latemodelamerica.com - June 15 - Can-Am Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Tim Fuller - HP

Home Is a Holiday For Fuller at Can-Am World of Outlaws

By Kevin Kovac

LAFARGEVILLE, N.Y. - June 15. Tim Fuller found the perfect track to shake him out of his season-long doldrums.

With a huge contingent of family members, friends and longtime fans looking on, Fuller rolled to his first World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory of 2010 in Tuesday's "F.X. Caprara Car Companies 50" at his old stomping grounds, Can-Am Motorsports Park.

A resident of nearby Watertown, N.Y., who was a DIRTcar 358-Modified regular at the half-mile oval early in his career, Fuller thrilled the packed house with a nearly flawless performance. He qualified second fastest in time trials, won a heat race, and blasted off the outside pole starting spot in the A-Main to lead the entire 50-lap distance without facing a single serious challenge.

Fuller, 42, crossed the finish line a commanding 3.273 seconds ahead of another hometown hero from Watertown, 2006 WoO LMS champion Tim McCreadie, providing a storybook ending to the national tour's second annual event at Can-Am.

"You're not gonna' win in a better place this",”said Fuller, who earned $10,500 for his 11th career triumph on the WoO LMS. "Winning my first race of the year here in front of this crowd, all these people who know me - you can't beat it."

"And then Timmy (McCreadie) finishing second - I like when that kind of cool stuff happens. It keeps people interested and coming back for the next one," Fuller added.”

Fuller dominated the opening event of the WoO LMS "Great Northern Tour",’ outgunning last year's Outlaw winner at Can-Am, Rick Eckert of York, Pa., for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back. He easily handled the restarts that followed four caution flags for minor incidents and was barely slowed by lapped traffic as he sailed around the sprawling track in his Gypsum Express Rocket car.

The 36-year-old McCreadie, who started sixth, guided the Sweeteners Plus Rocket up to second place before the halfway mark. But he couldn't stay with Fuller's fleet No. 19 after overtaking Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., for the runner up spot on a lap 19 restart. McCreadie settled for a solid bridesmaid finish at Can-Am for the second straight year, ending the race over three seconds ahead of third-place Lanigan, who started fifth in his three-race-old Rocket car.

Defending WoO LMS champion and current points leader Josh Richards started and finished fourth in the Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket after falling as far back as sixth, and ninth starter Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., used the outside groove during the race's late stages to secure a fifth-place finish, despite being hampered by a stumbling carburetor.

"That's all we had",”said McCreadie, who ended the night trailing Richards by 42 points in the WoO LMS standings. "I gave it all I could, but we just had nothing for Fuller. I was just ditch-digging (running the inside lane) all night - – that's all I could do to save my car".

"Fuller and those guys did a heck of a job. I followed that red-and-yellow car all night long (including to the finish line of the second heat)".

Fuller's victory snapped him out of a 19-race winless streak on the WoO LMS dating back to the final three events of the 2009 season. Immediately before that, he had enjoyed an amazing stretch of seven wins in 11 races, including a tour record-tying four consecutive wins last summer - that made his failure to reach Victory Lane until Tuesday night one of the mysteries of the 2010 season.

"We've sucked all year,"”admitted Fuller, whose victory represented just his third top-five finish in 17 A-Mains this season. "We don't even deserve to be fifth in points right now, but we've finished every race and that's a tribute to the crew (led by Mike "Smoke" Countryman).”

What was the key to Fuller's slump-busting triumph?

"We time-trialed well and won the heat,"”said Fuller, who used a motor from the Gypsum Express team's new in-house engine program. "You gotta' time-trial well; that's all there is to it. Don't get me wrong, the car was great, but I probably wasn't gonna' come from 15th (to win).

"I hope we're back on track now",”he added. "I hope this isn't just a product of the conditions - a freak thing. I think we're rolling, but I guess we'll see in the races coming up".”

Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., advanced from the 13th starting spot to finish sixth despite being hampered by a bent right-front spindle from a mid-race altercation. Seventh-place Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., earned the $500 WoO LMS Bonus Bucks cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn't won a tour A-Main and isn't ranked among the top 12 in the points standings. Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., placed eighth and Eckert faded steadily throughout the distance to finish ninth. Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, was one lap down in 10th place, matching his best finish of the season.

Rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., finished two laps down in 11th place after a broken rearend caused him to slow while running fourth and ultimately stop between turns three and four with the checkered flag flying. The mechanical malfunction topped off a night that began with the 18-year-old having his time-trial lap disallowed because his Beitler Motorsports car weighed in light at the scales.

Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., brought out one of the race's four caution flags when he saw his promising run end due to an expired engine on lap 18. He was running third at the time.

WoO - Can-Am Speedway - June 15th
1) Tim Fuller, 2) Tim McCreadie, 3) Darrell Lanigan, 4) Josh Richards, 5) Shane Clanton, 6) Chub Frank, 7) Vic Coffey, 8) Dan Stone, 9) Rick Eckert, 10) Russell King, 11) Austin Hubbard, 12) Peter Mantha, 13) Steve Francis, 14) Larry Wight, 15) Greg Oakes, 16) April Farmer, 17) Greg Belyea, 18) Dale Caswell, 19) Michael Trapp, 20) Jordan Keruskie, 21) Jill George*, 22) Clint Smith, 23) Ron Davies, 24) Mark Webb*

Fast Time (25 entries): Richards (19.240 secs.); Heat winners: Clint Smith, Fuller, Eckert, B-Main Winner: Wight; (* Provisionals)
Cory Stivason photo


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