By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
SPRING VALLEY, MN – July 6, 2013 – Deer Creek Speedway has become Darrell Lanigan’s personal playground.
The defending World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion continued his decade-long mastery of the three-eighths-mile oval on Saturday night, rolling to a convincing victory in the 34th annual NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 Charity Late Model Race.
Lanigan, 43, of Union, Ky., earned $11,650 for his fourth triumph in 11 career WoO LMS starts at Deer Creek. He has finished outside the top three just twice since he began visiting the Queensland family’s track in 2005.
“This place is awesome,” said Lanigan, whose previous wins at Deer Creek came in the NAPA Gopher 50 in 2005 and 2009 and the opening night of the 2006 Heartland Nationals. “They work (the surface) right before the feature and it’s always great racing here. It’s a good place where you can get up on the wheel and race all over the racetrack.
“We definitely feel comfortable here, and our car seems to always work good here. I just like to come to Deer Creek.”
Though Lanigan did not grab the lead at the start of the race from his pole position slot on the grid, he overtook Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, for the top spot on lap 10 and never looked back. He repelled a mid-race challenge from Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., before pulling away to defeat the WoO LMS points leader by a commanding 3.876 seconds – nearly a full straightaway – at the checkered flag.
Simpson settled for a career-best WoO LMS finish of third after driving off the outside pole to lead laps 1-9. Tour rookie Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., finished fourth and defending NAPA Gopher 50 champion Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., placed fifth, falling short of becoming the first driver to win the tradition-laden race in back-to-back years since Billy Moyer in 2000-01.
Racing in front of a near-capacity crowd that turned out for one of Minnesota’s most tradition-laden dirt-track events, Lanigan didn’t take long to show the speed in his Cornett-powered Rocket car.
“The outside had a little bit better jump getting in the corner at the start,” said Lanigan, who registered his WoO LMS-leading seventh victory of the 2013 season and the 48th of his career. “You had that momentum on the top, and (Simpson) got ahead. But our car was pretty good on the bottom so we just raced him hard there for the first few laps and got by him.”
Richards, who started fifth in his father Mark’s Rocket house car, slid by Simpson for second on lap 13 and two laps later nosed underneath Lanigan off turn two. The 25-year-old superstar stayed within striking distance of Lanigan until the race’s only caution flag, on lap 24 when Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., slowed in turn four, dulled his bid.
Lanigan immediately left Richards behind on the restart, steadily opening an advantage over his friendly rival with every circuit.
“I saw the (number) ‘1’ on the scoreboard so I knew Josh was back there behind me,” said Lanigan, who sits third in the points standings, 12 points behind second-place Clanton and 46 in arrears of Richards. “I just ran as hard as I could after that restart and I never saw him under me the rest of the way so I figured we were in pretty good shape. The car was awesome.”
Richards’s hopes of winning for the fourth time in his last five WoO LMS starts evaporated during the race’s second half.
“We had a real good car and I feel that before the caution came out we definitely had something for Darrell,” said Richards. “I really wasn’t even running 100 percent yet. But after that caution we lost just a little bit and he had clean racetrack and was a little softer on right-front tire, which helped too.
“And with about 15 (laps) to go we broke a rear bleeder off and lost the brakes. It was a handful after that. I’m just I was able to make it around the racetrack without hitting the wall.”
Richards also acknowledged that beating Lanigan at Deer Creek is undoubtedly a tall order.
“They should call this place ‘Darrell’ Creek,” quipped Richards, who won the NAPA Gopher 50 in 2011. “He always runs well here. There’s a pretty good chance he’s gonna win when we come here.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who could only climb two spots after drawing the worst possible A-Main starting spot (eighth) for the second consecutive night; 20th-starter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who slipped backward from the fourth starting spot; WoO LMS rookie Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, who started third and held strong in fourth place until tumbling from the top five following the lap-24 caution flag; and 19th-starter Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for starting positions in heats one and two and the second half racing against the clock to align heats three and four. Simpson’s lap of 14.097 seconds in Group ‘A’ was not only the fastest overall – giving him his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time honor – but also established a new track record, topping the mark of 14.130 seconds turned by Steve Francis on July 8, 2009.
Heat winners were Simpson (second career WoO LMS heat victory), Lanigan, Clanton and Bagley, who captured his first-ever WoO LMS heat triumph. All four drivers received $100 for their accomplishments from NAPA.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., and Mars topped the pair of 12-lap B-Mains.
The WoO LMS Wild West Tour has an off day on Sunday so teams can travel farther west to the early-week doubleheader on Monday night (July 8) at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D., and Tuesday night (July 9) at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Darrell Lanigan/50 $11,750
2. (5) Josh Richards/50 $5,650
3. (2) Chris Simpson/50 $3,750
4. (6) Eric Wells/50 $3,300
5. (7) Shane Clanton/50 $2,650
6. (8) Rick Eckert/50 $2,350
7. (20) Tim Fuller/50 $1,950
8. (4) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,000
9. (3) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,900
10. (18) Jimmy Mars/50 $1,100
11. (17) Chub Frank/50 $1,600
12. (13) Brian Birkhofer/50 $1,000
13. (10) Jake Redetzke/49 $1,050
14. (22) Bub McCool/48 $1,450
15. (23) Clint Smith/47 $1,400
16. (24) John Mason/47 $800
17. (9) Scott Bloomquist/46 $870
18. (14) Lance Matthees/42 $750
19. (11) Brady Smith/36 $730
20. (12) Pat Doar/34 $750
21. (19) Rick Wendling/22 $700
22. (16) Jeff Provinzino/19 $700
23. (15) Jordan Yaggy/15 $725
24. (25) Justin Sass/3 $700
25. (21) John Winge/3 $700
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 16 Mins., 52.431 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 3.876 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 1 (lap 24)
Lap Leaders: Simpson (1-9); Lanigan (10-50)
Provisional Starters: C. Smith, Mason (WoO); Sass (track)
Rookie of the Race: Wells ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Simpson ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 32-Chris Simpson/Oxford, IA 14.097 (NTR)
2. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.141
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.217
4. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.226
5. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 14.244
6. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 14.262
7. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 14.271
8. 27-Jake Redetzke/Eau Claire, WI 14.393
9. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.530
10. 90-Lance Matthees/Winona, MN 14.567
11. 78-Rick Wendling/Hazleton, IA 14.608
12. 17J-John Winge/Sioux Falls, SD 14.744
13. 22-Charlie McKenna/Clear Lake, IA 14.746
14. 33-Joe Ludemann/Grand Meadow, MN 15.032
15. 00-Robby Bunkelman/Abbottsford, WI 15.224
16. 35-Jerry Bloom/Grand Meadow, MN 15.429
17. 24s-Justin Sass/Rochester, MN 15.435
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.242
2. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.361
3. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 14.373
4. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 14.376
5. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.405
6. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 14.497
7. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 14.527
8. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 14.567
9. 9T-Tim Isenberg/Marshfield, WI 14.755
10. 72-John Mason/Millersburg, OH 14.764
11. 77-Jordan Yaggy/Rochester, MN 14.785
12. 28-Jeff Provinzino/Hibbing, MN 14.821
13. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.108
14. 6-Nick Herrick/Kenyon, MN 15.555
15. 7-Dennis Hillson/Blooming Prairie, MN 15.913
16. 40-Nick Kramer/Pine Island, MN 16.868
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Simpson, McCreadie, Bloomquist, Birkhofer, Frank, Wendling, Bunkelman, McKenna, Sass
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Wells, Redetzke, Matthees, Winge, Bloom, Ludemann, C. Smith
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Richards, B. Smith, Yaggy, Mars, Fuller, Isenberg, Hillson
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bagley, Eckert, Doar, Provinzino, McCool, Mason, Herrick, Kramer
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Wendling, Winge, Bloom, Ludemann, C. Smith, Bunkelman, Sass (DNS) McKenna
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mars, Fuller, McCool, Isenberg, Herrick, Mason, Hillson, Kramer
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): Chris Simpson
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Rick Wendling/Bub McCool
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Charlie McKenna
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Darrell Lanigan
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Chris Simpson
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner, $50 certificate to 5th-place finish): Chris Simpson/Clint Smith
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Chris Simpson
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Chris Simpson
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Jake Redetzke
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Jake Redetzke
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Scott Bloomquist
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Pat Doar
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Jeff Provinzino
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Pat Doar
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Pat Doar
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Rick Wendling
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Jeff Provinzino
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Jordan Yaggy
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Darrell Lanigan
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Eric Wells
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 6 – 27 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 3806
2. Shane Clanton 3772 (-34)
3. Darrell Lanigan 3760 (-46)
4. Rick Eckert 3686 (-120)
5. (tie) Tim McCreadie 3500 (-306)
5. (tie) Tim Fuller 3500 (-306)
7. Eric Wells 3482 (-324)
8. Morgan Bagley 3426 (-380)
9. Bub McCool 3424 (-382)
10. Chub Frank 3400 (-406)
11. Clint Smith 3248 (-558)
12. Scott James 1958 (-1848)
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.