Steve Shaver and family at WVMS.
WVMS Memorial Weekend Events End as "Shaverfest" After
MINERAL WELLS, W.V. - May 30. Steve Shaver turned West Virginia Motor Speedway's 'RaceFest World Championships'
into the 'ShaverFest.'
The veteran driver from Vienna, West Virginia put together an unforgettable weekend at his reopened home
track, completing a sweep of the 'RaceFest' doubleheader with a convincing victory in Sunday's 40-lap World of
Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main.
|Steve Shaver holds #2 Brady Smith at bay at a dusty West
Virginia Motor Speedway. (Todd
Shaver, 46, dominated on the eve of Memorial Day, charging off the outside-pole starting spot to lead the
entire distance in the K&L Rumley Motorsports Rocket No. 6. He raced virtually unchallenged to the $10,125
victory, which gave him a two-night earnings total of $18,200.
"Coming here this weekend I was kind of hoping for a couple of top fives, maybe a win if everything
went right," said Shaver, who had one career WoO LMS triumph before going two-for-two at the sprawling
five-eighths-mile oval that sits just 10 miles from his home. "To get a win in both of them, set fast time (on
Sunday night) and win two heats – I can't quit smiling."
Shaver built a lead that ballooned to as much as three-quarters of a straightaway before crossing the
finish line about a dozen car lengths ahead of Zanesville, Ohio's Bart Hartman, who steered his Rocket car forward
from the 12th starting spot to record a runner-up finish for the second consecutive night. Hartman
lost Saturday evening's 30-lap A-Main when he was overtaken by Shaver in lapped traffic with only five laps
Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., relinquished second place to Hartman on lap 36 but held on to finish
third in the RSD Enterprises Rocket, making him the highest-finishing WoO LMS regular in the opening event of the
LaCrosse Extreme Tough Challenge. The unique mini-series awards points to the top-five fulltime WoO LMS and Sprint
Car Series 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.
Filling out the remainder of the top five was third-starter Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., who was in the
battle for second place until backing off late in the distance due to an overheating engine in his Valvoline Rocket
car, and polesitter Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, in his MasterSbilt mount.
Shaver was simply the class of the field in the 'RaceFest' finale. He survived caution flags on laps 13
(after Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., suffered suspension woes and slapped the turn two wall while running
10th) and 16 (for a turn-four tangle involving Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., and Jill George of
Cedar Falls, Iowa) en route to joining Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., as the only repeat winners in 16 WoO LMS A-Mains this season.
"Kevin (Rumley) made some changes to the car today and it actually got better," acknowledged Shaver, who
joined the venerable Greenville, N.C.-based K&L Rumley team at the start of the 2010 campaign. "I didn't think
it could be much better than last night, but it was. It just felt so easy out there.
"The only problem I had was that I really didn't know where I needed to be on the track, so every now and
then I tried to search around and see where the car felt best. I finally felt like I had the right line so I just
stayed right there. I thought, If I'm gonna get beat, somebody's gonna have to pass me fair and square."
Hartman, 41, never got close enough to even attempt to turn the tables on Shaver. He had to make up too
much ground after falling from a battle for second to a fourth-place finish on the final lap of his heat race.
"We had an MSD problem at the end of the heat that caused the motor to drop a cylinder," said Hartman.
"That knocked us from possibly redrawing for the (first three rows in the) feature to starting
12th – and you can't start 12th and expect to win against the caliber of cars that
"We had a real good car again and moved up, so we're happy. Steve's been real good down here all weekend
and deserved to win."
The 34-year-old Clanton, meanwhile, drove to his third-place finish using an experimental aluminum
big-block engine built by Russell Baker that he borrowed from Tim Logan, who serves as Francis's crew chief and
fields a car that Francis runs in selected non-Outlaw events. The 502 cubic inch behemoth worked well for
"It was pretty good," Clanton said of the powerplant. "It just needs a little work to race with these
guys. Once we got racing, those 'little' motors could accelerate in the cushion a little bit better than I
"That (big-block) motor is just so hard to drive. It's got so much power and the throttle response is
there, but when you gotta go easy out there – like (Shaver) was – then it can be a little lazy. That's something we
can work on and get better, though."
Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., finished sixth and seventh,
respectively, while Richards placed a quiet 11th, tightening the WoO LMS points standings slightly.
Richards left WVMS leading the battle by 46 points over McCreadie, who started 21 st after being
forced to the B-Main by a blown right-rear tire during his heat, and 52 over Lanigan.
Finishing in positions 8-10 was Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., who also used an aluminum big-block engine
in both weekend events; Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., who ran in the top five early but still held on to earn 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; and Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa.
A field of 33 cars assembled for the event, which was run on another summer-like evening. Temperatures
soared into the 90s during the afternoon.
Shaver was fastest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 19.541 seconds. Heat winners were Shaver,
Francis and Eckert, and Richards captured the B-Main after failing to qualify through a heat for the first time in
Brady Smith and Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., were forced to run backup cars after each crashed hard
into the wall between turns three and four during their time-trial runs. Smith said he had some back soreness but
was otherwise uninjured, while Hubbard reported no ill effects after absorbing what he called the hardest hit of
his young career.