Fuller Dominates Saturday’s Ohio Speedweek Stop At Sharon Speedway For First World of Outlaws Late Model Series Win Of 2009
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
HARTFORD, OH – July 25, 2009 – Everything finally fell into place for Tim Fuller on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway.
Ending a year-long victory drought on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, the 41-year-old driver from Watertown, N.Y., flexed some serious muscle in dominating the 50-lap WFMJ-TV ‘Buckeye Bash’ that served as the second stop of Ohio Speedweek.
Fuller surged off the outside pole to grab the lead from front-row mate Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., at the initial green flag and never looked back. He led by as much as a half-lap before three caution flags during the race’s second half forced him to hold off defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to secure the $10,600 payday.
Lanigan settled for second place after starting 12th. Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., placed third, followed by Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., whose WoO LMS points lead shrunk to just two points over both Lanigan and Francis.
“It’s great to get this monkey off our back,” said Fuller, who snapped a 46-race WoO LMS winless streak dating back to his last triumph, on July 16, 2008, at Gillette (Wyo.) Thunder Speedway. “We’ve been fast and maybe could’ve had a win three or four times this year, but the stars just didn’t line up right in my favor.
“It was getting frustrating, but I said to John Wight (his car owner), ‘We’re gonna hang around in this top five long enough and get a win.’ When you’re fast a win will eventually come, and we got one tonight.”
Fuller simply had no peer at the three-eighths-mile oval co-owned by NASCAR veteran and former World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Dave Blaney. The 2007 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year wasn’t even concerned when the race’s first caution flag, on lap 29 for a flat left-rear tire on the car driven by rookie Jordan Bland of Campbellsville, Ky., wiped out his commanding advantage.
“Those cautions actually helped me,” said Fuller, who also dealt with restarts after yellow flags on lap 36 (for Satterlee’s stopped car) and lap 42 (when Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., relinquished fourth place due to a broken rearend). “I had on a softer right-rear (Hoosier) tire than most people, so I could fire better (after cautions).”
Lanigan, 39, got the nose of his Fusion Energy Rocket car up to the rear deck of Fuller’s Gypsum Express Rocket several times entering turn one, but Fuller never flinched.
“There was one preferred groove and I didn’t move out of that,” said Fuller, who became the 15th different winner in 27 WoO LMS A-Mains this season. “Once I got in the lead I knew it was gonna be tough to pass me as long as I didn’t have a tire problem.”
The victory was the fourth of Fuller’s career on the WoO LMS but first in his home time zone. His previous triumphs came in 2007 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., and in 2008 at Gillette and North Dakota’s Williston Basin Speedway.
Lanigan, who ran the same soft-compound tires as Fuller, reached second place on lap 27 when he passed Satterlee. But he couldn’t overtake Fuller, leaving him with his sixth runner-up finish of the 2009 WoO LMS season.
“He had that momentum line running up front,” Lanigan said of Fuller. “I could get up close to him, but it was just too hard to clear him.”
Lanigan ran virtually the entire distance with blood flowing from the middle finger on his left hand after it was struck by a rock that entered his cockpit. Lanigan, who was not wearing gloves, wrapped his finger in gauze following the race.
Francis, 41, saw his streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes come to an end when he drove his Beitler Motorsports Rocket under the checkered flag about one second behind Lanigan. He took third on lap 30 from a fading Satterlee, who pitted six laps later to repair a broken nosepiece brace that was getting into his tire.
“We went a little harder on our right-rear tire and I think that was our problem,” said Francis, who started fifth. “But I don’t know if we would’ve had anything for Fuller. His car was good all night and he was due.”
McCreadie, 35, and Richards, 21, were also hampered by their tire choices, leaving them fourth and fifth, respectively, at the finish. McCreadie, who started third, said his Sweeteners Plus Rocket was shod with a right-rear tire that was too hard and a left-rear that was too soft, while the sixth-starting Richards was too hard with his rubber selection.
Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., finished a WoO LMS career-best sixth to earn the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash that goes to the highest-finishing driver who has never won a tour A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the series points standings. He secured the extra cash when he grabbed sixth on lap 45 from Matt Lux of Franklin, Pa., who was also eligible for the money.
Lux settled for seventh, followed by Rick Eckert of York, Pa., Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., and Robbie Blair of Titusville, Pa.
Russell King, 20, of Bristolville, Ohio, whose shop is less than 20 minutes from Sharon, finished 14th to grab the $250 bonus as the highest-finishing WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contender. He spent the 2005-2007 seasons as a big-block Modified regular at the track.
A 26-car field was signed in for the event, which was run under a threat of rain. Forecasts called for as much as an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms in the area from noon to midnight, but the only significant precipitation was a short burst of rain that slickened the track surface with four laps completed in the third heat race. The prelim restarted after a 34-minute delay and the night’s final checkered flag flew shortly before 9:15 p.m.
Francis turned the fastest lap in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, earning a $50 bonus for his clocking of 15.615 seconds.
Heat winners were Fuller, McCreadie and Richards. No B-Main was run because Sharon officials decided to start all the night’s entrants in the A-Main.
The WoO LMS Ohio Speedweek concludes on Sunday night (July 26) with a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Buckeye Bash’ at Sharon Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Tim Fuller/50 $10,600
2. (12) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,600
3. (5) Steve Francis/50 $3,650
4. (3) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,650
5. (6) Josh Richards/50 $2,500
6. (9) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/50 $2,200
7. (8) Matt Lux/50 $1,400
8. (10) Rick Eckert/50 $1,800
9. (11) Shane Clanton/50 $1,700
10. (7) Robbie Blair/50 $1,200
11. (15) Chub Frank/50 $1,550
12. (16) Mike Knight/50 $1,000
13. (1) Gregg Satterlee/50 $950
14. (13) Russell King/50 $1,650
15. (14) Brent Robinson/50 $1,350
16. (19) Clint Smith/49 $1,300
17. (25) Jared Miley/49 $770
18. (22) Chad Ruhlman/49 $750
19. (20) Tyler Reddick/49 $730
20. (18) Dustin Hapka/49 $700
21. (23) Dave Hess Jr./48 $700
22. (4) Brady Smith/42 $1,200
23. (21) Jordan Bland/42 $1,200
24. (26) Vic Coffey/28 $700
25. (17) Donnie Moran/27 $700
26. (24) Jill George/1 $700
NOTE: Donnie Moran was penalized to the rear of the field for the start for reporting late to the pre-race lineup staging on the racetrack, and Jill George fell to the rear because she started the A-Main in Clint Smith’s backup car
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 23 Mins., 31.668 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.548 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 29, 36, 42)
Lap Leaders: Fuller (1-50)
Provisional Starters: None
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Briggs ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Mike ‘Smoke’ Countryman (Fuller)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 15.615
2. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.647
3. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 15.670
4. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.678
5. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.728
6. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.757
7. won11-Robbie Blair/Titusville, PA 15.761
8. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 15.775
9. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.838
10. 20-Chad Ruhlman/Bemus Point, NY 15.839
11. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 15.845
12. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 15.933
13. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.975
14. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 15.994
15. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 16.031
16. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.042
17. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 16.097
18. 22G-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 16.158
19. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 16.194
20. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 16.236
21. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 16.236
22. H1-Jared Miley/South Park, PA 16.243
23. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 16.307
24. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 16.319
25. 9k-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 16.408
26. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 16.655
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Fuller, Francis, Blair, Eckert, King, Knight, C. Smith, Ruhlman, Miley
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): McCreadie, B. Smith, Lux, Clanton, Robinson, Moran, Reddick, Hess, Coffey
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Satterlee, Briggs, Lanigan, Frank, Hapka, Bland, George
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Robbie Blair
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Josh Richards
* Fusion Energy ($50 cash award to Heat 2 winner w/decal): Tim McCreadie
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Steve Francis
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Josh Richards
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Brent Robinson
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Tim Fuller
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 25 – 27 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 3663 (-0)
2. (tie) Steve Francis 3661 (-2)
2. (tie) Darrell Lanigan 3661 (-2)
4. Rick Eckert 3591 (-72)
5. Shane Clanton 3511 (-152)
6. Tim Fuller 3495 (-168)
7. Brady Smith 3480 (-183)
8. Chub Frank Bear 3441 (-222)
9. Clint Smith 3323 (-340)
10. Russell King 2905 (-758)
11. Jordan Bland 2885 (-778)
12. Brent Robinson 2787 (-876)
13. Dustin Hapka 2606 (-1057)
14. Tyler Reddick 2354 (-1309)
15. Vic Coffey 2109 (-1554)
16. Austin Hubbard 1664 (-1999)
17. Shannon Babb 1470 (-2193)
18. Matt Lux 1351 (-2312)
19. Gregg Satterlee 1064 (-2599)
20. Jimmy Mars 1062 (-2601)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via the Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]