Lanigan Spoils McCreadie’s Hometrack Party With Powerful Drive To Victory At Canandaigua Motorsports Park
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Leader Has Tour’s Single-Season Win Record In Sight After Seventh Triumph
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CANANDAIGUA, NY – June 26, 2012 – Darrell Lanigan spoiled Tim McCreadie’s home-track party on Tuesday night, driving to a convincing victory in the 40-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.
In a mid-week event carrying sponsorship from Sweeteners Plus – the nearby business owned by McCreadie’s team owner Carl Myers – and Ballantyne RV & Marine, Lanigan sailed his Rocket car around the half-mile oval’s outside lane to take the lead from race-long pacesetter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., on lap 23 and never looked back. The 42-year-old star from Union, Ky., ran unchallenged for the remainder of the caution-free race, beating Watertown, N.Y.’s McCreadie to the finish line by 2.971 seconds.
The triumph was Lanigan’s fifth in the last eight WoO LMS events and his seventh overall of 2012. He moved within two victories of matching the tour’s modern-day (2004-present) single-season win record of nine – with 24 A-Mains still left on the schedule – and pushed his commanding points lead to 150 markers over defending champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who salvaged a ninth-place finish after using a provisional spot to start 23rd because engine problems at the start of his heat forced him to switch to his backup car.
Tim Fuller – like McCreadie, a resident of Watertown, N.Y., and a former DIRTcar big-block Modified regular at Canandaigua – finished third despite running the A-Main on seven cylinders because his engine sustained a broken engine lifter during heat action. It was his second straight third-place outing on the WoO LMS.
Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., advanced from the eighth starting spot to place fourth, giving him consecutive top-five finishes on the national tour for the first time this season. WoO LMS Rookie of the Year points leader Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., took fifth thanks to a last-lap pass of Clanton, who started from the pole position but faded to a sixth-place finish as his car developed a ‘tight’ condition during the race’s second half.
Lanigan’s only moment of apparent vulnerability came early in the event. He started sixth but found himself running seventh after four laps, providing his rivals a false sense of hope that his Cornett-powered machine might be a slight bit off.
On lap nine, Lanigan passed Smith to crack the top five. He soared by both Fuller and Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., on lap 12 to reach third and drove around the outside of McCreadie for second on lap 14 before completing his charge on lap 23 by vanquishing Clanton.
“We fell back a little bit there at the beginning,” said Lanigan, whose 33rd career WoO LMS win moved him within five victories of Josh Richards for the top spot on the tour’s win list since 2004. “We just lost some positions being in the wrong spot on the racetrack, but we rallied back there on the top. I was a little concerned (about the slow start), then I just moved up to that top and it was pretty good.
“Man, this car was good. I couldn’t ask for a better car. I could almost run wide-open around that top.”
Lanigan scored a very satisfying victory, shooting down McCreadie at a half-mile oval where the surging driver watched his father, legendary DIRTcar big-block Modified star ‘Barefoot’ Bob McCreadie, throughout the ’80s and ’90s and where he won 14 big-block features himself from 1999-2003. McCreadie had been triumphant in the last WoO LMS event at Canandaigua three years ago and entered Tuesday’s program with two wins in his last three tour starts.
“That was a good one,” Lanigan said of his win. “It’s good to come up here to (McCreadie’s) home track and run well.”
McCreadie, 38, started fourth and quickly hustled his Warrior mount to second on the race’s opening lap. But he couldn’t find a way by Clanton for the lead and ultimately fell to Lanigan’s onslaught.
“I’m pretty well sure (Lanigan) had a different right-rear (tire) on than I did,” said McCreadie, who has registered eight top-five finishes in the last 10 WoO LMS events. “I just faded. It’s just one of these deals – I moved off the top and (Lanigan) drove by me, and I’m like, ‘Damn.’
“That’s what happens sometimes. I’ll tip our caps (to Lanigan), and hopefully we can go make 30-grand down at Lernerville (Speedway in Sarver, Pa.) this weekend (June 28-30 during the sixth annual Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com).”
Fuller, 44, authored one of the noteworthy drives of the evening, moving forward from the fifth starting spot in his handicapped Rocket car. He contemplated starting from the rear of the field in his backup after developing engine woes on his way to a heat-race win, but he decided to disengage one spark plug and run slightly underpowered.
“The motor really sounds bad with that spark plug missing, but that’s what we had to do to make it live,” said Fuller, whose powerplant sported a distinctive ‘ticking’ noise. “Thanks to Clint Smith and Chub Frank – they’re the ones who told me to run it. I wasn’t even gonna run it, but they told it wouldn’t hurt it to run it on seven cylinders – and actually, the track conditions were perfect for being on seven cylinders.”
Fuller broke into third place with a lap-31 pass of Clanton and by lap 35 drew close enough to challenge McCreadie for second, but he lost ground to McCreadie in lapped traffic and settled for a finish that tied his best run of 2012.
Coffey finished seventh, slipping backward from the third starting spot in a race he had high hopes of making his first-ever WoO LMS win. A former DIRTcar big-block Modified regular at Canandaigua, Coffey is McCreadie’s teammate on the Sweeteners Plus team and the step-son of Carl Myers, who is married to Coffey’s mother Ann.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished a quiet eighth, moving up from the 12th starting spot. Eckert was ninth on a night that saw him tow his trailer to the track using a borrowed truck because his own rig was at a Freightliner dealer in Syracuse, N.Y., for transmission repairs, and DIRTcar big-block Modified veteran Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., rounded out the top 10 after starting 18th.
Thirty-two cars were signed in for the program, which drew a near-capacity crowd on a cool, clear early-summer day. It was one of the most successful promotions of Jeremie Corcoran’s two-year run as promoter of the fairgrounds track.
Eckert started the evening on a strong note, earning fast-time honors for the second time this season with a lap of 17.972 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials.
Heat winners were McCreadie, John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y. (first-ever WoO LMS heat victory) and Fuller. Dan Davies of Warren, Pa., captured the B-Main in his second career dirt Late Model start.
The WoO LMS heads to Lernerville Speedway for the three-day Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com on June 28-30. Full WoO LMS programs topped by 30-lap, $6,000-to-win A-Mains will be contested on Thurs., June 28, and Fri., June 29, with the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale set for Sat., June 30.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Canandaigua Motorsports Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Darrell Lanigan/40 $8,650
2. (4) Tim McCreadie/40 $4,700
3. (5) Tim Fuller/40 $3,250
4. (8) Clint Smith/40 $2,850
5. (7) Bub McCool/40 $2,800
6. (1) Shane Clanton/40 $2,150
7. (3) Vic Coffey/40 $2,000
8. (12) Chub Frank/40$1,850
9. (23) Rick Eckert/40 $1,850
10. (18) Billy Decker/40 $1,700
11. (2) John Lobb/40 $1,000
12. (15) Dan Stone/39 $900
13. (9) Jack Sullivan/39 $1,450
14. (13) Kent Robinson/39 $1,350
15. (10) Dave Zona/39 $750
16. (17) Pat Doar/39 $1,250
17. (21) Dylan Yoder/39 $710
18. (24) Alan Fink/38 $640
19. (20) Brent Rhebergen/37 $620
20. (14) Dutch Davies/19 $610
21. (22) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/17 $600
22. (19) Dan Davies/17 $600
23. (16) Ross Robinson/14 $600
24. (11) Ron Davies/9 $600
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 13 Mins., 42.107 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.971 Secs.
Yellow Flags: None
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-22); Lanigan (23-40)
Provisional Starters: Eckert, Fink
Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Decker ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.972
2. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 18.258
3. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.414
4. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 18.440
5. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 18.448
6. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 18.600
7. 99z-Dave Zona/Montrose, PA 18.620
8. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.647
9. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 18.675
10. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 18.681
11. 24G-Paul Grigsby/Springsville, NY 18.693
12. 24Y-Dylan Yoder/Selinsgrove, PA 18.798
13. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 18.808
14. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 18.818
15. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 18.880
16. R19-Dale Caswell/Central Square, NY 18.884
17. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 18.891
18. 91-Billy Decker/Unadilla, NY 18.933
19. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 18.961
20. 40-Dutch Davies/Warren, PA 18.996
21. 2-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 19.020
22. 7-Ross Robinson/Georgetown, DE 19.028
23. 71-Dan Davies/Warren, PA 19.077
24. 77x-Dale Planck/Homer, NY 19.115
25. 18s-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY 19.148
26. 15-Alan Fink/Brewerton, NY 19.542
27. 99B-Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs/Bear Lake, PA 19.595
28. 07R-Brent Rhebergen/Clymer, NY 19.653
29. 03-T.J. Downs/Albion, NY 19.970
30. 23P-Bud Phillips/Susquehanna, PA 19.977
31. 70-Michael Trapp/Governeur, NY 20.346
32. 99L-Larry Wight/Phoenix, NY N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): McCreadie, Clanton, McCool, Zona, K. Robinson, R. Robinson, Rhebergen, Caswell, Beardsley, Trapp, Eckert
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Lobb, Lanigan, C. Smith, R. Davies, Dutch Davies, Doar, Dan Davies, Grigsby, Fink, Downs (DNS) Wight
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Fuller, Coffey, Sullivan, Frank, Stone, Decker, Yoder, Planck, Briggs, Phillips
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Dan Davies, Rhebergen, Yoder, Briggs, Planck, Fink, Beardsley, Downs, Trapp, Grigsby, Caswell, Eckert (DNS) Phillips, Wight
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher I n A-Main or next highest w/decal): Alan Fink
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Decker
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jack Sullivan
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Decker
Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Dan Davies
Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Vic Coffey
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 16th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Pat Doar
JE Pistons (one compete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 11th-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Jack Sullivan
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Ron Davies
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Dylan Yoder
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): None
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Alan Fi nk
Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Alan Fink
Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Kent Robinson
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Billy Decker
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main or next highest with decal – $30 value): Paul Grigsby
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jack Sullivan
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jack Sullivan
XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Darrell Lanigan
2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 26 – 19 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Darrell Lanigan 2736
2. Rick Eckert 2586 (-150)
3. Tim McCreadie 2518 (-218)
4. Chub Frank 2510 (-226)
5. Shane Clanton 2438 (-298)
6. Clint Smith 2362 (-374)
7. Bub McCool 2346 (-390)
8. Vic Coffey 2334 (-402)
9. Pat Doar 2226 (-510)
10. Tim Fuller 2178 (-558)
11. Kent Robinson 2152 (-584)
12. Jack Sullivan 2072 (-664)
13. John Lobb 2054 (-682)
14. Mike Marlar 1498 (-1238)
15. Greg Johnson 1390 (-1346)
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), Gravely Tractors (Official Lawn Equipment), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), 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 Gaskets, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filter, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Longacre, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.
LIVE UPDATES 6/26: World of Outlaws Late Model Series At Canandaigua Motorsports Park
CANANDAIGUA, NY – June 26, 2012 – The World of Outlaws Late Model Series returns to action in the United States tonight, visiting Canandaigua Motorsports Park for third time in tour history but first since 2009.
A longtime DIRTcar-sanctioned track, Canandaigua is the old DIRTcar big-block Modified stomping grounds of WoO LMS regulars Tim McCreadie, Tim Fuller and Vic Coffey, who figure to draw the lion’s share of attention from the central New York fans tonight.
For live updates of all the news, pit notes and results from tonight’s action at the half-mile oval south of Rochester, N.Y., click the ‘Full Story’ link below. Be sure to refresh your browser throughout the night to see the latest information.
Darrell does it again
9:55 p.m. – Darrell Lanigan regained the upperhand on Tim McCreadie, stealing the spotlight at McCreadie’s hometrack with a powerful victory in tonight’s 40-lap A-Main.
Lanigan got off to a slow start from the sixth starting spot, but he soon regained his footing and sailed around the outside of the half-mile oval to reach the lead with a lap-23 pass of race-long pacesetter Shane Clanton. The Kentuckian easily pulled away over the remaining distance of the caution-free event to defeat McCreadie by 2.971 seconds.
A-Main Finish (40 laps): 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Tim McCreadie, 3. Tim Fuller, 4. Clint Smith, 5. Bub McCool, 6. Shane Clanton, 7. Vic Coffey, 8. Chub Frank, 9. Rick Eckert, 10. Billy Decker, 11. John Lobb, 12. Dan Stone, 13. Jack Sullivan, 14. Kent Robinson, 15. Dave Zona, 16. Pat Doar, 17. Dylan Yoder, 18. Alan Fink, 19. Brent Rhebergen, 20. Dutch Davies, 21. Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 22. Dan Davies, 23. Ross Robinson, 24. Ron Davies.
8:50 p.m. – Dan Davies raced to victory in the 12-lap B-Main, earning his first dirt Late Model victory of any kind in just his second start in the division. Brent Rhebergen, Dylan Yoder and Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs finished 2-4, respectively, to also transfer to the A-Main.
A 12-lap invitational race for the DIRTcar big-block Modified division is now on the track and the WoO LMS A-Main will follow its completion.
Row 1: Shane Clanton/John Lobb
Row 2: Vic Coffey/Tim McCreadie
Row 3: Tim Fuller/Darrell Lanigan
Row 4: Bub McCool/Clint Smith
Row 5: Jack Sullivan/Dave Zona
Row 6: Ron Davies/Chub Frank
Row 7: Kent Robinson/Dutch Davies
Row 8: Dan Stone/Ross Robinson
Row 9: Pat Doar/Billy Decker
Row 10: Dan Davies/Brent Rhebergen
Row 11: Dylan Yoder/Boom Briggs
Row 12: Rick Eckert/Alan Fink
The couple behind the Sweeteners boys
8:40 p.m. – The owners of the Sweeteners Plus Racing machines, Carl and Ann Myers (photo below), are enjoying a rare opportunity to watch their drivers Vic Coffey (Ann’s son and Carl’s step-son) and Tim McCreadie in action tonight. The team’s shop is in nearby Avon, N.Y., the Sweeteners Plus business headquarters is in Lakeville, N.Y., and Mr. and Mrs. Myers live just a short drive from the track.
Carl Myers is sporting a pair of crutches along with his trademark cigar. He underwent surgery on his left knee last month and still must wear a brace on his leg for a couple more weeks.
Sweeteners Plus is also a sponsor of tonight’s racing program.
8:30 p.m. – Reduced to spectator status tonight is young New Yorker Larry Wight, a big-block/358-Modified regular who was hoping to make his first dirt Late Model start since flipping his Gypsum Express machine during a DIRTcar UMP event in February at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park. His assault ended after just a half-lap of practice when his car jumped out of gear as he rounded turn one, causing him to lose forward drive and slide into the outside wall between the first and second corners.
8:25 p.m. – In an interesting coincidence, WoO LMS teammates will start side-by-side in each of the first two rows of tonight’s 40-lap A-Main. Kennedy Motorsports racers Shane Clanton and John Lobb drew the first and second spots, respectively, while Sweeteners Plus guys Vic Coffey and Tim McCreadie will take the green flag from third and fourth, respectively.
Tim Fuller drew the fifth starting spot and Darrell Lanigan picked sixth. Fuller ran into trouble during his heat race, however, running much of the distance on seven cylinders due to a broken engine lifter, and he’s trying to decide whether to keep his spot and start the feature with the injured motor or pull out his backup car and start from the rear.
Empire State of Mind
7:55 p.m. – All three of the 10-lap heat races were won by New York drivers: Tim McCreadie, John Lobb and Tim Fuller.
McCreadie and Fuller, of course, are former DIRTcar big-block Modified regulars at Canandaigua; McCreadie owns 14 career wins here and Fuller has two. Lobb, meanwhile, won his first-ever heat race on the WoO LMS.
McCreadie’s drive to victory might have been the most impressive. He started seventh but ran the outside groove to the lead in a handful of laps, then drove away to take the checkered flag more than six seconds ahead of Shane Clanton.
Full heat-race results can be found here.
…and a quick fall back to earth
7:45 p.m. – So much for Rick Eckert’s run of good fortune. It ended before he could even relish his fast-time honor when engine problems forced him to pull off the track on the opening lap of the first heat.
A dejected Eckert and his crew are currenlty unloading their backup car — equipped with a smaller engine, but the only one he has ready to run after tonight’s problems — to complete the night.
7:20 p.m. – Rick Eckert gave himself a reason to smile through a difficult stretch, registering the quickest time in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 17.972 seconds. The tour’s alltime fast-timer topped the qualifying charts for the second time this season.
Could Eckert be on his way to a storybook victory tonight, much like his July 2010 WoO LMS triumph at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park? He recorded that win on a night that saw him at an emotional lowpoint; he lost a motor in qualifying and nearly decided to end his pursuit of the WoO LMS schedule before finally opting to pull out his backup car, which, of course, he ended up driving to a thrilling A-Main win.
“I sure hope we have a little bit of that magic tonight,” said Eckert’s wife, Kristal, moments ago while waiting for the heat lineups at the WoO LMS trailer.
Second-year WoO LMS traveler John Lobb was second-fastest in time trials, giving him a season-best qualifying performance. He’s also in need of something positive after some recent struggles on the tour.
For full time trials results, click here.
6:45 p.m. – Tonight’s 32-car field, which is beginning Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, includes DIRTcar big-block and 358-Modified veteran Dale Planck of Homer, N.Y. The talented racer turned heads in 2010 with three respectable WoO LMS runs as a teammate to Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs and entered some selected dirt Late Model shows last season in a full-fender machine fielded by his DIRTcar Modified team, but his dirt Late Model was sold during the off-season. Planck’s teammate and car team owner, Carey Terrance, kept his dirt Late Model, however, and Planck got the O.K. to run it for the first time in 2012 last Friday night at Autodrome Granby.
Planck was the last driver to arrive at Granby — he said he didn’t even start getting the dirt Late Model ready until Friday morning — and had some problems in hot laps and time trials. “My foot kept slipping off the gas pedal because my legs aren’t as long as Carey’s,” said Planck, “and I had to put towels in the seat because it’s Carey’s seat and he’s bigger than me.” But Planck ended up timing seventh-fastest (“I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the time trial results!”) and finished a solid third in his heat race to earn the seventh starting spot in the A-Main.
Then Planck battled for a top-five spot all race long, finally wrestling fourth place from Clint Smith on the final lap. It was his career-best finish on the WoO LMS.
“I’m definitely pretty happy with how things went at Granby,” said Planck, who noted that he really enjoys running a dirt Late Model. “Hopefully we’ll be able to run well again here tonight.”
Getting ready for action
5:35 p.m. – With the drivers’ meeting scheduled to begin in 10 minutes, 31 cars are currently in the pit area. Joining the WoO LMS regulars in tonight’s field are such drivers as Dan Stone; Ron Davies and his 27-year-old son Dan, a four-year veteran of open-wheel Modified racing who will return to the cockpit of his father’s second car after making his dirt Late Model debut on Friday at Granby; Dutch Davies; DIRTcar big-block Modified standouts and Gypsum Express Racing teammates Billy Decker (a former Canandaigua track champ) and Larry Wight; Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs; Brent Rhebergen; and Sean Beardsley, who ran much of the ’09 WoO LMS for the JIR Motorsports team and will enter his crate Late Model in tonight’s program.
A 40-lap A-Main paying $8,000 to win will top tonight’s agenda.
Stars of the show
Sunday’s WoO LMS program at Cornwall Motor Speedway was rained out, but Chub Frank and Bub McCool still got two Canadian starts in over the weekend. After Friday’s checkered flag at Autodrome Granby they made a five-hour-plus haul to Brighton (Ont.) Speedway, where they were invited by track management to take on four of the track’s regular dirt Late Model competitors: Greg Belyea, Charlie Sandercock and Philip Potts — all of whom also entered the WoO LMS event at Granby — as well as Corey Earl.
Frank and McCool were treated like royalty during their visit to the one-third-mile oval. They signed more than 200 autographs during a pre-race meet-and-greet with fans and were the guests of honor at a post-race party. In addition, both drivers’ crewmen were given the opportunity to compete in the track’s Mini-Van division, running the family trucksters in a heat race and feature.
Frank mechanics Derek Gahring and John Volpe shared driving duties of one Mini-Van (each vehicle in the division has one driver and one passenger) while McCool wrenches Doug Todd and Todd Pruitt. Gahring drove his machine to victory in a heat race (McCool’s guys broke), and then Volpe got the crowd roaring in the feature when he returned from a pit stop for a flat tire with an official directive “to take out Bub’s guys” and did just that, crashing into Todd and Pruitt in a spectacular smash-up.
Chubzilla won the 15-lap dirt Late Model match race. McCool dropped out early in the event due to an expired motor, but he wasn’t down in the dumps about his engine woes. As McCool reasoned, “At least it didn’t blow up in an Outlaw show.”
McCool, who was using an engine borrowed from Indiana racer Chad Stapleton, said he stil has an engine for tonight’s action at Canandaigua and a couple freshened pieces from Jay Dickens’s shop should be ready for McCool’s mother to pick up and transport to Lernerville along with the team’s souvenir trailer.
Trip from Hell
The WoO LMS’s trek through Canada and upstate New York has been an utter nightmare for Rick Eckert. It began on a sour note when he suffered terminal engine problems during time trials on Friday night at Quebec’s Autodrome Granby — forcing him to pull out his second car, and leaving him with just a smaller 380 cubic inch engine as a backup — and just got worse after he departed the track following a ninth-place finish.
Eckert headed straight for Cornwall, Ont., after Friday’s action — and he got there, albeit not in good shape. The transmission in his big orange Freightliner hauler began acting up during the two-and-a-half-hour trip and went completely south as he approached the highway exit to a truckstop just miles from Cornwall Motor Speedway. Tim Fuller stopped to assist Eckert and was in the process of attaching a chain from his rig to Eckert’s to pull Eckert to the truckstop when Eckert’s tranny clicked back into gear, allowing him to limp into the nearby parking lot.
After unhooking his trailer at the truckstop on Saturday morning, Eckert ran his truck in second gear to a Freightliner dealer a few miles away. He helped an employee at the dealership work on the faulty tranny but an immediate fix couldn’t be made. A part that could hopefully solve the problem was located at another dealer, but that business was several hours away toward Toronto so Eckert had to figure out a way to get it back to Cornwall. He was able to locate someone from the Niagara Falls area who was traveling to Brighton (Ont.) Speedway, about three hours south of Cornwall, on Saturday night, so that person picked up the part en route and handed it off to WoO LMS rookie Bub McCool, who accompanied Chub Frank to Brighton to run a special match race against four of the track’s dirt Late Model regulars.
Eckert’s trailer was transported to the Cornwall pit area on Saturday by WoO LMS rookie Jack Sullivan, who unhooked his trailer at the truckstop. Eckert and his crew were able to borrow a truck from Luc Lalancette, whose Total Race Supply business is located just outside Cornwall, in order to go out for dinner on Saturday night and get to their hauler, which was stuck in reverse gear in the Freightliner parking lot, to spend the night.
After Cornwall’s Sunday-night show was rained out, Eckert stayed in Canada and had the part McCool brought him put on his truck on Monday morning. Eckert was able to drive the hauler back to the track to retrieve his trailer, but tranny woes resurfaced as he left the speedway and a high-powered pickup truck pulled him back to the Freightliner dealer. Another tranny reset got him going and he reentered the U.S., but the transmission went haywire again on Rt. 37 south of Massena, N.Y., and Eckert had to carefully roll along in high gear. He had to stop on Interstate 81 twice more to make temporary repairs before arriving at a Freightliner dealer in Syracuse, N.Y., on Monday night.
With over $2,000 in repairs already invested, Eckert was told that his hauler would need a new computer that would likely double his financial outlay. That part could take anywhere from a day to a month to arrive, however, so Eckert was left wondering what to do next. His immediate project was getting his trailer to Canandaigua for tonight’s race; he accomplished that by borrowing a three-axle semi-truck from Tracey Road Equipment (photo below), thanks to some assistance from Gypsum Racing team owner John Wight, a big customer of the Syracuse Freightliner dealer. Only two people could fit in the truck’s cab, though, so Eckert had to rent a car to get his wife and second crewman to the track.
Eckert is ready to race tonight, though undoubtedly wearied by the ordeal of the last few days. And the tour’s current second-place points man still has to figure out his plan for the upcoming events. If the part to get his truck running doesn’t come in by tomorrow to get the rig running correctly, he’ll need to arrange a way to get his racing equipment to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., for this weekend’s Firecracker 100 (Thursday-Saturday) and transport DIRTcar UMP tires from his York, Pa., shop to Lernerville. Beyond that, the six-race WoO LMS ‘Wild West Tour’ looms from July 6-14.
Dan Stone, who is on hand for tonight’s show at Canandaigua, has offered to haul one of Eckert’s cars to Lernerville in his trailer, but Eckert hopes it doesn’t come to that. He just wants to get his hauler back in operation so he can attempt to get his race car running better and his season turned around.
3:30 p.m. – The pit-area sign-in shack opened a short time ago here at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, which is promoted by former DIRTcar big-block Modified driver Jeremie Corcoran.
Almost all the WoO LMS regulars are already unloaded in the pit area, including defending champion Rick Eckert, whose trailer was pulled to Canandaigua by a borrowed truck. Eckert’s hauler has been plagued by transmission problems that developed during his trip to Cornwall, Ont., following Friday night’s event at Quebec’s Autodrome Granby. Check back here in a few minutes for a complete report on Eckert’s travel woes.