Billy Moyer, Jr. holds off #71 Chris Wall and #15 Steve
Francis on his way to a stout fourth place finish at Columbus in the first "Cash Cow 100".
Lanigan Roars from 19th to "Cash Cow 100" Win at Columbus
COLUMBUS, Miss. - Mar. 19. Darrell Lanigan broke through two levels of frustration
on Saturday night at Columbus Speedway.
Simultaneously ending his long pursuit of an extra-distance victory on the World
of Outlaws Late Model Series and beginning a comeback from his disappointing start to the 2011 season, Lanigan
drove forward from the 19th starting spot to capture the inaugural
"Cash Cow 100" at "The Bullring".
Lanigan, 40, of Union, Ky., earned $20,675 for his first-ever win in a 100-lap WoO
LMS event, after coming tantalizingly close to a checkered flag in numerous century grinds over the past three
years. The 2008 tour champion did it the hard way, charging through the field on a demanding high-banked,
one-third-mile oval to grab the lead for good on lap 64 with a pass of Crane, Mo.'s Will Vaught.
Darrell Lanigan after his "Casg Cow 100" win at
Columbus. (Scott Oglesby)
"The car was just awesome in the feature tonight," said Lanigan, who gained entry
to the weekend's headliner by steering to victory in the first B-Main on
Saturday. "We struggled a little bit last night in the heat races when we were trying a few things, but we made
some changes today and man, it came on in the feature. To run the consie and come back and win is just
Vaught, 24, finished second after starting fourth and leading laps 15-31 and
62-63. It was a career-best placing on the WoO LMS for the young talent, who overtook Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer
Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the runner-up spot coming to the white flag.
Josh Richards (outside) led a portion of the Columbus
event before he was spun while trying to lap Clint Smith. With his trip to the rear, #21 Billy Moyer raced home
with a third place showing. (Scott Oglesby)
Moyer, who started third, settled for a third-place finish while his 23-year-old
son, Billy Moyer Jr., advanced from the 13th starting spot to
register a career-high WoO LMS placing of fourth. Polesitter Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., completed the top
five after surviving a near-disastrous homestretch scrape with Vaught and Josh
Richards on lap 11 as the trio battled for the lead.
Richards, 23, led more laps than any other driver, pacing the field for 44
circuits after starting from the outside pole. He led laps 1-14 before being overtaken by Vaught and then rallying
to regain the top spot on lap 32, but his bid for a second consecutive 100-lap win on the WoO LMS effectively ended
on lap 61 when he spun in turn two as a result of contact while attempting to lap Clint Smith of Senoia,
Brian Nuttall climbed the wall and nearly flipped
during qualifying laps on Friday. He was not hurt. (Scott
Richards restarted at the rear of the field, but the two-time defending WoO LMS
champion could only climb to ninth at the finish.
"We were running for the win and finally I had to get by (Smith), so I let off,
went to slow down to get in the corner and he ran into our left-rear", said Richards.“"I love Clint to death and
I’m sure he probably didn't mean it, but that's what happened".
"It's frustrating because we had a real awesome car. I don't know if we could've
held on for the win or not, but I felt like we could've been in contention".”
Lanigan, who had just begun to challenge Vaught for second when Richards lost
control of his car, scored his 20th career win on the WoO LMS. It gave
him a major boost in his uphill climb in the tour points race after he was forced to miss the season opener on Feb.
17 at Volusia Speedway Park, due to medical problems associated with a cyst on the base of his tailbone. He vaulted
from 30th to 14th in the
points standings, 96 points behind Moyer's leading total after three events.
Chris Wall earned his first fast time award with the
WoO, but was unable to convert it into much. Steve Francis (15) settled for tenth place. (Scott Oglesby)
"We're down a little bit in the points, but if we keep winning `em it's gonna'
come back,"”said Lanigan, who reported that his lower back was sore following the physical race.
Vaught, who earned the $500 "Bonus Bucks" cash for being the highest-finishing
driver who hasn't won a WoO LMS A-Main, completed a memorable weekend with his bridesmaid finish. He finished
second in a heat race on Friday night after being forced to start ninth due to a flat left-rear tire during time
trials and was a contender throughout the "Cash Cow 100".
"At the start of the race we had a real good car and got out to the lead, but we
put a little too soft of a tire on,"”said Vaught. "I knew it was giving up when I got to lapped traffic and
couldn't pass them. Then I was just trying to make it last a hundred laps. "
"We ended up having a real good race with Billy Moyer, and to pass him for second
right at the end was incredible."
Moyer, 53, didn't seem disappointed after losing second to Vaught with just one
lap remaining. He wanted to talk less about his run and more about his son's impressive performance.
Dale McDowell, one of several drivers penalized for
appearing late at the staging lane, tries to make up lost ground on the low side of #24 Rick Eckert and #1 Josh
Richards. (Scott Oglesby)
"I'm real proud of Junior,"”said Moyer, the winner of the last WoO LMS event at
Columbus, in March 2007. "When he come trucking by me there (for fourth on lap 56) I think he had a better hot rod
than I did. But as the track changed I don't think he chased the track just right. He still ended up fourth, and
that's a heck of a job for him."
The race's three caution flags all came within a three-lap span after Richards'
spin created the first slowdown. Friday night's fast-timer, Chris Wall of Holden, La., stopped on the homestretch
on lap 64, and on the ensuing restart, Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., saw his bid to enter the top five end abruptly
when his car's right-rear wheel broke off between turns three and four.
WoO "Cash Cow
1) Darrell Lanigan, 2)
Will Vaught, 3) Billy Moyer, 4) Billy Moyer, Jr., 5) Austin Hubbard, 6) Mike Marlar, 7) Earl
Pearson, Jr. 8) Dale McDowell, 9) Josh Richards, 10) Steve Francis, 11) Rick Eckert, 12) Tim
McCreadie, 13) Scott Bloomquist, 14) Clint Smith (prov.), 15) Shane Clanton, 16) Chris Wall, 17)
Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, 18) Tim Fuller (prov.), 19) Jason Feger, 20) Chub Frank, 21) Vic Coffey,
22) Bub McCool, 23) Rick Rickman, 24) Klint Byars. (Note: Feger, Coffey and McDowell
were penalized to the rear of the field for the start after reporting late to the pre-race
Fast Time (49 entries): Chris Wall (13.581 secs.); Heat winners: Richards,
Marlar, Moyer Sr., Hubbard; B-Main winners: Lanigan, McCreadie
Scott Oglesby photo