Grand Forks, NC – Tim McCreadie’s return to victory lane didn’t come easy.
Mastering a challenging track surface at River Cities Speedway, McCreadie, 41, of Watertown, N.Y., charged forward from his seventh starting spot in Friday’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series Wild West Tour feature at the 3/10-mile oval and led the final 33 laps of the 50-lap race to earn his first series victory of the season.
McCreadie, the 2006 WoO LMS champion, topped an early battle with Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., and hometown driver Dustin Strand and turned back challenges from Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., on a late restart to earn $10,700 for the 29th WoO LMS victory of his career.
“I left it all out there,” said McCreadie, who earned his second-career WoO LMS victory at River Cities. “I hope it was fun for everyone up there (in the grandstands) because that’s all I had.”
McCreadie’s Sweeteners Plus Rocket Chassis crossed the finish line 2.329 seconds ahead of eighth-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who made a late charge into the top five and took the second spot from Schatz on the final lap. Schatz, the six-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion who makes select appearances on the WoO LMS during his time off from sprint car action, settled for third.
Leading WoO LMS Rookie of the Year candidate Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., advanced from his 10th starting spot to finish fourth with series points leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., rounding out the top five in a race slowed by three cautions.
The victory helped alleviate some of the frustration McCreadie has shoulder while struggling to find his rhythm on the WoO LMS this season. The breakthrough came at a particularly good time after McCreadie struggled to a 21st-place finish in Thursday night’s Wild West Tour opening round feature at Hibbing (Minn.) Raceway.
“It’s no secret we’ve struggled. I mean last night we got lapped in 20 laps,” said McCreadie, who notched just his seventh top five finish in 23 WoO LMS races this season. “It’s been a struggle, but we’ve worked hard. Thanks to (crew chief) Tommy Grecco and Sweeteners Plus and everybody that puts this whole package together.”
Besides McCreadie, Richards was one of the few drivers who could consistently make up ground using track’s tricky high groove. Sticking with the high line paid off as Richards drove his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car to his second consecutive runner-up finish.
“We were having fun out there,” Richards, the three-time WoO LMS champion, said of his charge toward the front. “I just had to commit to that top. If you hit it right you could gain a ton of speed on everybody, but if you missed a little bit you would bounce through the holes.
“Congrats to McCreadie – he was definitely the best car in the feature – and Donny. It was a good night for the Rocket cars.”
Making just his fifth WoO LMS appearance of the season, Schatz was solid all night in his Fargo Petro-sponsored Rocket. After qualifying sixth fastest, he finished second to Clanton in the third heat race to make the redraw and ran among the leaders throughout the main event. Using the track’s middle groove, he briefly challenged McCreadie for the lead following a lap 41- restart before fading in the final laps.
“I had an absolutely riot,” said Schatz, who made his fifth WoO LMS appearance of the season. “To be able to sniff the front in a World of Outlaws race in a Late Model is pretty cool. Whatever I was doing there to get through the middle, I thought ‘man, I think I can get him.’ But the next thing you know, I must have forgot what I was doing or something.”
Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., advanced from the 12th starting spot to finish sixth with Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., taking seventh. Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks, Minn., improved from 21st to finish eighth with 20th-starting Brad Seng of Grand Forks, just behind in ninth.
Frank saw his hopes of a strong finish fade when he suffered a flat left-front tire with just a handful of laps remaining. But the veteran driver was able to wrestle his hampered machine to a 10th-place finish.
Strand was also denied a potential top-five finish when he suffered a flat tire of his own in the closing laps. He pulled to the infield and settled for 20th in the final rundown.
The first of the race’s three cautions appeared when Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn., spun with three laps complete. Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., slowed to cause a lap-35 yellow, and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., brought out the race’s final yellow flag when he slowed on lap 41.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series competitors take the next three nights off before returning to action with Round Three of the Wild West Tour at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway on Tues., July 14. Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D., hosts Round Four of the tour on Wed., July 15, and Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., hosts the finale on Sat., July 18.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Wild West Tour at River Cities Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (7) Tim McCreadie/50 $10,700
2. (8) Josh Richards/50 $5,650
3. (5) Donny Schatz/50 $3,500
4. (10) Brandon Overton/50 $3,300
5. (2) Shane Clanton/50 $2,550
6. (12) Frank Heckenast Jr./50 $2,250
7. (4) Chase Junghans/50 $1,950
8. (21) Joey Pederson/50 $1,350
9. (20) Brad Seng/50 $1,200
10. (1) Chub Frank/50 $1,700
11. (13) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,600
12. (9) Rick Eckert/50 $1,650
13. (11) Pat Doar/50 $1,000
14. (19) Eric Wells/50 $1,500
15. (14) Boom Briggs/50 $1,400
16. (18) Dave Fieber/49 $800
17. (15) Jordan Yaggy/49 $770
18. (24) Zach Naastad/48 $750
19. (17) Lance Matthees/48 $730
20. (3) Dustin Strand/43 $700
21. (16) Jimmy Mars/41 $700
22. (23) Steffen Snare/40 $700
23. (22) Chad Hollenbeck/34 $700
24. (6) A.J. Diemel/11 $725
Time of Race: 19 Mins., 52 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.329 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Three (laps 3, 35, 41)
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-2), Frank (3-14), Strand (15-17), McCreadie (18-50)
Provisional Starters: Snare (fast time), Naastad (fast time)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Donny Schatz
WoO LMS ‘Rookie of the Race’ Winner: Brandon Overton
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/
1. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 12.209
2. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 12.211
3. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 12.293
4. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 12.294
5. 58-A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis., 12.295
6. 15-Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D., 12.329
7. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 12.337
8. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 12.370
9. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 12.405
10. 71-Dustin Strand, Grand Forks, N.D., 12.441
11. 11-Pat Doar, New Richmond, Wis., 12.452
12. 71s-Steffen Snare, Hallock, Minn., 12.459
13. 28m-Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., 12.460
14. 90-Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn., 12.516
15. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 12.570
16. 76-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 12.589
17. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 12.597
18. 7v-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 12.620
19. Z17-Zach Naastad, Northwood, N.D., 12.713
20. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 12.737
21. F9-Brandon Fuller, Grand Forks, N.D., 12.798
22. 4DS-Chad Hollenbeck, Montrose, Pa., 12.893
23. 7P-Joey Penderson, East Grand Forks, N.D., 12.977
24. 1F-Dave Fieber, Chippewa Falls, Wis., 13.025
25. 12s-Brad Seng, Grand Forks, N.D., 13.034
26. 9-Steve Anderson, Grand Forks, N.D., 13.094
27. 16-Jason Storbakken, Epping, N.D., 13.313
28. 2-Bill Mooney, Selkirk, Man., 13.421
29. 84-Josh Johnson, Harwood, N.D., 13.603
30. 105-Terry Blacklance, Thief River Falls, Minn., 14.288
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Strand, Junghans, McCreadie, Overton, Bagley, Mars, Hollenbeck, Seng, Mooney, Naastad.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Diemel, Frank, Richards, Doar, Briggs, Matthees, Wells, Pederson, Anderson, Johnson.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Clanton, Schatz, Eckert, Heckenast, Yaggy, Fieber, Snare, Fuller, Storbakken, Blacklance.
Last-Chance Showdown No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Wells, Seng, Pederson, Hollenbeck, Anderson, Mooney, Naastad, Snare, Johnson, Fuller, Storbakken, Blacklance.
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): McCreadie
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): McCreadie
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): McCreadie
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): McCreadie
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Overton
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Clanton
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Heckenast
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Pederson
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Doar
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Wells
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Briggs
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Fieber
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Matthees
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Hollenbeck
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Hollenbeck
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Diemel
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Wells
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Pederson
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 10 – 23 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 3292
2. Josh Richards 3108 (-184)
3. Chub Frank 2940 (-352)
4. Tim McCreadie 3050 (-242)
5. Morgan Bagley 2966 (-326)
6. Darrell Lanigan 2974 (-318)
7. Rick Eckert 2924 (-368)
8. Eric Wells 2916 (-376)
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 2892 (-400)
10. Chase Junghans 2880 (-412)
11. Brandon Overton 2738 (-554)
12. Boom Briggs 2610 (-682)
13. Jordan Yaggy 2446 (-846)
*Rookie of the Year competitor
Story: WoO DLM PR – Photo: Rick Schwallie