Rick Eckert after his second World of Outlaws win in the
last three events, this time at Delaware Int'l Speedway. (Lee Smith
World of Outlaws: Eckert
Dominates at Delaware Int'l For Season's Second Win
DELMAR, Del. - May 12. Rick
Eckert is partying like it's 2006.
Recapturing some of the magic of his career-best season on
the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Eckert stormed to his second win in the last three tour events, capturing
Thursday's "Fulton Bank 50"’at Delaware International Speedway.
Eckert, 45, of York, Pa., dominated the race, rolling off the
outside pole starting spot to lead the entire distance. He was never seriously challenged en route to his
23rd career WoO LMS victory, tying him for third on the win list since
2004 with Darrell Lanigan, who finished 1.945 seconds behind Eckert in second place.
Rick Eckert made some adjustments and found a way
to win again in dominating fashion at Delaware Int'l Speedway on Thursday. (Craig Whyte)
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished third, giving him
a season-best outing on the series. Two-time defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston,
W.V., placed fourth after running in second
for nearly half the distance, and Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., marched forward from the
15th starting spot to take fifth.
The $10,625 triumph helped Eckert pad his WoO LMS points
lead, which he ascended to last week for the first time since his spectacular 2006 campaign. He won eight of the
first 17 races contested that season.
"I don't know if we're all the
way back to that level yet,"”Eckert said of his `06 performance, "but we're getting better and better. We've made
some changes to our car that it's really responded to."”
Eckert outgunned pole sitter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.,
for the lead at the initial green flag of the Fulton Bank 50 and never looked back. His run to the big check was
assisted by two caution flags that flew at just the right time during the race's second half.
"Traffic was treacherous,"”Eckert
said of the slower cars he had to deal at mid-race and again with the checkered flag nearing. "I guess (Lanigan)
was catching me there (with less than 10 laps remaining) when I got held up by some traffic, (so) I was liking when
the caution would come out and get us a little air in front of us.
"When you get behind lapped cars
you get a little bit freer, so after the cautions (on laps 27 and 44) gave us clear track I could get out there and
use a little more of the racetrack. I didn't have to pin myself down behind
anybody. Our car wasn't very good when
we unloaded, but we kept knocking away at it and during the race we had a really good
Lanigan was only able to draw within striking distance of
Eckert at the end of the green-flag stretch from lap 27 to 44. But just as it appeared Lanigan, who started sixth
and slipped by Richards for second on the lap 27 restart, would mount a challenge, the race's fourth and final
caution flag flew with six laps remaining for the steaming car driven by Dale Lingo IV of Millsboro,
McCreadie, 37, enjoyed a confidence-building third place
finish in his first start behind the wheel of the Sweeteners Plus team's 2008 Victory Circle car. The machine still
sported his teammate Vic Coffey's colors and no. 32c.
"I think for pulling a car out of
mothballs that was just sitting on jackstands since `08, it was pretty good,"”said McCreadie, who started ninth and
needed 27 laps to climb up to third. I think I might have hurt a motor a little bit at the end because it got hot,
but I can't remember what the top-three (finish) feels like, so I'm happy."
Richards, who won last year's WoO LMS A-Main at the half-mile
Delaware oval, fell from second to fourth when he slipped over the turn-two cushion on the lap 27 restart. He never
recovered and remained uncharacteristically winless through 10 events on this year's
Teenagersation Austin Hubbard, who lives in nearby Seaford,
experienced a frustrating evening in front of his local supporters. He made a sterling charge from
the 17th starting spot to eighth place by lap 27, but during a
caution period that circuit he pitted to change a left front tire that was cut by a broken body brace. The tour's
2010 Rookie of the Year pitted again on lap 44, but salvaged an 11th place finish.
May 13 - World of Outlaws - Delaware Int'l
1) Rick Eckert, 2) Darrell
Lanigan, 3) Tim McCreadie, 4) Josh Richards, 5) Jason Covert, 6) Tim Fuller, 7) Vic Coffey, 8) Jeremy
Miller, 9) Dan Stone, 10) Clint Smith, 11) Austin Hubbard, 12) Pat Doar, 13) Shane Clanton, 14) Chub
Frank (prov.), 15) John Lobb (prov.), 16) Kenny Pettyjohn, 17) Ron Davies, 18) Darryl Hills, 19)
Russell King, 20) Dale Lingo IV, 21) Jill George (prov.), 22) Jamie Lathroum, 23) Ricky Elliott, 24)
David Hill, 25) Brent Robinson
Fast Time (38 entries): Lanigan (18.897 seconds); Heat
winners: Coffey, Smith, Robinson, Miller. B-Main winners: Hubbard, Elliott
Ron Skinner photo