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Top 25: Lanigan returns to No. 1 in poll

September 2, 2014, 1:49 pm
By Alli Collis
DirtonDirt.com staff writer

After tying his own series record with his 15th World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory Sunday at Selinsgrove, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., has unseated Jimmy Owens for the No. 1 spot in DirtonDirt.com’s Top 25 power rankings.

Lanigan ended his Labor Day weekend with two World of Outlaws victories, stretching his lead in the series points standings while receiving 13 first-place votes in the poll presented by JRi Shocks.

Owens, the Newport, Tenn., driver who held the No. 1 spot in the poll for eight consecutive weeks, slipped to No. 2 with nine first-place votes after a runner-up finish in Sunday’s Hillbilly 100 at I-77 Raceway Park.

Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., who captured the $25,000-to-win Hillbilly 100, climbed one spot to No. 3, while Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., fell one spot to No. 4. Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., rounds out the top five.

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., made the biggest jump in this week’s rankings, rising four spots to No. 9 after notching two runner-ups and a third-place finish in the Hillbilly 100 over the weekend. Despite a wild rollover in Sunday’s Hillbilly, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., also climbed two spots to No. 14.

Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., slipped two spots to No. 12 going winless in a pair of home-state races at Fairbury and Danville. Dale McDowell, Shannon Babb, Eddie Carrier Jr., Chris Madden, Brian Birkhofer, Brandon Sheppard and Terry Phillips each fell one spot in this week’s rankings.

DirtonDirt.com invited more than 30 media members and drivers along with track and series representatives to vote in this season’s rankings. Twenty-three submitted ballots this week. Weekly polls continue through mid-November.

1. Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky.

Comment: Tied his own personal record with his 15th World of Outlaws victory of the season Sunday at Selinsgrove Speedway. Series points: 1st (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 2nd (+1)

2. Jimmy Owens, Newport, Tenn.

Comment:Rallies to finish runner-up in I-77 Raceway Park’s Hillbilly 100, falling just short of victory in the final laps. Series Points: 1st (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 1st (-1)

3. Don O’Neal, Martinsville, Ind.

Comment: Sits only 25 points behind Jimmy Owens in the Lucas Oil standings after notching his first Hillbilly 100 triumph. Series points: 2nd (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 4th (+1)

4. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn.

Comment: Is a winner in his Attica debut on Friday, but struggles with fuel pressure issues at Portsmouth and I-77. Series points: 3rd (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 3rd (-1)

5. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.

Comment: Winningest World 100 driver will travel to Eldora this weekend looking for his seventh globe trophy. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 5th (nc)

6. Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, Ga.

Comment: After heat race struggles, he rallies for another strong long-distance finish in Sunday’s Hillbilly 100. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 6th (nc)

7. Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

Comment: Bested Shane Clanton for a WoO victory Saturday at Selinsgrove, his third series win of the season. Series points: 3rd (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 8th (+1)

8. Dale McDowell, Chickamauga, Ga.

Comment: Coming off his Lucas Oil victory at Bulls Gap, the Dream winner will return to Eldora this weekend for the World 100. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 7th (-1)

9. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.

Comment: Continues to improve, ending Labor Day weekend with two runner-ups and a third place finish in the Hillbilly 100. Series points: 4th (Lucas Oil). Last week's ranking: 13th (+4)

10. Shannon Babb, Moweaqua, Ill.

Comment: Still looking for his first World 100 victory after his 2005 disqualification for being light at the scales. Series points: 1st (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: 9th (-1)

11. Rick Eckert, York, Pa.

Comment: WoO contender ends the weekend with two runner-up finishes and a third-place run at Selinsgrove on Saturday. Series points: 2nd (World of Outlaws). Last week's ranking: 11th (nc)

12. Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, Ill.

Comment: Notches a runner-up finish at Vermilion County on Sunday after frustrating loss at Fairbury the previous night. Series points: 5th (Summernationals). Last week's ranking: 10th (-2)

13. Eddie Carrier Jr., Salt Rock, W.Va.

Comment: Battles among the frontrunners in Sunday’s Hillbilly 100 at I-77 before dropping back to finish eighth. Series points: 5th (Lucas Oil). Last week’s ranking: 12th (-1)

14. Mike Marlar, Winfield, Tenn.

Comment: Uninjured after taking a wild ride in Sunday’s Hillbilly 100 when he made contact with the turn-three guardrail. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 16th (+2)

15. Chris Madden, Gray Court, S.C.

Comment: After taking Labor Day weekend off, he’ll travel to Eldora Speedway, looking for his first World 100 victory. Series points: 1st (Southern Nationals). Last week's ranking: 14th (-1)

16. Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa.

Comment: Two-time World 100 winner notches top-10 finishes at Attica and Portsmouth on his stint with the Lucas Oil tour. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 15th (-1)

17. Jimmy Mars, Menomonie, Wis.

Comment: He’ll make the trip to Eldora Speedway this weekend, looking for his first career World 100 victory.  Series points: None. Last week’s ranking: 17th (nc)

18. Gregg Satterlee, Indiana, Pa.

Comment: Will look to improve at Eldora after disappointing finishes in WoO stops at Lernerville and Selinsgrove.  Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 18th (nc)

19. Randy Weaver, Crossville, Tenn.

Comment: Returns to racing action this weekend at Eldora Speedway’s World 100 after a two-week break. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 22nd (+3)

20. Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill.

Comment: Bested Bobby Pierce for a $3,000 Corn Belt Clash-ALMS West victory Sunday at Vermilion County Speedway.  Series points: 4th (Summernationals). Last week’s ranking: 19th (-1)

21. Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.

Comment: Closes Labor Day weekend with a sixth-place run at Lucas Oil Speedway and runner up finish at Monett. Series points: 2nd (MLRA). Last week's ranking: 20th (-1)

21. Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.

Comment: After Comp Cams weekend rainouts, he’ll travel to Eldora for the World 100, looking for his first crown jewel. Series points: None. Last week’s ranking: 21st (nc)

23. John Blankenship, Williamson, W.Va.

Comment: After up and down season, last year's World 100 winner returns to Eldora, where he finished second in June's Dream. Series points: 7th (Lucas Oil) Last week's ranking: 24th (+1)

24. Jason Feger, Bloomington, Ill.

Comment: Coming off his third straight USA World 50 victory at Paducah, Ky., he’ll travel to Eldora for the 44th World 100. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 23rd (-1)

25. Mason Zeigler, Chalk Hill, Pa.

Comment: Leads the first nine laps of Sunday’s Hillbilly 100, but finishes the race a disappointing 23rd. Series points: None. Last week's ranking: 25th (nc)

DirtonDirt Top 25

Driver (points) (1st place)
1. Darrell Lanigan (563) (13)
2. Jimmy Owens (560) (9)
3. Don O’Neal (519)
4. Scott Bloomquist (515) (1)
5. Billy Moyer (464)
6. Jonathan Davenport (450)
7. Tim McCreadie (412)
8. Dale McDowell (383)
9. Steve Francis (354)
10. Shannon Babb (327)
11. Rick Eckert (314)
12. Bobby Pierce (302)
13. Eddie Carrier Jr. (283)
14. Mike Marlar (255)
15. Chris Madden (250)
16. Brian Birkhofer (218)
17. Jimmy Mars (186)
18. Gregg Satterlee (168)
19. Randy Weaver (122)
20. Brandon Sheppard (114)
21. Billy Moyer Jr. (113)
21. Terry Phillips (113)
23. John Blankenship (111)
24. Jason Feger (103)
25. Mason Zeigler (66)
Others receiving votes: Earl Pearson Jr. (39), Shane Clanton (26), Brian Shirley (22), Devin Moran (20), Chad Simpson (14), Ryan Unzicker (14), Ryan Gustin (13), Jackie Boggs (12), Dennis Franklin (10), Jared Landers (8), Brady Smith (8), Justin Kay (7), Kent Robinson (5), Tony Jackson Jr. (4), Chris Ferguson (3), Tim Fuller (3), Morgan Bagley (1), Kenny Pettyjohn (1).
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