Sarver, PA - With two of the sport's top drivers behind him and a steady line of lapped traffic ahead of him, Chase Junghans expected his lead in Friday's Firecracker 100 preliminary feature at Lernerville Speedway to be shrinking.
Instead, signals from a crew member during the second half of the 30-lap race told the second-year World of Outlaws Late Model Series driver that he was pulling away from former WoO LMS champion Scott Bloomquist and current series points leader Shane Clanton.
"I was just riding around out there trying to be patient and my crew guy was giving me signals saying I was pulling away," said Junghans, the 22-year-old racer from Manhattan, Kan. "I was like 'Are you kidding me?' But I guess I was, and now, I just don't know what to say. This is surreal."
Junghans was indeed nearly speechless after dominating Friday's A-Main to score his first-career WoO LMS victory during the second night of Lernerville's ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com. In notching his fourth top-five finish in the past six WoO LMS events, Junghans earned $6,175 at the 4/10-mile oval and picked up plenty of momentum heading into Saturday's $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale.
Junghans' Shop Quik Racing Capital Race Car finished the caution-free race with an advantage of 2.932 seconds. Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was second with Clanton, the Zebulon, Ga., driver who won Thursday's Firecracker 100 opener, advancing from his seventh starting spot to finish third. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished fourth with Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa., rounding out the race's top five finishers.
Junghans was fast all night at Lernerville, setting quick time in qualifying and finishing second to Clanton in his heat race to earn a spot in the Top 8 Redraw. Luck fell his way in drawing the pole for the A-Main, but he didn't waste the opportunity. He pulled away from an early back-and-forth battle between Bloomquist and Frank and never looked back.
"This feels great, especially having all these good guys here behind us," said Junghans, whose previous best WoO LMS finish was a third-place effort at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway on June 18. "It definitely helped starting up front, but we made the most of it. Hopefully we can build off of this and maybe win tomorrow or if not at least have a good finish."
A frequent contender at Lernerville, Bloomquist took second from Frank on lap 10 and appeared to initially close slightly on Junghans. But his pace slowed around halfway and the two-time Firecracker 100 winner was forced to settle for the runner-up finish in his self-designed Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car.
"We weren't quite where we want to be, but we're happy with this," said Bloomquist, who made his first laps of the weekend on Friday after a late arrival led him to sit out Thursday's opener. "We've been playing with some different stuff on the car and tonight was the first night we tried it. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly what I was hunting."
With his seventh consecutive top-three WoO LMS finish, Clanton kept his recent hot streak rolling. The co-founder of Capital Race Cars was happy to see a Capital car in victory lane, but he would've liked to have made it a one-two sweep for the chassis brand.
"Any time a Capital car can win, we're happy," said Clanton, whose Capital machine is sponsored by Weldbank Energy. "I told Chase to just go on and run his race and hopefully I'd make it to second. We came close, but I was just a little too tight."
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was sixth at the finish after climbing as high as third midway through the race. Former Lernerville track champion Jared Miley of Pittsburgh, Pa., advanced from 11th to score his second top 10 of the weekend in finishing seventh. Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., was eighth with Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., rounding out the top 10.
The ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com concludes on Saturday with an action-packed night of racing at Lernerville Speedway. With lineups determined by drivers' best finish over the two preliminary nights, four Firecracker 100 heat races will each transfer four drivers into the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win finale. Two Last-Chance Showdowns will each transfer three more drivers, while provisional starters will round out the field. The night will conclude with the $3,000-to-win Uncle Sam 30 for non-qualifiers.
For more information on the Firecracker 100 and Lernerville Speedway, visit http://www.lernerville.com/firecracker-100-presented-by-gottaracecom. For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com Preliminary Night at Lernerville Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Chase Junghans/30 $6,175
2. (3) Scott Bloomquist/30 $3,100
3. (7) Shane Clanton/30 $2,050
4. (2) Chub Frank/30 $1,800
5. (5) Davey Johnson/30 $1,500
6. (6) Tim McCreadie/30 $1,650
7. (11) Jared Miley/30 $1,800
8. (10) Gregg Satterlee/30 $1,250
9. (8) Austin Hubbard/30 $1,100
10. (16) Rick Eckert/30 $1,250
11. (15) Eric Wells/30 $950
12. (18) Morgan Bagley/30 $900
13. (4) Brandon Overton/30 $1,050
14. (9) Russ King/30 $775
15. (13) Josh Richards/30 $900
16. (12) Mason Zeigler/30 $750
17. (19) Ross Robinson/30 $660
18. (20) Darrell Lanigan/29 $790
19. (23) Boom Briggs/29 $670
20. (17) Frank Heckenast Jr./29 $650
21. (21) Kenny Pettyjohn/29 $600
22. (14) Paul Wilmoth/29 $600
23. (24) Jordan Yaggy/27 $600
24. (22) Mike Norris/7 $600
Time of Race: 9 Mins., 17 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.932 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Junghans (1-30)
Provisional Starters: Briggs, Yaggy
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Jared Miley ($500)
WoO LMS 'Rookie of the Race' Winner: Brandon Overton ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1J-Davey Johnson, Imperial, Pa., 15.917
2. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 15.993
3. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 16.042
4. 11H-Austin Hubbard, Seaford, Del., 16.064
5. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 16.111
6. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 16.130
7. 56-Russ King, Bristolville, Ohio, 16.131
8. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 16.168
9. 311-Scott Groves, Canton, Ga., 16.281
10. 14-Dan Angelicchio, Mount Pleasant, Pa., 16.322
11. 10-Alex Ferree, Valencia, Pa., 16.370
12. B1-Paul Wilmoth, Clarksburg, W.Va., 16.375
13. 7R-Ross Robinson, Georgetown, Del., 16.392
14. 41-Derrick Casner, Mifflintown, Pa., 16.428
15. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn, Millsboro, Del., 16.513
16. 3-Dan Swartzlander, Freeport, Pa., 16.526
17. 4J-John Mollick, Toronto, Ohio, 16.573
18. 29S-Ken Schaltenbrand Jr., Sarver, Pa., 16.581
19. 73-Devin Lewis, Weedville, Pa., 16.693
20. C33-Chris Casner, Mifflintown, Pa., 16.716
21. 91-Tommy Beck, Delmont, Pa., 16.756
22. 7x-Herman Bertolini, Creighton, Pa., 17.475
23. 32-Trevor Herr, Freeport, Pa., no time
1. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 15.861
2. 32B-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 15.967
3. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 16.072
4. 0-Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.090
5. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 16.146
6. 25z-Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.147
7. H1-Jared Miley, Pittsburg, Pa., 16.351
8. 66-Todd Bachman, Natrona Heights, Pa., 16.362
9. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 16.371
10. 7v-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 16.372
11. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 16.401
12. 72-Michael Norris, Sarver, Pa., 16.429
13. 1C-Mike Pehger, Cranberry Township, Pa., 16.435
14. 11-Jason Schmidt, Lewiston, Pa., 16.530
15. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 16.546
16. B22-Bump Hedmon, Sugar Grove, Pa., 16.648
17. 4T8-John Flinner, Zelienople, Pa., 16.703
18. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 16.717
19. 27-Michael Lake, Uniontown, Pa., 16.781
20. 66-Justin Kann, Huntingdon, Pa., 16.938
21. 75-Colton Flinner, Allison Park, Pa., 17.281
22. 44-Derek Stefanick, Oakdale, Pa., 17.951
Heat No. 1 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Johnson, McCreadie, King, Richards, Robinson, Pettyjohn, Lewis, Groves, Herr, Mollick. DNS: Ferree, Beck.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Hubbard, Frank, Satterlee, Wilmoth, Heckenast, Angellicchio, Swartzlander, C.Casner, Schaltenbrand, Berolini, D.Casner.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Junghans, Miley, Wells, Lanigan, Bagley, Briggs, J.Flinner, Lake, C.Flinner, Pegher.
Heat No. 4 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Bloomquist, Overton, Zeigler, Eckert, Norris, Bachman, Yaggy, Kann, Hedman, Schmidt, Stefanick.
Last-Chance Showdown No. 1 (10 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Bagley, Lanigan, Norris, Lake, Briggs, J.Flinner, Bachman, Kann, Yaggy, Pegher, Hedman, C.Flinner, Schmidt, Stefanick.
Last-Chance Showdown No. 2 (10 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Heckenast, Robinson, Pettyjohn, Schaltenbrand, Angelicchio, Groves, C.Casner, Swartzlander, Lewis, Berolini. DNS: Herr, Mollick, Ferree, D.Casner, Beck.
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): Junghans
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Junghans
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Junghans
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Junghans
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Junghans
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Satterlee
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Bagley
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Zeigler
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Richards
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Robinson
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Robinson
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Briggs
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Heckenst
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Yaggy
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Junghans
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Bloomquist
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 26 - 21 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 3002
2. Darrell Lanigan 2818 (-184)
3. Josh Richards 2816 (-186)
4. Chub Frank 2778 (-224)
5. Tim McCreadie 2716 (-286)
6. Morgan Bagley 2694 (-308)
7. Rick Eckert 2664 (-338)
8. Eric Wells 2656 (-346)
9. Chase Junghans 2618 (-384)
10. Frank Heckenast Jr. 2614 (-388)
11. Brandon Overton 2486 (-516)*
12. Boom Briggs 2362 (-640)
13. Jordan Yaggy 2216 (-786)*
*Rookie of the Year contender
Story: WoO DLM PR - Photo: Paul Arch