MARNE, Mich. – Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., maintained his perfect record at Berlin Raceway with a $15,000 victory in Saturday’s third annual Keyser Manufacturing Down & Dirty 65 Presented by NAPA A-Main.
With his16th World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory of the season, Lanigan, 44, of Union, Ky., broke his own single-season wins record on the national tour and ensured that the he needs only to enter the season-ending World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 6-8 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte to clinch his third WoO LMS championship.
“We broke a record and that’s definitely something to be proud of,” said Lanigan, who broke the record he set in his championship-winning season in 2012. “And to be the only winner of this event is definitely special, too.”
Advancing from the fourth starting spot, Lanigan battled back and forth with polesitter Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., for the lead early in the 65-lap race before taking command for good when Van Wormer ran into trouble as the two leaders raced through slower traffic on lap 13.
Slipping too high in turns three and four, Van Wormer tagged the wall and slowed directly in front of Lanigan’s Club 29 Race Car, causing Lanigan to get into the back of Van Wormer’s Rocket Chassis. The contact sent Van Wormer spinning as Lanigan continued running and assumed the lead.
“I have to apologize to Jeep,” Lanigan said of his involvement in the lap-13 accident. “It looked like he got up in the wall and then he kind of came back down. We had a head of steam coming in there and got into him. It wasn’t nothing on purpose.”
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., drove his Rocket Chassis from the 12th starting spot to briefly challenge Lanigan midway through the race before fading and settling for second at the finish. Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., also pressured Lanigan through the race’s middle stages before dropping to third at the finish in his Capital Race Car.
Rick Eckert of York, Pa., recovered from a lap-33 flat tire to finish fourth in the Rocket Chassis house car, while Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., drove his Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car to a fifth-place finish in a race slowed by six cautions.
After taking second on a lap-41 restart, McCreadie appeared to have a car capable of challenging Lanigan for the victory. But Lanigan’s car improved through the race’s closing stages as McCreadie began to struggle with the handle on his own machine.
“I was having trouble steering from the center off,” McCreadie said. “We’re working on a lot of new things, trying to get better. I swear if we could just perfect it from the center out we’d have something special. I had to manhandle it a little bit and it’s hard to be consistent like that.”
Van Wormer was aiming to become the second home-state driver to win in three WoO LMS events in Michigan this season, but his bid for his third-career series victory was denied by the lap-13 scrape with the wall that led to the tangle with Lanigan. Van Wormer remained in the race after the incident but eventually dropped out on lap 20 in finishing 19th.
While he acknowledged his own mistake spurred the accident, Van Wormer felt Lanigan could have avoid making contact.
“I got my right-rear into the loose stuff a little bit and I started to spin, but I could have saved it,” Van Wormer said. “Lanigan just cleaned me up. I’m sure he could’ve hit his breaks, but whatever. Our car was really, really good. It’s unfortunate because I didn’t feel like he needed to punt me.”
The first of the race’s six cautions appeared for Van Wormer’s misfortune. The second yellow waved when Kyle Borgman of Muskegon, Mich., got into the turn-four four on lap 14. Eckert’s flat tire caused a lap-33 caution and he slowed again on lap 37 to bring out the fourth yellow. The fifth caution appeared when Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., spun on lap 41, and the final caution was caused by a lap-58 spin by Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill.
The race was ran on a rugged racing surface that was plagued by wet weather in the days leading up to the event. Thursday’s practice was cancelled due to wet track conditions from heavy rain early in the week, and more rain on Friday wiped out the first of the weekend’s to WoO LMS program. With the weekend doubleheader cut to just one race, Berlin Raceway officials increased the purse for Saturday’s event, boosting the winner’s pay from $12,000 to $15,000 and the minimum pay to start the race from $800 to $1,000.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series concludes its 2014 season with a visit to The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C., for the World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 6-8. The annual mega-event features two complete programs for the WoO LMS along with season-ending races for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Keyser Manufacturing Down & Dirty 65 Presented by NAPA at Berlin Raceway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Darrell Lanigan /65 $15,650
2. (12) Tim McCreadie /65 $8,150
3. (8) Shane Clanton /65 $6,050
4. (2) Rick Eckert /65 $4,400
5. (6) Scott Bloomquist /65 $3,350
6. (7) Eric Wells /65 $3,350
7. (11) Tim Fuller /65 $2,350
8. (5) Nick Latham /64 $2,500
9. (3) Frank Heckenast Jr. /63 $2,650
10. (24) Ryan VanderVeen /59 $1,750
11. (23) Curtis Roberts /50 $1,600
12. (17) Chub Frank /41 $2,050
13. (19) Boom Briggs /38 $1,950
14. (9) Chase Junghans /33 $1,850
15. (13) Brian Ruhlman /29 $1,250
16. (16) Morgan Bagley /28 $1,750
17. (15) Kent Robinson /27 $1,150
18. (18) Alan Vochaska /25 $1,100
19. (1) Jeep Van Wormer /20 $1,050
20. (10) Curt Spalding /14 $1,000
21. (22) Kyle Borgman /13 $1,000
22. (21) Clint Smith /12 $1,550
23. (20) Brad Harden /6 $1,000
24. (14) J.R. Hotovy /3 $1,025
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 38 Mins. 45 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.362 seconds
Yellow Flags: 6 (laps 13, 14, 33, 37, 41 & 58)
Lap Leaders: Van Wormer (1-3, 6-13); Lanigan (4-5, 14-65)
Provisional Starters: Roberts (WoO points), Vander Veen (WoO points)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Nick Latham ($500)
WoO LMS Top Finishing Rookie: Frank Heckenast Jr. ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 15.706
2. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 16.163
3. 55-Jeep Van Wormer, Pinconning, Mich., 16.296
4. 111-Curt Spalding, Hartford, Mich., 16.371
5. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 16.409
6. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 16.504
7. 6m-Dona Marcoullier, Houghton Lake, Mich., 16.568
8. m14-Brandon Thirlby, Traverse City, Mich., 16.617
9. 87-Rich Neiser, Fruitport, Mich., 16.675
10. 13-J.R. Hotovy, Hartford, Mich., 16.878
11. 49-Brian Ruhlman, Clarklake, Mich., 16.928
12. 1*B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 16.957
13. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 17.011
14. 51-Steve Fairbanks, Twin Lake, Mich., 17.229
15. 22-Kevin Juusola, Muskegon, Mich., 17.832
16. 21t-Derek Thebo, Ionia, Mich., 18.135
17. 44-Clint Smith, Senoia, Ga., no time
1. 0-Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.942
2. 31-Nick Latham, Winchester, Ohio, 16.109
3. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 16.324
4. 1-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 16.324
5. 7r-Kent Robinson, Bloomington, Ind., 16.474
6. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 16.515
7. 28m-Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., 16.757
8. 34-Alan Vochaska, South Haven, Mich., 16.790
9. 19-Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y., 16.877
10. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 17.013
11. 23v-Ryan VanderVeen, Six Lakes, Mich., 17.142
12. 21-Tom Sprague, Muskegon, Mich., 17.370
13. 72-Kyle Borgman, Muskegon, Mich., 17.863
14. 3-Scott Wenell, Muskegen, Mich., 18.786
15. 9r-Curtis Roberts, Coleman, Mich., 19.397
16. 52x-Brad Harden, Ovid, Mich., no time
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Van Wormer, Junghans, Ruhlman, Frank, Smith, Juusla, Marcoullier, Neiser.
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Heckenast, Wells, Spalding, Hotovy, Briggs, Thebo, Thirlby, Fairbanks.
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bloomquist, Clanton, Fuller, Robinson, Borgman, Roberts, Mars, Vander Veen.
Heat No. 4 (8 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Latham, Eckert McCreadie, Bagley, Vochaska, Sprague, Harden, Wenell.
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Briggs, Smith, Neiser, Thebo, Thirlby. Did not start: Juusla, Marcoullier, Fairbanks.
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Vochaska, Harden, Borgman, Sprague, Wenell, Roberts. Did not start: Mars, Vander Veen.
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): Jeep Van Wormer
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Tim McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Darrell Lanigan
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Tim McCreadie
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Darrell Lanigan
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
Penske Racing Shocks ($50 to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Roush-Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
Mobile 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
American Racing Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank Heckenast Jr.
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank Heckenast Jr.
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Ryan Vander Veen
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Boom Briggs
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Chase Junghans
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Brian Ruhlman
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Roush-Yates ($50 certificate to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Jeep Van Wormer
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Jeep Van Wormer
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Curt Spalding
Mobil 1 (20% off gift certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
Roush-Yates ($50 certificate to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Brad Harden
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): J.R. Hotovy
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Tim Fuller
Reliable Painting award (one free tire): Rick Eckert
2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Sept. 13 – 35 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 4,906
2. Rick Eckert 4,622 (-284)
3. Tim McCreadie 4,572 (-334)
4. Morgan Bagley 4,370 (-536)
5. Chub Frank 4,326 (-580)
6. Eric Wells 4,308 (-598)
7. Shane Clanton 4,302 (-604)
8. Frank Heckenast Jr. 4,168 (-738)
9. Clint Smith 4,080 (-826)
10. Chase Junghans 3,908 (-998)
11. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs 3,744 (-1,162)
12. Tim Fuller 3,112 (-1,794)
Rookie of the Year Standings as of Sept. 13 (35 A-Mains completed; best 25 races counted)
1. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3,312
2. Chase Junghans 3,130 (-182)
3. Boom Briggs 3,012 (-300)
– World of Outlaws press release