On this night in 2009, “Scrub” was all smiles.
Controlling the final 38 laps of the “Land of Lincoln 40,” Rick Eckert of York, Pa. snapped a 36-race winless streak which spanned almost 11 months to his most recent victory in June of 2008 at Canada’s Autodrome Drummond.
The fourth appearance for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series at Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln, Ill. went off with a standing-room only crowd on the warm May 17 night in 2009. The feature front row was a pairing of young sensation vs. wily veteran with 21-year old Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.V. on the pole and 47-year old Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. to his outside.
Frank, a 16-time winner with the World of Outlaws, paced the opening two circuits from the outside pole before Eckert shot to the front like a bolt of lightning. Coming from the fifth spot, Eckert immediately found the moisture down low and used it to his advantage as he drove the Raye Vest Racing, Bloomquist Chassis No. 24 to the lead by lap three of the 40-lapper.
The only caution of the 40-lapper flew on lap 24 for debris, which halted Richard’s hopeful attack on Eckert for the top spot. From there, Eckert was smooth and steady to the finish, but that didn’t stop any late-race dramatics from arising. While Eckert and Richards rolled the low line, Frank was committed to giving it his all as he found the top side and started to rally after dropping to seventh. Frank came all the way back for one last ditch effort on the final lap, but fell just short of snagging Richards and Eckert at the line.
“This is great for me and the whole team,” said Eckert. “We’ve run better this year, but we hadn’t won a race and that can get everyone down. Everybody wants to get their picture taken (as a winner).”
Eckert’s win at Lincoln Speedway on May 17, 2009 was the 17th of his current 37 career wins with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series. His “Land of Lincoln 40” title came over a stout 43-car field with Josh Richards in second, Chub Frank in third, Dale McDowell in fourth and Earl Pearson Jr. in fifth.
Pearson of Jacksonville, Fla. established a NEW TRACK RECORD in qualifying with a blistering time of 13.022 seconds around Lincoln Speedway, which beat Jason Feger’s old standard of 13.316 seconds by nearly three whole tenths.
Feature Results (40 Laps): 1. 24-Rick Eckert ; 2. 1-Josh Richards ; 3. 1*-Chub Frank ; 4. 17m-Dale McDowell ; 5. 44p-Earl Pearson Jr. ; 6. 5s-Steve Sheppard Jr. ; 7. 19-Steve Francis ; 8. 29-Darrell Lanigan ; 9. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr. ; 10. 18-Shannon Babb ; 11. 25f-Jason Feger ; 12. 3s-Brian Shirley ; 13. 19t-Tim Fuller ; 14. 25-Shane Clanton ; 15. 32c-Vic Coffey ; 16. 44-Clint Smith ; 17. 9-Eric Smith ; 18. 41-Brad Neat ; 19. 89-Daren Friedman ; 20. B5-Brandon Sheppard ; 21. 0-Richie Hedrick ; 22. 2-Brady Smith ; 23. 45dw-Denny Woodworth ; 24. 25l-Steve Lance Jr. .
Lap Leader(s): Frank 1-2; Eckert 3-40.