutive top-five finishes on the national tour for the first time this season. WoO LMS Rookie of the Year points leader Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., took fifth thanks to a last-lap pass of Clanton, who started from the pole position but faded to a sixth-place finish as his car developed a ‘tight’ condition during the race’s second half.
Lanigan’s only moment of apparent vulnerability came early in the event. He started sixth but found himself running seventh after four laps, providing his rivals a false sense of hope that his Cornett-powered machine might be a slight bit off.
On lap nine, Lanigan passed Smith to crack the top five. He soared by both Fuller and Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., on lap 12 to reach third and drove around the outside of McCreadie for second on lap 14 before completing his charge on lap 23 by vanquishing Clanton.
“We fell back a little bit there at the beginning,” said Lanigan, whose 33rd career WoO LMS win moved him within five victories of Josh Richards for the top spot on the tour’s win list since 2004. “We just lost some positions being in the wrong spot on the racetrack, but we rallied back there on the top. I was a little concerned (about the slow start), then I just moved up to that top and it was pretty good.
“Man, this car was good. I couldn’t ask for a better car. I could almost run wide-open around that top.”
Lanigan scored a very satisfying victory, shooting down McCreadie at a half-mile oval where the surging driver watched his father, legendary DIRTcar big-block Modified star ‘Barefoot’ Bob McCreadie, throughout the ’80s and ’90s and where he won 14 big-block features himself from 1999-2003. McCreadie had been triumphant in the last WoO LMS event at Canandaigua three years ago and entered Tuesday’s program with two wins in his last three tour starts.
“That was a good one,” Lanigan said of his win. “It’s good to come up here to (McCreadie’s) home track and run well.”
McCreadie, 38, started fourth and quickly hustled his Warrior mount to second on the race’s opening lap. But he couldn’t find a way by Clanton for the lead and ultimately fell to Lanigan’s onslaught.
“I’m pretty well sure (Lanigan) had a different right-rear (tire) on than I did,” said McCreadie, who has registered eight top-five finishes in the last 10 WoO LMS events. “I just faded. It’s just one of these deals – I moved off the top and (Lanigan) drove by me, and I’m like, ‘Damn.’
“That’s what happens sometimes. I’ll tip our caps (to Lanigan), and hopefully we can go make 30-grand down at Lernerville (Speedway in Sarver, Pa.) this weekend (June 28-30 during the sixth annual Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com).”
Fuller, 44, authored one of the noteworthy drives of the evening, moving forward from the fifth starting spot in his handicapped Rocket car. He contemplated starting from the rear of the field in his backup after developing engine woes on his way to a heat-race win, but he decided to disengage one spark plug and run slightly underpowered.
“The motor really sounds bad with that spark plug missing, but that’s what we had to do to make it live,” said Fuller, whose powerplant sported a distinctive ‘ticking’ noise. “Thanks to Clint Smith and Chub Frank – they’re the ones who told me to run it. I wasn’t even gonna run it, but they told it wouldn’t hurt it to run it on seven cylinders – and actually, the track conditions were perfect for being on seven cylinders.”
Fuller broke into third place with a lap-31 pass of Clanton and by lap 35 drew close enough to challenge McCreadie for second, but he lost ground to McCreadie in lapped traffic and settled for a finish that tied his best run of 2012.
Coffey finished seventh, slipping backward from the third starting spot in a race he had high hopes of making his first-ever WoO LMS win. A former DIRTcar big-block Modified regular at Canandaigua, Coffey is McCreadie’s teammate on the Sweeteners Plus team and the step-son of Carl Myers, who is married to Coffey’s mother Ann.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished a quiet eighth, moving up from the 12th starting spot. Eckert was ninth on a night that saw him tow his trailer to the track using a borrowed truck because his own rig was at a Freightliner dealer in Syracuse, N.Y., for transmission repairs, and DIRTcar big-block Modified veteran Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., rounded out the top 10 after starting 18th.
Thirty-two cars were signed in for the program, which drew a near-capacity crowd on a cool, clear early-summer day. It was one of the most successful promotions of Jeremie Corcoran’s two-year run as promoter of the fairgrounds track.
Eckert started the evening on a strong note, earning fast-time honors for the second time this season with a lap of 17.972 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials.
Heat winners were McCreadie, John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y. (first-ever WoO LMS heat victory) and Fuller. Dan Davies of Warren, Pa., captured the B-Main in his second career dirt Late Model start.
The WoO LMS heads to Lernerville Speedway for the three-day Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com on June 28-30. Full WoO LMS programs topped by 30-lap, $6,000-to-win A-Mains will be contested on Thurs., June 28, and Fri., June 29, with the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale set for Sat., June 30.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Canandaigua Motorsports Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Darrell Lanigan/40 $8,650
2. (4) Tim McCreadie/40 $4,700
3. (5) Tim Fuller/40 $3,250
4. (8) Clint Smith/40 $2,850
5. (7) Bub McCool/40 $2,800
6. (1) Shane Clanton/40 $2,150
7. (3) Vic Coffey/40 $2,000
8. (12) Chub Frank/40$1,850
9. (23) Rick Eckert/40 $1,850
10. (18) Billy Decker/40 $1,700
11. (2) John Lobb/40 $1,000
12. (15) Dan Stone/39 $900
13. (9) Jack Sullivan/39 $1,450
14. (13) Kent Robinson/39 $1,350
15. (10) Dave Zona/39 $750
16. (17) Pat Doar/39 $1,250
17. (21) Dylan Yoder/39 $710
18. (24) Alan Fink/38 $640
19. (20) Brent Rhebergen/37 $620
20. (14) Dutch Davies/19 $610
21. (22) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/17 $600
22. (19) Dan Davies/17 $600
23. (16) Ross Robinson/14 $600
24. (11) Ron Davies/9 $600