Darrell Lanigan Off to Fast Start in Quest for Illini 100 Title
Two-time champ posts quick time, wins heat as Illinois natives hang tough
By Chris Tilley
FARMER CITY, Ill. - April 25, 2014 - Darrell Lanigan topped 36 World of Outlaws Late Model Series racers as the fastest driver in Ohlins Shocks Qualifying during Friday's opening night of the Sixth Annual Illini 100 at Farmer City Raceway.
Along with winning his Qualifying Heat Race, Lanigan earns a place in Saturday's top-eight redraw for the prestigious 100-lap, $20,000-to-win event at the quarter-mile bullring in central Illinois.
"The car was pretty good, track is a little bit different this year, seems like they got the top cut down, you kind of have to get around the bottom," stated Lanigan, of Union, Ky., after his fastest qualifying effort. Lanigan, who claimed the $5,000 Spring 50 at Florence (Ky.) Speedway during an off-WoO LMS weekend, is looking for his first Illini 100 victory. "It was a new car we had at Florence, same one we brought here tonight, seems like a pretty good piece, so we'll see what we got."
Lanigan, who drives his self-prepared Club 29 Race Car also won the first heat race over Morgan Bagley of Tyler, Texas, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. Lanigan and Bagley will go to Saturday's redraw.
Then it was time for the Illinois natives to shine in an effort to keep that $20,000 payday in the Land of Lincoln.
Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., was victorious in the second heat race by taking the win over Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., Scott Schmitt of Tonica, Ill., and Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill.
Kevin Weaver of Gibson City, Ill., the fastest Group "B" qualifier, won the third heat race in his Bob Pierce Race Car over Frank Heckenast Jr. of Orland Park, Ill. Completing the top-four were Brian Diverley of Springfield, Ill., and Joe Harlan of El Paso, Ill. Weaver won his heat race from the bottom of the track.
"There was just more traction on the bottom," said Weaver, the 2000 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion. "Farmer City is known to be on the bottom early and move to the top later so last week we came here and ran the bottom of turn one and two and the top of three and four, we won the normal race but I think we we're better around the bottom."
Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., raced from the tail of the fourth heat to the lead in only five laps en route to winning over Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who made his debut filling in for three-time champion Josh Richards in the #1 Rocket car. Third was Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who had been filling in for Richards since the opener in Florida, and fourth was Rick "Boom" Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa.
The Illini 100 wraps up on Saturday night with the Last Chance Showdowns and the $20,000-to-win A-main. The pit gates will open at 12:00 pm and Hot Laps are slated for 5:00 pm. The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, DIRTcar Stock Cars and the DIRTcar Pro Late Models will also be on the racing card for Saturday.
Additional information on the Illini 100 can be obtained by visiting www.farmercityracing.net .
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com .
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, Ky. 13.369
2. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, N.Y. 13.498
3. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, Pa. 13.560
4. 18B-Shannon Babb-Moweaqua, Ill. 13.588
5. 14m-Morgan Bagley/Tyler, Texas 13.592
6. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, Ill. 13.690
7. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, Ga. 13.718
8. 10-Scott Schmitt/Tonica, Ill. 13.724
9. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, Ga. 13.780
10. 89-Daren Friedman/Forrest, Ill. 13.789
11. 116-Torin Mettille/Cullom, Ill. 13.792
12. 5s-Steve Sheppard Jr./New Berlin, Ill. 13.826
13. 18c-Chase Junghans/Manhattan, Ks. 13.941
14. 77m-Jay Morris/Watseka, Ill. 14.045
15. 32J-Jason Jaggers/Wyant, Ill. 14.143
16. 7T-Steve Thorsten/Milford, Ill. 14.148
17. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, Ky. 14.156
18. 93-Jay Johnson/W. Burlington, Iowa 14.328
1. B12-Kevin Weaver/Gibson City, Ill. 13.646
2. 1-Rick Eckert/York, Pa. 13.691
3. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr./Orland Park, Ill. 13.766
4. 35-Derek Chandler/Pontiac, Ill. 13.780
5. 11d-Brian Diverley/Springfield, Ill. 13.822
6. B5-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, Ill. 13.865
7. 24-Ryan Unzicker/El Paso, Ill. 13.866
8. 83-Scott Bull/Fairbury, Ill. 13.898
9. Z-Joe Harlan/El Paso, Ill. 13.904
10. 1w-Donny Walden/Towanda, Ill. 13.922
11. 45-Kyle Hammer/Clinton, Ill. 13.939
12. 99B-Rick 'Boom Briggs/Bear Lake, Pa. 13.977
13. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, Mich. 13.992
14. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, Wis. 14.151
15. 74-Russ Adams/Princeville, Ill. 14.475
DNQ. 9D-Daniel Flessner/Roberts, Ill. No Time
DNQ. 32-Bobby Pierce/Oakwood, Ill. No Time
DNQ. 42-McKay Wenger/Fairbury, Ill. No Time
Heat No. 1 (15 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Darrell Lanigan, Morgan Bagley, Shane Clanton, Chub Frank, Chase Junghans, Clint Smith, Torin Mettille, Jason Jaggers, Eric Wells.
Heat No. 2 (15 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Shannon Babb, Tim McCreadie, Scott Schmitt, Jason Feger, Darren Friedman, Steve Sheppard Jr., Jay Morris, Jay Johnson, Steve Thorston.
Heat No. 3 (15 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Kevin Weaver, Frank Heckenast Jr., Brian Diverley, Joe Harlan, Jeep VanWormer, Ryan Unzicker, Kyle Hammer, Russ Adams, Daniel Flessner (DNS).
Heat No. 4 (15 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Bobby Pierce, Rick Eckert, Brandon Sheppard, Rick "Boom" Briggs, Derek Chandler, Scott Bull, Donny Walden, Brady Smith.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheel (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Lincoln Welders (Official Welder), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), 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, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, Penske Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, Jake's Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis and TNT Rescue.