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Volusia Speedway Park

T-Mac repels Lanigan, Moyer for Volusia victory

February 20, 2013, 5:15 pm
From staff and series reports
Tim McCreadie applauds the crowd after his $10,000 victory. (stlracingphotos.com)
Tim McCreadie applauds the crowd after his $10,000 victory. (stlracingphotos.com)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 20) — Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., ended an eight-year absence from victory lane during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment with a memorable triumph in Wednesday's 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model feature at Volusia Speedway Park. | Complete Speedweeks coverage

Racing at the half-mile oval where he won his first Dirt Late Model feature in 2004, McCreadie outdueled Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., for the lead on lap 29 and then hung on for dear life, ultimately nipping Lanigan and Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., in a thrilling three-car finish to the week’s third Late Model event.

McCreadie, 38, flashed under the checkered flag just 0.062 of a second ahead of Lanigan, who swapped the lead three times with his fellow World of Outlaws Late Model Series regular. Third-place Moyer was also part of the photo finish, just 0.119 of a second behind Lanigan.

Ninth-starting Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., finished fourth in his first appearance of the week and Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., started and finished fifth.

Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who won the first two features of the week, saw his streak end without even officially completing a lap in the feature. He started 22nd after qualifying through a consolation race and was knocked out of the race in a multi-car frontstretch tangle, leaving him with a 24th-place finish.

McCreadie’s $10,000 triumph was the fifth of his career at Volusia but first since he captured the WoO finale of the 2005 racing extravaganza. He won three of the six dirt Late Model features contested that year.

“It’s been since ’05 since I thought that we were a threat (at Volusia),” said McCreadie, whose career-first Dirt Late Model win on Feb. 9, 2004, came at Volusia. “Tonight kind of felt like that (year).”

McCreadie demonstrated that he was ready to snap his victory drought at Volusia in Tuesday night’s feature when he sailed by Lanigan for the lead on lap two. His bid ended three circuits later when he jumped the cushion in turn two and slapped the guardrail, but even after retiring he remained upbeat about the performance of his Sweeteners Plus Warrior car.

Starting third in Wednesday’s headliner, McCreadie gained control of second from his teammate Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., on lap five and used the outside groove to overtake race-long pacesetter Lanigan for the top spot on lap 14. He ceded the lead back to Lanigan on lap 23 and fell nearly two seconds behind within four circuits, but a caution flag on lap 28 for Coffey, who stopped with terminal engine trouble, put McCreadie back in the game.

On the restart McCreadie immediately went to the outside of the track and drove into turn three side-by-side with Lanigan. He rocketed off turn four to regain command as lap 29 was scored.

“(During) the cautions we had got the crumbs packed in on the outside and (following the restart) you could really ring the outside for four or five laps,” McCreadie said. “But once it throws crumbs there (again), you can’t steer good enough and you’re just not hooked up good enough like the bottom was. I stayed out there too long the first time (after taking the lead), and then when (Lanigan) passed me I just kind of tried to follow him.

“I couldn’t really run with him at that point. Then the yellow come out (on lap 28) and it was long enough to get the moisture packed in. I figured (Lanigan would) go to the top (on the restart), but he just happened to go to the bottom (entering turn three).

“I had nothing to lose,” he continued. “We’ve had a better start than we’ve ever had in the past three four years down here, but it isn’t winning, so I just gave it a shot.”

The race was far from over, however. Over the last five laps Lanigan and Moyer alternated diving underneath McCreadie, who found himself needing to hold off both standout drivers rounding turns three and four on the final circuit.

“You don’t know where everybody is, but you can tell by the looks in (signaling crewmen’s) eyes when they’re waving (their arms) that fast that they think you’re in trouble,” said McCreadie, describing the deciding laps. “I was kind of scared, so I figured my best shot, because Lanigan had been running the bottom, was to cover the bottom and roll the middle just because I could keep my momentum up.

“Then I saw on the board that Moyer had got to second and he’s usually good in the hub there too, so I just figured, ‘Try to be smooth and cover most of the lanes, and if they beat you, they beat you.’

“We got lucky,” he concluded. “I kind of slipped up in (turns) three and four both of them almost went by me. The finish line — thank God it was where it was at instead of 10 foot further down the track.”

Lanigan, 42, graciously congratulated McCreadie after settling for runner-up money. He tossed his car around the extreme outside of turns three and four on the last lap but couldn’t beat McCreadie to the finish line.

“We were just awful tight there in the middle of the race and couldn’t turn,” said Lanigan, who led laps 1-13 and 23-28 after starting from the outside pole in his Rocket machine. “We had a shot there at the end to just wing it around the top and I went for it, but we came up a little bit short.”

Moyer, 55, was awestruck by the race’s exciting finish. He advanced from the seventh starting spot to place a week-best third in his Victory Circle car.

“The people in the stands had to love that — we did, too,” said Moyer, the winningest driver in DIRTcar Nationals history. “It was awful close. I don’t know if I remember one with the top three that close.

“There was a little strip right there (on the bottom of the track) and when I hit it just right I could really go through there, but I couldn’t hit it right every lap. And that last lap I was thinking, I gotta do it, gotta do it, and I missed it just a little bit.”

Four caution flags slowed the event. In addition to Coffey’s mechanical trouble on lap 28, Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif., and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., tangled in turn two on lap seven; Scott James of Bright, Ind., spun wildly into turn one after contact with Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa., on lap eight; and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., spun in turn two on lap 13.

The opening-lap incident necessitated red-flag conditions. Joining Richards in the turn-one wreck were Tennessee’s Bloomquist and Stacy Boles and Illinois drivers Shannon Babb, Brandon Sheppard, Bobby Pierce and Jason McBride.

Finishing in positions 6-10 were Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., who climbed as high as third; 14th-starter Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga.; 18th-starter Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.; fourth-starter Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Ga.; and 15th-starter Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who made his first start of the week.

The DIRTcar Nationals continue Thursday with the first of three straights of competition featuring the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Each program will include $10,000-to-win 50-lappers for the World of Outlaws and 30-lappers for the Super DIRTcar Series big-block modifieds.

UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit (Feb. 20): (1) Tim McCreadie, (2) Darrell Lanigan, (3) Billy Moyer, (4) Dale McDowell, (5) Don O’Neal, (6) Earl Pearson Jr., (7) Shane Clanton, (8) Steve Francis, (9) Casey Roberts, (10) Jimmy Owens, (11) Jimmy Mars, (12) Tyler Reddick, (13) Bub McCool, (14) Donnie Moran, (15) Billy Ogle Jr., (16) Mason Zeigler, (17) Vic Coffey, (18) Brady Smith, (19) Scott James, (20) Eric Jacobsen, (21) Dennis Erb Jr., (22) Scott Bloomquist, (23) Shannon Babb, (24) Josh Richards, (25) Bobby Pierce, (26) Stacy Boles, (27) Brandon Sheppard (28) Jason McBride. Fast qualifier (among 55 cars): McDowell, 15.870 seconds. Heat race winners: Coffey, Lanigan, McCreadie, Roberts, O’Neal, Pearson. Consolation winners: Ogle, Babb, McCool. Provisional starters: Bloomquist, Sheppard, Moran, McBride. Non-qualifiers’ race winner: Eric Wells.

Blog-style reports of Wednesday's action:

Late Model consolations

First consolation: Billy Ogle Jr., Josh Richards, Eric Wells, Tim Fuller, Scott Bloomquist, Eddie Carrier Jr., Billy Moyer Jr., Ricky Weiss, Justin Rattliff, Chad Hollenbeck, Jason McBride.

Second consolation: Shannon Babb, Stacy Boles, Dillon Wood, Morgan Bagley, Kenny Pettyjohn, Kent Robinson, Clint Smith, Ron Davies, Chub Frank, Joey Coulter, Chuck Julien. Scratched: Stormy Scott, Jerry Lierly.

Third consolation: Bub McCool, Bobby Pierce, Pat Doar, Gregg Satterlee, Michael Norris, Donnie Moran, Brandon Sheppard, Jared Landers, Todd Frank, Michael Walker. Scratched: Rick Eckert, Mike Benedum.

Big-block modified feature lineup

Row 1: Danny Johnson (27j), Matt Sheppard (9s)
Row 2: Brett Hearn (20), Peter Britten (21a)
Row 3: Alan Johnson (10j), Mario Clair (22c)
Row 4: Francois Bernier (49), Justin Haers (3)
Row 5: Jimmy Horton (5), Stewart Friesen (85f)
Row 6: Rich Laubauch (7), H.J. Bunting III (85j)
Row 7: Michel Chicoine (97), Tim Fuller (74)
Row 8: Randy Chrysler (21k), Jeremy Markle (79)
Row 9: Rob Bellinger (8r), Steve Hough (34)
Row 10: Neal Williams (323), Andy Bachetti (34B)
Row 11: Dan Vauter (85), Darwin Greene (1)
Row 12: Eric Kormann (901), Rich Scagliotta (8)
Row 13: Matt Williamson (6), Chris Ostrowsky (29)

Late model consolation lineups

First consolation
Row 1: Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Eddie Carrier (28)
Row 2: Shannon Babb (18), Tim Fuller (19)
Row 3: Josh Richards (1), Scott Bloomquist (0)
Row 4: Jason McBride (77), Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr)
Row 5: Justin Rattliff (16), Ricky Weiss (7w)
Row 6: Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Chuck Julien (57)
Second consolation
Row 1: Shannon Babb (18), Stacy Boles (11B)
Row 2: Kenny Pettyjohn (38), Dillon Wood (1w)
Row 3: Clint Smith (44), Ron Davies (71D)
Row 4: Morgan Bagley (14m), Stormy Scott (2s)
Row 5: Joey Coulter (2c), Chub Frank (1*)
Row 6: Kent Robinson (7r), Jerry Lierly (7L)
Third consolation
Row 1: Bub McCool (57j), Pat Doar (11)
Row 2: Bobby Pierce (32), Michael Norris (72)
Row 3: Gregg Satterlee (22), Todd Frank (21)
Row 4: Jared Landers (5), Michael Walker (64)
Row 5: Donnie Moran (99), Rick Eckert (24)
Row 6: Brandon Sheppard (B5), Mike Benedum (25)

Sixth heat

Outside front-row starter Casey Roberts built a huge lead and cruised to victory in the final heat. Roberts took the checkers more than a straightaway ahead of Eric Jacobsen, whoe edged Steve Francis for the second spot. All three transferred. Mike Benedum lost power during the parade lap, while fourth-starting Rick Eckert showed smoke just after the start and pulled to the outer pits exiting turn two.

Finish: Casey Roberts, Eric Jacobsen, Steve Francis, Pat Doar, Michael Norris, Todd Frank, Michael Walker, Rick Eckert Mike Benedum.

Fifth heat

Earl Pearson Jr. emerged from a three-car duel with polesitter Mason Zeigler and Jimmy Owens to grab an eight-lap victory. Pearson and Zeigler pulled away from the field midway through the race, while Owens wrapped up the third and final transfer spot without a challenge. Bub McCool was a distant fourth.

Finish: Earl Pearson Jr., Mason Zeigler, Jimmy Owens, Bub McCool, Bobby Pierce, Gregg Satterlee, Jared Landers, Brandon Sheppard, Donnie Moran.

Fourth heat

While the field got slightly bottled up in a frontstretch scramble, outside front row starter Tim McCreadie took advantage and slipped away to a victory. Fellow Warrior Race Cars driver Scott James reined in McCreadie late in finishing second while Jimmy Mars got the third and final transfer spot. Stacy Boles was fourth and polesitter Jerry Lierly, who got a little out of shape when the green flew, dropped out after five laps.

Finish: Tim McCreadie, Scott James, Jimmy Mars, Stacy Boles, Dillon Wood, Ron Davies, Stormy Scott, Chub Frank, Jerry Lierly.

Third heat

Vic Coffey won a race-long duel with fast qualifier Dale McDowell and edged away to capture the third heat, a caution-free eight-lapper. The top two finished just ahead of a sixth-starting Brady Smith, who made up ground early to grab the third and final transfer spot while slowing tracking down the leaders. Smith got a late challenge from Shannon Babb, who fell just shy of transferring. Polesitter Kenny Pettyjohn was fifth.

Finish: Vic Coffey, Dale McDowell, Brady Smith, Shannon Babb, Kenny Pettyjohn, Morgan Bagley, Joey Coulter, Kent Robinson.

Second heat

Darrell Lanigan led all the way from outside the front row to capture the second heat. He kept second-finishing polesitter Dennis Erb Jr. in check all eight laps in taking the checkers Shane Clanton took the third and final transfer spot with a turn-four slide job on Eddie Carrier Jr. exiting turn four. Carrier couldn't answer and settled for fourth and a spot in a consolation race. Erb made his first feature of the week without the help of a provisional starting spot. Scott Bloomquist finished a lackluster sixth.

Finish: Darrell Lanigan, Dennis Erb Jr., Shane Clanton, Eddie Carrier Jr., Tim Fuller, Scott Bloomquist, Billy Moyer Jr., Ricky Weiss, Chuck Julien.

First heat

Deinied a possible victory last night by fuel pump problems, Don O'Neal picked up where he left off by cruising to a victory in the first eight-lap heat. O'Neal took the checkers ahead of fourth-starting Billy Moyer while polesitter Tyler Reddick got the last transfer spot. Josh Richards, winner of Monday and Tuesday's features, will be running a consolation tonight after finishing sixth. Chad Hollenbeck and Dan Stone were early retirees.

Finish: Don O'Neal, Billy Moyer, Tyler Reddick, Billy Ogle Jr., Eric Wells, Josh Richards, Jason McBride, Justin Rattliff, Dan Stone, Chad Hollenbeck.

Qualifying

Making his first start of the week, Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., topped a Speedweeks-high 55 drivers Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park for the third round of UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model action at the 42nd annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

McDowell turned a lap of 15.870 seconds on the half-mile oval and will start fourth in the first heat race according to the four-car inversion. Heat race polesitters: Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif.; Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va.; Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, Del.; Jerry Lierly of Camp Point, Ill.; Mason Zeigler of Chalk Hill, Pa.; and Eric Jacobsen of Santa Cruz, Calif.

Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., is going for his third straight victory at Volusia — and fourth overall — at the half-mile oval after winning Tuesday and Wednesday’s events.

Late Models will run six heat races, three consolations, the 30-lap main event and a Bulrush Dash for non-qualifiers. There are 38 big-block modifieds in action; they will run four heats, two consolations and a 30-lap feature.

Pre-race notes

Several newcoming Late Model drivers are in action at Volusia including Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Dillon Wood of New Smyrna Beach, Fla. ... Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., fresh off competing in K&N Series action at Daytona, is also at Volusia. ... Darrell Lanigan plans to race the 1-race-old car he won with earlier in Speedweeks at North Florida Speedway. ... David Wells said his son Eric is a more focused racer this season, in part because he’s now the father of 7-month-old Nila. “That little girl coming along makes thing different,” the elder Wells said.

Late model heat lineups

(Eight laps; top three transfer)
First heat
Row 1: Tyler Reddick (11), Don O’Neal (1)
Row 2: Eric Wells (18); Billy Moyer (21)
Row 3: Josh Richards (1), Billy Ogle Jr. (201)
Row 4: Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Jason McBride (77)
Row 5: Dan Stone (21D), Justin Rattliff (16)
Second heat
Row 1: Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Darrell Lanigan (29)
Row 2: Shane Clanton (25), Dennis Erb Jr. (28)
Row 3: Scott Bloomquist (0), Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr)
Row 4: Ricky Weiss (7w), Tim Fuller (19)
Row 5: Chuck Julien (57)
Third heat
Row 1: Kenny Pettyjohn ((38), Vic Coffey (32c)
Row 2: Shannon Babb (18), Dale McDowell (17m)
Row 3: Morgan Bagley (14m), Brady Smith (2)
Row 4: Kent Robinson (7r), Joey Coulter (2c)
Row 5: Clint Smith (44)
Fourth heat
Row 1: Jerry Lierly (7L), Tim McCreadie (39)
Row 2: Scott James (1G), Stacy Boles (11B)
Row 3: Dillon Wood (1w), Jimmy Mars (28)
Row 4: Stormy Scott (2s), Ron Davies (71D)
Row 5: Chub Frank (1*)
Fifth heat
Row 1: Mason Zeigler (25z), Earl Pearson Jr. (44)
Row 2: Bub McCool (57j), Jimmy Owens (20)
Row 3: Bobby Pierce (32), Gregg Satterlee (22)
Row 4: Donnie Moran (99), Jared Landers (5)
Row 5: Brandon Sheppard (B5)
Sixth heat
Row 1: Eric Jacobsen (5j), Casey Roberts (101)
Row 2: Pat Doar (11), Rick Eckert (24)
Row 3: Mike Benedum (25), Steve Francis (15)
Row 4: Michael Norris (72), Michael Walker (64)
Row 5: Todd Frank (21)

Time trials (unofficial)

First group
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., 16.004
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 16.223
Don O’Neal (1), Martinsville, Ind., 16.364
Tyler Reddick (11), Corning, Calif., 16.544
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 16.800
Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., 16.877
Chad Hollenbeck (4DS), Kingsley, Pa., 16.893
Jason McBride (77), Carbondale, Ill., 17.585
Dan Stone (21D), Thompson, Pa., 17.713
Justin Rattliff (16), Campbellsville, Ky., 18.475
Second group
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 16.224
Shane Clanton (25), Fayetteville, Ga., 16.375
Darrell Lanigan (29), Union, Ky., 16.397
Eddie Carrier Jr. (28), Salt Rock, W.Va., 16.466
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 16.478
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.822
Ricky Weiss (7w), Winnipeg, Manitoba, 16.938
Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y., 17.484
Chuck Julien (57), Apopka, Fla., 18.203
Third group
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 15.870
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 16.125
Vic Coffey (32c), Caledonia, N.Y., 16.199
Kenny Pettyjohn (38), Millsboro, Del., 16.232
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 16.272
Brady Smith (2), Solon Springs, Wis., 16.320
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind., 16.422
Joey Coulter (2c), Concord, N.C., 16.739
Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 17.153
Fourth group
Stacy Boles (11B), Clinton, Tenn., 16.147
Scott James (1G), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 16.165
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 16.222
Jerry Lierly (7L), Camp Point, Ill., 16.291
Dillon Wood (1w), New Smyrna Beach, Fla., 16.321
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis., 16.361
Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.550
Ron Davies (71D), Warren, Pa., 16.694
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 16.834
Fifth group
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 16.240
Bub McCool (57j), Vicksburg, Miss., 16.284
Earl Pearson Jr. (44), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.340
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 16.349
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 16.366
Gregg Satterlee (22), Rochester Mills, Pa., 16.384
Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 16.436
Jared Landers (5), Batesville, Ark., 16.566
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 19.476
Sixth group
Rick Eckert (24), York, Pa., 15.976
Pat Doar (11), New Richmond, Wis., 16.184
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 16.364
Eric Jacobsen (5), Santa Cruz, Calif., 16.514
Mike Benedum (25), Bristol, W.Va., 16.603
Steve Francis (15), Ashland, Ky., 16.612
Michael Norris (72), Sarverville, Pa., 17.052
Michael Walker (64), Franklin, Tenn., 17.175
Todd Frank (21), Mellen, Wis., 17.222

Feature lineup

Row 1: Coffey, Lanigan
Row 2: McCreadie, Roberts
Row 3: O'Neal, Pearson
Row 4: Moyer Sr., Erb
Row 5: McDowell, James
Row 6: Zeigler, Jacobsen
Row 7: Reddick, Clanton
Row 8: B. Smith, Mars
Row 9: Owens, Francis
Row 10: Ogle, Babb
Row 11: McCool, Richards
Row 12: Boles, Pierce
Row 13: Bloomquist, Sheppard
Row 14: Moran, McBride
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