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McCreadie Entering WoO Late Model Series Stop At Lincoln Speedway May

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McCreadie Flying High Entering World of Outlaws Late Model Series Stop At Lincoln Speedway On Friday Night (May 7)


Former Champ Enjoying His Return As A Tour Regular


LINCOLN, IL – May 5, 2010 – Tim McCreadie is headed to Lincoln Speedway with a smile on his face.


Entering the World of Outlaws Late Model Series 'Land of Lincoln 50' this Friday night (May 7) at the central Illinois oval, McCreadie finds himself in an enviable position – hot off his first victory of the season, leading the national tour's points standings and feeling like he's just beginning to pick up momentum.


Yes, the 36-year-old dirt Late Model superstar from Watertown, N.Y., is settling in nicely in his first season as a WoO LMS regular since he won the championship in 2006.


"We've been racking up top fives (from the start of the campaign), but I don't really think our Sweeteners (Plus Racing) car has been as good as it should be until (last weekend)," said McCreadie, who overtook defending champ Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for the points lead after scoring his first triumph of 2010 on May 1 at Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway. "I've been saying all along that once we hit on something, then look out. I think we'll have something special."


Following a weekend that saw McCreadie finally bust down the door to Victory Lane and finish second to Richards by just a half car length at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, he's primed to continue his tear at Lincoln Speedway. The quarter-mile fairgrounds oval promoted by Don Hammer is hosting the WoO LMS for the fourth consecutive season, but this year's edition will mark the first time the tour visits on a Friday night (previous events were run on Sundays) and competes in a 50-lap A-Main paying $10,000 to win (the past races were all 40-lappers offering a $7,000 top prize).


McCreadie has made only one previous appearance at Lincoln, finishing eighth in the WoO LMS event held on May 18, 2008. He qualified poorly that evening (27th out of 43 entries) but rallied to transfer through a heat race and advance from the 15th starting spot in the A-Main.


Of course, McCreadie will make his return to Lincoln under quite different circumstances. In the spring of 2008 his planned NASCAR Nationwide Series action as a Richard Childress Racing development driver had fallen into limbo, so he had just a single Sweeteners Plus Rocket car at his disposal as he began easing back into a full dirt Late Model schedule.


McCreadie was contemplating a comeback as a WoO LMS regular last season before a crash in January during the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla., left him sidelined with a back injury until June. Now back close to 100 percent physically (he's healed but still periodically feels residual stiffness and soreness), he's focused on putting together the best season of his full-fender career.


"We made our minds up that we wanted to do the Outlaw deal this year so we got our stuff straight to take our best shot," said McCreadie, who followed his father, legendary New York driver 'Barefoot' Bob McCreadie, into the Northeast's DIRTcar big-block ranks before beginning to run dirt Late Model events in 2003. "I've done way more work this year than I've probably done in the last five years combined. Al Stevens (McCreadie's chief mechanic) has done a great job, and I just try to do myself what Al can't get to."


McCreadie spent his first three full seasons as a dirt Late Model driver chasing the WoO LMS, progressing steadily from Rookie of the Year in 2004 to winningest driver in 2005 (eight wins, third in points) to champion in 2006. He was absent as a regular for the last three seasons due to his flirtation with NASCAR and injury-induced hiatus from racing, but he's happy to be back on the road.


"It's a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work too," McCreadie said of pursuing the $100,000 WoO LMS title. "A series deal is hard. It's a lot easier when you take two weeks off like we used to and get yourself prepared for one particular race, but then you get locked into not being versatile in different aspects of the sport.


"I really, truly believe that we can do both. I think we're at that point where we can contend for a series championship and also win big (crown-jewel) races."


Ten races into a 2010 WoO LMS schedule that currently boasts 48 events at 41 tracks in 19 states and two Canadian provinces, McCreadie has noticed some differences from his last season as a regular. The biggest involves the evolution of tires used in the division.


"Since I first came around to dirt Late Models – and even in '06 when we won the championshipo – the tires from Hoosier have been made better," said McCreadie. "I can't comment on any other brand, but at least the Hoosiers have been made better to where you can't put a hard tire on all the time, wait and wait for it to go, and then drive by all the guys with soft tires.


"Right now softer tires rule the day. A lot of times if you go harder you're just not gonna take off good enough to maintain and have a shot at the end."


McCreadie is figuring things out and enjoying the challenge.


"It's a lot of fun right now," said McCreadie, who owns 13 career victories on the WoO LMS. "The glory days of everybody thinking all we do is sit around, relax and have a good time after the races – it's not that at all. It's a grind and you gotta be up for it."


McCreadie knows he'll have to be on his game at Lincoln Speedway, a track that's located in the heart of DIRTcar Racing's UMP circuit and thus historically draws one of the most talent-laden fields of the entire WoO LMS season.


WoO LMS regulars ready to challenge McCreadie include his fellow former champions Richards, Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., as well as Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who won last year's tour event at Lincoln, and Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., the track's 2008 WoO victor.


Other contenders expected to enter the 'Land of Lincoln 50' include defending UMP Late Model national champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill.; three-time defending UMP Summer Nationals titlist Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill.; Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., who won the lone WoO LMS A-Main of his career in 2007 at Lincoln; Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., who won a Monster Midwest Tour event at Lincoln on April 17; and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, Iowa.


Lincoln Speedway's gates are scheduled to open at 12 noon on Fri., May 7. Hot laps are set to begin at 6:30 p.m. and qualifying at 7 p.m.


Friday's program also includes action for UMP Modifieds, Street Stocks and Wild Things (Hornets).


General admission is $25, with children 6-12 admitted for $10 and kids 5-and-under free. Pit passes are $35 and $15 (ages 4-11), with youngsters 3-and-under free of charge.


Lincoln Speedway sits at the Logan County Fairgrounds in an easily-accessible central Illinois location, about 30 miles northeast of Springfield, 35 miles southwest of Bloomington/Normal and 45 miles southeast of Peoria.


For more information on Lincoln Speedway, visit www.lincolnspeedway.org or call 217-735-1833 (track) or 217-737-7134 (promoters).


Additional info on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

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