SYLVANIA, GA – Feb. 10, 2012 – Shane Clanton debuted a new car in sparkling fashion on Friday night, driving to a convincing heat-race victory during the World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Winter Freeze’ qualifying program at Screven Motor Speedway.
A strong field of 56 was signed in for the national tour’s season-opening weekend, which will conclude on Saturday night (Feb. 11) with a 60-lap A-Main paying $20,000 to win.
Clanton, 36, Fayetteville, Ga., established himself as a favorite to collect the big money in the ‘Winter Freeze’ finale with his Friday-night performance. He dominated the second of five 15-lap heat races, turning the fastest lap of the preliminary events en route to beating Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., to the finish line by over a straightaway margin.
Joining Clanton as heat-race victors were 2008 WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who outran two-time tour titlist Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., in the first prelim; Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., who hopes to chase the WoO LMS for the first time in 2012; Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C.; and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.
Clanton’s triumph came in his first start since destroying a car in a grinding crash while leading the Jan. 18 feature during the unsanctioned Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. The accident forced him and Kennedy Motorsports teammate John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y., to head home early from the six-race series and hastily assemble a new Capital Race Car for the start of the WoO LMS campaign.
Friday’s heat-race triumph made a grueling stretch of hard work well worth the effort.
“We stayed up a couple days to get enough cars and enough equipment built up to run for two-and-a-half weeks here,” said Clanton, who won just two heats all season en route to a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 2011 points standings. “We worked probably the hardest in the pit area the last two-and-a-half weeks.”
Clanton won’t be satisfied with his visit to Screven, however, unless he’s in the mix for victory in Saturday’s ‘Winter Freeze’ headliner. He has a good idea about what it will take to collect the big money in his home state.
“Tire management is gonna be key,” said Clanton, who will redraw for the top-five starting spots in the A-Main with Friday night’s other heat-race winners. “We hurt tires tonight in 15 laps, so the car’s gonna have to be good but we’re gonna have to save some equipment for the end of the race also.”
Lanigan, 40, was fastest in Friday night’s Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, clocking a circuit of 14.305 seconds around promoter Redd Griffin’s three-eighths-mile red-clay oval. It was his 21st career fast-time honor on the WoO LMS.
Defending WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., transferred to the A-Main with a third-place finish in the second heat. He will start 12 th in the ‘Winter Freeze.’
Also making the cut through Friday night’s heats was three of the eight drivers who were recently approved as 2012 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year contenders. Greg Johnson of Bedford, Pa., Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., and Jared Hawkins of Fairmont, W.Va., each scored a third-place finish to crack the A-Main lineup.
Saturday night’s racing program features B-Mains and the lucrative Winter Freeze finale for the WoO LMS as well as a $5,000-to-win UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car show and a $2,500-to-win crate Late Model headliner.
Screven’s gates are scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Hot laps are set to start at 5 p.m. with on-track competition to immediately follow.
Admission (including pits) is $35 for adults, $15 for children 7-12 and free for kids 6-and-under. Each ticket also provides access Gee Chee Creek Mudd Drags and Gamecock Speedway go-kart races that will take place on Saturday afternoon elsewhere on the speedway property.
More information on the Winter Freeze is available by logging on to www.screvenmotorspeedway.com or calling 912-228-5886.
Screven Motor Speedway is located between Mile Markers 6 and 7 on GA Route 21 in Screven County, Ga., about 45 minutes Northwest of Savannah.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws .
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.305
2. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 14.400
3. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 14.480
4. 41-Josh McGuire/Grayson, KY 14.549
5. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 14.561
6. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.707
7. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 14.715
8. 27c-Dennis Franklin/Gaffney, SC 14.744
9. 53-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 14.746
10. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 14.753
11. 101-Casey Roberts/Toccoa, GA 14.788
12. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 14.791
13. J4-John Garvin Jr./Sarver, PA 14.795
14. b5-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 14.811
15. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.819
16. 3-Chesley Dixon/Swainsboro, GA 14.841
17. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 14.852
18. 98-Casey Barrow/Savannah, GA 14.858
19. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 14.861
20. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 14.891
21. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 14.891
22. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 14.895
23. 76-Brandon Overton/Evans, GA 14.923
24. 1N-Jordy Nipper/Gray, GA 14.945
25. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 14.950
26. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 14.956
27. 1d-Brent Dixon/Elberton, GA 14.967
28. 27-Jeff Fortner/Vidalia, GA 14.983
29. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 14.984
30. 1s-Jack Sullivan/Greenbrier, AR 15.036
31. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.036
32. 121-Benji Cole/Cannon, GA 15.038
33. 77-Jason McBride/Carbondale, IL 15.046
34. 81-Scott James/Bright, IN 15.069
35. 37-Jared Hawkins/Fairmont, WV 15.072
36. 09-Johnny Pursley Jr./Clover, SC 15.075
37. 10-Scott Shirey/Swansea, SC 15.104
38. 21Jr.-Billy Moyer Jr./Batesville, AR 15.112
39. 2x-John Henderson/Aiken, SC 15.125
40. 5-Sean Meeks/Guyton, GA 15.126
41. 16-Brian Nuttall Jr./Claxton, GA 15.153
42. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 15.161
43. 3c-Mike Collins/Carter Lake, IA 15.167
44. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 15.180
45. 21F-Todd Frank/Green Bay, WI 15.184
46. 22G-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 15.192
47. G4-Garrett Shurling/Black Creek, GA 15.193
48. 49-Greg Johnson/Bedford, IN 15.233
49. 12-Hunter Peacock/Macon, GA 15.327
50. 3p-Philip Pittman/Vidalia, GA 15.362
51. 54-Dillan White/Crofton, KY 15.391
52. 33-Brian Reese/Sharpsburg, GA 15.428
53. 4ds-Chad Hollenbeck/Kingsley, PA 15.474
54. 50-Scott Phillips/Marlette, MI 15.531
55. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 15.624
56. 21b-Royce Bray/Hull, GA N/T
Heat No. 1 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lanigan, Richards, Roberts, C. Dixon, Satterlee, Coffey, Stone, White, Nuttall, Pursley, George (DNS) Bray
Heat No. 2 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Clanton, McCreadie, Eckert, B. Dixon, C. Frank, Lobb, Fuller, Shirey, Reese, Cole (DNS) Shurling
Heat No. 3 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Marlar, Garvin, Johnson, Franklin, Moyer Jr., Collins, Hollenbeck, Overton, Barrow, McBride, Fortner
Heat No. 4 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Cook, Shaver, Robinson, Sheppard, Hubbard, James, McGuire, Nipper, Peacock, Phillips, Henderson
Heat No. 5 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Babb, Davies, Hawkins, McCool, Moyer, Sullivan, C. Smith, Doar, Meeks, Pittman, T. Frank
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.