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Daily Dirt 03/29/2023 14:11:53

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October 1
Rome Speedway,
Rome, GA
Sanction: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (Rome Showdown) - $10,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated October 2, 3:55 pm)
Lanigan conquers Rome as T-Mac takes tour lead
Rome Showdown
  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 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
presented by
Heath Lawson/heathlawsonphotos.com
Darrell Lanigan enjoys victory lane at Rome Speedway.
What won the race: Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., dominated Sunday night's 50-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Rome Speedway, leading the entire distance to pocket a $10,000 top prize by 2.278 seconds over his Clint Bowyer Racing teammate Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind. It was Lanigan's second win of 2017 on the national tour.
Key notes: Only two series races remain after Rome: Pittsburgh Pa. Motor Speedway in Imperial, Pa., on Oct. 6-7 and Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park Oct. 20-21.
On the move: Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., advanced from the 18th starting spot to finish fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Lanigan’s Clint Bowyer Racing Club 29 Race Car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by iRacing.com, Peak Antifreeze and Coolant and Cometic Gaskets.
Points chase: After Rome: 1. Tim McCreadie (7,935 points), 2. Scott Bloomquist (7,920), 3. Josh Richards (7,875), 4. Jimmy Owens (7,335), 5. Don O’Neal (7,285), 6. Darrell Lanigan (7,080), 7. Earl Pearson Jr. (7,065), 8. Dennis Erb Jr. (6,675), 9. Hudson O’Neal (6,560), 10. Gregg Satterlee (6,495), 11. Steve Francis (6,340), 12. Boom Briggs (5,610).
Car count: 41
Fast qualifier: Darrell Lanigan
Time: 14.299 seconds
Polesitter: Donald McIntosh
Heat race winners: Donald McIntosh, Jimmy Owens, Darrell Lanigan, Don O'Neal
Consolation race winners: Jason Croft, Earl Pearson Jr.
Provisional starters: Hudson O'Neal, Dennis Erb Jr., Boom Briggs
Next series race: October 6, Pittsburgh Pa. Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA) $20,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From series and staff reports

ROME, Ga. (Oct. 1) — Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., stole the show Sunday night at Rome Speedway, dominating the 50-lap Rome Showdown from flag-to-flag to register his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of 2017.

Taking advantage of his outside pole starting spot, the 47-year-old Lanigan outgunned front-row mate Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Ga., for the lead at the initial green flag and never looked back. He handled four restarts between laps 20 and 44 with little trouble to defeat his Clint Bowyer Racing teammate Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., by a healthy margin of 2.278 seconds.

The $10,000 triumph was Lanigan’s first on the Lucas Oil Series since April 20 at Atomic Speedway in Alma, Ohio, and the fourth of his career. He has three other victories off the national tour this season — all at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, in crown jewel preliminary features.

“The car was awesome here tonight right off the truck,” said Lanigan, who piloted his Club 29 Race Car away from O’Neal over the race’s final six-lap stretch. “To rebound from last night (he finished 24th in Saturday’s Lucas Oil event at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga.) and come back and set fast time, win the heat race and win the feature … it’s unbelievable.”

Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., advanced from the seventh starting spot to finish third, vaulting him from third to first in the hotly-contested Lucas Oil Series championship battle. He left the half-mile oval leading the circuit’s standings by 15 points over Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., who worked forward from the 14th starting spot to finish sixth, and 60 points on Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who entered the night atop the points standings but finished 18th after slowing with a flat tire on lap 44 while running a quiet 14th.

Just two events remain on the 2017 Lucas Oil Series schedule: the Oct. 6-7 Pittsburgher 100 at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Imperial, Pa., and the Oct. 20-21 Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park.

Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., who started 10th, cracked the top five following a lap-38 restart and finished fourth while 18th-starter Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., reached fifth place on lap 41 and finished in the position.

The closest competition during the A-main’s late stages was between O’Neal and McCreadie, who ran second and third, respectively, for the final 12 laps. McCreadie challenged O’Neal but couldn’t steer his Sweeteners Plus machine past his fellow Lucas Oil Series traveler.

Neither driver had anything for Lanigan, but both still had reasons to smile.

“It was definitely a great night for Clint Bowyer Racing, (finishing) one and two,” the 53-year-old O’Neal said. “Hat’s off to Darrell, congratulations to him. Darrell was just better than we were tonight.

“I was just too tight to run around that bottom so I had to move up there sort of in that momentum (lane) so I could keep it turning. I got better up there but I wasn’t near enough to run with Darrell.”

McCreadie, 43, was feeling good about ascending to the points lead with a hard-nosed run to a podium finish.

“That’s the hardest I’ve probably raced for a third in my life,” McCreadie said. “I kind of roughed a few guys up, but they’re not going on restarts and they’re leaving lanes. I feel like last night (at Dixie) we left some points out there by probably being a little too nice.

“We’re close. We’re there,” he added when asked about becoming the points leader. “We’ve just got to finish it off. No matter what, if we don’t hang onto it we got there for a little while.”

The first of the race’s four caution flags flew on lap 20 when Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., slowed with a cut right-front tire while about 1 second behind Lanigan in the runner-up position. He surged from the sixth starting spot to second in just two laps and was able to briefly challenge Lanigan in lapped traffic before misfortune short-circuited his hopes.

Other caution flags were caused by T.J. Reaid of Acworth, Ga., who cut a right-rear on lap 23 while running in the top 10; Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who relinquished fourth place to a flat tire on lap 38; and Richards, who was never a factor — he started 12th but didn’t crack the top 10 — before losing precious points when a flat tire forced him to pit on lap 44.

After winning his first-ever Lucas Oil Series feature on Saturday night at Dixie, Michael Page of Douglasville, Ga., moved forward from the 16th starting spot to finish 10th.

Feature lineup

Row 1: McIntosh, Lanigan
Row 2: Owens, D. O’Neal
Row 3: Reaid, Overton
Row 4: McCreadie, Gilpin
Row 5: McDowell, Madden
Row 6: Clanton, Richards
Row 7: Roland, Bloomquist
Row 8: A. Smith, Page
Row 9: Croft, Pearson
Row 10: Bruening, Francis
Row 11: Satterlee, Ferguson
Row 12: H. O’Neal, D. Erb
Row 13: Boom Briggs
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