latemodelamerica.com - Feb.13 - WoO - Volusia Speedway Park Part 2
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 
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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 finished fourth -- 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 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.


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, who ran as high as fifth; and Dale McDowell.

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.


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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