Brady Smith

Brady Smith at Volusia Speedway Park                         Mike Ruefer photo

Brady Smith Breaks Into World of Outlaws Victory Lane In DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Final

By Kevin Kovac

BARBERVILLE, FL - Feb. 13, 2010 - Brady Smith won't go winless on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in 2010.

The rising star from Solon Springs, Wis., made sure of that on Saturday, capturing the national tour's 50-lap A-Main that closed the 39th annual DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio at Volusia Speedway Park.

Winless in 2009 during his first season as a WoO LMS regular, Smith broke through with a dominant performance in front of a chilled Sunshine State crowd. He fell to third place early in the distance after starting from the pole position but rallied to pass Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the lead on lap 20 and run then run away from the pack.

"It feels great to finally win an Outlaw race again," said Smith, whose two previous WoO LMS triumphs came during the 2008 season. "It's so hard to win these races. I know we're capable of doing it, but we raced the whole season last year and didn't get it done, so to be able to do it here at Speedweeks -- man, it's actually harder to win a race down here than it is all season.

"'We're just really thrilled. This gives everyone a boost -- me, the crew, the sponsors, and definitely my bank account.

Driving his Team Zero by Bloomquist car with a Vic Hill engine under the hood, Smith crossed the finish line with a winning margin of 2.456 seconds over Earl

Brady Smith

Brady Smith                                                               Mike Ruefer photo

Pearson of Jacksonville, Fla., in the Bobby Labonte Motorsports MasterSbilt mount. Pearson was unable to challenge Smith following a lap-37 restart, leaving him with a runner-up finish in both WoO LMS events run during the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.

Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., registered a hardearned third-place finish, charging forward from the 28th starting position in the Sweeteners Plus Rocket. Behind the wheel of his backup car after driveline woes sidelined his primary machine during heat action, he gained entry to the A-Main through a provisional spot granted to the highest-ranked non-qualified driver in the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH points standings.

Opening-night WoO LMS winner Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who started third, finished fourth in the Rocket Chassis house car -- good enough to hand him the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH Late Model championship for the second consecutive year. Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., completed the top five after starting seventh in the Sheltra Construction Rocket.

Smith, 32, pulled off a clean sweep of the evening's program, earning the Ohlins Shocks Pole Award as well as a heat win. He also left Volusia as the WoO LMS points leader for the first time in his career -- a far cry from the 2009 season, when he failed to qualify for the tour's season-opening event and needed a second-place finish in the DIRTcar Nationals finale just to crack the top 20 in the points standings exiting Florida.

The $10,125 victory didn't come easily despite Smith's pole starting spot. He was outgunned for the lead at the initial green flag by Moyer, who started second, and lost second to Richards on lap two.

"I had a plan there before the feature and it was to run the bottom," said Smith, who finished eighth in the 2009 WoO LMS points standings. "I took off and beat (Moyer) to the flagstand, but he wheeled around me pretty good (for the lead) and then even Josh got by me before that caution came out (on lap three).

"I just said, 'Man, this is ridiculous. I gotta get up on the wheel here.' So that's what I did. Once I moved up the racetrack to Moyers groove, I instantly knew I had a car to race with."

Smith regained second from Richards on the restart. By lap 15 he was on Moyer's rear bumper, bidding for the lead.

"I used some patience and raced with (Moyer) a little bit," said Smith. "Then I saw an opening there through (turns) one and two between him and a lapped car (on lap 20), so I just hit the gas and took it. The car stuck and didn't miss a beat the rest of the race."

Pearson slid past Moyer for second on the restart following the race's second and final caution flag, on lap 37, but he never got close to Smith. The homestate driver spent the race's late stages fending off McCreadie, who made a stirring come-from-behind drive.

After falling short to Richards in the WoO LMS lidlifter on Thursday night, Pearson found himself upstaged again.

"The other night there was a mud ring around the bottom and Josh beat us on tires," said Pearson, who started fourth. "Tonight we all pretty much had the same tires on and the track was real racy, but I was just a little bit too tight through the center to run with Brady."

McCreadie, meanwhile, had to catch his breath after driving his heart out to salvage a third-place finish. Sitting fourth for the lap-37 restart, he nearly pulled off a three-wide move inside Moyer and Pearson to grab second when the green flag flew but instead settled into third and stayed there to the finish.

"I was a little softer on tires than those guys," said McCreadie, the 2006 WoO LMS champion. "I think if I would've had an earlier restart it would've helped, but we got where we got. I just couldn't clear Earl to even think about trying to run down Brady."

There were no serious incidents during the A-Main, which was slowed only on lap three for the stopped car driven by Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., and on lap 37 for a turn-four spin executed by Tim Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va.

Francis pulled up lame in turn two when his Valvoline No. 15 was felled by a busted oil-pump belt. He finished 28th, leaving him mired in 15th in the points standings.

Finishing in positions 6-10 was Moyer, who tumbled out of the top five on the lap-37 restart; Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who was plagued with oil-pressure problems throughout the distance; Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.; John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., who ran as high as fifth; and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.

Sixty-three cars were signed in for the event, which was run on an unseasonably cool night that saw temperatures dip near the freezing mark.

Brady Smith turned a lap of 16.063 seconds in qualifying to earn the Ohlins Shocks Pole Award. It was his third career fast time in WoO LMS competition but first since Aug. 22, 2007, at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn.

Heat winners were Brady Smith, Richards, Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., Francis, Pearson and Moyer. The B-Mains were captured by Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.W., Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa.

The WoO LMS will be silent for one month before returning to Florida on March 19 for the first-ever tour event at Ocala Speedway. A visit to Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., on March 20 will round out the early-season weekend in the Southeast.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

Results of WoO Late Model Series at Volusia Speedway Park

(1) Brady Smith. (2) Earl Pearson Jr. (3) Tim McCreadie, (4) Josh Richards, (5) Shannon Babb, (6) Billy Moyer, (7) Rick Eckert. (8) Dennis Erb Jr., (9) John Blankenship, (10) Dale McDowell, (11) Brian Birkhofer. (12) Darrell Lanigan (prov.), (13) Clint Smith (14) Jimmy Owens, (15) Jason Feger (prov.), (16) Tim Dohm, (17) Chub Frank, (18) Jared Landers, (19) Patrick Sheltra, (20) Justin Rattliff, (21) Tim Fuller (prov.), (22) Austin Hubbard, (23) Tyler Ivey, (24) Russell King (prov.), (25) Chris Madden, (26) Dan Schlieper, (27) Steve Casebolt, (28) Steve Francis, (29) Eddie Carrier Jr., (30) Shane Clanton (prov.)

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