SYLVANIA, Ga. – official series release – MRM Racing photo —
Rick Eckert battled Chris Ferguson and held off Boom Briggs on Saturday night to score his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory of the season on the final night of Winter Freeze VI at Screven Motor Speedway.
Eckert, a native of York, Pa., last tasted victory lane in September at Berlin Raceway but showed his speed early in the night, pacing the first qualifying group with the fastest time.
Drawing fourth in the redraw, Eckert started the A-main from the second row with Donald Bradsher grabbing the pole-position. Bradsher who explained he was “just happy to make the feature” earlier in the night, would not start the final event.
Jason Covert, who finished fifth on the first night of Winter Freeze VI, inherited the first starting position, but lost the lead once the green-flag dropped to second place starter Chris Ferguson. Ferguson dominated the majority of the race, leading 38 laps before tire issues derailed his night, resulting in a disappointing 22nd place finish.
Before the tire issues, a hard-charging Eckert bumped his way around Ferguson for the lead. Once out front, Eckert extended his lead on second place Boom Briggs.
A few late race cautions and a challenge from Briggs were not enough as Eckert lead the remaining 11-laps, scoring his first victory at Winter Freeze VI at Screven Motor Speedway.
“This place is challenging for me, I have never won here,” Eckert said. “Once it gets where we can drive straight, I feel like I can keep up, then it became a tire wear race and I can usually hold my own in that.
“I knew we were going to wear tires, we all knew that when the race started. Chris [Ferguson] got out there in the lead and I feel like I could run right there with him, but then he got to running harder … so I just backed my pace up, and slowed way down entering the corner.”
Briggs, who came up just short at the end of the feature and also just short of a redraw position, started the 50-lap feature near the middle of the pack. After fighting his way to the front, the Bear Lake, Pa. native brought home the runner-up position, improving on his 18th place finish on the first night of the double-header.
“My car was good enough the first 10 or 15 laps that I could get position on those guys,” Briggs said. “I made a couple of passes on the top, but most of them I made on the bottom. This was definitely the best run I have ever had. To start 10th and finish second on a one-lane racetrack is a pretty good accomplishment.”
The stars of the World of Outlaws invade Volusia Speedway Park for the 45th Annual DIRTcar Nationals on Feb. 18 to 20. Shane Clanton dominated the event last year, winning all three nights on his way to the 2016 series championship.
RESULTS: World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Winter Freeze VI at Screven Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Rick Eckert/50 – $10,750
2. (10) Boom Briggs/50 – $5,700
3. (3) Jason Covert/50 – $3,600
4. (5) Frank Heckenast Jr./50 – $3,200
5. (12) Casey Roberts/50 – $2,000
6. (6) Billy Moyer Jr./50 – $2,100
7. (16) Josh Richards/50 – $2,100
8. (13) Morgan Bagley/50 – $2,000
9. (17) Chub Frank/50 – $1,800
10. (18) Billy Ogle Jr./50 – $1,150
11. (9) Dennis Franklin/50 – $1,100
12. (20) Kenny Pettyjohn/50 – $1,000
13. (14) Eric Wells/50 – $1,500
14. (23) Brandon Overton/50 – $1,450
15. (15) Shane Clanton/50 – $1,350
16. (19) Steve Casebolt/50 – $800
17. (22) Chase Junghans/50 – $1,270
18. (24) Jordan Yaggy/50 – $750
19. (8) Joey Coulter/50 – $730
20. (21) Tyler Erb/46 – $700
21. (7) Brian Shirley/39 – $700
22. (2) Chris Ferguson/39 – $700
23. (11) Coleby Frye/14 – $700
24. (1) Donald Brandsher/0 – $725
Time of Race: 23 mins, 2.590 secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.242 secs.
Yellow Flags: Four (Laps 5, 14, 39, 47)
Lap Leaders: Ferguson (1-38) Eckert (39-50)
CREDIT: World of Outlaws