Lanigan Repeats At Little Valley; Scores 50th WOO Win
by Dave Sully
LITTLE VALLEY, NY- Defending champion Darrell Lanigan scored his
second straight Little Valley Speedway World of Outlaws victory on
Thursday, August 22nd, and it was a big one. It was the Hazard, KY,
driver’s 50th career Series win, and he became the first driver to hit
that milestone. Starting on the outside pole, just as he did last year,
Lanigan bolted to the lead over polesitter and current point leader,
Josh Richards, at the drop of the green and was never headed in the race
that was slowed by only two minor cautions over the fifty lap distance.
Though he led every lap, there were times that it appeared his advantage
was going to be threatened. One of his biggest challenges early came
from local favorite “Hollywood” Mike Knight, who was flying around the
outside, took fourth on lap 13 and was challenging Dan Stone for third,
when he suddenly slowed on lap 16 for what was later reported to be a
As Lanigan set the pace, there was a furious battle for the runner-up
spots, as Richards, Rick Eckert, Shane Canton, and Dan Stone grappled
for position. The big winner in that group was Stone, who found the
outside to his liking and, making strategic use of lap traffic, was able
to negotiate past Eckert and Richards to close on Lanigan, managing to
finish second by .377 seconds.
Richards settled for third, followed by Clanton and Eckert to round out
the top five. Other notables were Tim McCreadie, who came from eleventh
to finish sixth, Bub McCool, winner earlier this year at Canandaigua,
who came from twentieth to finish seventh, and Dutch Davies, who was the
first local to cross the line, finishing ninth.
Lanigan, who was campaigning the car he used for much of his record
breaking 2012 season but had been seriously damaged at Eldora in June,
noted, “ We just finally made a couple weeks time and got it back
together this week. We rebuilt the whole car and got it back to new, and
it’s definitely back to where it was. Sometimes you get a good car, a
car you really like, and this is definitely one of the good ones.”
Of the race he continued, “I knew somebody was coming. I looked at the
board and knew it was a different car. I just kind of figured Stone had
a harder tire on, but I come to find out that he was just running a
different groove. I guess he found that high groove before anybody else
did. I didn’t even think about going up there. It seemed crumbly to me,
but he definitely got up there and made it work. It’s kind of hard to
tell where the guy is behind you and what he’s doing, but I knew if I
just ran my line on the bottom it was gonna be hard to pass.”
Stone, though pleased with his run, was frustrated over what he thought
could have been. He described his effort, observing, “We had a good car,
and when we got in lap traffic we could maneuver a lot better than the
other guys. I could run the outside a lot better. When those guys got
pinned by the lap cars I could roll around the outside. It was a shame
that we just came up a little short, but we had a good car.”
Richards, who was overtaken by Stone late in the race, commented,
“Darrell had clean track from the start, there. I couldn’t steer that
well. Once I figured out how to drive it a little bit, we got better
toward the end of the race and was definitely running him back down. We
kind of got stuck behind lap traffic there. I couldn’t maneuver as well
as I would have liked. We’ll take it. We don’t like starting on the pole
and running backward.”
In other racing, Jeremy Wonderling, from Scio, captured the 20 lap BRP
Can Am Series Feature, coming from his tenth place starting spot to grab
the lead on lap six from pace setter Ray Bliss. From there, he held off
friend and arch rival John Waters over several restarts before Waters
eventually surrendered the runner-up spot to Bruce Miller, who made a
spirited run from eleventh. Perhaps the best run of the night was turned
in by Jon Rivers, who started twentieth, after having problems in his
heat, and finished fifth.
Wonderling observed, “The car worked really good. It’s the first time
I’ve been here with that motor. The car itself drove perfect and had
good traction. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Finally, Steve Dixon, from Smethport, using a new car and a smaller
motor, completed a sweep of the E-Mod races and won the track
championship, as he won for the fourth time. Starting on the pole, he
stayed in his favorite groove, the bottom, and was never challenged in
the caution free 20 lap event. Brent Rhebergen, who also drove in the
WOO Feature, was able to keep him in sight, but couldn’t get closer than
about ten car lengths and settled for second. Rich Michael Jr. made a
nice run from tenth to finish third.
NOTES: Long time favorite, Super Late Model driver, Ron Davies, who
intended to race son-in-law, Shane Clanton, at Little Valley, but was
injured the previous Friday at Lernerville, in what he termed the worst
crash he’d ever been in, acted as the Grand Marshal and received
thunderous applause from the crowd when he was introduced………The night
didn’t start well for Lanigan, as his car shut off during hot laps and
he had to be pushed to the pits. He reported later that the battery
shorted out and was quickly replaced………….Next up for Little Valley is
the season finale on Saturday, September 14th, when the Super Late
Models and the 358 Modifieds are highlighted on a card that also
includes the BRP Can am Series and the Street Stocks. Season titles in
the Late Models, Can Am Series, and Street Stocks are at stake.
World of Outlaws Late Models: (50 laps) - 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2.
Dan Stone, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Shane Clanton, 5. Rick Eckert, 6. Tim
McCreadie, 7. Bub McCool, 8. Eric Wells, 9. Dutch Davies, 10. Jason
Dupont, 11. Coleby Frye, 12. Tim Fuller, 13. Chub Frank, 14. Vic Coffey,
15. Billy Decker, 16. Morgan Bagley, 17. Bump Hedman, 18. Brent
Rhebergen, 19. Greg Oakes, 20. Dick Barton, 21. Boom Briggs, 22. Mike
Knight, 23. Clint Smith, and 24. David Scott. Heat winners were Clanton,
Knight, and Lanigan. Last Chance winner was Frye.
BRP Can Am Series: (20 laps) - 1. Jeremy Wonderling, 2. Bruce
Miller, 3. John Waters, 4. Ray Bliss, 5. Jon Rivers, 6. Jason Knowles,
7. Mike Wonderling, 8. Bob Close, 9. Brian Knowles, 10. Quinn
Sutherland, 11. John Zimmerman, 12. Barry Payne, 13. Kevin Olinger, 14.
Bob Babbitt, 15. Jay McConnell, 16. Jared Hill, 17. Ron Wilkins, 18.
Brad LaBarron, 19. DJ Krug, 20. Steve LaBarron, 21. Neil Patterson, and
22. Mikey Wonderling. Heat winners were Jeremy Wonderling and Miller.
E-Mods: (20 laps) – 1. Steve Dixon, 2. Brent Rhebergen, 3. Rich
Michael Jr., 4. Vic Vena, 5. Joel Watson, 6. Nathan Hill, 7. Kyle Bedell,
8. Chad Ruhlman, 9. Randy Hall, 10. Dan Davies, 11. Kirk Bradley, 12.
John Boardman, 13. Dan Sasso, 14. Jeff Johnson, 15. Brian Fardink, 16.
Carl Ballinger, 17. Al Brewer, 18. John Woodward, and 19. TJ Downs. Heat
winners were Hall and Michael.