SARVER, PA (June 28) — Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finally ended his frustrating pursuit of victory in the Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com at Lernerville Speedway, capturing the eighth annual event's top prize amid a flurry of raindrops on Saturday night.
A runner-up in four of the previous six World of Outlaws Late Model Series spectaculars at the four-tenths-mile oval, Lanigan at long last found the proper mix of speed and good fortune to claim the $30,650 first-place payoff. He inherited the lead when Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., slowed on lap 67 with a broken rearend and was still holding strong in front when rain forced the race to be declared official after 90 laps.
"It's just unbelievable to win this race here," said Lanigan, who padded his already healthy WoO LMS points lead with his seventh triumph in 17 events this season on the national tour. "To be so close so many times and not get it — man, to finally get it, it's just unbelievable."
After a short period of rain after the B-Mains delayed the start of the 100-lapper, Lanigan, 43, raced off the outside pole at the initial green flag to take the lead. He lost the top spot to the very fleet Davenport, who started from the pole position, on lap 12 and fell behind by as much as a straightaway at points, but he had drawn within striking distance before Davenport's bid ended on the 67th circuit.
Lanigan proceeded to turn back challenges from Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., following restarts on laps 67 and 73 and was able to stay ahead of the two-time Firecracker 100 winner on a slickening track surface before officials put out a caution flag for the rain on lap 90. After the field was briefly sent to the staging area in the pits to wait out the weather, WoO and track officials decided that the precipitation had become too heavy and the checkered flag belonged to Lanigan and his self-designed Club 29 car.
"The car was awesome all night," said Lanigan, who also won the first 30-lap preliminary feature of the Firecracker 100 weekend on Thursday night for his career-first victory at Lernerville. "It started getting greasy there at the end (running) on the top, and man it was hard to stay on the track. I'm just glad that caution came out (on lap 90)."
Lanigan had a good feeling about his chances for victory throughout the race — even when Davenport appeared to be the dominant force circling the outside groove in his K&L Rumley Longhorn machine.
"I figured he would be good around the cushion up there," said Lanigan, who recorded his milestone 60th career win on the WoO LMS. "But my car was good pretty much wherever I wanted to go, so I was just kind of biding my time with him. I felt like I had plenty left.
"I feel like once the top dried up a little bit we could reel him in there. That's basically about what was happening."
Bloomquist, 50, settled for second place after starting fourth. He ran one spot behind Lanigan for virtually the entire distance but couldn't find enough speed to deal with the eventual victor.
The runner-up finish was Bloomquist's third in as many nights at Lernerville.
John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., advanced from the ninth starting spot to finish third. He reached fourth place behind Bloomquist on a lap-36 restart and chased Bloomquist for the remainder of the distance.
Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., cracked the top five from the 11th starting spot just before the race's halfway point and settled into fourth place after Davenport's departure. The Dream XX winner's fourth-place run came in a backup car after his primary machine was badly damaged in a heat-race crash on Friday night.
Two-time Firecracker 100 winner Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., completed the top five. He briefly lost fifth place late in the race to Morgan Bagley of Tyler, Texas, who finished sixth after starting 25th and pitting early to change his car's right-rear tire compound.
Nine caution flags slowed the event. None were for serious accidents.
With heat races lined up by each driver's best finishing position from the two preliminary nights, no time trials were contested on Saturday night.
Heat winners were Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., Lanigan, Bloomquist, Blankenship, Davenport and Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind. B-Mains were captured by Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Dave Hess Jr. of Waterford, Pa., and Mike Benedum of Salem, W.Va.
The WoO LMS will return to action on July 10 at Hibbing (Minn.) Raceway, which kicks off the four-race Wild West Tour.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
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Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Darrell Lanigan/90 $30,650
2. (4) Scott Bloomquist/90 $15,150
3. (9) John Blankenship/90 $7,000
4. (11) Dale McDowell/90 $6,000
5. (3) Jimmy Mars/90 $5,000
6. (25) Morgan Bagley/90 $4,700
7. (18) Eric Wells/90 $3,500
8. (6) Tim Fuller/90 $2,550
9. (14) Mike Marlar/90 $2,250
10. (12) Dan Stone/90 $2,050
11. (5) Rick Eckert/90 $2,600
12. (16) Tim McCreadie/90 $2,550
13. (26) Frank Heckenast Jr./89 $2,500
14. (13) Clint Smith/89 $2,150
15. (19) Chub Frank/89 $2,000
16. (29) Boom Briggs/88 $900
17. (21) Mike Benedum/72 $1,300
18. (1) Jonathan Davenport/67 $1,200
19. (10) Kent Robinson/60 $1,100
20. (23) Gregg Satterlee/40 $1,000
21. (7) Jimmy Owens/37 $1,000
22. (22) Austin Hubbard/37 $1,000
23. (15) Davey Johnson/30 $1,000
24. (27) Mike Pegher Jr./30 $1,000
25. (8) Alex Ferree/23 $1,000
26. (28) John Garvin Jr./18 $1,000
27. (17) Jared Miley/14 $1,025
28. (20) Dave Hess Jr./9 $1,000
29. (24) Chase Junghans/4 $1,550
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 48 Mins., 6.359 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 9 (laps 4, 11, 32, 36, 40, 43, 67, 73, 90)
Lap Leaders: Lanigan (1-11); Davenport (12-67); Lanigan (68-90)
Provisional Starters: Bagley, Heckenast (WoO points); Pegher, Garvin (track); Briggs (WoO emergency)
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Benedum ($500)
WoO LMS Rookie Bonus: Heckenast ($250)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Owens, Ferree, C. Smith, Frank, Krummert, Musolino, Casner, Zeigler (DQ) Clanton
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lanigan, McDowell, Marlar, Hubbard, Heckenast, Bachman, Bertolini, King, Schaltenbrand
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Bloomquist, Fuller, D. Johnson, Hess, Satterlee, Bagley, Lyle, J. Flinner, Norris
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Blankenship, Eckert, McCreadie, Knight, Angelicchio, Garvin, Kann, Sarver, Jacobsen
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Davenport, Stone, Miley, Briggs, Benedum, Blair, Coffey, C. Flinner, Altobelli
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Robinson, Mars, Wells, Drown, Junghans, Pegher, Tavenner, Lockwood, Cochran
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Frank, Hubbard, Heckenast, Musolino, Krummert, Schaltenbrand, Casner, Bertolini, Bachman (DNS) King, Zeigler, Clanton
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Hess, Satterlee, Bagley, Knight, Angelicchio, Garvin, Kann, J. Flinner, Lyle, Sarver, Jacobsen (DQ) Norris
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Benedum, Junghans, Drown, Pegher, Blair, Coffey, Tavenner, Briggs, C. Flinner, Cochran, Lockwood, Altobelli
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): none
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Morgan Bagley
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Scott Bloomquist
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Dale McDowell
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Darrell Lanigan
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Penske Racing Shocks ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Roush-Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
American Racing Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Dan Stone
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank Heckenast Jr.
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Boom Briggs
Roush-Yates ($50 certificate to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Gregg Satterlee
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Gregg Satterlee
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Jimmy Owens
Mobil 1 (20% off gift certicate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Gregg Satterlee
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Mike Pegher Jr.
Roush-Yates ($50 certificate to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Davey Johnson
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Jared Miley
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Scott Bloomquist
Reliable Painting (one free tire): none
2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 28 – 17 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2526
2. Rick Eckert 2340 (-186)
3. Tim McCreadie 2328 (-198)
4. Morgan Bagley 2252 (-274)
5. Chub Frank 2246 (-280)
6. Eric Wells 2204 (-322)
7. Shane Clanton 2200 (-326)
8. Frankie Heckenast Jr. 2138 (-388)
9. Clint Smith 2130 (-396)
10. Chase Junghans 2006 (-520)
11. Rick 'Boom' Briggs 1994 (-532)
12. Mike Marlar 1330 (-1196)
WoO LMS PR - Jason Shank photos