Weedsport, NY - Shane Clanton made the most of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series' trip to New York.
Completing a sweep of the national tour's two 2015 Empire State stops, Clanton, 39, of Zebulon, Ga., led every lap of Tuesday night's Finger Lakes 40 at Weedsport Speedway to earn an $8,650 victory in the final round of the WoO LMS Great Northern Tour.
Clanton's series-leading sixth WoO LMS victory of the season followed his win in the Great Northern Tour opener at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway on June 18 and a runner-up finish in the northern trek's other completed event at Brighton (Ont.) Speedway on June 20. He'll look to put an exclamation point on the WoO LMS early-summer trip north when the series heads to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., this weekend for the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com.
"It's awesome to come up here and run like we have and leave New York with two wins," said Clanton who stretched his points lead to 128 points over Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. "We've got things rolling along like we need it to right now. With the way we're running, I think we've got a car to go win Lernerville too."
Clanton was in control all night at Weedsport, beginning in time trials when he lowered the 3/8-mile oval's Late Model track record with his lap of 14.831 seconds. He led every lap of his heat race and later drew the pole starting spot in the night's Top Six Redraw.
Clanton's only serious challenge during the 40-lap A-Main came from 14th-starting Tim McCreadie of nearby Watertown, N.Y. McCreadie briefly pressured Clanton following a lap-29 restart, but he couldn't match Clanton's pace as the final 11 laps ran caution free.
McCreadie settled for second, 1.659 seconds back of Clanton at the checkereds. Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., charged from 13th to third with seventh-starting Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., taking fourth. Fifth-starting Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, ran as high as second before dropping back to fifth at the finish.
Clanton's dominating performance gave him even more breathing room in the WoO LMS championship battle as he chases his first series title. He added a whopping 34 points to his advantage, thanks to both his victory and a 17th-place finish by Richards.
Coming off his victory in Saturday's race at Brighton, Richards started third and ran as high as second before tagging the inside wall entering turn one on lap 15. The damage to the front of his Rocket Chassis house car eventually caused Richards to slow and retire from the race with 23 laps complete.
For Clanton, the victory was a continuation of his turnaround season after a 2014 WoO LMS campaign that saw the series veteran go winless for the first time ever on the series.
"It's just dedication and hard work and the will and desire not to give up," Clanton said of his astonishing rebound in 2015. "It takes a whole team effort to get to where I'm at."
While he may have fallen one position short of a home-state victory that would've ended his season-long WoO LMS winless streak, McCreadie's runner-up effort continued his improved performance during the Great Northern Tour, which also saw the 2006 WoO LMS champion drive his Sweeteners Plus Rocket Chassis to finishes of fifth at Fonda and third at Brighton.
Tuesday's finish was perhaps the hardest-earned of McCreadie's three consecutive top-five performances. He had to overcome a scrape with the wall in hot laps and a brake-line failure in qualifying before making his charge in the feature.
"He's the man right now," McCreadie said of Clanton and his stellar season. "It's a shame I stuck it in the fence in hot laps then broke a brake line in qualifying. It just put us back. But it is what it is. We try to run as hard as we can."
Like McCreadie, Lanigan remains winless on this year's WoO LMS campaign, but Tuesday's solid run gives the three-time and defending series champion hope of a turnaround during the second half of the season.
"We had a good car tonight," Lanigan said of his GottaRace.com Club 29 Race Cars house car. "We've been throwing some stuff at it. Been a little off at the beginning of the year just trying to get some stuff together so we can run better in the second half."
The race was slowed by six cautions with the first appearing when Bryan Bernheisel of Lebanon, Pa., slowed on the back straightaway. The yellow flag waved again just after the ensuing restart when sixth-running Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., ended up spun in the infield after a scramble on the front straightaway.
A tangle between Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., necessitated another caution on lap 14, while Richards' run-in with the turn-one wall forced him to slow and draw the race's fourth caution on lap 23. A lap-28 caution was for the slowing machine of Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn., and a spin by Chad Hollenbeck of Montrose, Pa., caused the race's final caution with 29 laps complete.
Tuesday's race wrapped up the WoO LMS Great Northern Tour. Clanton and Richards split victories in the first two Great Northern Tour events with Clanton winning at Fonda on June 18 and Richards claiming the June 20 event at Brighton. The tour's third event was scheduled for June 21 at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway but was rained out.
The Great Northern Tour serves as a precursor to one of the season's biggest race weekends in Lernerville Speedway's ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com. The crown jewel event features three nights of WoO LMS action kicking off Thursday, June 25 and building toward the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale on Saturday, June 27.
For more information on the Firecracker 100 and Lernerville Speedway, visit http://www.lernerville.com/firecracker-100-presented-by-gottaracecom. Tickets for the event can be purchased now at https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Finger Lakes 40 at Weedsport Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Shane Clanton/40 $8,650
2. (14) Tim McCreadie/40 $4,650
3. (13) Darrell Lanigan/40 $3,350
4. (7) Chase Junghans/40 $2,850
5. (5) Morgan Bagley/40 $2,600
6. (8) Eric Wells/40 $2,150
7. (15) Dan Stone/40 $1,400
8. (11) Frank Heckenast Jr./40 $1,850
9. (9) Greg Oakes/40 $1,800
10. (18) Dylan Yoder/40 $1,150
11. (2) Boom Briggs/40 $1,500
12. (22) Jim Yoder/40 $950
13. (23) Chad Hollenbeck/40 $900
14. (16) Gregg Satterlee/40 $850
15. (19) Jordan Yaggy/39 $1,000
16. (21) Dave Zona/35 $700
17. (3) Josh Richards/23 $1,310
18. (10) Brandon Overton/23 $1,140
19. (12) Ross Robinson/16 $620
20. (6) Chub Frank/14 $1,150
21. (17) Rick Eckert/14 $1,250
22. (20) Jim Bernheisel/12 $600
23. (4) Tim Fuller/12 $600
24. (24) Bryan Bernheisel/11 $625
Time of Race: 26 Mins., 31 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.659 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Six (laps 12, 12, 14, 23, 28 & 29)
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Hollenbeck, B.Bernheisel
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Greg Oakes ($500)
WoO LMS 'Rookie of the Race' Winner: Jordan Yaggy ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 14.831
2. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 14.919
3. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 14.936
4. 19-Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y., 14.994
5. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 15.079
6. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 15.098
7. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 15.120
8. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 15.137
9. 22G-Greg Oakes, Franklinville, N.Y., 15.231
10. 76-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 15.252
11. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 15.325
12. 21D-Dan Stone, Thompson, Pa., 15.330
13. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 15.368
14. 7v-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 15.382
15. 7-Ross Robinson, Georgetown, Del., 15.403
16. 27-Jim Yoder, Selinsgrove, Pa., 15.472
17. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 15.495
18. 24-Dylan Yoder, Selinsgrove, Pa., 15.562
19. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 15.622
20. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel, Lebanon, Pa., 15.648
21. 119-Jim Bernheisel, Lebanon, Pa., 15.827
22. 18$-Sean Beardsley, Central Square, N.Y., 16.025
23. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 16.097
24. 10-Chris Fleming, Union Springs, N.Y., 16.118
25. 99Z-David Zona, Montrose, Pa., 16.168
26. 4DS-Chad Hollenbeck, Montrose, Pa., 16.193
27. 28*-Alan Fink, Central Square, N.Y., 16.488
28. 9K-AJ Kingsley, Fulton, N.Y., 16.489
29. 22JR-Michael Oakes, Franklinville, N.Y., 16.584
30. 16-Aaron Jacobs, Frankfort, N.Y., 18.243
31. 160-Johnny Hill, Hastings, N.Y., no time
Heat No. 1 (10 laps - Top 6 Transfer): Clanton, Fuller, Junghans, Overton, Lanigan, Satterlee, Zona, J.Yoder, Beardsley, Kingsley. DNS: Hill.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps - Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Frank, Wells, Heckenast, McCreadie, Eckert, Yaggy, M. Oakes, Hollenbeck, B.Bernheisel.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps - Top 6 Transfer): Bagley, Briggs, G.Oakes, Robinson, Stone, D.Yoder, J.Bernheisel, Fink, Fleming, Jacobs.
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Yaggy, J.Bernheisel, Zona, J.Yoder, Beardsley, B.Bernheisel, M.Oakes, Fink, Kingsley, Jacobs. DNS: Fleming, Hollenbeck, Hill.
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): Clanton
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Clanton
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Bagley
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Bagley
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Wells
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): G.Oakes
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): G.Oakes
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): J.Yoder
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): D.Yoder
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Hollenbeck
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Satterlee
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Yaggy
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Zona
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Robinson
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): B.Bernheisel
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Clanton
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): G.Oakes
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 23 - 19 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 2708
2. Josh Richards 2580 (-128)
3. Darrell Lanigan 2562 (-146)
4. Chub Frank 2506 (-202)
5. Tim McCreadie 2458 (-250)
6. Morgan Bagley 2440 (-268)
7. Rick Eckert 2388 (-320)
(tie) Eric Wells 2388 (-320)
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 2380 (-328)
10. Chase Junghans 2336 (-372)
11. Brandon Overton 2302 (-406)*
12. Boom Briggs 2136 (-572)
13. Jordan Yaggy 2006 (-702)*
*Rookie of the Year contender
WoO LM PR & Photo