Eckert Rules Winchester Speedways Gunters Honey 50, Claims Second World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory of 2015
New Longhorn Chassis Carries Veteran Pennsylvania Driver to 32nd-Career WoO LMS Triumph
WINCHESTER, Va. - Aug. 15, 2015 - Rick Eckert's first weekend driving a Longhorn Chassis ended in triumphant fashion Saturday night at Winchester Speedway.
In his third night out in his new Longhorn mount, Eckert, 49, of York, Pa., led every lap of Saturday's Gunter's Honey 50 to earn $10,650 for his second World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory of the season.
The 2011 WoO LMS champion grabbed the lead from the outside pole on the start of the 50-lap race and never looked back. His Paul Crowl-owned No. 7E machine crossed the finish line 2.246 seconds ahead of WoO LMS points leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., in a race that was slowed by just one caution.
"This feels really good," said Eckert, who counts Winchester as one of his home tracks after frequenting the 3/8-mile oval throughout the early years of his career. "Usually when you come home you run worse. It's great to win in front of fans we don't get to race in front of much anymore. That's really cool."
Clanton challenged Eckert a few times in lapped traffic but settled for second after fading in the closing laps. Polesitter Kenny Moreland of Waldorf, Md., was just behind Clanton in the third spot, while Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, finished fourth. Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished fifth in substitute duty for absent WoO LMS regular Frank Heckenast Jr.
After starting the weekend with finishes of eighth at Delaware International Speedway on Thursday and second at Potomac Speedway on Friday, Eckert wrapped up the WoO LMS three-race Mid-Atlantic trip with a dominating performance on Saturday.
He drove around Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., to win the first heat race and later drew the outside pole in the redraw among heat winners and runners-up. Aside for two instances in traffic, the feature was hardly ever in doubt as Eckert raced to the 32nd WoO LMS victory of his career and his first at Winchester.
"We've struggled some and we've run good some, but we felt we needed to make a change," Eckert said of his decision to switch to the Longhorn machine. "I hope it's the right direction. We've been comfortable the last two nights in it.
"Hopefully we've learned enough about it that it'll make us better going on from here. But that's next week and this is now. This is cool."
Clanton, who saw Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., cut 20 points out of his WoO LMS points lead with back-to-back victories at Delaware and Potomac, stymied the tide with his runner-up effort in his Weldbank Energy Capital Race Cars house car. While he fell short of the victory, Clanton notched his 26th top-five finish in 32 WoO LMS A-Mains this season.
"Hats off to Eckert," said Clanton, who stretched his points lead to 168 points over ninth-finishing Richards. "His car was just a little bit better leaving the corner than mine was. We've got a little bit more homework to do, but overall we're happy.
In scoring the best WoO LMS finish of his career, Moreland rebounded from his disappointing outing Friday night at Potomac. The standout regional racer more than made up for failing to make Friday's A-Main beginning with his heat race victory over Richards.
Moreland drew the pole for the main event, but he couldn't capitalize as a mistake in the first corner allowed both Eckert and Clanton to pull ahead of him. He settled in from there and pressured Clanton for second through much of race before taking third at the checkereds.
"Going from zero last night to running top five tonight, what else can you ask for," said Moreland, who piloted a Denison Landscaping-sponsored Rocket Chassis in the event. "This is the best Outlaw finish we've ever had. It feels pretty good.
"We knew we had a good car for tonight. All we had to do was do one thing at a time. Time trial good then stay in the front in the heat and get a good pill draw. It was up to me from there to make the right moves on the start on the race, which I didn't do. I feel like I might've gave that away there, but the car was good."
Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del., was sixth at the finish with Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., seventh. Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., was eighth with Richards and Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., rounding out the top 10. The race's only caution waved when Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., spun on the third lap.
Heckenast, the 2014 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year who entered Saturday seventh in WoO LMS standings, was absent from the event due to family obligations. He received 60 hardship points toward his driver points total, while Lanigan's fifth-place finish earned Heckenast Racing full points toward the team's ownership points tally.
The WoO LMS has another three-race weekend on tap next week with two races at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio, Friday and Saturday and a visit to Eriez Speedway in Erie, Pa., on Sunday.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Gunter's Honey 50 at Winchester Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Rick Eckert/50 $10,650
2. (3) Shane Clanton/50 $5,550
3. (1) Kenny Moreland/50 $3,500
4. (4) Morgan Bagley/50 $3,150
5. (6) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,150
6. (7) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 $1,750
7. (10) Gregg Satterlee/50 $1,400
8. (12) Jason Covert/50 $1,350
9. (5) Josh Richards/50 $1,850
10. (11) Chase Junghans/50 $1,700
11. (16) Jason Miller/50 $1,050
12. (9) J.T. Spence/50 $1,000
13. (21) Kyle Hardy/50 $950
14. (15) Tom Decker Jr./50 $900
15. (8) Eric Wells/50 $1,500
16. (13) Dan Stone/50 $800
17. (17) Chris Fletcher/50 $770
18. (22) Chub Frank/50 $1,300
19. (23) Brandon Overton/50 $1,530
20. (19) Boom Briggs/49 $1,250
21. (20) Travis Stickley/49 $700
22. (18) Tyler Horst/49 $700
23. (24) Jordan Yaggy/49 $700
24. (14) Tim McCreadie/15 $1,350
Time of Race: 16 Mins., 57 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.246 Secs.
Yellow Flags: One (lap 3)
Lap Leaders: Eckert (1-50)
2015 Points (Aug. 15 - 32 A-Mains completed)
1. Shane Clanton 4510
2. Josh Richards 4342 (-168)
3. Chub Frank 4230 (-280)
4. Rick Eckert 4112 (-398)
5. Tim McCreadie 4104 (-406)
6. Morgan Bagley 4096 (-414)
7. Chase Junghans 3994 (-516)
8. Eric Wells 3980 (-530)
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3964 (-546)
10. Brandon Overton 3788 (-722)
11. Boom Briggs 3712 (-798)
12. Darrell Lanigan 3614 (-896)
13. Jordan Yaggy 3328 (-1182)
Richards Goes Back-To-Back, Scores Sixth World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory Of 2015 At Potomac Speedway
West Virginia Driver in Position to Sweep National Tour's Three-Race Mid-Atlantic Trip during Saturday's Visit to Winchester Speedway
BUDDS CREEK, Md. - Aug. 14, 2015 - Josh Richards is making the most of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series' visit to the Mid-Atlantic region.
Richards, the three-time WoO LMS champion from Shinnston, W.Va., raced to his second victory in as many nights Friday evening at Potomac Speedway, leading all but the opening lap of the Gunter's Honey 50 to earn $10,700 in the second leg of the national tour's three-race Mid-Atlantic weekend.
Starting from the sixth position, Richards, 27, survived contact in an opening-lap scramble before charging ahead of outside polesitter Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, to take the lead on lap two. After holding off a mid-race challenge from Rick Eckert of York, Pa., Richards pulled away for much of the second half of the race before again turning Eckert back amid traffic during the final five circuits.
Richards crossed the finish line with an advantage of 0.879 seconds in earning his sixth WoO LMS victory of the season and the 55th of his career.
"I love racing in this region. I missed dearly getting to race around here," said Richards, who raced at Potomac for the first time in a number of years after missing last year's WoO LMS return to the 3/8-mile track while sitting out the season due to medical issues.
"I thought the (opening-lap contact) might've got a tire or something," Richards added. "Luckily it was just cosmetic. We were able to get rolling and get the lead early. I had to be really patient in lapped traffic - just try to slow myself down and try to ride it out."
Eckert settled for second after starting from the pole. He was followed closely by Kyle Hardy of Stephens City, Va., who charged from the 20th starting spot to score the best WoO LMS finish of his career. Eighth-starting Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., was fourth, while WoO LMS points leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., finished where he started in the fifth spot.
Richards, who won the first round of the three-race WoO LMS trip during Thursday's Fulton Bank 50 at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del., drove his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car to his 17th top-five finish in 31 WoO LMS races on the season.
His back-to-back triumphs come after a disappointing stretch of racing that saw Richards scored just one victory in 12 WoO LMS races between June and July.
"The guys have worked really hard lately," Richards said. "They haven't given up and it's showed. It feels good to win again."
In just his second outing in a new Longhorn Chassis for Paul Crowl Racing, Eckert was solid all night at Potomac. He was in prime position to pick up his second WoO LMS victory of the season after drawing the pole in the redraw among heat winners and runners-up, but Richards outdueled him in the race's opening laps.
"He out drove us there at the beginning," Eckert said of Richards' charge to the front. "He got up on the wheel and got on the top. I was too neutral at the beginning to do that. I did get a roll on him a couple times in the middle of the race, but I didn't need them cautions.
"I think our cars were pretty equal, to be honest. He just out drove me those first couple of laps."
While the front of the field may have been mostly settled after Richards made his early charge the lead, there was plenty of excitement back in the pack for much of the distance.
Hardy was a large part of that action with his charge through the field. He drove his Viper Motorsports MasterSbilt by Huey machine into the top five by lap 15 and used a three-wide pass to climb to third on a lap-23 restart. But his charge stalled out there, and he settled for third at the finish.
"We didn't expect to pass that many cars in the feature," said Hardy, who won a Last-Chance Showdown to make Friday's main event lineup. "We were pretty frustrated after the heat race and the B-Main. We really weren't looking for that, but we got rolling on the top there on them restarts.
"The car was good. It didn't everything I wanted it to. I wanted to pass two more, but that was all we could get."
Jason Covert of York, Haven, Pa., advanced from the 11th starting spot to finish sixth, while Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., dropped from third to seventh. Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., improved from 16th to eighth with 13th-starting Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del., and 19th-starting Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., rounding out the race's top 10 finishers.
The race was slowed by six cautions. The first occurred on the first attempt to start the race when fourth-starting Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn., spun and was hit by both Richards and Briggs. All three cars were able to continue racing with Yaggy dropping to the tail of the field for the complete restart.
A lap-four yellow flag appeared when Amanda Whaley of Millsboro, Del., slowed with front-end damage. Ricky Elliott of Seaford, Del., slowed for a lap-nine caution, while a tangle involving Junghans, Nick Davis of Millsboro, Del., and Stevie Long of Mechanicsville, Md., caused a lap-12 yellow.
Bagley saw a top-three run turn south when he slowed with a flat tire and brought out a lap-22 caution, and Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., came to a stop at the top of turn one to necessitate the final caution on lap 23.
The WoO LMS wraps up its three-race weekend with a visit to Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Va., on Saturday. Gates open at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 6:15. More information is available at www.winchestervaspeedway.com.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. Fans can also follow the WoO LMS on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels and Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Gunter's Honey 50 at Potomac Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Josh Richards/50 $10,700
2. (1) Rick Eckert/50 $5,650
3. (20) Kyle Hardy/50 $3,500
4. (8) Austin Hubbard/50 $2,500
5. (5) Shane Clanton/50 $2,550
6. (11) Jason Covert/50 $1,700
7. (3) Boom Briggs/50 $2,000
8. (16) Eric Wells/50 $1,850
9. (13) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 $1,300
10. (19) Chase Junghans/50 $1,650
11. (17) Stevie Long/50 $1,050
12. (10) Chub Frank/50 $1,550
13. (4) Jordan Yaggy/50 $1,200
14. (2) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,500
15. (15) Frank Heckenast Jr./49 $1,400
16. (12) Nick Davis/49 $850
17. (24) Brandon Overton/34 $1,320
18. (18) Kyle Lear/32 $750
19. (21) Dan Stone/26 $730
20. (7) Gregg Satterlee/23 $700
21. (23) Tim McCreadie/12 $1,350
22. (9) Ricky Elliott/8 $700
23. (14) Amanda Whaley/4 $700
24. (22) Ross Robinson/0 $725
Time of Race: 33 Mins., 35 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.879 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Six (laps 1, 4, 9, 12, 22, 23)
Lap Leaders: Bagley (1), Richards (2-50)
2015 Points (as of Aug. 14 - 31 A-Mains)
1. Shane Clanton 4364
2. Josh Richards 4210 (-154)
3. Chub Frank 4116 (-248)
4. Tim McCreadie 4002 (-362)
5. Rick Eckert 3962 (-402)
6. Morgan Bagley 3954 (-410)
7. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3904 (-460)
8. Chase Junghans 3864 (-500)
9. Eric Wells 3860 (-504)
10. Brandon Overton 3676 (-688)
11. Boom Briggs 3602 (-762)
12. Darrell Lanigan 3474 (-890)
13. Jordan Yaggy 3224 (-1140)
Richards Capitalizes On Hubbards Misfortune, Scores Fulton Bank 50 Victory At Delaware International Speedway
Three-Time World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion Scores $10,725 Payday in First Round of National Tour's Mid-Atlantic Tripleheader Weekend
DELMAR, Del. - Aug. 13, 2015 - Josh Richards took advantage of Austin Hubbard's misfortune to claim his fifth World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory of the season in Thursday's Fulton Bank 50, earning a $10,725 payday at Delaware International Speedway.
Richards, the three-time WoO LMS champion from Shinnston, W.Va., pressured Hubbard of Seaford, Del., through the second half of the 50-lap race before taking command when Hubbard's overheating engine expired on lap 45. Richards led the final six laps and crossed the finish line with an advantage of 7.756 seconds in scoring his second-career victory at Delaware's half-mile oval.
"This year's been up and down, so we'll definitely take it," said Richards, whose victory came in the opening round of a WoO LMS Mid-Atlantic three-race weekend. "I feel bad for Austin. He did a great job out there. I saw him smoking a few laps before, so I was trying to get in a spot in case he broke something. I figured it was a matter of time, but I feel like we had the best car tonight."
The fourth-starting Richards drove his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car to the 54th WoO LMS victory of his career. He was followed at the finish by polesitter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who led early in the race in his Longhorn Chassis before being overtaken by both Hubbard and Richards.
Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the eighth starting spot in his Sweeteners Plus Rocket to finish third while second-starting Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., took fourth in his Longhorn. WoO LMS points leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., rallied from the 14th starting spot to round out the top five in his Capital Race Cars house car.
Richards ran third through the race's early laps, while Frank and Hubbard mixed it up at the front. The two leaders swapped the top spot on laps two and three before Hubbard finally pulled ahead of Frank on lap eight. Richards followed suit on a lap-13 restart.
Hubbard enjoyed a comfortable lead until the race's halfway point when traffic became a factor and Richards began to apply pressure. The race's final caution waved on lap-30, giving the two leaders clear track for a final 20-lap green green-flag run. Hubbard initially edged away from Richards, but Richards closed the gap by lap 37 and made multiple bids for the lead before Hubbard's MasterSbilt by Huey machine slowed on lap 45.
"We'll take it," said Richards, whose five WoO LMS victories this season ranks second only to Clanton's nine wins. "The guys have worked really, really hard. I feel like we should have more wins than we do."
Hubbard, a former WoO LMS regular who now follows a more regional schedule, was looking to turn around his plagued 2015 season with what would've been the fourth WoO LMS victory of his career. But the 2010 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year was denied a turnaround triumph when his ailing engine let go just over five laps from the finish.
"We were pretty much a ticking time bomb," said Hubbard, whose most recent WoO LMS victory came at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., during last year's Mid Atlantic weekend. "As long as it was going, I was going. It finally gave up and that was the end of it.
"It takes a full picture to win races like this, and apparently this year we don't have the full picture together."
Looking to end his nearly six-year WoO LMS winless streak, Frank led early before slowing his pace in an attempt to save his own overheating engine. While he settled into the third spot around the halfway point, the close racing between Richards and Hubbard ahead of him made Frank believe things might fall his way.
"I won a race here once when Josh crashed, and it was Austin he was lapping," Frank recalled of a 2007 WoO LMS event he won at Delaware. "It was like déjà vu. I was thinking you never know what's gonna happen.
"We were running hot tonight. We were wide open and the thing was like 240 (degrees) right off the bat. I was trying to baby it and trying to make it because we're point racing with Josh. It ended up getting really hot, but it held the water so I don't think it hurt anything."
Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del., advanced from the 12th starting spot to finish sixth, just ahead of hometown driver Ricky Elliott, who started and finished seventh. Rick Eckert of York, Pa., finished eighth in a new Longhorn Chassis he debuted at Thursday's race. Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., was ninth with Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., rounding out the top 10.
The race's first caution appeared on the opening lap when a tangle back in the pack left Mark Pettyjohn of Milton, Del., spun on the back straightaway. The second yellow flag waved on lap three when Staci Warrington, also of Milton, slowed. Nick Davis of Millsboro, Del., slowed for a lap-13 caution, and Donald Lingo Jr. of Millsboro, slowed on lap 29. The final caution appeared a lap later after Amanda Whaley, another Millsboro driver, spun in turn four.
WoO LMS rookie competitor Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn., was absent from Thursday's event due to problems with his team's hauler. He received 60 WoO LMS hardship points and plans to join the series for the remainder of the weekend.
The WoO LMS continues its Mid-Atlantic tripleheader on Friday with a visit to Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md. Pit gates open at 3 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 4. Visit www.potomacspeedway.com for more information. The weekend wraps up at Winchester Speedway on Saturday. Gates open at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 6:15. More information is available at www.winchestervaspeedway.com.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Fulton Bank 50
Delaware International Speedway
(Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Josh Richards/50 $10,725
2. (1) Chub Frank/50 $5,550
3. (8) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,650
4. (2) Boom Briggs/50 $3,050
5. (14) Shane Clanton/50 $2,550
6. (12) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 $2,250
7. (7) Ricky Elliott/50 $1,400
8. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $1,950
9. (9) Frank Heckenast Jr./50 $1,750
10. (16) Eric Wells/50 $1,700
11. (22) Pancho Lawler/49 $1,050
12. (17) Amanda Whaley/49 $1,000
13. (18) Chase Junghans/49 $1,500
14. (3) Austin Hubbard/44 $900
15. (15) Brandon Overton/29 $1,100
16. (13) Morgan Bagley/29 $1,350
17. (11) Donald Lingo Jr./28 $770
18. (6) Jason Covert/28 $750
19. (20) Dylan Evans/28 $730
20. (19) Ross Robinson/23 $750
21. (21) Nick Davis/12 $700
22. (23) Chad Hollenbeck/4 $700
23. (10) Staci Warrington/3 $700
24. (24) Mark Pettyjohn/1 $700
Time of Race: 29 Mins., 49 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 7.756 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Five (laps 1, 3, 13, 29, 30)
2015 Point (of Aug. 13, 30 A-Mains completed)
1. Shane Clanton 4224
2. Josh Richards 4060 (-164)
3. Chub Frank 3990 (-234)
4. Tim McCreadie 3894 (-330)
5. Morgan Bagley 3832 (-392)
6. Rick Eckert 3816 (-408)
7. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3784 (-440)
8. Chase Junghans 3734 (-490)
9. Eric Wells 3726 (-498)
10. Brandon Overton 3560 (-664)
11. Darrell Lanigan 3474 (-750)
12. Boom Briggs 3466 (-758)
13. Jordan Yaggy 3100 (-1124)
Hubbard Welcomes World of Outlaws Late Model Series To Mid-Atlantic Region For Blockbuster Three-Race Weekend
Delaware Driver Joins National Tour during Tripleheader Weekend at Delaware International Speedway, Potomac Speedway & Winchester Speedway
Austin Hubbard's 2015 season has produced one instance of bad luck after another, but if there's anything Hubbard has learned in his 10 years of Late Model racing it's that his luck will change eventually.
This weekend would be a perfect time for Hubbard's luck to take a turn for the better as the 23-year-old Seaford, Del., driver prepares for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series to invade his home region.
The national tour is set for a tripleheader weekend in a trio of Mid-Atlantic States with a visit to Hubbard's home track of Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del., for the Fulton Bank 50 kicking things off on Thursday. The WoO LMS then heads across Chesapeake Bay to Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., on Friday before wrapping up the weekend at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Va., on Saturday.
For Hubbard, who followed the WoO LMS full time in 2010 and '11 before scaling back to a more regional schedule, the tour's trek through his home region offers the opportunity to turn around his disappointing 2015 season.
"We've definitely had our share of bad luck this year, but I feel better about these races than any I have in a long time," said Hubbard, whose family-owned race team plans to debut a new MasterSbilt by Huey machine in Thursday's event at DIS. "I've raced at these tracks a lot, and we have a new car built for it. Maybe the new car will bring us better luck.
"This year's been tough. We've had flat tires cost us wins, we've bent two cars and just all kinds of stuff. Those things are gonna happen. But we're gonna be as prepared as possible this weekend, just making sure all our 'T's are crossed and our 'I's are dotted."
If his performance in last year's WoO LMS Mid-Atlantic trip is any indication, Hubbard could certainly find success this weekend. Hubbard opened the same three-race swing last year with a third-place finish at Delaware before dominating Potomac's WoO LMS event on his way to claiming the third WoO LMS victory of his career and his first since 2010.
His impressive performance a year ago gives him confidence heading into this weekend's events.
"The first Late Model race I ever won was at Potomac so it was definitely cool to get a Outlaws win there, too," said Hubbard, whose Potomac WoO LMS triumph came over 2014 WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan. "The Outlaws guys are tough, but we were definitely competitive against them last year. I don't see any reason why we can't do that again this time.
"Nothing's changed for us. We've still been fast and good enough to win races this year. We've just had some bad luck with flat tires and wrecks - we've bent two cars this year, and that's something that really sets you back. It's been a process trying to build our program back up, but I think we're back to the point where we need to be where we have fresh stuff going into these big races."
To score a victory this weekend, Hubbard will have to overcome a star-studded list of WoO LMS national travelers led by points leader Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga. Riding the momentum of nine WoO LMS victories this season, Clanton leads the WoO LMS standings by 174 points over three-time series champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., is third in the chase for the $100,000 WoO LMS champion's paycheck with 2006 series champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas rounding out the top five.
Former series champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., will also be among the WoO LMS regulars in action along with Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., leading series rookie Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., and Jordan Yaggy of Rochester, Minn.
Gates at Delaware International Speedway open at 4 p.m. on Thursday with racing scheduled for 7. General admission prices are $26 for adults and $5 for children ages 7-13. Pit admission is $35 for adults and $10 for ages 7-13. For more information, visit the track's website at www.delawareracing.com/DirtTrack
At Potomac Speedway on Friday, pit gates open at 3 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 4. Adult general admission is $25, while children ages 6 to 11 are $5. Pit entrance is $40. Visit www.potomacspeedway.com for more information.
On Saturday, Winchester Speedway's gates open at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 6:15. Adult general admission is $25 and while children ages 6 to 12 are $5. Pit entrance is $40. More information is available at www.winchestervaspeedway.com.
The tire rule is the same for all three events with competitors permitted to run Hoosier compounds 1300, 1325, 1350 and 1450 and American Racer compounds 44, 48, 49 and 53.
Davenport Cruises At Cedar Lake Speedway, Adds $50,000 USA Nationals Victory To Historic 2015 Season
Georgia Driver Leads Final 88 Laps of Cedar Lake's Crown Jewel World of Outlaws Late Model Series Event To Complete Sweep of USA Nationals Weekend
NEW RICHMOND, Wis. - Aug. 1, 2015 - Making his historic 2015 season even better, Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., led the final 88 laps of Saturday's 28th annual USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway to score a $50,000 victory in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series crown jewel event.
Davenport, whose stellar 2015 campaign already included a $100,000 payday at Eldora Speedway's Dirt Late Model Dream and a $26,000 Prairie Dirt Classic triumph at Fairbury American Legion Speedway just one week ago, overtook Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., on lap 23 of Saturday's 100-lap race and pulled away from Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., in the closing laps on his way to his first USA Nationals victory.
The 31-year-old Davenport drove his Kevin and Lee Roy Rumley-owned Longhorn Chassis to his 16th overall victory of the season and his third of the year on the WoO LMS.
"This is unbelievable. It's really just like a fairytale," said Davenport, who completed a sweep of Cedar Lake's USA Nationals weekend after also winning $6,000 in Thursday's USA Nationals tune-up event. "We've just really done our homework. Kevin's found a few things and it's really paying off. This thing is just so good, and it doesn't matter if it's a flat track, high-banked, big track, small track - it's phenomenal everywhere."
Like he has been for most of the season, Davenport was nearly untouchable in Saturday's race. Starting from the sixth position, he charged to third on the opening lap to settle in behind Erb and Moyer. Davenport overtook Moyer for second on a lap-15 restart and powered around the outside of Erb to take the lead exiting turn two on lap 23.
Davenport was in control from there, running virtually unchallenged until heavy traffic slowed his pace and allowed Moyer to close the gap around lap 70. But Davenport found his groove through traffic by lap 85 and kept a slower car between him and Moyer for the final 15 laps on his way to winning by a margin of 1.618 seconds.
"We took off really good and got to third," Davenport said. "I just kind of rode there through a couple cautions because I wanted the fuel load to burn off a little bit so I didn't lay over on the right rear too much and hurt the tire. I just waited for that to burn off a little bit, then picked the pace up and tried to get to the lead.
"It was kind of hairy there at the end. I saw everybody was in the bottom, but then saw a couple lapped cars moving up, so I thought I'd better get up in a hurry. I had to slide one lapped car because I wanted to at least get one lapped car between us just so I'd have a little cushion."
Moyer settled for the runner-up finish in his self-designed Victory Race Car while Erb took third in his Black Diamond Chassis. Defending USA Nationals winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., finished fourth in a Club 29 Race Car with Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., rounding out the top five in a Capital machine.
Remarkably, Davenport's stellar weekend at Cedar Lake nearly didn't happen. After his July 25 victory at Fairbury, Davenport, who currently leads the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points standings, initially planned to take the USA Nationals weekend off in order to spend time at home with family before tackling a busy late-summer and early-fall stretch of racing. But after rethinking the situation, Davenport and the Rumley team decided to make the trip after all.
"I really wanted to come the whole time, but we just don't get many breaks to spend time with our families," Davenport said. "But I told Kevin (Rumley), once you get on a roll like we are, you just gotta stay with it. I know our families sacrifice with us not being there. We all hate that, but this is what we do for a living, and you gotta get it while you can."
After dominating Friday's preliminary action and earning the pole for Saturday's feature, Moyer, 57, felt good about his chances of scoring his long-awaited sixth USA Nationals victory. But after leading only the first lap before getting passed by Erb, Moyer was never able to regain the lead in settling for his third-career runner-up finish in the event.
"He was better than us," Moyer said of Davenport's performance. "We gave it a whirl and gave it all we had, but we came up a little short. The outside came in there for a short little span where you could really rock on that outside, but it went away real quick and there wasn't much we could do after that."
Erb was disappointed not to secure his first crown jewel victory after leading laps 2 through 22. But the 42-year-old racer was pleased to bring home another solid finish in a major event.
"We had a pretty good car and we're happy with third," said Erb, who finished second behind Davenport at Fairbury's Prairie Dirt Classic after Davenport muscled his way by on the final lap. "I just slipped up a little bit and Billy got by me or else I think we would've at least been second again. But we fell back in line and that was about all we had there."
The race was slowed by four cautions. Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., brought out the first yellow flag when he slowed on lap two. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., jumped the turn-three cushion and slapped the wall to cause a lap-15 caution, and Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, stopped on the front straightaway on lap 49 to cause the third yellow. The final caution appeared with 55 laps complete to allow the ambulance to cross from the infield to the pit area.
Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., advanced from the 10th starting spot to finish sixth, while 14th-starting Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., finished seventh after climbing as high as fourth during the race's middle portions. Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., finished eighth with A.J. Diemel of Elk Mound, Wis., and Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., rounding out the top 10.
The three-day weekend drew a total of 48 Super Late Models to Cedar Lake, with 47 competing in Friday and Saturday's action. During preliminary action on Friday, Mitch McGrath of Waukesha, Wis., was the fastest qualifier, while Moyer, Erb, Feger, Owens and Junghans won the heat races. Last Chance Showdowns on Saturday were won by Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., and Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas. Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., won the Last-Chance Qualifier.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series takes the upcoming weekend off before returning to action with a Mid-Atlantic tripleheader Aug. 13-14. The national tour visits Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del., on Thurs., Aug. 13, Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., on Fri., Aug. 14 and Winchester (Va.) Speedway on Sat., Aug. 15.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series USA Nationals (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Jonathan Davenport/100 $50,000
2. (1) Billy Moyer/100 $22,600
3. (3) Dennis Erb Jr./100 $10,050
4. (2) Jimmy Owens/100 $6,000
5. (4) Chase Junghans/100 $5,050
6. (10) Frank Heckenast Jr./100 $4,600
7. (14) Shannon Babb/100 $6,150
8. (5) Jason Feger/100 $6,200
9. (12) A.J. Diemel/100 $3,850
10. (9) Mike Marlar/100 $3,500
11. (24) Josh Richards/100 $3,400
12. (25) Shane Clanton/100 $3,050
13. (7) R.C. Whitwell/100 $5,250
14. (29) Scott Bloomquist/99 $2,750
15. (19) Morgan Bagley/98 $2,550
16. (18) Boom Briggs/98 $2,400
17. (11) Billy Moyer Jr./98 $2,300
18. (16) Eric Wells/85 $2,200
19. (26) Tim McCreadie/53 $2,200
20. (8) Chris Simpson/48 $2,075
21. (22) Jimmy Mars/48 $2,050
22. (15) Brandon Overton/48 $2,025
23. (27) Darrell Lanigan/31 $2,100
24. (13) Mitch McGrath/26 $2,125
25. (17) Rodney Sanders/25 $2,000
26. (20) Chub Frank/14 $2,000
27. (21) Brandon Sheppard/13 $3,800
28. (28) Jesse Stovall/4 $3,950
29. (23) Bobby Pierce/2 $4,100
* Earnings include cash contingency award bonuses and FANSFund Dash winnings
Time of Race: 40 Mins., 40 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.618 Secs.
2015 Woo LMS points (Aug. 1 - 29 A-Mains completed)
1. Shane Clanton 4084
2. Josh Richards 3910 (-174)
3. Chub Frank 3844 (-240)
4. Tim McCreadie 3750 (-334)
5. Morgan Bagley 3714 (-370)
6. Rick Eckert 3682 (-402)
7. Frank Heckenast Jr. 3652 (-432)
8. Chase Junghans 3610 (-474)
9. Eric Wells 3596 (-488)
10. Darrell Lanigan 3474 (-610)
11. Brandon Overton 3432 (-652)*
12. Boom Briggs 3324 (-760)
13. Jordan Yaggy 3040 (-1044)*
*Rookie of the Year competitor
Moyer Earns USA Nationals Pole With Near Perfect Preliminary Night Performance at Cedar Lake Speedway
Owens Joins Moyer on Front Row for Saturday's $50,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series Main Event
NEW RICHMOND, Wis. - July 31, 2015 - Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., moved one step closer to finally claiming his sixth USA Nationals victory with a near perfect performance during Friday night's preliminary action for Cedar Lake Speedway's crown jewel event.
Moyer, who won the USA Nationals five times between 1988 and 1993 before going winless in the event for more than two decades, will chase his sixth Wooden Eagle trophy from the pole of Saturday's 100-lap USA Nationals A-Main after dominating Friday's prelim action.
The 57-year-old Moyer won the first of five heat races for the $50,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series event and claimed the Pole Dash to earn the inside-front-row starting spot for Saturday's main event. For good measure, Moyer capped Friday's action with a victory in the 12-lap FANSFund Dash for the 11 drivers participating in the USA Nationals as part of the event's fan-voted and fan-funded travel program.
"Back in the day we really had a handle on this thing and knocked off a lot of them. Now we just gotta get our act back together one more time," said Moyer, whose three-win night came behind the wheel of his self-designed Victory Race Car. "We're happy with the pole and we'll take it, but there's a lot of cars here and a lot of things can happen in 100 laps. Hopefully luck shines on us again up here."
Defending USA Nationals winner Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., will join Moyer on the front for the start of Saturday's feature after finishing second to Moyer in the five-lap dash. Fellow heat winners Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., and Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., rounded out the dash's five-car field and will start Saturday's feature third through fifth respectively.
Owens, who charged from fifth to win his heat race and earn a spot in the dash, feels good about his chances of becoming just the third driver to win the USA Nationals in back-to-back seasons.
"I kind of messed up qualifying and wasn't where we wanted to be," said Owens, who piloted his Rowland Racing Club 29 Race Car to the heat race victory. "We didn't get too carried away and thought the track would come to us a little bit. Sure enough, it did come to us pretty good in that heat race.
"I think we'll have a pretty good 100-lap race car tomorrow night. We'll see how things go, but I feel pretty confident about it."
Moyer's heat race victory came in a race with a familiar feel to it. In a reverse of the top three finishers in Thursday's WoO LMS tune-up feature at Cedar Lake, Moyer started on the pole of the 12-lap prelim with his son Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., second and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., third.
Davenport, who passed both Moyers late in Thursday's feature to claim a $6,000 victory, took second from Moyer Jr. on the start of Friday's first heat and pressured the elder Moyer the entire distance. But Moyer turned back each of Davenport's challenges for the win. Davenport settled for second, while Moyer Jr. overtook Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., on the final lap to claim the third and final transfer spot.
Erb controlled the entire distance of the second heat race after pulling ahead of second-starting R.C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz., from his pole starting spot. Whitwell finished second after holding off A.J. Diemel of Elk Mound, Wis., and Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas. Diemel settled for third and will join Erb and Whitwell in Saturday's A-Main, while fourth-finishing Sanders will attempt to make the feature lineup through a consolation race.
Feger led every lap of the third heat race, but securing the win was far from an easy task. Both Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, and Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., took shots at Feger, with Simpson looking under Feger and Wells lurking to the high side for much of the distance. Feger held on to win over Simpson, while Wells dropped the third spot to fast qualifier Mitch McGrath of Waukesha, Wis., on the white-flag lap.
Owens was the hardest charger among the heat race winners, advancing from fifth to outduel Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., in the closing laps of the fifth heat. Marlar took second, while Babb settled for third after leading the race's early laps.
In the fifth and final heat race, Junghans led a top three of all WoO LMS young guys, He paced every lap to finish ahead of Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., and Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga.
A star-studded field of 47 Super Late Models entered the event, which will conclude on Saturday with two Last-Chance Showdowns, a final last-chance race and the 100-lap A-Main. McGrath topped Friday's time trials with his lap of 14.084 seconds in Group A. Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, was fastest in Group B at 14.248 seconds.
Saturday's USA Nationals final-night action is scheduled to begin with hot laps at 7 p.m. The two Last-Chance Showdowns will both transfer the top three finishers to the main event. A final last-chance race will give three more competitors A-Main starting spots, while the 100-lap, $50,000-to-win USA Nationals feature will round out the weekend's action.
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 74-Mitch McGrath, Waukesha, Wis., 14.084
2. 58-A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis., 14.109
3. 6-Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga., 14.356
4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill., 14.366
5. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark., 14.376
6. 32s-Chris Simpson, Oxford, Iowa, 14.467
7. 6w-R.C. Whitwell, Tucson, Ariz., 14.489
8. 21-Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark., 14.505
9. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 14.514
10. 7k-Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas, 14.565
11. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 14.607
12. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 14.648
13. 14x-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 14.648
14. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 14.656
15. 98-Jason Rauen, Farley, Iowa, 14.703
16. 00-Jesse Stovall, Billings, Mo., 14.725
17. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 14.851
18. 90-Lance Matthees, Winona, Minn., 14.866
19. 25z-Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, Pa., 14.919
20. 16T-Tyler Bruening, Decorah, Iowa, 14.973
21. 29-Spencer Diercks, Davenport, Iowa, 15.063
22. 7d-Austin Theiss, Hockley, Texas, 15.082
23. 1d-Doug Blashe, Marion, Wis., 15.469
24. 15-Nick Anvelink, Bonduel, Wis., no time
1. 25s-Chad Simpson, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 14.248
2. 33x-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 14.380
3. B5-Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill., 14.457
4. 25F-Jason Feger, Bloomington, Ill., 14.461
5. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 14.474
6. 157-Mike Marlar, Winfield, Tenn., 14.475
7. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 14.476
8. 18B-Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill., 14.513
9. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 14.523
10. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 14.541
11. 20-Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn., 14.590
12. 28m-Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis., 14.603
13. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 14.663
14. 0-Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.704
15. 27-Justin Hirt, Tigerton, Wis., 14.712
16. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 14.770
17. 32-Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill., 14.805
18. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., 14.814
19. 8-Brian Shirley, Chatham, Ill., 14.932
20. 7v-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 14.961
21. 7R-Kent Robinson, Bloomington, Ind., 15.118
22. 57-Chad Williamson, Watertown, S.D., 15.784
23. 316-Shawn Polonski, Thunder Bay, Ont., 16.163
Heat No. 1 (15 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Moyer, Davenport, Moyer Jr., Briggs, Bagley, Stovall, Zeigler, McCreadie, Diercks. DNS: Anvelink.
Heat No. 2 (15 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Erb, Whitwell, Diemel, Sanders, Frank, Satterlee, Bruening, Rauen, Theiss.
Heat No. 3 (15 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Feger, Chris Simpson, McGrath, Wells, Eckert, Lanigan, Hirt, Blashe. DNS: Matthees.
Heat No. 4 (15 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Owens, Marlar, Babb, Sheppard, Pearson, Clanton, Robinson, Chad Simpson, Yaggy, Polonoski.
Heat No. 5 (15 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Junghans, Heckenast, Overton, Mars, Bloomquist, Richards, Pierce, Shirley, Williamson.
Pole Dash: Moyer, Owens, Erb, Junghans, Feger.
Results of the FANSFund Dash (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Billy Moyer/12 $2,500
2. (1) R.C. Whitwell/12 $2,400
3. (8) Earl Pearson Jr./12 $2,300
4. (2) Jason Feger/12 $2,200
5. (3) Bobby Pierce/12 $2,100
6. (6) Tyler Bruening/12 $2,000
7. (7) Jesse Stovall/12 $1,950
8. (5) Shannon Babb/12 $1,900
9. (9) Jason Rauen/12 $1,850
10. (11) Brandon Sheppard/12 $1,800
11. (10) Lance Matthees/12 $1,750
1. Shane Clanton 4510
2. Josh Richards 4342
3. Chub Frank 4230
4. Rick Eckert 4112
5. Tim McCreadie 4104
6. Morgan Bagley 4096
7. Chase Junghans 3994
8. Eric Wells 3980
9. F. Heckenast Jr. 3964
10. B. Overton 3788