|• T-Mac Is Back! Wins First Of '12 At 311|
McCreadie Returns To Winning Ways In First-Ever World of Outlaws Late Model Series Event At 311 Motor Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
PINE HALL, NC – May 4, 2012 – Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., returned to his winning ways on Friday night, rolling to victory in the 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at 311 Motor Speedway.
Snapping a nearly 10-month winless slump on the national tour, McCreadie surged into the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back in the first-ever WoO LMS event at the half-mile Tar Heel State oval. The circuit's 2006 champion beat defending titlist Rick Eckert of York, Pa., to the finish line by 0.669 of a second.
WoO LMS points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished third, Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., was fourth and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., placed fifth for his first top-five run of the 2012 tour.
McCreadie, 38, righted a ship that had been listing this season. He began the campaign with renewed vigor thanks to a switch to Warrior Chassis, but he struggled to find his rhythm and entered Friday evening's action mired in eighth in the points standings, without a top-five finish through nine WoO LMS events.
After poor performance prompted him to retire early from back-to-back WoO LMS A-Mains last week at North Alabama Speedway and Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway, McCreadie and his Sweeteners Plus team went back to the drawing board. Several days spent at Warrior's headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., and a Tuesday-night practice session at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn., led to an uplifting checkered flag.
"It feels good. It's also a big relief," McCreadie said of his first win on the WoO LMS since July 15, 2011, at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. "You make changes during the winter and you hope they pay off. Sooner or later we were hopefully gonna hit on something.
"We got better a lot by sitting down as a team with Warrior and figuring stuff out. It was a total team effort. This win is as much for our whole team as it is just for me."
McCreadie caught a much-needed break when he drew the pole position for the A-Main, but he used sheer speed to keep his No. 39 in front for the race's entire distance. He was never seriously challenged, pulling away to a short-but-steady edge after each of the four caution flags and one red that dotted the affair.
There was one anxious moment for McCreadie, however. It came after a red flag flew on a lap-38 restart for a multi-car tangle in turn two that left McCreadie's teammate, Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., and WoO LMS Rookie of the Year leader Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., stuck together at the bottom of the track.
"Earlier this year in a (Big-Block) Modified I led so many laps and got beat at the end when the track changed," said McCreadie, who earned $10,650 for the 18th WoO LMS victory of his career. "We had that long red and everybody's packing the cushion, and I'm like, 'Oh my God, here we go. We're gonna crab around the bottom and somebody's gonna get up on that cushion and make it work.'
"It just didn't work out that way."
Indeed, McCreadie had little trouble outdistancing the second-starting Eckert, who slipped to third early but wrestled second back from Shaver on a lap-26 restart and kept his Team Zero by Bloomquist car in the spot to the finish. It was Eckert's second runner-up finish in the last three races.
"He was better than firing off on restarts," Eckert said of McCreadie. "I could run back up on him after a few laps, but passing him would've been another thing."
Lanigan, meanwhile, survived an opening-lap incident that could have quickly ended his hopes for a second straight third-place finish on the WoO LMS. The race's third starter, he tangled with Chris Ferguson of Mt. Holly, N.C., entering turn three and both drivers spun. Lanigan restarted in his original spot by rule because he was involved in a multi-car tangle at the initial green flag; Ferguson, who started fourth, could have rejoined Lanigan in the second row but nose damage forced him to pit and then retire after completing one lap.
Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., finished sixth, quietly working his way forward from the 13th starting spot. Dennis 'Rambo' Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., placed seventh to earn the $500 WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn't won a tour A-Main and isn't ranked among the top 12 in series points; Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., was eighth after using a provisional to start the event; 18th-starter Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., was ninth; and Greg Johnson of Bedford, Ind., who started 25th after using a WoO LMS emergency provisional to gain entry to the field, finished 10th and earned the $250 top-rookie bonus.
Among the contenders struck down by mechanical trouble was Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., who ran as high as sixth before exiting on lap 26 due to an overheating engine; Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., who relinquished seventh place on lap 38; and Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., who joined Clanton in retiring to the pits on lap 38.
Ferguson earned his first career WoO LMS fast-time honor, topping the 33-car Ohlins Shocks Time Trials session with a lap of 15.653 seconds.
Heat winners were Ferguson, Shaver and Donald Bradsher of Burlington, N.C. The B-Main was captured by Trinity, N.C.'s Justin Labonte, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte.
The evening's hard-luck driver was Bradsher, whose joy of winning a career-first WoO LMS heat race turned to despair when his crew found that the front seal blew out of his car's motor. He was forced to relinquish the sixth starting spot and merely take the green flag for start money.
The WoO LMS heads farther south to complete its weekend doubleheader on Saturday night (May 5), visiting Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway for a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Main that is part of the track's 'Pine Tree 100.'
Results of WoO Late Model Series at 311 Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Tim McCreadie/50 $10,650
2. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $5,650
3. (3) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,650
4. (5) Steve Shaver/50 $2,550
5. (8) Clint Smith/50 $2,550
6. (13) Dale McDowell/50 $1,700
7. (9) Dennis Franklin/50 $2,000
8. (23) Chub Frank/50 $1,850
9. (18) Pat Doar/50 $1,750
10. (25) Greg Johnson/50 $450
11. (19) Justin Labonte/50 $1,050
12. (24) Kent Robinson/50 $1,050
13. (17) John Lobb/50 $1,000
14. (22) Mike Gault/48 $900
15. (15) Tim Fuller/43 $1,400
16. (7) Shane Clanton/39 $1,350
17. (16) Vic Coffey/38 $1,370
18. (12) Bub McCool/38 $1,300
19. (11) Chris Madden/38 $730
20. (10) Mike Marlar/25 $1,250
21. (21) Daniel Baggerly/25 $700
22. (17) Dustin Mitchell/13 $700
23. (14) Jay Sessoms/10 $700
24. (6) Donald Bradsher/1 $725
25. (4) Chris Ferguson/1 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 33 Mins., 25.071 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.669 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 4 (Laps 0, 15, 26, 38); 1 Red Flag (Lap 38)
Lap Leaders: McCreadie (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Frank, Robinson (WoO points); Johnson (WoO emergency)
Rookie of the Race: Johnson ($250)
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Franklin ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 22-Chris Ferguson/Mt. Holly, NC 15.653
2. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.910
3. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 16.174
4. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 16.207
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, Pa 16.212
6. 93-Donald Bradsher/Burlington, NC 16.219
7. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 16.290
8. 44M-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 16.302
9. 11K-Austin Kirkpatrick/Ocala, FL 16.302
10. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 16.326
11. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.327
12. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 16.340
13. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 16.346
14. d8-Dustin Mitchell/Pine Level, NC 16.411
15. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 16.419
16. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 16.421
17. 84-Jay Sessoms/Stanley, NC 16.431
18. 37c-Dennis Franklin/Gaffney, SC 16.459
19. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 16.517
20. 44L-Justin Labonte/Trinity, NC 16.523
21. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 16.543
22. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 16.580
23. 17-Mike Gault/Gaffney, SC 16.639
24. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 16.748
25. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 16.784
26. 79-Billy Hicks/Mt. Airy, NC 16.815
27. 04-David Watts/Buchanan, VA 16.854
28. 16-Daniel Baggerly/Rural Retreat, VA 16.964
29. 49-Greg Johnson/Bedford, IN 17.331
30. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 17.562
31. 618-Kevin Wilson/Shoreville, NC 17.781
32. 9-Gary East/Danbury, NC N/T
33. 42-Doug Sanders/Belmont, NC N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Ferguson, McCreadie, Clanton, Marlar, McDowell, Coffey, Lobb, Baggerly, Frank, Wilson, Sullivan
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Shaver, Eckert, C. Smith, Madden, Sessoms, Mitchell, Labonte, Gault, Johnson, Hicks
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Bradsher, Lanigan, Franklin, McCool, Fuller, Doar, Robinson, Kirkpatrick, Watts, George
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Labonte, Lobb, Baggerly, Gault, Robinson, Frank, Watts, Johnson, Sullivan, George, Hicks, Wilson, Kirkpatrick
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher I n A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Steve Shaver
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Greg Johnson
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dennis Franklin
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dennis Franklin
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal - $285 value): Kent Robinson
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal - $285 value): Donald Bradsher
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Vic Coffey
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Donald Bradsher
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Steve Shaver
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal - $100 value): none
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
VP Racing Fuels 'Nice Jugs Award' (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal - $30 value): Jack Sullivan
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): John Lobb
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed - $200 value): Tim McCreadie
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
XS 'Power Move of the Race' ($60 product certificate): Greg Johnson
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of – A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 1420
2. Rick Eckert 1384 (-36)
3. Shane Clanton 1294 (-126)
4. Chub Frank 1286 (-134)
5. (tie) Bub McCool 1236 (-184)
5. (tie) Vic Coffey 1236 (-184)
7. Clint Smith 1232 (-188)
8. Tim McCreadie 1224 (-196)
9. Pat Doar 1142 (-278)
10. Mike Marlar 1126 (-294)
11. (tie) Tim Fuller 1096 (-324)
11. (tie) Kent Robinson 1096 (-324)
13. John Lobb 1068 (-352)
14. Greg Johnson 1036 (-384)
15. Jack Sullivan 1014 (-406)
16. Josh Richards 974 (-446)
17. Billy Moyer 870 (-550)
18. Jill George 832 (-588)
19. (tie) Brandon Sheppard 782 (-638)
19. (tie) Billy Moyer Jr. 782 (-638)
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), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), 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 Gaskets, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake's Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
LIVE UPDATES 5/4: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At 311 Motor Speedway
PINE HALL, NC - May 4, 2012 - The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is making its first-ever visit to 311 Motor Speedway tonight for a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event.
And for the first time on www.WorldofOutlaws.com, fans can follow the evening's action and get tid-bits from the pit area right here with live blog-style updates. Just click the link 'Read more" link below to keep abreast of tonight's racing program (be sure to refresh regularly for the latest updates)...
T-Mac is back!
Tim McCreadie's frustrating 2012 season turned around in a big way as he rolled to a wire-to-wire victory in the 50-lap A-Main. His first win on the tour since July 2011 came by 0.669 of a second over defending champion Rick Eckert.
Finish: 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Rick Eckert, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Steve Shaver, 5. Clint Smith, 6. Dale McDowell, 7. Dennis Franklin, 8. Chub Frank, 9. Pat Doar, 10. Greg Johnson, 11. Justin Labonte, 12. Kent Robinson, 13. John Lobb, 14. Mike Gault, 15. Tim Fuller, 16. Shane Clanton, 17. Vic Coffey, 18. Bub McCool, 19. Chris Madden, 20. Mike Marlar, 21. Daniel Baggerly, 22. Dustin Mitchell, 23. Jay Sessoms, 24. Donald Bradsher, 25. Chris Ferguson
It's just after 11 p.m., and the 50-lap A-Main is beginning to align. McCreadie will start from the pole after the top-six redraw, followed by Eckert, Darrell Lanigan, Chris Ferguson, Steve Shaver and Donald Bradsher, who will drop to the rear because his car suffered a blown front engine seal after he won his first-ever WoO LMS heat race.
Ferguson was the fast-timer -- his first-ever with the WoO LMS -- and went on to win the first of three heat races. Shaver and Bradsher also won heats, and Justin Labtone captured the B-Main
Apologies for the dearth of updates since the racing started...internet problems have prevented the updates from flowing as hoped.
Packing the track...
9:20 p.m. - With the 311 track surface too wet for hot laps to begin on schedule at 7:30, the process of packing the clay has put the program behind. WoO LMS practice is underway now, and time trials for the 33 cars signed in will begin shortly.
Nearing Race Time
As of 6 p.m., there are 32 cars signed in for tonight's action. The field includes Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C. (pictured chatting at left), who happen to be the two most recent winners of a national touring series event at 311 Motor Speedway in tonight's field. McDowell won a Hav-A-Tampa/UDTRA series race here on Aug. 10, 2002 (he also captured a Carolina Clash Series show here in 2009), while Madden topped a Hav-A-Tampa/UDTRA A-Main on Sept. 28, 2003.
Other notables on hand to challenge the Outlaws include Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.V.a, Chris Ferguson of Mt. Holly, N.C., Dennis 'Rambo' Franklin of Gaffney, S.C, and Billy Hicks of Mt. Airy, N.C., a veteran whose major series wins at 311 include a STARS event in 1994 and Carolina Clash races in '01 (two) and '05.
Clint Smith just unloaded in the pit area about 20 minutes ago (5:30 p.m.), the last of the WoO LMS regulars to arrive. He was a bit grumbly after a frustrating haul to 311 from his shop in Senoia, Ga. What should have been a trip of about six hours took nearly an hour-and-a-half longer because he found himself slowed by three separate traffic jams en route.
A notable personality who disembarked from Smith's rig was crewman Darrell ('Don Vito') Cooper, who is assisting Smith for the first time this season after departing his off-and-on boss's team last year.
T-Mac hoping practice makes perfect
It's no secret that Tim McCreadie has been struggling this year. Through nine races he's yet to record a top-five finish on the WoO LMS, and last weekend he was so displeased with his performance that he retired from the A-Mains at North Alabama and Tazewell.
In hopes of turning around his fortunes, T-Mac stayed on the road after last weekend's doubleheader, spending time at his car builder Sanford Goddard's Warrior shop in Knoxville, Tenn., and attending an open practice session on Tuesday night at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn. Along with his Sweeteners Plus teammate Vic Coffey, McCreadie got in some valuable testing time and believes he found some things that should help his performance.
"Of course, we could unload against these (WoO LMS) guys tonight and not even be in the ballpark," McCreadie said while standing in his trailer on the inside of 311 Motor Speedway's backstretch. "But the changes we made (during the practice) felt good to me, so hopefully they'll work tonight."
Coffey, meanwhile, has enjoyed some impressive runs this season, but he's still chasing his first-ever WoO LMS victory after 119 career A-Main starts. A win tonight would certainly help him excorcise some Tar Heel State demons; his closest brush with a WoO LMS checkered flag, after all, came in North Carolina on April 17, 2009, when he blew a tire while leading on the final lap at Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
Fuller among entrants in pits...but with his own car
As of 3:45 p.m., nearly all of the WoO LMS regulars and nearly a dozen other competitors are already in the 311 Motor Speedway pit area, which is located in the infield of the half-mile oval, and have their machines unloaded.
One of the WoO LMS regulars ready for action is Tim Fuller, but he's not running the Rocket Chassis house car that he drove last weekend at North Alabama Speedway and Tazewell Speedway as a replacement for NASCAR-bound Josh Richards. With Rocket team owner Mark Richards opting to sit out this weekend's WoO LMS doubleheader, Fuller decided to tow his own No. 19 machines south.
Fuller had announced after the Illini 100 on March 31 that he would not run the WoO LMS as a regular with his own cash-strapped team for the remainder of the 2012 season, but he's obviously changed his mind -- at least for the moment. With his two-race Rocket Chassis house car stint moving him from 15th to 11th in the points standings -- within 34 points of 10th place, the last spot that receives points-fund money at the end of the season -- he decided to take another shot to see if he can remain on the road.
The absence of Mark Richards's familiar No. 1 machine, meanwhile, means that tonight's program is just the second since 2004 in which Richards has not entered at least one of his cars. The only race of the 322 run to date was June 18, 2011, at Winchester (Va.) Speedway, when Josh drove the Ernie Davis-owned No. 25.