ROME, Ga. — Darrell Lanigan swept all activities he participated in Sunday night at Rome Speedway.
Lanigan set the fastest time of the night, won his heat race in convincing fashion and led all 50 laps on his way to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned Rome Showdown in the No. 14 Bowyer Dirt Motorsports/iRacing.com-Club 29.
Lanigan’s teammate Don O’Neal finished in the second position for the second night in a row, while Tim McCreadie started seventh and charged to a third-place finish, taking over the championship points lead in the process.
Chris Madden was fourth and 18th-place starter Earl Pearson Jr. completed the top five.
Lanigan started on the outside of the front row and was cruising along until Brandon Overton started his charge for the lead. Overton closed to within a car-length on Lanigan, but on lap 20, Overton suddenly slowed in turn four and brought out the first caution of the race.
On the restart, Lanigan pulled away from the field as several competitors took their shot at second place. Don O’Neal finally made it to second, battling McCreadie in the final 10 laps for his second runner-up finish in two nights.
“Last night I jumped the cushion at Dixie and it cost us a good finish,” Lanigan said. “Tonight, the car was just perfect from the time we unloaded it. Brian, Richie, and the entire crew have done a great job all year. We have had bad luck that knocked us out of some more wins. We are here to win.”
O’Neal continued his late season surge in the Peak Antifreeze and Coolant-Club 29 by running third.
“Thanks to Clint Bowyer and everybody on the team,” O’Neal said. “We have really got a good set-up on this car in the last month. We were running second at Knoxville and had a fan blade come off, and that knocked the water pump off. We were up to second at Brownstown last week and now two podium finishes this weekend. We are looking forward to Pittsburgh next weekend.”
McCreadie will enter the Pittsburgher 100 next weekend as the point leader in the Sweeteners Plus-Longhorn.
“It feels great to be the point leader, but now we have to close it out strong,” McCreadie said. “This team has worked so hard all year. Now it has come to crunch time. This is what we all work so hard for, a championship.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Rome Speedway; Oct. 1, 2017
Feature (50 laps): 1. Darrell Lanigan, 2. Don O’Neal, 3. Tim McCreadie, 4. Chris Madden, 5. Earl Pearson Jr., 6. Scott Bloomquist, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Donald McIntosh, 9. Devin Gilpin, 10. Michael Page, 11. Gregg Satterlee, 12. Brandon Overton, 13. Austin Tyler Smith, 14. Hudson O’Neal, 15. T.J. Reaid, 16. Steve Francis, 17. Jason Croft, 18. Josh Richards, 19. Will Roland, 20. Dennis Erb Jr., 21. Jimmy Owens, 22. Tyler Bruening, 23. Shane Clanton, 24. Chris Ferguson, 25. Boom Briggs.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications