Eckert Outduels Richards For Victory In NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing

Rick Eckert - Jim Denhamer Photo
Rick Eckert – Jim Denhamer Photo

Lanigan’s Six-Race World of Outlaws Late Model Series Win Streak Ends At Michigan’s Winston Speedway

MONTAGUE, MI – Aug. 17, 2012 – Rick Eckert dashed the hopes of two fellow World of Outlaws Late Model Series stars with a triumphant run in Friday night’s NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing at Winston Speedway.

The national tour’s defending champion outdueled returning two-time titlist Josh Richards to gain control of the A-Main on lap 27. He then dominated the race’s second half to snap the six-race win streak of 2012 circuit dominator Darrell Lanigan, who settled for a fifth-place finish after starting 12 th.

Eckert, 46, of York, Pa., earned $10,650 for his third WoO LMS victory of the season, tying him with Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., for second on the ’12 win list behind Lanigan’s single-season record of 13. He was also proud to be the driver to finally shut Union, Ky.’s Lanigan out of Victory Lane.

“I’m glad I stopped him,” Eckert said of Lanigan. “He’s been on a roll. He’s been for sure the guy to beat all year long, so this is big for our team.

Richards, 24, of Shinnston, W.Va., started from the pole position and led laps 1-16 and 18-26, but he crossed the finish line as the runner-up, 2.098 seconds behind Eckert’s Team Zero by Bloomquist car. He made his first WoO LMS start in his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car since leaving the tour in April to pursue a NASCAR Nationwide Series ride.

Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., started and finished third, maintaining a firm grasp on the show position for the entire distance in his Sweeteners Plus Rocket. Terry Casey of New London, Wis., placed fourth in a MasterSbilt car and Lanigan was fifth in his Rocket after slipping into the position on the final lap when Richards’s teammate, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., lost momentum in a turn-two scrape with the lapped Eric Spangler of Lake City, Mich.

It was Richards who provided Eckert’s stiffest test. Eckert, who started from the outside pole, nosed in front of Richards to lead lap 17 but relinquished the spot the following lap and spent the next nine circuits in chase mode.

“Josh set a heck of a pace there early,” said Eckert, who registered his 27th career win on the WoO LMS. “I couldn’t run with him. Then I got to thinking, Maybe if that top (cushion) blows off, maybe I could rotate the center better than him because he was tight in.

“Finally, (the outside) slowed down and he couldn’t rotate the center quite as well as I could. Besides that, though, we were pretty equal.”

Eckert glided away from Richards once he gained command on lap 27, controlling a race that ran caution-free from lap 12 to the finish. He denied Richards a checkered flag that would have pulled the youngster back into a tie atop the WoO LMS career win list, at 39.

“It’s great to see him come back,” Eckert said of Richards’s return to competition on the WoO LMS. “He’s a heck of a racer and I like him a lot, but I didn’t want to see him win his first race back.”

Richards was his usual gracious self following the race.

“We were good, but once the track got dirty our car was just too tight,” said Richards, who won last year’s inaugural WoO LMS event at Winston. “We put everything similar to last year, but the track was a little narrower and we were on (DIRTcar Hoosier) LM tires this year versus open tires (in ’11), and the LM tires just don’t steer quite as well. Because of that, we were just too tight.

“I tried to hold (Eckert) off, but he was just better. He did a really good job. He could really turn down into (turns) three and four. That’s where I would lose my time, and that’s where he ended up passing me.

“It definitely feels good to come back, win a heat race, lead some laps and end up second,” he added. “Obviously you want to win, but we’ll take second.”

Coffey, 41, recovered from a heat-race tangle with Lanigan that damaged his car to finish as solid third. He was over seven seconds behind Eckert at the finish but his final position was never seriously in doubt.

“We were much better than we’ve been lately,” said Coffey, who is still seeking his first-ever WoO LMS A-Main victory. “But I think (Eckert and Richards) both had better traction. On those (three) restarts) they would just leave me. I think I could get in the corners as good as them, but from the middle out they were just hooked up a little better.

“Honestly, though, we had so much to fix after the heat, we only had time to make a few minor adjustments before the feature. We probably should have done more – we needed to be a little tighter to get more traction – but we just did what we needed to do to get out there.”

Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa, finished sixth, creeping forward from the ninth starting spot. Sheppard, who briefly reached fourth when he passed Casey on lap 33, slipped back to seventh at the finish. Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., started and finished eighth; Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., climbed into the top five late but settled for a ninth-place finish; and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., quietly drove to a 10th-place finish.

Three caution flags slowed the event. Duane Treadwell of LaGrange, Ga. (lap one) and Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill. (lap 12) slowed to bring out yellows, and on lap 10 Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who had already been lapped, slowed in turn one and was rammed hard from behind by seventh-place Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga.

Forty-four cars were entered in the event, which was run before a big crowd on a refreshingly cool summer evening.

Clanton led a Kennedy Motorsports sweep of the top two spots in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, besting his teammate Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., for his second WoO LMS fast-time honor of 2012. Clanton’s lap of 13.347 seconds set a new track record, eclipsing the standard of 13.568 seconds set by Eckert during last year’s inaugural WoO LMS event.

Heat winners were Clanton, Fuller, Richards and Brady Smith. Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich., and Erb captured the B-Mains.

The WoO LMS will complete its Michigan doubleheader on Saturday night (Aug. 18) with the running of the NAPA Auto Parts Merritt 50 at Merritt Raceway in Lake City, Mich.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit

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Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 presented by Keyser’ at Winston Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $10,650

2. (1) Josh Richards/50 $5,150

3. (3) Vic Coffey/50 $3,550

4. (6) Terry Casey/50 $3,100

5. (12) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,650

6. (9) Brian Birkhofer/50 $1,700

7. (10) Brandon Sheppard/50 $1,400

8. (8) Brady Smith/50 $1,300

9. (7) Jason Feger/50 $1,350

10. (11) Chub Frank/50 $1,650

11. (15) Bub McCool/50 $1,850

12. (19) Mike Spatola/50 $1,050

13. (14) Clint Smith/49 $1,500

14. (21) Kent Robinson/49 $1,450

15. (5) Tim Fuller/49 $1,400

16. (13) Pat Doar/49 $1,350

17. (22) Eric Spangler/48 $820

18. (17) Jeep VanWormer/37 $800

19. (20) Tim McCreadie/30 $1,380

20. (18) Dennis Erb Jr./16 $700

21. (4) Shane Clanton/9 $1,250

22. (23) Jill George/8 $700

23. (24) Duane Treadwell/0 $700

24. (16) Matt Miller/0 $700

* Earnings include

Winners Circle

program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 22 Mins., 00.197 Secs.

Margin of Victory: 2.098 Secs.

Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 1, 10, 12)

Lap Leaders: Richards (1-16); Eckert (17); Richards (18-26); Eckert (27-50)

Provisional Starters: George, Treadwell

Rookie of the Race: McCool ($250)

WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Casey ($500)

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

1. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 13.347 (NTR)

2. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 13.480

3. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 13.483

4. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 13.485

5. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 13.495

6. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 13.541

7. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 13.566

8. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 13.597

9. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 13.619

10. 23V-Ryan VanderVeen/Six Lakes, MI 13.627

11. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 13.647

12. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 13.662

13. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 13.678

14. 1b-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 13.693

15. 42-Terry Casey/New London, WI 13.709

16. 3-Matt Miller/Whitehouse, OH 13.789

17. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 13.804

18. 89-Mike Spatola/Manhattan, IL 13.813

19. 13-J.R. Hotovy/Hartford, MI 13.864

20. 28e-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 13.903

21. 87-Rich Neiser/Fruit Port, MI 13.927

22. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 13.939

23. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 13.976

24. 9R-Curtis Roberts/Coleman, MI 13.986

25. 7R-Kent Robinson/Bloomington, IN 14.160

26. 1N-Casey Noonan/Sylvania, OH 14.196

27. 27-Eric Spangler/Lake City, MI 14.198

28. 12-Dave Hartman/Howard City, MI 14.220

29. 115-Matt Pickard/Grant, MI 14.363

30. 21s-Tom Sprague Jr./Muskegon, MI 14.409

31. 51s-Devin Shiels/Britton, MI 14.437

32. 51-Dale Sheehy/Twin Lakes, MI 14.451

33. 44T-Rob Taylor/Muskegon, MI 14.670

34. 28-John McDonald/Muskegon, MI 14.699

35. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 14.899

36. 20H-C.J. Heskett/Muskegon, MI 14.915

37. 10*-Tom Dusen/Muskegon, MI 15.049

38. 0N-Kevin Nelson/Jr./Muskegon, MI 15.087

39. 02-Jeramy Lange/Muskegon, MI 16.096

40. 81-Alex Kazmarski/Ludington, MI N/T

41. 20W-Kenny Wilson/Muskegon, MI N/T

42. 55-Duane Treadwell/LaGrange, GA N/T

43. 20-Chad White/Coloma, MI N/T

44. 07-Shawn Reed/Grant, MI N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Feger, Birkhofer, Doar, VanWormer, Robinson, Neiser, Pickard, Dusen, Wilson, Taylor

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Eckert, Sheppard, C. Smith, Spatola, Noonan, Nelson, VanderVeen, Sprague, McDonald

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Casey, Frank, McCool, McCreadie, Hotovy, Spangler, Shiels, George, Lange

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Coffey, Lanigan, Miller, Erb, Roberts, Hartman, Sheehy, Kazmarski, Heskett

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): VanWormer, Spatola, Robinson, Neiser, Noonan, VanderVeen, Pickard, Sprague, Wilson, Taylor, McDonald, Nelson, Dusen

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Erb, McCreadie, Spangler, Roberts, Hotovy, Hartman, Shiels, Sheehy, Kazmarski, Lange, Heskett, George

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:

Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 product certificate to 23rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool

Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Terry Casey

Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Mike Spatola

Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank

Comp Cams ($50 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert

Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jason Feger

Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Jeep VanWormer/Eric Spangler

Gravely ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jason Feger

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): Bub McCool

JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher or next highest w/decal – $285 value): Tim McCreadie

Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher or next highest finisher): Eric Spangler

MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert

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): Jeep VanWormer

Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Rick Eckert

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): Tim Fuller

Roush-Yates Performance Products ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Terry Casey

Roush-Yates Performance Products (carburetor repair kit to 18th-place finish in A-Main or next highest w/decal – $100 value): Jeep VanWormer

Roush-Yates Lap Leader Award (one pair of Wiley X Sunglasses to driver who leads most laps in A-Main): Rick Eckert

STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards

SuperFlow ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Tim Fuller

VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jason Feger

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): Ryan VanderVeen

WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith

Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner if decal displayed – $200 value): Josh Richards

XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Terry Casey

XS Power ($60 product certificate to 8th-place finisher in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Bub McCool

XS ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Mike Spatola

2012 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 17 – 31 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Darrell Lanigan 4338

2. Rick Eckert 4178 (-160)

3. Tim McCreadie 4038 (-300)

4. Shane Clanton 3986 (-352)

5. Chub Frank 3974 (-364)

6. Bub McCool 3856 (-482)

7. Clint Smith 3818 (-520)

8. Vic Coffey 3734 (-604)

9. Pat Doar 3624 (-714)

10. Tim Fuller 3618 (-720)

11. Kent Robinson 3498 (-840)

12. Jack Sullivan 3268 (-1070)

13. John Lobb 2300 (-2038)

14. Jill George 2190 (-2148)

15. Mike Marlar 1966 (-2372)

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), (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, 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.