Race winner Darrell Lanigan is congratulated by runner up
Josh Richards (left) after his seventh win of the season and his sixth on the World of Outlaws 2011
tour. (Todd Battin)
World of Outlaws:
Lanigan Tames Eriez For Sixth WoO Win
By Kevin Kovac
HAMMETT, Pa. – July 31. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., capped the three-race World of Outlaws Late Model Series
swing through western Pennsylvania in fine fashion, mastering Eriez Speedway to capture Sunday's 50-lap A-Main.
The 2008 WoO LMS champion led from start-to-finish to register his first-ever victory at the one-third-mile oval
outside Erie. He drove away from Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., following a late restart en route to his
series-leading sixth win of the 2011 season behind the wheel of his self-owned GottaRace.com Rocket car.
Dave Lyon's #55 goes a lap down as Union, Ky.'s Darrell Lanigan
barrels toward his second World of Outlaws win in the Keystone State in five days, this time at Eriez
Speedway. (Todd Battin)
"Eriez is not one of my better tracks, but the car was awesome tonight," said the 41-year-old Lanigan, who earned
$10,775 for his efforts. "Getting to draw the front row (outside pole starting spot) definitely helped out, but the
car was unbelievable. We did a few things different than we usually do here and it worked."
The checkered flag was Lanigan's second of the national tour's month-ending tripleheader in the Keystone State. He
also won on July 26 at Dog Hollow Speedway in Strongstown, Pa.
Richards, 23, hustled from the fifth starting spot to second by lap 23, but after overtaking Shane Clanton of
Fayetteville, Ga., for the runner-up slot, his ascension effectively stalled thanks to a faulty spark plug wire,
leaving him 0.990 of a second behind Lanigan at the finish line.
Rick Eckert slips under fellow Pennsylvania standout Robbie Blair en route to a sixth
place showing and a still fairly secure points lead. (Todd Battin)
Clanton, who started from the pole position, settled for a third place finish ahead of 14th starting Tim McCreadie
and his Sweeteners Plus teammate Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y.
Lanigan, whose pair of Pennsylbania victories sandwiched a ninth-place finish on July 27 at McKean County Raceway
in East Smethport (he went to the rear of the field after clipping the wall), outgunned Clanton for the lead at the
initial green on Sunday and never looked back. He was well aware that Richards was lurking in second throughout the
race's second half, but figured it would take a spectacular move for his young rival to unseat him.
"I knew (Richards) was back there, but I didn't where he was," said Lanigan, who registered his 25th
career win on the series. "I knew if anyone did pass me on the outside, he was gonna' have a helluva' ride out
there. It got dirty out there and it was hard to get anything going, so I didn't see how anybody could pass me out
Regional ace Ron Davies slows to a stop at Eriez. (Todd
Richards managed to come within inches of Lanigan's right-rear quarter-panel when he lunged into turns one and
two following the race's third and final restart on lap 41, but that was as close as he got to the lead.
"We gave it all we had," said Richards, who was shooting for a second consecutive WoO LMS victory after winning the
'Penn Gold 40' at McKean County. "We had a real good car, but we broke a plug wire and I couldn't quite get the car
loaded (through the corners) like we needed to. The motor would just stumble and I'd lose that little extra bit of
ground when I needed to be on the gas and going."
Clanton, 35, recorded just his second top-five finish in 21 WoO LMS starts this season. He got back on track after
back-to-back frustrating finishes at Dog Hollow and McKean County.
Darrell Lanigan after his sixth World of Outlaws win of the season at Eriez
Speedway. (Jay Pees)
"We worked pretty hard this week," said Clanton, who decided to pull out his Rocket car for Sunday's action after
struggling with his Capital Race Car in the other Pennsylvania events. "We wanted to go racing Friday and Saturday
but we didn't. We took some time off to try and concentrate on this race."
McCreadie, 37, was the most notable hard charger for the third consecutive WoO LMS A-Main, but that fact had him a
bit perturbed following the race.
"I just don't qualify or heat race good," said McCreadie, who briefly took third from Clanton lap 47 before ceding
the spot back the following circuit. "We had a really good car for the feature – again – but when you start so far
back and have to pass all them guys, you just use a lot of your stuff up. Once you get there in contention like we
did tonight, there just isn't enough left."
Coffey, who turned 40 on July 25, cracked the top five for the second consecutive race. He also threatened to take
third from Clanton midway through the A-Main before he fell back to fifth place.
Local driver Scott Gurdak bites down on Eriez Speedway earlier in the day.
"I was probably a little bit too tight right in the center to run the bottom," said Coffey, who is still searching
for his first career WoO LMS victory in 101 starts. "I finally moved up to the middle in (turns) three and four
about halfway through the race and actually drove right to Clanton and got beside him a couple times, but then he
kind of adjusted his line a little bit and I went down there and missed once and slid and Timmy went driving on by
(for fourth on a lap 37 restart)."
WoO LMS points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa., finished sixth after nearly slipping out of the top 10 following a
lap 23 restart. He left Eriez with a 42-point advantage over Richards.
Tim McCreadie races past polesitter Shane Clanton in his advance from 14th to third,
but #25 Clanton retook the spot for good on the next circuit and left McCreadie in fourth. (Todd
"I tightened my car up too much," said Eckert. "I was too tight to roll through the center, and on the one restart
I pushed off the corner and whoa...I was in trouble. They were steady driving by me.
"That last restart I got something back. We salvaged a decent finish out of it, so we'll keep after 'em as hard as
we can and hopefully we'll be there at the end (in the championship battle)."
July 31 - World of Outlaws at Eriez Speedway
1) Darrell Lanigan, 2) Josh Richards, 3) Shane Clanton, 4)
Tim McCreadie, 5) Vic Coffey, 6) Rick Eckert, 7) Mike Knight, 8) Robbie Blair, 9) Dan Stone, 10) Chub
Frank, 11) Pat Doar, 12) Clint Smith (prov.), 13) Austin Hubbard, 14) Rick 'Boom' Briggs, 15) Andy
Boozel, 16) Dave Hess, Jr., 17) John Volpe, 18) Tim Fuller, 19) Ron Davies, 20) John Lobb, 21) Dave
Lyon (prov.), 22) Scott Gurdak, 23) Bump Hedman, 24) Steve Francis (prov.), 25) Jason
Fast Time (36 entries): Hedman (16.051); Heat winners: Clanton, Lanigan, Stone,
Richards; B-Main winners: Volpe, R. Davies
Todd Battin photo