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Cedar Lake Speedway

Lanigan dashes to pole for 23rd USA Nationals

August 6, 2010, 6:24 pm
By Kevin Kovac
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Tight racing in the fourth heat. (thesportswire.net)
Tight racing in the fourth heat. (thesportswire.net)

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (Aug. 6) — Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., put himself in position for a signature victory on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series with a powerful effort during Friday night's USA Nationals qualifying program at Cedar Lake Speedway.

The national tour's 2008 champion won the five-lap dash for Friday's five heat-race winners, earning himself the pole position for Saturday night's 100-lapper. He will chase the $50,000 top prize that's on the line in the 23rd annual USA Nationals, which this year carries presenting sponsorship from U.S. Steel Corporation and is part of the WoO schedule for the first time since 2005. | Complete USA Nationals coverage

"The car's good right now, but man, 100 laps out there is gonna be treacherous if the track's like it was tonight," said Lanigan, who raced off the pole to lead the entire dash in his Rocket car. "I'm telling you, it's tough out there. It's wicked-fast right now up on the cushion.

"It's tough, but it's definitely racy. The fans get their money's worth here. I guarantee that for 100 laps tomorrow there's gonna be no relaxing."

Arguably the hottest driver on the WoO tour with three victories and nine top-three finishes in his last 10 starts, Lanigan captured the second heat race and then outgunned fellow front-row starter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., to take control of the dash. Lanigan crossed the finish line in the short sprint nearly a half-straightaway ahead of first-heat winner Josh Richards, who got out of shape in turn two early in the dash but recovered to finish second and secure the outside pole starting spot for the USA Nationals.

Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who was fastest during the evening's 51-car Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 14.167 seconds and won the fifth heat, drove Larry Moring's car to a third-place finish in the dash to position himself on the inside of the second row for the start of the 100. Fourth-heat winner Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., and third-heat winner McCreadie, who won Thursday night's 40-lap tuneup feature, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and will start the USA Nationals from those spots.

Lanigan, 40, will shoot for his first-ever USA Nationals victory. His only previous starts in the event resulted in finishes of 10th (1995) and 13th (2005).

"We've never really been that great up here," said Lanigan, who sits second behind Richards in the current WoO points standings. "But we've got a pretty good car, so hopefully we'll be there at the end. We'll see what we got tomorrow night."

Lanigan hasn't won a crown jewel Dirt Late Model event since he captured both the Dream at Ohio's Eldora Speedway and the Dirt Track World Championship at Kentucky's Bluegrass Speedway in 2003, but he's knocked on the door to victory in several major events over the past several seasons. He's been especially close to a big-money score at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., finishing second in the Firecracker 100 for the past three years.

Friday's qualifying program was very good to the WoO regulars. Eight of the tour's 12 travelers on hand made the cut through a heat race and will start among the top 11 spots in the USA Nationals 100, including heat winners Lanigan, Richards, Francis and McCreadie as well as Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga. (starts sixth), Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga. (seventh), Rick Eckert of York, Pa. (10th) and rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. (11th).

Outlaws still looking to transfer on Saturday through one of two consolation races or the last-chance race are Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Russ King of Bristolville, Ohio, and rookie Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The two biggest winners in the history of the USA Nationals — five-time victor Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and four-time winner Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn. — will run consies Saturday after falling short in heat action. Moyer led the first 11 laps of the fifth heat before being shuffled back to fifth after a lap-13 restart, and Bloomquist missed by one spot after finishing fourth in the hard-fought fourth heat.

In the NASCAR-sanctioned feature for Cedar Lake's weekly Late Models, Chad Mahder of Eau Claire, Wis., earned $2,500 for his fifth victory of the season.

Saturday's grand finale program, which includes consolations, a last-chance race and the 100-lap USA Nationals and a full show for Cedar Lake's NASCAR Late Models, is scheduled to begin with hot laps at 6:30 p.m.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time

  1. Don O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 14.167
  2. Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 14.242
  3. Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 14.311
  4. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 14.316
  5. Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.387
  6. Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 14.403
  7. Chad Simpson (25), Mount Vernon, Iowa, 14.436
  8. Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 14.441
  9. Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 14.462
  10. Daren Friedman (89), Forrest, Ill., 14.513
  11. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 14.516
  12. Keith Foss (95), Winona, Minn., 14.517
  13. Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 14.539
  14. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 14.541
  15. Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 14.561
  16. Austin Hubbard (19), Seaford, Del., 14.561
  17. Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 14.595
  18. Brian Birkhofer (15B), Muscatine, Iowa, 14.69
  19. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 14.737
  20. Russ King (56), Bristolville, Ohio, 14.748
  21. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 14.769
  22. Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 14.776
  23. Matt Miller (7), Waterville, Ohio, 14.807
  24. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 14.825
  25. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 14.827
  26. Matt Lux (21), Franklin, Pa., 14.839
  27. Zach Johnson (73), Kensington, Minn., 14.852
  28. Justin Fegers (F15), Mound, Minn., 14.852
  29. Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 14.878
  30. Tim Isenberg (9), Marshfield, Wis., 14.881
  31. Pat Doar (11), New Richmond, Wis., 14.89
  32. Ashley Anderson (81), Eau Claire, Wis., 14.896
  33. Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn., 14.932
  34. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.96
  35. Will Vaught (1), Crane, Mo., 14.977
  36. Kerry Hansen (25), Spencer, Wis., 14.983
  37. Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 14.984
  38. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 15.001
  39. Kevin Sather (3), Ankeny, Iowa, 15.035
  40. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth (18), Northport, Ala., 15.129
  41. Josh McGuire (41), Grayson, Ky., 15.184
  42. Dan Schlieper (9), Sullivan, Wis., 15.197
  43. Andrew McKay (71), Edina, Minn., 15.249
  44. Eric Pember (90x), Pittsville, Wis., 15.272
  45. Brian Harris (75), Davenport, Iowa, 15.364
  46. John Winge (17), Ringgold, Ga., 15.51
  47. Gregg Hill (8), Eveleth, Minn., 15.564
  48. Evan Hubert (9), Cross Timbers, Mo., 15.575
  49. Jill George (22), Cedar Falls, Iowa, 15.799
  50. Dustin Hapka (18), Grand Forks, N.D., 15.906
  51. Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., no time

Heat race results

First heat: Richards, C. Smith, Hubbard, Babb, Doar, McGuire, B. Smith, Lux, Friedman, Winge, Hansen.

Second heat: Lanigan, Clanton, Owens, Davenport, McCool, Frank, Schlieper, Anderson, Hill, Johnson.

Third heat: McCreadie, Mars, Pearson, Birkhofer, Miller, Fegers, Shirley, Matthees, Hubert, McKay.

Fourth heat: Francis, Chad Simpson, Feger, Bloomquist, Erb, Fuller, Pember, Foss, George, Sather.

Fifth heat: O'Neal, Eckert, Chris Simpson, Vaught, Moyer, King, Hollingsworth, Hapka, Isenberg, Harris.

Fast dash: Lanigan, Richards, O'Neal, Francis, McCreadie.

NASCAR Late Models

Feature: (1) Chad Mahder, (2) A.J. Diemel, (3) Pat Doar, (4) Brent Larson, (5) Jake Redetzke, (6) Rick Egersdorf, (7) Lance Matthees, (8) Joel Cryderman, (9) Mike Nutzmann, (10) Terry Anvelink, (11) Zach Johnson, (12) John Kaanta, (13) Marshall Fegers, (14) Darrell Nelson, (15) Jesse Redetzke, (16) Rick Hanestad, (17) Scott Greer, (18) Eric Breeschoten, (19) Eric Pember, (20) Jim Bruggeman, (21) Jim Carlson, (22) Adam Hensel, (23) Cory Mahder, (24) Ashley Anderson.

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