Seventh Heaven: Fuller Holds Off Late Challenge From Lanigan For Victory In Oil Region Labor Day Classic Finale At Tri-City Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
FRANKLIN, PA – Sept. 6, 2009 – Tim Fuller’s hot streak on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series is still going strong.
Making amends for a tire choice that cost him a shot at victory the previous night, Fuller roared back to win Sunday’s 50-lap finale of the Armstrong Cable Oil Region Labor Day Classic at Tri-City Speedway.
It was the seventh triumph in the last 11 WoO LMS events for the sizzling 41-year-old standout from Watertown, N.Y., who moved into a tie with Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for winningest-driver status on the 2009 tour. Both drivers have won seven times.
“I thought (the run of success) was ending last night after I made a bad decision,” said Fuller, who led laps 1-13 of the weekend’s opening A-Main before an overheated right-rear tire sent him tumbling to a sixth-place finish. “But tonight we put on the same tires as everybody else did and we got right back on track.
“I hope it doesn’t end. I like it the way it is.”
Fuller steered his Gypsum Express Rocket car forward from the seventh starting spot, passing Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., for the lead on lap 28 and never looking back. Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who started alongside Fuller in eighth, overtook Francis for second on lap 37 and made a late bid to unseat Fuller but settled for second place in his one-week-old Rocket mount.
Francis, who raced off the pole position to lead laps 1-27 in the Beitler Motorsports Rocket, held on to finish third. He fell short of sweeping the weekend after capturing his sixth victory of 2009 the previous evening, but the run allowed him to regain the WoO LMS points lead by four points over Richards, who finished a quiet ninth.
Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., advanced from the ninth starting spot to place fourth in Barry Klinedinst’s Rocket car. It was his second top-five run of the Oil Region Labor Day Classic and once again earned him the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a WoO LMS A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the tour points standings.
Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., completed the top five in the RSD Enterprises Rocket after starting third. He joined Francis, Lanigan and Covert as drivers with a top-five finish in both halves of the Classic.
Fuller’s latest checkered flag was arguably his most satisfying of the season.
“You can win from the front row and feel good,” said Fuller, who registered his 10th career victory on the WoO LMS. “But when you do it like we did tonight – when you start further back and pass everybody you need to pass – it’s a way better feeling.”
Fuller had to withstand a stiff challenge from Lanigan, who sailed his car hard to the outside of Fuller rounding turns three and four on lap 44. Lanigan wasn’t able to get around Fuller, however, and that proved pivotal in the outcome of the race, which was slowed by just a single caution flag, on lap 34 when Matt Lux of Franklin, Pa., stopped in turn four with mechanical trouble.
When the low-running Fuller saw Lanigan’s car above him, he immediately adjusted his groove higher on the track and proceeded to pull away over the remaining circuits.
“I showed him my nose too quick,” said Lanigan, who finished 0.995 of a second behind Fuller. “He saw me out there and knew to move up. He’s running smart right now.”
Lanigan, 39, nearly surprised Fuller, who thought the inside was the lane of choice.
“It seemed like I was so slow going in there down on the bottom,” said Fuller, who earned $10,600 to push his total WoO LMS earnings to over $130,000 this season. “I was thinking, I can’t believe no one is running over me. But ‘Smoke’ (Fuller’s chief mechanic Mike Countryman) was telling me (with hand signals from the infield) to stay on the bottom, so that’s what I did.
“Then Lanigan showed me the nose. I saw him out there out of the corner of my eye and fortunately he didn’t make it sick. I knew right then that I had to get back up in the middle of the corner where I could keep my momentum up.”
Francis, 41, could only watch Fuller and Lanigan battle it out for the win during the race’s late stages.
“I was a little softer on the right front (tire) than Fuller and Darrell,” said Francis. “As the race went on I just couldn’t turn through the corners like they could anymore. I had to start bending it into the corners and was just losing time to them.”
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., was sixth – and pushing Clanton for fifth – at the finish after starting 18th for the second consecutive night. Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., placed seventh, followed by fourth-starter Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg, Pa., who ran second for laps 4-16; Richards, who started fifth; and Rookie of the Year points leader Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, who recorded his fourth top-10 finish in the last five events after a second-place heat finish put him in the A-Main redraw for the first time in his career.
Sunday night’s field numbered 46 cars – all 41 of Saturday’s entries plus five new additions.
Richards ripped off a lap of 17.940 seconds during Ohlins Shocks Time Trials to record his fifth fast-time honor of 2009, tying Francis for the series lead in the category.
Heat winners were Richards, Francis, Fuller and Miller. The B-Mains were captured by David Scott of Garland, Pa., and McCreadie.
The WoO LMS will have one weekend off – though most of the tour’s regulars will compete in the prestigious UMP DIRTcar-sanctioned World 100 on Sept. 11-12 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio – before resuming action with a doubleheader in the Midwest. I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., hosts the ‘Pepsi Nationals’ on Sat., Sept. 19, and La Salle (Ill.) Speedway will present the Illinois Fall Nationals on Sun., Sept. 20.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Armstrong Cable Oil Region Labor Day Classic’ Night No. 2 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (7) Tim Fuller/50 $10,600
2. (8) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,600
3. (1) Steve Francis/50 $3,600
4. (9) Jason Covert/50 $3,000
5. (3) Shane Clanton/50 $2,500
6. (18) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,800
7. (10) Clint Smith/50 $1,900
8. (4) Jeremy Miller/50 $1,300
9. (5) Josh Richards/50 $1,750
10. (6) Russell King/50 $1,950
11. (21) Vic Coffey/50 $1,050
12. (12) Chub Frank/50 $1,500
13. (13) Austin Hubbard/50 $950
14. (16) Robbie Blair/50 $900
15. (19) Brady Smith/50 $1,350
16. (20) Gregg Satterlee/50 $800
17. (11) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/50 $770
18. (15) Dave Hess Jr./50 $750
19. (23) Rick Eckert/50 $1,230
20. (22) Jordan Bland/49 $1,200
21. (14) Matt Lux/33 $700
22. (2) D.J. Myers/29 $700
23. (17) David Scott/17 $700
24. (24) Brent Robinson/13 $1,200
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 21 Mins., 8.396 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.995 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 1 (lap 34)
Lap Leaders: Francis (1-27); Fuller (28-50)
Provisional Starters: Eckert, Robinson
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Covert ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Jonathan Owensby (Clanton)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 17.940
2. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 18.373
3. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 18.405
4. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 18.521
5. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 18.555
6. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.725
7. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.725
8. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 18.747
9. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 18.771
10. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 18.789
11. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 18.793
12. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 18.863
13. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 18.864
14. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 18.888
15. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 18.897
16. 17-Nick Dickson/Lewistown, PA 18.915
17. 56b-Denton Boyer/Punxsutawney, PA 18.924
18. 21*-David Scott/Garland, PA 18.935
19. 44H-Dave Hess Jr./Waterford, PA 18.960
20. 28b-Dick Barton/Ashville, NY 18.993
21. 22b-Darrell Bossard/Centerville, PA 19.010
22. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 19.020
23. 40-Dutch Davies/Warren, PA 19.036
24. won11-Robbie Blair/Titusville, PA 19.041
25. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 19.070
26. 119M-Chad McClellan/Stoystown, PA 19.092
27. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 19.097
28. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 19.121
29. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 19.145
30. 04-Bob Close/Eldred, PA 19.146
31. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 19.188
32. 07R-Brent Rhebergen/Clymer, NY 19.255
33. 9k-Mike Knight/Ripley, NY 19.314
34. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 19.327
35. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 19.379
36. 90-Wally Fox/Cooperstown, PA 19.453
37. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 19.475
38. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 19.503
39. 53-John Volpe/Lakeland, NY 19.510
40. 22G-Greg Oakes/Franklinville, NY 19.517
41. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 19.556
42. B22-Bump Hedman/Sugar Grove, PA 19.662
43. 12b-Andy Boozel/Clymer, NY 19.677
44. M1-Mickey Wright/Albion, PA 19.728
45. 0-Ryan Scott/Garland, PA 20.231
46. 32-Terry Porter/Erie, PA 20.633
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Clanton, Covert, Hubbard, Stone, Bossard, Coffey, Eckert, Robinson, Knight, Boyer, R. Scott
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Myers, C. Smith, Lux, D. Scott, Reddick, B. Smith, Hedman, Close, McClellan, R. Davies, Porter
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Lanigan, Briggs, Hess, McCreadie, Bland, D. Davies, Volpe, Knowles, Boozel, Hapka
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): J. Miller, King, Frank, Blair, Satterlee, Barton, Dickson, Oakes, Rhebergen, Fox, Wright
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): D. Scott, B. Smith, Coffey, Eckert, Knight, Bossard, Close, Hedman, Robinson, Boyer, R. Scott, Reddick, McClellan, Stone, Porter (DNS) R. Davies
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McCreadie, Satterlee, Bland, D. Davies, Dickson, Barton, Knowles, Oakes, Rhebergen, Volpe, Fox, Hapka, Wright, Boozel
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Mike Knight, Nick Dickson
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Jason Covert
* 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): Russell King
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): David Scott, Tim McCreadie
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Josh Richards
* 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): Shane Clanton
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Brady Smith
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Steve Francis
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Dick Barton
* 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 Sept. 6 – 37 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Steve Francis 5073 (-0)
2. Josh Richards 5069 (-4)
3. Darrell Lanigan 4981 (-92)
4. Tim Fuller 4925 (-148)
5. Rick Eckert 4867 (-206)
6. Shane Clanton 4835 (-238)
7. Chub Frank 4793 (-280)
8. Brady Smith 4674 (-399)
9. Clint Smith 4581 (-492)
10. Russell King 4129 (-944)
11. Jordan Bland 3981 (-1092)
12. Brent Robinson 3757 (-1316)
13. Dustin Hapka 3422 (-1651)
14. Tyler Reddick 3242 (-1831)
15. Vic Coffey 3092 (-1981)
16. Austin Hubbard 2873 (-2200)
17. Matt Lux 1817 (-3256)
18. Gregg Satterlee 1706 (-3367)
19. Dan Stone 1526 (-3547)
20. Tim McCreadie 1471 (-3602)
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]
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Crane Cams (Official Valvetrain), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Fusion Energy Boost (Official Energy Boost), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser) and VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to contingency sponsors Champ Pans, Eibach Springs, Hoosier Tires, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts, Ohlins Shocks, Racing Electronics, Quarter Master and Wrisco Aluminum; Crane Cams Engine Builder’s Challenge participants Cornett Racing Engines, Custom Race Engines and Pro Power Racing Engines; and Chassis Builder Challenge participants Rocket Chassis and Team Zero by Bloomquist.