GILLETTE, WY – July 19, 2011 – Shane Clanton wasn’t going to be denied a slump-busting victory in Tuesday night’s ‘Cowboy 50’ at Gillette Thunder Speedway.
Refusing to concede defeat after being overtaken for the lead midway through the World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Wild West Tour’ finale, Clanton mounted a stirring rally to outduel Darrell Lanigan and snap a 37-race winless streak on the national tour.
The $10,775 triumph was a season-turner for Clanton, a 35-year-old standout from Fayetteville, Ga., who has struggled to get his new Capital Race Cars machine running up to his exacting standards. He had not registered a single top-five finish in a WoO LMS A-Main until breaking through on Tuesday at the one-third-mile oval in eastern Wyoming.
“I feel ecstatic,” said Clanton, whose last WoO LMS win came on July 3, 2010, at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway. “Me and (former racer) Marshall Green have worked our butts off to try to develop a race car and it’s took this long to get where we can race with these guys on a week-in, week-out basis. It feels good to win a World of Outlaws race with it.”
Clanton, who started from the pole position, found an extra gear in his Ronnie Dobbins-owned car after his race-long stint at the head of the pack ended when Union, Ky.’s Lanigan passed him on lap 27. Clanton went to the outside line, pinned Lanigan behind the lapped car driven by John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y., and surged into the lead for good on lap 35.
Lanigan, 41, could only watch from afar as Clanton sailed to the checkered flag. The 2009 WoO LMS victor at Gillette settled for runner-up money in his Rocket mount, crossing the finish line 1.121 seconds behind Clanton.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished a distant third in the Sweeteners Plus Victory Circle chassis, roughly a half-lap behind Clanton. He spent most of the distance running just in front of two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who settled his father Mark’s Rocket house car into fourth on a lap-12 restart and stayed there to the finish.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., completed the top five in his Rocket. He overtook 2011 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year points leader Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., for fifth on lap 37 and ran alone in the position for the remainder of the race.
Clanton became the 10th different winner in 18 WoO LMS A-Mains this season. He let loose in Victory Lane with one of his customary loud screams of joy and, of course, donned a cowboy hat for Gillette’s traditional post-race photos.
“I was about content just riding second and having a good race (after losing the lead to Lanigan),” said Clanton, who recorded his 15th career win on the WoO LMS. “But then I seen where (Lanigan) just started twitching a little bit just off the corner. He was trying to get lower and lower, and I said, ‘Heck, he’s leaving me the whole outside,’ so I just went out there and it stuck.
“I just made the move, stuck with it and John (Lobb) luckily just turned a little sideways and held Darrell up for a minute so I could drive by him on the outside.”
Lanigan, whose four WoO LMS wins this season leads all drivers, had no answer for Clanton’s late-race speed.
“We got tight as soon as it started to rubber, but Shane had a good car,” said Lanigan, who started fifth. “He could run anywhere on the racetrack, so we wound up second.
“I couldn’t run up there on the top because I just got way too tight, and then those lapped cars held me up on the bottom so he just drove around me.”
McCreadie, 37, completed a solid three-race ‘Wild West Tour’ swing. He finished third twice and captured his first win of 2011 on July 15 at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D.
“It’s been a real good trip for us,” said McCreadie, who ran his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes to 11. “I wish the first restart (on the opening lap) could’ve went because I don’t think anybody knew there was traction up on the outside there so I might have been able to snooker them, but we’ll take third. Shane – man, he was just good when (the track) really started to latch up.”
Two caution flags slowed the A-Main, including one that aborted the original start and sent 2008 Gillette WoO LMS winner Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., to the rear of the field. Fuller, who started third, appeared primed for his best run of 2011 but had his hopes dashed when a tap to his car’s right-rear corner sent him spinning in turn four.
Fuller initially thought contact from Lanigan had turned him around – he pulled in front of Lanigan’s car during the caution period to express displeasure – but he learned later that Lanigan was not responsible for his misfortune. WoO LMS points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who started second, visited Fuller following the race and apologized for getting into him.
The event’s second caution flag flew on lap six for Eddie Kirchoff of Gillette, Wyo., who spun to a stop high in turn four. A winner of three of this season’s four DIRTcar Late Model features at Gillette, Kirchoff timed second-fastest in qualifying but was running outside the top 10 at the time of his problem.
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Doar, who scored a career-best finish on the WoO LMS; Eckert, who slipped backward but nevertheless ended the ‘Wild West Tour’ leading the tour’s standings by 52 points over Richards; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.; 17th-starter Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis.; and Tony Leiker of Gillette, Wyo., who advanced from the 18th starting spot to earn the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who has never won a WoO LMS A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings.
NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader entered the event in a Clint Smith’s second car and finished 11th in the A-Main.
With 32 cars signed in for action, Eckert turned a lap of 14.682 seconds in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials to set fast time. It was his second such honor of 2011 and the 26th of his career on the WoO LMS – more than any other driver since 2004.
Heat winners were Eckert, Richards, Fuller and Lanigan. The B-Mains were captured by Mars and Leiker.
The WoO LMS will head back east for a triple-play in Pennsylvania, visiting Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown on Tues., July 26; McKean County Raceway in East Smethport on Wed., July 27; and Eriez Speedway in Hammett on Sun., July 31.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Cowboy 50’ at Gillette Thunder Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Shane Clanton/50 $10,775
2. (5) Darrell Lanigan/50 $5,650
3. (4) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,650
4. (6) Josh Richards/50 $3,150
5. (9) Chub Frank/50 $2,550
6. (7) Pat Doar/50 $2,500
7. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $2,000
8. (13) Clint Smith/50 $1,850
9. (17) Jimmy Mars/50 $1,200
10. (18) Tony Leiker/50 $1,600
11. (14) Ken Schrader/50 $1,050
12. (11) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,550
13. (3) Tim Fuller/50 $1,500
14. (8) Eric Mass/50 $900
15. (22) Ron Davies/49 $1,350
16. (10) Eddie Kirchoff/49 $800
17. (16) John Lobb/49 $770
18. (23) John Bey/49 $750
19. (20) Scott Lewis/47 $730
20. (19) Will Brack/35 $700
21. (12) Chris Johnson/24 $700
22. (24) Rich Herman II/17 $700
23. (21) Jason Schierkolk/7 $700
24. (15) Vic Coffey/0 $1,250
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 15 Mins., 16.290 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.121 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 2 (Laps 0, 6)
Lap Leaders: Clanton (1-26); Lanigan (27-34); Clanton (35-50)
Provisional Starters: Bey, Herman
Rookie of the Race: Doar ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Leiker ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.682
2. 00-Eddie Kirchoff/Gillette, WY 15.218
3. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.238
4. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.262
5. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.285
6. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.400
7. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.460
8. 44M-Eric Mass/Rapid City, SD 15.508
9. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.641
10. 82-John Bey/Sturgis, SD 15.736
11. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 15.741
12. 4-Rich Herman II/Billings, MT 15.774
13. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.803
14. 44s-Ken Schrader/Concord, NC 15.841
15. 97-Dan Henrikson/Rapid City, SD 15.917
16. 1-Chris Johnson/Rapid City, SD 15.924
17. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 15.947
18. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 15.965
19. 18-Tony Leiker/Gillette, WY 15.987
20. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 16.245
21. 19W-Will Brack/Meade, CO 16.253
22. 0-Chris Dunn/Great Falls, MT 16.332
23. 99-Scott Lewis/Henderson, CO 16.395
24. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 16.411
25. 12s-Jason Schierkolk/Casper, WY 16.416
26. 7-Mike Stadel/Rapid City, SD 16.466
27. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 16.469
28. F16-Scott Anderson/Spearfish, SD 16.772
29. 6-Jeff Gorsuch/Gillette, WY 16.943
30. 55-Erin Wood/Rapid City, SD 16.958
31. 2-Darryn Waldo/Billings, MT 17.032
32. 47-Lynn Amick/Rapid City, SD 17.425
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Eckert, McCreadie, Frank, C. Smith, Mars, Brack, Schierkolk, Gorsuch
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Doar, Kirchoff, Schrader, Bey, Dunn, Wood, Stadel
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Clanton, Hubbard, Coffey, Leiker, Lewis, Henrikson, Waldo
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Mass, Johnson, Lobb, Davies, Anderson, Herman, Amick
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mars, Brack, Schierkolk, Bey, Dunn, Stadel, Gorsuch, Wood
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Leiker, Lewis, Davies, Anderson, Henrikson, Herman, Amick, Waldo
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): Chris Dunn
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Clint Smith
Comp Cams ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
Comp Cams (certificate to 11th place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ken Schrader
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Will Brack/Scott Lewis
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 11th-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Ken Schrader
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 21st-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Rich Herman II
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to last-place in A-Main or next lowest w/decal): Vic Coffey
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): Shane Clanton
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): Ron Davies
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Shane Clanton (cash)
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 7th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner of Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Tim McCreadie
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main or next highest w/decal): Dan Henrikson
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Shane Clanton
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of July 19 – 18 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 2626
2. Josh Richards 2574 (-52)
3. Tim McCreadie 2526 (-100)
4. Darrell Lanigan 2494 (-132)
5. Austin Hubbard 2432 (-194)
6. (tie) Chub Frank 2422 (-204)
6. (tie) Shane Clanton 2422 (-204)
8. Clint Smith 2392 (-234)
9. Tim Fuller 2284 (-342)
10. Vic Coffey 2220 (-406)
11. Pat Doar 2214 (-412)
12. Ron Davies 2054 (-572)
13. John Lobb 1990 (-636)
14. Jill George 1648 (-978)
15. Jonathan Davenport 1288 (-1338)
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via 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.
Over 4,500 fans are now WoO LMS ‘followers’ on Twitter. To sign-up and 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 http://www.dirtvision.com/welcome.php and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
BLOGGING: WoO LMS fans can now read interesting stories from the road by checking out two blogs –‘Life As An Outlaw’ by series announcer Rick Eshelman and ‘The Scoop With Scoop’ by tour P.R. director Kevin Kovac. Both blogs can be accessed by clicking on the preceding links or the specific ‘Blog’ buttons on the right-hand side of http://www.woolms.com/.
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), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.