POTTSVILLE, Pa. – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series shifts back into high gear this week beginning on Tuesday night with the series’ return to Big Diamond Speedway for the first time since 2009 in the Diamond Shines 40 followed Thursday through Saturday by the 8th annual Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.

Current points leader Darrell Lanigan was a Big Diamond winner in 2008 and has a stranglehold on the championship with four wins and 12 top-five finishes in 13 races. Josh Richards was the ’09 event winner, but Rick Eckert is second in points piloting that #1 Rocket car Richards drove to victory. Eckert might be the hottest driver on the circuit as he’s coming off of two DIRTcar Summer Nationals wins last week.

Plus, Eckert, who is seeking his first World of Outlaws Late Model Series win of the season, has some home-cooking working on his side as Big Diamond is only an hour-and-half from his home in York, Pa., where Monday night he’ll be home for the first time in a few weeks.

“It is a busy week, but coming off of last week, it won’t be quite as hard for us because we just did it for a week-and-a-half straight on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals tour,” said Eckert, the 2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion.

Eckert and his Rocket team led by Mark Richards believe they’ve found a winning combination after their recent success with back-to-back wins in Wisconsin at Cedar Lake Speedway and Wilmot Speedway.

“The car we raced last week we decided we were going to run that car this week,” said Eckert as he was heading out of the Rocket Chassis shop.

Knowing the success Josh Richards has had in the car at this week’s venues – in addition to winning at Big Diamond, Richards swept the Firecracker last year – does add pressure to Eckert, but he believes the team is beginning to come together nicely since he climbed in the car in late April.

“He won all three nights at the Firecracker, to win one night at the Firecracker would be really cool, to win all three nights is something you might never see again,” Eckert said. “To win all three nights in a row would be an incredible weekend. … We don’t drive anything near alike so even though we’re driving the same car for the same team, it took us a little while to figure out I need to do different stuff than he did.”

No matter what happens on the track, one thing Eckert is looking forward to this week is interacting with the fans, especially at the Firecracker’s annual Horseshoe tournament and Kick-It game.

“I like anything involved with the fans,” said Eckert, who admits the only time all year he plays horseshoes is at the Firecracker. “That’s the neat thing about Lernerville, you get to interact with the fans. The diehard fans, by the end of the week you’ve run into them or talked with them at some point.”

On Tuesday at Big Diamond, the pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstands opening at 5 p.m. and warmups beginning at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $30, kids 12-and-under are free. For more on Big Diamond, click www.BigDSpeedway.com.

On Thursday and Friday at Lernerville the pit gates open at 4 p.m. and the main gates open at 5 p.m. On Saturday at Lerneville the pits open at 3 p.m. with the main gates opening at 4 p.m. For more information about all of the activities taking place at the Firecracker, click www.Lernerville.com.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws.

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Championship Standings

Pos

Car

Driver Residence

Wins

T-5

T-10

F/T

Points

Trail

1

29

Darrell Lanigan Union, KY

4

12

13

2

1948

0

2

1

Rick Eckert York, PA

0

6

10

2

1820

128

3

39

Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY

1

5

9

0

1796

152

4

25

Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA

0

3

9

1

1766

182

5

14M

Morgan Bagley Tyler, TX

0

1

7

0

1734

214

6

1*

Chub Frank Bear Lake, PA

0

2

5

0

1728

220

7

18

Eric Wells Hazard, KY

0

1

5

0

1702

246

8

44

Clint Smith Senoia, GA

0

2

4

0

1664

284

9

99Jr

Frankie Heckenast Jr. Orland Park, IL

0

0

5

0

1662

286

10

18c

Chase Junghans Manhattan, KS

0

1

4

0

1596

352

11

99B

Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs Bear Lake, PA

0

0

3

0

1552

396

12

B5

Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL

1

2

7

3

1156

792

13

157

Mike Marlar Winfield, TN

1

2

5

0

958

990

14

2

Brady Smith Solon Springs, WI

1

3

4

0

812

1136

15

18x

Jack Sullivan Greenbrier, AR

0

0

1

0

808

1140

16

40b

Kyle Bronson Tampa, FL

1

1

2

0

804

1144

17

21L

Ivedent Lloyd Jr. Ocala, FL

0

1

2

0

744

1204

18

101

Casey Roberts Toccoa, GA

1

1

2

0

714

1234

19

76

Brandon Overton Appleton, GA

0

0

1

0

688

1260

20

19

Tim Fuller Watertown, NY

0

2

2

0

650

1298

World of Outlaws Late Model Series 2014 Event Winners:

Darrell Lanigan (4), Brady Smith (1), Brandon Sheppard (1), Casey Roberts (1), Kyle Bronson (1), Billy Moyer Sr. (1), Mike Marlar (1), Shannon Babb (1), Tim McCreadie (1), Davey Johnson (1).

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Lincoln Welders (Official Welder), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Mobil 1, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis and TNT Rescue.

 

World of Outlaws Late Models Gear Up for Big Diamond and Lernerville