World of Outlaws Notebook
Notes: Frank scores best WoO finish at Brighton
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
BRIGHTON, Ontario (June 20) — While he couldn’t get into the mix with winner Darrell Lanigan and runner-up Josh Richards on Thursday at Brighton Speedway, Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., was among the stories of the race in Excel Tower Series 50 presented by Dibbits Excavating, Campbellford Chrysler and J.J. Stewart Motors at Brighton Speedway. | Lanigan wins at Brighton
Frank, 51, advanced from his seventh starting spot for a World of Outlaws Late Model Series-best third-place finish of the season. He reached the third spot by lap 20 and held fast to the finish of the 50-lapper.
“It was a good run for us,” said Frank, who competed in five events close to home during an early-June series break. “We were a little tight if we slowed down and loose if we ran in there hard like them (leaders) were, but we’re happy. (Lanigan and Richards) are the two guys that you gotta beat, so I guess finishing behind them is almost like a win — for us anyway right now.”
New car performs
Darrell Lanigan’s winning car at Brighton was the same car he debuted so inauspiciously the previous night at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway. Everything the car didn’t do in its first racetrack appearance, coming home 14th at Fonda, it did flawlessly in Canada.
“I thought we were good (at the start),” the Union, Ky., driver said, “and then we moved to the bottom and got really good. I could actually run through the corner and not hardly even lift. It was just unreal.”
Lanigan said the changes on the car came in part from chief mechanic and part-time racer Jason Jameson of Lawrenceburg, Ind., who scored June 14-15 victories at Moler Raceway Park in Williamsburg, Ohio, and Florence Speedway in Lanigan’s hometown.
“I knew I had a big lead,” said Lanigan, who notched his series-leading 46th career WoO victory. “But I could just roll right through the center and be just as good, so I just kept rolling.”
North of the border
Hall of Fame driver John Mason of Millersburg, Ohio, has been a stalwart entrant in Canadian World of Outlaws events since the tour began crossing the border in 2007.
Why has Mason been such a big supporter of the Canadian shows? It's a chance for Mason to simultaneously go racing and visit his longtime buddy Bert Robidoux, who operates the well-known Bert Transmission business based in Montreal, Quebec.
This year Mason is extending his swing with the series, sandwiching the Canadian events tonight and Sunday at Cornwall Motor Speedway with starts at Fonda Speedway last night and Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park on June 25. There isn't a race in Robidoux's home province of Quebec this year, but Mason will hook up with his pal at Cornwall.
Mason is running these races with a minimum of assistance. His crew consists of his daughter Carri. It's a father-daughter trip, but don't call it a vacation even though the WoO has off days on Friday, Saturday and Monday.
"I hope this isn't my vacation for the year," Carri quipped with a smile, then added. "I think I'm along so he can get some sleep while I drive the truck.”
Odds and ends
Thirteen drivers completed 50 laps in Brighton’s main event. ... Fast qualifier Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., ended up third in his heat race after a two-position penalty for jumping the start from his pole position. ... Andrew Reaume of Blenheim, Ontario, became the second Canadian in WoO history to win a heat race. Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the first, taking a heat on July 10, 2009, at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D. ... Brighton hosts a Crate Late Model division regularly; the WoO event was its richest in track history. ... Three drivers were in unfamiliar cars at Brighton. Greg Belyea drove Chub Frank’s backup, Charlie Sandercock drove a second Boom Briggs entry and Gil Tegg Jr. drove the backup of Greg Oakes. ... Tegg was the apparent runner-up in a consolation race, but he was disqualified for weighing in light postrace. It marked the second consecutive night that Tegg came up light at the scales, but a provisional put him in the main event where he was the first retiree. ... Among drivers failing to make the main event lineup: Terry Hunt, Mike Lewis, Matt Vanderlinden, Steve Baldwin, Mark Rayner, Gregg Haskell, Brent Colby, Jason McCrory, Caley Weese, Kyle Sopaz and Adam Turner.