|• T-Mac's Misfortune Propels Clanton To I-30 Win|
McCreadie's Late-Race Tangle With Lapped Car Sends Clanton To World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory At I-30 Speedway
Despite Deflating Left-Rear Tire, Georgia Driver Holds Off Lanigan Over Final Five Laps For Third Win Of '13
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
LITTLE ROCK, AR – May 11, 2013 – Shane Clanton knows his third World of Outlaws Late Model Series triumph of 2013 was a product of good fortune.
After capturing Saturday night's 50-lap A-Main at I-30 Speedway, the 37-year-old driver from Zebulon, Ga., could only shake his head at the unlikely turn of events that made him a winner in the national tour's first-ever event in the state of Arkansas.
"I got lucky," admitted Clanton, who was victorious for the second time in the last three WoO LMS events. "It was given to me because (Tim) McCreadie got into the lapped car. He had a better race car."
Indeed, Clanton appeared resigned to finishing second after being passed for the lead by Watertown, N.Y.'s McCreadie on lap 43. But two circuits later McCreadie spun between turns three and four when he tangled with Robbie Stuart while attempting to lap the DeRidder, La., driver, sending McCreadie to the rear of the field for the ensuing restart and handing the top spot back to Clanton.
Then Clanton – despite running with a deflating left-rear tire on his Kennedy Motorsports Capital Race Car – held off a furious challenge from Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., over the final five laps to defeat the defending WoO LMS champion by a mere 0.259 of a second.
Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., maintained his WoO LMS points lead with a third-place finish after starting sixth. Outside polesitter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., placed fourth and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., completed the top five.
Normally a very demonstrative Victory Lane personality, Clanton was rather subdued after his latest success. The circumstances of his 19th career WoO LMS checkered flag left him unwilling to celebrate in his trademark roof-pounding manner.
Clanton started from the pole position and led the race's first 42 laps, keeping Lanigan at arm's length for the first half of the A-Main and then battling to hold McCreadie at bay after the 2006 WoO LMS champ passed Lanigan for second on a lap-25 restart. But McCreadie's ability to keep his Sweeteners Plus Warrior car glued to the inside of the track ultimately proved too much for Clanton, who ceded the lead to McCreadie on lap 43.
McCreadie, 39, immediately pulled away from Clanton, but his bid came to a heartbreaking end on lap 45 when contact with Stuart forced him into the uke tires lining the inside of turns three and four and then into a spin.
Clanton couldn't believe his eyes when McCreadie went spinning from contention just ahead of him.
"He had a good run on the lapped car, and I felt like the lapped car should've given him room and he didn't," said Clanton, whose victory moved him within six points of Richards in the WoO LMS standings. "When you're the last car on the lead lap (and) somebody's under you, you know it's the leader so you just move out of the way.
"I feel sorry for McCreadie a little bit, but hey, a win's a win. You gotta put yourself in them positions to take advantage of it. We had the second-best race car, and we won the race."
Clanton didn't cruise to victory after McCreadie's misfortune. He was dogged every step of the way by Lanigan, who came within inches of leading lap 47 and stayed glued to Clanton's rear bumper until the final lap when he bobbled slightly attempting a high-side pass rounding turns one and two.
"I was just trying to fend him off the best I could," Clanton said of Lanigan. "I knew I was leaving the bottom open leaving the corner, but I just had a flat left-rear tire so I was doing all I could. The left-rear tire going flat was killing me down the straightaways."
Lanigan, 42, settled for his second consecutive runner-up finish on the WoO LMS.
"It was hard to pass," said Lanigan, who started third in his Rocket mount. "On the last lap I went in (turn one) a little higher to try go through the middle to pass (Clanton), but there was no traction."
When Clanton parked his No. 25 on the homestretch for the post-race ceremonies, he emerged from the cockpit to see his left-rear tire almost completely devoid of air. He was amazed that he was able to hold on with the handicap.
"When (McCreadie) passed me there on the bottom (for the lead on lap 43) we got together and I guess it cut the left-rear tire down," said Clanton, who earned $10,550 for a victory that tied him with Lanigan atop the tour's 2013 win list. "He was running way lower down the straightaway than what I realized. I thought I got by him down the straightaway, but he had a good run and we hit, and it cut the left rear tire down. Luckily we could finish the race."
McCreadie, meanwhile, was running at the conclusion of the A-Main, but he crossed the finish line in 19th place. After passing Eckert, Lanigan and Clanton en route to the front from his fourth starting spot, the defeat was a bitter pill for him to swallow.
"It's frustrating," said a dejected McCreadie, who was bidding for his second WoO LMS victory of 2013. "I had a run on that lapped car (into turn three) and was completely up underneath him, and he just kept coming down into me. I couldn't even gas it up to slide up and push him out of the way, so I ended up going around."
Four caution flags slowed the event. Prior to McCreadie's incident, Stuart spun in turn four on lap three; Robbie Baker of Bryant, Ark., spun in turn two on lap 12; and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., slowed on lap 25.
Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., finished sixth, matching his best WoO LMS run of the season. Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., recorded a season-best finish of seventh; Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., placed eighth; Kyle Beard of Truman, Ark., was a WoO LMS career-best ninth; and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., advanced from the 20th starting spot to complete the top 10.
Twenty-seven cars were signed in for the event, which was originally scheduled for Friday night but was postponed 24 hours due to saturated grounds. The WoO LMS was originally scheduled to race Saturday night at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss., but that event was canceled on Friday morning due to heavy rain and a dismal Saturday forecast, opening the door for I-30's move to Saturday.
Lanigan was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, earning his second fast-time honor of 2013 with a lap of 14.172 seconds.
Heat winners were Lanigan, McCreadie and Richards, and Frank captured the B-Main.
The WoO LMS is idle until the Memorial Day holiday weekend when it visits NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, on Fri., May 24, and Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., for the 'Jackpot 100' on Sat., May 25 and Sun., May 26.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series at I-30 Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Shane Clanton/50 $10,550
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 24 Mins., 22.901 Secs.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.172
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Lanigan, Eckert, C. Smith, Fuller, Bagley, K. Beard, Baker, J. Chandler, G. Beard
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): McCreadie, Moyer, McCool, Wood, Culp, Petty, Sullivan, Frank, Stuart
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Clanton, Wallace, Wells, McMillan, James, Green, Harris, Surrett
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Frank, Sullivan, Baker, Surrett, Green, Harris, G. Beard, Chandler, Stuart
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
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 11 – 13 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 1842
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.
LIVE UPDATES 5/11: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At I-30 Speedway
LITTLE ROCK, AR - May 11, 2013 - After a reshuffling of this weekend's schedule due to rain, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series is set to compete tonight at I-30 Speedway, a high-banked, quarter-mile oval on the south side of Little Rock.
A 50-lap A-Main paying $10,000 to win will headline tonight's program, which was originally scheduled for Friday night but postponed 24 hours due to saturated grounds. The WoO LMS was scheduled to race tonight at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss., but that event was canceled yesterday due to heavy rain and a dismal Saturday forecast, opening the door for I-30's move to tonight.
For live updates of 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.
Clanton catches a break
11:50 p.m. CT - Shane Clanton is now back at his trailer, savoring a victory in tonight's 50-lap A-Main that he knows came courtesy of some good fortune.
Clanton appeared resigned to finishing second after being passed for the lead by Tim McCreadie on lap 43, but two circuits later McCreadie spun between turns three and four when he tangled with Robbie Stuart while attempting to lap the Louisiana driver. That handed the top spot back to Clanton, who held off a furious challenge from Darrell Lanigan over the final five circuits to register his third WoO LMS triumph of 2013.
When Clanton reached Victory Lane, he found that his car's left-rear tire was virtually flat -- adding another layer of luck to his performance.
A-Main Finish: 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Rick Eckert, 5. Billy Moyer, 6. Bub McCool, 7. Clint Smith, 8. Wendell Wallace, 9. Kyle Beard, 10. Jack Sullivan, 11. Tim Fuller, 12. Scott James, 13. Robbie Baker, 14. Eric Wells, 15. Morgan Bagley, 16. Chandler Petty, 17. Tommy Surrett, 18. Zach McMillan, 19. Tim McCreadie, 20. Dillon Wood, 21. Chub Frank, 22. Robbie Stuart, 23. Odie Green, 24. Timothy Culp
Feature time nearing
10:40 p.m. CT - With the Mini-Sprint feature taking the green flag moments ago, the WoO LMS A-Main is next up. Pit steward Tyler Bachman just blew the eight-minute horn to stage the feature field, so, barring an extended Mini-Sprint event, the night's main event should soon be on the speedway.
Field is set
10:15 p.m. CT - Chub Frank won the 12-lap B-Main over Jack Sullivan, Robbie Baker and Tommy Surrett. With provisionals going to Odie Green and Robbie Stuart, the 24-car field for the 50-lap A-Main is complete
Teams are now making final preparations, but there are still two support-division features left on the schedule before the World of Outlaws headliner hits the track. The first of the two A-Mains is now rolling onto the speedway.
Shane Clanton, who enters tonight's action trailing leader Josh Richards by just 12 points in the WoO LMS points standings, will start the A-Main from the pole position. He'll be flanked by Rick Eckert, who has three runner-up finishes this season but remains the only driver without a victory in the top-six of the current points standings.
Row 1: Shane Clanton/Rick Eckert
Heat race notes
9 p.m. CT - Darrell Lanigan, Tim McCreadie and Josh Richards were victorious in the three 10-lap heat races, which transferred six drivers from each to the A-Main.... Lanigan fought off an early challenge from eventual runner-up Rick Eckert to capture the first heat, keeping alive his hopes for a fast-time/heat/A-Mains sweep of the night.... McCreadie overtook Billy Moyer midway through the second heat to reach the checkered flag first. The New Yorker is racing two nights after scoring a $4,000 Southern Nationals victory at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn.... Richards held on to win the third prelim despite a last-lap challenge from Shane Clanton.... Chandler Petty, a 17-year-old up-and-comer from Cabot, Ark., qualified for his first-ever WoO LMS A-Main with a sixth-place finish in the second heat.... Jack Sullivan, who followed much of the 2012 WoO LMS and is a former dirt Late Model and open-wheel Modified feature winner at I-30, spun between turns one and two on the first lap of the second heat. He fell one spot short of transferring.... Texan Zach McMillan didn't record a qualifying time during time trials -- he slid off the track once and then spun moments later -- but he rallied to finish fifth in the third heat.... The top-two finishers in each heat will soon redraw from their A-Main starting spots....
Complete heat-race results can be found here.
7:40 p.m. CT - Darrell Lanigan showed the way in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, earning his second WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2013 with a lap of 14.172 seconds around the quarter-mile oval known as 'Hammer Hill.'
Billy Moyer, who has won at I-30 in the past, was second-fastest at 14.258 seconds. Josh Richards timed third (14.319), followed by Rick Eckert (14.334) and Louisiana's Timothy Culp (14.352).
For complete results from time trials, click here.
Getting ready to roll
6:15 p.m. CT - A field of 27 cars is signed in for tonight's action, which is set to begin in less than 20 minutes with hot laps. WoO LMS race director Bret Emrick just completed the drivers' meeting at the series trailer moments ago.
6:10 p.m. CT - WoO LMS rookie Morgan Bagley is one driver who's happy to see I-30 Speedway's event survive the wet weather. The track, after all, is the closest to his Longview, Texas, home on this year's tour schedule.
Bagley, whose Texas location makes him the driver who will likely put on the most highway miles to follow this year's series, was able to wait until 11 a.m. this morning to begin the four-hour drive to Little Rock.
Bagley has another reason to like I-30 Speedway: he's been pretty successful here since moving into the dirt Late Model division in 2011. He made five starts here over the past two years and owns one runner-up finish (SUPR Series event on July 21, 2012) and three three-place finishes (two SUPR races in '11, one Comp Cams Super Dirt Series show in '12).
6 p.m. CT - Following yesterday's early-morning news of the I-30 Speedway event postponement, most WoO LMS teams found themselves on the road and looking for a way to spend a race-less day. Three found an answer in Memphis, Tenn.
Rick Eckert, Clint Smith, rookie Dillon Wood and their teams paid a visit to Graceland, the famed Memphis home of late rock 'n roller Elvis Presley. The $15 parking fee and $37 per-person admission was a bit salty, but the World of Outlaws 'tourists' said they enjoyed their stop.
Sandy's special place
5:25 p.m. CT - For WoO LMS Chief of Scoring Sandy Holt, visiting I-30 Speedway tonight brings back some memories.
It's here, at this venerable track on the south side of Little Rock, Ark., where Holt (below) attended her first-ever dirt-track stock car race back in 1963.
"This is where I got my life-long love of dirt racing," said Holt, who travels the WoO LMS with his boyfriend, series announcer Rick Eshelman. "I lived in Little Rock for the first 15 years of my life, and when I was a teenager I came to a race here. I remember being so excited to see my first race."
Close to home
4:40 p.m. CT - With the cancelation of the WoO LMS even at Whynot Motorsports Park, tonight's visit to I-30 Speedway becomes the closest World of Outlaws event to tour regular Bub McCool's home this season. He lives in Vicksburg, Miss., about a four-hour drive southeast of Little Rock.
Not surprisingly, there's a bit more action than usual around McCool's trailer tonight. His proximity to home has prompted several family members and friends to travel to I-30, and as a result he always seems to be talking in the middle of a crowd of people. (That's Bub kneeling in the photo below.)
On a side note, McCool reported that he should have a 'Help Wanted' sign hanging from the back of his trailer. After tonight's program, he will need to put together a new crew before heading back on the WoO LMS road over the Memorial Day weekend. Both of his fulltime mechanics either have, or will be, departing his team -- Todd Pruitt decided to leave last week, while Doug Todd's last night as a McCool employee comes tonight.
Bright, sunshiny day
4:10 p.m. CT - After a rain-plagued month for the WoO LMS, everyone traveling the tour is relieved to look up today and find sunny skies. With temperatures in the 70s, it's a gorgeous day.
Nearly two-dozen cars are in the pit area so far, including 13 WoO LMS fulltimers; Arkansas drivers such as Billy Moyer, Wendell Wallace, Jack Sullivan, Shane Harris and Robert Baker; Louisiana's Timothy Culp; and Texan Zach McMillin.