latemodelamerica.com - May 12 - Delaware Int'l Raceway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Rick Eckert VL Delaware Int'l Speedway

Rick Eckert after his second World of Outlaws win in the last three events, this time at Delaware Int'l Speedway. (Lee Smith photo) 

World of Outlaws: Eckert Dominates at Delaware Int'l For Season's Second Win

Kevin Kovac

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 - Delaware Int'l Speeday winner

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 car." 

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, Del.

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 tour.  

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 Speedway
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

 

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