McCreadie tops Lanigan in conquering Quebec
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
GRANBY, Quebec (June 22) — Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., gained a measure of redemption on Friday night, outrunning World of Outlaws Late Model Series points leader Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to win the national tour’s first-ever event at Autodrome Granby.
After absorbing a pair of late-race defeats to the the red-hot Lanigan over the last month, McCreadie seized control of Friday’s 50-lap headliner on lap 23 when he passed Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and never looked back. He was chased for the final 26 laps by Lanigan but never let the World of Outlaws circuit’s current points leader get close enough to make a serious bid at victory.
McCreadie, 38, crossed the finish line 1.690 seconds ahead of Lanigan, who entered the event having won four of the last six WoO events, including a triumph on June 17 at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa., that saw him snatch the lead from McCreadie with just six laps remaining.
Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., finished a distant third, but it was a season-best run for the struggling racer who started from the outside pole at a half-mile oval where he’s enjoyed success in DIRTcar Big-Block and 358-Modified action. DIRTcar 358-Modified regular Dale Planck of Homer, N.Y., recorded a career-high WoO finish of fourth in the RezX Racing Rocket and Smith settled for fifth in his Rocket after leading the race’s first 22 laps from the pole position.
McCreadie’s $10,650 triumph was his third of 2012 on the WoO. All of the checkered flags have come over the past nine races — a sizzling stretch that has seen the former big-block modified star tally seven top-five finishes and no outings worse than seventh.
“This car’s been clicking,” said McCreadie, who made his first-ever visit to Victory Lane at Granby, a longtime DIRTcar-sanctioned facility. “I’ve been comfortable. I haven’t been this comfortable in maybe five years in a Late Model.”
Lanigan, 42, did cause McCreadie to sit a bit uneasily in his car midway through the race. McCreadie, who started outside of Lanigan’s Rocket mount in the third row of the 24-car field, was running second on a lap-17 restart when Lanigan made a strong attempt to grab the spot using the outside of the track’s largely flat turns.
“On that restart he showed the outside twice and I thought, ‘Oh my God, here we go again,’ ” said McCreadie, who scored his 20th career win on the WoO. “We got lucky to get in front of him. I just nosed him a little bit of (turn) four (to stay ahead), and then I realized it was better up there (in the outside groove).
“Darrell found (the top) first. That’s why he’s been the best car on the tour all year long — he’s not scared to move around. We’re just fortunate we were able to get up there in front of him and then use the top to get past Clint (for the lead). Clint’s car was really good, but the bottom just got slower getting into the middle and we ran the outside by him.”
Lanigan was deposited on McCreadie’s rear bumper on lap 28 by the race’s fourth and final caution flag, for an accident between turns one and two involving Ontario drivers Phil Potts of Frankford and Charlie Sandercock of Belleville. But McCreadie opened a short lead on the restart and never let Lanigan draw closer than one second over the remaining caution-free circuits.
“I’m not happy with second, but we’re gonna take it tonight,” said Lanigan, who has 14 top-five finishes – including six victories and three runner-up placings — in 18 starts. “I think I showed Timmy the outside too quick, and he got up there before I could get by him.”
The 44-year-old Fuller, meanwhile, was nearly a straightaway behind McCreadie and Lanigan when he passed his close friend Smith for third on lap 34 and never got any closer to the leaders, but a podium finish was a badly-needed boost to his self-owned program.
“Nobody likes to fade from the front row,” said Fuller, who slipped as far back as fifth before rallying. “But the way it’s gone this year, I’ll take it.
“I got some help from a friend of mine and he got me rolling better here of late, so hopefully this run will get us going into Cornwall” on Sunday.
Notes: McCreadie’s Warrior Race Car has a Pro Power Engine and sponsorship from Sweeteners Plus and Integra Shocks. ... Dale Planck was the surprise of the night after advancing from the seventh starting spot to nab a fourth-place finish with a last-lap pass of Clint Smith. Planck didn’t decide to enter until Friday morning, when he hastily began preparing his team’s only Dirt Late Model, a car that his 358 modified teammate, Carey Terrance of Hogansburg, N.Y., drove in selected events last year. ... Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., finished sixth in the Leo Milus-owned Super Deuce car. ... Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., moved forward from the 20th starting spot to place eighth. ... John Mason of Millersburg, Ohio, recovered from a lap-11 tangle in turn three with the lapped car driven by Caley Weese of Belleville, Ontario — an incident that knocked him from third place — to finish ninth. ... Reigning series champ Rick Eckert, who finished 10th, drove his backup car after engine problems struck his primary machine during time trials. ... WoO rookie contenders Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., and Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., had rough nights in their first-ever racing visits to Canada. Both brought out caution flags: Sullivan on lap 12 for a left-front steering problem, and McCool on lap 17 for a flat left-front tire. ... A large crowd of French-Canadian fans cheered the racers at the Dominic Lussier-promoted track. ... Nine drivers completed 50 laps. ... The race lasted 35 minutes. ... Dan Davies, a modified racer making his Dirt Late Model debut, had his qualifying time scrapped when he was light at the scales. ... WoO competitors complete the two-race swing to Canada on Sunday at Ontario's Cornwall Motor Speedway.
World of Outlaws @ Autodrome Granby: (1) Tim McCreadie, (2) Darrell Lanigan, (3) Tim Fuller, (4) Dale Planck, (5) Clint Smith, (6) Dan Stone, (7) Shane Clanton, (8) Ron Davies, (9) John Mason, (10) Rick Eckert, (11) Chub Frank, (12) Kent Robinson, (13) Bub McCool, (14) Pat Doar, (15) John Lobb, (16) Greg Belyear, (17) Jack Sullivan, (18) Dan Davies, (19) Phil Potts, (20) Charlie Sandercock, (21) Duane Treadwell, (22) Ross Robinson, (23) Caley Weese, (24) Kyle Sopaz. Fast qualifier (among 24 cars): Fuller, 19.030 seconds. Heat race winners: Fuller, Smith, McCreadie.