latemodelamerica.com - July 3 - Tazewell Speedway - World of Outlaws Late Model Series
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 


Shane Clanton after his flag to flag rout of the World of Outlaws field at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway.

(George Missita)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Given the up and down nature of his early season, Steve Francis was happy with his second place finish to Clanton at Tazewell. (Michael Moats)

World of Outlaws: Clanton On a Roll With Tazewell Win


Kevin Kovac

TAZEWELL, Tenn. - July 3. Shane Clanton didn’t let a pole position start slip through his fingers for the second time in 24 hours.

The 34-year-old who now calls Fayetteville, Ga., home, took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him on Saturday, continuing his early-summer hot streak with a decisive victory in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Coca-Cola 50’ at Tazewell Speedway.

Clanton, who also started from the pole on Friday at Wartburg (Tenn.) Speedway but settled for a runner-up finish in the 50-lap A-Main, led the entire distance on Saturday evening before a near capacity crowd that turned out for the national tour’s first-ever visit to the high-banked, one-third-mile oval. He repelled several challenges from Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., and barely escaped two incidents en route to his third WoO LMS triumph of 2010 and the 14th of his career.

A flat tire on lap 20 proved to a be a deal breaker for #39 Tim McCreadie, who could only recover 12th place by race's end.

(Michael Moats





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I let two races go this year (failed to win after starting from the pole) so I wasn’t gonna lose another one,” said Clanton, who earned $10,500. “After Michelle (Davies, his girlfriend and designated position drawer) picked me the pole, I told her, ‘If you do your job, I’ll do mine.’”

Clanton mastered the wicked-fast bullring, keeping his Malcuit-powered RSD Enterprises Rocket out front in a rough-and-tumble event that was slowed by seven caution flags and one red, and lasted just over 47 minutes. He crossed the finish line 1.053 seconds ahead of Francis, who started fourth but chased Clanton from the second spot for the final 35 laps.


Tommy Kerr (#4) held up well against the WoO regulars with a fourth place finish, while #5 Eric Jacobsen put in a tenth place effort. 

(Michael Moats) 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iowa's Jill George gets a carburetor tweak from World of Outlaws regular Clint Smith at Wartburg. (Michael Moats)
Defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards calmly moved forward from the sixth starting spot to finish third, despite running the last 15 circuits on seven cylinders because an engine lifter apparently broke in his father Mark’s Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket. He doubled his tour points lead to 36 markers over Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who finished 12th after pitting on lap 20 to change a flat tire.

Tommy Kerr of Maryville, Tenn., advanced from the 12th starting spot to finish a WoO LMS career-best fourth. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., placed fifth, surviving an overheating engine to register his second straight top-five finish.

“I knew we had a good car, but we made some more changes right before the feature and it made it a lot better,” said Clanton, whose victory gave him two wins (including a $30,000-plus score on June 26 in the Firecracker 100 at Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway) and two runner-up finishes in his last five WoO LMS starts. “We tightened the car up and it made a world of difference.”

Clanton was fast enough to hold off Francis, who ran within striking distance but couldn’t pull off a pass.

“I thought I heard him under me a couple times,” Clanton said of Francis, “but the bottom of (turns) one and two got so rough I said, ‘If he passes me down there, he’s gonna have to make a perfect line.’ I thought I was gonna break something in the race car if I ran down there, so I just married myself to the top and said, ‘If he beats me, he beats me.’”



Chub Frank races #1 Josh Richards to revive a fairly dismal early season with a respectable fifth place finish at Tazewell. (Michael Moats)


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Francis, 42, was satisfied with $5,600 in second-place money.

“I think I was more maneuverable, but he could run a faster lane in the open every lap,” Francis said of Clanton. “There wasn’t enough off of (turn) four to really pass. He was gonna' have to make a mistake for me to get by him.

“We ran first and second, though, so I’m happy. Me and Shane have been working on a lot of stuff together, so it was a good race for both of us.”

Clanton experienced a couple very anxious moments, however, while pacing the field. The first came on lap 15 when Rick Rogers of Knoxville, Tenn., came off the turn-four wall and rolled his car in front of Clanton and several of his pursuers. Later, on lap 48, Mike Collins of Carter Lake, Iowa, spun directly ahead of Clanton.

“As that guy was flipping he came right over my nose,” said Clanton. “It scraped the nose of my car all the way up to the air filter. I was lucky it didn’t knock the carburetor off.

“When I got to him I just gassed it up – I said, ‘I’m not stopping here.’ I guess I got him up in the air and he landed on the ‘1’ car (then second-place runner Vic Hill of Morristown, Tenn.) behind me.

“Then with Collins – his eyes looked about the size of quarters when I seen him spinning in front of me,” added Clanton. “I thought I was gonna t-bone him, but he gassed it up and got out of the way just in time. The green stayed out and we made it to the finish.”

Rogers’s series of flips provided the most spectacular accident of the event. His car landed upside down after it slammed into the right side of the machine driven by Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., and also collected Hill, whose strong run came to an abrupt end due to damage his car sustained in the altercation.

Rogers, who started third but was relegated to the rear of the field after spinning out of fourth place on lap 10, escaped the crash without injury.

Rick Rogers almost derailed eventual winner Clanton when when he flipped his #44 directly in front of the leader.

(Michael Moats)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing in positions 6-10 was Rick Eckert of York, Pa.; Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who started 13th; 11th-starter Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.; Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., who rallied from a pit stop on lap two to change a flat right-rear tire; and Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., who spun wildly in turn three late in the distance but continued without causing a caution flag.

Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., had a rough night, finishing 15th after retiring on lap 33 with right-front suspension woes. His hopes were dashed after he crushed the right-front nose of his car and slowed to bring out a caution flag on lap five.


Austin Hubbard (left) and Tim McCreadie find something chat- worthy during some down time at Tazewell. (Michael Moats)

The race served as the third leg of the LaCrosse Extreme Tough Challenge, a mini-series that awards points to the top-five WoO LMS and Sprint Car drivers in 16 selected events – eight Late Model and eight Sprint Car – and will earn the champion of the combined standings a $5,000 bonus from a $15,000 points fund. Clanton earned five points for being the highest-finishing WoO LMS regular, boosting his overall lead in the standings.

WoO - Tazewell Speedway ‘Coca-Cola 50’
1) Shane Clanton, 2) Steve Francis,3) Josh Richards, 4) Tommy Kerr, 5) Chub Frank, 6) Rick Eckert, 7) Austin Hubbard, 8) Darrell Lanigan, 9) Clint Smith, 10) Eric Jacobsen, 11) Russell King, 12) Tim McCreadie,13) Mike Collins, 14) Bryan Hendrix, 15) Tim Fuller, 16) Randy Weaver, 17) Mike Marlar, 18) Brian Smith, 19) Vic Hill, 20) Rick Rogers, 21) Brent Robinson, 22) Steve Smith, 23) Chad Ogle, 24) Jill George.

Fast Time (27 entries): Richards (11.189).

      Heat winners:      B-Main winner:     Provisionals

Mike Ruefer photo



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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