ROSSBURG, Ohio — 2003 Dream winner Darrell Lanigan and 24-year old Mason Zeigler each held off late charges to pick up $10,000 victories Friday night at Eldora Speedway, winning during the second night of preliminary 25-lap features for the 23rd annual Dirt Late Model Dream presented by Ferris Mowers.
Lanigan survived a penalty on the initial start of the first feature, moving him from the fourth-starting position to the sixth-starting position. It made little difference.
The driver of the Clint Bowyer Racing No. 14 immediately jumped to third on the opening lap, took second position on lap three and drove around the outside of early leader Zach Dohm to take the lead on lap four.
“The car was awesome tonight,” Lanigan said. “I got penalized there at the beginning. I really didn’t know you weren’t allowed to go all the way up to the top. I thought as long as you stayed in position you were alright. The car was really good and once we got through them cars and got into clean air it was awesome.”
Lanigan finished runner-up to Brandon Overton on Thursday night, and the pair of top- two finishes lines him up well for Saturday night’s Dream finale.
“We brought a really good piece up here,” Lanigan said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been up here and it is definitely nice to be back up here.”
Chris Madden, who finished runner-up to Scott Bloomquist in Thursday night’s second features, battled around Bloomquist in the middle stages of Friday’s first feature.
Madden closed quickly on Lanigan as the laps wound down, but had to settle for a runner-up finish, 1.318 seconds behind Lanigan.
“I think two more laps and I would have had him,” Madden said. “We had another great race car. Got beat by the guys that started up front. Same thing as last night. We just need more than 25 laps. I am looking forward to tomorrow for sure.”
Bloomquist passed Dohm for the final podium spot in the first feature, but the six-time Dream winner claimed he was just using the night as a test.
“We tried a couple different things tonight,” Bloomquist said. “We were pretty good last night and we got a good night to test and more than likely we will go back to what we were running last night.”
Dohm finished in fourth for his best Eldora finish, while 2012 Dream winner Shane Clanton rounded out the top five.
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