With sunny skies and a break in the heat wave forecast for Tuesday, the ‘Laurel Highlands 40’ at Jim Michny’s four-tenths-mile oval appears destined to become the 300th WoO LMS A-Main contested since the national tour was restarted in 2004 under the World Racing Group banner.
“We’re excited to celebrate a major benchmark in World of Outlaws Late Model Series history,” said Tim Christman, who is in his fifth season as the director of the renowned full-fender series. “There are a lot of drivers, race teams, officials and sponsors who have worked hard to bring the World of Outlaws Late Model Series to this point. They all will deserve special recognition for their efforts when we hit the 300-race mark.”
The WoO LMS initially ran in 1988 and ’89 under the auspices of late WoO Sprint Car Series founder Ted Johnson but then sat dormant for 15 years. The WRG returned it to the short-track scene in a new-and-improved form in 2004 and has steadily built the circuit over the past eight seasons.
While Tuesday’s 40-lap, $8,000-to-win A-Main at Dog Hollow will mark the tour’s first-ever visit to the track, it’s fitting that the 300th WoO LMS event is in line to be run at a Pennsylvania facility. The Keystone State, after all, holds a prominent place in the modern era of the series, which has contested 47 A-Mains at 12 different tracks in Pennsylvania. No other state has hosted as many WoO LMS events at as many different speedways.
The Pennsylvania theme could be stretched even further if the 300th race were to be won by current WoO LMS points leader Rick Eckert, a resident of York, Pa., who happens to be the only driver to start all 299 WRG-era A-Mains that have been run to date. The 45-year-old veteran is seeking his first career WoO LMS championship.
Some other notes and statistics surrounding the impending 300th A-Main in WoO LMS history:
Dog Hollow is scheduled to become the 118th track to present a WoO LMS A-Main since 2004.
* The WoO LMS has run races in 30 states and three Canadian provinces while waving the WRG flag.
* Ohio has been the site of the second-most WoO LMS A-Mains (25), followed by Florida (21), New York (19), North Carolina (18), Tennessee (14), Illinois (12), Maryland (12), Missouri (11), Minnesota (10) and North Dakota (10).
* The WoO LMS has run at 11 tracks in New York, putting the state second behind Pennsylvania. Ohio and Tennessee have each had eight tracks host tour events and Missouri has had six tracks run shows.
* Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., has hosted the most WoO LMS A-Mains: 19, including the inaugural event of the WRG era on Feb. 3, 2004. Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., is second on the list (18 races), followed by The Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C. (15), Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway (10) and Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pa. (10).
* Volusia and Lernerville are the only tracks that have booked at least one WoO LMS A-Main every season since ’04.
* Eckert and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., are the only drivers who have entered all 299 WoO LMS programs to date. Smith does not have a perfect A-Main start record, however, because he failed to qualify for a single feature, on Feb. 19, 2006, at Volusia Speedway Park.
* Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., has entered 297 of 299 WoO LMS events to date; his only absences were the 2009 World Finals doubleheader at The Dirt Track at Charlotte after he was sidelined by a facial injury suffered during qualifying for the oval’s postponed WoO LM Showdown. The Showdown (Nov. 4, 2009) and the WoO LMS event on March 14, 2004, at Atomic Speedway in Oak Ridge, Tenn., are Frank’s only career DNQs in World of Outlaws action.
* Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., has entered all but two WoO LMS events since ’04 – July 3, 2007, at Missouri’s Lebanon I-44 Speedway and this season’s opener on Feb. 17 at Volusia – but he has six DNQs on his performance record.
* Car owner Mark Richards has had one of his machines start 298 of the 299 WoO LMS A-Mains to date. Bart Hartman of Zanesville, Ohio, drove Richards’s familiar Rocket Chassis No. 1 in every feature in ’04, and Richards’s son, two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards, has run his dad’s mount in every A-Main since 2005 except one – last month’s event at Winchester (Va.) Speedway, where Josh steered the Ernie Davis-owned No. 25 to victory.
* The 299 WoO LMS A-Mains run since ’04 have been won by 42 different drivers.
Dog Hollow Speedway will kick off this week’s three-race swing through western Pennsylvania for the WoO LMS. The Tuesday-evening event will be followed by the ‘Penn Gold 40’ on Wed., July 27, at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport and a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win event on Sun., July 31, at Eriez Speedway in Hammett.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.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.