McCreadie Outruns Lanigan For World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory At Quebec’s Autodrome Granby
Surging Star Gains Measure Of Redemption On National Tour’s Red-Hot Points Leader
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
GRANBY, QUE – June 22, 2012 – Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., gained a measure of redemption on Friday night, outrunning World of Outlaws Late Model Series points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to win the national tour’s first-ever 50-lap A-Main at Autodrome Granby.
After absorbing a pair of late-race defeats to the the red-hot Lanigan over the last month, McCreadie seized control of Friday’s headliner on lap 23 when he passed Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and never looked back. He was chased for the final 26 laps by Lanigan but never let the World of Outlaws circuit’s current points leader get close enough to make a serious bid at victory.
McCreadie, 38, crossed the finish line 1.690 seconds ahead of Lanigan, who entered the event having won four of the last six WoO LMS events, including a triumph on June 17 at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa., that saw him snatch the lead from McCreadie with just six laps remaining.
Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., finished a distant third in his Rocket car, but it was a season-best run for the struggling racer who started from the outside pole at a half-mile oval where he’s enjoyed success in DIRTcar Big-Block and 358-Modified action. DIRTcar 358-Modified regular Dale Planck of Homer, N.Y., recorded a career-high WoO LMS finish of fourth in the RezX Racing Rocket and Smith settled for fifth in his Rocket after leading the race’s first 22 laps from the pole position.
McCreadie’s $10,650 triumph was his third of 2012 on the WoO LMS. All of the checkered flags have come over the past nine races – a sizzling stretch that has seen the former DIRTcar Big-Block Modified star tally seven top-five finishes and no outings worse than seventh behind the wheel of his Sweeteners Plus Warrior mount.
“This car’s been clicking,” said McCreadie, who made his first-ever visit to Victory Lane at Granby, a longtime DIRTcar-sanctioned facility. “I’ve been comfortable. I haven’t been this comfortable in maybe five years in a Late Model.”
Lanigan, 42, did cause McCreadie to sit a bit uneasily in his car midway through the race. McCreadie, who started outside of Lanigan’s Rocket mount in the third row of the 24-car field, was running second on a lap-17 restart when Lanigan made a strong attempt to grab the spot using the outside of the track’s largely flat turns.
“On that restart he showed the outside twice and I thought, ‘Oh my God, here we go again,'” said McCreadie, who scored his 20th career win on the WoO LMS. “We got lucky to get in front of him. I just nosed him a little bit of (turn) four (to stay ahead), and then I realized it was better up there (in the outside groove).
“Darrell found (the top) first. That’s why he’s been the best car on the tour all year long – he’s not scared to move around. We’re just fortunate we were able to get up there in front of him and then use the top to get past Clint (for the lead). Clint’s car was really good, but the bottom just got slower getting into the middle and we ran the outside by him.”
Lanigan was deposited on McCreadie’s rear bumper on lap 28 by the race’s fourth and final caution flag, for an accident between turns one and two involving Canadians Philip Potts of Frankford, Ont., and Charlie Sandercock of Belleville, Ont. But McCreadie opened a short lead on the restart and never let Lanigan draw closer than one second over the remaining caution-free circuits.
“I’m not happy with second, but we’re gonna take it tonight,” said Lanigan, who has 14 top-five finishes – including six victories and three runner-up placings – in 18 WoO LMS A-Mains this season. “I think I showed Timmy the outside too quick, and he got up there before I could get by him.”
The 44-year-old Fuller, meanwhile, was nearly a straightaway behind McCreadie and Lanigan when he passed his close friend Smith for third on lap 34 and never got any closer to the leaders, but a podium finish was a badly-needed boost to his self-owned program.
“Nobody likes to fade from the front row,” said Fuller, who slipped as far back as fifth before rallying. “But the way it’s gone this year, I’ll take it.
“I got some help from a friend of mine and he got me rolling better here of late, so hopefully this run will get us going into Cornwall (Motor Speedway for a WoO LMS event on Sun., June 24).”
Planck was the surprise of the night after advancing from the seventh starting spot to nab a milestone fourth-place finish with a last-lap pass of Smith. He didn’t decide to enter Granby’s WoO LMS event until Friday morning, when he hastily began preparing his team’s only dirt Late Model, a car that his DIRTcar 358-Modified teammate, Carey Terrance of Hogansburg, N.Y., drove in selected full-fender shows last year.
Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., finished sixth in the Leo Milus-owned Super Deuce car after battling for a top-five spot throughout the distance. Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., was a quiet seventh; Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., moved forward from the 20th starting spot to place eighth; John Mason of Millersburg, Ohio, recovered from a lap-11 tangle in turn three with the lapped car driven by Caley Weese of Belleville, Ont. – an incident that knocked him from third place – to finish ninth; and defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
Eckert drove his backup car in the A-Main after engine problems struck his primary machine during time trials.
WoO LMS rookie contenders Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., had rough nights in their first-ever racing visits to Canada. Both brought out caution flags – Sullivan on lap 12 for a left-front steering problem, and McCool on lap 17 for a flat left-front tire.
Twenty-four cars entered the event, which draw a large crowd of French-Canadian fans to the Dominic Lussier-promoted track.
Fuller was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, turning a lap of 19.030 seconds to earn his second WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2012.
Heat winners were Fuller, Smith and McCreadie. No B-Main was run.
The WoO LMS continues its weekend Canadian swing on Sunday night (June 24) with a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Autodrome Granby (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Tim McCreadie/50 $10,650
2. (5) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,650
3. (2) Tim Fuller/50 $3,550
4. (7) Dale Planck/50 $3,000
5. (1) Clint Smith/50 $2,550
6. (4) Dan Stone/50 $1,700
7. (8) Shane Clanton/50 $1,950
8. (20) Ron Davies/50 $1,300
9. (3) John Mason/50 $1,250
10. (14) Rick Eckert/49 $1,750
11. (9) Chub Frank/49 $1,600
12. (13) Kent Robinson/49 $1,600
13. (18) Bub McCool/49 $1,550
14. (11) Pat Doar/49 $1,450
15. (16) John Lobb/49 $850
16. (15) Greg Belyea/49 $800
17. (10) Jack Sullivan/33 $1,370
18. (21) Dan Davies/28 $750
19. (23) Philip Potts/26 $730
20. (18) Charlie Sandercock/26 $700
21. (17) Duane Treadwell/12 $700
22. (24) Ross Robinson/12 $700
23. (19) Caley Weese/9 $700
24. (22) Kyle Sopaz/9 $725