BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Official Release — DIRTcar Media Photo —
Putting an exclamation mark on his tremendous DIRTcar Nationals performance, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., led the final 19 laps ofSaturday’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series main event to claim his fourth victory in five races at Volusia Speedway Park’s annual week of Super Late Model racing.
The utter domination solidifies Clanton’s recovery from a dismal 2014 season the saw the 39-year-old racer go winless on the WoO LMS for the first time since the national tour was restarted in 2004. Looking for his first ever WoO LMS championship, Clanton has firmly established himself as the 2015 title favorite as he leaves Florida with a commanding 90-point lead over defending series champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.
“That was a good ole Georgia ass-kickin’ right there,” said Clanton whose early-season trip through Georgia and Florida included five victories overall with nine top-five finishes in 11 events between three tracks. “We were by far the class of the field. I don’t give a damn what anybody says. We worked our ass off all winter long. This feels good.”
Clanton became the first driver in the 44-year history of Volusia’s annual week-long stretch of February Late Model racing to claim four victories in the same year. The unprecedented performance began with a DIRTcar Late Model-sanctioned victory in Monday’s opener and concluded with a sweep of the week’s three WoO LMS programs.
The four triumphs and a fifth-place finish in Wednesday’s DIRTcar-sanctioned event lifted Clanton to the DIRTcar Nationals overall points championship, earning the WoO LMS veteran his first Big Gator trophy to go along with his four smaller Gator trophies earned throughout the week.
Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., finished second in Saturday’s A-Main, 2.234 seconds behind Clanton at the finish of the 50-lap race. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was third, while three-time and defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., charged from his 22nd starting spot to finish fourth and 15th-starting Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., finished fifth.
Driving a Clements-powered Capital Race Car owned by his father-in-law Ron Davies, Clanton moved forward from his sixth starting spot and settled in behind polesitter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., in the early going.
Clanton was content to ride behind McCreadie until the race’s waning laps, but a hard-charging Owens forced him to abandon those plans.
Owens briefly took the second spot from Clanton on a lap-24 restart, but Clanton quickly took the spot back and went to work on McCreadie. After Clanton’s lap-29 pass for the lead was nullified by a caution, he took advantage of McCreadie’s lap-32 slip in turns three and four to race ahead for good.
Clanton turned back brief challenges from Owens and Bloomquist on the race’s final two restarts and pulled away to the 24th WoO LMS victory of his career.
“I drove me heart out tonight just biding my time and making the right moves at the right time,” said Clanton, who has already equaled his winningest WoO LMS seasons of 2008 and 2013. “The pace tonight was just unbelievably fast. I was afraid I was gonna hurt my right-rear tire, so I just paced myself the first 15 or 20 laps. Owens got up to second there and I knew I had to go then. I just took the right moves and got back by him and made the right move to get by McCreadie.”
Owens appeared to be the class of the field when he charged by Clanton on lap 24, but his bid to claim his first career DIRTcar Nationals victory fell short to Clanton’s domination.
“I didn’t want to see them restarts,” said Owens, who drove his Brian Rowland-owned Club 29 machine to his first top five in three starts at Volusia this week. “Shane’s been in a different zip code all week, so I consider this a win instead of second.”
Bloomquist was the only driver besides Clanton to win a Late Model feature at this year’s DIRTcar Nationals with his DIRTcar-sanctioned triumph on Wednesday night. But his bid to drive his Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car to a second victory was denied.
“Shane really just had everybody covered tonight and he was good all week,” Bloomquist said. “We know when we get beat, and we got beat this weekend.”
McCreadie slid back to sixth at the finish with Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., seventh. Former WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., was eighth at the finish with fellow series regulars Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., and Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., rounding out the top 10.
The race was slowed by six cautions, all for either flat tires or mechanical woes. The race’s first yellow flag came just after second-running Frank Heckenast Jr. of Frankfort, Ill., clipped the rear of Walker Arthur’s slowing machine. The contact caused significant damage to the left-front of the 2014 Rookie of the Year’s car, eventually forcing him out of the race.
Other potential contenders to fall by the wayside included Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., who slowed from the fourth position with apparent engine troubles on lap 29. Mechanical issues also struck three-time WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., ending his run from 18th to seventh on lap 38.
Saturday’s event concluded the WoO LMS tour’s stretch of seven events in Georgia and Florida to open the season. The series returns to action March 20-21 with a doubleheader weekend at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert City, Ky., and I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (6) Shane Clanton/50 $10,100
2. (4) Jimmy Owens/50 $5,000
3. (12) Scott Bloomquist/50 $3,100
4. (22) Darrell Lanigan/50 $2,600
5. (15) Steve Francis/50 $2,100
6. (1) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,950
7. (3) Kent Robinson/50 $1,900
8. (5) Eric Wells/50 $1,350
9. (17) Chase Junghans/50 $1,300
10. (30) Boom Briggs/50 $550
11. (25) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,100
12. (9) Ricky Weiss/50 $1,050
13. (11) Chub Frank/50 $1,000
14. (29) Rick Eckert/50 $350
15. (27) Brandon Sheppard/50 $850
16. (7) Tyler Bruening/50 $800
17. (18) Josh Richards/37 $920
18. (20) Kenny Pettyjohn/37 $750
19. (21) Chad Hollenbeck/35 $730
20. (19) Dennis Erb Jr./30 $700
21. (8) Billy Moyer/29 $800
22. (13) Kyle Bronson/29 $700
23. (24) Jonathan Davenport/24 $700
24. (2) Frank Heckenast Jr./20 $750
25. (10) Mark Dotson/19 $700
26. (16) Walker Arthur/15 $700
27. (14) Jared Landers/13 $700
28. (26) Brandon Overton/12 $700
29. (23) Ivedent Lloyd Jr./10 $700
30. (26) Dale McDowell/2 $700
Time of Race: 30 Mins., 52 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.234 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Six (laps 17, 20, 23, 29, 34, 38)
Lap Leaders: McCreadie (1-31); Clanton (32-50)
Provisional Starters: Bagley (WoO), Overton (WoO), Sheppard (UMP), McDowell (UMP), Eckert (emergency), Briggs (emergency).
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Robinson ($500)
WoO LMS ‘Rookie of the Race’ Winner: Jordan Yaggy ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/
1. 20-Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn., 15.623
2. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 15.738
3. 16-Tyler Bruening, Decorah, Iowa, 15.775
4. 85-Mark Dotson, Cameron, Mo., 15.790
5. 7-Ricky Weiss, Headingly, Manitoba, 15.845
6. 777-Jared Landers, Batesville, Ark., 15.860
7. 21-Ivedent Lloyd Jr., Ocala, Fla., 15.869
8. 7R-Kent Robinson, Bloomington, Ind., 15.884
9. 40B-Kyle Bronson, Brandon, Fla., 15.886
10. 4ds-Chad Hollenbeck, Montrose, Pa., 15.918
11. 7v-Rick Eckert,York, Pa., 16.014
12. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 16.126
13. 76-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 16.158
14. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 16.191
15. B5-Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill., 16.202
16. 1-Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., 16.203
17. 25z-Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.240
18. 28-Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill., 16.242
19. 101-Casey Roberts, Toccoa, Ga., 16.376
20. 72-Michael Norris, Sarver, Pa., 16.648
21. 14-Tyler Clem, St. Petersburg, Fla., 16.651
22. 15-Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D., 16.670
23. 16H-Mike Hammerle, St. Charles, Mo., 17.972
1. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 15.567
2. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 15.610
3. 21-Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark., 15.633
4. 17m-Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, Ga., 15.637
5. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 15.666
6. 87-Walker Arthur, Forrest, Va., 15.719
7. 6-Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga., 15.795
8. 0-Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.801
9. 15-Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky., 15.827
10. 5-Don O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind., 15.827
11. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 15.857
12. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 15.906
13. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 15.962
14. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 15.997
15. 11R-James Rice, Verona, Ky., 16.013
16. 11-Austin Smith, Cedartown, Ga., 16.081
17. 21D-Dan Stone, Thompson, Pa., 16.126
18. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 16.211
19. 2s-Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M., 16.221
20. 38-Kenny Pettyjohn, Millsboro, Del., 16.422
21. 2-Dennis Franklin, Gaffney, S.C., 17.142
22. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., no time
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bruening, Owens, Weiss, Bronson, Lloyd, Eckert, Zeigler, Roberts, Overton, Clem, Sheppard, Hammerle.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Robinson, Heckenast, Dotson, Landers, Junghans, Erb, Hollenbeck, Norris, Schatz, Bagley, Pearson.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Moyer, Frank, Francis, Yaggy, Davenport, Lanigan, Scott, Rice, Stone, Franklin.
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Wells, McCreadie, Bloomquist, Arthur, Richards, Pettyjohn, O’Neal, Briggs, Smith, McDowell, Satterlee.
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Junghans, Erb, Hollenbeck, Lloyd, Eckert, Roberts, Overton, Norris, Zeigler, Clem, Schatz, Sheppard, Hammerle. DNS: Bagley, Pearson.
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Richards, Pettyjohn, Lanigan, Davenport, Yaggy, Scott, Rice, Briggs, Stone, Smith, O’Neal. DNS: McDowell, Franklin, Satterlee.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal):
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Clanton
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Clanton
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): McCreadie
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Briggs
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Briggs
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Weiss
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Sheppard
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Richards
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Hollenbeck
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Erb
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): Moyer
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Heckenast
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Wells
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Owens
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Feb. 21 – Seven A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 1,032
2. Darrell Lanigan 942 (-90)
3. Morgan Bagley 916 (-116)
4. Josh Richards 914 (-118)
5. Chub Frank 910 (-124)
6. Tim McCreadie 894 (-138)
7. Frank Heckenast Jr. 868 (-164)
8. Chase Junghans 856 (-176)
9. Rick Eckert 866 (-186)
10. Eric Wells 842 (-190)
11. Boom Briggs 838 (-194)
12. Brandon Overton 828 (-204)
13. Mason Zeigler 742 (-290)
14. Jordan Yaggy 714 (-318)