MARNE, Mich. – official release — Jim Denhamer photo — Darrell Lanigan can make history this weekend at Berlin Raceway with the seven-sixteenths-mile oval once again covering its pavement surface with clay for the third annual Keyser Manufacturing Down & Dirty Weekend Presented by NAPA.
With 15 victories thus far on the 2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series, the two-time series champion and current points leader enters the national tour’s doubleheader weekend needing one more victory to break his own single-season WoO LMS wins record.
If Lanigan’s past performance at Berlin is any indication of how he will fare this weekend, there’s a good chance that he will indeed break the record with a victory in one or even both of the two programs Berlin has set for Friday and Saturday. The 44-year-old Union, Ky., driver is perfect in two previous trips to Berlin, claiming both the 2012 and 2013 Down & Dirty A-Mains.
“That would be pretty cool,” Lanigan said of the idea of breaking the record he set in 2012 en route to his second WoO LMS championship. “Anytime you can break a record, especially beating your own record, it’s pretty neat. To get 15 wins on the season is definitely pretty awesome, but I’d always like to get more.”
Lanigan will have two chances break the record this weekend with the event being ran as two complete programs for the first time. After being staged as a single two-day, $20,000-to-win race in its first two years, the event has been split into an $8,000-to-win program on Friday featuring a 35-lap A-Main and a $12,000-to-win program on Saturday with a 65-lap A-Main.
Whatever the format, Lanigan enjoys visiting Berlin Raceway. As shown in his previous results, the sprawling track fits his driving style and suits his Club 29 Race Car very well.
“The place races good. You can usually race all over it and it’s a pretty neat place to go to,” Lanigan said “Our program fits well with the big tracks like that. We definitely should run well up there this weekend.”
One thing that could also work in Lanigan’s favor is his substantial advantage in the WoO LMS standings. At 284 points ahead, Lanigan needs only to start each of the four remaining A-Mains to clinch his third series title.
Knowing the championship is essentially locked up, Lanigan doesn’t have to race conservatively in order to protect his points lead and can instead go out and drive as hard as he needs to try to win each race, which is exactly what he plans to do in the tour’s final four races.
“All we have to worry about is going out to win every race,” said Lanigan, who also owns the record for most career WoO LMS wins at 68 victories. “I think that shows. We’ve won 15 races so far and hopefully we’ll win four more. We just go out every week trying to win races.”